Thursday, 5 June 2008

I Am Context, We Are The Network

I was intrigued by a conversation in the video below where the hosts all discuss the elevator pitch by Daniel Ha the CEO at Disqus.

Feel free to watch the entire video below, but what struck me was a few quotes from the guys having a somewhat philosophical discussion on comments in general.

Let me paraphrase one part in particular. Ezra (the guy with the glasses) says, "Comments are usually pretty tightly intertwined with whatever the content piece was but if you start to abstract them away from whatever the symbiosis with is with that piece of content they begin to really drift…." to which the other dude starts talking about the continuity of the conversation. Because it starts with the publisher, they view the community and ecosystem from that perspective.

What I found interesting from a relatively new disqus user's perspective, is that I don't view it at all like they do (ok it's an ugly diagram but you get the idea).

They talk about context. Context can be important but comments are so much more to than that. They start to shape and form a piece of one's online identity. I can't tell you the amount of times I have linked from a disqus profile from a blog comment to read through their other comments and further link from those to other posts/conversations. What they say on an on-going basis is a key to who they are. They become an accumulation digital memory by digital memory through the myriad of Web services (disqus being one of them) that they utilize.

I'm not sure if this post is being that clear, but I think what struck me as I watched their discussion on the video is how they seem to be applying traditional linear offline mass models of publisher/reader to the interconnected hyperlinked blogosphere. I don't think the old rules apply.

To me it only makes sense that comments will drift and much like my own digital footprint will. It seems right that they will ebb and they will flow. As for context and continuity which the two guys in the video discuss? I think the whole point on the Web is that it isn't the content that provides the only context. Equally so, I am context and I am continuity. After all, we all are the network, aren't we?


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