Blog Comments pages become crazy conversations

To comment or not to comment on a blog, what is its purpose? Well, lately I’ve found myself sitting on the sidelines, reading very funny forum-like dialogue between people who are simply commenting on posts from a blogger. I’ve been ‘hanging out’ at one of my favourite blog sites (‘Dilbert Blog‘) and it seems that the people who read this blog by Scott Adams are as weird as the man himself! Just looking back at the last three posts’ comments pages I was astounded to see upwards of 250 individual responses to this one person’s ‘text on a page’, some of which were as lengthy as the original post (Comments pages now seem to be a place for us to post ourselves!).

Ok, I have been talking a bit about the ‘Dilbertblog’ lately, but that’s not what I’m focussing on here. What’s remarkable is the fact that a small community is forming solely around one person’s ideas in their blog (many of the names commenting after each post are the same). After looking at several of the newest posts I noticed that chronologically, comments are like blog posts themselves, being displayed from newest to oldest. This I find a little disconcerting, as each comment is usually related to the one before it, so if you want to get the whole gist of a situation, really you have to go to the bottom of the list and work your way back up to the top (Unfortunately I haven’t done this, so I’ve learnt the strange art of discerning a topic of conversation by going backwards in time…) J

Check out these fairly recent Dilbert Blog comments.

This was supposedly one of the only times that Scott Adams blogged on a Sunday (normally he takes a well-earned break), and so he decided to try and write something fairly serious, as opposed to his normal humorous content. The main idea was, ‘Media never gives me the context I want.’, and he drew upon many different ideas and topics ranging from the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust, to nuclear power vs. fossil fuels in Iran, to the treatment of Jews in there…You should see how many opinions, ideas, and facts sprouted up from his loyal, and some obviously newly-inspired readers! Little mini-conversations come out between people who’ve read other’s responses and who greatly disagree or agree with each other.

The comments are not all positive of course. A lot of what Adams blogs about is contentious (one of the reasons he’s become so popular!?-take a note), as was found in this Dilbert Blog comments page from an older post that has produced a recurring theme based around whether or not freewill exists. People seem very passionate about this subject, and it showed that when the writer took on a difficult topic, every Tom, Dick, and Harry wanted to get their word in, whether it was emerging from intellectual discourse, fundamentalist religion, or the usual lowest-common-denominator slinging of abuse. These nearly 400 comments caused Adams to write several more posts about the subject, like this Dilbert Blog article which again received 350 responses. The readers thus took on an interactive role in what was to be produced in the blog. It was really great to hear all of the different and widely varied perspectives on a subject (even though some are more than a little bit on the comical side-some purposeful in intent, others unaware of their own ridiculousness). Get commenting people!

Jesse S. Somer believes that if we all write from our heart about what’s important to us, and others relate through comments, trackbacks, and emails; intelligence, wisdom, creativity, and even love will be transferred throughout the world like never before.