May 10, 2005

I Christen Thee “Commblogging”

The other day I wrote the best blog comment I’ve ever written. Of course, it was on someone else’s blog.

Poor Greg. Driving home with his wife along LA’s Santa Monica Freeway he suddenly looks up to see a car coming towards him in a very strange fashion:

…I looked up from the dash gauges after hearing a peculiar noise to see a white BMW, fifteen yards in front of me, also traveling at 82 MPH but sideways, perfectly perpendicular to my own car.

Airbag by Greg Story

Greg Story’s Airbag

To find out what happened next, you will have to read his post. It’s a nail biter. But his story, one laden with issues of right and wrong, reminded me of a similar experience I had many years ago when I lived in the same city. It all started when I heard… Well, you’ll have to read the rest of my story on Greg’s blog. Actually, I left it as a comment (mine’s the fifth one down).

A blog within a blog —a comment blog. Greg likens this to a Klein bottle —a three dimensional object that turns in on itself, like a mobius.

I christen thee “commblog” to ride alongside of moblog (mobile phone blogs) and other blog variants: using others’ stories as starting off points for your own.

I enjoy leaving comments on many of the blogs I visit. I don’t do it often but the form lends itself to a special type of conversation with the author and others in his or her neighborhood.

But this one was a bit different. Rather than reacting to Greg’s story I found a moral equivalent, a story that resonated with similar undertones. I quickly jotted it down in the comment text box provided. I had to consider my words carefully for once I hit the “Post” button, there was no going back. The connection with the original post was clear yet the story stood on its own. The play between my and Greg’s story was a bit different than if I’d left normal commentary.

I may be accused of riding on the coattails of others. But don’t people trackback related stories all the time? Why not simply do it within the comment section of the original piece? With all the trackback spam bloggers are receiving these days it’s hardly worth activating this feature. And with all the comment spam we’re getting, a few more quality comments will surely be appreciated.

Of course, commbloging will yield a slightly different sort of comment. Writing a “comment story” will have its own rules. Short, of course. Related to the blogger’s original post but taking it on a slightly different tangent. Good quality writing. Literary, maybe. Let’s see how this develops.

Commblogging won’t be too disruptive. For as soon as I leave my comment, others will add theirs. The cacophony of voices will only add to the network of shared ideas.

Commblog #2
Commblog #3

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