Blogs are nothing but distributed forum threads
I like forums. They’re a one stop place for me to go to read up on various subjects, comment on them and read comments from others. The thread starter participates in the comments, and you refer to other similar threads or branch off if (when) the discussion becomes off topic.
Blogs are nothing more than distributed forum threads. There’s a thread starter and comments, but the threads are grouped together by author or by subject, while on a forum threads usually span a wider subject area. It’s harder to collect blogs visibly than it is to visit a forum (although we try to solve that using blogrolls and collection agents like /., digg, technorati etc).
The solution is of course to treat all blogs as threads on a global forum, bloggum, gollum or whatever we would like to call it. Advanced forums can already filter based on category (tags) and divide threads into specific subject areas. Community tagging and voting will make such a system simple even for our global forum rather than having to decide upon areas from the start (which is what makes it very different from Usenet).
I usually spend most of my creative net-writing energy on forum posts, and often feel that I should’ve blogged on the same subject instead or as well. I’ve toyed with the idea of creating an automatic connection system between blogs and forums, where some of my forum posts would also become blog posts – but what about the comments? At one forum/community I frequent members can have their own blog, but if they don’t want to blog there they can include an RSS-feed instead and those entries will show up as entries at the community. Again with no solution for comments which will reside in two different places, but it’s a step in the right direction.
The next step, and what I propose, is a general “posting platform”, where no matter where I post (comments on newspaper articles, Jaikus, blog entries like this one etc) that creative work is considered output from the entity me, and any related information and comments will be linked to what I wrote. That content can be grouped at various places (like at http://blog.troed.se) but also at the place where that creativity took place (comments on http://sydsvenskan.se, on a friend’s Jaiku post, at /.)
This is a step towards life logging, and it’s a step that’s possible to do today. Combined with a social trust network it will also make moderation much simpler at places that need it, due to a user’s combined posting history being available instead of each new place with an input box being treated as having a separate community of users.
I’ll even suggest a name for such a creative work: meev – for “me event”. I spend a lot of time every day writing meevs (meeving?), sharing knowledge and ideas with others in our global community. Now it’s time to bring all that output together. It’s all just one really big forum anyway, with lots and lots of threads.
update: Something might be happening. http://mashable.com/2008/03/31/favorit-conversation-tracking/
update 3 – and this seems to be it: http://mashable.com/2009/02/10/backtype-friendfeed-support/