Saturday, September 15, 2007

what is line buzz and what can it tell us?

I saw this discussion thread on some beta product called line buzz. Basically, it offers inline commenting via mouseover popups. This is really interesting because it allows for divergent conversations to take place in real-time, which heretofore had to be done manually and retroactively by gathering up discussions and using traditional links to follow divergent paths. To see this tool in practice will be interesting for what it might show us about the evolution and digression of a conversation, in rhizomatic rather than linear form.

Hypothesis: The quality of content may decrease because the ability to diverge in real time is far more dangerous than one might think. Divergence in a retrospective and carefully controlled manner may still yield enjoyable results. But I suspect real-time divergence in blog discussions will prove too tempting. People will engage in side discussions which may be too private to be useful or the mere ability to diverge will lead to a neglect for narrative continuity or integrity. What I am saying is limitless digression could be too dangerous to go unmoderated. And the fate of the world could be in grave peril.

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