I’m really enjoying my exchange
with Alan Lund over at Little Endian
. Not only is the content engaging, but I’ve developed a real fondness for the format of interacting posts on separate sites — what I call a DiaBlogue.
[Read More] for some thoughts on the advantages of this format.
I’ve participated in a number of online debates, most of which have been very respectful and worked fairly well, though others did not. Typically those were done via public or private email, though a few took place on blog comments. I find the DiaBlogue format vastly superior to all of those, for several reasons:
a. Blog postings have less immediacy than email. I’m not tempted to reply hastily, nor do I have it interleaved with my ‘regular’ work.
b. Unlike public email lists, the DiaBlogue is a more controlled channel, less likely to be derailed by the “peanut gallery.”
c. Unlike private email, there’s a public record.
d. Unlike comments, the DiaBlogue is fully symmetric; we both are on equal footing.
e. At least for me, blogging is explicitly about creating an archival record for future reference, which encourages more thoughtful and thorough writing — unlike most email, which is designed to address a specific current situation.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that this experiment will continue to be fruitful. Still, I have hopes that it will, in no small part due to the commitment and intellectual honesty of my “partner” (co-creator? I hate to say ‘opponent’). If so, hopefully that will encourage future efforts along these lines. Healthy dialogue is a rare thing, especially in the blogosphere, and any mechanism that promotes it would be very welcome…