> Another difference is that, on a dreamy not quite right level, I'm
> to scoop up the malingerers as well as people who get directly
> It should be possible to map the whole conversation without having
> participant formally announce that they're involved.
This is close to one of the problems I have with all the various ways
of aggregating and searching online conversations: They're really
blog-centric. When I look at referer logs for my own site I see lots of
interesting content that couldn't really be considered a blog: They've
got no RSS, maybe you're dealing with a monthly zine with big articles
instead of twenty snippets a day. A few of my articles on my site are
getting used in class curricula, which somehow seems as interesting a
point of conversation as that of a blogger's referring to your page.
The problem with defining new protocols, though, is that implementation
of anything non-trivial is expensive (compared to the very low cost, in
terms of time, that it takes to write online content of any sort).
Perhaps even collecting a TopicExchange-type URL might be a lot of
work. It's also just not so much fun, which is always a problem.
Personally I'm starting to think that there's a lot more to be gleaned
out of what we've already got.
One big item on my techie to-do list is to analyze referer logs to
figure out who's posting references to various pages on my site. I
could imagine a tool that I use once a week or so, to approve or delete
for spam. (Personally I'm not really hot on the 10-posts-a-day blogging
model: I don't have the time.) It would be basically like Trackbacks,
only it would suck in everything else, too: wikis, class curricula,
online magazines, etc. Heck, anything that can be done to shake up the
bloggers echo chamber is healthy.