where-the-wild-things-arefrom TheVine

It seems pretty simple. If I post an image on flickr, I go there (or get an RSS feed) to see what comments have been added. If I want to see what people said in response to my blog posts, I go here (or again, read my own feed). Same for YouTube.

Any place online I post some media, it makes sense that that is the place to find out what people (in my case, I am just hoping that someone notices) say in response.

Not anymore when media gets reposted in other places via feeds.

For example, the networking Plaxo (which I visit about 4 times a year) subscribed to my flickr feed, so all my photos are republished in Plaxo, like this one originally posted in flickr:

plaxo-content

What is really shoddy, and actually violates my flickr creative commons license (by attribution). is that plaxo does not provide a link or credit to the source image. But that’s beside the point- when someone comments on my flickr photo as published in Plaxo- the comment stays in Plaxo. The source media has no connection to the comment made on another site.

More? In Facebook, where I have no idea ever how I set things or enabled them, somehow I managed to have my blog republished there as Facebook “notes”

facebook-comment

Unlike Plaxo, at least Facebook provides a link at the bottom for View Original Post– though it does pass it through a Facebook redirect URL where it is storing those micorbits of your click activity for who knows what purpose.

But again, should someone post a comment to this “note”, which was not created in Facebook, the comment is kept inside the Great Wall of Facebook. The original source of the content, my own blog, does not know of any comments posted on it in Facebook.

The same goes for FriendFeed, where you can generate a stream of content from many of your online publishing sources:

comment-friendfeed

Like Vegas, comments made in FriendFeed stay in FriendFeed. I’ve not been plying too much time in FriendFeed, but it does seem to provide something close to a place to see the comments on your content in one place.

So while content is easily ingested into other sites by the elegantly simple format of RSS, there seems to be little in the way of structuring or feeding of comment data back to the source (yes, I know there are feeds for comments from a few places).

It just seems wrong to me that commentary on my content is not connected back to the source.

So I dream of an internet perhaps invented by Tony Hirst where all the data is structured, interchangable, and flows back and forth in smooth motions.

Until then, we have commentary/conversations/comments about media as detached orphans and likely need some Hirst-like hacks to coalesce them (how’s that for a request, Tony?).

The post "Where The Comment Things Are" was originally cracked open and scrambled from a rotten egg at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2009/07/comment-things/) on July 5, 2009.

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