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Author Topic: Is it possible to keep a thoughtful internet discussion on the desktop?  (Read 788 times)

Paul Keith

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Just a modified title from this post: http://dottech.org/9...-the-internet-comic/

I guess it can also be considered an off-shoot of this thread.

as well as an extension of this comment:

Kraal January 21, 2013 at 8:16 AM
One time a long time ago, I had an amazing discussion with someone over the internet about what love really was. It was on the site Gaia online, in a guild’s(or whatever version of that gaia had) forum. Our posts were well thought out, and the discussion went for quite a bit until we both finally reached the point where all we could do was agree with or accept the others points.

I wish that I had saved the discussion before I stopped using Gaia, because it was alot of fun.

So yes, it is possible to have a thoughtful discussion on the internet. You just need to be careful of who you start one with.

The biggest hurdle has always been how to take archiving of discussions seriously.

Web gardens and forum admins certainly don't like it. (You can't clip/access any content that requires a login to access.)

It's not feasible without a dedicated developer. (Each site can have different ways of filtering the comments and some comments can be multi-paged and multi-threaded.)

Very few screenshot programs have capabilities to capture multiple images together (capturing one thread image for example and then not scaling forward and then re-capturing the next segments and then merging it with off-site comments such as social media comments in one big image)

People don't treat discussions like image/pic management and when they do, cloud developers often market these as public cool discussions for people to see instead of a private affair. (Fanfiction groups have more privacy and categorical respect than internet discussions.)

Very few great internet discussions have been moved over that is not a copy paste from a web archive. (A wiki that quotes an internet discussion tends to have an offline image to slowly read so it's very specific and not something that you can click with one button, tag well and refer to as reference)

Quoting machines like PopUp Wisdom can't handle long quotes while comment saving extensions like Comment Save only save what you typed. Flash card programs too like only a two layer conversation.

Most web services fix this by keeping your own private messages and most people just meticulously copy paste the discussions if they need to. This helps the PIM software business because they can then sell the idea of a place where text can be kept and tagged and other software can sell Diaries that keep up with dates but you can't develop an "I'm not sure if I want to keep this" mindset for random threads, you are not really motivated to make connections just e-mail lists, you can't "analyze" your own communication style, anytime there's an argument with a cliche comeback from either you or the poster...we're born to emotionally ignore the pattern and when I do think back on the pattern (say replies that type 'language barrier' or 'communication problems') there's no real tagging interface that can instantly alert you to compare two of the same words from past discussions.

The worst thing of it all is that argument mappers are the worst. They are good (great for me) to piece by piece clip and find out a person's tangible points but they are not good for resharing to create camaraderie between a hive and a user. No one likes to view those images. No one likes to admit they are being hypocritical. Not everyone treats a subject in the same seriousness. Light conversations and attempts at concision can still be ignored.

It's a pincer.

On one hand the software has to be about reminding you to keep great conversations often and regularly. On the other hand, the software has to curate it for it's users own needs in a manner rivaling that of a PIM or a Web Clipper but with neither of their features stomping on the general review and recalling of those previous conversations.