I am considering something, want your opinion.

The latest discussion over healthcare (which has recently moved into free speech) is a perfect example of where blogs are not the right medium for what I am trying to accomplish here.

I am considering converting my blog into a forum so that discussions can be had on all manner of political hot button. I think it would greatly help times like this. I would, however, limit who can post new topics. Commenting would be open at is now, but new discussion topics would be limited to a select group.



  1. Edgar says:

    A forum would be a good thing but you run into the same problems ie conversations running off topic. It’s just that it would be off topic in the thread as opposed to a blog post. Know what I mean?

    I better be allowed to post new topics because as you know I’m BRILLIANT!

  2. SFNathan says:

    I think the way you have structured your blog it’s already kind of done as a forum. While sometimes you like to write about just what’s on your mind, more often you seem to like throwing out charged arguments and then invite discussions about it. That’s a forum format.

    I agree with Edgar that you probably would still deal with the same issue of thread drift. And an explicit forum format would wind up being less about your ideas and more about wherever the forum participants wanted to take the conversation.

    Maybe you might want to do both – have something that is more personally directed by you and something that is more of an open forum for the gang of us who like to write hundreds of comments from right to left to right to left… etc. to go at it.

    I always find no matter how exhausting these conversations can be sometimes, I wind up back here again jumping in the fray! It’s good to have a place to discuss. 8)

  3. perkiset says:

    Great points, both of you.

    @Edgar: well, the off topic bit would at least have a remedy – with my forum software I can split topics and create new threads, so I could try to “comb out” the thread creep.

    @SFN: Very interesting as well – and I should think about that. I do enjoy that it’s My Blog. There’s an ego component that is fun. But I’d also like to provide space so that some of these discussions can run their course without it seeming like the never-ending blog comment stream. Lots of blog posts will be better at attracting readers and contributors … but too many and it gets fragmented, as you point out.

    I think there’s an answer in there somewhere, don’t know yet. I’ll give it some more think – thanks both for the thoughts :)

  4. perkiset says:

    Oh – what I also meant to say is that long comment streams are not necessarily found by or inviting to new readers/contributors … not in the same way that fresh blog posts or fresh discussions would be. That was a huge motivation for the idea of moving to a forum format. So I am conflicted.

  5. BrainDonkey says:

    I think something that could overcome the problem is threading, so a forum with sub-threading would be best.
    That also causes massive amounts of offshoot threads and gets potentially confusing.

    Blog or forum (like you have the cache) are the same thing, just a visual difference. Being able to comment under a specific comment is good, but again, its the same as a forum. In a forum though you have the tools to split a topic into a new one.

    I like how engadget does their comments

  6. vsloathe says:

    As long as I get subsections on philosophy, literature, and religion, I’m game.


  7. daviator says:

    I’m in agreement that it probably wouldn’t change things that much. It would allow more structure, but it wouldn’t prevent topic drift. And I find the forums with a sort of infinite hierarchy (and the ability to have threads split every which way) to be really tough to follow, I usually don’t bother trying unless I’m searching for something specific.

    I’m kind of a fan of the current format, but the forum model would work too.

  8. perkiset says:

    I agree that if I move to a forum format, it will need to be tightly controlled, or the very flexibility of it will dilute it to obscurity and probably death.

    So very much to think about!

  9. Edgar says:

    One thing is for sure. With all of us windbags there’s no shortage of content!

  10. perkiset says: