As per my previous post, I’ve updated my blogroll to include topics and conversations. I just manually updated my blogroll OPML file, but I envisage a web frontend for this in future – kinda like Phil Pearson’s web form for his Feed Combiner.

A bit more about the two new sections in my blogroll. The Topics section is made up of links to K-Collector and Topic Exchange pages. There’s potential for some automation here – e.g. the 5 latest posts for each topic could be automatically fetched and added to your blogroll. This is pretty much what Phil’s Feed Combiner does.

The Conversations part of the blogroll is the difficult child right now (by conversations, I mean comments on a weblog post). There’s currently no easy way to relate comments on a similar theme, but on different blogrolls, together. So we have to rely on popular bloggers to “host” our blogging conversations. For example, suppose Mark Pilgrim and I both write about the same thing on our respective weblogs. Who do you think is going to attract the most comments? Of course it’d be Mark, so naturally the party would be at his place. Now if we can implement Don Park’s vision of a Wiki for every conversation, then we’d have independent places to gather for our “conversations”. So anyway, currently my blogroll just links to comments attached to weblogs – which looks inelegant when you click on the link, as it opens up in a grey monotone window with little context about the original post. So bring on those Wikis 🙂

Final thought for the night (it’s nearly midnight now in NZ)…this from Tom Coates. It’s a nice summary of the value of weblog conversations:

“And this is the big leap forward – this is where the value of weblogs lies in the newly amateurised world. This flexibility of publishing creates a fluid and living form of self-representation, the ‘homepage (as a place)’ has become the ‘weblog (as a person)’ that can articulate a voice. And when there are a multiplicity of voices in space, then the possibility arises of conversations. And where there is conversation there is the sharing of information.”