This is becoming really interesting.
Here is a representation of what I wrote hastily in the post below.
(Funny, that I was building this graphic, while Michele wrote her post, asking for one! Sue was also looking for a graphic, a tool actually, to draw her idea out). While this may help bring a larger conversation in context, I believe it also lends itself to create a body of knowledge (BoK). Before that, a few notes about this intelligent RSS and about the graphic:
We all subscribe to blogs, so we sure know how to to do that. We can also mark individual posts to track comments on them. (I know this happens in a few RSS readers – RSSBandit, for example, and I am missing it sorely since I shifted to a Mac).
Here is how I think this “Intelligent RSS” thing might work. (Apart from what RSSbandit is able to do, all the stuff hereafter is imaginary).
- In our RSS reader, we set up something called an “Intelligent Topic Feed”, or ITF. We pick a topic, Michele’s topic called “How Can We Facilitate Conversations BETWEEN Commenters on Our Blogs?” for example, and add it to the ITF called, let’s say, “Facilitating Conversations“.
- We set the ITF ‘depth’ to Level 1 (more about this level thing, in a minute).
- What the ITF now does is tracks all comments on Post 1 (see image). So all comments on Michele’s post are delivered to the RSS reader. Skelliewag’s idea still holds true and let’s assume that commentators are conversing with each other on the post.
- Then, Michele’s post gets a pingback (trackback).
- The ITF automatically adds the posts from the new blogs (e.g. the post on Kenfinity and Designing for Civil Society, viz, Post 2 and Post 3 in the image).
- The ITF now begins to track the comments on Post 2 and Post 3.
- As you would expect, there will be further pingbacks on Post 2 and Post 3. This is where setting the ‘depth’ of level comes in. For example, if I would have set the depth level to 2, the ITF would automatically add all the posts that link to Post 2 and Post 3. This has the potential to become unwieldy, therefore, the option to set the depth.
- (While we are imagining things) I could then be asked by the ITF if I would like to add further posts (manual setting) to the topic and I could then track a larger conversation. I could choose the posts that I want to track and leave the others for the “dumb” RSS to pull.
Potentially confusing, but I hope, it isn’t too confusing.
What has fascinated me about this idea is the potential about the thoughts that this ITF can contain. It has a chance of becoming a significant body on a particular topic and can be used as a learning aid.
If the RSS Reader becomes even smarter and is able to create a document about this topic …