Last year: face to face.
Today: Interesting face-to-face discussion with Elin on gender issues and my weblog cluster question.
Elin speculates that there's a gender issue underpinning this. What's wrong with social bonding?
My answer was, "In the end, the identity of the molecule, or the phenomenology of the blogosphere, don't depend on you or me, much less your body or my body. In time, we're dust -- but the facts and the phenomena will still be true."
But that's not a completely satisfactory answer, obviously. For example, see Lilia Efimova's notes on the use of time for blogging.
Perhaps we need meeting reports about face-to-face discussions, even at the risk of misstating someone else's position?
I'd still like to know: how would you measure interchange of ideas across a cluster of weblogs. That's an interesting question, I think, even if my query is simply wrong.
...what no one has yet mentioned is how the writing changes depending on whether one is writing a comment or a post in one's own blog. And here's where I want to throw my hat into our ring. When I comment on a blog post, the context is made for me. I don't have to situate the author or her comments, as I have done, albeit sketchily, for Mark and Jill in this post. I don't have to engage with the ideas by filtering them through my own sensibility. I can just respond; I don't have to write, meaning I don't have to engage with other voices, other writers, other ideas while also presenting my own.
Still more: Derik Badman on clusters in book blogs.