I can hardly believe that she wrote this:
I really wish he'd open up comments; there's so much potential for *dialogue* on these.
What do Scott's comments have with anything? Watch me making a comment right here: Scott Von Schilling's pretensions to single-handedly turn around Japanese attitudes on online distributions are laughable. There! Now we have a dialog, without him opening comments.
Moreover, Scott cannot censor my part in the dialogue as expressed above. Miracle of miracles! Could it be... that comments are detrimental to the open dialogue?
The maddening thing about Gia is that she's not a blogging novice, in fact she has started a new site just a few days ago. So she undoubtedly knows that comments are orthogonal to dialogue and yet she choses to promulgate the above-quoted nonsense.
By the way, Gia's testimonial regarding her interview with the representatives of Crunchyroll and them contradicting, even denying Scott's statements about TV Tokyo reminds me about something. In January 1995 I went to Helsinki where I met with Linus Torvalds. I informed him, as much as confidentiality allowed, about the works on binary translation led by Boris Babayan and David Ditzel, in which I was engaged at the time. And what do you know, in a year Mr. Ditzel founded Transmeta, which commercialized on-the-fly binary translation, and... employed Linus. Think I made him consider the binary translation as something other than a joke project that crazy Russians work on? Fortunately, I never gave in to Scott-like fantasies about my pivotal role in the destiny of Transmeta and/or Linux, and, as it turned out, with a good reason: when I bumped into Linus around 2001, he had no recollection of our 1995 meeting...
UPDATE: Naturally Mellow is interested in Scott and not in the good of the blogosphere. As far as I'm concerned, Scott's delusions of grandeur are inconsequential, at leat at this junction. But who knows, he may yet become the pillar of anime journalism if he keeps at it. Chris Beveridge has to retire one day, and then... Still, getting back on topic, I'm having a dialogue with Mellow here, with no comments involved.
Now, being a member of several blogging communities - the largest of which being the quite large political blog Daily Kos - I think I can say with somewhat good authority that yes, commenting can indeed result in open dialogue. However, much of that is dependent on how the moderator of the blog or website chooses on running the show.
How in the world can Daily Kos be a proof that an open dialogue is possible? The "dialog" at Kos is only "open" in a sense that comments are out in the open, but it's not open to different opinions. Daily Kos is the pinnacle of oppression of speech, and "groupthink" is its second name.
Of course a comment thread "can result in open dialogue". The question is only how likely that is, by comparison with normal blogging!
The problem with completly relying on someone posting their thoughts on their own blog include the fact that a) not everyone has their own blog and b) I could write this big long thing which is now well over 1,000 words and you know what? Everyone in the world can ignore it and no one who read the original posts that I’m responding to might even know this is here.
(a) wordpress.com, mee.nu, etc.
(b) Posting comments shifts the power to ignore towards the moderator. Posting a blog article shifts it towards the reader.
There are a reason why many of the more successful political blogs - and I’m guessing many of the successful anime blogs as well - allow for comments, and thats because it creates open dialogue.
Wrong. The real reason why more successful animebloggers allow comments is for the feeling of gratification and e-pen0r measurement. In extreme cases, such as Jason Miao, the blog exists only to generate more and more comments. Nobody "successful" gives shit about the open dialog (I think the last big blogger tolerating and fostering open dialog was Lawson, before Winter Garden).
UPDATE 3: In addition to a longish comment, Chris Siebenmann e-mailed me with:
My somewhat reflexive reaction is that power only shifts towards the reader in a real way if the reader can find the article. Otherwise I think that power moves in more complicated ways. My first thought is 'towards highly read bloggers', but I'm not sure that's right, especially since readerships may not entirely overlap; even if you're well read you'll reach a different group with your own entry than with a comment on someone else's entry.
Well, if you put it this way, it's hard to disagree. I just don't believe into the magic of Web 2.0.
BTW, Chris' earlier post makes this observation:
It is my guess that you will not necessarily get a better class of comments by making commenting harder; you may even get a worse one overall. The problem is that you're not selecting for people who have something good to say, you're selecting for people who care enough, including people who have a pet cause that they will only be too happy to tell you about.
Sort of obvious in hindsight, similarly to the fact that a search time in a bitmap (a FAT) does not depend on its size, but only on its population density (how full your disk). So, the average quality of feedback is not a reason to close comments.
NEXT DAY, OMO weighs in, in particular with the "e-mail is dead" argument. I could pick some bones with the way Omo presented it, but indeed e-mail retrenches at work recently. It's silly to deny that the trend exists. So I don't require anyone to e-mail their comments.