Over at Adam’s he forced me to think a bit more about my concern that blogs, forums, and wikis all fall short of the ideal environment for information exchange / communication / enlightenment. He basically asked what was needed to create a better environment and I answered:
I don’t have a good solution in mind but it seems to me the analog offline is something like a party or informal conference space (e.g. the Meet the Engineers session at Google Dance though it ended too early for me to introduce myself to … you!).
In that environment there are “conversation leaders” who are the center of attention and gather people interested in a specific topic, but you can also break off to talk with somebody you just met there. Blogs seem to suffer from too much focus on the blog author and forums from too much focus on worthless or off topic comments. Wikis …. just don’t usually work well due to lack of participation.
I have a feeling the “solution” may come from virtual spaces like SL or game environments which can leverage available technology (e.g. web search, messaging, threaded conversations) with the social component we all seek as primates.
…..hmmmm … I’m also thinking that the dialogs at Myspace, though often painfully superficial or bizarre, are more “real” and interactive than many in the tech or political blog space. There, the comments have a higher profile than in conventional blogs and incline users to bounce from one member to another based on the comment streams.