I’ve been doing a lot of retro-active blogging. At Mashable, my posts are constrained to things that happened that day, for the most part. Here, I can look back a couple days on something and continue a conversational thread that might otherwise be “dead.”

Fred Wilson inspired Frederic Lardinois to declare comments in no way blog posts:

The difference between a blog post and a comment is very simple: a blog post is meant to spark discussion – a comment is part of that discussion. Bloggers spend a long time thinking about what they write and maybe edit and rewrite their posts once or twice. Comments, on the other hand, are written within a few minutes and while they themselves can often spark new posts, they are definitely in a different category from blog posts.

I can see Frederic’s point, but I can also easily see the other side. More on that in a second. Alexander van Elsas posted something along Frederic’s lines, but sparked a whole other train of thought for me:

But at the same time I also feel that commenting is easy. Easy, not because the stuff that is written down is obvious in any way. But easy because the original blog writer triggered a commenter to think and react. And that is what Blogging is all about. Some are in it for the money, some are in it for the fun. But a great blog post, no matter what it is about, makes the reader think. And that is what is so hard about blogging.

Blogging, when done right, can be just as easy. Sometimes, when I get into a groove, I can tap out a short post on a topic or company that is just a guttoral reaction, but contains insightful commentary and garners a pretty big reaction, just like a comment on a blog. That’s not every post – some are creative works written from the ground up. The ones that flow the most naturally are from the top of my head, usually one or two drafts deep in process tops, and tapped out usually in under twenty minutes, regardless of length.

That was the case when I went over to read the comments on a post the other day by Fred. Strumpette (aka Amanda Chapel) inspired me to reply a couple times in the comments section to her, and by the time I was done enumerating my points, I had written something akin to the length of my normal blog posts.

Amanda said:

Pseudo-modernism isn’t a movement; it’s anti-movement. By making everything equally valuable, nothing has value. The result is “a weightless nowhere of silent autism.”

The questions are: What are we sacrificing? Why do we expect value to emerge from an anti-system that works to constantly reduce value?

For example, as the Web2 evangelists work hard to de-professionalize business, why on earth do we expect there to be business if they succeed? If you de-formalize the value chain, don’t you ultimately, consequently, produce shit?

I’ve said to you before Fred: the levy broke and we stand in awe of the abundance of water. That’s silly… stupid… dangerous.

replacing “the currency of money with the currency of attention,” indeed. Here’s a analogy: Bethlehem, Pa. is replacing the former Bethlehem Steel Corp. with a casino. Okay? Do you see the difference.

And Fred, again, you seem to be in awe watching the flood rather that evaluating the consequences. The “attention” economy like the casino above DOES NOT MAKE ANYTHING VALUABLE! That’s what is meant by “pseudo.”

I replied:

To say that the casino doesn’t make anything valuable is in itself shortsighted, Amanda. It makes entertainment, which by looking at the US economy, is one of the most important chunks of the whole mess. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you in Marketing and Communications? Point to me what hard and concrete thing you create of value to your customers. Can you hold it in your hand? Is it real? Does that make it less valuable? No.

Money, as in currency, is worthless. Why do you think Bill Gates spent the first half of his life amassing his wealth and pledged to spend the second half giving it away? Because after a certain point, unless you’re gold plating your commodes, you just can’t spend it all in a way that adds value. Given he has a conscience (contrary to my Linux-using friends’ popularly held beliefs), he decided that the best way to improve his quality of living would be to improve the world through charitable giving.

Speaking more directly to your criticisms of the Web 2.0’s efforts to ‘deprofessionalize business,’ it makes the world more of a meritocracy. You put in the work and you have the ability, you get ahead – the market deems you more valuable. If you sit on your duff and your high-falutin’ degree and collect a check, you get left behind.

Moreover, it de-centralizes business. In terms of efficiency of the organization, smaller focused companies rule the day. You don’t need a team of thousands to put something in the hands of every man woman and child anymore. You can simply assemble a team of two, five, or ten and create something valuable enough that it will sustain itself as a business and the proprietors of that business in perpetuity. The interactive nature of virtual goods and service creation means that what you invent doesn’t always mean what ends up in the hands of the consumer – and that’s fine, because the engagement is the loyalty is the product is the value.

In short, the de-centralization,removal of hierarchy, and dis-incentives to elitism serves to broaden each of our slices of the pie by use of the free market without implementation of socialist policies of punishing achievement and rewarding slack. It functions philosophically on the same tenants that built the Internet itself and has served to make it the powerhouse it is.

You see my point? Comments can be blog posts. Do a bit of re-arranging and insertion of block quotes, and you have yourself the beginnings of a weekend bitchmeme

More importantly, comments in blog posts about blog posts about comments being blog posts make for really long blog posts (and very meta discussion).

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