Blogchaining

Tom Critchlow mentioned this intriuging concept in a post, attributing it to Vankatesh Rao. Rao defines it as the following:

A blogchain is longform by other means. Containerized longform if you like. A themed blog-within-a-blog, built as a series of short, ideally fixed-length posts (we’re trying to standardize on 300 words as one container size).

Rao continues:

A traditional blog series is a waterfall-planned longer work that’s something like an ersatz book for lazy vanity publishers. A blogchain on the other hand:

  1. is improvised rather than planned 2 .is responsive to salient events in the environment
  2. evolves at a certain tempo
  3. acts like a themed, bite-sized commitment ratchet; gradatim ferociter
  4. …but without the oppressive intention-debt of a traditional series
  5. is designed for sustainability, more sitcom than movie
  6. is suitable for multi-author collaboration
  7. is structurally a way to build over time (“construction”)
  8. is capable of supporting an inter-process messaging protocol with adjacent blogchains
  9. has no necessary or scripted “ending” but more of a crash-only/infinite game character

It is interesting to think about this within Write.as and WriteFreely instances. Sure, blogs can be self-referential. If you had a theme spread over multiple posts over time, blogchains would be a way to keep them together.

But how about when blogs mention other blogs, when you become part of conversations? This is where the multi-author part comes in. Having been involved in some across Write.as and WriteFreely, I wished there was a way to keep those posts together for future reference, to see where a conversation went and where it could continue to go. Such discourse would benefit from methods that compliment its emergent properties.

And maybe we already do this through tagging and other folksonomy. But maybe, just maybe, there is still room to think about more concentrated efforts to rethink the forms with which we hold our sentences together.

Blogchain is a start.