Convening the Field of CI

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September 07, 2005

What constitutes "important" for an entry (vs. a comment)

Tom wrote in an email:

> It would be very useful if you would write a piece delineating what you see as appropriate blog comment entries. Right now, all I know from your writeup... is that "unimportant messages" -- such as short questions intended for the original poster -- are acceptable. What constitutes "important"?

Here is my try to meet his request:

The question of importance begets the question of "important for whom"? It all depends on the context of the conversation. In CI-oriented conversations, the context that defines what is important is also present, ideally, in the highest, CI-serving motivation that nudges us to speak.

For example, consider sitting in a a Bohmian dialogue group. Our sensing of what has portent and what doesn't, is not blurred by the yearning for attention of a narcisstic self, nor by other ego desires and needs. Our curiosity and all our senses are turned towards the middle of the circle, supporting what wants to emerge from our in-betweenness, by giving our full attention to it and speaking what may further that emergence. Online mindfulness to our CI is not much different from that.

Tom continued to explain:

> My confusion is that I seldom write anything I consider unimportant.

You seldom write anything that anyone considers unimportant. Why? Because CI started becoming your second nature, you internalized the criterion of saying things that can serve Emergence, whether you call it that way or not. It must not be that difficult, just takes a li'l practice... 20 or 30 years? :-) Just kidding. I remember a book (was it by Joanna Macy?) "Thinking As a Mountain." Well, if deep ecologists can think as mountain, why CI-oriented individuals couldn't think as community?

> I had thought my piece was a comment, since it dealt totally with, and was in response to, what you'd written.

Logically, it was a comment but given the technical limitations of the blog component called "comment", I'd suggest to use an entry for that kind of substantive stuff even if it was in direct response to what someoen else wrote, and add a hyperlink to the referenced entry. So then, what to put in a comment? Anything that wouldn't make much sense to be able to inventory and weave into the fabric of our collective memory a few months/years from now, when the blogs and their URLed entries may still serve us as part of the "tangible" infrastructure of our CI.

> Perhaps that's a personal limitation -- that I should more often write "That's great, George! Thanks for writing this!" -- and that such messages are appropriate for the comment section.

Absolutely not. That kind of notes are useful to build community where most folks are still an ego-centric phase of their development. I don't think that in our circle that would be very useful.

Then what? What to put into a comment box, if anything? Instead struggling with some hard-to-articulate definition, why don't I give you some examples of what I think as good use of "comment". I know that they don't provide cut-and-dried rules, many comments are in a grey zone, but there simply are not rules. We are all learning this as we go. It's all about our asynch communication practices. The key word is practice, which means that we can observe and improve it. When we'll have another conference call or f-t-f, let's put on the agenda the sharing of our observations on how well we do.

So see the comments on the following entries, which seem to fit the concept of comment in our context: here, and here, and here. Not that the comments under those entries are not important in the immediateness of what they communicate, but they don't necessarily carry content useful to categorize and give a web address to.

I hope this helped. Don't forget, questions for clarifications are always good candidates for putting them in a comment, including below this entry.

Posted by George Por, Wed, Sep 07 2005 10:05 PM
Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Categories: Blog Know-How | CI Practices |

Thanks, George.

Your examples, and your statement "Anything that wouldn't make much sense to be able to inventory and weave into the fabric of our collective memory a few months/years from now, when the blogs and their URLed entries may still serve us as part of the 'tangible' infrastructure of our CI" were very clarifying.

I think I'll be able to get the hang of it now, starting with this...

Posted by: Tom Atlee at September 8, 2005 08:27 AM
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