I could tell you how many steps make up the streets rising like stairways, and of the degree of the arcades' curves, and what kind of zinc scales cover the roofs; but I already know this would be the same as telling you nothing. The city does not consist of this, but of relationships between the measurements of its space and the events of its past...A description of Zaira as it is today should contain all Zaira's past. -Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Conversations

Dina's post on conversational blogging got me thinking about online conversations in general. My first thought was of the etiquette of conversations in general...or in fact the etiquette of being conversational. The anthrodesign listserve recently received a post that was a link and not much else...the poster was quickly chastised for not providing context. What was needed was both a reason to follow the link, and a basis to have a continuing conversation about it.

But another interesting thing to me is the fluid nature of conversations. Just as in a face to face conversation, where all of a sudden you may stop and say "how did we get on this topic" because an interesting trail of connections has been followed, I see the same thing happening on line. Message boards where the initial post sparks side conversations or new trails and connections.

Speaking of talking and conversations, there is Conversation Cafe, which organizes hosted conversations at coffee shops in the US (unfortunately none in my area). Of course maybe there is a comment on our life in the US that we need someone to organize a conversation...?

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