Are convenience and ubiquity killing conversation?

I’ve been posting my podcasts (mainly from to Facebook and YouTube recently, it seems a good way to enlarge the audience. It also seems to have achieved this effectively, with scores of people seeing them via each channel (YouTube seems especially to reach mobile users).


Yet both media are less than my ideal. Facebook by its form encourages short swift responses and You Tube enforces this with a strict and tight character limit on comments. The result in both media is that knees jerk and somewhat trite ping-pong arguments result. (I can’t really call many of them conversations, as few have been productive or really informative.)


As a result of this experience I was saddened by some remarks on Facebook, from a blogger I really respect, explaining that he now blogs less and less, but uses Facebook and G+ more and more. I have little experience with G+, but what I have does not suggest it is a much better way of nurturing conversation than Facebook. And yet “God knows it, I am with them, in some things.”1 Blogging, except for the uber-bloggers has ceased to provoke many comments, the excitement is gone, but the effort required to write a post remains the same. Diminishing returns mean, for many of us, less frequent posting…


So, if you accept that YouTube, Facebook and G+ are not becoming venues for real conversation, and agree that blogs are dying as such venues (except for the few who attract large audiences) please tell me how you think e-mediated serious conversations at a distance will continue…


If, of course you don’t accept my pessimistic diagnosis, then please tell me that too, and ideally explain why :)

  1. Misquoting Oscar Wilde’s “Sonnet to Liberty”. []