distributed-conversation-examples

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Distributed Conversation

This is an exploratory page to document various methods used to anotate online conversations both distributed and not. The purpose of the studies on this page is to serve as background for the design of a microformat to anotate distributed conversations on blogs and other online media.

see Citation Brainstorming for more discussion on this topic.

Authors

Examples of Related Solutions

Email and Usenet both keep track of discussion threads in a non-central manner using headers and references to message IDs. Some common headers and their use are highlighted in RFC2076 - Common Internet Message Headers section 3.6:

  • In-Reply-To - Reference to message which this message is a reply to.
  • References - In e-mail: reference to other related messages, in Usenet News reference to replied-to-articles.
  • See-Also - References to other related articles in Usenet News.
  • Obsoletes - Reference to previous message being corrected and replaced.
  • Supersedes - Commonly used in Usenet News in similar ways to the "Obsoletes" header described above. In Usenet News, however, Supersedes causes a full deletion of the replaced article in the server, while "Supersedes" and "Obsoletes" in e-mail is implemented in the client and often does not remove the old version of the text.
  • Article-Updates - Only in Usenet News, similar to "Supersedes:" but does not cause the referenced article to be physically deleted.
  • Article-Names - Reference to specially important articles for a particular Usenet Newsgroup.

Thread Description Language - TDL is an RDF vocabulary for describing threaded discussions, such as Usenet, weblogs, bulletin boards, and e-mail conversations.

TDL v3 defines the following properties:

  • Property tdl:discusses - Relates a Post to a resource it talks about
  • Property tdl:follows - Indicates that this resource comes no earlier than the specified resource
  • Property tdl:inThread - Relates a post to a thread which includes it
  • Property tdl:mentions - Indicates that this resource refers to the specified resource
  • Property tdl:respondsTo - Relates a post to its parent(s) in a discussion
  • Property tdl:respondsNegativelyTo - Relates a post to a parent post which it dissents from or corrects
  • Property tdl:respondsPositivelyTo - Relates a post to a parent post with which it concurs

Discussion of TDL

  1. respondsNegativelyTo, respondsPositivelyTo are beyond the scope of this spec. They can both be implemented using vote-links.
  2. Without those, respondsTo remains the main connector between posts in a thread.
  3. mentions and discusses seem to be splitting hairs. It appears that both of them can be replaced by using the CITE tag.
  4. follows seems to be designed for use in a central registry that tracks threads and therefore is useless for a distributed solution.

Examples of Use