Does Discourse, Commenting and Community Define a Blog?

Zoli Erdos and Mike Arrington are debating what a real blog is, and whether Google’s official blog is one or not. The focus revolves around commenting:

“The Google Blog does not allow commenting… Whatever happened to “conversation”? “

Which leads us, and Mike Arrington to the question of whether a blog is defined by its ability to leave comments. He points to some examples:

“Other prominent bloggers have removed comments, too. Seth Godin, no. 19 on the Technorati list, rarely allows comment on his blog. He says that comments affect what he writes, and “So, given a choice between a blog with comments or no blog at all, I think I’d have to choose the latter.””

Jeremiah Owyang suggests:

“Forget the tool for a minute, It’s not about comments, nor is it about defining what is a blog. It’s about the willingness to have a dialogue (by definition suggests two-way), dropping the PR schlack, avoid MarCom happy talk, to have an open, transparent conversation with your audience.”

He points us to a Google blog that he and others embrace:

“We’re more likely to turn and trust Matt Cutts, a Google blogger that’s embraced the community by listening, linking out, enabling comments and putting on a human face during this past 2006.”

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