I used to blog a lot. The reason was simple. I felt I had something important to say and blogging seemed a good way to get it out ‘into the world’. Writing my thoughts and sharing them publicly was a way to get them out of my head, but more importantly I did it because I wanted my words to start conversations. I had hoped that my friends would comment and share my posts to their friends and maybe they would comment and we’d start a conversation of some kind about the topic. I had hoped that maybe I could spark some change in the world. That rarely happened in any meaningful way.
So I thought, let me give up on the blog post and then post things on Facebook and maybe in that small format we could do the same thing. There I had a little more traction and once and a while a conversation in the comments would start and I would think : “Oh, I’ve gotten people to think about things a little bit, maybe they will extend that out to their friends and family”. But again, I never saw the success I’d wanted to see.
And it wasn’t about me at all. I didn’t want any credit for anything. I just want to make the world a better place and so getting a conversation started seemed good enough. I truly believe that all of the problems we face today as a society (nationally and globally) stem from the fact that people simply don’t spend the time and effort to try and truly communicate with each other. It’s ironic, but this wonderful tool called the internet has effectively destroyed conversations. The reasons are myriad: Comments are ruined by trolls, we have too many places to discuss things and none of them keep your identity from one place to another, we have language barriers, we as humans have bias against those who are in different groups than we are, etc.
I’ve written about this before somewhere. Sadly, I can’t find it now. But an idea I had was for the nation (and maybe the whole world) to take time to discuss topics. My original thought was for us to have a national topic of discussion every month and have the media and the schools promote discussions around the topic. I still like the idea but I want to see it work on the internet as well. So I’m going to start building a software service/platform called Conversation where everything is about your Conversation Rank. This is a number that will stay with you all the time and one that is constantly being updated based on the quality of your comments. It will be optionally anonymous but you will only be allowed to have one account/identity with my service. The thought is that you have it for life and you spend time commenting and talking on the internet and others will help determine if your rank goes up or not. Some of the most important and influential discussions will maybe be limited to only high ranking identities, while comments about cat videos are open to everyone, etc. There is nothing like this, but there should be. I think it will spawn apps and discussions on social platforms that are meaningful, that are valuable. Maybe we can make the world a better place after all!