I have been theoblogging for quite awhile now (approx. 4 yrs), and I have come to realize something; the primary thing it is good for is presenting thesis statements. It reminds me of when I was in seminary, and we (at a preliminary stage) were required to propose “thesis statements” (for papers we were later required to finish), usually early on in the semester, on whatever the topic of the class required. I say this, because I think it’s true. If you’ve ever noticed, once a particular post presents a ‘thesis statement’ (which is just an assertion waiting to be proved) it usually devolves (in the comment meta) into some sort of debate that revolve around counter-thesis-statements; in other words, there are usually counter-assertions proffered to the contrary of the original thesis made by the author of the post. And this kind of dialogue ensues until it finally fizzles out, once it becomes clear that all theses and counter-theses have been exhausted.
My point, I think theoblogging is good for introducing thesis statements, but not good for trying to actually substantiate and develop said theses; at best, we can hope for some good suggestions for how a particular thesis might be substantiated. The reason I’m saying this about the blog format is because it just does not provide the “attention span” required for developing, in meaningful ways, thesis statements; since usually (given the technical and research driven nature of such development) blog readers (in general) aren’t interested in reading on-line papers, but instead blurbs that are microwave like (quick and even, at points, anecdotal).
This is usually why blog posts, if not framed right, end up in superficial debates that never really deal with anything in substantial ways; it is nobodies’ fault, per se, instead it is the format’s fault. Having said this, I still appreciate theoblogging, there are other benefits to blogging (like meeting interesting people, and being exposed to books and authors, etc.); but by and large it will always tends towards thesis/counter-thesis like conversations (which is okay, it’s just what it is). Do you find my thesis 😉 in this post to resonate with you; or do you think I’m out to lunch (give me your counter-thesis, I dare you 😉 )?