I took a small break from posting and people start complaining about who owns comments on a blog or any of the other services like FriendFeed. ReadWriteWeb asked the question of who owns them. For some reason, they did not really present their opinion, but at least admitted that it is an interesting problem. Steven Hodson of WinExtra “ranted” about how comments are not creative content and sums it up nicely in the first sentence:
This whole discussion about comments is becoming borderline stupid.
Matthew Ingram questioned whether comments qualify as content, specifically in the legal and copyrightable sense. Another post comes from The Last Podcast and they just do not care what you do with their comments, which is somewhat refreshing. Of course, no topic of comments is complete without the problem of conversation fragmentation and they all talk about it.
Shockingly, I did not see anyone state the logical stance on the comment question. If you are planning on commenting on a blog, but are worried about “owning” the content, then write a blog post of your own and link to the original post. This is something people have been doing for years. I understand why people started to complain, but as Steven Hodson stated, this is getting silly. It is a very simple problem to deal with, or avoid for that matter.
The other issue is conversation fragmentation. This was the source of the comment ownership question. My issue with the complaining is that nobody is doing anything about the problem. We have the comment profile services like Disqus and IntenseDebate which alleviate parts of the problem. I am trying to do my part with YackTrack, allowing people to track the comments for their posts. I am not saying that everyone needs to use YackTrack, but why not do something about the problem. Granted, this is a bit of a rant, but it bothers me when people only complain about a problem and do not present solutions.
There are some great minds talking about the problem. Can we get these minds to think about the solution?