What could the “weblog regcards”, which Dave Winer proposes, look like? A few ideas:

  • As a call to action, articles and blog posts could include a simple form that asks readers a simple, or open ended, question: not just “comments welcome”, but “Which writers would you fill one of these out for?”, “What has been your most meaningful interaction with a reader?”, “What else have we lost that used to connect us on non digital ways?” etc.
  • What if there were a portable bio — say, your Twitter bio, or a capsule bio you associate with your Disqus or LinkedIn account — that would appear next to your username wherever you comment? Medium would be a perfect place to try this out.
  • Medium, in general, has a huge opportunity to innovate here. I think commenting still isn’t designed right — I usually withhold short comments because I don’t want to spam my own feed with messages whose context will not be clear or relevant to most readers. What if comments could be made that are not full Medium posts, if they are < 140 characters? Even without a bio showing, you’d know plenty about more readers than you do now, thanks to their Twitter accounts being linked.
  • Meetup and Google Groups and Yahoo Groups allow moderators to require new participants to answer a few questions. What if new blog readers could see a prompt to answer a few questions, and then have posts they’ve read or liked display their names and answers in a list of readers?
  • On Twitter, it’s hard to notice or remember who among the hundreds of accounts I interact with is a one-tweet stand, and who is a regular. Couldn’t Twitter send us periodic introductions, like “Ben, you’ve retweeted Dave Winer 40 times in the last 5 years, and he’s followed 4 links you’ve posted!”

Independent programmer, chatterbox. http://techno-social.com

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