A Talk Collective

Cif_header Are your favorite parts of the newspaper the op-ed page and the letters to the editor? Do you read blogs as much for the comments as for the posts?

Today the Guardian has launched Comment Is Free, which it calls the first collective comment blog by a British newspaper website. The paper writes:

It will incorporate all the regular Guardian and Observer main commentators, many blogging for the first time, who will be joined by a host of outside contributors - politicians, academics, writers, scientists, activists and of course existing bloggers to debate, argue and occasionally agree on the issues of the day.

Arianna Huffington has a statement of purpose on the site, a "Big Media isn't dead, just critically ill, but blogs will save it's stinking hide" sort of post. (That isn't a real quote.)

I like this part:

Blogs are by nature very personal - an intimate, often ferocious expression of the blogger's passions. You're much more intimate when you're writing a blog than when you're writing a column, let alone a book: the conversational nature of it; the way that it draws people in and includes them in the dialogue. You may set out to write about politics but, in the end, you write about yourself; about the things you care about beyond politics. And this creates a close bond between blogger and audience.

At Buzzmachine, Jeff Jarvis pronounces it very British.

But I think Comment is Free will make a great launching pad into the U.S., where The Guardian has become an antidote to FoxNews and an opinion leader.