Civil Fucking Conversations, Finally

It’s hard to say what I hate worse: the disjointed nature of trying to have a conversation on Twitter, or blog comments. Actually, no it’s not. It’s clearly blog comments. They are quite possibly the worst and most useless thing on the internet. But both of the aforementioned things are the reasons I love Branch.

I first wrote about Branch almost a year ago, when they were just getting started. CrunchFund subsequently got involved in an advisory role to the company because they were trying to do the impossible: create a civil, smart place on the internet for discourse. Today, they’re officially launching out of private beta and into the public.

They’ve come a long way in the past year, adding a bunch of solid features to encourage discussions. I’ve personally been a big fan of Groups (here’s the Apple Group I created) and a new feature added today: highlighting. Both are great features because they hit upon things people naturally want: the ability to have continued discussions with a set group of people (in my case, Apple bloggers/writers), and a way to see a quick overview of the best parts of a conversation.

But I think my favorite move Branch is taking is to encourage people to chat/debate even if it’s not in some formal format. This was always one of Twitter’s strengths (due to the 140 character limit), and it removed a huge barrier to entry. I hear over and over again that of the hardest things for people who try to start blogging is the giant white text input box they see. It’s intimidating. Branch squeezes that block down and encourages a “quick reply”. You can say more if you want to, but the idea should be to encourage a back-and-forth.

Meanwhile, the curated nature of the conversations allows for a back-and-forth that is actually insightful and free of bullshit. Here’s a Branch I created today about the iPhone 5 “cuts”, for example. If this conversation took place in a comment thread, half of the comments would be something like: “fuck you Apple blogger dickhead bitch! LOL” or “you’re such a moron because Android” or “your don’t get Microsft lovez to teach apple things like u know”.

Or, here’s another example of a conversation I created and opened up to some people outside the core Apple group that still seemed like they had some smart things to say. Amazing that this works, right?

  1. azelie reblogged this from dear-travis
  2. libbyjacobson reblogged this from parislemon
  3. reynamoisa reblogged this from parislemon
  4. libbybrittain reblogged this from parislemon
  5. dcy3 reblogged this from parislemon
  6. dereckie reblogged this from parislemon
  7. ianc14 reblogged this from parislemon
  8. dear-travis reblogged this from thenextweb
  9. thenextweb reblogged this from parislemon
  10. stephenlovell reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    it’s been great, what I’ve used...it. He’s spot on...Civil...
  11. trinibird reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    …interesting…
  12. bryan reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    MG Siegler on Branch’s public
  13. case-custom reblogged this from parislemon
  14. stackfm reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    don’t get how this “builds...conversation.” Am i...doesn’t...
  15. vickivanv reblogged this from parislemon