OK, do we need to revisit the abandonment of Think!?
The International Herald Tribune's (excellent) developers' blog has quietly linked this blog to their own.
What would happen if they took the plunge and gave Think! some higher visibility on www.iht.com?
My guess is that they would quickly get more visitors and comments to Think! than any of their own reader discussion groups or bloggers, a thought I had when I was reading about the Walmart blog at http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/03/technology/walmart.php
a) Genuinely free of corporate censorship.
b) If readers are motivated to write about an IHT story on the IHT website, my instinct tells me they are interested in the IHT itself. (Indeed if the IHT's Developer blog had a little higher visibility it might get some more comments itself - by my rough count about 25-odd since they began last September, quite a number of them from what one might broadly describe as friends and family including themselves.)
If you read the IHT's Developer Blog one thing they admit is that the people who post comments are extremely SMALL in number (but naturally important).
If you analyse the people who write letters to the IHT (and which are published), it is not uncommon to find people who have had 6-7 letters published in a six month period which doesn't say much for core readership (or their engagement in public discourse).
So I think it's fair to say that the IHT's core readership remains either:
b) unengaged - with the IHT and the topics it covers
c) unable to find a place that they feel they can and want to participate in a broader IHT reader community, certainly on www.iht.com
I have my well-known views on point 'a'; I doubt it's 'b' because, after all, they are reading the paper or the website and an IHT reader is almost by definition engaged in the wider world.
So that leaves us with 'c' which may be why point 'a' remains valid.
I would challenge www.iht.com to review their hidden away link to their own blog and this one, and seriously upgrade their visibility. The results might make for an interesting article.