While Blogrolls allow us to showcase blogs worth respecting and following, there is a need for a posts equivalent. A so called Postroll implemented as a parallel loop.
Since I don't really know how the game works, the actual motivations might turn out to be entirely different and may even suggest not implementing this monstrosity altogether. But then we are in a forum remember, this is where pros get to sort out messed up amateurs and kick some serious butt.
Meanwhile, I could think of at least four reasons:
(1) There are just too many one-off goodies out there, all waiting to get "worked" upon
(2) Even decent blogs suffer from quality issues from time to time
(3) Recommending an entire blog is too dense, and in any case, such recommendation is implicit while recommending a post from the blog in question
(4) The Blogosphere is too fluid and we are too uncreative or worse, too inexperienced, Meta might just be THE way to go
The basic idea is to implement the Postroll as a parallel loop in such a way that not only do we have two blogs going (our own stuff, and stuff from others) but also that we may swap the priorities so that the Postroll takes center-stage while our own blog moves to the sidelines.
This makes sense because a lot of wheel reinventing goes on in the Blogosphere. Not only is all this quoting, referring thing on a rather iffy ground, it is also fairly awkward at best and generates lotsa noise. Only if we need to tell something that hasn't been said, given all the commenting that happens, should we shoot off on our own (okay now flame me). On the other hand by "working" on worthwhile posts, we can create a unique set that transcends the individual posts. In a sense, our Postroll becomes greater than the sum of its posts.
The move towards a more Meta strategy for most bloggers is hard because of the way Google works and also because of the way WordPress works. If WordPress implements Postrolls and Google tags along (no pun intended), bloggers would get into a more Meta kinda zone so that readers would have to put up with lower levels of wheel reinventing and all the consequent noise going around.
Here is how the whole (Meta/Traffic) thing might possibly work:
Apart from the WordPress loop, there is a parallel loop for the Postroll albeit with important differences.
(1) It can be sorted / filtered on various parameters (and there are lots of them)
(2) It allows, rather thrives on Transcoding (explained below)
(3) It gets far more traffic than no follow commenting on the Source Post (just fantasizing)
(4) It increases the back links to the Source Blog (can't say for sure)
But wait, here's the bombshell
(5) It provides the Source Blog write access. Yes, the Source Blog can edit the Postroll entry and even delete it altogether. The Source Blog can also bar our blog from Postrolling it in future or at least for a specific time frame. So for instance, the Source Blog can bar ALL blogs from Postrolling its latest post for x hours or y days.
Whew! WordPress developers are gonna have a hard time with that "write access" requirement, if it DOES get considered, that is. One way out is to have the Transcoding Agent host the external part.
The sequence of events leading up to a healthy Postroll could look something like this:
In the admin area, activate Postroll. This appears as http://blogurl/postroll/ Now decide whether to give it prominence by going Meta. If yes, click on Swap with Blog. This would put the Postroll on http://blogurl/ and our blog on http://blogurl/blog/ This change is reversible, of course. Because a lot of blogs would be doing it, Google will take it all in its stride.
Now that we are into wreaking such major changes, let's give the humble Blogroll some oomph too. Let's give it its own page.
In the admin area, when we can activate the Blogroll page, it would appear as http://blogurl/blogroll/. This page might carry the latest m posts from say n blogs in our Blogroll. The Blogroll configurator would help us format the way the Blogs show up on this page. For instance [randomize(n), blog_name, post_url_naked, post_url_auth / post_url_auth_reco, post_title, post_date(format), post_excerpt, transcoding_agent(4973,004), number_of_posts(m)] etc.
n is the number of blogs to show from our Blogroll, which may have many more blogs
post_url_auth is the section with more posts by the same author (in single author blogs, it would be same as blog_url_home)
post_url_auth_reco is the section where the post author has recommended related posts by the same author or by others
4973 is the code of some Transcoding Agent
004 is the how the Source Posts are displayed and can be "worked" upon
We would need Transcoding Agents because of lack of standardization on the umpteen parameters that are needed to make Blogrolling and Postrolling a success.
What a Transcoding Agent would do is to standardize the parameters for a given post so that it can be displayed in the desired format by the Postrolling / Blogrolling blog. Transcoding Agents would work in both a proactive and reactive fashion. Since certain components of their service would be more labor intensive (high quality excerpts, for instance), these could carry a premium. Hopefully, Transcoding would lead to more proactive standardization from all parties concerned.
The Source Post would have buttons like "Postroll this" or we could simply take the post URL and put it through some other Transcoding Agent. Or course the Source Blog preferred Transcoding Agent would mean that we get higher priority in traffic.
Once we decide to Postroll a post, we can then use the parameters provided by the Transcoding Agent to format the way the post would appear. Another advantage of using the "official" Transcoding Agent would be how far "our take" goes. Let's say we are so low on cash or points that we can't afford even the worst out-of-work Transcoding Agent. This means we would need to draw up our own parameters, fill these up and so on. The problem is Google would find it hard to understand our amateur nonsense and we would get nowhere.
On the other hand if we do go with the "official" Transcoding Agent, even our slightest suggestions on the most irrelevant points would get clearly registered though such frivolous exercises could end up emptying our wallets like crazy. Hopefully, we would soon learn how to mix up our Transcoding Agents based on how serious we are about each post in our Postroll.
Because ecommerce is still too complex for the average blogger, we would need a points system. We would spend points on Transcoding but earn points from commenting views. Points are interchangeable with cash. Because most bloggers would like to avoid cash altogether, we would need credit limits.
Let's take a minimal case. Let's say that our Postroll entry has only two fields, Source_Post_URL and My_Take. This is entirely possible and makes sense. Postrolling is, after all, about providing our take on an external post. Now here's the clever part. Postrolling is powerful because Google can pull all My_Takes for a given post. But why rely only on indexing. We can have several Postrolling databases which are updated by pings and which are programmatically available to varying degrees. So a third party developer can create an application which fetches and formats the various My_Takes for a given Source_Post_URL. Of course, there is no limit on how many parameters such applications use or how complex these get. Naturally, the more access the developers want, the more money / points they would need to pay. This is, after all, how My_Take views would get paid for.
On the other hand, if readers don't want the big picture and are satisfied with just a few takes, then they could visit the Source Post or the individual Postrolls (via Google), where the comments and takes respectively are for all to see.
As of now, this whole Postrolling thing is big hodge podge. Hope someone finds it worthwhile to develop the concept further.