Shyftr is a site which aggregates blog posts and provides a commenting infrastructure that effectively replaces commenting on the original weblog. Discussion in the blogosphere about this has focused on the necessity for bloggers to get over themselves and let their content be free. Of course, those promoting this view are, as always, those bloggers who already have large readership and for whom the establishment of identity is not an issue.
What is being lost in the conversation is the fact that the infrastructure of the blogosphere, due to its somewhat amateur evolution process, has not managed to fix some of the serious issues that have troubled it from the past. Commenting is exactly one of those things. As the value and use of comments evolved, and as the distribution mechanisms of content evolved, little effort has been made to bring commenting along with it. What has happened, is the appearance of a number of hacks on top of the base infrastructure to get around this issue. Perhaps the exception to this is the RSS 2.0 commenting mechanism.
Note also that some have also suggested that behaviour around engaging in a conversation in comments is not naturally supported by the web. Oops - take a look at the 100s of millions of users of message boards, I think they are fine with computer mediated conversations.