Sam Sifton: Part of Our 'Discussion'?

On the New York Times Diner's Journal blog today, linked to his formal review of DBGB, Sam Sifton (or, at least, his username) writes what's essentially a pull-out blog post. No substantial added copy, but a dose of the bloggy trifecta: a bit of personal context, a number of gorgeous pictures, and a forum for comments.

Just after his appointment to the criticship was announced, Sifton wrote that, in his tenture, he wanted to "join the [online] discussion." (After initially discounting the credibility of anything written online, it should be noted). Bruni made use of the Diner's Journal blog before, but rarely in a comment on his formal reviews, other than to tip readers off to their existence.

So are these sorts of small blog posts the Times's way of encouraging the blogging community? Does a comments section constitute "joining the online conversation"? And will people ever look to the Times for a genuine discussion?

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