User-defined conversations, as currently imagined, would combine elements of a blog and an online forum, and integrate with the currently-exising user accounts. Just as ever registered user today has a "User Page" with basic information about them and their commenting activity, the idea would be for each person to have another page onto which they can freely post their thoughts and ideas. Other readers would be able to read what they say and post comments, like any other story at OSNews.
While the idea would be that this would be a place for people to post OS and other technology stuff, there wouldn't be any reason you couldn't use these to complain about your co-workers or talk about your cat, like you would in a personal blog. However, our idea is that you could optionally select a category for your posting, choosing from roughly the same topics that we currently have in the OSNews forums (AmigaOS, Linux, QNX, Windows, etc) and those postings would be displayed on a topic page, just like a topic in our forum. That post would thus be displayed alongside other posts on the same topic, and they could all be commented on. If we did this, we would most likely use it as a replacement for the current forum.
So my questions to you, dear readers, are: would you use this? Do you have any ideas that might improve or change what I've laid out in these broad strokes? Are you more interested in the on-topic forum-type discussion aspect of this or the free-form blogging aspect? Would you miss our current forum if we replaced it with this? Please let us know what you think in the comments section of this story. Thanks!