These conversations, or parts of them, are worth saving and savoring. If we look at all of literature, including scholarly publication, as being one long, vast, intricate and diverse conversation, then the discussion online can be seen as part of the same discourse. The conversation is migrating to a new media, but the means of (attempting to) provide coherence are still developing.
RhetNet is an effort to adapt the functions of academic print journals to the new environment. Journals simultaneously serve as the medium of conversation and the repository for knowledge. RhetNet serves those purposes, but takes the shape of its native environment: cyberspace.