Thank you, DT, for your thoughts.
I can appreciate your perspectives on the usefulness of the web. I happen to feel the opposite: that the web is, generally, highly overrated in its promised ability to create a "virtual" space that illuminates (rather than just repackages and sells) real space and will continue to be the vanguard for the direction opposite to dialog. The web facilitates the continued atomizing of Western society, and future developments in its normalization will further entrench same. In other words, there is more to dialog than simply sharing information.
Perhaps an analogy for web as open discourse is its technical counterpart - web as open source development, where many of the internet's key technological components are made and maintained by volunteers in an open sharing of ideas and tools etc. In fact, the free economy, the norm to simply give stuff away, established itself with the web and continues to flourish despite the trend of big business becoming more dominant.
Yet, even in the relatively simple (as in contained) areas of technology, opensource is perhaps becoming more problematic and less sustainable. Your suggestion that standardization is limiting is true to a degree, but non-standardization can be just as limiting. And I don't mean in just being vulnerable to crackpots. The most recent example is Shellshock in which best intentions creates significant crises (apparently shellshock is over 10 years old)
But I do have something specific in mind when I use the term "dialog", I do not use it synonymously with "discourse" (thou i notice i did that in the original post...
) or "discussion" or "communication" etc. It does mean something very distinct. It involves those things to a degree, but its character, goals and meaning are something different. I am just unsure, at this point, how it relates to technical communication. I am currently exploring a more epistemological framework, and how it relates to schools of thought like CasP.