nape fest (zorca) Tue 8 Nov 05 13:15
i've had some success introducing things like blogs to resistant groups by building the thing first and finding a few key individuals to help populate it and then show the jumpstarted project to the larger group, with a demo on how to participate. sometimes people just have to see things in action to appreciate the advantages. i have a question on this local election day about how you think blogs might best be used to help foster more critical thinking about political issues. many bloggers present their writing in a manner that is still one to many. have you seen examples of that you think really encourage vibrant dialogue and what do you think distinguishes those blogs?
David Kline (dkline) Tue 8 Nov 05 13:36
Real dialogue? Real listening? Real changing of minds? I can't think of any blogs offhand that really do that. Yet. But I bet <jonl> knows of blogs that have served as genuine dialogue generators -- at least within left circles. But reaching across left vs. right? I think we're still to early for that. More likely is that some local blogs concerned with, say, school issues or other non-partisan subjects, have done that.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 8 Nov 05 19:23
Daily Kos is a good example that we've already discussed here. Kos uses a system called Scoop that supports "diaries," i.e. many blogs within the same system, posts to which can be promoted for higher visibility. I went to a blogger breakfast at this year's Democracy Fest, which was held in Austin, and most of the people there were involved with Kos, either through diaries they'd set up, or as vocal commenters on posts there. The Drupal-based content management system CivicSpace also supports user blogs and allows promotion of any post. I think this is an important part of the future of blogging, the creation of group blog sites with lots of discussion. WorldChanging.com, where Jamais Cascio, Emily Gertz and I are part of the blog team, gets many comments and has developed a set of regulars and a sense of community. I expect to see some interesting variations from folks like Tom Atlee, who wrote _The Tao of Democracy_, and others who are committed to deliberative process. Synanim (http://synanim.com/info/), Brian Sarrazin's concept for supporting collaborative work and deliberation, has been used effectively by Faith Voices for the Common Good (http://www.faithvoices.org/programs/internet.html) to support consensus work. It's not exactly blogging, but it answers the "Real dialogue? Real listening? Real changing of minds?" question, I think. Perhaps Nancy White could tell us whether blogs are having an impact on communities of practice? David, have you looked at blogs from developing nations? Or Global Voices Online (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/globalvoices/), where some of those blogs are aggregated? What impact will blogs have on global understanding and collaboration?
nape fest (zorca) Tue 8 Nov 05 19:43
nice overview, jon. thanks.
Nancy White (choco) Tue 8 Nov 05 21:29
Jon, I'm just getting involved with some discussions with folks using blogs in CoPs. Where I've seen them used so far are in communities that are naturally early adopters of new technologies... I think we are just starting to figure it out!
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 9 Nov 05 07:16
Cool - any good examples?
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 9 Nov 05 13:54
(Also looking for David's response on the blogs from developing nations.)
David Kline (dkline) Wed 9 Nov 05 14:11
I don't think I have anything especially new to add to our understanding of blogs in developing nations. Iran has thousands of them, and they're important weapons in the fight for democracy. Same goes for China, which just shut down a major one last week. The main difference between blogs herer and blogs in third world countries, I think, is that here they help parse out differences in political line and ideology. Overseas, their function is simply to agitate for the right to even have political differences, so in that sense Chinese or Iranian bloggers are going to spend a lot more time in basic agreement and a lot less time in partisan debate with each other.
Nancy White (choco) Wed 9 Nov 05 16:30
Hm, I think I have a slightly different take. There are many countries where they have the right to dissent, so blogging is just as diverse as it is anywhere. I look at the burgeoning number of women blogging in Portugal, for example, and see the same diversity I see in my US sister-bloggers! Partisan debate included! I think those blogging for the right to be heard are higher on our radar screens, particularly because of good work of folks like http://www.globalvoices.org (which is nicely profiled via Rebecca in the book!) I'll comment on blogs and CoPs in a separate post or I'll reveal my deep case of run-on disease!
Nancy White (choco) Wed 9 Nov 05 16:31
Sharon asked me to share this post I made on my blog based on her mention of Adagio tea's site many posts above. Their tapping into bloggers and online community is impressive! http://www.fullcirc.com/weblog/2005/11/adagio-teas-bloggers-tea-company.htm
Nancy White (choco) Wed 9 Nov 05 16:34
OK, blogs and CoPs. Where I've seen some really cool work is in the education community, particularly that section of the community interested in the intersection between technology and learning. If you start following techno-edu-bloggers, you can see the emergent community through links and comment streams. When you show up at an education conference, their community is manifest by loud greetings, boisterous side events and clearly, people who are having more fun than anyone else. They seem particularly adept at working across different channels - blogs, wikis, podcasts, F2F, etc. They also tend to be pretty independent workers, rather than people representing their institutions. That's where there's some rub. Blogs seem natural for indies, less for "pack creatures!" Has anyone else found that pattern?
Sharon Brogan (sbmontana) Wed 9 Nov 05 16:58
>Blogs seem natural for indies, less for "pack creatures!" My intuitive reaction to that is, Yes! I think because, at least at the beginning, you are all alone out there. Unless/ until you build a community, all the content is up to you. It's all about individual 'voice', and that is something "pack creatures" tend to shy away from.
David Kline (dkline) Wed 9 Nov 05 18:07
If bloggers were joiners, they'd be working on staff at the Dallas Morning News or at the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 9 Nov 05 20:33
Maybe because they're not joiners, or perhaps because they simply didn't follow a path that led to some kind of publication, even though they write well and have something to say?
David Kline (dkline) Thu 10 Nov 05 08:33
"French Police Fear that Blogs Have Helped Incite Rioting" From today's New York Times: ____________________ The site belongs to the nationwide radio station Skyrock, which has four million listeners daily and claims the largest audience of any radio station among 13-to-24-year-olds. The Skyblog site says it is host to more than three million blogs, with new ones added at a pace of 20,000 a day, and is possibly the most popular meeting point for French youths on the Internet. A spokesman for Skyrock said in a statement that the station would block any blog content deemed too inflammatory. "Whatever you do, I do not want you to use my name," the spokesman added. "You can imagine from what is happening in the suburbs that if someone finds out that we deleted their blog, it could mean a bullet in the head." ____________________ Full story: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/10/international/europe/10blogs.html?pagewanted =all
Nancy White (choco) Thu 10 Nov 05 08:46
Hm, that last link is making me rethink what I said about joiners. Or perhaps, we should think about what it means to be a joiner. If people join into a protest via blogs, that is quite different than someone who follows the pack rather than joining a movement. Hmm....
Jamais Cascio, WorldChanger (cascio) Thu 10 Nov 05 08:58
Regarding bloggers being/not being "joiners," Jon's response is a good one. I would also add that there's something of a generational issue, in that a significant plurality of bloggers became media-conscious and politically- conscious in a world where traditional media outlets had lost a great deal of relevance and legitimacy.
David Kline (dkline) Thu 10 Nov 05 11:35
From "Business Blogs: A Practical Guide" "Nydia Tetler at the global relief organization, Compassion International (http://www.compassion.com/), started a series of internal blogs to support their communication efforts. Nydia focused on the content distribution issue because the staff in sponsoring countries was spending too much time trying to find stories to support their outreach efforts and often could not find the right story at the right time. She built five different blogs on selected topics aligned with their work and allowed internal staff to subscribe to content updates through NewsGator, an RSS content aggregator than operates with their existing email system. "The Compassion International program has been very successful. It has generated a lot of excitement in the sponsoring countries, as much of the leg work in finding content for presentations, press notices, and reports has been eliminated, freeing up staff to spend more time using the content. In addition, the increased use of photos in the blogs has made a big difference in making the experiences in the field more real."
internally yours (bucket) Thu 10 Nov 05 12:59
If I'd read more carefully, I might have not gone on a search of compassion.com, which results in "0 results" for blog terms and nothing indicative on the site map. "... started a series of internal blogs" is right. For such an outreach oriented organization, it might be interesting to know the strategy or security reasons behind their blogs' privacy. CoB - just found 11 results for "community of bloggers" (and a lot of corn) but with free MultiUser WordPress (http://mu.wordpress.org) allowing a Blogger/Blogspot type operation to be set up under any domain, people are now able to organize blogging communities around geographical or interest preferences, and name and join them with fewer keystrokes than the average sentence. Built in to the admin are the domain's top blogs, top posts, and most recent posts of the community. A del.icio.us roundup by the operator of edublogs.org on the WPMU platform (about 38 at this time): http://del.icio.us/AndWat/wpmu+host?setcount=100
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 10 Nov 05 13:01
(bucket slipped in ahead of me) Nancy: consider what Howard said in Smart Mobs... social technology is neutral, can be used for evil as well as good. Jamais: there's also those of us who started with three channels of television programming, all of which signed off at midnight. Speaking for myself, I think I was always impatient for something like the Internet to appear so that I could roll my own media. David: that post brings reminds me of another question... in working on the book, did you run across many relgious bloggers?
David Kline (dkline) Thu 10 Nov 05 14:30
I came across 3,000 of them at homeschoolblogger.com.
Nancy White (choco) Thu 10 Nov 05 16:14
See the blogs at No Child Must Wait http://www.interplast.blogs.com/
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 12 Nov 05 15:45
At News.com, Charles Cooper posted "All the news that's fit to blog," about the state of the news business and the impact of blogs on mainstream media. Link: http://news.com.com/All+the+news+thats+fit+to+blog/2010-1025_3-5946033.html He starts by saying that a bunch of editors didn't know about Craig's List, which he thought strange since that's there stiffest competition, classified ads being a key revenue source for newspapers. He goes on to say that they may also be unaware that they're losing mindshare to blogs, and the whole world of media is changing. Somebody posted a pointer to Cooper's piece on an email list; here's what I responded: "I think his assumption that journalists don't understand the impact of blogs and classifieds, and don't see their own peril in this new media environment, may be incorrect. And I'm not clear what he would have them do. "I was on a panel recently with the managing editor of our local newspaper, and he clearly gets what's happening. He does some blogging himself, and the publication added a service that allows readers to set up their own blogs, so they're trying to find some way to connect... but it was clear to me that he's not going to repurpose himself as a blogger, and has issues with the lack of oversight and accountability he sees in the blogosphere." David, what do you think about this? What can journalists do, if (when) newspapers disappear?
Sharon Brogan (sbmontana) Sat 12 Nov 05 15:46
French Police Fear That Blogs Have Helped Incite Rioting: <http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/10/international/europe/10blogs.html?pagewanted =all> slip
David Kline (dkline) Mon 14 Nov 05 09:47
I don't think newspapers or professional journalists are going to disappear. I think blogs and citizen journalists will complement the mainstream media and enrich it. But even if the bulk of newspaper readers get their papers digitally, they'll still want to rely on professional journalism for the best measure of what's happening in the world.
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