Blogger.Com fallout

Dave Winer's BloggerCon event last weekend at Harvard Law School will make it into the blog-history books as a mnor Woodstock, a gathering of the tribes in self celebration. Webcasts. Essays.

Oliver Willis writes:

    Blogs are great. They're wonderful, and they will Change Things. But we need to step back outside of the blog-to-blog echo chamber and look at how important this movement really is.

    What seems to have happened is that the fundraising success of the Howard Dean campaign has become the blog equivalent of the Netscape IPO. That public offering opened the floodgates to thousands of unprofitable companies and created the stock market bubble that was great for some, but probably set the web industry back a few years after people realized it was not The Answer to all their problems. That cycle appears to be happening with blogs now. During the BloggerCon conference it would be easy to go home thinking that any problem of note in the world could be remedied by a simple addition of "blog" to it.
    I'm not ready to drink the Kool-Aid just yet.

    During one of the Saturday sessions a member of the audience referred to the assembled crowd as "utopia". Now, yes, I loved the blog camaraderie but quite frankly I don't want to be the only black person in utopia. I was the only black person in that room, and was one of a few minorities. I'm not whining about that, but simply stating the fact that a technology that is mostly the pursuit of upper middle class white males does diddly to change the real world. I'm a geek through-and-thorough but when I hear tooth gnashing about issues like copyright as if they were the most important issue in the world - it tells me that the blog world is somewhat out of touch.

    Again, it is quite similar to the web bubble. For a while when you were inside the industry (as I was) it would be easy to think: everybody is doing this. When the truth of the matter is that they weren't and they aren't. The vast majority of Americans are not online, and even those that are online only a small portion of them are reading blogs, and an even smaller amount are reading politically oriented blogs. That small percentage does tend to be quite influential (particularly if they're a part of the media) but it is our duty as bloggers to understand that we aren't exactly changing the world yet.

    That came out in the campaign bloggers panel where people like Dave Winer hammered the candidates for not plugging the money they raised online back into the web. What we are forgetting is that the web has yet to elect anyone. The reason we have campaigns are that candidates meet and greet the people they want to vote for them, and those they can't meet they "see" in tv ads. The overwhelming majority of Americans will pick their next president between two men they see on television and not someone they saw on the web much less a blog. We have to keep perspective.

    Blogs are transformative tools, they're doing amazing things and they are enabling wonderful advances. On a personal level, if it weren't for blogs I wouldn't have improved as a writer (debatable, I guess) and there is certainly no way little old me would have made it on the front page of the Boston Globe. That's great for me on a personal level, but it ain't changing the world.

Dave Winer writes of the Rule of Win-Win:


    I started formulating a new rule, I call it The Rule of Win-Win, after listening to Chris Lydon's interview with David Weinberger. I realized that he and I share something important, we both believe in the power of links. And it's not just a philosophy of writing for the Web, it's also a philosophy of business and human relations. And it's elusive and hard to describe. And there are lots of people who don't subscribe to the rule. People who take but don't reciprocate. Somehow, intuitively, this is unweblike. Somehow David and myself have agreed to something, unknowingly, that not everyone else has agreed to. What we have agreed to, I think, is what I'm going to try to explain in this essay.

    The Rule of Win-Win says that by choosing to participate in the Web, I can promote my own interests, but I must acknowledge the existence of others and their interests. I don't sacrifice the truth in furthering my cause. In fact, if you accept the Rule of Win-Win, the truth is your first cause, it comes before all others.

    In a sense, if you belong to the Win-Win club, you're a sales rep for my stock. When I meet with someone whose feed I want, you get it too. So when I win, you win. When my stock goes up, so does yours. Our interests are aligned.

    The purpose of the rule is to create trust and then build on it. I first wrote about this in Que Sera Sera, in 1996: "Nothing will be announced unless it can be shown that someone else will win because of what you're doing. How much happier we would be if instead of crippling each other with fear, we competed to empower each others' creativity.

On The Rule of Links, Dave writes:

    The New York Times, always controversial, says it's their policy is not to link, that their pub is self-contained and complete. This is total bullshit. While I love the Times, and have been reading it my whole life, I know that they're crazy over there. Can't fool me.

I wonder if this will become a trend for community building: attendees were invited to post their name, website, institution, and RSS feed, and most of them did. Talk about networking possibilities! Wow!

BloggerCon 2003 Weblog - Celebrating the art and science of weblogs, October 4 at Harvard Law School.

Blogroll for BloggerCon

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Last update: 10/9/2003; 12:14:15 PM Eastern.

miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif A K M AdamSeabury-Western Theological Seminary
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Aaron Fuegi
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Aaron Schutzengel
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Adam CurryUnited Recources of Jamby
   Amanda
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Amy CampbellInfoworks!
   Amy HarmonNew York Times
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Amy WohlWohl Associates
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Andrew Bayer
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Andrew GrumetMIT
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Aslam Karachiwala
   Barbara GanleyMiddlebury College
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Ben AdidaMIT
   Ben EdelmanBerkman Center for Internet & Society
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Ben WilliamsNone
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Betsy DevineDisorganized Blogworld
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Bhavesh Patel
   Bill Koslosky, M.D.
   Bill WendelReal Estate Cafe / Voice Real Estate, Inc.
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Biz StoneWellesley College
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif bmobetter radio
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Bob DoyleCMS Review
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Bob StepnoOther Journalism
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Brendyn Alexander
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Brian WeathersonBrown University
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Britt BlaserBlaser and Company
   Bruce WeinbergBentley College
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Bryan BellKCSOS
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Bryan StrawserTarget Corporation
   C.C. Chapman
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Cameron BarrettClark for President
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Camilo Ramirez
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Carl Robert BlesiusRuprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Carol DodsonOhio Resource for Mathematics, Science, and Reading
   Catalina LasernaHarvard University
   chlora
   Chris Lockefreelance author
   Christophe CourchesneHarvard Law School
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Christopher LydonBerkman Center
   Christy Gaitten
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Craig ClineSeybold
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Critt Jarvis
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Dan BricklinTrellix
   Dan Gillmor
   Dan Obrien
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Dann SheridanWolters Kluwer US Corp.
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Dave WinerHarvard Law School
   David Appellfreelance journalist
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif David Czarneckiblojsom
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif David Giacalone
   David MaizenbergAirdrop, LLC
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif David PearsonShawmut Education
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif David Pinto
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif David Weinbergerfreelance author
   David WilliamsPace University Law Library
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Dean LandsmanLandsman Communications Group
   Deanna BriggsMIT
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Debbie WeilWordBiz Report
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif deejeBloggerJack
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Derek SlaterBerkman Center
   Diane Jass KetelhutHarvard University
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Doc SearlsLinux Journal
   Don Lloyd CookUniversity of New Mexico
   Donald Bashline
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif DouglasSimpsonLawyer, Speaker, Writer
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Dylan GreeneDylanGreene.com
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Ed ConeZiff Davis Media; News & Record
   Elaine Frankonis
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Elin SjursenMIT
   Elizabeth SpiersNew York Magazine/ formerly Gawker.com
   Ellen GrabinerSimmons College
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif enoch choi, mdpalo alto medical foundation
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Eric FolleyDemocratic National Committee
   Eric M.K OsiakwanAfrican Internet Service Providers Association
   Eric Osiakwan"Berkman Center/GNVC"
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Erin ClericoWeblogger
   Erin JudgeBerkman Center
   Esther DysonEdventure Holdings
   Eugene VolokhHarvard Law/UCLA
   Frank FieldMIT
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Frank PaynterSandhill Technologies, LLC
   Garrett EastmanHarvard University
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Gary SecondinoNone
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Glenn FleishmanReal World Adobe GoLive 4
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Glenn ReynoldsUniversity of Tennessee
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Grant Perry21st Century News
   Greg LloydTraction Software, Inc
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Gregor J. RothfussWyona Inc
   Gregor RothfussWyona Inc.
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Gregory Blakeezoons.com / individual.com
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Griff WigleyWigley and Associates
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Hal Macomber
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Halley SuittHalley's Comment Industries
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Harold Gilchrist
   Heath RowFast Company
   Heather RiveroEDC
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Henry Copeland Blogads
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Hossein Derakhshan
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Ian Landsman
   Ilene AginskyIntel
   J. OravecUniversity of Wisconsin
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif J. Scott Johnsonphp | architect
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Jack Hodgson
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Jacob ReiderAlbany Medical College
   James TarantoWall Street Journal Online
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Jason GoldmanBlogger
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Jay McCarthy
   Jay RosenNew York University
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Jeff JarvisAdvance.net
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif Jeffrey HenningPerseus Development Corp.
miniXmlCoffeeMug.gif miniXmlButton.gif jeneane sessumsessum.com
   jennifer craneAspen Publishers
   Jennifer GarrettWellesley College

Huh. List truncated by Movable Type. I didn't realize entries have a built-in limit on how much text you can stuff into them.


Posted by Jay Cross at October 9, 2003 09:50 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Continued...



Jeremy Allaire" in Radio UserLand.">  Jeremy AllaireGeneral Catalyst Partners
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judith meskill" in Radio UserLand.">  judith meskillthe growth solutions group
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Lonewacko" in Radio UserLand.">  Lonewacko
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Mark Bernstein" in Radio UserLand.">  Mark BernsteinEastgate Systems, Inc.
Mark James" in Radio UserLand.">  Mark James
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Mathew Gross" in Radio UserLand.">  Mathew GrossHoward Dean campaign
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Matthew Mullenweg" in Radio UserLand.">  Matthew MullenwegUniversity of Houston
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Michael Feldman" in Radio UserLand.">  Michael FeldmanBoston University
Michael Femia" in Radio UserLand.">  Michael FemiaHarvard Book Store
Michael LeRoux" in Radio UserLand.">  Michael LeRoux
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nathan riley" in Radio UserLand.">  nathan rileyretired
Niek Hockx" in Radio UserLand.">  Niek HockxDisorganized Blogworld (European headquarters)
Oliver Willis" in Radio UserLand.">  Oliver Willis
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Rob Robinson" in Radio UserLand.">  Rob Robinson
Rob Sequin" in Radio UserLand.">  Rob SequinHavana Journal
Robert Ambrogi" in Radio UserLand.">  Robert AmbrogiLawyer/journalist
Robert Kennedy" in Radio UserLand.">  Robert KennedyMedscape/WebMD
rODbegbie" in Radio UserLand.">  rODbegbie
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Roland Tanglao" in Radio UserLand.">  Roland TanglaoBlogue.com, http://www.blogue.com
Ross M Karchner" in Radio UserLand.">  Ross M KarchnerLocalfeeds.com
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Ryan Overbey" in Radio UserLand.">  Ryan Overbey
Ryan Skadberg" in Radio UserLand.">  Ryan Skadberg
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Scott Watermasysk" in Radio UserLand.">  Scott Watermasyskfreelance author
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Sooz" in Radio UserLand.">  Soozsooz.com
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   Stephen WestSimplifyLifeNow.com
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Steve Hoffman" in Radio UserLand.">  Steve HoffmanMedscape/WebMD
Steve Kirks" in Radio UserLand.">  Steve KirksSpringfield Business Journal
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Tara Liloia" in Radio UserLand.">  Tara Liloia
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Wendy Koslow" in Radio UserLand.">  Wendy KoslowBerkman Center for Internet & Society
Werner Vogels" in Radio UserLand.">  Werner VogelsCornell University
Will Richardson" in Radio UserLand.">  Will RichardsonHunterdon Central Regional High School
William Rob Carlson" in Radio UserLand.">  William Rob Carlson

Posted by: Jay at October 9, 2003 10:06 AM

Not to be snarky - because I'm sure it was a great event - but this was more 'Userland Con' or 'Berkman Con' than it was 'Blogger Com'. There was a significant skew in the selection of speakers. Check the education panel - is this the panel you would assemble on the topic? Now again, I'm sure it was a great event... but a new Woodstock? No. Too many people were left out.

Posted by: Stephen Downes at October 12, 2003 06:52 AM

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