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April 20, 2004



Dude, why are you surprised?

The blog world, for all it's pretensions of democratizing the media and all that happy horseshit, has more or less begun to replicate the larger media world, star system and all. Lotsa people are jumping outta the blog world to stardom in the bigger media and others, like the folks at this shindig, are solidifying their star status and consciously separating themselves from the blogspotted masses.

And as far as the free-speech side of the equation goes, we don't have a digital town meeting, we've got a digital Jerry Springer audience on crack.

The great experiment has run outta gas.


See, we're approaching this from different viewpoints. I'm not upset that there are "stars" in the blogworld, and I don't have a starry-eyed view that blogs are some sort of "utopian grand experiment."

Rather, I do think that blogs are a tool with enormous potential...a tool that's still in its infancy. I do think it's pretty amazing that anyone can publish anything they want and aim it at the world at large. Like any form of self-expression, there's lots of stuff out there that the world at large can't be bothered to give two shits about. And that's fine -- there's always a certain amount of crap out there. (I'd quote you a percentage, a la Theodore Sturgeon, but the precise value shifts according to my mood.)

To make an analogy, there are lots of authors/musicians/artists out there, some of whom I like, some of whom whose work I can't stand, and most (the vast majority) of whom I haven't ever heard of.

My disappointment in the NYBloggers announcement was akin to seeing an ad for a hypothetical festival of "New York Authors"...that only included writers from, say, the Upper West Side. So yeah, that may have your Updikes and so forth, but it leaves out the Jonathan Lethems and Calvin Trillins of the world. Couple that with sheer lack of detail in the ad, and that's why I'm dismayed.


I think that the Saturday morning hockey would be a better place to meet up.

dong resin

I'm somewhere between Jon and Vidiot on this one...
The fact of blogging and the inevitable "stars" it produces are great, I love these people and the work they do... the slightly wankerish feel of having these panels is just self important, no matter how impish the intent behind it. The fact that anyone can create a blog keeps them at hobby level no matter how many people read them, so when you present it as some sort of media event, even a tongue in cheek one, it gets a little funky in the vibe.

It's the difference between watching some Star Trek and putting on the unitard for the convention.


It's the difference between watching some Star Trek and putting on the unitard for the convention.

So accurate. Also hilarious.


I dunno, jon, I've never consciously separated myself from any masses. (Though I do look down my nose at blogspot, but that's different. :)

I went to the Apple Store last night to talk about tech because that stuff's still fun to me and it's still interesting and exciting to me and I know that there are things I find out that other people don't know yet but might be interested in. I can't see how that's such a bad thing.

I do agree the event description should have included a lot more info and a lot fewer lousy head shots, but I didn't make that promo. The part I *did* have control over, which was the words I said, were about trying to make tools that are more inclusive and work better for regular folks with blogs, not for pundits or stars. To me, that seems like we're on the same side.

We're definitely not inclusive enough in our events, and the day I'm organizing one instead of just participating, I'll do my damndest to remedy that. One of the hardest parts of being more open is it requires people to know other who are, by definition, outside of their social circle. That's a tough thing to pull off.


Thanks for your comment, Anil. I want to note, again, that my quibbles are with the announcement, which I know wasn't your doing.


One of the purposes of the talks is to drum up interest in coming to them period. The first talk, with Photobloggers did well, so we decided to work on Bloggers next. And for people who don't go to BloggerCon (like myself), hearing A-listers like Nick and Jason and Meg and Anil speak was great for me. We're currently open to taking suggestions from other people (bloggers, non-bloggers who read blogs, etc) on topics and questions for next time. I think asking people in advance what they'd like to hear discussed is a great idea that we'd like incorporate for next time. Trying to make the talks more inclusive - I see and agree with your point conceptually, but another issue is making sure people will come. To have this be the first blogger talk with bloggers you don't know might have been a little trickier to promote.

We're learning as we go with organizing talks like this (and since organizing into panels was an improvement over the very free-form photobloggers event), I think we're doing okay, admitting that there is certainly room for improvement.

As for the event description, perhaps it wasn't descriptive enough, but Jake, who slapped together the promo page, is very accessible and open to thoughts from an email or IM, and would have been open to suggestions or questions about the promo.

Thanks for the thoughts - we're keeping them in mind - and definitely feel free to email us!

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