inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #51 of 102: 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?
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #52 of 102: 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.
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #53 of 102: 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., 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 (, Brian
Sarrazin's concept for supporting collaborative work and deliberation,
has been used effectively by Faith Voices for the Common Good
( 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 (, where some
of those blogs are aggregated? What impact will blogs have on global
understanding and collaboration?
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #54 of 102: nape fest (zorca) Tue 8 Nov 05 19:43
nice overview, jon. thanks.
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #55 of 102: 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! 
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #56 of 102: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 9 Nov 05 07:16
Cool - any good examples?
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #57 of 102: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 9 Nov 05 13:54
(Also looking for David's response on the blogs from developing
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #58 of 102: 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.
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #59 of 102: 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 (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!
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #60 of 102: 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!
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #61 of 102: 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? 
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #62 of 102: 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.
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #63 of 102: 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.
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #64 of 102: 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? 
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #65 of 102: 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

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:
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #66 of 102: 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....
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #67 of 102: 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.
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #68 of 102: David Kline (dkline) Thu 10 Nov 05 11:35
From "Business Blogs: A Practical Guide"

"Nydia Tetler at the global relief organization, Compassion International
(, 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."
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #69 of 102: internally yours (bucket) Thu 10 Nov 05 12:59
If I'd read more carefully, I might have not gone on a search of, 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 (
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 roundup by the operator of on the WPMU platform (about 38 at this time):
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #70 of 102: 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? 
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #71 of 102: David Kline (dkline) Thu 10 Nov 05 14:30
I came across 3,000 of them at
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #72 of 102: Nancy White (choco) Thu 10 Nov 05 16:14
See the blogs at No Child Must Wait
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #73 of 102: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 12 Nov 05 15:45
At, 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. 


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?
inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #74 of 102: Sharon Brogan (sbmontana) Sat 12 Nov 05 15:46
French Police Fear That Blogs Have Helped Incite Rioting:

inkwell.vue.258 : David Kline, "Blog!"
permalink #75 of 102: 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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