At the seams

Jan 18, 2005

The blogosphere seems to have entered 2005 a bit frayed at the seams, with raging debates about credibility, consulting fees, full disclosure, disdain from corporate media (Jay Rosen’s long but exceptional essay is worth the time to read it) and other issues.

Ed Cone has an excellent seat at the table, and I’m looking forward to his contributions to the Triangle Bloggers Conference, which is past 70 participants now. Can’t wait for the dialogue that day.

This is a reminder to me, and those coming to the conference, that our goal for that day is to talk about building community. Our challenge, then, is to keep the discord at bay – at the least, to erect lessons from it – and find the threads with which we can continue to weave community from our blogs, in the blogosphere, within our offline lives and among our cities.

That may sound airy. It shouldn’t. Much of the debate of the last weeks, I believe, reflects a desire to understand the blogosphere that’s so quickly grown up around us, as well as figure out the influences of the hordes of new bloggers joining the din – that age-old debate about immigration, that is.

As Paul Jones teaches in his online communities seminar, communities work best when social policies are set at the beginning. Damned if the blogosphere is realizing this year that we have differing notions of what those policies are. (Martin Kuhn has floated a blogger’s statement of ethics.) That’s just one fertile area to be discussed at the conference.

Anton Zuiker

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