Quasistoic posted a long review of the panel from his perspective in the audience. He leaps to some subjective conclusions but he is up-front about that and strives for balance. He also reminds me that is old-hat for the people who WERE THERE when the word blog was coined or whatever is still virgin territory for a lot of unleashed minds:
Last night I attended that discussion panel on Weblogging, and I must say I was impressed. I was given a new angle from which to view welogging: as a possible journalistic tool. It isn’t that I never thought of it before; I just never considered turning my weblog into something which I might someday consider journalism.
Dan Gillmor … was speaking about the class on weblogging he teaches [in Hong Kong], and about how he “[reminds] them that they don’t need publishers…they don’t need permission.”
Note to quasi, when Gillmore spoke about the “beast that demands feeding all the time” I think he was speaking not of weblogs but of the traditional daily or weekly periodical or corporate broadcast-media forms of journalism, which have deadlines and feel they can spare no resources on blogging.
Quasistoic captured some quotations that eluded me, again from Gillmor:
“I do link to people whose politics I feel are “off-the-wall” [not because they are off-the-wall, but] because they have really good weblogs. That’s my criteria.”
“For some people the weblog is the greatest resume in history.”
Quasi also liked J.D.’s contributions:
“The more a weblog reads like a newspaper article, the less interesting it is.” He spent a lot of his conversation time advocating the use of weblogs by professional journalists as both an unregulated media outlet and a resource for investigative journalism. He also referred to weblogs as a sort of “quasijournalism” (good prefix choice), and he defined a journalist as “Anyone who is an eyewitness of events or an interpreter of events and who reports it as honestly and accurately as possible.” I guess that makes me a journalist today.
Quasistoic found Rebecca’s presentation to be off-putting. He took her to be saying that amateur bloggers shouldn’t bother. This is so far opposed to the things she has written and said in her book, her essays, and on her weblog that I suppose it is all being inferred from her style of expressing herself in person. That’s just my subjective take on someone else’s subjective take on an event we all eyewitnessed. He’s balanced, though, after accusing Blood of a lot of unflattering things, he allows:
I concede a couple things to Rebecca, though:
- She has been around a long time, so she knows her way around. It always is impressive to have been there since the beginning, wherever there is.
- I agree that “echo chambers” exist, and that they are sad to see. Many bloggers will only link to those people who have similar world views, which is why I’m always impressed by someone who “links out” to opposing viewpoints.
He notes that Meg was relatively reticent. I just realized today that the three “journalists” were men and the two “webloggers” were women, although of course all five are webloggers. Sorry, non sequitur. He relates also how Meg mentioned that her readers buy her gifts from her wishlist and Rebecca asked humorously how to get in on that.
From the audience at the time, I asked Meg the perennial question “Does it scale?” which is about as close as the conversation veered all night to subject of business model (outside the media business).