Slug: the-point-of-blogging Date: 2007-06-23 Title: The Point Of Blogging layout: post

Dave Winer has an idea for a conference session:

Gets to the point

>An idea for a conference session…

>A-list blogger sits at table in front of room.

>Participants line up. Each, in turn, dictates a 140-character blog post, which the blogger dutifully enters, verbatim. Two or three links. Next.

>Sort of an open blog.

>Only works for bloggers with a certain amount of flow, or A-list goodness to bestow.

I know Dave likes to think "out-loud" on SN, but my reaction to this was that it seems to go against everything blogging means, and everything Dave has stood for in the past. I mean, to me the point of blogging was that everyone could do it? That it was dis-intermediation in action? What Dave is describing here seems like a re-hash of the current journalism/media model: You (the citizen) can only be heard if you tell your story to the appointed representative of the media (the A-lister) who will tell others that they should listen.

If I may diverge: I wonder sometimes what the existence of the A-list means in the blogging world, and I do think that one way A-listers can "give back" is to give flow to others. In general, Dave still does a good job of this. But I don't know that the A-listers have a "responsibility" to link to you or me - I don't want to be told who or what to link to, I don't imagine they do either. I'm generally content to live and blog in a different ecosystem than the A-list.

But Dave's thought exercise worries me in a way I can't quite put my finger on. Bloggers recently are pushing into journalistic territory, pushing for recognition as journalists, perhaps wanting some of the cachet that comes with being recognized as a member of the Fourth Estate. I'm not sure. But as bloggers start seeing themselves as journalists, will they start seeing themselves as the arbiters as well - with the right to determine what is news-worthy?

I like to think that in the grand scheme of things, the proliferation of the blogging and bloggers outside of the existing media model will prevent this sort of co-option of our medium.