The tenor of today’s BlogLeft meeting in Worcester is much like that of the early convenience store industry. Huh? and How would anyone know?The first hour was a chance for local leftist bloggers to put faces with URLs, for politicians to hit us up for support, and to swap info. I suddenly recalled my time decades ago as the editor of a grocery magazine. Hannaford’s Lil Peach, Southland’s 7-Eleven and many others were all growing, energetic and excited.
They would meet and talk about what they did best. Bloggers today have similar joy at their passionate tasks. Those who get lots of hits and even make advertising revenue are happy to describe how they do it.
For the convenience-store industry that ended. Cities were saturated and managers stopped talking to each other. The open minds and hands shut.
I can’t see that happening with bloggers, but just in case things get narrow, we can enjoy such events.
Update: 11:49 ESTBefore the actual program, the gatherers gathered. Clearly, many of us bloggers do not have sales personalities. Yet, in the comfort of blogdom,we could chat.
John McDonough was my Rep. from Jamaica Plain. Now, he promotes health care for all. He also could say the perfect thing that every blogger wants and needs to hear — he reads my stuff. It didn’t hurt that for years he lived a couple of blocks from me.
As Lynne noted, 11 a.m. is still a bit early for some bloggers. The waitrons were quick to put out flatware, but waited to bring the coffee jugs. Sad and addled bloggers careered off the coffee table, only to return 10 minutes later looking for their legal fix.
Even among the several JP bloggers here, we have separate foci. That doesn’t make any of us less sure that our issues are the important ones. Few seem to aspire to be one of the small number of bloggers who earn money from doing it.
The speakers here are largely those heavy hitters who know how to speak publicly, who know how to promote themselves, and how to structure their blogging for maximum readership by those in power.
Coffee arrives, a small line of eager mug holders quiets and pauses, only to return to swapping cards and hints.
Update: 1:52 EST
Frederick Clarkson concluded his presentation with a major theme on same-sex marriage. He said that the current struggle with change the face of politics in Massachusetts forever.
“Massachusetts is ground zero,” he said. He predicted that a tremendous amount of resources, financial and human, will pour into the commonwealth for this effort.
Bloggers will have a special responsibility, he added. This includes:
- –Being aware of who’s coming.
- –Learn why they’re coming.
- –Keep track of what they do here.
- –Help the media and political leaders understand what they are doing.
There are only two years to do this. Bloggers can make a huge difference.
Update: 3:36 EST
We can look to our existing technologies as well as to world locations where blogging is more important than here for future trends. Civilities.net’s John Garfunkel educed a tableful of bloggers’ ideas on what they do and what they expect.
A sobering set of comments on overseas blogs contasted with what we are doing. In places like Iran and China, there is virtually no free media. Dangers to bloggers aside, blogs are a primary source of information and opinion.
In addition, some noted that we here have not gotten the hang of collaborative blogging. A key example was South Korea’s ohmynews, where bloggers do original reporting. The site filters and presents the posts. Readers not only rate, but can remunerate their favorite posters.
Cos says that the technologies we need for the future of blogging may exist. Our best strategy as bloggers is to teach as many others as possible about blogging, about Wikis and related technologies and methods we use.
After that, one or more somebodies will come up with the best ideas on how to use and expand those.