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Day 724: Headless Chicken Talks Civic Blogging

Beginning 5pm today, a fowl sans cabesa is exactly what I will be what with Rising Tide preparation and other work to be taken care of ahead of the weekend. Watch for liveblogging from the conference both here and on the Rising Tide blog, with audio and video to be added as soon as bloggerly possible.

The Making Civic Sexy panel will take care of itself at the competent hands of my wonderful panelists, but I mostly feel like that person you are in the dream in which you’re back in the last semester of college, haven’t attended Econ 102 all semester and find out that’s the one class you need to graduate. In other words, I’m frantic and need a valium. Why? Because, in the panel, I’m going to bring up this point: it has come time for most of what we as bloggers and community activists do and write to have a larger socio-political impact than we have enjoyed in the last two years. We’ve got our foot in the door, but for some reason, can’t shove it open and walk right in. Perhaps once we’re in, we can grease the hinges of that door and also make it less heavy.

A part of it involves setting up a super-blog where we can pool all of our various blog posts for them to have maximum impact (as suggested by Alan Gutierrez at the end of the last Rising Tide and meditated upon by me and many others since the inception of this blogosphere thingy). A much bigger aspect of it, however, is a change in philosophy and commitment to the civic cause, too. This is the heart of making civic sexy, interesting to the layperson and not the fruit-stand of ten or twenty bloggers. An uber-blog is all well and good, but its support and maintenance has to come from a very large community of citizens who care enough and work hard to make it count, like Karen, Bart, Sarah Elise and Eban. Feeling it and doing it are a lot more important than blogging it. And that’s the difference between citizens with words, deeds and blogs and the rest. Positive change, or a very dedicated pursuit of it.

Additionally, there cannot be one blog to rule them all – administrated by whom and contributed to by whom? It is true that our time has come and that bloggers here can exert a power heretofore unbeknownst to us, but at the same time, the tyranny of one uber-blog cannot replace the tyranny of the existing one newspaper. We need two or three uber-blogs, in that regard.

It is also key to drown out the noise and keep the signal that talks sense for this city. Furthermore, the citizen journalism aspect of blogging has to be separated out from the egotistical fanfare surrounding a blogger persona. At the same time, it is that persona that makes our blogs so interesting along with the news/opinion. That we are people driving the news medium, not faceless and emotionless ink-slingers. This may be anathema to most of the MSM, even though many bones can be picked about their quality of reporting.

I want to throw this out there because I’m going to bring it up, the big elephant in the room that it is. Lots of things to think about as we prepare for a fantabulous weekend brought to you by the New Orleans Blogination!

4 comments… add one
  • liprap August 23, 2007, 6:48 PM

    Maitri, it could be much worse.


  • Holly August 27, 2007, 12:24 PM

    Here’s a question I would have loved to ask if I had been able to stay around:

    What suggestions to NOLA bloggers have to encourage blogging in marginalized communities not well represented (online or otherwise?)

    I work within the Latino community (in particular with Latinas who have arrived in NOLA post-K) and have been trying to encourage many to start blogs (computer access is available through several organizations, so it is a possibility). Granted, many would be in Spanish, but I’m feel confident that others would read and translate important parts to larger audiences. There are a myriad of reasons why some are uncomfortable with the medium, but others are intrigued but feel that blogging has no value and would make no impact. I disagree; I say it would be another way to make the experiences of Latinos in NOLA better understood.

    I’m curious to thoughts/suggestions…??

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