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Day 364: One Blog To Rule Them All

Da Po Blog was indeed in attendance and proposes the Rising Tide NOLA Blog.

That doesn’t mean we all have to agree.

Of course, it all depends on your goals. A group blog would swallow up the individual blogger’s voice. He or she would be seen within the framework of the greater blog and would have to work inside that framework. The blogger’s credibility would be tied to the group blog’s credibility, and each individual would have to cooperate to protect and foster the blog’s credibility.

But, if your goal is more readership, especially from outside the community, a group blog would probably accomplish that. A locally formed group blog would also safeguard the local voices and create a brand to market those local voices.

However, if your goal is more local readership and more local participation, the way it is now is probably preferable to the One True Group Blog.

While I have no problem with its creation, I disagree with the philosophy of a Rising Tide NOLA Blog as the ÜberBlog. Here are my reasons:

1. In BlogLand, the sum of various parts does not necessarily count as more than one. In other words, a Group Blog will also be treated as another blog. To me, the existing and growing List of New Orleans Bloggers is the one-stop shop. The fact that we have such a huge number of blogs that came out of a troubling time for our area is amazing. That number is the Thud! factor, not another aggregator.

2. Blogging is democratized journalism; there is no longer a set of blessed or sanctioned voices, but instead a sea of opinions. Just because you’re a featured author on the Group Blog doesn’t mean your article is good, the only analysis of the topic at hand or any more relevant than one that’s not on it. This brings us to the topic of editorship.

3. Who chooses what articles get on this site? Also, how and why? Trust someone who has edited papers and auditioned candidates – the resulting politics (just you wait) is not worth losing the individual-yet-united momentum we now have.

4. An ÜberBlog managed by a small group (the willing and self-elected) will foster agreement and will swallow up individual blogger voices.

One good alternative is to create a single feed to which every single New Orleans blogger contributes his/her RSS feed. Take for example, Loki’s NetVibes feed. To submit to this feed, your posts may be tagged with locally-relevant labels, which the end user may use to pick and choose his/her news. The best option is to physically talk to more people and get them to read our blogs.

If done fairly (how?), a Rising Tide NOLA Blog is great for readers outside of New Orleans or locals who haven’t the time or inclination to read all posts. Well, to the locals who don’t want to put in the time and effort, I say this:

Just because you don’t want to put in the requisite work to read everyone’s blogs does not mean that the tidal wave of a voice must be squelched down to a garden hose for your convenience. The onus is on you to cull your daily reading. I’m not interested in cutting off our collective nose to spite the carpetbloggers. What we try to escape in grassroots blogging is exactly this – the tyranny of selective news – which only takes us back to Square 1, our original philosophical battle against the mainstream media. The barrier is falling apart, please don’t piece it back together in this medium as well.

If such a group blog has to happen, please ensure that editors are rotated out each month and that the audience knows well that this is only one representation/instance of New Orleans blogging.

I have a couple of succession of theories as to the identity of Da Po Blog – Mominem Jon Donley Sasquatch someone who came and stayed silent.

9 comments… add one
  • Eban August 27, 2006, 4:18 PM

    I’m not a blogger — perhaps not yet. But I agree with Ms. Maitri

  • Seymour D. Fair August 27, 2006, 6:24 PM


    I agree with feed concept as well. The humid beings thing sorta
    already does this . . . .

    Sorry I missed RT.


  • Maitri August 27, 2006, 6:27 PM

    Oddly enough, this concept was being bandied about last night by people who don’t particularly like the Humid Beings forum concept.

    Also, forums aren’t totally searchable.

  • Adrastos August 27, 2006, 9:31 PM

    I agree with you, kiddo. I think our individuality is our strength.

  • ashley August 27, 2006, 10:54 PM

    You know, I don’t think my rants would fit too well into the groupthink.

  • mominem August 27, 2006, 11:14 PM

    I agree with your sentiments. I’d like to see a powerful New Orleans Blogger Portal, free of commercial and political prejudice. The problems of access, control and point of view are significant.

    I am mystified by your comment:

    “I have a couple of theories as to the identity of Da Po Blog – Mominem …”

    What are you smoking?

  • Maitri August 27, 2006, 11:40 PM

    Mominem, Da Po Blog and you came up with the same idea using almost similar terms and labels within hours of one another. A little suspicious. Don’t fret – I crossed your name off the list of suspects right before you commented. It couldn’t be you.

    Personally, I’m tired of portals and aggregators and forums and listservs and virtual streaming oh-SO-passe techno-tedium. As if it hasn’t been tried before. Email lists and non-searchable forums and listservs are the last thing to spend valuable time on. All I want to do is write, meet new people, get them to read my fellow bloggers’ and my stuff while I discover theirs and write some more.

  • mominem August 28, 2006, 12:09 AM

    I’d like to find an easier way of finding other peoples work and a more direct method of communication.

    That requires a more visible point access. If you or anyone else doesn’t want to participate that’s perfectly ok from my perspective. YOu decide hoe to expend your energy, pick the things you want to participate in and use those. It’s all about personal choice for me. I find these things valuable if they are match my interests.

    By The Way I am not suggesting that we change any of our personal and individual blogs. I am suggesting finding a way to cooperate to allow people to find our blogs from one place, as a point of departure, a sort of nexus.

    The idea of an internal list server is to facilitate community wide cooperation on shared projects. This is to some extent based on what looked to me like fragmented communication during the run up to the Rising Tide Conference.

  • Maitri August 28, 2006, 10:31 AM

    Look at what you said – “internal” and then “community wide.” Those two terms are mutually exclusive from participatory and search perspectives.  Remember, this isn’t a corporation, it’s a community.  You don’t want this to turn into UNOP, do you?  (“It’s a community-driven process, but you have to abide by the rules.”)

    Take it from someone who has been blogging, studying search engines and conducting knowledge work for a long time – internal listservs spell doom, e.g. the Wildoo forum. However, there has to be something that is organized, i.e. not willy-nilly like discussion on a wiki, but still searchable.

    Message boards are so 1990s, so let’s forget them.

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