Betsy Devine notes on educational panel
Dave Weinberger, JOHO: Is it the opinion of the panel that weblogging is a life skill, and everyone should learn it? Or is it like singing, that not everybody should do it in public? […]
Kevin Marks, Epeus Epigone: Blogging is not selective by race, it’s selective by electricity. Also, you can’t really blog if you haven’t mastered the basic skills of reading and writing.
…and on Cluetran 2003 panel
Adam Curry: When you talk about what people are doing with the web now, think about the way the telephone was used when it was new–to call ahead and tell you that a telegram is on the way. […]
Ted Henderson: People have compared weblogs to the telephone. I don’t know many people, except maybe teenagers, who pick up the telephone and dial random numbers to get their message out. […]
Kevin Marks: The net is too big for us to see all of it. It’s like Caliban’s mirror, because you see what you’re loooking for. If you look for dark things you’ll see dark things.
Blogging is just a technology. It doesn’t make us better people, doesn’t by itself improve our lots or say much about ourselves.
I raised my hand to ask a question, and by the time I finally got to speak, began with a statement that garnered applause and I’ve now seen quoted on several other blogs: ‘We’re a roomful of people used to writing monologues trying to have a dialogue.‘ As somebody else pointed out, the key question is often who can speak when; with weblogs, it can happen in parallel.
I have never been to a conference where there was such easy intercourse between panel and audience: everyone was truly a participant, in the best sense of the word.
Part of the explanation was the generally high standard of topics and panels. But I think there is something more fundamental. Since everyone (or just about everyone — I found one exception) at the conference was a blogger themselves, everyone is comfortable with voicing their views, and is generally pretty cogent in the way they do it. It makes for a very potent mix.