Sunday, August 01, 2004

A friend emails, "What exactly is blogging?" If this person is asking, then a lot of people still don' t know. I referred her to an essay I wrote more than two years ago for Dave Winer's DaveNet site.

Some call-out quotes: "Blogging is on the verge of becoming a mainstream fad, and that fad will be exploited and commercialized. But blogging will not fade away when its faddishness passes."

"Blogs are not going to replace magazines, newspapers, or online publications...part of blogging’s true power, the democratization of the distribution of information...bloggers will lead, drive, and shape the news coverage of the major media, too."

"Bloggers who link extensively to each other and to other sites also create useful filters for the overwhelming volume of Web content, creating what are essentially portal pages, virtual industry journals, and eclectic general-interest magazines."

5:00:47 PM    comment []

Last summer I wrote about "the weight of Nelson Johnson," saying that the group producing a report on the 1979 Klan killings needed to establish an identity independent of the man who had the vision to create it. 

Fortunately, I wrote, "(T)he process is designed to move further and further from the influence of one man, and of the original group he started."

A year later, with the panel in place, Johnson has not faded from the picture. He's still hosting meetings for the local steering group. He's signing fundraising letters. And he's planning events to mark the 25th anniversary of the killings in November.

To some degree, Johnson has had to stay involved, because support from the powers-that-be in this City has not been materialized, and he needs to keep the thing alive. That may be the strategy of some who hope for the whole chapter to be forgotten. But Johnson and the group need to figure out a way to avoid this trap.

I praised Johnson last year as a changed man, and I honor his journey. But his weight is still attached to the project, and I fear he may weigh it down.

11:02:37 AM    comment []

Peacemaker: "(I)t appears that those who promised the black community 'minority participation' in order to get its endorsement to build the baseball stadium, have followed through on their promises."

10:44:36 AM    comment []

Lifestyles of the rich and infamous: "Kenneth Kornfeld...had the mysterious air of Jay Gatsby and demanded the privacy of Greta Garbo," writes the N&R's Jim Schlosser.

The article is full of real estate porn and revelation via litigation, with some bare-bones bio of Kornfeld, but nobody who really knew the man well would speak about him.

I met him just a few times, once at a benefit where we chatted for a while -- he seemed like a serious guy who had been dragged to a benefit by his wife, not a relaxed master of cocktail chatter but not any weirder than, say, me -- and I attended one of those lavish parties on the lawn that Schlosser describes.

Ronda I knew a little better. She is smart and funny and open, and what has happened to her and the family she and Kenny raised is a very sad thing.

Previous coverage linked here.

10:41:07 AM    comment []