Saturday, August 28, 2004

Notes from particpants:

Chapel Hill town councilwoman Sally Greene has extensive notes on what she calls "a wonderful and enlightening morning—at a beautiful museum to boot."

Cori Dauber liked the format: "Ed and Dave set this thing up in an absolutely beautiful way. Instead of panels, they each took a turn moderating a 'conversation' -- modelled on what happens in blogging -- and the sessions were fascinating because both of them were able to keep these conversations through a combination of calling on folks with something to contribute at a particular moment, and using their (amazing) knowledge of the interests and backgrounds of everyone there to draw specific people in at specific moments."

She also dug the local angle and the multitude of uses people find for the medium.

Mark Binker, a newspaper reporter who recently started a blog, saw himself as others see him: "There is a continuum from those who like and trust traditional media to those who have little use for us.

In the context of the blogsphere, I break this continuum into six rough slices..."

6:43:42 PM    comment []

Well, that was pretty damn great.

Almost 60 people showed up. The venue worked. And the knowledge in the room bubbled up in a most bloglike, entertaining, and useful way.

We went with the no-panel/no-audience format. There was enough talent on hand to stock strong, expert sessions on politics and media, and we heard at some length from all the folks we had considered as panelists -- Gross and Sinreich and Muller and Dauber and Thigpen, to name a few.

But we also heard from virtually every person in the room. We trusted the blog wisdom that the expertise is distributed, and it paid off.

There were strong contributions from Sally Greene and N&R editorial page editor Allen Johnson and reporter Mark Binker, from Brad Krantz and Jerry Bledsoe, from Todd Morman and John Hood and Don Vaughan and Roch Smith and JW and Elizabeth who just showed up and...oh, crap, just read the blogroll, if they were there they said something smart, except I think for Anton Zuiker, who said nothing but helped encourage the whole shebang in the first place, and maybe one other person.

It was important to have a regional conference to bring home the relevance and possibilities of local blogging to local communities.

The first session on politics was a teach-in, useful, informative, sober.

The second session on journalism was rowdier, lots of back and forth, entertaining  as hell. And because we were running a little late, we just skipped the second break and rolled right into local culture and community, which was in some ways my favorite part of the day.

It was cool to see each speaker's blog appear on the huge screen at the front of the room...and I was glad there was no wi-fi, I'm positive that contributed to the high attention and participation levels.

A quick Thai lunch on Tate St. afterward with Anonymoses, Camilo Ramirez, Jay Ovittore (a star of the show, I thought), Billy Jones, and the man without whom this would not have been possible, the indefatigable David Hoggard.

Thank you thank you thank you, to all who showed up and added your voices. You were heard.

4:07:17 PM    comment []

And away we go...

7:43:51 AM    comment []