This weekend, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School hosted Bloggercon, an event at which you could be chatting on IRC one moment, then look up and have a flashback from your MTV-enhanced childhood not three seconds later. I didn’t make it to the Day 2 panels, due to (1) illness and (2) a squirrel invasion, but what I witnessed on Day 1 made quite an impression.
Also, Doc Searls, Jeff Jarvis, Betsy Devine, and Jenny Levine have enough commentary on their sites to keep you reading for a while. Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, was the subject of a blog intervention after he left our dinner. Yes, the man does stop blogging to eat. I have proof.
Esther Dyson really amazed me with her comments during the panels. My general impression was that the women at the conference (less than 20% of the total — see Lisa Williams’ stats; for a funnier perspective, see Wendy Koslow) were more concerned with extending the technology of blogging and all it can do to a larger, non-“traditional” audience. (Can we use that word in this context yet?)
Jenny Levine, aka The Shifted Librarian, seemed frustrated during her panel. Clicking over to her site, you find a new page devoted to what she wanted to express during Bloggercon. Read it here. Her insight on the relative size and usage statistics for WorldCat and FirstSearch versus Amazon and the blogworld is spot-on. I can’t wait for the day those APIs open up!
Not to say that the other 80% were un-concerned about expanding blog-reach… just more likely to veer off onto meandering paths about topics insignificant to the overall context of the conference. (L’affaire Plame, for example). I wasn’t the only one thinking this: the Bloggercon IRC channel on Day 1 engaged in quite a bit of venting, at one point taking a vote on who should be the recipient of a Geraldo Rivera-style chair-throwing. On Day 2, the IRC channel was broadcast on a screen behind the panelists, with the disadvantage of significantly less snarky humor.
All in all, there was a lot to do / enjoy, and even more to digest / take action on over the next year. I’m curious already what the panels might look like for Bloggercon 2004. This year featured sessions on law, medicine, technology… what about music? art? Where were the creative types? The Dr. Franks, the 1000 Journal projects? (I’d argue 1000-J is a collaborative art blog). Whither Bloggercon?Powered by Sidelines