January 21, 2005

When we write it, we can link

Disclaimer: I dont' have time to disclaim. Or edit. On a good day I might get time to spell check. That day's not today. Blogging is not my job. It's just something I do. And carpool starts in 15 minutes.

I hopped off to David's site today hoping to read something usually witty and realized the much anticipated BloJoCred conference is underway. Finally. Now it can be over and people can go back to writing.

I read a little bit of David's coverage. I thought, there everybody is again. Third paragraph: Winer speaks. What else is new. Then I got to Jay saying this at the conference:

Jay: Every reader is a writer. Every reader is connected horizontally to all the other readers. In Web publishing, the editing occurs after publication.

And I bristled. Because that was mine -- my words -- and though a New York Times reporter echoed this thought to Jay on the phone the same day I did, Jay agreed and we did what we do in blogging -- jammed on in the comments using one another's thinking to build the collective braintrust.

I know Jay is smart enough to have thought of all of that on his own, and I respect Jay. My beef isn't that anyone used or didn't use an idea I once had. It's seeing ones idea fly out of a community and into a closed-loop environment -- especially an environment that is exclusive rather than inclusive.

To me, the point is that in blogging, I would have been quite literally "linked" into the conversation. Here, it's Big David at Big Conference typing that Big Jay (all of whom I respect, aside from Big Conference) said X.

How is that different from the business-as-usual these folks proclaim they are helping to turn on its head? They are so right-side-up their feet should be hurting.

I am grateful to Tom Matrullo for noting this when it first happened back in April. Even then I was excluded as a 'thinker,' but the difference is, on the open frontier of the net, connections to ideas are not erasable.

All the above are sensible folks with sharp ideas, and blogging is supposed to be an open realm. The credibility of that depends on our being able to avoid selective deafness. A good idea should be recognized for what it is, not for who offers it. For that we already have academia, the mainstream press, and other white networks. The idea that blogs serve an editorial function has legs. In this case, they happen to look like Jeneane's.

Tom wrote that last April. Seems time stands still in the land of conferences.