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February 06, 2004

Berkman Thursday Notes

My notes from the Berkman Thursday blogging meeting

At the very least, someone should get a mic stand for the webcast microphone.

As usual, the discussion was a bit free-form. Here's my view of the flow.

Joe Costello, Dean For America speechwriter, quietly in attendance.

Julian, "just a [Harvard] student", attending for the first time. He's interested in blogs. This prompts some comments by Dave about the mission of this gathering. He says it used to be more nuts and bolts about making blogs, and may be returning to that soon.

Aslam posted some thoughts to the Yahoo! list that has prompted the project of brainstorming about what features should be in an aggregator.

[I think it was said, that Aslam was here at a meeting a few months ago, and now he's in China, but still participating, via email, webcast, and the IRC Channel.]

Rick Heller will set up a part of his wiki to collect ideas.

Rick also briefly showed his online project: He's posted his unpublished (until now!) novel and invited people to go in and make changes. To see what comes of it. At some point he will 'freeze' the changes and do something else with the result.

Dave suggested that we do the aggregator feature design as a part of Rick's open source novel. To paraphrase Dave, 'no really, I'm serious about this, I think that software design is best when it's not so serious.'

Betsy Devine commented that people don't seem to use the mailing list well. When they first sign up they don't go back to read any of the past discussion. As a result they repeat old questions. Dave and others, agreed that this is very common on mail lists, and likely it can't be fixed, easily anyway.

Albert (from BMac!) observed that it would be nice if the key, past ideas of a mail list, could "bubble up" to the top somehow.

Dave pointed to the New York Times article on librarians as search "engines" [quotes are mine, not dave's]

Dave called attention to the pic and link of Zoe on his blog. He says he first posted about her a year ago, and now looks forward to watching her grow annually.

[I didn't mention this at the meeting, but there's a great site by a family that has been taking annual pics for years. Check it out.]

Jim Moore, DFA internet guru, arrived and we got into another intrigueing discussion of the ramifications of the Dean For America internet "strategy". In particular tonight we talked about what is to happen to the website/blog after the DFA campaign ends (win or lose). Some felt that it could/should be the foundation for a "movement" to continue using the internet to influence U.S. politics.

Michal "Dowbrigade" Feldman finally got a chance to show us the process he goes through in finding, composing and posting the entries in his blog. Using a combination of Safari, Dreamweaver, Google Image Search, Photoshop, and Manilla, he combs a collection of websites for content and pics, which he combines with his own comments. [This is surprisingly like the process I use. Different tools, but a very similar set of steps.]

Good conversation at dinner tonight about how blogs are just the embryonic stage of the "citizen journalist" revolution. The whole thing will really become influential when we get our blog reporting, not onto people's computer browsers and aggregators, but into their TiVos. That's when we'll be able to elect a president.

There was lots more, but that's what I scribbled down on my pad.

Posted by jghiii at February 6, 2004 03:25 PM
Posted by: Sherman on February 6, 2004 06:31 PM

Everytime I see you quoting this Berkman, I always think I'm about to be referenced.

Wouldn't you think the same if I started quoting a Melroseman?

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