Sunday, August 27, 2006

How About a Rising Tide NOLA Blog?

EDIT: Loki informs there is one. And there you have it. Now you don't have to read this post.

The Rising Tide Conference was excellent. The blogging community and the blog-reading community coming together was a great idea. I learned just as much from the people sitting at my table as the people sitting on the panels.

One topic that came up during the media panel was a how to promote local blogs in the face of carpetblogging. Carpetblogging should be defined as more than just “outsiders” blogging about a community. When we step out of our areas of expertise to comment on something that we feel is important, we all become outsiders to some degree. For example, I write about levees but I am no engineer. That doesn’t mean that my opinion should be instantly written off.

I think of carpetblogging as blogging from an outside perspective that shuts out local voices or hijacks the vehicles for local voices to be heard.

If outsiders enter a community and do not claim to replace the local voices – essentially working on a parallel path as the local voices – this should be encouraged. Bullets aimed in the same direction hit the same target.

That doesn’t mean we all have to agree. That’s not what I am saying. The local voices need to be challenged just as any viewpoint must be challenged. The target we are all aiming for is the truth. I am not necessarily any closer to the truth just because I live here. I am only as close to the truth as my arguments are supported by reality.

When outsiders with larger readership enter a community, it is possible for them to hijack the discussion not because it is their intention, but because their readership is greater. If this happened, it would be without malice, but it would be carpetblogging nonetheless. It is possible for someone not “from here” to enter the community without smothering the local voices and moving down that parallel path, scout_prime being the obvious example of this.

So, as the organizers of the Rising Tide Conference came together, why not come together in a Rising Tide NOLA Blog?

Of course, it all depends on your goals. A group blog would swallow up the individual blogger’s voice. He or she would be seen within the framework of the greater blog and would have to work inside that framework. The blogger’s credibility would be tied to the group blog’s credibility, and each individual would have to cooperate to protect and foster the blog’s credibility.

But, if your goal is more readership, especially from outside the community, a group blog would probably accomplish that. A locally formed group blog would also safeguard the local voices and create a brand to market those local voices.

However, if your goal is more local readership and more local participation, the way it is now is probably preferable to the One True Group Blog. Adding up the readers of all the individual blogs could be seen as community readership. And, as ThinkNOLA is proving, greater participation on the individual level empowers a community.

I am certainly no expert in blogging. In that sense, I am an outsider in this conversation. But I know I would check in everyday if there were a Rising Tide NOLA Blog.

Especially if it linked to me. (Ha ha.)


Loki said...

Already ahead of you:

It must surely have amused you to hear the comments about the anonymous blogger "Da Po' Blog," and chris Cooper's unintentional changeup to "Po' Boy."

Lucid and incisive as always...

Ray in New Orleans said...

You were there? Say hi next time, ya reclusive bastard.

da po' boy said...

Sorry. I mostly lurked and made pleasant conversation without drawing attention to myself.

GentillyGirl said...

Unmask thyself young one!

Adrastos said...

Now we're even more curious as to who you are. I wouldn't tell. Did we speak? Just curious. I was so busy that the day was a blurrrrr...

Ray in New Orleans said...


You sneaky little minx. I had no idea you were po'.

Lisa said...

Oh, Ray, if only it were so easy. But I don't think Peggy's that clever.

I'll may never get any sleep trying to figure this one out. Well, I do hope I got to meet you, Po Man.

(Did I???)

Zihuatanejo said...

here is what I have been talking about. I am sure you will find it interesting, IF you have not already seen it.

Review Roundtable: is New Orleans a Resilient City?; The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster; Discussion

"The panel did not agree on whether New Orleans is a resilient city. They predicted the new city would resemble more than differ from the old New Orleans, and would probably have more Latino residents than formerly. Their conclusions were based on many of the unique characteristics of New Orleans including:
* its politics; (Burby refers to Banfield and Wilson's 1963 distinction between a "public regarding ethos" that strives for good government, efficient administration, and nonpartisanship for the good of the whole community, and a "private regarding ethos" that stresses personal gains obtained through individual favors and advantageous policy [City Politics, Harvard University Press].)
* its insular culture and impenetrable elite;
* multigenerational social ties;
* the city's slow growth and lack of immigrant populations;
* an economy based on tourism that provides mostly low-wage jobs;
* the fragility of its ecology; and
* the city's iconic status.
The panel felt that New Orleans may not have been the worst place Katrina could have hit. Despite its ecological sensitivity, the city's strong social ties, insular culture, and iconic nature may allow it to recover. But these same traits may hinder opportunities for real reform.
To enable both reform and recovery to be successful, the panel observed that rebuilding the city's human and social dimensions must precede physical rebuilding, though it is difficult to separate the two.They favored empowering all residents through the political process,teaching lower-income residents skills that would be useful both during and after reconstruction, and taking steps to prevent a future disaster."

Review Roundtable: is New Orleans a Resilient City?; The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster; Discussion

I guess the answer is unwritten, It is up to folks like you; but, I too believe we have to restore democracy first.

bayoustjohndavid said...

Lisa's right Ray. I've been curious about DPB for a while now. So much so that I noticed that he said he was _yrs. old when Juan hit. That would make him about _ now, plus he's mentioned da'po wife--making him either a man or an openly gay woman. False leads, maybe--but I don't think Peggy's that clever.

My theory--Chris Cooper looks to be closer to 40 than _. But he would know enough to give false clues. Notice that he knew DPB was male when Mark said he or she.

Or were you that guy from B.R. who lived in California?

Sophmom said...

I think the anonymity is just fine, in fact, perfect, and I don't want to know who da po boy is, because it's much more fun to try to guess.

dillyberto said...

It just means there will have to be another such conference.

I had construction work in my kitchen that needed to be completed Saturday.

I was working Friday night until 11pm.

Does da po'boy make it to Saints games?

Riding a bike?

Sophmom said...

I was thinking about this and I guess it comes down to whether or not da po boy really needs the anonymity and we have to assume that he does. Which is more important to us, reading what he has to say or finding out who he is? I don't want to risk losing one to get the other. JMHO.

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