Bloggercon IV, day two

The opening session was Dave Winer at his best on the hidden languages of various institutional priesthoods and how technology is enabling us to understand, thus changing the nature of authority in the world. Dave’s primary focus was on technology companies and their language, but the discussion shifted to others when Bob Cox told of the language of bond traders, which is used to hide profit motives from customers. Dave said, “I don’t feel there are mysteries that we’re incapable of understanding.”

I’ve written about this subject before, and it’s the most important cultural issue at hand. The status quo LIVES on protected knowledge, and they will fight to the death efforts by “the bottom” to throw open the doors. As Dave noted, the Genie is out of the bottle everywhere, “and I think this — the technology world — ought to be the center of this.”

UPDATE: The session on how to make money was arguably the best of the whole conference. John Palfrey from Harvard’s Berkman Center led the discussion but — in true BloggerCon format — let the discussion run itself. Like the journalism session yesterday, there was so much good stuff here that I recommend listening to the mp3.

There were a couple of themes that I thought were important. One, there was plenty of discussion about making money at the local level, which is, of course, one of my mantras. Lisa Williams of noted the need for software that will allow the corner hardware store to easily create and post an ad.

Jay Rosen echoed my comments about mainstream media companies wanting a roadmap for revenue and called it “bizarre” when — after teaching media executives about what’s happening in the new media sphere — he is asked, “Where’s the revenue model?”

“You just told them that the world is changing, and their answer assumes that they think the world is stable, not changing.”
Chris Pirillo talked about the importance of not getting too focused on the blog, when the blog can be just a part of building an overall brand. Good advice.

I think that the more bloggers focus on “making money,” the less likely they are to find their true place in what’s taking place around us. That’s not to say that making money shouldn’t be a goal, but being open and flexible is much more important. If this thing is really bubbling up from the bottom, as I believe, then we must have enough faith in the bottom to go where it takes us.


  1. Isn’t media always changing and evolving? Isn’t part of making money in media being able to refine and invent business models as new media dynamics unfold right before your eyes? I don’t think anyone trying to make a living in media can afford to just sit back and wait for things to get more stable before they come up with plans for revenue generation…I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this.

  2. Well, I couldn’t agree with you more, but I think more than “revenue generation” plans, I’d like to see people just jumping in, because much is revealed just by doing that. I know that sounds odd, but as Jay Rosen noted at the session, the philosophical construct is pragmatism…that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences.

  3. W. Munny says

    Nice sidestep, that was a close one! You think she bought it?

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