The blogosphere belongs to the blogosphere

The title of this post is a key to understanding the blogosphere’s significance in the new media world. While mainstream media attempts to create their own “blogosphere” or somehow harness its energy through so-called “user-generated” content plays, the hard truth is that it cannot be owned from without.

This was clearly evidenced yesterday in Nashville, when the young woman who writes Nashville is Talking for WKRN-TV called in sick.

A little background: WKRN employed Brittney Gilbert, a local blogger, 18 months ago to write NiT. This gave the project street creds with the blogosphere, because they already knew her, and she wasn’t being restricted in what she could write. The station also pays a local blogger $100 and gives them a login/password to access the Movable Type software and “fill-in” for Brittney on weekends. That way, the site is always fresh. It is, after all, THE aggregator of the Nashville area blogosphere.

Fast forward to yesterday. Brittney called in sick, so Adam Kleinheider — another WKRN blogger who writes the Volunteer Voters aggregator — dropped this note:

Your beloved BrittneyG is feeling a bit peeked this morning. If there are any guest bloggers out there still possessing a valid login, go ahead and run wild today with some NiT appropriate postings.

What happened next could only happen in the blogosphere. Eight different people with logins jumped to Brittney’s rescue and filled the site with posts. From home, Brittney also chimed in, and the NiT continued its wonderful record of monitoring what the blogosphere is talking about.

Brittney is sick again today, but she wrote this morning to tell me about yesterday and that she’s not worried about the site today.

Adam emailed to ask if he should ask some of the guest bloggers who still had active passwords if they’d like to post a few things. I said yes. Before I could make a post of my own listing those who could post to NIT, Katherine Coble had already made 3 posts. It was wonderful to see after I’d woken up from a nap, complete with labored breathing, that the site had been updated regularly all day. Even into the evening!

The guest blogger for this weekend was more than happy to sub for me today, as well. Everyone just jumped in and helped out. It was a wonderful mix of posts from different voices, and it didn’t throw off the rhythm of the site at all. The traffic only took a very slight dip, which is wonderful.

The local bloggers jumped in, because they feel a sense of ownership in the site. Let this be a lesson to media companies wishing a plate at the table of Media 2.0. The personal media revolution lives and breathes on its own. Your BEST position is one of supporting the life form, not trying to harness or control it. If you can keep your distance, it will reward you in ways you cannot imagine.


  1. Hear-hear! That guest blogger, man… he’s so cool (as long as there are no tornadoes). 😉

    But seriously… I really dig the NiT site — I’ve lived in Nashville for twelve years now, and I have always felt somewhat isolated or disconnected from all but the micro-community (a few neighbors, friends, cow-orkers). NiT has given me hope that people of all different stripes can actually hold a community together, despite tensions and frustrations (as found in any community) between some members of the group, at-large.

    I think WKRN and Brittney Gilbert deserve to be nominated for a community service award. I think I’ll draft a letter to the Mayor’s and Governor’s offices right now, in fact.

    Drop by and say “howdy” to “the guest blogger,” if you feel froggy.

  2. WAIT? How is Brittney? I demand updates on the hour! TEXT ME!!!!!


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