BlogOz Blogknot – Openings

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For our blogoz opening session Peter Black had invited onto the panel Senator Andrew Bartlett, John Quiggin and Duncan Riley, all eminent bloggers. It is sad to relate I was previously only aware of Duncan as a blogging evangelist and a major contributor to the group Blog Herald site.

Inevitably much of the discussion from panelists and audiences involved political blogs and their effectiveness for reflecting and influencing political opinion in our country and the world. Rather than report in great detail I summarise some of what I believe are salient points raised either by one of the panelists or from the audience:

  1. comments about blog posts are exceedingly important to encourage interactive discourse, but controlling spam is a big problem (solutions to the spam problem exist but are not perfect)
  2. group blogs with 10 to 15 contributors are the way of the future (see contrary view below)
  3. political blogs are only a niche interest and won’t take over the world, but the democratic nature of blogs to brings diversity and are able to cut out normal media filters so allowing free expression
  4. single-user blogs still matter; blogs have become international to support the our 24-hour news cycle, for example Burma bloggers are the leading news source just at this time
  5. traditional media views bloggers as a threat but this is gradually changing
  6. how can we reach the tipping point for Australian bloggers (currently numbering about 700K)?
  7. counting Facebook, twitter et al, means there are 3-4 million Australian bloggers, but need a few smash hits for Australian blogs on the international scene; to achieve this all local bloggers need to work together
  8. it is hoped this conference leads to a cohesive Australian blogging community
  9. blogging is useful in academic research to tap new information sources and to distribute research results to a wider audience
  10. Australian bloggers have a unique voice tending to address global issues rather than the local topics of bloggers in the US
  11. blogs will be very effective at the local government level

Apart from one pair of contrary views on single v group blogs (2 and 4) I sensed the audience concurred with the sentiments above. Personally I resonated with points 6, 7, 8 and 9.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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