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Global Voices Online
Alex Steffen, 11 Dec 04

At the Global Voices Online meeting at Harvard.

For someone like me -- someone who believes fervently in independent online publishing's potential to create a new global dialogue about the planet's problems and the solutions we might bring to bear on them -- this is the intellectual equivalent of hot-tubbing with supermodels.

Joi Ito? Dave Weinberger? Hoder? The OSI posse? All in the house. And Malaysian blogs? We got 'em: check out Petaling Street.

The conversation is no less sterling. Much discussion about "bridge blogs," about whether English is the inevitable language of trans-cultural blogging, about the role blogs are playing in Iraq, even some kind words said about Worldchanging itself.

I'm updating this post through the day in the extended entry below

[Cool idea: Hoder wants to blog old diaries from pre-revolutionary Iran, as a way of providing historical context for younger Iranians who may have little sense of their country's past.]

[Kenyan group blog: Virtual Insanity, from the charming and talented Ory.]

[John Palfrey blogged the goings-on yesterday]

[Isaac Mao: in 2002, there were only a handful of bloggers in China; now, there are over 600,000. But only 2% of the content is about politics or other "serious" topics, and censorship remains a serious issue. The flow of information between the Chinese blogosphere and the English blogosphere, though, is mostly one-way.]

[Isaac is describing how bloggers in China use indirect references and links to other arguments and fractured memes to discuss topics which are over what he calls the "red line" -- it's sort of a form of distributed truth-telling, you might say.]

[of course, there's a wiki.]

[Sitting here, feeling very humbled by the enormity of the opportunities here, and the wonderful complexities of growing new tools, or at least culturally unique iterations of tools, for building these conversations on a planetary basis. We're really just at the beginning of this.]

[Coinkydink! I'd just thought, "Wow, I have an awful lot to learn," when I looked down to see that I'm sitting at desk 101. Let the learning begin!]

[Hoder: "Blogs are not our goals, blogs are our tools."]

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