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Sep 06, 2006

Comments

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Chip

Landing a national political figure like a potential first lady is never a bad thing. But why should a conservative blogger go to Converge South? Is this a conference of personalities? Or how well funded politician's wives build great websites?

I think of bloggers as independent and accessible writers. I love reading national bloggers and even celebrity/political bloggers, but only a few of them know anything about building and promoting blogsites.

Michelle Malkin spends alot of time highlighting, linking and acknowleging individual bloggers. My guess is the same is true of Wonkette and others. Those are the bloggers that would draw me to Converge South.

greendog

Not interested? Don't come.

Do you ask for people's Conservative I.D. card before you strike up a conversation with them in a bar?

Chip

Not going. Your response is exactly why.

Ed Cone

It's not a political conference, and hers is not a political session. She has relevant experience and expertise, and is a big-name North Carolinian to boot. The conference has two tracks, journalism and personal blogging, and community is essential to both.

Roch101

Great! When I think of experts on "building web communities" Elizabeth Edwards is at the top of my list. What is the URL of her blog again?

Roch101

Never mind. I found it -- with all four posts in the past nine months, the last in June.

Ed Cone

I think her experience (and frustrations) with the JE and JK campaign sites, and the building of the very sophisticated OAC site, and her experiences around the book, are more relevant for our purposes than her personal blog.

Roch101

I'd be very interested in learning more about the building of that sweet site. Maybe a session with someone from Plus Three?

Elizabeth R.

Congratulations. I've been impressed with her participation through commenting on various local blogs. It is my understanding that she listens.

I will be out of town that weekend. I just poked around on the Converge South site and couldn't find out right away, will their be a podcast created of the sessions?

Ed Cone

ER, I don't know about the audio component, but I hope the relevant people are working on that.

Roch, a breakout with the architects would be interesting, but EE's session is more tuned to why elements like diaries, podcasts, video, etc are in place, and how they are working.

Dr. Mary Johnson

Ed, Chip's point is well taken (and thank you, greendog, I'll PASS too). As both a physician and one of his former constituents left out in the cold (as Edwards rabidly chased the higher office he originally led NC voters to believe he would not seek), I have my own (very strong, very negative) opinions about John Edwards. But I know full well THIS blog is not the place to express it.

So I have to fight the urge to chime in every time you throw him (or his wife) a soft pitch.

I've been to the "One America" site. For all the blather about "community", it's essentially an early version of "John Edwards for President in 2008" . . . even to the most naive eye, it IS a POLITICAL campaign site. For all of Elizabeth's "frustrations" with the Kerry/Edwards 2004 websites, it seems the Edwardses learned something about manipulating public opinion and are putting it to good use.

I'm a "walk the talk" kind of girl and didn't really care about the campaign websites. I was frustrated with Elizabeth's husband . . . my Senator . . . the one who could not be found anywhere, who did not answer correspondence, and who did not take a position that might lose a vote.

As a matter of observation, you have dismissed other blogless commenters (including me before I had one) because they did not have a personal blog. Elizabeth Edwards can comment on other blogs without developing her own and be worshiped for her insight, but the rest of us notsomuch.

Roch's point is therefore well-taken: Four posts in nine months?

Ruby Sinreich

Damn you, Ed. You're stacking up the people I'd like to see and/or talk to and I can't go this year! :-(

Podcasts are nice, but they don't let me talk back. ;-)

Chip

I looked over her site- the Doctor is absolutely right. As for community, I don't feel welcome.

Fec Stench

OK, let's put an end to this right now. I failed to attend last year for similar reasons. Anyone who fails to attend for political reasons is making a mistake.

Remove your hearts from your sleeves, register and attend.

David Wharton

Sam and I attended last year, and we both had a very fine time. I really enjoyed getting to know the other bloggers, and it didn't much matter to me that their politics tended to be to my left.

Don't know if I'll go this year, but if I don't, it won't be because of politics.

Sue

In addition, Sam was a valuable help in our "how to blog" session for A&T faculty and no one asked Sam (including me) what his politics were. He was there, he was talented, and he helped out a lot and I tossed him the very last of our available t-shirts (which was really mine). ConvergeSouth HAS NO POLITCS (caps, sorry, but needed).

Elizabeth Edwards is the brains behind Senator Edwards' online community. She's visioned that site's interactive features and is a big part of the reason for its succes. She's not coming to speak about being a Democrat; she's talking about building communities online.

If you are of another political persuasion, isn't just possible that you'll learn something -- how to build an online community -- that you can take back to your own ideaic community? You don't have to be the same religion to learn how to talk to congregations from someone with that successful experience.

The inability some people are expressing to accept the potential learn something just because you don't agree with a person's politics just boggle me. There is no ConvergeSouth litmus test.

Like others have said, "scoring" Elizabeth Edwards is a big deal for ConvergeSouth and one that we can make available for free to people who live in or will travel to Greensboro. I kind of expected some pushback from political conservatives, but why, as my Mom used ask, would you cut off your nose to spite your face?

Join the blogging community for this one-day, FREE event that hopes to generate creativity online for everyone.

(We'll get the site updated later today; I have no info yet on podcasts but will try to generate some; look at who's attending and note that they're all sorts of good folk worth interacting with; grab the RSS feed for the news, and you'll see when each of these things goes online.)

Chip

Okay Fec- thanks for the challenge. "tell 'em I'm coming!...And Hell's coming with me!"

jw

"tell 'em I'm coming!...And Hell's coming with me!"

I'm not being snide. I'm not being trite. I don't recognize the quote. Could you cite it?

I do, however, recognize the sentiment.

Well, we're off to a great start now, aren't we?

Chip

"Tombstone"- Wyatt Earp said it. One of the greatest movies for macho one liners ever... Of course Doc Holliday has more..."Playing for blood, that's just my game." "Look dahlin, evidently Mr. Ringo's an educated man. Now I'm sure I hate him."
"You're Daisy if you do." "Why Ed... what an ugly thing to say... I abhor ugliness." "Does this mean we are'nt friends? You know - if you weren't my friend- I don't think I could bear it." Much more...

Dr. Mary Johnson

Fec, those who want to build a real blogging "community" perhaps should not be so quick to knife the ventricles of those of us who have worn our hearts (and causes) on our sleeves . . . on this and other blogs (particularly the ones sponsored by a certain "local" newspaper that advocates "citizen journalism").

Practically speaking, I'm not going because I'm going to have surgery later this week and expect to be down for a while. And when I get up, I hope to be finally meeting with the IRS - about that little white-collar criminal matter I've been blogging about for over two years (with NO help . . . in fact, pretty much a lot of discouragement . . . from the journalism and blogging "royalty" in our community).

By the by, early on in his never-ending Presidential campaign, Elizabeth Edwards' husband once advocated a program very much like the National Health Service Corps (public service in teaching and medicine in return for student loan repayment). Now, I am the poster-girl for how wrong a program like that can go if it does not have proper oversight. Did Senator Edwards want to hear about that (or help me) while he was in office? No. Has he been interested since leaving office/loosing the election (as he seeks methods to stamp out poverty and encourage/improve public service)? No.

That is NOT about politics (again, for the record, I am a registered Independent). If the Edwardses are not going to back up all the rhetoric on their "sweet" (well-funded) website with action, then no thanks. I have LOTS of reasons to go to this event and give anyone who represents John Edwards hell. But my nose was cut off long ago, and hell is staying home.

Have fun. Feel free to say hello to Elizabeth.

Joe Killian

And the award for "longest continual drum banging" goes to...Dr. Mary!

greendog

most melodramatic delivery of simpering ineffectual words... ditto.

Samuel Spagnola

Biggest chicken s__t who hides behind an anonymous name while flinging poo like a monkey is ... Greendog.

chip atkinson

Amen Spagmeister!

meblogin

So do you believe that E. Edwards will be non-political with her presentations and that she will stay on the bloggin topic?

If hell is coming...maybe Chip could bring the ice.

Connie Mack Jr

Practically speaking, I'm not going because I'm going to have surgery later this week and expect to be down for a while. And when I get up, I hope to be finally meeting with the IRS -* Dr Mary

And the award for "longest continual drum banging" goes to...Dr. Mary!*Joe Killian

most melodramatic delivery of simpering ineffectual words... ditto.*greendog

Back to wacking Dr Mary while she is down uh Boys? I hope your lastest tax returns are in order if Dr Mary spills the beans on you. After all the IRS couldn't care less where the charge comes from.

Billy The Blogging Poet

I find it interesting that ALL who are critical of our local blogging community have NEVER taken part in it. It's called Blogsboro and you can join at Blogsboro MeetUp. I approve all members and I have never rejected not one single person due to the politics they expouse. Come, act like real people and you'll always be welcome. Come with an agenda and the conservative and liberal members will run you off.

It's about community, not politics, and if your heads are too thick to understand then just stay away. Otherwise, you're welcome anytime.

Next meeting-- 2 weeks from tonight.

Dr. Mary Johnson

Real person here, Billy. It's always been "real" with me.

I merely stated a fact. I have other issues to deal with right now. At the risk of being beaten to death with liberal (we care about injustice just not when it happens to local doctors) drumsticks, the surgery is a revision of a procedure botched at Randolph Hospital . . . the so-far untouchable "rural" healthcare facility that screwed me over in that little federal program I referenced. Of course it all happened during the Clinton administration, and I know that's embarrassing for those who think that lying and cluelessness is a uniquely Republican activity.

It's just another $12,000 or so in healthcare dollars for Blue Cross and I to pick up (anytime former Senator Edwards wants to talk about REAL malpractice and what can be done about it, I'm so there).

I would like to thank all of the grown-ups here who once again proved my point about the so-called blogging "community". And you wonder WHY some folks don't want to come to your party?

You'll probably need that ice, Chip.

Ed Cone

Meb, yes, I expect the conversation to be apolitical, on balance, because the subject of building community online is not limited to a particular ideology. It's up to the particpants to make it so. EE is the spark, and she will unapologetically be herself; we are the explosion. That's the way an unconference works.

The inability of people to look beyond their own biases would be pitiful if it was not so boringly routine.

Mr. Sun

I want to go and sit in the same room as a woman who faced the ultimate tragedy as a mother, and then again as an individual -- and refused to let it destroy the spirit and intellect for which she is widely known. Left or right, agree or disagree -- I want to recognize the wonder of that and hope it rubs off on me.

meblogin

For sure one of the best responses/observations that I have read since beginning blogging---

I want to go and sit in the same room as a woman who faced the ultimate tragedy as a mother, and then again as an individual -- and refused to let it destroy the spirit and intellect for which she is widely known. Left or right, agree or disagree -- I want to recognize the wonder of that and hope it rubs off on me.

Thanks Mr. Sun!! ...very powerful words

Dr. Mary Johnson

Yes, it's a nice sentiment, Mr. Sun.

But the public-service doctor who PREVENTED that same tragedy from being inflicted upon another mother eight years ago . . . albeit an "ordinary" (probably Republican) mother who did not have a rich/powerful husband (and who has since, like EE, faced down her own medical crisis) . . . a doctor who has seen and experienced the dark sides of medicine and law (and got NO HELP from the husband of the spirited, intellectual woman of which you speak - despite all of his pretty words about community and public service) . . . gets a boot-in-the-tail from local journalists and blogger royalty.

I do indeed recognize the wonder.

Ed, some "biases" have their basis in fact. I do wish that someday you'd get beyond your own "boring routine" and recognize that. You might entice more people to enter the room and bask in the glow if you did.

meblogin

Dear Doc,

It has taken alot but today....I simply feel sorry for you.

Perhaps your answer can be found in prayer.

Others are welcome to comment/criticize me...sigh...your last post read like it was written by a spoiled brat with zero respect or care for anyone.

In my opinion you lack the experience to understand that there are people reading everyday that "could" offer to help you but your methods remove that option from most.

I pray that you find your answer before your hate fully consumes you.

Dr. Mary Johnson

And you accuse ME of being condescending?

Elizabeth Edwards is little different from the Mother whose baby I intervened to help eight years ago. That Mother is also spirited and gracious and very articulate/smart, and has recently fought (and hopefully beaten) breast cancer. She's spoken publicly of both incidents in church (and expressed great gratitude to me/my Mother). But she doesn't have a powerful husband or a webcast or any other mechanism to get the word out in a fashion that would help me get my life back on track . . . a life that was derailed for doing the right thing . . . something for which NONE of the "evildoers" has been held accountable.

On the other hand, for a while John Edwards had that power. And I begged for his help (as her blathered on about public service and community good works). But he sqaundered much during his time in office . . . including my respect and trust. You have the gall to call me a "spoiled brat" after that act?

As I told you on my blog this morning (the Ron Virmani post), in MY community of Asheboro (just thirty miles south of Greensboro), doing the right thing doesn't matter. I'm not supposed to be angry about that? It's not about "hate". It's about disgust.

My spirit has been trampled quite a bit. And I have PRAYED every day for eight years for the strength to fight the battle I've fought . . . and for some good to ultimately come from it. I entered blogosphere at JR's "invitation" over a year ago to tell my story. He dangled newspaper coverage of the story like a carrot, and then pulled back the stick. He's even acknowleded that journalistic coverage of my story could turn the tide. The N&R just isn't going to do it. So much for citizen journalism.

But hey, Ed gets all the column space he wants.

As for the local blogging "community", I have pleaded for help . . . over and over again. But when I show up and bare my soul, I get my guts ripped out and splattered all over the ether. This time was no exception.

Have your blogger party. In terms of building a community, maybe it would be a good idea for some of you to sit down and talk about how you treat some of the rest of us.

The "answer" I pray for is justice. And prayer is appreciated.

Samuel Spagnola

"I expect the conversation to be apolitical, on balance, because the subject of building community online is not limited to a particular ideology."

If the conversation is not apolitical, will you 1)blog about it 2) condemn it 3) recommend that Mrs. Edwards be disinvited from future events that are supposed to be apolitical?

Ed Cone

I will blog about the substance and tone of the session.

Let's be clear on what "apolitical" means: It means she isn't there to stump for her husband, or advance a political agenda.

It does not mean she is disconnected from her work, and banned from making (horrors) a joke or pointed reference on a political topic. She's a sharp, funny, opinionated person, I would be highly disappointed if she checked her wit and insight at the door.

The point of having her here is to learn about what has worked, and not worked, in the communities she has been close to, and to use those observations to spark a roomful of conversation.

The original JE '04 web effort was quite lame. Why? The OAC site uses podcasts, video, and diaries. What's the ROI on that stuff? She has built a network as a writer and speaker around her illness and recovery and book. Is there a web role there? Etc.

If the unconference model works as it usually does, others will join right in and talk about what works and doesn't work in communities they see -- newspapers, blogs, campaigns, businesses, and so on.

Samuel Spagnola

Fair enough, Ed.

Elizabeth Edwards

I certainly would be disappointed if my presence at ConvergeSouth discouraged people from attending.
Yes, I am a Democrat, but I am not a Democrat when I go to PTA meetings or when I shop for groceries . . . or when I am in a conversation about the incredible community-building opportunities on the internet.
And no, I am not a blogger. If I could live five lives at one time, I probably would be; I admire greatly those who keep their blogs alive daily and, even better, more often than daily. You have incredible stamina and obviously active minds. On the other hand, although I have posted but four blog entries (and numerous responses) on the new OAC website and have been on online conversations using the chat feature at the site, I have posted replies on OAC and numerous other blogs. I may not have time to populate my own blog, but I do have enough time, periodically, to respond to others. And I am surprised that there is such disdain for those who don't personally blog "enough" for you. Some of us, you should be very glad to hear, are busy reading yours.
I don't expect to be political or personal. I hope to be candid (and civil) and to provoke you to be the same.

Samuel Spagnola

I appreciate the response from Mrs. Edwards, but I also understand the concern mentioned by others regarding her purpose at the convention. Questioning why Mrs. Edwards was chosen to appear in light of her minimal contributions to blogging I believe is as legitimate as questioning why Bush appointed a person with no experience to head up FEMA. Granted, the magnitude of those choices are quite different, but you get the point.

It almost seems as though Mrs. Edwards would be more appropriate as a spectator than speaker considering her admitted lack of experience.

It does seem that she was chosen either for political reasons or because she had enough name recognition to draw people to the event and not for any particular specialty or expertise in blogging.

I do not mean this as a criticism of Mrs. Edwards, just an observation. I would hope that anyone who decides not to go does not do so because of her. Even if it was political, I still think interested people who may disagree should go just to find out what's new and how the opposition will be using blogs.

If I was in town that weekend, I would probably go just to harass Ed and Sean. If it turned into a liberal love fest driven by Mrs. Edwards, that would just give me more material for the future.

So the bottom line is that if you are interested in blogs, you should go regardless of whether Mrs. Edwards gives a nomination speech, regardless of whether she has any unique insight or qualifications, or regardless of whether she was brought in just to sell tickets. Just go, soak it in, and have a good time.

I wouldn't vote for her husband, but she could be the First Lady someday if some unfortunate circumstances were to occur, and you should grab that bit of history if you can. I once sat through a lecture by Hillary Clinton when she was First Lady solely so I could say I saw her in person and wasn't impressed (I wasn't- and she had all her questions afterward carefully screened). I wouldn't go solely because of Mrs. Edwards, nor stay home because of her. I would give her the benefit of the doubt, and if it doesn't work out, maybe something else you picked up at the convention will.

That's all.

Ed Cone

It's not a session about blogging.

It's a session about using the web (including blogs) to build communities online.

As discussed in this thread, EE knows a lot about the topic from multiple perspectives.

Also covered in this thread: it's not a lecture, it's an unconference session with EE as the moderator, aiming to get everyone with something smart to say to say it.

Billy The Blogging Poet

Elizabeth Edwards has spoken and those who stay away will only have themselves to blame. Our MeetUps have always been apolitical and we expect ConvergeSouth to be the same. You can come and learn from the experience, learn about the toys, and learn about building community or stay home and remain ignorant, but most of us won't have time of day for those who willfully remain ignorant.

And just in-case anyone is interested in what Blogsboro knows about building community, read this-- proof positive we know what we're doing.

Ruby Sinreich

One of the 'bloggiest' things about Elizabeth Edwards is that she has the balls (yes, I said that) to come here and engage in conversation with people who have already proven themselves to be opposed to her no matter what she says or does. Not many politicians would put themselves in such an unsafe position. It takes courage, brains, and conviction and she has those in spades.

I'm sorry I can't be there for her session at Converge South this year.

I'm with meblogin, I feel bad for y'all that can't handle folks with politial differences. The fact that you feel that way and yet still frequent this particular blog makes you textbook examples of trolls, IMO.

Note to everyone else: Don't feed the trolls!

David Hoggard

I'm trying hard, but I don't remember politics ever entering into any of last year's sessions.

For the uninitiated - the "unconference" model makes everyone in the session - including the facilitator - equal speakers. (Hopefully Elizabeth realizes that the audience knows more than she does - which is the basic tenant of an 'unconference'.

If you've never experienced such a format, it might not be a good idea to slam what you don't know much about. The better tactic would be to come, take in the experience, then slam away if it didn't suit you.

Sue

I am truly sorry that the commenters, some of whom have no blogs of their own, are criticizing someone who is active online but who does not blog. ConvergeSouth is NOT a blogging conference. The home page of the Web site says: "You blog. Don't you want to do more?" Translation: blogging is a starting place for many people. There are lots of other things to do online.

It's also a sorry state of affairs when a few consistently negative commenters on Ed's blog (again, some of whom do not have their own blogs but seems to be professional commenters) set a tone of such negativity for something that is

(a) good for Greensboro
(b) good for the people of Greensboro
(c) good for A&T University
(d) helps promote Greensboro nationally as a center for innovation online.

The people who are registered for ConvergeSouth far outnumber those few who find this place (repeatedly) to dump their political pathos. Who knows, maybe it's something that Ed brings out in people :)

I'm darned proud and deliriously happy (watch the happy-feet dance) to have Elizabeth Edwards at ConvergeSouth, leading a discussion where the 'audience' will drive the conversation about something as important as building community online. The negativists need to play somewhere else, please.

jw

It is the class, intelligence, and experience exhibited here by Elizabeth Edwards that I'm looking forward to.

meblogin

Sue---good points and thanks for the links. I may have to come out for a visit.

Doc--- I said earlier..."In my opinion you lack the experience to understand that there are people reading everyday that "could" offer to help you but your methods remove that option from most."

John Edward's wife probably read your remarks...who knows...maybe your comments were perfect and she found her husband and has made inquiries..then again..maybe not. My advice continues to be that you find a more partnered positive approach for your cause.

Perhaps phrased a different way...Are you pleased with your communication style and did you communicate as if Ms. Edwards or Mr. Edwards would be reading?
If so...cool...if not...change.

My belief is that God gave you the audience intended as per your prayer request.

Your prayer request from earlier---"The "answer" I pray for is justice."


Roch101

Since a portion of Ms. Edwards remarks were adressing a point I raised, I must respond -- with an apology. I didn't realize the extent of her involvement with online communities and she's right, a well-tended blog is not the only measure of what someone may be able to offer Converge South. I certainly didn't mean to suggest she is unwelcome and I certainly didn't mean to disparage the hard work of some good friends who are making Converge South happen. I'm afraid I did both, however, and I'm sorry.

chip atkinson

Since I started this- with a fair question- this thread reveals why its hard to keep a civil discourse... by some leading Converge South players- like Sue who sneered- "The inability some people are expressing to accept the potential learn something just because you don't agree with a person's politics just boggle me." Or Billy's post. Or Greendog's uninvitation- and the silence of all but conservatives at his insult.

I don't want to come because most of you act cruel and mean. That's the truth.

I want to come to learn, but not to be sneered at, or belittled behind my back. I put up with that in Junior High.

jw

Chip -- What part of the fact that you, admittedly, in your own words, threatened a blogger that you would "kick his ass" are you not getting? I'm not sneering. I'm not insulting. I'M USING YOUR OWN WORDS.

Jeez!!

Ed Cone

There are some legit questions about politics and the conference, which I think have been well answered in this thread.

All the self-obsessed perpetual middle schoolers who think every thread is really about their own personal drama, please find another forum to work out your issues.

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