Several of our folks from Morris DigitalWorks went up to Vancouver last week for the Open-Source CMS Summit and some stayed for Northern Voice, the Canadian blogging conference. It may seem bizarre for a big U.S. media company from the South that creates and sells closed-source software to be in that particular situation, but it makes sense to us.
Was it just my imagination, or did I see a round of "they just don't get it" hooting aimed at the Houston Chronicle when Dwight Silverman asked members of the public to become Chronicle "passion" bloggers?
There's an ongoing conversation in online news circles about identity and community. Vin Crosbie's distinction between anonymity and pseudonymity is a good one. I think there actually are five identity models that I've experienced:
Success rarely reveals its secrets to us even when we attain it. Failure is more generous -- it shares its lessons with us, if we just listen. In his Letter to the Bayosphere Community, Dan Gillmor undergoes the rite of self-examination as he looks back on the short history of Bayosphere.
There's a temptation to look at the Washington Post blog blowup and perform a cost-benefit analysis on interactivity. Clearly you can't just toss interactivity technology -- comment systems, forums, chat rooms, whatever -- onto a website and get nothing but happy flowers and joy blossoms. User comments alone aren't interaction. Staff needs to be involved -- responding, leading, and occasionally mopping up spills. Human resources aren't free.