Saturday, April 19, 2008

learning from MeetTheBloggers

Who Lost the Debate? Moderators, Many Say - New York Times -- What's old and tired and possibly corrupted here is the moderator/debate format itself. We learned early on in the gestation of the MeetTheBloggers format that the zinger, the killer question, the interrogatory stance, the striving for the judgmental, the pursuit of the partisan inflection point, the backing the subject into a corner--all of these are counterproductive and unsatisfying. They don't play well any more, when most people are tired of being at odds with each other and would hope to find some common ground and some answers that are realistic and workable for everybody.

By the same token, the day of the blogger/commentator, as enfant terrible has passed. The snarky, bitchy, destructive approach to the community dialogue doesn't play too well, either. That character over at the Daily KOS was an early success because at the time he was sensational and different. Now, in hindsight, I see him and his ilk, his spawn, as largely an aberration that most people can't, and shouldn't, emulate. Look at the attrition among the political bloggers in the blogoshpere. Look at the marginalization.

IMHO: Moderated debates are out. Passe (I still don't know how to get that diacritical mark over the e). A poor way to spend time and money. Collaborative conversations might prove an intelligent alternative. Retrouvaille.

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