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Read about Jay Rosen's book, What Are Journalists For?

Excerpt from Chapter One of What Are Journalists For? "As Democracy Goes, So Goes the Press."

Essay in Columbia Journalism Review on the changing terms of authority in the press, brought on in part by the blog's individual--and interactive--style of journalism. It argues that, after Jayson Blair, authority is not the same at the New York Times, either.

"Web Users Open the Gates." My take on ten years of Internet journalism, at

Read: Q & As

Jay Rosen, interviewed about his work and ideas by journalist Richard Poynder

Achtung! Interview in German with a leading German newspaper about the future of newspapers and the Net.

Audio: Have a Listen

Listen to an audio interview with Jay Rosen conducted by journalist Christopher Lydon, October 2003. It's about the transformation of the journalism world by the Web.

Five years later, Chris Lydon interviews Jay Rosen again on "the transformation." (March 2008, 71 minutes.)

Interview with host Brooke Gladstone on NPR's "On the Media." (Dec. 2003) Listen here.

Presentation to the Berkman Center at Harvard University on open source journalism and NewAssignment.Net. Downloadable mp3, 70 minutes, with Q and A. Nov. 2006.

Video: Have A Look

Half hour video interview with Robert Mills of the American Microphone series. On blogging, journalism, NewAssignment.Net and distributed reporting.

Jay Rosen explains the Web's "ethic of the link" in this four-minute YouTube clip.

"The Web is people." Jay Rosen speaking on the origins of the World Wide Web. (2:38)

One hour video Q & A on why the press is "between business models" (June 2008)

Recommended by PressThink:

Town square for press critics, industry observers, and participants in the news machine: Romenesko, published by the Poynter Institute.

Town square for weblogs: InstaPundit from Glenn Reynolds, who is an original. Very busy. Very good. To the Right, but not in all things. A good place to find voices in diaolgue with each other and the news.

Town square for the online Left. The Daily Kos. Huge traffic. The comments section can be highly informative. One of the most successful communities on the Net.

Rants, links, blog news, and breaking wisdom from Jeff Jarvis, former editor, magazine launcher, TV critic, now a J-professor at CUNY. Always on top of new media things. Prolific, fast, frequently dead on, and a pal of mine.

Eschaton by Atrios (pen name of Duncan B;ack) is one of the most well established political weblogs, with big traffic and very active comment threads. Left-liberal.

Terry Teachout is a cultural critic coming from the Right at his weblog, About Last Night. Elegantly written and designed. Plus he has lots to say about art and culture today.

Dave Winer is the software wiz who wrote the program that created the modern weblog. He's also one of the best practicioners of the form. Scripting News is said to be the oldest living weblog. Read it over time and find out why it's one of the best.

If someone were to ask me, "what's the right way to do a weblog?" I would point them to Doc Searls, a tech writer and sage who has been doing it right for a long time.

Ed Cone writes one of the most useful weblogs by a journalist. He keeps track of the Internet's influence on politics, as well developments in his native North Carolina. Always on top of things.

Rebecca's Pocket by Rebecca Blood is a weblog by an exemplary practitioner of the form, who has also written some critically important essays on its history and development, and a handbook on how to blog.

Dan Gillmor used to be the tech columnist and blogger for the San Jose Mercury News. He now heads a center for citizen media. This is his blog about it.

A former senior editor at Pantheon, Tom Englehardt solicits and edits commentary pieces that he publishes in blog form at TomDispatches. High-quality political writing and cultural analysis.

Chris Nolan's Spot On is political writing at a high level from Nolan and her band of left-to-right contributors. Her notion of blogger as a "stand alone journalist" is a key concept; and Nolan is an exemplar of it.

Barista of Bloomfield Avenue is journalist Debbie Galant's nifty experiment in hyper-local blogging in several New Jersey towns. Hers is one to watch if there's to be a future for the weblog as news medium.

The Editor's Log, by John Robinson, is the only real life honest-to-goodness weblog by a newspaper's top editor. Robinson is the blogging boss of the Greensboro News-Record and he knows what he's doing.

Fishbowl DC is about the world of Washington journalism. Gossip, controversies, rituals, personalities-- and criticism. Good way to keep track of the press tribe in DC

PJ Net Today is written by Leonard Witt and colleagues. It's the weblog of the Public Journalisn Network (I am a founding member of that group) and it follows developments in citizen-centered journalism.

Here's Simon Waldman's blog. He's the Director of Digital Publishing for The Guardian in the UK, the world's most Web-savvy newspaper. What he says counts.

Novelist, columnist, NPR commentator, Iraq War vet, Colonel in the Army Reserve, with a PhD in literature. How many bloggers are there like that? One: Austin Bay.

Betsy Newmark's weblog she describes as "comments and Links from a history and civics teacher in Raleigh, NC." An intelligent and newsy guide to blogs on the Right side of the sphere. I go there to get links and comment, like the teacher said.

Rhetoric is language working to persuade. Professor Andrew Cline's Rhetorica shows what a good lens this is on politics and the press.

Davos Newbies is a "year-round Davos of the mind," written from London by Lance Knobel. He has a cosmopolitan sensibility and a sharp eye for things on the Web that are just... interesting. This is the hardest kind of weblog to do well. Knobel does it well.

Susan Crawford, a law professor, writes about democracy, technology, intellectual property and the law. She has an elegant weblog about those themes.

Kevin Roderick's LA Observed is everything a weblog about the local scene should be. And there's a lot to observe in Los Angeles.

Joe Gandelman's The Moderate Voice is by a political independent with an irrevant style and great journalistic instincts. A link-filled and consistently interesting group blog.

Ryan Sholin's Invisible Inkling is about the future of newspapers, online news and journalism education. He's the founder of and a self-taught Web developer and designer.

H20town by Lisa Williams is about the life and times of Watertown, Massachusetts, and it covers that town better than any local newspaper. Williams is funny, she has style, and she loves her town.

Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing at is a daily review of the best reporting and commentary on the presidency. Read it daily and you'll be extremely well informed.

Rebecca MacKinnon, former correspondent for CNN, has immersed herself in the world of new media and she's seen the light (great linker too.)

Micro Persuasion is Steve Rubel's weblog. It's about how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the business of persuasion. Rubel always has the latest study or article.

Susan Mernit's blog is "writing and news about digital media, ecommerce, social networks, blogs, search, online classifieds, publishing and pop culture from a consultant, writer, and sometime entrepeneur." Connected.

Group Blogs

CJR Daily is Columbia Journalism Review's weblog about the press and its problems, edited by Steve Lovelady, formerly of the Philadelpia Inquirer.

Lost Remote is a very newsy weblog about television and its future, founded by Cory Bergman, executive producer at KING-TV in Seattle. Truly on top of things, with many short posts a day that take an inside look at the industry.

Editors Weblog is from the World Editors Fourm, an international group of newspaper editors. It's about trends and challenges facing editors worldwide. keeps track of developments from the British side of the Atlantic. Very strong on online journalism.

Digests & Round-ups:

Memeorandum: Single best way I know of to keep track of both the news and the political blogosphere. Top news stories and posts that people are blogging about, automatically updated.

Daily Briefing: A categorized digest of press news from the Project on Excellence in Journalism.

Press Notes is a round-up of today's top press stories from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Richard Prince does a link-rich thrice-weekly digest called "Journalisms" (plural), sponsored by the Maynard Institute, which believes in pluralism in the press.

Newsblog is a daily digest from Online Journalism Review.

E-Media Tidbits from the Poynter Institute is group blog by some of the sharper writers about online journalism and publishing. A good way to keep up

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December 15, 2004

Undercurrent: Nation, Region, Weblog, Home

There are hundreds of political traditions among the 193 sovereign nations of the world. There can be just as many press traditions. Just as every country has its literature, its poetry, its song, every nation has a press that carries the national imprint in some way. Now blogging will do that: it will carry the imprint of nation. What we're curious about is the imprint of "globe."

Through the simple magic of trackback I discovered an intiguing new weblog by a Norwegian journalist, editor, and writer, Olav Anders Øvrebø. It is called Undercurrent, an effective title for what he has in mind. So new is Undercurrent there’s only a handful of posts, probably because his English weblog is not a main gig, just something Øvrebø does to be part of a global dialogue. Keeping his hand in, it seems.

Øvrebø (bio page) helped create news sites in Norway and in Berlin, and he has written in English for, among others, the Wall Street Journal. “We shouldn’t stop using our own languages, and there are of course good blogs in Norwegian and German,” he writes. “But the conversation should be global, and for that end we have the latin of our age.”

The latin of our age. This phrase struck me. It refers to English, potentially to blogging. “So this blog will be written in English, with the aim of developing media/weblog analysis from the Norwegian/ Scandinavian/ North European perspective.”

I like the suggestion of regional press think. Must develop. Notice too how finely graded the sense of “region” is. There’s a Norwegian “way” with media analysis, a Scandavian perspective that can be added, a Northern European tradition, and the author has a stake in each. He also has a stake in the global conversation, for which Undercurrent exists to provide.

Which of these is his real identity? There is no good answer to that.

Blogging is an international form that is being developed in many languages and cultures. It is “natural” to none of these languages, none of these cultures. Øvrebø observes that while the Web is global, that doesn’t meant a level playing field for all. Participants in the United States benefit from having the most advanced blog sphere. “The dynamic has been strongest there,” he writes. “The fabulous blogger breakthroughs of the Bush-Kerry campaign only underlined this.”

At a recent blogging conference in Norway, he says, “the main attractions were Rheingold and Doctorow.” (My links.) Fom his Nov. 26 post, Weblog analysis, geography and language:

Does this matter? I think so. New media developments do not take place in a vacuum. I have some experience in developing news websites in Norway and Germany, and although we observed what went on in the US and other places, many of our choices were heavily influenced by the different countries’ press and political traditions. There’s every reason to expect weblogs, and the relationship between media and weblogs, to develop differently in different contexts also. Experiences will be different…

This is an important observation. There are hundreds of political traditions among the 193 sovereign nations of the world. There can be just as many “press” traditions. Just as every country has its literature, its poetry, its song, every nation has a press that carries the national imprint in some way. Now blogging will do that: it will carry the imprint of nation.

What we’re curious about is the imprint of “globe.”

“I saw the world change last night,” wrote Jeff Jarvis on Dec 9th. “Spirit of America showed its new Arabic-language blogging tool at a reception in Washington.” It’s a first. Americans blogging in English have bequeathed an initial platform to weblog writers working in Arabic. As a work of geopolitics that’s pretty cool.

But they—the Arabic bloggers—will be creating their own sphere with it, which will go its own way. There’s something poignant about it: the invention is released, and others take it where it must go. “Good luck Arabic blogging tool. Go now and meet your public— for good or for ill.” The invention writes home, but in another language, another code. I suppose all software is like that. To release is to relinquish.

Blogging in English is not a universal, but as the latin of our age it is a worldwide practice, in the sense that it stretches across all regions of the globe. At the Berkman Center (for Internet and Society) conference last weekend, the most excitement was generated by the Saturday track entitled Global Voices Online, presided over by the extremely able Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon, both of the Berkman Center, with participants from Iran, Iraq, South Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, China, Kenya, Poland, Canada and the US. (Reports here and here and here, for starters. List of participants. More conference links.)

It was an attempt to ask:

  • What is it actually going to take to have a global dialogue by blog and other “new” media?
  • What can the people who are pushing new media forward here do to enlarge the possibilities abroad, especially in countries that have fallen off the news map?
  • What kind of support—from tools, institutions, and individuals—might, in different countries at different points in their evolution, lead to growth in citizen’s media?

The blogging tool for Arabic is one answer to these questions. Another is Geekcorps, which Zuckerman founded. Another is weblogs like Undercurrent. (Which commented from afar on the Berkman Center conference; see Signs of the times.) I’m interested in the ideas we’re going to be needing about nation, press, region, blog, journalist, editor and globe. It’s not clear we have those ideas, or have them straight.

For example: PressThink is an American weblog. Its assumed world is the public culture and political community of the United States, including of course the American press. It’s not a crime to have a taken-for-granted world; it’s probably essential to blog ID. We catch on easily enough. At by Jim Zellmer the “given” is the public world of Madison, Wisconsin. At WordUp by Ed Cone the reference points are nation (technology and public life in the U.S.), state (North Carolina politics) and town (Greensboro, NC) but not in any sustained way does that include “globe.”

Now what about This is the blog of the World Editors Forum, which represents 5,000 newspaper editors around the world. The posts are about “practical issues and real solutions for working editors and senior newsroom executives.” The “given” is newspaper journalism and its problems— worldwide. It’s written in English, the lingua franca, and edited by a Frenchman, Bertrand Pecquerie. It’s also interesting to follow as an “intranet in the editors’ community,” as Pecquerie describes it in a FAQ post. (See his What’s wrong with American journalism?)

The editors community. Must figure out what that is. The world wide fraternity of newspaper editors is a “nation” scattered among the nations. To create a sense of an editors community worldwide is the whole purpose of bringing Editors Weblog on line.

Whereas in Greensboro, North Carolina, the community was imagined a long time ago and covers a particular plot of earth. There (according to Cone’s column) the local newspaper editor blogs, and the newly elected Register of Deeds (a public official) blogs, and a local CEO blogs, along with the usual writers and poets, all of whom meet up at an aggregator site, Greensoboro 101, which is just starting to get the hang of it. But that Web page is a new way of “seeing” what Greensboro is up to, just as the daily newspaper has always been. John Robinson, the blogging editor of the daily newspaper realizes that.

His imagination of Greensboro is being reshaped by blog, but being the editor who blogs is also changing how others in the community imagine him— the Conversible Editor. (People who have been around a city for many years will sometimes tell you how “our” newspaper became “the” newspaper in the era of chain ownership. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the reverse happened? The newspaper turns into “our” paper again.)

“In fact, all communities larger than promordial villages of face-to-face contact are imagined,” says Benedict Anderson in his great study of modern nationalism (Imagined Communities, Verso, 1983.) They differ, he adds, “by the style in which they are imagined.” A national community, in Anderson’s view, is when we know we’re connected to people we have never seen. Whatever helps us know this automatically is nation-forming. Journalism, and “news” thus form, as well as inform the people of a given nation.

“An American will never meet, or even know the names of more than a handful of his 240,000-odd fellow-Americans,” writes Anderson, attempting insight from the obvious. “He has no idea of what they are up to at any one time. But he has complete confidence in their steady anonymous, simultaneous activity.”

Baltimore and Kansas City are part of the same nation with San Diego because citizens in Baltimore, who think of themselves as Americans, know that “meanwhile” there are other Americans going about their lives in the midwest and the opposite coast. The modern nation, says Anderson, is one big elaboration on that sense of a specifically populated meanwhile… (“Meanwhile, in Iraq…”)

Ethan Zuckerman’s weblog is subtitled: “My blog is in Cambridge, but my heart is in Accra.” That’s a “meanwhile” statement. (His blog is really “in” Cambridge? In what sense? Must determine later.) To him and all the talented people who joined in Gobal Voices Online, I say keep Benedict Anderson’s insight close at hand: “all communities are imagined, they differ by the style in which they are imagined.”

Maybe that’s what this Voices group is trying to affect— the style in which the global conversation is pictured as on-going, emerging, real and live in the here and now. When I said that PressThink is an American blog I meant: that is the style in which it has been imagined, so far— though I don’t think I ever announced it until now.

Even though he only posts once every few weeks, I now have complete confidence in the “simultaneous activity” of my fellow media analyst and blogger, Olav Anders Øvrebø. Because of Undercurrent, which lets me imagine him, he is part of a live community, a company of critics I see stretching internationally across many countries, many authors, from many regions of the world.

But this community only goes as far as English, the latin of our age. By way of closing these reflections here are a few questions for PressThink readers (who are advised to hit the comment button) and for these bloggers, my brain trust wish-list for matters at hand: Ethan Zuckerman, Rebecca MacKinnon, Olav Anders Øvrebø, Jim Moore, Jeff Jarvis, Mohammed and Omar, Joi Ito, Dave Weinberger, Chris Lydon, John Palfrey, Seth Finkelstein, Ed Cone, Chris Nolan, Tim Oren, Lance Knobel, Simon Waldman, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Susan Crawford, Thomas P.M. Barnett, Glynn Wilson, Dan Gillmor, Dave Winer, Micah Sifrey, Hoder and others:

What is that great nation like—how do we imagine the community—corresponding to the English speaking, reading and weblog-writing world, as it extends across the globe? Is this one public, or many? Does it have its own press? Are there patriots?

After Matter: Notes, Reactions and Links…

Jeff Jarvis reacts:

I like to call this new medium of ours citizens’ media. “Citizen” connotes belonging and that is why I like the word as a substitute for the old-fashioned, one-way notions of readers, viewers, listeners, consumers. Citizens belong. Citizens join. Citizens own. Citizens act.

So I ask myself: Citizen of where? Citizen of what?

Joi Ito says in comments:

I think that there is a new community of English speaking/writing people from different regions. I think these people can serve as bridges, but they may often be looked upon as outsiders. There is an interesting phenomenon among alumni of international schools. They tend to create a third culture and not fit in in either their home country or the country they are visiting. There is definitely and “international culture” which many foreign diplomats also share. We call this chanpon in Japanese. It’s a mixed culture, not bicultural.

The ICANN meeting was quite interesting in this respect. English and to a certain level, French were spoken by people from every country. As an Internet person, English has, for the last 30 years, been necessary and most people heavily engaged in Internet technology and business have learned English. The Internet technology students in Japan speak better English than just about any other group that I know of.

America’s Best Spirit. Dan Gillmor on Spirit of America and its founder, Jim Hake, back in May, 2004.

What’s Next for Dan Gillmor? The tech writer talks to OhmyNews International about his plans to leave old media for a new media venture.

Chris Lydon on the Berkman event:

The superstars were Hossein Derakhshan, a.k.a. Hoder, the best known of the many thousands of Iranian bloggers, who finally copped a visa to Cambridge; and from South Korea, Oh Yeon Ho, the founder of the inspirational OhMyNews. Read OhMyNews, and read all about it here, for example, and here, to see the future and to believe that it works. With the mantra “every citizen is a reporter,” and asserting furthermore that “every real journalist, at heart, is a social engineer,” OhMyNews in four years has built a base of 35,000 contributors to its news report. It is the first Internet newspaper worthy of the name and exemplary of the idea that a lot of us cherish, and it’s a force to be reckoned with in the fascinating, fluid politics of South Korea.

Ed Cone at his blog:

Jay asks, “What is that great nation like—how do we imagine the community—corresponding to the English speaking, reading and weblog-writing world, as it extends across the globe? Is this one public, or many? Does it have its own press? Are there patriots?”

I would answer: It has many publics, but without bright lines between them; it is its own press; and it does have patriots, people who love it and propagate its ideals — too many to name, and the list keeps growing.

My question: what are the defining traits of Greensboro’s blog culture?

Great question. And check out some of the responses he got. But we have to check into the way Ed Cone put it. Sometimes, the public is its own press.

Rebecca MacKinnon with an important overview of the Global Voices deliberations:

Chinese bloggers like Isaac Mao hope members of the Global Voices movement will help him and his compatriots develop more sophisticated blogging tools in order to make speech “safer.” One possible idea is to combine blog-publishing with online social networking, so that more controversial blog posts are published only to groups of trusted peers. “Today’s blogging is not a very mature format,” says Mao.

Read the rest at Personal Democracy Forum.

John Palfrey, The Internet’s Effect on Politics: A Working Hypothesis, v2.0. Discussion paper in advance of the Berkman event:

The internet provides a model of placing power at the edges and in the connections between them, as opposed to vesting it in one centralized hub. This model makes intuitive sense in the political arena as well, where the aim inevitably is to reach out to voters, local organizers, donors, and more. These effects are reminiscent of the ways that eBay, Google, Amazon, digital music, and VoIP have substantially changed a variety of industries in the commercial arena. The puzzle is to pull apart what’s real from what’s hype.

Posted by Jay Rosen at December 15, 2004 7:02 PM   Print


Rebecca MacKinnon did a nice write-up on the Global Voices effort for Personal Democracy Forum, here. And I've asked Ed Cone to dig into the phenomenon of bloggers who focus on local/state politics (Greensboro101 is just one well-developed example). Anyone know of a compilation of same?


Posted by: Micah Sifry at December 16, 2004 3:06 PM | Permalink

To answer Micah's question, San Diego Blog is our regional civic blog to discuss local politics, news items, and events.

As far as your analogy of English as the 21st century Latin of the internet era, I think you should be more cautious. Latin was used as an elitist, intellectual standard to communicate ideas across the various vernaculars of Europe. But it should be pointed out that Europe is a much smaller and culturally homogenous system than the world at large and the cyberspace that reflects it.

English carries a lot of socio-historical baggage with it and I definitely anticipate an online cultural backlash when the tools are made available to combat the English, Western online hegemony. Which is why it's so important we get a transnational, transcultural consensus on the Global Voices Manifesto.

If English is to become the online lingua franca, it will need to transform itself into a sort of pigeon langugae that isn't so based on Western culture and thought.

Posted by: oso at December 16, 2004 8:30 PM | Permalink

Great post, Jay.

As a member of that group in Greensboro I'd just like to add that blogging is empowering the citizens of Greensboro like no other tool we've ever had. We now have the eyes and the ears of not only our local media outlets (and all our local TV. Radio, and print publications read many of us daily as we are the pulse of the community) but we also have access to local politicians in ways never before possible. Our group represents the entire economic, racial, and religious spectrum left to right. By joining together we are strong. By blogging about it we become stronger.

By the way, check out the size of our local meetup group after having our second meeting last night. Most were in attendance along with several who have yet to sign up and several who don't have blogs but love to read them.

And we ain't even trying yet, just wait until we get all our "secret" projects up and going.

Lastly, thanks for the plug. -Billy Jones

Posted by: Billy The Blogging Poet at December 16, 2004 8:45 PM | Permalink

Thanks, Micah. I added RM's post to mine.

Oso: about being more careful: Are you saying English--with all it limitations--is not the latin of our age? Are you saying anything different than what I said when I wrote, "Blogging in English is not a universal..."? (Emphasis in original.)

Billy: Thanks for that testimony.

Posted by: Jay Rosen at December 17, 2004 8:41 AM | Permalink


After re-reading your post, you're absolutely right. At first read, I had sensed a sort of enthusiasm that English is the solution. My point was that English is only a hack (and a limiting one) until we improve translation tools/efforts. After taking a second look though, I don't think you write anything that disagrees with that.

Great post Jay.

Posted by: oso at December 17, 2004 4:26 PM | Permalink

Not sure if it has the translation problem totally solved yet, but you might look at:

Tower of

Posted by: Glynn Wilson at December 17, 2004 4:52 PM | Permalink

Hey thank you for taking a second look, oso. And for that San Diego link. I may write about it.

It would be interesting to find out which local "scenes" have a nuanced enough aggregator for the civic area--local bloggers and their online kind--and which do not benefit from such a site. Is there a Columbus101, an Austin101, an Omaha101 run by someone who cares enough to cultivate and support the local scene? Where there is not... well, you can imagine the rest.

Posted by: Jay Rosen at December 17, 2004 6:51 PM | Permalink

In Japan, there is a saying that Tokyo University students who speak English are now going to consulting companies and investment banks and the ones who can't speak English become bureaucrats. I've also heard of someone being scolded by the governor of Tokyo for speaking English (he is Japanese) at the dinner table. Many older people in Japan don't speak English even if they can because it is a sign that they have spent time overseas, usually a signal in many big companies that you can't hack it in Tokyo.

I've been criticized because my Japanese reading/writing isn't very strong. The criticism was "someone who can't even write Japanese properly shouldn't have the right to opine about Japan."

I think that there is a new community of English speaking/writing people from different regions. I think these people can serve as bridges, but they may often be looked upon as outsiders. There is an interesting phenomenon among alumni of international schools. They tend to create a third culture and not fit in in either their home country or the country they are visiting. There is definitely and "international culture" which many foreign diplomats also share. We call this chanpon in Japanese. It's a mixed culture, not bicultural.

The ICANN meeting was quite interesting in this respect. English and to a certain level, French were spoken by people from every country. As an Internet person, English has, for the last 30 years, been necessary and most people heavily engaged in Internet technology and business have learned English. The Internet technology students in Japan speak better English than just about any other group that I know of. By sharing the common goal of building a stable Internet and speaking English, many Internet tech types have created their own IETF culture. It IS heavily US influenced, but the diversity of participants is quite amazing.

Anyway, I'm rambling, but I think this is an interesting issue. On the other hand, I've seen relatively large meetings switch to Chinese when the Chinese percentage passed a certain threshold...

Posted by: Joi Ito at December 19, 2004 8:29 AM | Permalink


I completely agree with you and share the same sentiment when I blog about Mexico or in Spanish. I think the words you used are interesting: 'international,' 'chanpon (multicultural?),' 'mixed culture,' 'bicultural.'

But to me, what we're really starting to see on the internet though is 'transnational' and 'transcultural.' That is, our online identity is transcending our national and cultural identity. More and more frequently I come across weblogs written in either Spanish or English and I have no idea where their authors could possibly be from.

Julio Sueco for example is a Mexican-American living in Sweden who blogs in Spanish, English, and Swedish. Alexander Malov is Finnish, lives in Barcelona, and blogs in English. I feel like I have much more in common with both of them than I do with the majority of fellow San Diegans I meet. And it's because we're all part of the global blogger ... not sub-culture ... but trans-culture. We're geeky do-gooders thirsty for knowledge and passionate about writing.

Samuel Huntington used to say the only true example of a global culture is the Davos Culture, named after an elite group of bureaucrats, businessmen, and diplomats who meet at the annual World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland.

I think one of the main objectives of the Global Voices Manifesto should be to ensure this is no longer true.

Jay, I think your thoughts about BloggerCon IV also apply to how we should organize our online lives. Our blogs should reflect our place amongst our friends and family, in our community, in our country, and on the planet.

Posted by: oso at December 19, 2004 1:53 PM | Permalink

Oso. Good points. I've been to Davos... I think 4 times, and I think global bloggers are just as transcultural as people who hang out at Davos. The biggest difference is that we hang out every day, whereas Davos is once a year. I think that this has the potential to make our bonds stronger.

Posted by: Joi Ito at December 20, 2004 2:23 PM | Permalink

From the Intro