Now that I’m back and jet lagged from Bangalore (where Barcamp kicked mighty ass and with three more in the country to come) I’m realizing that I have a tonne of stuff to blog about, not the least of which concerns things that I’ve personally instigated and have an obligation to report on.
The problem, however, is how to be involved with everything, actually execute and still have time to blog about it. Admittedly I end up being a tad verbose at times, so cutting my Average Word Count Per Entry down would help — as might treating my blog more like a public email repository… returning back that “Four Readers” focus that encouraged informality and brevity over details and loquaciousness.
So wouldn’t it be great if we put all those soon-to-be-displaced journalists to work as personal blog assistants? I mean, a PBA could have multiple simultaneous clients — indeed, they could cover a local sector of a given topic (like beat journalists — beat bloggers?). Or, perhaps they could be “topic writers for hire”… For example, how cool would it be to have someone that the community endorses to attend events and report back for them? I’d love to have a Barcamp or Mash Pit PBA go out and attend each event, providing specialized reports that matter to, oh, say, 2,500 people worldwide.
I mean, when Tara reports that “The World is Mega Uber Bloody Flat” she reveals a whole new realm of reportage that the MSM will simply never see as economically viable (or perhaps even interesting) (even though, historically, that’s where local papers made their bread and butter).
And yet the experiences and people involved in these worldwide camps are extremely interesting to me — as I’m sure they are to many others in our community. But, as it is with blogs, they are fairly poor at really capturing what went on, at least in comparison to the way a dedicated journalist who sees the continuous threads of the story might… and indeed, those threads of continuity are what make the Barcamp story so compelling.
So what I’m proposing is this: blogs are a great mechanism for communities to talk amongst themselves or for independent voices to gain an audience, but they are not entirely a substitute for a unified perspective that can connect the pieces and reassemble a complete story. The role journalists traditionally played was to tell stories that interwove diverse and contradicting views in the interest of keeping the public informed. Of course, this was before the advent of subliminal product placement and expressing everything in terms of stock prices and market valuations.
But as usual, I digress.
…which a PBA would not — or at least not without good reason and good measure. Anyway, I’m not going to stop blogging for myself… it just would be highly interesting to have someone follow the topics that are interesting to me and report back about them. The way that only a human can. The way that journalists are supposed to.