[JtB] 1.0: Chuck Olsen

I’m going to post my revised notes from last night’s Joining The Blogosphere event at San Jose State University, with a post for each member of the panel. My input is in italics.

Chuck Olsen had an interest in digital video long before he started blogging. He thought digital video might put the power to make media into the hands of the masses. But there was something missing: interconnection. Without the ability to connect the videomakers to each other, or to connect the video to other relevant content, what was the point?
(How does this apply to Current TV?)

Chuck thought he was late to blogging in 2002, but says you can’t possibly be too late, “There’s never a bad time to express yourself.”

By 2003 when Chuck interviewed Dan Gillmor, the “Are Blogs Journalism” question was already a big deal. Are they? Yes and no.

(When Robert Scoble spoke here in February he answered the question “Is blogging journalism?” by saying “It is if it is.” How do we draw the line between what is journalism and what is not? Which journalistic practices and principles do we need to hold bloggers to? Who gets to answer that question?)

Bloggers tend to link to sources so you can decide for yourself – the onus is on the reader to decide what is true.

Blogs are people.

Blogs can be a destructive force – think Dan Rather, Eason Jordan, Trent Lott – or a creative force – think Howard Dean. (Are all media like this? Reality TV? Talk Radio?)

Blogs are amplifiers: (I might not say anything original in my blog, but by linking to something I think is important, I amplify its importance – I vote with my link for who I think is a credibile source.)

Video blogging – you’re not just your own printing press, you’re your own TV station. As in Control Room, “Many channels, many truths.” (Looks like it’s “Different channels, Different truths” but you get the idea.)

A few politicians who blog:

Boston City Councillor John Tobin: with video…(it looks like Steve Garfield is doing the writing, and not the Councillor himself.)
UPDATE:Check the comments for Steve’s clarification – Tobin’s staffers are writing on the blog (I should have scrolled down a little further, but Steve was the only one posting this week). I’ll ask Steve via email if he thinks video of photo-ops is “unmediated information” or just good “public relations”.
2nd UPDATE:Steve’s reply:

“I’m trying to figure this out as we go. I see what you are saying about the photo op videos, but there are also four unmediated videos of Councillor Tobin in the City Council. Those give constituents a direct look at the work he is doing for them in the City Council.

Lots of times people have no idea what politicians are doing in their day to day jobs, and those videos actually show Councillor Tobin doing the work of a city councillor.”

I’m going to take a look at all the video shortly, and I like the idea of showing the public what politicians do all day long. More on this later.

3rd UPDATE: Having watching a few videos on John Tobin‘s blog, I’ve gotta say that I like it – but the best part of the videos comes after the photo-op (isn’t the “after” the best part of any photo-op for a journalist?) when Tobin is caught in conversation, interacting with his constituents, or just generally being human. The videos of city council speeches just remind me of watching C-Span late at night, and I have the urge to change the channel. But then again, I don’t live in Boston. Any Bostonians out there watching John’s videoblog?

R.T. Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis

(Got any good politicians-blogging links? Drop them in the comments!)

1 thought on “[JtB] 1.0: Chuck Olsen”

  1. You say:
    “Boston City Councillor John Tobin: with video…(it looks like Steve Garfield is doing the writing, and not the Councillor himself.)”

    If you look closer at the posts you’ll see that John Tobin’s whole staff has started blogging.

    I’ve set up the blog for them, and also post items of interest.

    So far, John has used videos to communicate with the public.


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