I did want to point out that there has been a good number of really great comments attached to the Change Starts at Home post. In particular, if you’re interested in social software, inequality within weblogging, and so on, you might want to take a look.
Seth pointed out the Symposium on Social Architecture ‘do’ at Harvard come November. Before you click the link, write down all the people you think were invited to speak. If who you expected to see is who you’re seeing, then the promise of social software has not been met and it is, in effect, a failure.
Another side topic that came up in the comment thread was the impact that meeting people and becoming personal friends has on ‘open’ discourse, in an environment made up of people who have met each other, integrated in tightly with those who have not; with how we react when ‘friends’ are referenced, as compared to those we feel more objective about. This also appeared in the comment thread of a post by David Weinberger.
Either one enters an online discussion to debate the merits of whatever topic is the focus, or we enter a conversation to defend or support a friend. When we mix the two, we put those who have not met others, personally, at a disadvantage. This, also, becomes a failure in social software.