Weblogging as surrogate for action?

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

In my last posting, I was told by a couple of people that my writing the letter to the radio station was basically a useless exercise. Instead, I was given a couple of different options, both of them related to Doc Searls – Doc, are your ears burning?

The first option, from Tom Matrullo is a change in marketing strategy. Let’s boycott the advertisers who advertise on the networks that show biased news. Well, that’s cool, but that pretty much means we don’t buy anything. Doesn’t it? Still, I’m willing – where do I sign up?

The second was from Rahul, and his solution was to create a blogging network of news, giving people at the locations a satellite phone and a weblog and have them provide news. Okay, then, Rahul, what do I need to do?

Marketing and media. And I’ve been told I don’t really understand either of these – or, more accurately, that my understanding “differs”. Well, that’s true. I haven’t read any media or marketing books, such as Cluetrain (a natural one to bring up since Doc’s name is being tossed about).

I’m not against these solutions, but it seems to me that they’re ‘talk’, with no associated action. When these same people tell me I’m powerless to make a difference with my small action, but give me alternatives that are nothing more than talk on a weblog, well, then I get unhappy. Being told we’re powerless only leads to apathy. Chit chat among our little weblogging circles isn’t going to make war go away. Tell me, what can I do?

We who fight this war go about our business. We talk about academics and art and technology and relationships, and these are good things to talk about, and I love to read them. I love to read what you write. I write about these things, myself. But I still want to make a difference. I want to make my voice heard outside of this weblog. This weblog isn’t enough. So I wrote the letter to the radio station. It wasn’t a big act, it was a tiny, tiny act, but at least, it was an act. How is this useless?

Have we become so sophisticated that we no longer even try to make a personal difference? Have our weblogs become nothing more than surrogates for action?

I have one question – if you’re against the war in Iraq, what have you done today to express this disagreement outside of your weblog? What have you done today to be heard?

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