Posted from the U.S.
The Financial Times had a article today regarding blogging and the World Economic Forum. The article, written by Emiliya Mychasuk of the FT, reflects on the Forum's choice this year to encourage all attendees this year to post at least one blog themselves.
A few points of clarification and response:
- The World Economic Forum did invite me back to the 2006 meeting - which was a nice response from them. I was not able to attend because I am immersed in a new startup (MAKO Surgical) which is about to put its first products into clinical use in the next few months. I would have loved to go - and may go to future meetings (if invited again).
- I am very impressed by the Forum's response to blogging this year by moving to enable all attendees to blog - and by pushing a very open form of media. This is a very healthy response to all of the issues that streamed out of last year's meeting - and in my view a good response.
- Thoughts on the whole Eason Jordan issue - this thing did turn into a Boston Tea party of sorts - a blog heard 'round the world. Mainstream media is still alive and well but I'm sure many editors and their ilk heard a bell tolling for their industry as it is today - but they are starting to adapt and will continue to do so. As for Eason, I think that it would be interesting to write a book where half of the chapters come from my perspective, while the other half come from his. I did not anticipate the storm that would come from some late night postings - and I'm sure he did not as well.
- On interacting with the mainstream media - I had a pretty warm reception from many people - including some media personalities who are usually very tough. I guess that they did not want to incite a blogstorm on themselves?
- Blogstorms in general - I wish that the force of such things could be controlled and used positively. For example, could one massive blogstorm end poverty? Save a hostage? End a regional conflict?
- The Forum's blog policy remains in force - but so does my original blog posting on their site. The fact that the Forum allowed the posting to remain up is a small victory for freedom of speech.
- Am I in favor of rules for bloggers? - hard to do without killing the blogging spirit, but ethical standards of some sort need to be developed - possibly enforced by rating systems. Wikipedia has a kind of "self-correcting" mechanism which may be adopted by bloggers one day.
- The Chatham House Rule - I think with the Forum's idea of opening the door to all of their attendees to blog, these kinds of notions will just become quaint artifacts.
- Fixing the world - a very ambitious notion - but I was greatly encouraged by reading about what Bono and Bill & Melinda Gates are doing - yes it helps to be the most famous rock star in the world and the richest man....but there is no reason why massive networks of like-minded people could not equal or exceed the leverage of a few people like this who get the ball rolling. More on this thought later....