Why a blog is like a pub…

I was up in London last night co-hosting a session with London based colleague Paul Evans. We’re collaborating on a couple of projects just now, but this pub session was to help us progress with a policy focused site by gathering criticism from a small group of experts/enthusiasts for constructive civic engagement with government. Earlier in the session I gave a potted history of Slugger and an outline of what I thought I was doing with it. I quoted James Crabtree’s excellent 2003 “A blog is like…” post when he compared it to a pub. When David Wilcox nabbed me afterwards, it was an idea he grilled me on.

  • Pete Baker

    “and rather police the freedom for people to express those opinions within the same civil space.”

    Indeed. With the emphasis on “civil”.

    *for the benefit of those who don’t get it*

  • McGrath

    “Co-hosting”, you mean you were buying each other pints?

    I have felt surreality right around pint number 8, never quite got it down on paper.

  • Mick Fealty

    Surreal or not, that interview was done after a single pint of Guinness! I think we had about 15-20 people there, and was mostly organised through Facebook. Got me thinking that we might try something similar for small groups of Slugger readers.

  • Dec

    Wilcox’s piece makes interesting reading, especially this snippet on Slugger:

    The focus is on policy rather than personality, guided by ‘play the man not the ball’.

    Has there been a policy u-turn since I’ve been away, Mick (you idiot)?

  • Mick Fealty

    Very good Dec. I’ll flag it to David. 😉

  • Nevin

    “The focus is on policy rather than personality, guided by ‘play the man not the ball’.”

    Can we put that muddled quote down to the influence of alcohol? 😉

    Policy? I thought the focus was supposed to be on the jaundiced views expressed by individual bloggers rather than simply mugging them.

    You referred to SOT’s hard core bloggers. How exotic!! How about a mechanism for respondents to contact the SOT team, not just yourself, either privately or publically, with themes for discussion?

    Civil exchange is certainly to be commended. Many moons ago I co-ordinated a group of mainly 16-18 year olds in Coleraine. It was a very diverse group and included young people from other parts of Northern Ireland as well as other parts of the world. Each school or college had two representatives on the group committee. As the years went by more and more of the planning was carried in open group sessions with committee members assuming responsility for implementation. The crack was fantastic but I needed to curb the excesses of some and to encourage others to maintain the spirit of the group; I was the benevolent dictator 🙂