Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bloggers take over

A pretty standard part of large conferences are smaller panel discussions. The conference I intended had sessions about the foreclosure crisis, how to better use data to make the case for more thoughtful regional planning (don't yawn - it is interesting stuff) and how to better support boys and young men of color.

One session I was particularly excited to attend was the one about blogging. The description implied the topic was more Blogging 101 but one of the panelists was Liza Sabater, the creator of both Culture Kitchen and The Daily Gotham. The other panelists were talking about blogging within the context of larger organizations or campaigns.

I really wanted to learn how do these larger groups use blogs for their advocacy work. I find organizational blogs painfully dull. And while very nice people, the other panelists were talking about blogs that just don't excite me.

However, Liza did not disappoint.

The moderator was a university professor who was also hawking a book at a later session. At the start of the panel he said one of those "I'll do introductions then get out of the way" type of lines. After the initial panelists' comments the moderator started talking about how traditional print media is dying, stocks are falling for their parent companies and they are cutting writing staff. He was taking the discussion off the topic of how to use blogs and into how blogs are hurting newspapers. While certainly a worthwhile discussion (and it isn't just blogs that are changing the nature of news), it wasn't the point of this session.

Liza got up from her chair, seized a microphone, interrupted the moderator, walked off the raised platform and took control of the session. She was funny, engaging and flexible. She tried to bring in the other panelists but they stayed at the table.

At one point the moderator left the room. He eventually returned but when the session time ended all he did was say a curt "Thank you" with no acknowledgement of the panelists, a thought about what was said, or encouraging us as community activists and policy advocates to expand the tools we use.

His book seemed interesting to me. But after he was such a big baby of a moderator I found another session to attend.

Liza of Culture Kitchen though? She rocks.


Heather said...

She sounds like she rocks.

Flower Child said...

I just checked out the Daily Gotham - she rocks!

citizen jane said...

Not surprising that Liza's style translates well off the page to the three-dimensional. Sounds like that session was an unexpected treat.

And yes, she totally rocks.

Mariposa said...

Glad to hear that! And I will check her site...but I trust your judgement...so I guess she really rocks!