Tuesday, February 15, 2005

This is your brain on blog

It occurred to me on the drive home from Spartanburg that one of the luxuries of blogging is that one isn't forced by the medium to assume an authoritative voice. Newspapering requires that I speak as if I command a working understanding of the subject, and that's often not true. In blogging I can say what I don't know, and speak as I am (typically excited/befuddled).

So, with that caveat stated, I am just back from spending the day with Dave Winer, who is more or less famous, and Andy Rhinehart, who isn't, but could be. The official reason for my trip was a story I'm doing on podcasting; the best conversations were about journalism and blogging and ethics.

The day was sort of like the intellectual equivalent of a Ryan's Megabar: That is to say, there was a lot to digest, I didn't get around to everything that was available and now I may be up all night because of it.

Maybe I'm a little road weary, too: About seven hours in the Crown Vic, most of it spent interviewing myself. I guess that's weird.

I need to blog the experience of being blogged by Winer, and I will. But it's an odd thing: You go in to these interview situations to learn, and if you do it with any degree of curiosity and self-awareness, you walk out feeling overwhelmed by what you don't know. Winer just dashes stuff off. Me, I'm ponderous, full of second thoughts and cross currents.

And perhaps that's what I find so attractive about blogging. Blogging lets me contribute without having to pretend I'm an expert -- in fact, the worst thing I could do would be to claim expertise I haven't earned.