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First create/gather, then develop/explore, then choose.
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> Bloggers' Parliament: a Good Idea Waiting to Be Developed <

I'm sorry this is a long posting.

Facts: Increasingly, a number of people from many different places are writing weblogs. These are personal webpages where they can write (and publish) short or long notes about whatever they like, perhaps with links to other internet places, perhaps with comments with their readers, perhaps with a list of "stable links" that are outside the notes.

Natalie's idea: Let's create a Bloggers' Parliament, where individuals may join freely as long as they respect each other and as long as there are "no strings attached" (just personal stuff, nothing commercial, politically affiliated, etc). Let's each of us collect or produce specific ideas ("solutions") to specific problems or situations. Let's collectively collect our solutions to create "packages". Let's spread the word about such packages in order to collect "votes" and then push the best solutions to wider or specific audiences, perhaps for real world action.

Potential benefits: (1) The BP and other similar initiatives may act as a "diffuse think tank", providing ideas so that other parts of "societies" may take them and make them work. The BP would be like those small computer programs they like to write for operating systems like Unix: each program does just one thing and it does it well, and it can "pipe" its output to other specialized programs. So the BP would give its output to real-world parliaments, political parties, activists, individuals, etc. (2) The "each person may make a difference" and "constructive design thinking is important" memes can be given a push, even among people who read BP stuff but are busy with other things and so don't contribute anything themselves.

Problems so far: After running the BP for a few months, current members have come up with several weak points, limitations and difficulties. These points have been known to appear in other similar initiatives. (In Spanish, you may want to look at Espiral, which attempts to publicly build "values" and perhaps an internet based political party.) (1) It's not simple to contribute in the proper format, have all the links, etc. (2) There's no common "focus" (which members would be free not to follow). (3) It's not simple to read others' ideas. (4) There's no easy interaction between members. (5) Now or in time, there may be too much work for the "central" blog. There may be other problems and this recollection may be distorted or plain wrong. "Raw" thoughts here.

Factors we need to consider for the solutions to such problems: (1) Members are all busy with other things, they have widely varied degrees of computer skills, they use different computer tools, and not all of them speak English. All of these factors are bound to become more of a problem/oportunity if the BP grows. (2) This is not a job so it should be simple to contribute, and fun. (3) The main aim is to write down our ideas (or link to others' ideas), look at other member's ideas, collect "packages" and "vote" on them. The whole process should be simple and self-sustainable.

Some directions to explore (there must be others!): Now with the hard part! :-)

* We might have a closed list for members. This might solve the interaction issue, so people might help each other to set up their blogs, provide focus, look for data sources, create comitees, etc. The list would be closed so that ideas should still be published in members' blogs. The list would possibly need a secretary etc, or maybe not. It would probably need some crystal clear, simple rules. It might be best if people didn't need the list to work independently yet fruitfully. This may need further thinking. It would be better if the list were free (no pay) and without advertising.

* We might use some kind of "blog aggregation" software or server. I'm no expert on this but quite a few people in Blogalia are, so I'm posting this there to ask for help. :-) This would provide an "current activity at a glimpse". Bad ideas would be show-cased too, but that's not bad, as "current activity" is not the same as "solution packages". It may not be easy to aggregate blogs from different blog-softwares, or it may require additional effort on members, which is inconvenient.

* Could we have a common blog-site? This would be against "personal simplicity" as members would have to keep a second blog (or more), independence and varied looks. But some people keep more than one blog anyway, and one can always link to oneself's other blogs, so it might not be a problem. What would be a problem would be to find a good blog-site: free, with enough features, enough visibility and independence (perhaps it's not a good idea to have BP blogs mingled with other kinds of content) ...

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