If I had a nickel for everytime I typed it’s all about the conversation, I’d have a lot of nickels. Jeff Jarvis this afternoon highlights one of the reasons the rich and powerful hate Meet The Bloggers: they don’t want to cede power by having a conversation. Jarvis is talking about a set of forums, but the message is universal. He writes:
When I was still working in the company that started those forums, I suffered no end of complaint from editors and politicians as well as some cops and coaches because a few people in those forums could get a little rude. But you know what allowed that to happen? The people in these forums feel as if they are shouting at the castle wall and if no one listens, they will shout louder.
If any of those editors or pols actually came into the forums and spoke with their constituents, I guarantee that once the shock wore off, the tone of the conversation would improve (excepting a few folks who forgot their meds). But after a forever of owning the conversation, this is precisely what scares the powerful about the internet. Conversation alone is a ceding of power.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?