Roots of Civil Discourse?

Civil discourse must be just that, civil.

As bloggers, we’re inclined to be civil to each other, even as we flame those without a blog (Karl Rove being my current favorite). Listening to Chris Lydon’s interview of Jim Moore, I appreciated the suggestion that BloggerCon might promote activism:

What’s your hope, your ambition for BloggerCon?

I would love it if BloggerCon could showcase how activists of various stripes can be enabled by technology to join with others to shape a wiser and more creative world.”

How will we do it?

I think we do it by listening to each others’ human voices. I think we do it by taking our best, our most precious, but also slightly transgressing kinds of ideas and pushing them forward through blogging so we advance the frankness and the openness of dialogue. I think we do it by trying to live out values of dialogue and understanding and love on the web.

How might understanding have a role for activism? It might be by tempering the Scorched Earth tradition of politics. For that to happen, there must surely be a new way of talking about politics. Now that candidates must have a blog voice, might there be an incipient mechanism for a resurgence of substance over innuendo?

Wouldn’t it be interesting if candidates’ bloggers developed a shared aesthetic and perhaps even a kind of backchannel that promoted the kind of issues-based civility that characterizes blogging rather than the attack politics that characterizes broadcast politics. It might be a metaphor for the State Department promoting constructive engagement in opposition to ChickenHawk belligerence. You know, like the unwritten rule that we NEVER WRITE IN ALL CAPS.

If candidates’ bloggers are to be their foreign ministers, the meme might get started this weekend.

Roland on the River

Meanwhile, back at our crow’s nest overlooking the East River, Roland Tanglao is setting up the Xpertweb code on my PowerBook for our BloggerCon demo at 9am Sunday at the BOF session in Pound 201. We’ll demo through the break so you can stop by at 10:30 between sessions 1&2.

Xpertweb is a protocol for maintaining mirrored transaction data on 2 web sites, where the seller and the buyer are equally equipped to conduct business. The transaction progresses through discrete stages:

    1. Discover a seller
    2. Identify a product and qualify the buyer (buyer’s digital ID)
    3. Specify delivery options, dates, etc.
    4. Negotiate the details
    5. Remark on work in progress (including change orders)
    6. Invoice upon completion
    7. Evaluate the transaction (by both buyer and seller)

There’s nothing dramatic about the process except that it’s not dependent on a central server so the parties to a transaction can manage their market conversation without an intermediary. Both user’s sites are equipped with tools for maintaining the kinds of explicit data types common to all transactions, plus unique data types for product specification.

9:22:27 PM    

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