Cybersalon, March 19, Berkeley

Sylvia Paull sends the announcement of a CyberSalon on Sunday March 19, which promises to be quite interesting. It’s at the Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St., Berkeley. 5PM-7PM. Here’s the description.

Bloggers and podcasters are suspicious of “elitist” big media and view the “democratizing” force of digital technology positively. In contrast, many traditional journalists regard most blogs, wikis and podcasts as amateurish and narcissistic. We wonder if expertise is, by definition, elitist. And we ask if expertise and elitism might indeed be necessary features of a high-quality media.

A Cybersalon panel of experts – including NY Times technology reporter and author John Markoff, BlogHer cofounders and bloggers Jory des Jardins and Lisa Stone, and blogger/podcaster/digital reporter Steve Gillmor — takes a critical look at the concepts of expertise and elitism in the dynamic Web 2.0 world.

The moderator is Andrew Keen, founder of the podcast.

A $10 donation is requested for wine and cheese. Everyone is welcome, and the Hillside Club is wheelchair accessible.

9 responses to this post.

  1. […] The March 19 CyberSalon in Berkeley is about elitism in the blogosphere. Should be quite interesting, as the elite of print publishing apply their standards to the brightest lights in the blogging world.   […]


  2. Posted by Ramin on March 7, 2006 at 10:58 am

    Is the blogger\’s dinner still going on or was #2 the last one? I thought it was a good idea, having a regular gathering.


  3. Can anyone attend?


  4. Posted by John Feld on March 8, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    Yes anyone can attend.


  5. […] Nick Carr mis-states my point of view in his piece today about the value of meme-trackers, but I don’t disagree with his basic premise. That’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to hearing Markoff talk about elitism in the blogosphere on the 19th. Too often critics of amateur media think we all buy into all that everyone with a blog says. Of course that’s a fallacy since many of the blog critics use blogs to be criticial of blogs. Hey even I’ve noted that the blogosphere can be a more rabid pack of hunting hyenas than the pros are — it happens — all too frequently. People are people. The new media has potential to make things better, a potential that hasn’t been realized yet.   […]


  6. […] Reminder: CyberSalon, tomorrow, in Berkeley.   […]


  7. […] The question of whether my retirement has any significance for the blogosphere is likely to come up tonight at the well-timed CyberSalon, with a variety of different panelists with a variety of views of the staying power and utility of the blogosphere. […]


  8. […] And, an insightful demonstration of our media (yes, we the bloggerati) to self-correct and expand, given the discussion last night on media elitism at the monthly Cybersalon. Sorry Andrew, I just met you but I’m going to have to call bullshit on your whole premise. Blogs are the media (to invoke Steve Gillmor) and y’know what? We don’t need no fancy overhanging bureaucracy to ensure accountability or accuracy. We can handle it amongst ourselves thank you very much — because unless you in the old MSM, we won’t sell out our audiences or dump crap on them because we can — indeed, with so much choice and the “millions and millions of blogs”, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy that good content will emerge, will be attended to, will be corrected, reblogged, excoriated and made better through the process of mutual censure and examination. […]


  9. I met Andrew ironically enough because we are in the same writing group…and followed the development of his proposal for the book that eventually became this one. As someone who studied journalism for 4 years in college, endured the pain of unpaid internships and low paying jobs in order to get into a media career, I agree with Andrew that “the cult of the amateur” threatens the quality of the media we read. It has devalued the work of professionals, and whittled our pay to zero, now that everyone expects information to be free. On the other hand, there is some astonishing quality emerging from the “cult of the amateur” and the underground press is now mainstream, with Google democratizing the media to whomever shows up highest in the search engine. The freedom of the press belongs to those who own one. I think that the cost of freedom in this case is quality — but eventually we’ll see that the cream rises to the top, and hopefully those of us who worked hard to establish our credentials will be able to make a decent living again.


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