Thursday, July 5, 2012

Conversation is Fire


Shining light on places and people other media often ignore. I find this quote to be a wonderful reminder of why YOU and I--as bloggers and podcasters--are critical to our democracy. But when we talk about democracy, I often forget that the freedoms podcasters and bloggers need is always under attack. As more people are able to publish at will, there are others who will seek to silence them. However, as I was re-reading The ClueTrain Manifesto this morning, I ran across Doc Searls...
Conversation is fire.
That's a reality that censors are well aware of, and that podcasters are aware of, but I think, in a different way. I'm excited about sharing a conversation with someone with the world...a censoring organization is more interested in controlling that conversation for its own gain. Yesterday, the top visited blog entry was my short conversation with an El Paso ISD assistant principal sharing what she had to say. For a few days, this assistant principal's podcast dominated my stats.

The reason for that is that...
People in networked environments have figured out that they get far better info and support from one another than from their own organizations. As we link to each other, as we respond to the honesty, the vulnerability, and truth, we see that hyperlinks DO subvert hierarchy.
Source: adapted from The ClueTrain Manifesto
Doc Searls words are especially true for bloggers and podcasters who are covering education events, events that those organizations may try to control for their own gain. As each of us awakens to our ability to share ideas, publish information, the truth--we are human beings and our reach exceeds your grasp. Deal with it--is especially powerful.

Encountering censorship isn't an easy thing. As a writer, I've encountered it several times...each time, the censorship was presented in a "frightening" way. In each moment, disapproval was expressed with a particular line of thought. I know it's easy to read this and think, "Miguel is pretty out there, maybe he deserves to be censored." In fact, I have to ask myself, "Should you be censored? What are the mitigating circumstances? Are there ever any mitigating circumstances (aside from security)?"

Now, if I didn't live and work in the United States, maybe censorship would be a bigger deal, a life or death issue. For now, it's an issue that we can write about, discuss, and never forget. But it's clear to me that people who use organizational power to censor are always oppressive in their approaches.

At the time, I cited Robert Quinn (Deep Change). I share his words again, In every single case, the transformational leader had, at least once, broken a state law. To transform the ineffective organization into an effective one, required forms were not turned in, regulations were ignored and directives violated. Are you as a podcaster prepared to break the rules to transform the ineffective into effective?

If transformational leadership in a Read/Write Web world in the hands of people like you and me, will we all break the "rules" set by ineffective organizations? Could the means of that peaceful, civil disobedience be to shine light on those places the organization would rather have you ignore and be left in darkness to their short-term benefit, long-term ruin?

Global Voices aggregates, curates, and amplifies the global conversation online – shining light on places and people other media often ignore...

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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