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Politics Government

Blog Action Day 216

aroberts writes "Today is Blog Action Day which means that lots of bloggers will be writing on one general topic for one day in an attempt to see what might be achieved through coordinated posting, and I am one of them so my humble contribution amongst the hundreds of thousands is entitled individual action is not enough. The topic for this year's blog action day is the environment." You can almost hear the sound of the vacuum created by bloggers thinking that their words matter when the people with control don't even know how to read the tubes. Lick a stamp or march- that's harder to ignore.
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Blog Action Day

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2007 @07:53AM (#20981043)
    Take your Blog and Shove It ! I ain't reading here no more !!
  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @07:54AM (#20981049) Journal
    This reminds me of a quote I heard on the difference between blogging and flogging
    The difference between blogging and flogging, is that flogging actually leaves an impression on people.
    • Blogs are like any other kind of media. You have your large, successful, commercial entities that command a lot of power in people's mindspace.

      Then you have all the other entities whose purposes are varied, and appeal either to a select audience, some sort of niche; and you have entities that essentially appeal to the author's vanity.

      It's important to remember that, much like a crowd, blogs don't have a unified voice. And their voices are harder to find. Blogging does leave an impression on people, but le
  • Fixed. (Score:5, Funny)

    by EveryNickIsTaken ( 1054794 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @07:54AM (#20981053)

    You can almost hear the sound of the vacuum created by bloggers thinking that their words matter.
    Fixed that for you...
  • Such an impact (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tomknight ( 190939 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @07:57AM (#20981081) Homepage Journal
    Tumbleweed drifts past....
  • right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Monday October 15, 2007 @08:00AM (#20981093) Homepage Journal
    that's why the founding fathers were waisting their time writing all those pamphlets. i doubt the king or the parliament read those. so what value did they hold?
     
    most blogs are day journals and have very low readership - but there are a number of blogs that directly impact the thinking and actions of thousands of readers. in aggregate there are millions influenced - and if those millions act in a coordinated fashion, they become the ones in control.
    • Re:right (Score:5, Funny)

      by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @08:10AM (#20981193) Journal
      that's why the founding fathers were waisting their time writing all those pamphlets.

      From the paintings, I seem to remember Ben Franklin having a rather big waistline.
    • but there are a number of blogs that directly impact the thinking and actions of thousands of readers. in aggregate there are millions influenced - and if those millions act in a coordinated fashion, they become the ones in control

      But you can't get more than five bloggers to agree on what's the most important thing about a given topic unless they're just the usual small fry talking to themselves and their already-drank-the-koolaid like-minded buddies. If you told a less-engaged person that today was We R
      • I'm not saying the bloggers will be in control. They may be able to motivate people to take control. I do think they can have a lot of influence. Sure there are varying opinions, but it seems to me this idea is about trying to get on the same general page.

        It's easy to forget how young this medium is, and I think it has the potential to become huge. Mocking it now and saying there is no point is ignoring what may come down the road. It reminds me of the people who say we shouldn't recycle becaus
    • The purpose of the pamphlets was to get people out into the streets - to march and protest Britain's injustices. This movement says that blogging is an end in itself; that writing about some injustice on the Internet will somehow magically make the injustice go away. If they were calling for bloggers to organize some kind of protest movement (much like the Committees of Correspondence organized protest against the British) that'd be different.

      • This movement says that blogging is an end in itself; that writing about some injustice on the Internet will somehow magically make the injustice go away. If they were calling for bloggers to organize some kind of protest movement (much like the Committees of Correspondence organized protest against the British) that'd be different.

        Not exactly. They have 3 ways to participate:

        1. Post on your blog relating to the environment on Blog Action Day
        2. Donate your days earnings to an environmental charity
        3. Promote
  • by jayhawk88 ( 160512 ) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Monday October 15, 2007 @08:01AM (#20981111)
    Have you been outside recently? IT'S HOT! Or Raining! Also there are bears.
  • by tsa ( 15680 )
    You can almost hear the sound of the vacuum created by bloggers thinking that their words matter when the people with control don't even know how to read the tubes. Lick a stamp or march- that's harder to ignore.

    I couldn't agree more. I wouldn't even know how and where to find all these important bloggers in the tubes...
    • by mh1997 ( 1065630 )

      You can almost hear the sound of the vacuum created by bloggers thinking that their words matter when the people with control don't even know how to read the tubes. Lick a stamp or march- that's harder to ignore. I couldn't agree more. I wouldn't even know how and where to find all these important bloggers in the tubes...
      Why would you lick a stamp? They are all self stick now.
    • MySpace
    • I write my blog in the tube [tfl.gov.uk] quite often (and then post it when I get to an internet connection.) I'm sure some of the important bloggers do the same...
  • Today for blog action day, all bloggers will report that it is blog action day!
  • DNA (Score:3, Funny)

    by Lodragandraoidh ( 639696 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @08:05AM (#20981155) Journal

    Lick a stamp or march- that's harder to ignore.


    Yes, but that also leaves traces of DNA...
  • And here I thought you said "Blog Auction Day". A day where all bloggers will shill for money.

    Ok, to be fair, not all of them do, but at least it would get it all out in the open for all the astroturfers out there..

  • Why not pick a topic that effects everyone now? Perhaps, politicians who flip flop (almost all of them), unjust wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, maybe Iran soon), dollar devaluation and the fed who prints money and causes inflation, spend time blogging about politicians that the main stream media ignores (Ron Paul), or any number of actually important topics. But, the environment? Did you guys drink the purple cool-aid with Al Gore?

    The Nobel Peace Prize has already been handed out. That bandwagon has already be
    • Why not pick a topic that effects everyone now?
      This way they get to have a group wank. If they picked a cause rather than an effect they might actually have to get off their arses and change something.

       
    • by Dunbal ( 464142 )
      dollar devaluation and the fed who prints money and causes inflation

      Printing money doesn't necessarily cause inflation. Allowing that printed money to rapidly expand the money supply does. But there are many other ways to expand the money supply without actually printing money. Just like there are ways to reduce it without "burning" money.
    • Why not pick a topic that effects everyone now? Perhaps, politicians who flip flop (almost all of them), unjust wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, maybe Iran soon), dollar devaluation and the fed who prints money and causes inflation, spend time blogging about politicians that the main stream media ignores (Ron Paul), or any number of actually important topics.

      Perhaps the reason they picked the environment is because that does affect everyone? Sorry to burst your bubble but most of the rest of the world does not g
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @08:12AM (#20981211) Homepage Journal

    You can almost hear the sound of the vacuum created by bloggers thinking that their words matter when the people with control don't even know how to read the tubes. Lick a stamp or march- that's harder to ignore.
    its not about making the people with control hear it. they wouldnt "hear" you if you were to play a drum frantically in their front door yelling your petition, because they dont care.

    its about making PEOPLE notice. because PEOPLE is the power.

    remember that the fight for net neutrality was conducted that way, and billion buck worth megacorp lobbying was thwarted.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      People are sheep, people dont want to be bothered, people cant be expected to miss the latest episode of lost because of a city council meeting.

      All the lip service the environment has going for it and nobody is still willing to do anything about it. Many recycling programs fail because people do not want to bother with separating their trash. Free or subsidized insulation programs for the inner city poor fail fast because nobody cares to donate. Nobody fights city hall to remove laws restricting alternat
      • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @09:00AM (#20981691)

        All the lip service the environment has going for it and nobody is still willing to do anything about it. Many recycling programs fail because people do not want to bother with separating their trash. Free or subsidized insulation programs for the inner city poor fail fast because nobody cares to donate. Nobody fights city hall to remove laws restricting alternative power. boo hoo that you dont want to look at solar panels on my roof. Being a selfish ass does not help the environment.


        I am NOT an environmentalist. I will NOT sacrifice my lifestyle for "the greater good." I am focused on my family first, idealism is a WAY distant second. However, some wise environmentalists are starting to make the programs reasonable. Our power company, no doubt as part of the deal with the government, ran a program for insulation. They inspected the insulation for free, gave a credit for insulation, and brought a list of contractors for us to choose from AND set up the install. I just had to sit at home and have a check ready when they showed up, sealed my ducts, and blew in insulation. Because of the credit, in four months I've recovered half the cost of the insulation, making it a no brainer, and the environment wins.

        My roof is coming up due for replacement. The technology of panels on the roof was expensive, didn't save money in the time frame that most people own their houses, and was extremely ugly. However, the new technology of "panel roofs," where you have tile-like installations on the roof was starting to be feasible, as the labor to install on the roof was about the same, but the electrical hookups were costly. The new systems come in "sheets" so they are easier to install than roof tiles, integrate with the roof, and should, in time, cost about the same to install as a normal new roof. As the costs (after tax breaks) comes down, more people will use them. Demanding ugly roofs on people's homes with a "boo hoo" will not get you buy in, but come up with a series of tax incentives and let the free market develop solutions that people want and you can actually get progress.

        If you really want recycling efforts, then you need to make it easy for people, convenient, and ideally provide some incentive to them doing so. Just like some states offer deposits with refunds for recycling cans/bottles, why not have a scale in the curb-side pickup of recycled materials, and give people a credit on their garbage bill.

        People aren't sheep, people are autonomous individuals. Their willingness to spend their free time on your pet projects instead of their families is pretty limited. I don't see you offering free babysitting services or transportation for their kids to after school events to free up time for people to do what you want. I don't hear that you're donating money, you just want other people to do so.
        • If you really want recycling efforts, then you need to make it easy for people, convenient, and ideally provide some incentive to them doing so.

          Brilliant! I happen to be a flaming liberal who gets all choked up at the thought of saving the endangered meadow foam, but I don't expect the rest of the world to feel the same way. Mr. alexhmit01 is right on the money. We have to make environmentalism an economic and social no-brainier.

          I live in a region that consistently sends republican representatives to congress, but since the city instituted no-sort curbside recycling, nearly every house in my neighborhood recycles. We can never expect Joe Publi

        • by 3waygeek ( 58990 )

          If you really want recycling efforts, then you need to make it easy for people, convenient, and ideally provide some incentive to them doing so. Just like some states offer deposits with refunds for recycling cans/bottles, why not have a scale in the curb-side pickup of recycled materials, and give people a credit on their garbage bill.

          The city [duluth-ga.com] I live does something like that. Any trash to be picked up must be placed in specially labelled bags (costing roughly $1.30 for a 32-gallon bag); recyclables are pl

        • That's ok. There's a few billion people in Asia who want your lifestyle, and will work for less than you can afford to cut your price down to. Don't worry, they'll probably move to the US some day.
      • I think a lot of people out there would care, and would like to be more informed, it's just hard to do. You want to blame Lost and pop-culture, and while that's a big part of it, there's also a lot of hardworking people out there who just don't have the time to find out about all of the stuff that's going on. The mainstream news media has really dropped the ball in terms of providing real and useful information, and that's created a great opening for the internet to step in and provide people with info.

        The
      • by unity100 ( 970058 )
        im seeing many, even some dogged, zealotly conservative people taking up on some ideas.
      • People need to stop singing to the Choir and figure out how to make the average sheep pay attention

        Sheep pay attention when there is a wolf or a sheepdog in their midst.

        Most USians will start paying attention when their quality of life is affected by environmental concerns. This can be the wolf (toxins causing disease to a relation or friend) or it can be the sheepdog (government/NGO/grassroots action to force/encourage good environmental practices).

        The problem with the 'wolf' approach is that the level

      • Many recycling programs fail because people do not want to bother with separating their trash.

        Most recycling programs fail because recycling isn't economically viable. It's 3x as expensive [citizenreviewonline.org] to 'recycle' something as it is to place it in a landfill. And oftentimes, just because you place something in the recycling bin doesn't mean that it actually will get recycled. It might have too much organic residue leftover, or the guy who is sorting that day just doesn't recognize it for what it is.

        I'm all for developi

        • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
          Metal and glass recycling both make money. problem is most metals that are worth the most are non ferrous and therefore can not be easily separated automatically. The amount of aluminum and copper that ends up in landfills daily is insane.

          Glass recycling also is now profitable. Problem is only manual seperation can get glass away from dirty diapers and used condoms in the waste stream. Why not force the consumer to spend 3/4 of a second to do it instead of spending the cash on the backend to do it?
  • by IBBoard ( 1128019 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @08:16AM (#20981243) Homepage
    The difference between blogging and news is that the mainstream media who make the news know about grammar.

    ...my humble contribution amongst the hundreds of thousands is entitled individual action is not enough.


    Aren't titles supposed to be quoted and capitalised? How do the bloggers hope to get anywhere without basic grammar like that?

    Oh, I forgot, it is teh interwebs so you don't have to write properly to think you have a point. In fact there may even be an inverse correlation between grammar and blogger's perceived importance of blog post.
  • O RLY? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <jason@jas[ ]efkowitz.net ['onl' in gap]> on Monday October 15, 2007 @08:17AM (#20981245) Homepage

    You can almost hear the sound of the vacuum created by bloggers thinking that their words matter when the people with control don't even know how to read the tubes.

    And yet Josh Marshall and his blog Talking Points Memo [talkingpointsmemo.com] managed to break the U.S. attorney firing scandal [time-blog.com] -- a scandal that ultimately led to the removal of the Attorney General [nytimes.com], the highest law enforcement officer in the U.S. This despite the fact that the AG's boss hardly knows how to read, much less to read the "tubes".

    I'm not saying that all blogs can have this kind of impact. TPM succeeded because they did the hard work of unearthing the story and keeping it alive when nobody else cared about it; most bloggers do it for fun and don't have that level of commitment. But it's silly to make sweeping generalizations dismissing the impact blogs can have when the evidence to the contrary is all around us.

    • Same thing happened here in Utah. A bunch of bloggers (including yours truly) scooped the papers on a faked e-mail sent out during a referendum issue. A week later, the spammer has charges leveled against him in the AG's office and the papers still aren't reporting jack squadoo (aside from a brief blog-only posting from one of the political columnists).
  • All the ones I buy are self-adhesive.
  • BRIAN: Good morning.
    FOLLOWERS: A blessing! A blessing! A blessing!...
    BRIAN: No. No, please! Please! Please listen. I've got one or two things to say.
    FOLLOWERS: Tell us. Tell us both of them.
    BRIAN: Look. You've got it all wrong. You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves. You're all individuals!
    FOLLOWERS: Yes, we're all individuals!
    BRIAN: You're all different!
    FOLLOWERS: Yes, we are all different!
    DENNIS: I'm n
  • Lick a stamp or march - that's harder to ignore.

    Tee hee, yeah, for sure..... that's why there's no war happening in Iraq right now.

    Real change doesn't happen at the end of a picket sign, it happens at the end of a six figure check written to a politician's campaign fund.
    • One method doesn't exclude the other and very few people have the money to write six figure checks. Real change happens after the first brick of stone is thrown, and when that happens, it is important to know that at least you tried changing it the right way.
  • Power consumption (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WPIDalamar ( 122110 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @08:43AM (#20981507) Homepage
    I wonder if the planet would benefit more from a bunch of whiney bloggers posting, or from that same group of bloggers simply turning off their computers.
  • Why not Portal? The environment gets so much attention anyway. I'll be writing about Portal, Valve's new and wonderful game.

    Actually, my writing is actually done and I'm just waiting until 4:30 to post it.
  • Lick a stamp or march- that's harder to ignore.

    Actually, sending e-mail is still better than snail-mail, since the anthrax scare continues to wreak havoc with mail to Reps and Senators. I've gotten several response directly from my Rep when I've brought up issues (or at least they seemed to come from him). Nothing directly from my Senators, but I don't expect that.

    What tech geeks need to do if they want to influence legislation is the same thing everyone else does, hire lobbyists. You can live in the hap

  • Wait, so we've all got to apologise to Ursula K Le Guin now?

    Damn you Doctorow!
  • Just wait until next year.

    Blog Action Day 2.0. The Revenge.

  • Blog Action Day will be almost as effective as e-petitions.
  • by Phoenix666 ( 184391 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @10:20AM (#20982621)
    Blogging might influence dunderhead journalists who are too lazy to do any first-hand research or reporting to write a story, which might cause John Q. Public to write a letter to a politician, who might modify his behavior because of it.

    But mostly it's masturbation. The schlubs at the blogs, for example, really think they're DOING SOMETHING. But at the end of the day they're just whining. If they're really lucky some politician might pretend to care, but politicians cater to those who have money and those who can deliver votes. That's it, and that's all.

    It's no coincidence that most American politics revolve around the interests of corporations, the interests of powerful lobbies like AIPAC, and the interests of SEIU (the last and only effective union in America). If you're AIPAC, for example, and can deliver both money and votes, you're golden. They represent a fraction of a fraction of a fraction, but they vote and give money in lockstep. So hey presto! we're invading Iraq, even though the vast majority of Americans can't even point to that country on a map; They're also on the verge of pushing our government to attack Iran, though the vast majority of American voters want out of the first mess they created in Iraq.

    So in reality, blogs are irrelevant. Are and always will be.

    The key to results in democratic systems is to be able to execute swiftly and with near-unanimity. If, for example, Slashdot readers were able to initiate and execute a general strike to oppose, say, abuse at the USPTO, or the passage of the DMCA, you better believe the powers-that-be would sit up and take notice if their electronic trading systems handling billions of dollars went down. If you think about it, the sort of people who read Slashdot control the computer networks that are the nervous system of our modern world. They hold all the cards and could compel many changes in our world if they worked together.

    But they don't, because Slashdot is really just a blog for geeks who post or vent and think they've done their bit. They take no actual action beyond that.

    If they did, just imagine the possibilities.

    Chew, and digest.

  • It's not from doing stuff like this. It's in the arts. You get a bunch of people marching and forming their little lib armies, and all that does is tick people off. But, when you get some talented lib lay it out for you in a story or a song or a classroom, and does it in a way that can reach you, people buy into that a lot more.

    The bottom line is, putting up mass protests and collectively forming these big save the earth religions isn't going to save the earth. Handing money to somebody else to go save t
  • Does it still count if I write a blog post encouraging people to pollute as much as possible, and basically piss all over the environment at every opportunity? Because that's how I feel after having "global warming" crammed in my face for the last six months.
  • and can influence people's ideas and opinions. I'm assuming anyone posting on slashdot believes this implicitly. If you are posting on slashdot and don't think it has some merit on some level, why bother? Granted, most blogs are pretty annoying. Nevertheless, I think it is generally a good thing to have a forum to express individual ideas. As long as there is a way for the end user to select and filter, I say blogs are a good thing.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus

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