I've been thinking about writing this for some time. The events of the last two weeks have finally brought me to this point.
It's about blocking, censorship, MySpace, administrative vs. teacher leadership in technology - just a huge ball of wax. Will Richardson's post, Battling Censorship was what pushed me to writing here. Here's part of what he said:
...There are at best, what, 50? 100? 500? 1000? educators tuned into this conversation in a sea of hundreds of thousands. How many have posted? ....
Background: Here's Miguel Guhlin, leading the charge against censorship, after having both his blog and that of Wesley Fryer's blocked in some (many?) Texas school districts because they included the word MySpace in their postings. Content filtering of a really surprising magnitude - just incredible. Miguel has spoken out vociferously, is trying to get everybody to put "MySpace" on their blogs and web pages, so that those sitting at the blocker buttons will have no choice but to ease off, because nothing is getting through to schools.
OK. So Miguel's call to arms may seem unrealistic, but here is what he is doing that may indeed make a difference. He is getting his message out to educational discussion lists. I've seen his postings on wwwedu (2,000 members), edtech (3,500 email members), and I assume the digital divide list (3,000 members - Andy Carvin has pushed it out there for sure anyway). I'm sure the thread has spread to other lists by now. Easily, 10,000 people will have read what Miguel has had to say by now. Next, they will discuss it - with exponential numbers just around the corner, if people quote his postings and responses to them . Will R. is wrong when he suggests the numbers hearing this conversation are so small. That's if you only count the choir.
I say connect to the congregation, not just the choir. Miguel is truly taking it there. I wish other bloggers would start to realize the power and potential of the list medium. Just because it's not brand new and glitzy like blogging and rss is no reason to turn backs on the most powerful aggregator there is - the Inbox.
Posting to a list is a different art form from blogging. Man, once you send it, you can't EVER take it back on a list - can't just go into your blog and just delete the post. It's there for good. I find it so much easier to blog like this than to post to a list. It really takes me a long time, relatively, to put together my thoughts for a listserv.
So thanks for doing it, Miguel - taking on the somewhat stodgy establishment of lists, presenting a fresh approach, a new way of looking at things. There are wonderful writers out there posting incredible ideas on blogs right now. I wish their audience was bigger. It could be.