Had to happen

20.00.00 - Mark

As much as I love how advanced North Carolina is with respects to blogging, podcasting, and video casting (among other technologies). Unfortunately, those advances seem to be lost with my community college. I'll admit its not entirely surprising, we are in the mountains and Winston Salem (30 miles south east of here) seems to the western edge of NC enlightenment.

After three weeks, a movement started in part by an anonymous blog has helped catch the eyes and ears of the college administration and get them to address student concerns. Unfortunately both the local news and school are quick to dismiss the blog. While the local media is slightly more enlightened (they've excerpted this blog and keep tabs on several local bloggers, and have written about blogs, podcasts, and wikis among other things) the school administration isn't as kind. Rather than just dismissing the one student blog, they dismissed all blogs as a "national problem". Had I actually been approved to be there, I would have started ripping into him. His national problem of bloggers taking down corporations, media organizations, politicians is not a "problem" its a good thing.

Bloggers were the first ones to get the real stories out of Hurricane Katrina, and even as traditional media was in there reporting the news, citizen journalists were the ones writing the really moving stories. We're getting better, faster, and more informed looks at people like Harriet Miers. We can hear the real stories out of Iraq and the middle east, or find out the most recent Political squabbles from our own politicians, not just the wildly popular ones like Barack Obama, but even the small western NC representatives are taking time out to publish pieces in area blogs - at least if our politicians are so inclined.

Yes, you can get a disgruntled employee who wants to ruin your corporation, but I can't think of a really clear case where that has happened with blogs. (Someone feel free to prove me wrong) Yes, some companies have sued online publishers for soliciting trade secrets, and yes some have fired employee bloggers, but thats corporate America adapting to a new medium, but with IBM and others trying to get employees to blog I think that selecting a few cases in the minority is a low blow to a legimiant movement.

I'm willing to grant them that there are a lot of anonymous comments on the blog, and that there are probably a lot of people posting multiple times. However, if they bothered to count up the complaints signed with either a real name or contact (9 as of my last count) or handles (another 11 or so). I've heard that in Washington DC, representatives start a file when they receive 5 to 10 complaints. That may be out of 50,000 constituents. 20+ out of everyone who has passed though a rural community college should be lighting bon fires.

Its sad when you consider that they've launched an Internet Technology curriculum, but can't get themselves to pay even a minimal amount of attention to a website. More so when you think about how interconnected our societies are becoming, new and old, urban and rural, especially among the age groups that make up a large portion of their enrollment numbers...

(audio clips hopefully coming soon)

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