What is the blogosphere? (Updated 01/08 9:30 PM EST)

In a comment to Sigmund, Carl and Alfred’s blog entry about male and female bloggers, Isabella commented that the blogosphere seemed, at least from her perspective as a woman, like high school.

This fits well with some thoughts that have been mulling over in my head over the past twenty-four hours. Yesterday afternoon I had a wonderful discussion with my daughter Mairead about parallels between France around the time of the French revolution and what is going on in the United States today.

It was a fascinating discussion that I hope to forge into a great blog post in the future. It reminded me of my best memories of college, those late night discussions about philosophy, politics, religion, and everything else under the sun. Mairead is very fortunate to get to have these discussions now, skipping some of the less desirable aspects of high school. I am very fortunate to participate from a distance as her father. At its best, the blogosphere has the ability to be a venue for such wonderful conversations.

I also spoke on the phone yesterday with a friend whose daughter is in sixth grade and is suffering the ill effects of mean girls and queen bees. At its worst, the blogosphere, and all the IMs and chatrooms are an amplification of these worst tendencies.

All of this came together in a discussion that I had last night with my friend Gabe Wachob who is running for a spot on the California Democratic State Central Committee. He had sent me a draft of his statement that he wanted to distribute to the electors and want to know my thoughts. He was particularly concerned about being ‘too cheesy’. As we talked about it, he pointed me to a picture he has of him with Diane Feinstein from 1983 when he was a kid.

It is a great picture and I encouraged him to use it. We talked more about his message and I suggested that his tag line should be something like, “I want to help regular people feel really excited about being Democrats.” We desperately need more people like Gabe in politics.

I continue to get into discussions about whether I should run for State Chair of the Connecticut Democratic Party. It would be a great honor, and a wonderful job, and I do need a new job. However, if I do decide to run, it will be to help regular people feel really excited about being Democrats. My goal would be to help build that excitement through my running, independent of who gets elected. My biggest concern is that I don’t want to be a spoiler and end up causing someone who won’t build the party that way to get elected.

So, what is the blogosphere? At its best it is a place where we can return to the wonderful experiences of our youth when we first got involved in politics, when we first had heart felt discussions about everything and anything, when we were driven by concern about how we can best help one another At its worst, it is a place where narrow minded queen bee wannabees snipe at one another and cause great harm.

Let us all strive for the best the blogosphere can offer.

Update: Gabe won. He is now a member of the California State Central Committee!

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