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The PJNet Weblog Collective

Watch as the PJNet grows into a collective of bloggers who write about journalism, the media or other related topics. My new site BiggerBrain, which supplements this one, is a prototype of how it works. The PJNet will be the core site, an aggregator of all things pertaining to public journalism, and specifically, it will highlight items of interest from our collective of weblog writers.

We will start slowly, but then keep growing. Of course, we will go outside the collective too to places like Jay Rosen’s PressThink. However, as a collective we believe people who come to us can feed off the audience we already have and then add to that audience by bringing in their own audience. More importantly it will add to the power of collective thinking. I am sold on the concept that as a group we can expand our ideas much further than we can as individuals.

Indeed, my BiggerBrain site is dedicated to “exploring the power of collective thinking.” It will be my own site, for which I am responsible as the Fowler Chair at Kennesaw State University, and at which I can rant as I choose without fear of commingling my personal ideas with my responsibilities as president of the PJNet.

The members of this weblog collective will all be dues paying members of the PJNet.

The opinions expressed on the individual weblogs in this collective will be owned and copyrighted (or not) by the individuals writing them. Neither the Public Journalism Network, Kennesaw State University, nor the Fowler Chair will be responsible for their content.

On Monday Griff Wigley of Wigley and Associates will begin giving Kennesaw State University staff and students weblog training. Basically it will be a train the trainers session. As they get up to speed, they then will train members of the collective who need help. They might need a little help in the beginning, but, in fact, it is simply knowing how to type.

Wigley is far out in front of most of us. He understands what’s under the hood of weblogs, but also understands their civic-building potential. He has a personalized weblog, called Real Joe, and one he helps maintain for Northfield, Minnesota. The Northfield site is an excellent example of how a weblog can be a community builder.

As I said, Wigley is out in front on this; he got me thinking about weblogs, and I believe he was an early influence for Jay Rosen, who now fully appreciates the power of weblogs and is putting that power to work at PressThink.

I might be a bit evangelical because I am just now discovering that power myself, but I do think weblogs are changing the way information is transmitted and will radically change the way journalism is practiced. Public Journalism set the theoretical framework for what the power of weblogs will make possible. It was an idea waiting for a technology, a mechanism to carry it forward; blogging is that technology, it is that mechanism.

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