How did all these bloggers get so resourceful and practiced at learning informally from the blogging they are doing? Was there a workshop or webinar I missed on how grow and change from blogging? Is there a sim where the branched story guides the learner to make the right learning choices? Are all these bloggers learning informally (from reading, writing, linking, subscribing, deleting, quoting and getting quoted) without being taught how to do that? Aren't they (and me) in danger of making costly mistakes to have taught themselves how to learn from blogging?
Are there leaders running this show? It there a design for this community in my blog reader provided by someone else? Maybe there is one of those servant leaders that leads by following, serving and supporting the followers? But I'm thinking I'm the real leader. I decide to subscribe and delete RSS feeds and control the membership and agenda this way. I create new folders and dictate which bloggers go in each. I give the folders names of my choosing, like I'm doing some Web 2.0 folksonomy tagging thing.This might be an unconference. I don't recall flying to my blog reader, renting a nearby hotel room or signing up for the conference. But the latest postings in my blog reader seem like that whiteboard of potential conference sessions. It's that same process where the agenda cannot be set in advance, but emerges from the collective expertise that is gathered together. Whenever a blogger stays with a topic for several postings, that's like a conference session. When other bloggers join in via comments or links to their own blog, that's like a panel session in my blog reader.
My blog reader is like Nancy White's diagram for a "topic centric" blog community where there are many shifting overlaps between blogs. None of the bloggers are boundaried and ruling out the overlap with my interests. It reminds me (Nancy too perhaps?) so much of the new TV show (Fall 2006 inthe US) called "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip". The flux within the community comes up with a program schedule from scratch each week, abuses a team that writes comedy sketches in the basement while coaltions and stances constantly change among the characters. The show gives a fascinating portrait of an amorphous / structured community in action, just like the amazing show in my blog reader.All these contributions appear to raise the water level and float all the boats. It's functioning like the open source movement and gift economies. The decentralized, democratized governance nurtures staggering amounts of initiative, creativity, and enterprising spirit among the bloggers in my reader. There are no privitized tax breaks, kickbacks or subsidies for blogging. It's as amazing as the quality of wikipedia entries or the generosity of each Burning Man festival attendee.
What's the effect of all this. It appears highly contagious to me. We're talking "network effects" like every blogger is linked to every other blogger. Changes can move through this system without making it happen. Unlike controlled distribution systems, confining pipelines and hierarchical power structures, this is the long tail of phenomenal numbers of artisans at work. And it's all inside my blog reader right now. Wow!