Notes from Thursday’s (10/23/03) Berkman Blog Meeting

Published: 10/23/03

Tonight’s agenda and highlights from the discussion:

The main numbered items are the main agenda items. The bullet points (which WordPress displays as numbers) are highlights from the group’s discussion.


  1. Introductions
  2. Discussion of the form and function of the Thursday night group

    • Why are we here?

      • community building
      • learning new skills
      • face-to-face contact with other bloggers

    • What’s the meeting all about?
    • What does each of us hope to get out of the meetings?
    • How do we attract new people?

      • word of mouth
      • public relations/advertising

        • have to get people to buy in to blogging in the first place

      • tap alumni base
      • gift to people by using someone else’s e-mail address
      • How do people learn about us in the first place?
      • follow-up with previous plans, like kiosks or tables at events
      • start small: can each of us do outreach for the group?

        • How far do we want to go with this?

          • How far beyond Harvard? This is a Harvard project.
          • Meetings should remain open to people outside of Harvard, but the focus of the Berkman Center’s project should still be Harvard. Berkman reaching outside of Harvard could be very problematic.

      • Have to reach a person, not just start a project
      • How do we explain blogging to people who have no idea what a blog is in the first place?

        • Web site?
        • content management system?
        • authoring tool?
        • magical notebook?
        • digital notebook?
        • online diary?

  3. A further exploration of the idea of monthly social/discussion/dinner events.

    • Model: getting a function room, having a speaker, then discussing what the speaker says.

      • Non-blogger, but interesting speakers addressing the group could mean we introduce the speaker (and his/her fans) to blogging

    • Potluck dinners while meeting
    • Money: dutch-treat or where do we get the money?

  4. Significance of other groups asking us how we do the blogging stuff on campus. Their questions:

    • How do you do what you do at Harvard?
    • How do you set up a server that’s restricted to people with certain e-mail accounts?
    • Can you show me how to do that at my institution?
    • Is our mission to get people to use a certain kind of software or to start blogs?

  5. “We are what – and where – we eat”

    • lighter/dessert fare for those who eat before the meeting
    • communal ordering is problematic
    • the size of the group

  6. Let’s put eating into practice (my addition)

    • We’re going to ChangSho tonight.

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