Friday, July 07, 2006

Weekend Without Echoes list is growing

By now I’ve read a few comments which reacted negatively to the Weekend Without Echoes concept. Some even attacked Mike Shear and Gordon Morse for their role in stirring the pot as speakers at the Sorensen Blog Summit.

First, of course I knew some people wouldn't like anything that is different. That's fine. But, let’s get one thing straight -- when I mentioned Shear and Morse, I didn’t mean to imply they were putting the blogging community down. Those two hardly wagged fingers and told their audience to be more like them, as it seems some have inferred. No. They were answering specific questions and I took the essence of what they said out of its context, in order to give the reader a little background.

So, the jabs at Shear and Morse are unfounded.

Anyway, the Weekend Without Echoes was my idea. My regular readers know I’ve been griping about the echo chamber thing for months. Finally, I decided to do something other than complain. This project is designed to bring out the best in those writers who want to take part in it. I predict we’ll see some fresh, worthwhile pieces to read that weekend (July 21-23). Now the experiment has taken on a life of its own and I’m delighted with that, too.

Give Shear and Morse a break. They were good enough to be guinea pigs at the Blog Summit. I salute them and all the other speakers for showing up at all. Meanwhile, here’s the updated (12:15 p.m., July 8) list of willing bloggers who are in on the project:

Vivian J. Paige; Bryan - Ambivalent Mumblings; Jerry Griffin - VB Dems; Waldo Jaquith; Conaway Haskins - South of the James; J.C. Wilmore - The Richmond Democrat; Jason Kenney - j's notes; Marijean Jaggers - StLWorkingMom; Alton Foley - ImNotEmeril; Chris Green - Spank That Donkey; Shaun Kenney; Jennifer L. McKeever - Jennifer's Charlottesville; Rick Sincere - Rick Sincere News and Thoughts; Claire Guthrie Gastanaga - ChangeServant; Charles - TwoConservatives; James Atticus Bowen - Deo Vindice; Melissa and Kristen - Monstrosity; Del. Kris Amundson and Del. Bob Brink - 7 West; Semi Truths; Thomas Krehbiel - The Krehbiel Strikes Back; Craig Vitter - Craig’s Musings; Don Harrison -- Save Richmond; Sisyphus

Note: An anonymous "comment" asked about the list above, and how to get on it. Rather than post my reply in the comments section, I felt it would be better to put it here, where more people are likely to see it.

While any number of bloggers may decide to abide by the spirit of the Weekend Without Echoes project, quite on their own, all the blogs/bloggers listed this post were good enough to contact Vivian Paige, or me, about their plans to do so. Some have sent emails. Most have simply left comments to that effect in posts at her site, or mine.

Obviously, I hope the idea for this experiment spreads. But it would be impossible for us to monitor the vast blogosphere to try to keep track of which ones want to participate, which ones don’t, or which ones decide to have an alternate blogging experiment in which they will not allow any originality for three days.

So, to be listed at SLANTblog, I’m going to keep it simple -- if a blogger notifies Vivian, or me, then they’re on the list. The rules for the weekend are just as simple, as far as I’m concerned -- bloggers should do their best to keep with the spirit of creating original material. I have no interest in becoming a blogging policeman, so we’ll all be on our honor to play fair. Hopefully, that will be good enough in most cases.

It costs nothing to be in on this experiment. My hope is that it will spawn a festival of originality that will be a breath of fresh air in the midsummer doldrums. I hope it gives some writers (such as myself) a deadline to finish a piece they’ve been meaning to wind up, but lacked an incentive. I hope it hastens the day that the copycat conformity of the stale Postmodern Era comes a crashing halt ... whew!

And, I hope anyone who wants to be on SLANTblog’s list of participating bloggers for the Weekend Without Echoes will let us know, so we can add them to the eclectic list of writers who enjoy a challenge.


Sisyphus said...

When I stared my blog a few months ago my intention was to create something of a personal magazine with essays, book and movie reviews, a little poetry here and there, etc. About my second day of blogging I realized I did not have the time for all that -- after all I have a job and family in the real world.

So, as a result, about 90% or more of what I offer are references to things I read that I find interesting along with some comments. I figure if I can point people in the right direction then I have performed a service.

I have to admit I find many local and state level blogs pretty awful and many of them an "echo chamber." I enjoy writing when I can find the time. Therefore, I'll take up the weekend challenge that weekend and just make the time. Where do I sign up?


F.T. Rea said...


Welcome aboard. To sign up/declare, all anyone needs to do is just what you have done.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't NLS on your list?

F.T. Rea said...


Your question has been answered in an update in the body of the post. Thanks for asking. Maybe you can pass the info along to NLS, and any others interested in being added to the list of participating bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Yes, everyone...let's all be original together!

Bryan J. Scrafford said...

I am looking forward to taking part in the Weekend Without Echos. (I run Ambivalent Mumblings) I believe it will be interesting to see not only what people have to say, but also to see the actual methods people use to create more orginial posts (holding live-blog sessions, doing more interviews, giving personal stories, etc).