Monday, February 18, 2008

Why Huckleberries Online Works

"I continue to be amazed at the evolvement of Huckleberries Online and the local blog community. HBO Blogfest '08 is another example of something happenin' different here. A wonderful mix of personalities and pseudonyms. It didn't start out that way. But I'm delighted that we've gotten to a place where we can set aside ideologies, religious doctrine, politics, disparate backgrounds, etc., to enjoy one another's company." - Dave Oliveria.

After reading Dave's comment above I got to thinking about what is happening that is different on the HBO blog. I think its the immediacy, the spontaneity of many of the threads that makes the blog special. I've always thought the commenters are the driving force and indeed they are.

Those of us who just blog spend a lot of time crafting what we want to says as concisely as possible. If we get comments they come from random readers over a random period of time. On HBO, if a thread gets going, it is in real time. The thought process has to be nimble. The result is a conversation. Sometimes its funny, sometimes acrimonious, sometimes edgy. At times they have been mean spirited and sometimes just plain boring.

The most active threads usually revolve around local issues. That's a no brainer. The people who get into the spirit of the exchange are people within the community who have a lot of knowledge about the players, the issues and how things work in the body politic. It is one reason I usually don't jump in. I don't have the background. I'm more an asker of questions.

I'm thinking that a lot of the more volatile exchanges have been toned down. From that we're getting better information in a more reasoned format. Think about how valuable this is!

I was thinking about the folks who attended blog fest. The exchanges between many of them have been legend. Yet here they were being photographed together, tipping a brew together, chatting about who knows what - all together. They'll all go at it again to be sure. But because of the chance to meet and mingle, I have a better feel for the people behind the words and what level of credibility should be assigned.

This is a different type of information than one would get from the newspaper. It's not objective reporting; sometimes it's anything but factual. Sometimes the facts stare us in the face and for what ever reason we don't recognize them, or don't want to. What it is, is energetic discourse. It's what people are thinking as they think it - no matter who they may be. It isn't a canned speech. It isn't "spin". It's real.

This, to me, is what's different - what's happenin' on HBO!


Anonymous said...

As a former commenter on the HBO site I couldn't disagree more. What is left on that blog are the few who have teamed together in a constrained conversation that has run off any and all with varying points of view. Any who disagree are sliced and diced with personal attacks because the HBO bloggers cannot argue any intelligent points. The few sad figures who are left, except of course the author of this blog whose quality of thought and writing elevates HBO well beyond its means, take on multiple names and identities to make the blog look busy. Lo, such a downward slide into weightlessness.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I missed out as well. Not that I would not have wanted to touch base with some of the folks there - I just do not feel comfortable in the crowd after all the fall out.

I am still a little ticked off at the way HBO minimized my old site as nothing - even though it was taken over by porn developers and not one word of assurity by the S-R that they would remove the obscene links that were directly connected to me - but throwing responsibility and blame on me instead. Believe me IF that had happened to Christy Wood - they would have scrambled! Still don't know if it all is still there - I never went back to do THEIR work. Then I was paired up with insulting insinuations of some crush I had on another blogger. A sickening infantile attack that did not impress me. When I hold my ground -I get banned while folks make insulting remarks about my mental state. (This is a tactic that is regularly used against anyone that disagrees) They can have it. It is so Idaho and represents the greater portion of this area as it really is - you can't trust it.

Since then, I have lost the gooey- love-HBO feeling with the management of HBO/S-R (go figure)even though some of the single bloggers are super. But then MOST are not - the overwhelming bandwagon of negativity that belittles, humiliates, and disregards valid concerns and opinions drove me away. Just don't need that kind of ammunition pointing at me. So I blurk and find stuff that isn't true that looks like deliberate fodder about past particpates to stir up dust. Without the war - HBO fumbles while dropping the ball with incorrect information to keep it going. It thrives on discord.

HBO appears to me to be the local political equivolent of 'Entertainment Tonight' and when they get a Britney Spears or Elvis - they run them into the dirt. It's a local online tabloid rag. If they ever go to valid online registration - it might be safe enough to reconsider. Even blogspot has OpenID.

So I remain a blurker but not a hypocrite. :-)

Word Tosser said...

anonymous....I know it is hard for you to understand the purpose of the HBO blog..
Like my words on it.. it is a huge table where people come to converse about many many subjects. And like any friendship, there is give and take. Those who take usually leave after awhile because they find out they can't run the show. The blog has also turn some of the more venom commenters away with their more ethicial mode. As long as the commenter stay on the subject and not personal attack it... runs pretty smoothly. And of course if you do personal attacks, then you open yourself up to get back the same.
But more than anything else, I feel you just don't get it. That is not anything against you, really, but some get it, and some don't. I feel that you don't. It just isn't your bag, so to speak.
And the main thing is HBO IS SR's blog... first and foremost. And DFO is their ringmaster. He tries to be fair, he tries to balance the wheel as it runs ... and he is also human. Just as the bloggers are. Like life, some days are better than others.
As I sit here, I wonder why you would go to the blog if you really don't like it, or if you have so much admiration for the author of this blog, why would you leave such remark here. After all the author of this blog knows that every one who reads it, doesn't always agree with it. Just my humble opinion...

brentandrews said...

I had a great time. Missed seeing Stebbijo. Cold in Idaho. Everyone thought it was springtime, though. Looked like hard center of winter to this Tennessean. Back in the South today. Enjoying the weather. Missing my friends. Nice post, Dogwalk.

Anonymous said...

You know one of the ONLY reasons I wanted to go was to see Brent and Sam and his wife. After all they come MILES to see everyone.

Darn it anyway - next year when it is over, give us a call I will come down. Probably not Capones though - since they have anal issues with coffee cups. :-)

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed what Word Tooser said. I am new to the blogs and I find it all interesting. If I don't like something, I leave. Thanks for your side of things Dogwalk, always a pleasure. The Stickman

ThomG said...

One thing that TUBOB observed awhile ago, after meeting Larry Spencer at the Hayden Farmer's Market, was that it's harder to throw sharp elbows at folks after you've met them. I agree. I think events like Blogfest that bring us out from behind our monitors to look each other in the eye, hel to create a better community, both online and in the real world. Anyone who refuse to take advantage of these opportunities will, I'm afraid, be left outside in the cold with their noses pressed against the frosty glass wondering about all the laughter and warmth taking place inside. Sad. Really.