[Marxism] My blog

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Fri Jul 2 05:59:44 MDT 2004

>[Lou Proyect wrote:]
>I guess that I was blogging long before it was invented, but now I've
>joined the club courtesy of google's free service.
>Oh, noooooooooooooooooooooo!
>Come on... It started with Eli Stephens, then Yoshie Furuhashi got 
>one, both plugging their non-sensical, self-centered blaber -- and 
>now  Louis...

You've forgotten Lenin's Tomb <http://leninology.blogspot.com/>.  Are 
there other bloggers here?

>And people are talking about "comrades," "Marxists," even 
>self-defined "revolutionaries" . . . . ending up doing what all the 
>navel centered lib-labs are doing by the legions. Me, me, me, ME, 
>ME, ME, ME... (can I get a bigger font?)
>Very collectivist indeed!

A blog doesn't have to be an individual's journal, however.  You can 
create a "collectivist blog," if you will, and coordinate it with 
individual blogs.

Narcosphere is a good example:

What Is The Narcosphere?

The Narcosphere - it appears online at 
http://narcosphere.narconews.com/ - is a participatory, online, 
forum, where readers and journalists come together to discuss, 
correct, add new information and relevant links, and debate the work 
of the journalists who publish on NarcoNews.com.

The Narcosphere is similar to other forums on the Internet that 
utilize a software named Scoop (Kuro5hin and The Daily Kos are two of 
the more popular examples), but with some new twists.

First big change: We're doing away with the anonymity that 
historically has dominated the Internet. This is not a blanket 
rejection or critique of anonymity: There are still countless places 
online where people who choose to remain anonymous can do that, and 
we consider many of those forums, such as Indymedia, to be in harmony 
with ours. But to participate in The Narcosphere we all must sign our 
comments with our full name. After all, this is about journalism. 
Honesty and accountability are the hallmarks of Authentic Journalism, 
and so the price of admission includes honesty and accountability by 

Second big change: The readers shall, from tonight onward, be the 
copublishers of this newspaper. We are surrendering more control than 
any other newspaper we know of to the copublishers. For four years I 
have published Narco News, and I remain as editor-in-chief of the 
"classic Narco News" side of this newspaper: the reported stories by 
Authentic Journalists throughout América. But The Narcosphere will 
involve the copublishers in correcting, commenting, criticizing, and 
bringing new and relevant information and context to each story. 
Every report on Narco News will now serve as a "first draft" of 
immediate history, and the copublishers will expand upon each report, 
deepen the inquiry, ask pointed questions, suggest new leads, and 
often do investigative reporting themselves. Every reported story on 
the "classic Narco News" side of the publication will have a thread 
of comments on The Narcosphere side. It is time for the readers to 
start driving the coverage of news.

Third big change: It is time for journalists to start "blogging." 
Most Commercial Media do not allow their reporters to maintain 
weblogs without censoring them. We wish to launch a conversation 
between our journalists and our readers, so that both groups may 
learn from the other, and be enriched in a better understanding about 
how the two sides of the journalistic divide - producer and consumer 
- view journalism and news. Over the coming days and weeks, we'll be 
introducing our "journo-blogs" (we call them Reporters' Notebooks), 
and the journalists behind them, to the readers. And we will also, of 
course, be introducing our readers to the journalists. We do beg 
everyone's patience on one key factor: Many of our journalists do not 
speak every language in our Narcosphere. Some only speak Spanish. 
Others speak only Portuguese. Others, still, speak only English. 
Still others are new to "Internet language" such as html code. The 
process of translating, rapidly, these conversations is going to be a 
daunting task and will take some time to develop. But this kind of 
translation - not only of words, but of cultures and concepts that 
are distinct in different lands - offers one of the great promises 
and potentials of The Narcosphere: breaking the information blockades 
across language barriers and cultures.

Fourth big change: To become a copublisher, you have to show, and 
maintain, good faith toward the other copublishers and the project. 
The Internet is overflowing with commentators that are often called 
"trolls," whose main goal is, too often, the derailment of the 
project. Our break from anonymity solves a large part of that 
problem. This is how we solve the rest of it: Copublishers are, in a 
sense, investors, except the rules are distinct from those of Wall 
Street. To qualify for a copublisher account you have to invest. For 
journalists, that means writing news stories and columns that rise to 
Authentic Journalism standards of publication. We already count with 
dozens of journalists who have received scholarships from, or taught 
at, the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, or who have 
published their work on Narco News. Each of them is already in the 
door. For readers, that means investing your money or your time in 
the project. The fastest, easiest, way to qualify for your 
copublisher account is to make a donation to The Fund for Authentic 
Journalism, which is supporting this project. Or you can donate your 
labor (by translating or by contributing your talents in some other 
way that we consider a substantial, non-monetary, contribution). 
Copublishers have to abide by a few simple rules to keep us legal and 
never boring. Violating those minimal rules (no partisan electoral 
campaigning, no financial solicitations, that sort of thing) are 
grounds for losing a copublisher account.

Fifth big change: Copublishers will largely regulate each other, and 
will do it collectively. You will be able to "rate" (or vote on) the 
value of each comment made. Comments and Reporters' Notebook entries 
that receive the highest votes will be linked from page one of Narco 
News, and in the center column of The Narcosphere. We don't know of 
any other project in journalism that allows readers to place stories 
on the front page, but we think it's a necessary step in the 
Authentic Journalism renaissance. I believe it is so important that I 
am surrendering that power to the copublishers. Those copublishers 
who participate consistently and who receive high ratings from other 
copublishers will be granted "trusted user status," and those 
copublishers will be able to vote to "hide" comments that they feel 
are made in bad faith. They'll also be able to vote to take an 
unfairly hidden comment and place it back in public view.

Obviously, we are just beginning with so many new features, and this 
process will involve some trial and error. We'll be updating and 
evolving based on our lived experience with this project. 
Copublishers and readers will be involved in guiding the direction. . 
. .


* Critical Montages: <http://montages.blogspot.com/>
* Bring Them Home Now! <http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/>
* Calendars of Events in Columbus: 
<http://www.freepress.org/calendar.php>, & <http://www.cpanews.org/>
* Student International Forum: <http://sif.org.ohio-state.edu/>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osudivest.org/>
* Al-Awda-Ohio: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Al-Awda-Ohio>
* Solidarity: <http://www.solidarity-us.org/>

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