Well gosh, I was as close as I come to "speechless" when a friend forwarded me Adam Minter's post in "ShanghaiScrap" yesterday. I posted a link to Shanghai Scrap after reading it last winter.
His post yesterday was titled, "The best scrap blogger in the world", and it directed... Here!
It is clearly gratifying, and I hope his credibility doesn't suffer. I have never met Adam Minter (though confused him with Adam Mentor, at Net Impact, for more than a year). While in China, Adam has approached "e-waste recycling" with a skeptical point of view. His posts have been "investigative" in nature, and were initially pretty negative about recycling. But he has come around to seeing some of the developmental perspectives I formed as a former regulator and Peace Corps volunteer.
He is a better writer than I am, with a simpler style. Generally, I have stayed away from the advice to write simple bullet points (for the bottom of the class, increasing page hits for dummies). Web rankings measure a hit by a twitter-doofus the same as a hit by a Ph.D. candidate. A page hit on an insightful post means more to me than ten page hits on an image of Cameron Diaz... [sorry dudes. no link]
I caught this "title", now what?
The most visited post this year, a top hit, is "Monkeys Running the Environmental Zoo". It is getting about 100 reads per week. But what I like is that it circulates geographically, with new hits from new countries every week. How do we improve on it, ShanghaiScrap and me?
What I'd like to see, ideally, are intelligent bloggers like Adam networked in Africa, South America, India, Eastern Europe, etc. etc. who would all approach the subject of "Fair Trade Recycling" or "E-waste Exports" through an objective lens. That would give me some assurance, if my theories are out of sync with the times, that "leapfrog" is really happening, that waste is waste and there are no social benefits to preserve, that I'd get the message early.
My two biggest influences, probably, have been the Socratic dialogues (Plato) and Alexis de Toqueville's Democracy in America (ok, Mark Twain). How can we exponentially improve philosophical writings? With a few open minded bloggers, sharing perspectives from different parts of the world, using Socratic method (dialectic and constructive questioning and argument), we could use de Toqueville's approach of observational digestion, and apply crowd-sourcing and wiki multipliers to it.
I also am a fan of science fiction, and actually wrote a third of a sci fi novel... which was stolen when my little apartment in East Boston was broken into and someone who was not a "geek" thought that stealing my 1991 Macintosh SE 30 was a "good idea". It was like having someone break into your basement and steal an old file cabinet. They stole my e-waste - but also my sci-fi, which had not been backed up. I cannot explain here why this is not pointless digression, but there is a futuristic angle to having a Virtual Symposium on the internet, from different vantage points, with writers of different ages. What this would be about is ignoring the "twitter wave" of "hot" "diggable" "topical" "buzzworthy" (today's "groovy" and "fancy") drivers, which have pushed forward an extremely condescending and insulting portrayal of Techs of Color and beaten them (in the case of Egypt) to fucking death like a back-slapping eco-lync-mob.
We would instead try to form treatise like "dia-blogs" [I just bingled 'diablog' and cannot claim to have invented it... a one-in-a-million idea is dilute by the billions on the internet, I guess]. I would postulate that the most significant web "ranking" will be measured in decades; the most popular writings have not historically been the most important. Good Point Ideas and Shanghai Scrap cannot compete with Jezebel's comments field. Crap Email From a Dude is going to outscore Adam and my blogs any day of the week. But will people find any value to it three decades from now? The best sci-fi is still enjoyable and illuminating a century later. Jules Verne's 1884, George Orwell's 1984, they transcend the topical references.
Or maybe Adam has stroked me in a way which will send me into blog oblivion, enabled in my pundacity to careen in to unreadable rantings, ignoring rankings which actually tI caught it, I caught itell you something.
"I have a dream!" meets "Your fly is unzipped."
Maybe the Diablogs can recruit a good editor, whose job would be simply to edit and circle things that don't add value to the diablog, like Plato probably did for Socrates.