After the first five panelists spoke for a few minutes each, the meeting was then open for questions and answers for about half an hour. Here were some of the more interesting ones:
- "How do you handle copyright issues with blogging?
- Rocco Palmo - "There are two sides to the coin. First, you can be sued for copying and posting even a single paragraph without attribution. On the other hand, the great part of the blogging world is that you can encourage traffic to other websites by highlighting their material." It seems that by attributing media to its original source is one way to proceed prudently. Use and reference the content of others, but give attribution where attribution is due.
- Matia Madasco - "We're seeing a massive change in how 'copyrighting' is understood online." This hasn't entirely been fleshed out yet, but the Church should have a voice in the conversation. This is a profoundly ethical topic that needs the Church's guidance.
- "What about the conflict between journalism and bloggers?"
- François Jeanne-Beylot - "In France, there are so many journalists who have their own blogs and participate in this new type of free press. They have no obligation to blogging, but they feel freer to write through that medium than through print. I see the worlds of bloggers and journalists merging instead of becoming two distinct media forms. They are overlapping and coming closer together each day."
- Elizabeth Scalia - "We are in a communication evolution where the old guard is falling. Journalists are discovering that they have to embrace the Internet, and they need to take blogging seriously. Also, in this shift, people are looking to broadcast media for analysis rather than for reporting. That's what the bloggers provide."
- "Have you found yourself changing your blogging style in recent years?"
- Elizabeth Scalia - "Yes! Just yesterday I was prepared to live-blog the beatification, but a lot of my followers told me to instead just use Twitter. So I blasted off these short updates--140 characters or less--instead of the more in-depth blog posts. And they loved it! If anything, my embrace of Twitter has caused me to become much more disciplined in my writing. It forces me to shrink my thoughts down into manageable chunks."
- Fr. Roderick Vonhogen - "Speaking about Twitter, that's a great tool to direct people to other material. Connect your Twitter account with your blog or your parish website and you can draw people in. Even just a funny joke or a snarky comment can bring people into deeper communication. In this way, Twitter is like stained-glass windows, music, or the liturgy: it is surface level media that draws people into the deeper things."
- Fr. Roderick Vonhogen - "I've learned, primarily from Pope John Paul II, that more information doesn't necessarily correlate to more wisdom. We shouldn't enter the rat-race of 'who has the scoop first.'" This forces us to get out more information, more updates, and more posts with increasing speed. But the Church should be the one--slow as she is--telling the world to slow down, to process and absorb only the information we need to grow in virtue.
- Other Comments
- François Jeanne-Beylot - There are three reasons why we blog:
- To build a profile, promote a specific product, or to sell your company's goods
- To put your own personal ideas down
- To objectively seek truth and stimulate new ideas
Don't forget that you can watch the live stream of the blogging conference at SQPN!