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There are also the discussion boards, which can have rules of engagement that could be considered "choreography." There is also the great grandma of online discourse, Usenet, where alt.religion.mormon reigns supreme for unfettered rhetoric from all sides.

Usenet's moderated counterpart to ARM is soc.religion.mormon, which has strict civility rules, requires topicality, and prohibits only two topics: Temple Ceremony quotes, and discussion of "are Mormons Christian?" Pro and con voices are welcome. There are several non-Mormon and ex-Mormon participants, and at least one moderator is required by the charter to be nonLDS.

Dave: WADR, I think that you are being paranoid about a Church response to blogging. The problem is that the Internet is constantly claiming to be revolutionary whenever it spits up a new variation of itselft. Blogs are slightly different than USNET, bulliten boards, or email discussion list but not wildly different. Those things have been around now for nearly a decade without any kind of a response. This kind of they-are-watching-us hysteria always strikes me as WAY over done and at the end of the day is probably about self assertions of importance as much as anything.

The bottom line is that I don't think that THEY care all that much about what we are doing...

Nate,

Well, the thrust of my post, building on Lessig's quote, was "blogs are an interesting form of Mormon discourse," not "they're after us," so I think calling it paranoia (not generally considered a compliment) is to mischaracterize what I was saying.

As long as you bring it up, resolving such an issue is really a question of fact. That's complicated here by the fact that COB doesn't feel any obligation to disclose what they are thinking or doing to the general membership. They have issued policy directives about unit websites, and I've read anecdotal reports of individuals being contacted concerning their websites. So is not unreasonable to assume that sooner or later policy will be updated or revised to include weblogs. What exactly that policy is or will be, whether it gets publicly released or just passed down through internal channels, and what local leaders end up doing with it are all open questions.

A participant on soc.religion.mormon was told by his stake president that if he wanted to keep his TR he had to stop posting there and (also) cease to write negative letters to the editor about the California DOMA Project. I can't remember his name but I remember his good-bye post.

There is an ongoing joke on s.r.m. about the Internet Service Missionaries, who look for apostasy on the web and always work in pairs, so if one feels the urge to post the companion is always there to turn you in. Google "Sister Mittleschift" or "Sister Mittleschrift" on Google Groups in soc.religion.mormon.

And I couldn't disagree more that they don't care what we are doing. That is, they probably don't care about the individuals, but I think they care very much about the phenomenon.

Dave,

Don't you mean bloggernacking?

Well, I did coin "bloggernacking" off the unfortunate term "Bloggernacle," so I probably ought to stand behind it.

But I'm still holding out for "Mo-blog" and "Mo-blogging." Do you think these will catch on if I keep using them?

Dave: I [wasn't] claiming to characterize your post, just your concern about looming personal website policies. I was not saying that your post was paranoid, just that particular thought. As for whether or not it is complimentary, I hope that you will recover from the blow. I agree that it is a question of fact. Most things are. I am simply saying that I find your forecasting of the future implausible. We will have to revisit the issue in ten years to see who is right. [edited to correct typo, 4/7/04]

Oops: should have been "wasn't claiming."

Dave,

Alas, mo-blog has already been taken by the mobile bloggers. (In fact, if you google mo-blog, you get 700,000 search results).

The big difference between blogging and mailing lists is searching via google. When you are interested in a topic you do various searches with google. You find various papers but also blog entries. Thus, in a sense, unlike discussion lists of various types, blogs have that "random access" nature to them.

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