I'm presently reading Free Culture (online version here), Lawrence Lessig's articulate defense of the ever-shrinking public cultural arena. We are living through a cultural enclosure movement, with property rights fences going up all over the place. I wrote more comments here. His comments in Chapter 2 on weblogs and blogging relate, I think, to recent Mo-blog discussions about religion and public discourse here and here and here. Here's what Lessig wrote:
[I]n the United States, blogs have taken on a very different character [than in Japan]. There are some who use the space simply to talk about their private life. But there are many who use the space to engage in public discourse. Discussing matters of public import, criticizing others who are mistaken in their views, criticizing politicians about the decisions they make, offering solutions to problems we all see: blogs create the sense of a virtual public meeting, but one in which we don't all hope to be there at the same time and in which conversations are not necessarily linked. The best of the blog entries are relatively short; they point directly to words used by others, criticizing with or adding to them. They are arguably the most important form of unchoreographed public discourse that we have.Nice summary of what goes on in the Mormon blogosphere, a form of unchoreographed public religious discourse concerning a church that hates unchoreographed discourse. If you go read his chapter, the comment about blogging being "arguably the most important form" of discourse seems more reasonable. So is Mo-blogging the most important form of unchoreographed Mormon discourse? Small universe; it might be the only form of unchoreographed Mormon discourse. IMO, it's only a matter of time before this medium generates a policy response from the Church.