the weblogging foundation

I’ve seen this idea bouncing about the blogosphere (see references at bottom), and yesterday I saw Mark’s comment about how RSS is eating his bandwidth, and this morning I was mentally doodling while in the shower, and this is what came to me.

the weblogging foundation
“promoting personal publishing efforts to encourage communication among the people of the world and the promotion of the useful arts and sciences” or something like that.

goal one: digital divide issues
work with other organizations that are working on digital divide issues – as access is brought to rural and/or impoverished communities, evangelize for weblogging, provide subsidized hosting (esp. for third-world bloggers), provide weblogging training, etc. – to ensure that as people come to the Internet, that they can become not just consumers but also producers.

goal two: promote quality blogging
mini-grants to webloggers who have demonstrated artistic and/or educational merit in their blogging efforts – for subsidized bandwidth/hosting, access to conferences & events, technology upgrades, etc.

goal three: promote the technology of weblogging
(this is the most nebulous in my head) encourage consortiums and conversations in standardizing and/or improving the technology. could host a style service, RSS validator, that sort of thing – or could host mailing lists, discussion boards, and/or conferences for vendor-neutral discussion – or could provide mini-grants to develop unique tools (thinking of an idea from a conversation with C yesterday).

who would I want to see on the board of directors? oddly enough, I’d rather not have any of the tool providers (ie: Ev, Dave Winer, the Trotts, etc.), just to avoid the appearance of bias. or conversely, it’d be interesting to have a “toolmakers advisory board”, and include as many of those folks as possible…not just the big 3, but also John Hiler, somebody from LiveJournal, some of the homegrown tool makers….

I’d also want to make sure that as many of the weblogging subcultures (even including the warbloggers, who personally give me the creeps) are represented as possible, again to avoid bias. of the bloggers I know (of) well, I’d love to see Mark Pilgrim, Dorothea Salo, Rebecca Blood, Matt Haughey, or Dave Weinberger get involved. (which begs the question: “celebs” or nobodies? probably some of both.) Dan Gilmore? Kottke? RageBoy might be intriguing, if not necessarily useful.

the place to start would be in-kind donations – of hosting and tools, primarily. grants would be funded either by soliciting the usual foundations grants and by gathering individual donations.

embedded obliquely in this (rather snarky) BlogRoots post
apparently, this proposal (from a warblogger?) seems to have kicked things off back in May
reactions from: Burningbird and MeFi

and for now, I’m just going to say…to hell with it all. I just saw BB’s post about stav’s friend Rick.

(more later, I imagine.)