Beppe Grillo Blog is currently 66th on the Technorati list of top blogs. Pretty impressive if you think he only writes in Italian. However I see some problems with this blog I’ll try to describe here.
Every daily post has around 1000 comments. This is not a problem per se, of course, if people want to write a lot of comments to every your post, this is good, you probably write something that is very interesting.
So today I wanted to alert Beppe (or who read all the comments) about this article on groklaw, so I went to beppegrillo.it and try to leave a comment and, surprise, you cannot leave as signature a link to your blog but only an email address! This is really against empowering communication in a decentralized manner! In this way, if I want to be heard on the Web I cannot write on my blog but I must come back to beppegrillo blog and leave a comment there. I cannot have a Web identity independently of beppegrillo.it domain!
I think Beppe speaks often of “Direct democracy” that is achieved through his blog. Well, this is not at all something new. Instead Beppe Grillo is becoming a leader of a face-less, identity-less crowd that exist only by commenting on his blog. It is not very different from a Prodi or Berlusconi leader whose followers are anonymous identities (you might even have doubts they exist at all).
So, enough criticisms and let start with the (hopefully) constructive part: Beppe, please, invite people who flock to your blog to have their Web presence. Let commenters leave a link to their Web identity (a blog). Place a very visible invitation (in the menubar and on top fo the right column) for visitors to open their own personal blog, with instructions on how to do it. The message could be something like this: (in Italian) “Sono molto contento di vedere cosi’ tanti commenti ai miei post. Ma credo che la forza del Web sia nel fatto che ognuno puo’ dire la sua. Ti invito quindi ad aprire un TUO blog e a postare in esso le TUE idee. Potrai ovviamente linkare i miei post quando lo ritieni opportuno o lasciare commenti con link alle TUE riflessioni sul TUO blog. Io ho tante cose da dire ma sono sicuro che anche tu hai tante cose da dire, e non e’ affatto detto che quelle che dico io siano piu’ interessanti di quelle che dici tu. Quindi ti consiglio di aprire un tuo blog. E’ semplicissimo. Le istruzioni per farlo sono qui di seguito. (e nel seguito alcune semplici istruzioni su come creare un blog in splinder.com, blogger.com, …)”
Another comment I wanted to leave on his blog was about GNU/Linux. He speakes a lot about the power of the new technologies and Internet but a search for linux on his blog returns zero results. I wanted to suggest to Beppe to speak about this alternative in the domain of software. Anyway I hope that in some decentralized way, he finds this post and comments here, here you can leave a link to your web presence.
And Beppe, since you are so intripped (yes, this is not English) with the power of the Web, I’m confident you’ll be able to understand why I (try to) write in English even if I’m Italian.
UPDATE: a comment by Matteo lets me know that Massimo already wrote about it: crea il tuo blog.
“Tutto quello che pensi e scrivi lo ha gia’ pensato e scritto qualcun altro” – Anonimo
Have a look at: http://lecensuredelbeppe.blogspot.com/
(Italian only: documentation of repeated censure on Beppe Grillo’s blog).
I’m totally agree with you…
There are some uses of his blog that are against the principle of the blog itself…
And about the creation of personal blogs dotcoma has something to say…
“Tutto quello che pensi e scrivi lo ha gia’ pensato e scritto qualcun altro” – anonimo ;-)
Bene, io credo di Beppe sia in buona fede, semplicemente lo strumento e’ nuovo per lui e deve ancora capirlo per bene. Diciamo anche che partire ed avere subito 1000 commenti al giorno non ti aiuta ad usare lo strumento blog per avviare conversazioni, no?
Faccio un update al post.
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Ho sempre avuto il massimo rispetto per Beppe Grillo. Non riesco a capire se in questo caso ci Ã¨ o ci fa.
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Condivido il tuo rilievo, ma ci sono anche altre considerazioni, come ho scritto in un post pubblicato stamane.
I think in this article you care too much about the apperance and too less about the substance. If Beppe Grillo has so many contacts is because he tells evident truths that anyone knows in Italy but nobody talks about. It does not invent anything. So he is speaking on the behalf of many people, all people that follow him every day on his blog. I do not know who started this polemic, but please do not be as those politicians that always talk about the way something should be done but never tell you really what has to be done!!!!
An italian viper
Oh, come on!
If beppe wants to change Italy for the better (I think he wants), it makes no sense to pursuit the direction he is taking, i.e. becoming a leader of a bunch (big? small? significative in number?) of people who adore him and follow what he says and asks. It will be just another party leader, not different, as role, from prodi or berlusconi or fini or bertinotti.
If he wants to change Italy for the better, he should empower this bunch of people, he should suggest them to open a blog, to start voicing their opinions: I think that many of the people who comment on beppe’s blog have great ideas, at least some better than beppe’s ideas.
So the internet and the web and the blogs is all about empowering “normal” people. I simply think Beppe should encourage normal people to become propositive as he is, using these technologies.
That said, I’m of course happy to see that Beppe’s blog is popular, because he voices many important issues for Italy.
I simply think that he could empower all the Italians, suggesting them to open a blog (and possibly coordinating them a bit). This would be disruptive!
Yes, I am by an large in agreement with viper’s sting! Not without qualifications though. The relation of ends to means and techniques, the birth of new mutant kinds of blogs, and its bearing on the general import of the net for politics. All these might be topics for the
‘Non-Conference’ you told me about (thank you).
That my simpathies for Grillo are not unqualified, may be witnessed by the following comment (email)I have sent to him:
la tua rubrica bisognerebbe chiamarla il muro del riso, forse, perche’ tu dopo tutto sei anche un comico, o no? Sono sostanzialmente daccordo su quanto scrivi a proposito delle sette sorelle, sui contenuti e i fini del tuo blog. Sono daccordo anche, in parte, e a differenza di molti altri bloggers, sulle strategie di opinion making che usi. Ma non alienarti il mondo dei bloggers: non sarebbe ne’utile ne’bello. Ne’generoso. Dai loro la possibilita’ di un intervento piu’diretto e autonomo sul tuo sito, coinvolgili in una larga risata olimpica che fa tremare il mondo. E’questo che ci si aspetta da te, comico, politico e blogger. In questo senso ho scritto un post sul nostro blog di Facolta’ (anche esso sperimentale e mutante come il tuo) http://www.uniurb.it/lingue/blog. Adesso mi faccio un poco di pubblicita’anche io, sul tuo blog, come e’lecito, e come fai tu del resto. E vedi anche quanto ha scritto Paolo Massa http://moloko.itc.it/paoloblog/archives/2005/09/14/problems_with_beppe_grillo_blog.html. Un blog senza links e’come un corpo senzanima.
Vogliamoci bene, e soprattutto continuiamo a ridere, ad agire e a pensare.
First a small point: it is self-evident that I might have been the writer behind “italian viper”.
Just as, it is self-evident, someone else might be writing this claiming to be me (paolo).
That said, I still see no difference between beppegrillo.it and http://www.forza-italia.it/index3.htm . Behind success of course and behind the content published there, but the interaction modes are the same and the power given to “normal” people is the same. No empowerment, just adoration. [A small suggestion for a related research topic, search “echo chamber” or read the book “republic.com”).
I hope to meet you at the conference ;-)
By the way, beppegrillo.it is now 26th on the global blogger list! Astonishing! Will he reach 1st?
If you compare beppegrillo.it to forzaitalia.it Paolo, this means that you have really little idea of what is the strenght of grillo’s “voice”. You say “behind the content”…it is just the content that makes it great!!! It is not Beppe that matters but what he says that he is thought and shared by thousands of people even before he started to “preach”. The followers of Forza Italia like Berlusconi because he is Berlusconi…the Beppe Grillo audiances do not give a shit to the person but care about the content and would not hesitate to abandon him in case he bacomes as all the other politicians…he is smart and in good faith..I do not think he will…
PS: Paolo I think you are one of those Berlusconi friends who would like to eat at his table surrounded by the ruins of Italy…
“the followers of Forza Italia like Berlusconi because he is Berlusconi…the Beppe Grillo audiances do not give a shit to the person but care about the content and would not hesitate to abandon him in case he bacomes as all the other politicians..”
I don’t agree, I think “the followers of Beppe Grillo like Beppe Grillo because he is Beppe Grillo …” (it’s your sentence s/Berlusconi/BeppeGrillo
“An open blog would create overwhelming messages of idiots trying only to mislead the attention on real issues.”
If this is the issue, we can think about it (there are technical means), actually I was just suggesting to let users insert a link to their blog and to have Beppe inviting everyone to voice out her ideas, by opening a blog herself.
“Beppe is hidden in the net…”
Oh, come on! In the advertisement published with the money of a lot of people, the sentence “Beppe Grillo Blog” was very evident and very underlined. Beppe is everything but hidden. And I think this is ok, I just fear that all the people who comment on his blog are too hidden!
Mine are just suggestions to make Beppe Grillo experiment, more empowering for all the users. If we want to really change this country for the better, we need a lot of voices and not just Beppe’s voice, though I agree with you that he speaks well about important and under-covered-by-media issues.
A recommendation: go to watch “Viva Zapatero” (yes there is also Beppe ;-)
Let me say it again: mine are just suggestions for possibly making Beppe’s efforts more effective, by decentralizing a bit the efforts.
Grillo’s blog is now also in English language: http://www.beppegrillo.it/eng/