Friday, November 03, 2006

Embracing our diversity

For bloggers from near and from far,
The blogosphere is the Bazaar.
The concept, ubuntu,
's the wavelength we tune to,
Where others define who we are.

Yes, I know I was mixing my metaphors or, to be more exact, my similes and metaphors. I'm afraid I haven't taken Ogden Nash's literary advice to heart (see Very Like a Whale and don't miss the link to the Byron poem, The Destruction of Sennacherib, which it lampoons).

Not being of Nash's caliber as writer or humorist, I found it necessary to abuse those tools to express my excitement over the discovery of the Bantu concept of ubuntu, "I am because we are." Suddenly, it seemed the perfect way to express my experience of the blogging phenomenon. Ubuntu seems to capture how the blogosphere (I hate that term) has created interconnectedness among many individuals, worldwide, who share their similarities and differences in a generally civilized way through posts and comments on those posts. Maybe that makes us all mixed metaphors of a sort? I know that the longer I do this the more, what was once, a solitary activity has become a conversation.

As often happens, a confluence of events led me to this post. Firstly, I caught the story about ubuntu on PRI's "The World" during my evening commute. Then, I belatedly read about Ronni Bennett's "Elderblogger PhoneCon." Ronni's recap made me sorry that I missed the telephone meet-up but hopeful for the opportunity to participate in January. If only she will schedule part of it during evening hours for those of us for whom blogging has to take a backseat to other duties. Ronni, if you do, I promise a recitation of a limerick composed especially for the occasion. Ronni's conference call and her blog, Time Goes By, in general, voice that spirit of ubuntu that I sense many of us bloggers are striving toward. Thanks, Ronni, for making the world a smaller, closer, and (greenhouse gas emissions aside) warmer place.

The Africa Report
The World, PRI, 10/26/06


Ronni Bennett said...

I'd never heard of it before, but I LOVE the concept of ubuntu and I think you've found in it an excellent metaphor/simile for the blogosphere or, at least, what we strive for in it.

And if you think my blog is in the spirit of ubuntu, I am both pleased and will strive even more for it.

It's a good idea too, to schedule the January Elderbloggr PhoneCon to include evening hours, but it's then a stretch to include western Europe. Perhaps the solution is to do it in two parts with a break in the middle. I'll work on that, LS, if for no other reason than your promise of a special limerick...

Trace said...

Thanks so much for sharing "umbuntu" with us all! I greatly appreciate the concept. WOW! I am new to blogging this year, and I find it one of the most rewarding experiences I am involved in. Our intelligent Bill Clinton is the best!

Trace said...

Just realized my mis-spelling of the term. Should have left the "m" out. Thanks again---this makes my day!