Early Morning Cologne23 Nov 2004
I came to Cologne grateful for the invitation from the Deutsche Welle, but skeptical about the event. A discussion forum about blogging, organized for and by the mainstream media, Das kann nicht gut gehen, that could never work. However, it turned out that DW let the bloggers run the show, and so it was an excellent blogger meeting with some foreign guests. And an open bar. Sure, there were some DW types standing around with "look at those crazy kids" expressions, but they let us have our fun. There were maybe one or two journalists in attendance, so it was by and large a blogger event.
What DW offers and what makes the BOBS awards more valuable that I had expected are its language resources. Bloggers talk a lot about creating international cross contacts, but we're not really sure how to overcome the language barrier. Delivering messages in several languages is something DW does every day. By bringing together a jury to evaluate weblogs in 7 languages, they let us overcome that language barrier, at least for a moment. They are able to bring Mu Zimei to us, even though she has never before left China and speaks only Chinese.
The jury's decision will only be annonced in two weeks, but I'm sure they have picked as Best Blog of the Moment some weblog from a far corner of the world that "we" have never heard of, in a language "we" cannot understand, and that tells a story that is for "us" completely new and exciting. And that's why I do this weblog thing, to keep hearing new stories.