We interrupt this blog for an announcement

I foolishly started a two-part blog posting Wednesday before I plunged into a four day conference that has left me no time to finish the thought I started in “Learning to think like a molecule.” But I will come back to the idea and with a better sense of how to take the metaphor of molecular biology and apply it to networked media because I’ve been immersed in the NewTools2008 conference with media technologists such as Mary Hodder who would be the perfect person to encourage or critique my notion. I have also met the most incredible visual thinker in Sherrin Bennett a Bay Area woman with a knack for note-taking that creates a road map of the conversation. I could not find a ready link to her work but I hope, with her help, to create a visual guide to this notion that the living cell could become the template for building, in software, a set of signals to allow independent media creators to form purposeful ad hoc team.

That may sounds like mumbo jumbo but that’s of course the purpose of going to any conference — you get to mingle with the people who believe more or less the same mumbo jumbo as you.

I’ve got to run now because I have another day of immersion therapy. I have heard journalism used to embrace every idea from the possible launch of a free newspaper with no ads to a discussion platform that allows any person to convene an “event” — a discussion — using search software to assemble news articles and blog posts and photos to provide more food for thought (see AllVoices.com)

I have only one caution. I hear “journalism” being rubbed over everything as if it were a magical elixir that will restore hair-loss and remove wrinkles from aging skin. I have more modest goals in mind for journalism — it’s a process, says DigiDave – which may, when properly performed, yield accurate, persuasive and empowering stories. When journalism is very good and/or very lucky, it may even inspire positive change. And the journalist gets paid that’s a bonus. Much beyond that seems like wishful thinking.

Amy Gahran is covering the conference for those who want more detail.