Dear Chris Bateman,
I am replying further to your reply, The Virtue of Discourse: A Clarification
Thank you for informing me that the Republic of Bloggers is not a concept that you personally founded. While I do not intend to embarrass you with an undeserved title, I do believe that any good idea needs its champions and it appears I projected this onto you.
Not only do good ideas need champions, they also need a good story. Perhaps this is what is missing from the Republic of Bloggers?
While the Republic itself may be a valuable concept, it is only made meaningful when it becomes something we can relate to, which is best done through the form of a story. Given your extensive experience in game design, narrative, and authorship, I think that you are uniquely qualified to help author the story of the Republic of Bloggers.
Yet, this does not need to be a restrictive, one-way narrative. Perhaps some of us could engage in a roleplaying game that recreates the virtual founding and beginnings of the Republic. Not only would this serve to create a imaginary and fictional history for the Republic, I anticipate it would be a source of fun.
For example, we could cheekily adopt the trope of how the Republic represents a rebellious pod of unconventional thinkers seeking unity to resist against the oppressive forces of social media. Imagine if you dare, how the Republic’s Dr. Beta Man (you) could be our version of Dr. Who fighting against the Twitterleks. What fun!
While any form of campaigning does put one in a us versus them dynamic, the presence of conflict, setbacks, and progress are crucial foundation stones of stories. The romanticism of participating in a movement, no mater if it is artificial, does create a feeling of unity and a sense of direction and scope.
To blog about anything we want (I am paraphrasing your ‘far more beside’ comment) is both inviting and intimidating, but mostly intimidating. It is the equivalent of ordering off the menu, but for many of us menus are a safe way to invite exploration. Champions like yourself should not be embarrassed to provide a menu to the rest of us to help the Republic slowly bootstrap itself.
I recognize that you have many personal and professional obligations so can understand if you express reluctance or refusal to take on such a role. I myself do not have the confidence nor ability to take this role on but would lend whatever support I am able.
Thank you for your warm greetings. Whatever form the Republic takes and whatever direction it goes, I look forward to further engaging with you and others through our blogs.