Nate has some great (and mostly accurate) things to say about Stature and Zero-Sum Games. If you go read his post make sure to read Ward’s comments as well, he has a valuable perspective to add.
I notice that while we have a mutual goal we seem to disagree a little bit on the proper approach to attaining that goal. I agree that the blogosphere does not operate under the same principles as traditional publishing. That fact that in traditional publishing “the number of voices is restricted by the economics of speaking” while “the blogosphere removes that economic barrier” is a salient point. The area that we seem to disagree on is in the rules governing diffusion and adoption.
Nate disputes the value of having people with stature in AECT joining the blogosphere. His argument is that their stature does not carry over to the blogosphere and I agree. The reason that I believe it is necessary to have such “ranked players” joining the blogosphere is not because their stature is useful in the blogosphere, but rather because they have social and professional stature within AECT. While publishing in the blogosphere is a different animal (probably a dog if Alan has anything to say about it) than publishing in traditional journals, diffusion and adoption of blogging by people within AECT is the same as diffusion and adoption of internet courses by people within AECT. In each case there are some adventurous people who stay on the cutting edge of technology but widespread adoption does not take place until some of the established people begin adopting the practice. When the ranked players begin using blogs more people who are slower to adopt new ideas will view them as a legitimate outlet for expression and information gathering. Admittedly that presupposes that there is enough good content. If there is enough good content already then a higher profile and broader participation are all that is lacking, if there is not enough good content then we have very little to recommend what we are doing to our friends in the field.