Yesterday I recorded my first Bloggingheads, with the brilliant Katherine Mangu-Ward of Reason. The link is here (I haven't watched it yet, but I do recall spilling some water on myself about halfway through).

07/07/2011 09:41

I forgot to comment here earlier.

Your distance and lighting level were good. Ms. Mangu-Ward made herself look a little unusual at times by leaning into the camera.

Obviously a more stable drinking glass might be helpful - although it actually came off as if you were a little tickled by something said.

Stop muttering. You both had these little blurb conversations, where presumably the two of you knew what was being said, but I was lost.

A general complaint I have against blogging heads is that there is a lot of opinion, but often not a lot of backup or substantive information. Many of the discussion descend into “So who do you think is winning the political horse race.” Some of the more interesting blogging heads have a lot of background links to them.

Consider that as a reporter (or blogger, or whatever), that yours is not a position of executing actions but reporting on them. The opinion of someone who is going to do something about something is relevant; Unless you have some claim to expertise in the area at hand, discussions of those activities without any supporting data is a rather thin.

As an example, if you are going to say Mormon activities are odd, some of the more relevant reasons might have been noted: like: they have fought a war with the U.S., Jesus is going to return to a parking lot (now owned by a splinter group), they (wisely in my opinion) keep a year’s supply of food in their pantry. This of course would be offset by Jesus exercising a bunch of pig/demons by drowning them, etc. When you start looking at the details, it is not so much of an issue of time, but an issue of literal interpretation/infallibility of interpretation.

I thought you did very well. Other than the occasional muttering you maintained your poise well.

07/07/2011 10:17

Thanks for those helpful comments.
(I'd be interested if any other readers have any tips, too.)

I think one of the issues--I hadn't realized this--is that the heads can't see each other while we're talking. So we're not able to pick up on visual cues about whether the other person is concluding a comment or just pausing. Something I'll try to keep in mind next time...

Dwayne Stephenson
07/08/2011 04:59

Meh. It's an hour long conversation. You clearly already know how to talk quite well, so I do not deign to advise you any further on the matter. Simply disagree with Mr. Russell. Obviously you should know something, and talk about what you know, but these kinds of exchanges always take us past the boundaries of our own expertise. Intelligent guesses and idle speculations are fair game-they may be uncertain in a factual sense, but they still help provide a rough picture of the shape of the greater intellectual world one's ideas fit into. Also, they're fun! If I want just the facts, I'll go on an AP reading binge or something.


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