We’ve all seen interviews on blog posts. The Great Interview Experiment (GIE) is different. It is a celebration of blogging and a challenge to those who talk about community in abstract terms. How often do we acknowledge the existence of the larger community, including those who are different?
Two years ago, when I first started this project, my view of blogging was more idealistic than it is today. The GIE motto was “Everyone is Somebody,” and was a response to the hierarchies that were undermining the democratic nature of this modern form of personal expression. Didn’t we all have unique stories to tell online, not just a select few? Over time, as I began to focus more on “quality” writing, I became a snootier individual. everyone who opens a blogger account instantly tranforms into a Shakespeare. Some just have more talent or a bigger personality. This does not contradict the fundamental truth about the blogosphere. We are all binary numbers zooming along the internet tubes, side by side, sharing the same home. We are all individuals, pioneers in this new medium, expressing ourselves in a way unheard of in the previous generation.
So, like Don Quixote, I remain a sucker for unrealistic, impossible dreams. In my mind, I visualize a permanent interview site where Dooce would interview a clueless newbie, a liberal would interview a conservative, and a religious fundamentalist would interview a feminist lesbian. It wouldn’t matter if you liked or agreed with other person. We would still be neighbors, in a Mister Rogers sense.
The interviews are random. You may be paired with a Nobel Laureate or an insane person — and it doesn’t matter.
Here’s how it will work —
The first commenter will interview me.
The second commenter will interview the first commenter.
The third commenter will interview the second commenter.
And so on.
I will send you an email confirming who you should interview, along with his contact information.
Contact that person and say hello.
Read that person’s blog.
Come up with five to ten creative questions and email it to him.
When you receive the answers back, post the interview on your own blog, introducing your readers to a new blogger.
Email me to say that the post is up so I can add you to the list.
Answer the questions you receive from the next commenter, your interviewer, and email it back.
Try to keep this entire process under two weeks from when you first sign up.
If you don’t hear back from your interviewee or interviewer within that time period, contact me and we’ll find you someone new. Just remember, this is not a professional operation. I’m just some guy doing this in my underwear. So, be patient.
GIE was conceived mostly for personal blogggers. I have the right to reject any blog that is too extreme or too commercial.
Wouldn’t it be cool, if for one day, we really did believe that everyone really did have an important story to tell online?
Here are the bloggers who participated last year. Feel free to sign up again.