There have been a few comments recently about the PR blogosphere being rather small and disappointingly inward-looking, and some academic criticism of the true nature of blog 'conversations.'
It is interesting, therefore, to see UK Minister of Communities and Local Government David Miliband commenting about Neville Hobson's post on 'The real symbiosis between PR and journalism.' The debate was notable in itself in that within two days it had attracted 41 comments - which is a conversation in my view.
But the intervention of Miliband certainly helps those of us who are aguing that social softwares are significantly changing the nature of public discourse. Twice a week Neville, who lives in Amsterdam, puts together a podcast with a chum who lives in America. On Sunday morning he posts a few comments on web log. Within hours he is being 'engaged' by the waspish Amanda 'Strumpette' Chapel, and a few other bloggers join in. By Tuesday, one of the rising stars of British politics has joined the debate.
Merely by joining the debate Miliband has shown an appreciation for the new medium that is more perceptive than many PRs who see blogs as just another command and control channel.
But, before thinking too carefully about the motivations of those concerned, or about the implications for the public sphere of such a levelled playing field, just read again the above paragraph about how this came together - and marvel.
The world is changing very quickly indeed...