Symposium to feature Internet expert

Brad Hill Quest, SUNY Oswego’s annual symposium dedicated to research and creative pursuits, this year will feature Brad Hill, editorial director of Weblogs and author of “Blogging for Dummies,” as guest speaker.

He will speak on “Citizen Media and the Battle for Cultural Control” at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in SUNY Oswego’s Campus Center arena. The facility is being converted from an ice rink to a convocation space for spring events.

“Democratization of the cultural marketplace . . . has long been the promise of the online realm, but [it] has never been fully delivered,” Hill says, despite the power of blogging, social networking, digital music tools, RSS, Google, YouTube and other Internet tools.

He predicts that neither individual bloggers and Googlers nor institutional power centers in the media and entertainment world will dominate the online future. In his talk at SUNY Oswego, he will argue that the future belongs to “opportunists at all levels who understand and adopt an emerging set of values.”

As a speaker, Hill says, he aims to demystify the emerging networked world for audiences of both industry professionals and general users. “In this swirling cauldron of changing conditions, concepts and buzzwords can mystify as much as they elucidate,” he says.

Hill’s company, Weblogs Inc., is the world’s largest blog publisher. Acquired by AOL in November 2005, less than two years after its founding, Weblogs employs a freelance blog staff of 350 writers and a full-time editorial staff of 11 people. The company publishes 15,000 blog entries, and serves 100 million Web pages to readers, each month.

Hill has worked in the online field since 1992, tracking the evolution of the rapidly shifting worlds of online investing, digital music and cyber culture generally. He has been interviewed widely in the media, from major magazines and newspapers to CNN and Turner Entertainment Network.

He is the author of more than 20 consumer books, from “Blogging for Dummies” and “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing Piano” in the how-to genre to the classical volume of the eight-volume set “American Popular Music.”

SUNY Oswego’s Quest this year will feature about 150 short presentations by students and faculty on their scholarly and creative work, along with 20 poster presentations, a dozen panel discussions and several artistic performances and demonstrations. A complete program will go online at in early April.

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(Posted: Mar 22, 2007)