Archive for April, 2007

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Wherein I Reapeat Myself Yet Again About Media Pros Who Blog

April 30, 2007

I just can’t help thinking that if I want to know what Eugene Kane or Charlie Sykes think, I could get a newspaper, or turn on the radio or the hellbox. Their blogs are interesting add-ons to their other work, but they are fundamentally different things than citizen blogs. Citizen blogs are important precisely because they give a voice to people who do not otherwise have access to the traditional media.

It is the continuing mistake of the media to take their own blogs as the quintessential ones because they get a lot of traffic, and regard the rest of us as also-rans who blog in our pajamas about our cats. Judging the success of a blog by its traffic – its “ratings,” if you will – is typical traditional media thinking.

We also-rans aren’t footnotes; citizen blogs are the core of the phenomenon, and when the history of the internet and the rise of self-publishing is written, it will be us, not them, who are held as the examples of what makes the blogosphere significant.

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Cooperate, except…

April 29, 2007

Interesting article at Slate about what to do if confronted with “a gun-weilding madman.” Me, I advise cooperating completely – with two exceptions. The first and most obvious exception is if you believe the gunman is about to shoot you. In that case you have nothing to lose, so go for it: attack, attack, attack. Grab the gun and point it anywhere but at you. Make him think about his own safety instead of attacking you. Unless you’re very lucky, you’ll get shot, but what the heck; you were going to get shot anyway.

What’s the second exception? Anyone want to guess it?

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Terrorist Bomb Found in Texas

April 29, 2007

I wonder if anyone is going to torture the folks behind this.

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Blog Summit II: Post Game Report

April 29, 2007

I whined and complained about it, but please understand: I had a great time at the Wisconsin Blog Summit II event yesterday. Owen and Jay’s discussion was extremely interesting, and the other ones were, well, a good excuse to get all worked up about something.

But down at Caffrey’s, after? That was a really good time. It was fun to see everyone and meet in person some of the people with whom I interact regularly online. Plus it was very satisfying to see liberals and conservatives raising their glasses together. I put up a few photos, so check them out.

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Blog Summit II Live 4

April 28, 2007

Finally. Owen and Jay are leading a discussion now. Finally we’re addressing the elephant in the room: the tension between the corporate media (and their “blogs”) versus the groundswell of citizen blogging represented by Jay and Owen themselves.

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Blog Summit II Live 3

April 28, 2007

Observation: I don’t read the blogs of any of the people who have spoken today so far. And I think all of them have been paid bloggers who work in the professional media.

Further thought. A lot of these blogs are, I suspect, not what I really think of as blogs at all. They’re more like short-form newspaper columns with hyperlinks.

Am I being to hard on these people?

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Blog Summit II Live 2

April 28, 2007

I listened to a very nice lawyer explain very expertly about the potential legal dangers of blogging really are, and what one might do to protect oneself. My gut reaction is this: citizen bloggers such as myself aren’t terribly concerned with this question. What this is, is yet another example of how this Summit is geared toward the traditional media. They are the folks deeply concerned about whether they’re going to get sued based on what I say in a comment on one of their blogs.

Now I’m listening to a panel (again of professional bloggers/media people) discuss whether “all voices” are being “heard” in the blogosphere. I guess it’s interesting to ask why there are so many white men in the room – one wonders why that is, when the barriers to entry to internet publishing are so low – but again, I wonder if this isn’t another example of the above phenomenon. isn’t it one of the perennial questions of traditional media? “Are all voices being heard on television? Are all voices being heard on radio? Newspapers? One imagines that it’s not quite as hard to be heard on the internet, seeing as any yahoo with a Yahoo! account can potentially reach an audience of tens of millions.