The hardworking staff at EdCone.com has convinced our slavedriving boss to give us a few days off. Back soon. Be good.
"The plan is to legalize almost everything and let adults be adults.
In anticipation of Independence Day, this morningÃs newspaper column offers a manifesto for the emerging libertarian consensus.
...Any effort to examine the Klan-Nazi killings is bound to run into some resistance in Greensboro. People worry that it's bad for business and the city's image to rehash the bloody events of November 3, 1979, futile to look for meaning in their aftermath, fruitless to dignify two groups devoted to different strains of radical politics.
Let's be honest, though -- the current project labors under an added burden: the weight of Nelson Johnson and all the history he carries with him.
Derek Willis wondered how I got access to Rick Boucher for an EdCone.com interview. ItÃs a good question that has implications for the future of weblog journalism. If webloggers are going to be reporting news, then how can they get newsmakers to speak with them?
Boucher (and his press aide) took my call because they get the Web better than most public servants. Still, it probably helped my credibility that I could tell them about my day jobs as a magazine reporter and newspaper columnist.
There are lots of reasons not to agree to a weblog interview. People have a limited number of hours to speak with the press. WhatÃs more, they donÃt know if some random blogger understands the rules Ã± whatÃs off the record, not for attribution, etc. And to understand the context in which the work will appear, the interviewees will have to do a little research of their own.
Access is one area where the traditional press has a huge advantage Ã± itÃs a reason IÃd love to see more press-branded bloggers. In fact, one of the obstacles to big-pub blogs, the practice of editors editing their writers for consistency of tone and worldview, is in this case a positive, because it provides an important reassurance to interview subjects.
Bloggers hoping to snag interviews should understand their role before they pick up the phone. YouÃll have to establish your own credibility. Be ready to explain what a weblog is (donÃt get too technical, just say a website), who you are, what youÃre doing. Learn the terminology and rules of on/off record, and honor your agreements on the subject. Know your subject, and donÃt waste peopleÃs time. Be patient and polite, sweet-talk the receptionist, and learn to deal with rejection. In short, be professional.
Access will get easier as weblogs become more widely known, but it will always be an issue, as it is for most reporters.
This article on The Grapes of Wrath is fascinating. Not all of the economic analysis worked for me Ã± something tells me weÃll all be forced to sell our labor power again five minutes after any Marxist millennium Ã± and I had a little trouble with the use of the word Ã¬racistÃ® in this context, but itÃs a rigorous rereading of the book and its era. Full disclosure: the author is my homeboy.
Silflay Hraka links to the
The blogosphere is global, but it also recapitulates geography. People like to know their neighbors. Local and regional weblog groups are forming spontaneously, like
Blogging with your homies is fun, but itÃs also going to become an important part of weblog journalism. WeÃve already seen how a weblogger in the right place can report news of international interest Ã± whatÃs coming is the weblogger reporting for a local audience.
In fact, itÃs already happening, in different ways and different places. As individual bloggers report on things they can touch and feel themselves, they will spark conversations with other nearby bloggers, feed stories to the local press, and sometimes break news of widespread interest.
Bloggers can cover stories that the press wants to ignore Ã± I seem to be the only person covering the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation project with any kind of regularity, for example.
North State Blogs is off to a good start, with an interesting diversity of thought and style and a high entertainment value. The list is growing, even if The Misanthropyst wonÃt join (true to his name, says Indigo). Word is that Monkeytime is joining soon.
Ã¬Think of it as reality TV without the TV and the schlock factor. This is Reality Web Programming. We hope youÃll tune in periodically and see how this particular reality adventure turns out.Ã®
ItÃs a group blog/group therapy/job search kind of thing. Check it out.
The goal of affirmative action programs should be to end the need for affirmative action programs. The population aided by successful affirmative action programs should eventually reach critical mass and become self-sustaining, making the programs obsolete.
Affirmative action seems to be working toward its goal of overcoming barriers to equal opportunity, but it does so at a price. Therefore we should be considering when and how to end it.
Other solutions to the problems addressed by affirmative action, e.g., access to adequate primary and secondary education, would help alleviate the need for affirmative action.
Setting an endpoint for successful affirmative action programs is not a precise science. Determining the exact point at which the harm caused by racial preferences outweighs the benefits will involve subjective analysis.
The sunsetting of affirmative action may not be imminent, but eventually it will have to happen.
So now the ACC is inviting just
The proposed deal is better than the original plan Ã± but it would be even better if
This morning the N&R got around to pointing out something it should have been hammering on for weeks: Adding more than one team "will create havoc with the league's most significant product: basketball." Uh, yeah.
Ed Hardin, who has been great on this issue: "This is about money, and it's about football and it's about telling those pencilnecks over at
Bob Dole met Bennett College president Johnnetta Cole through his wife, Senator Liddy Dole. Now the part-time North Carolinian has agreed to chair a campaign to raise $50 million for the
Monkeytime wants to know why I asked Glenn Reynolds to be on the BloggerCon journalism panel. “(S)urely you've noticed the dishonest debate tactics that regularly show up at InstaPundit,” he writes, citing a Ted Barlow post as evidence.
Well, this is a panel about weblogs and journalism, not a political forum, or even a discussion of journalistic standards, although the latter topic will probably surface. Reynolds also writes and links to a lot of smart, useful stuff. He’s been a major player in the rise of weblog publishing and punditry. Our panel should tell people how he’s done what he’s done. If I was putting together a panel on TV journalism, I’d probably ask Roger Ailes to be on it, too.
Of course I’ve noticed that Insty often practices a form of tendentious, intellectually flaccid journalism – that’s why I wrote this and this, and, in my very next post after the BloggerCon announcement, I took him to task for using the term “fifth column” to describe people who question the war, and for “crediting” Andrew Sullivan with using the same term, when in fact Sullivan had been called on it and quickly backed away. (Insty’s attack in the same post on critical media coverage – “If we lose this war, that will be why”-- is so dumb as to be meaningless.)
I'm more concerned that our panel is gonna be four white guys sitting around talking -- but then again, it's supposed to reflect journalism, not the blogosphere or the world at large, so maybe that's pretty accurate.
InstaPundit acolytes: substitute the name “Josh Marshall” for “Glenn Reynolds” when you read this post. Not that I ever find Marshall to be intellectually lazy, but he does occupy a political point of view.
Rafe Colburn on John EdwardsÃ lame Web presence: Ã¬(H)is campaign home page is the #10 result from Google when you type in "john edwards" as your query. He comes in behind the host of Crossing Over and a run of the mill attack site put up under a convenient URL. Not good.Ã®
Agreed, as noted in GoogleÃs #3 ranked item in a search for Ã¬john edwards weblogÃ®. RC also points to a hopeful Slate article, in which William Saletan discerns some heretofore undiscovered audacity in EdwardsÃ message.
Derek: Ã¬Ok, let me play the crank a bit. It's a given that weblogs drive the major media?... I think one reason why some of us media folks (even those of us who love weblogs) get a little annoyed is because of sweeping statements like that.Ã®...
Oliver Willis on reactions to the Supreme CourtÃs decisions on preferences: Ã¬In less than twenty seconds I saw two conservative commentators (one of them Bill O'Reilly) make the idiotic statement that race based preferences would give a leg up to someone like the child of Michael Jordan or Oprah Winfrey. Come on.Ã®
Thirteen months ago I wrote a guest article for DaveNet about being a journalist with a weblog. I think it holds up OK. Then, it felt bold to say, Ã¬bloggers will lead, drive, and shape the news coverage of the major media.Ã® Now itÃs a given.
Monkeytime wants to know what the Bush administration's definition of Ã¬isÃ® is.
Ã¬(I)t's nearly impossible to prove legally that Bush "lied" about, say, the al-Qaida/Saddam connectionÃ–even as his cronies were using every advertising trick in the book to create the impression in the American public's mind that such a link was realÃ–(W)ere Bush & Co. being honest with us about the link? Yeah, tell me another one.Ã®
Monkeymaster Todd Morman also wonders where the critics of the Times and other Ã¬liberalÃ® media are when it comes to the lack of skepticism at big papers: Ã¬I'll send $10 worth of Krispy Kreme donuts to anyone who can point me to a post where anyone in the rightwing blogger amen chorus has addressed this particular point.Ã®
Bill Gates in the WSJ (registration required): Ã¬I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it werenÃt so irritating.Ã®
Just the way I feel when I get those spams promising to make me a better loverÃ–
One topic we won't spend much if any time on at BloggerCon is last year's question: are weblogs journalism? That's settled (affirmative). The interesting questions deal with what kind of journalism weblogs can produce.
But not everyone has gotten the memo. Last week I spoke with one of the most powerful execs in online journalism, someone who has a leadership role in defining the traditional media's use of the Web. He was ready to concede that weblogs could be journalism -- of a sort. "Weblogs are for opinions," he said when I asked if he foresaw newspaper reporters using them.
I countered that although weblog software has made its biggest early impact on journalism as a medium for opinion writing, the software is a tool, not a definition, and the tool is not inherently inhospitable to news reporting. He seemed to grasp the concept.
The next day I interviewed Rick Boucher for my weblog. The article I posted before noon on Wednesday moved the Orrin Hatch vs. the Web story well past the version the bigtime exec's paper posted at its site that evening. It didn't just feel like reporting, it felt like a scoop.
And the day after that I had lunch with Jim Capo, who began blogging last year to support his run for the NC senate. I told Jim, a small businessman turned political activist, what the newspaper poobah had said about blogs being for opinion, not reporting. "Doesn't he know you can post photographs on a weblog?," asked Jim. "They are worth a thousand words, aren't they? Wouldn't that count as news reporting?"
Interesting -- a non-journalist, eating lunch with my dog and me in Greensboro, has a better understanding of weblogs and their impact on journalism than one of the most powerful media execs in the country.
bloglab: (permalink broken: see Domingo, Junho 22, 2003, Postado 13:53)
"weblogs no jornalismo
BloggerCon, conferência na
Chris Lydon calls Emerson Ã¬A God for Bloggers.Ã® Amen.
Ã¬The modern Emersonian is, in short, an ecstatic melancholic, an unquenchable optimist in a darkening world, aware that the big trick for grown-ups is to look unblinking at the torture and tyranny, the pandemic disease and progressive brutalization of people and the planetÃ³and know that is not the whole story and that this is no time to give up.Ã®
Mindshare analysis: The New York Times Book Review and Ã¬CircuitsÃ® sections are hipper to weblogs than the Times business section.
While the biz writer is still leading the horse to water (Ã¬Blogs, short for Weblogs, are Web pages on whichÃ–Ã®), the Ã¬CircuitsÃ® piece jumps right into a discussion of hit-count neurosis, and StamatyÃs whole page is about the interplay of weblogging and book culture.
Discussion: ItÃs logical, in that readers and geeks are way ahead of business users on the blogging curve.
Question for further investigation: How is coverage influenced by attitudes toward weblogs of biz and tech reporters?
Lisa is off the wagon. For a while she hadnÃt been playing chess online, but today she downloaded the latest version of World Chess Network, and now sheÃs back in the game. From the computer room we can hear the familiar strains of Ã¬TapsÃ® when she loses, and the gentle golf-clap of victory when she prevails. SheÃs talking to herself, too. At least she once managed to turn her addiction to professional gain.
* * *
The new look for this page is called Movable Radio: blue. ItÃs coming along. Last night I figured out how to make links the same size as the rest of my text. Not exactly intuitive for a non-HTML speaker, and the Radio discussion board and emails to a designer friend were no help, so I ended up just mucking around in the home page template box until I found the right font size to change. There it was, right up near the top:
color: #0045AD; font-family: verdana, arial, sans-serif;
Just change the px count until it looks the way you want it to. Next up, learning color codes.
Victor Davis Hanson lists a bunch of postive developments that would have seemed unimaginable on the evening of 9/11, including the takedown of Saddam and the Taliban. But one item in this litany of success rings a little false: "(A)ll troops slated to leave Saudi Arabia and by our own volition, not theirs."
Well, kinda. One of Bin Laden's key goals was getting us infidels out of Saudi Arabia, and our departure follows in a direct path from the events precipitated by his terrorist attacks. The rest of his agenda, of course, is looking quite a bit less robust, and the changes in Saudi society he has set into motion may not break his way. But in the same way that Hitler deserved to be Time's Man of the Year, Osama deserves some credit for the repositioning of US troops in the Middle East.
I got the link from InstaPundit, who follows up Hanson's lament that the media is reporting only negatives with a remarkable statemnt: "If we lose this war, that will be why. Fortunately, however, what Andrew Sullivan correctly called a 'fifth column' back in 2001 is limited in numbers and influence, despite its broad representation in media."
Sullivan quickly backed away from the term "fifth column," which means "traitor," and I don't think it needs to be revived now.
The panelists are Josh Marshall, Glenn Reynolds, Scott Rosenberg, and me. I’m the moderator, wish me luck. We hope to cover a lot of ground, and our best subject matter may crop up on the morning of the conference, but we’re likely to talk about stuff like this:
· how reporters, writers, and pundits can and will use weblogs
· how traditional media outlets will use and adapt to blogs and bloggers
· changes in institutional media culture caused by weblogs
· the future of weblogging for pay
· celebrity bloggers
· interplay between blogs and the rest of the media
· the rights of media-company employees to maintain private weblogs
· peer editing and fact-checking in the blogosphere
· blogs as sources of localized and international news
BloggerCon will be held on Saturday, October 4, 2003 at Harvard Law School.
Joshua Micah Marshall, author of the Talking Points Memo weblog, is a columnist for The Hill and contributing writer for Washington Monthly. A pioneer at reporting stories on his blog, then synthesizing them into more fully-realized versions in physical form. He was instrumental in keeping the Trent Lott story alive last year.
Glenn Reynolds, aka InstaPundit. This University of Tennessee law professor links to and comments on an enormous volume of material each day, and has become in the process an influential opinion-maker in his own right, complete with his own MSNBC.com column.
Scott Rosenberg is managing editor of the seminal online magazine Salon and shepherd of its weblog community. A veteran of newspaper and Web journalism, he spent ten years at the San Francisco Examiner as a theater critic, movie critic, and technology columnist.
Edward Cone has written extensively about weblogs and their use in journalism and politics. Currently a senior writer for Ziff Davis Media and an opinion columnist for the Greensboro News & Record, he has been a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, and a freelancer.
Happy birthday to Luna, aka Tunafish, Lunatic, Lovely Lady, etc., dawn bed-jumper, champion office-couch sleeper, favorite of drunks on South Elm Street, coprophagous morning exercise companion, keeper of secrets, canine Einstein, hide-and-seek player, best friend to man and manÃs wife and kids, good dog. She turns one today (new pic coming soon).
Big Arm Woman has a nice rant about local morning radio in
Murphy seems to be aimed at the young womenÃs market, lots of talk about Cosmo and perky interjections from his young woman co-host. Not really my demographic, but heÃs a real pro. (His show was Howard CobleÃs venue for inserting foot in mouth over Japanese internment.) Busta Brown is another pro who also works some interesting topics and sometimes a little political heat into the morning mix.
Chris and Chris, on the other hand, are likeably unslick. In fact, I like them least when they read from the Wacky Morning Dude playbook (Ã¬IÃm an asshole/racist/ignoramus ha ha haÃ®) and best when they play off each other, which they do quite well. They play too much Boston, though.
Then thereÃs Dusty Dunn, who spun the rock records at WCOG-AM when I was a kid, and who is trying to revive local talk radio at a low-power gospel station. Sometimes after IÃve been listening to Dusty I get in my car at lunch and this great old gospel music is playing, no lame fake Christian rock, just high tenors and Jesus.
NASCAR is digging up its roots in an effort to grow some more green.
The left-turn circuit is replacing the Winston Cup with sponsorship from a phone company. I know that the health police made them abandon RJ Reynolds, but Nextel just feels wrong. Techie corporate sponsors -- don't they slap their names on NFL stadiums and then go broke?
Putting races where the fans are makes sense Ã± going to a race in person is way better than watching it on TV. You simply cannot understand how fast and loud those cars are, and how passionate and loud those fans are, without being at the track.
But race fans also build personal relationships with drivers, tracks, and the whole stock car mythos. As the racing business chases dollars across the country, it risks turning its back on the land and lore of bootleggers and dirt tracks, Junior Johnson and Lee Petty, Cale and the King, Darlington and North Wilkesboro. Maybe all that died along with Ironhead.
Another indigenous culture imperiled.
Dustin Long in the News & Record: Ã¬NASCAR President Mike Helton said the sport's potential growth outweighed tradition. An official from International Speedway Corp., which owns the tracks involved in the changes, applauded the extra revenue the company would earn with the changes.Ã®
Scott Fowler in the Observer: "When it comes to money, NASCAR doesn't mess around."
The NYT on traffic-lust in bloggerville: Ã¬(T)he general consensus among bloggers is that one witty blog entry does not a loyal readership make.Ã®
Quotees include NC fave Ryan Irelan, who once got a big bump in readership after a link from Doc Searls: Ã¬ÃCreating something odd or unique or funny that a lot of people link to is a good way to get a huge spike,Ã he said. Ã«But I don't think it's the most honest way of approaching it.Ã"
Boucher: Congress won't let Hollywood hack
Virginia Representative Rick Boucher says legislation allowing the recording industry to damage personal computers is highly unlikely to be enacted.
Boucher said he doubted that yesterday's remarks by
Sen. Orrin Hatch about targeting computers used for illegal file transfers
signaled a legislative agenda. "I think he was expressing sympathy with the
frustration felt by the recording industry," said the 10-term Democrat, who
sits on the House subcommittee on intellectual property, which last year euthanized the similarly-themed
Berman-Coble P2P piracy bill.
"Mr. Hatch is chairman of the Judiciary committee, so we have to take his announced views seriously, but I don't think this had serious legislative intent."
Boucher says that any such proposal would find limited support. "Such a message would never be reported from committee, and if it made it past a filibuster in the Senate, we’d kill it in the House. The potential for targeting innocent computer users is enormous. It’s a nuclear option to a problem with other solutions."
In a phone interview this morning with EdCone.com, Boucher called the debate over empowering corporate vigilantes "a small rearguard battle." He says the Berman bill is "pretty well dead," and that members of Congress are, by and large, figuring out the P2P issue.
He points to Apple's new music service as the model for the future. "It proves that people will pay for permanent, portable downloads. The recording industry should not fool around and waste time, it needs to deploy a Windows version."
At the same time, Boucher advises the recording industry to invest "real money" in a marketing campaign for the concept of copyright law. "$100 million is peanuts to them, and they’ve got the best communicators in the world. They need to be on TV and radio, with performers selling the value of copyright – it's not a complicated message, but word is not getting through. People think it’s an antiquated notion, but the industry can explain why people should get paid for their work."
Licensed downloads and increased awareness of copyright protections would yield "an 80% solution," says Boucher. "You’ll never make everyone use the pay services, but this way the recording industry would make money hand over fist. They will find the Internet to be the most powerful distribution method they’ve ever seen."
Congress is catching on too, he says, although progress is uneven. "I think it is very important that members of Congress who make judgments on this have a working knowledge of computers and the Internet," he says. "Many do, but some members are technology-averse, including some, unfortunately, who are in positions of influence." Hatch, he added, uses a computer.
Boucher represents a beautiful chunk of southwestern Virginia, which includes both his home town of Abingdon and Blacksburg, the home of Virginia Tech. He co-founded the Congressional Internet Caucus, which focuses on Web issues.
Oliver Willis has been one of John EdwardsÃ biggest fans on the Web, but heÃs starting to wonder if heÃs ever going to hear what he needs to hear from North Carolina's would-be favorite son. "Frankly, as an Edwards supporter - I'm not sure what the deal is right nowÃ–Its one thing to run as a moderate-centrist in the national campaign, but that doesn't mean Democrats don't need to offer bold alternatives and proud rhetoric to counteract the PresidentÃ–Edwards is being too cautious.
It's time to step up to the plate Senator.Ã®
Scott Rosenberg reads Bill OÃReillyÃs mind. Reminds me of one of my most popular columns, ever, which ran a couple of days after Bill ClintonÃs big mea kinda culpa speech about Monica. It took me about 16 minutes to write, and itÃs probably the only thing IÃll ever write to get reposted by the Freepers.
It doesnÃt take a conspiracy to make Bill OÃReilly look dumb Ã± Big Bill can do it all by himself Ã± but the Volokh Conspiracy takes the trouble to do it anyway. Glenn Reynolds gives the dead horse of OÃReillyÃs credibility another beating Ã± but then he pussyfoots away from the suggestion by Andrea Harris that people might actually start to switch off Fox News, of which Reynolds himself produces a sophisticated weblog variation.
Doozy recalls a time when some conservative Protestants supported separation of church and state, along with strong public schools. And, um, inspections of Ã¬convents, nunneries and other illegitimate Romish prisons and slave pens.Ã®
Monkeytime responds to my columnar suggestion that John Edwards take some sort of stand on trade. Ã¬Ah, to dream. It's a nice thought, Ed, but you're overlooking one vital point: Edwards' campaign is being run right out of the "New Democrat" playbook written by the fine conservatives at the Democratic Leadership Council. They've made it quite clear there will be no questioning of free trade, fast track or the ridiculously secretive and undemocratic way decisions are made at the WTO.Ã®
Lots of good Edwards stuff over at Monkey Media, especially if you like news about feckless presidential campaigns and endangered senate seats.
My Baseline reporting partner Dave and I wrote a case study about Eckerd, which did something unusual by firing its outsourcer, IBM Global Services, and rebuilding its IT department from scratch. You can see how IBM would be uncomfortable with the article, but the companyÃs decision not to talk to us strikes me as a poor PR move.
Eckerd did what it did. We were going to write the story anyway. As it happens, Eckerd made its move mostly because of the way the multi-year contract was structured, not because IBM was doing a bad job. I think IBM looks worse for failing to talk than it would have in discussing even in general terms the way it handles big outsourcing deals -- or in another, hypothetical situation, addressing serious complaints about service. Why not go on the record with some intelligent comments about doing business in the real world?
Metallica figures out life on the Web, which the Grateful Dead figured out before there was a Web. Let your fans enjoy your music without freaking out over every dime, and their love and money will come back to you.
* * *
Monkey Media: Ã¬McClatchy, are you listening? Your
And here at home, I wish the News & Record would fix its links to archived material. When stories move behind the paywall, links to them donÃt go to a page with a teaser and a chance to buy the story, but to a file-not-found dead end. For a paper looking for ways to make back its investment in the Web, a good archives policy should be a priority. The nice folks on East Market St. should read the new DaveNet, now.
"The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure," says Rand Beers in the
ACC expansion has an expanding list of opponents. In addition to the scorned Big East and VirginiaÃs attorney general, faculty members at ACC schools are making some noise.
From the NYT: "It's time to tell these professional sports managers at the A.C.C. that we are universities first," said Sue Estroff, the chair of the faculty at
Is all this commotion explained by the Kate Winslet theory?
Bill Keller gets it about right in this morningÃs NYT: Ã¬Those who say flimflam intelligence drove us to war, though, have got things backward. It seems much more likely that the decision to make war drove the intelligence.Ã®
The question remains: does it matter if our government spins the truth (or in the case of the African uranium, tramples the truth) to attain an important strategic goal? I think it does. But then again, I thought it was wrong for Bill Clinton to look us all in the eye and lie about blowjobs, and to lie under oath about things considerably less serious than going to war. I just donÃt like being lied to by people who are supposed to be working for me.