Saturday, November 26, 2005

Because Cross-Linking Creates Community....

Ron Brynaert, who writes the most excellent Why Are We Back in Iraq? (and has been linked in the NY Times, of all places), recently wrote a great piece on titled Blogroll Purge about--what else?--purging his blogroll of links that do not link to him.

Ron's discovered that it doesn't pay to link to people who won't give *you* the time of day and link back. He's realized what I realized when I started doing this blog-thing on a personal level--that if you're not linking back and forth to each other, you're not creating community.

If you're not linking, and you're not creating community, you and others with whom you share common ground, stand to lose--in many ways. Ron sees it thru a political lens. In Blogroll Purge he notes how the right seems to have a big thing about all that linklove, but the left seems to be as snooty as a Hollywood double-cheek airkiss. Ron is very right to note that this gives right-wing bloggers more clout in the blogosphere. It gives them more links to more supporting viewpoints, that's for sure.

I see it in simple, social terms--if I like you enough to link to you, just link back. If I find out you've linked to me, I'll link back to you. Kiss, kiss--Link, link.

I've heard the excuse from some bloggers that they will not link to someone who links to them because they think the linking blog doesn't reflect their blog's sensibilities. Please. Are all your friends exactly like you all the time? Blogrolls should be about diversity. We should be able to demonstrate that we aren't so fixated that we can't read content that isn't completely parallel with ours. If we want to shatter the image of blogs as being nothing more than echo chambers (and, believe me, MSM loves to tout that bit about us), listing blogs that are not our mirror image shows that we're open to being more than navel gazing diarists and that we can converse with others.

And even if someone IS a navel-gazing diarist, if the writing's good, then I just might link. If someone's a Rush Limbaugh right wing, Shania Twain-lovin' navel gazer....well, I might have to think a couple of times about that....then again, they'd have to think twice about me, too...

Now, yes, there's the problem of A-listers and links. There are indeed A-listers who get far too many requests for links from their blogs to the rest of the blogosphere. I tend to think that A-listers should just be left to themselves--unless we're lucky enough to establish peer-to-peer communications with the ones who are open to such a thing. Some are, some aren't. Many are no longer providing permalinks, but many will provide postlinks which can be great for us Upstart bloggers. But I don't believe it's necessary to immediately link to A-listers when we start our blogs to prove something about ourselves or about our blogs. What are we proving? That we can give a link to someone the rest of the world already knows about?

I link to a few "A-list" types, but that's because it's easier for me to go to their blogs from my blog. It's also way for my little blog to show up in their stats. If they bother to look, it *may* get them over here. No other reason that that.

Further, how A-listers want to handle their blogrolls and links is up to them. If you think about it, some of those A-list blogs aren't even blogs in the same sense that many of us are the sense that they are not looking to interact and build any kind of community. They are content providers, that's it. If you're into reading their content, then read it. But don't look for community in a space dedicated just to telling *you* what's what.

Likewise, if some blogs have a huge number of comments, but the blogger (or bloggers)let the comments ramble like an unmoderated USENET newsgroup, then let them be just that-- unmoderated USENET newsgroups. Personally, I don't participate in blogs of that sort. Why should I? I had my share of Forums/Newsgroups years ago with alt.goth and the New York Times Film Forums. Forums are one kind of social software and blogs are another. I'm posting on a blog to get to know the blogger and his/her commenters who also blog--I'm not interested in numbskulls who don't know the first thing about blogging and probably hate bloggers but love to leave comments on blogs because they think blogs are their new Forums.

So, the message is easy: those of us out here in the Long Tail--well, we need to work together, support one another and give each other that permalink when we discover we've been linked to. (If I've missed anyone in my blogroll, let me know. I'll provide a cross-link)

And if you think the whole blogroll thing's too much of a pain-in-the-ass, but you still want to give props to posts or people you think are great, then postlink...which I will do right here for Sean Coon's blog because he recently postlinked on his blog to mine.

Gotta share the linkluv, baby! Purge that deadweight! provide that perma or postlink! Because if we don't, there's no community. If there's no community, there's no point...

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Blog Migration

I am considering migrating this blog to another URL to enhance my Search Engine Optimzation criteria. I think that I may be missing a number of readers because the URL and the title of the blog do not correspond and people have to search to find me. That's unfortunate. I may also have to change the title to something like Snarkolholica to get the two to correspond.

I found that some buttwipe claimed the URL and is holding it hostage. Nothing like bogarting someone else's idea....

I'd appreciate any comments regarding migrating this blog. It's a big decision.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I've been selected to be on a panel at the SXSW Interactive Festival! I'm so super excited!

The panel is Us and Them: A Blog Conversation Survival Guide

There's alot to think about in this topic. I just keep thinking about my strange experience on Alas, a Blog and the gentlemanly art of disagreeing with someone's opinion while still remaining friendly. Alot of folks--both men and women--have a bit of trouble understanding that concept.

It also makes me think of "echo chamber" arguments that are levelled against blogs. Not all are echo chambers, but some often end up looking like unmoderateed USENET newsgroups.

oh, and I'm also indexed by! You can find me under Chicopee, MA and in a few other spots, too. I seem to be the solo blogger out of Chicopee at the moment (although the indexed stories aren't the Chicopee-related ones.) I'm fascinated by Topix. There seems to be alot of room to grow with it and it could end up being a valuable search tool.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tag! You're It!: Talking Tag Turkey with Technorati's Kevin Marks

Before I got embroiled in the film festival and then hopped over to the Corante Symposium on Social Architecture, my friend Dawno sent me an email asking if I could help her figure out how to get those pesky Technorati tags to work for her. She said:
I was wondering if you feel that the Technorati tags are worth the effort. I was frustrated tonight when I thought I'd tag my post about women in tech but the tag Technorati's site gave me was "women" and not what I was looking to be 'sorted' with. How do you deal with that?

After playing with tags for a bit, I figured a few things out about them: that you have to use them consistently to come up in the Recently Updated catgories; that you can indeed tag in categories that aren't necessarily exactly what you want but may lead some readers to your site (who might actually read you); and that tagging can help you to focus your content a bit better (kind of like adjusting the lens on binoculars).

I told Dawno that tagging with "tech" as well as "women" will get both tech and women readers to her site. Hey, I'm all for beating the bushes in two categories! Also, she could now use the "Blog Finder" to make her blog easier to find as well as create her own tags. So, if she really really wants a "women in tech" tag, she could create it *and* have it all to herself (until some other enterprising person finds it and uses it too).

So when I ran into Kevin Marks of Technorati at the cocktail party after the Symposium I said "ah ha! you're with the Evil Empire!"

"No, no," he laughed, "we're really the Rebel Alliance!" and to some degree he's right.

We got to talking about what I mentioned to Dawno about the use of tags--to use them consistently, and to create your own if necessary--and he said this was spot on. From using tags consistently and regularly, I have begun to see how, with a blog like Snarkaholic, they are quite helpful for getting readers.

That, he said, was pretty much the point of tags--to help drive traffic to blogs by putting them in categories people would want to search.

I also noted to Kevin that tagging is quite helpful for honing one's content. I do indeed think that if one wants readership, and one is not either flashing a boob, exposing one's sex life, or geeking out with gadget-talk, and one is not an "insider" or "authority" of any kind, or isn't co-opting a people's medium to start her own media empire (yes, Huffington, I mean you) one has to have an intention or clear focus to one's blog. (one could also socialize like crazy, although that's another topic for later discussion)

In our conversation, I got to mention to Kevin that I spoke with Dave Sifry, that he was quite gracious and friendly, and that after the talk I had a better understanding of how big a job Technorati has in scaling the web--that there's just so much the algorithms can handle at one time and that the web has a strange, almost elastic quality to it. The blogosphere looks so vast, yet is so densly populated that it is very unweildy to scale--it expands exponentially and trying to count and categorize all of it to meet the needs of all the bloggers out there is something akin to the labor of Sisyphus.

Which he also agreed! it was nice to hear that my observations of the whole thing are in concert with what Kevin sees thru working with the stuff.

While I get a bit pissy when I don't show up Technorati's Recently Updated in a timely manner, I do indeed realize that no system right now is either perfect enough nor strong enough to handle the massive amount of content that is out there. It's nothing personal but rather something mathematical.

oh, well.

After my 2 drink minimum and far too much excellent sushi, I bid Kevin adieu and headded back to my hotel.

And then, when I read my email, Dawno sent me this piece by Daniel Terdimanabout tagging. Ah, the synchornicity of the universe!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Check this out: Andy Carvin's quicktime piece on the prototype of Nicholas Negroponte's $100 laptop...

what jaded Americans may see as a simple child's toy is a device that would not only connect the rest of the world to the Internet, but just might help our own butts out when another disaster hits us and FEMA gives taxpayers the big middle finger....

Martha Stewart sez:" It's all about content..."

Oh, yeah Martha? think again...

Martha Stewart opened her yap yesterday and said the stupidest thing on her show--that there's a new generation called "Generation C" and they are all about Content.

I sincerely wish people would get rid of the whole Alphabet Generation thing. It's awfully trite and annoying. And in this case, not quite right.

Martha's handlers (or are they wranglers?) have clued her in that there's a whole generation out there who knows how to surf content...that they are content savvy...and that their existence on the Internet is content based

I think Martha's handlers need to get out a bit more. Or at least read a bit more themselves. It's not just content, but conversation Martha old girl.

It's pretty easy to see, too....if you've got the cojones to simply go in and look around. Get a account or surf some Blogger blogs and see what's going on. Sure,people are creating content and monkeying with their spaces (kind of like decorating one's bedroom) but they're also stopping in and chatting.

That whole idea of chatting--not in the chatroom sense, but in sense of creating conversation thru comments--is what is truly going on underneath all that blogging and linking and animating of little things here and's all about connecting and conversing with others and building community. Even if you happen to be an post 18-34 blogger, it's still about conversation and connection and community.

Content providing and content management will only get you so far. There are loads and loads of content providers and sites that have their content managed by savvy content managers. But unless the content is truly fresh and spun by those considered "authoritative", the average Joe & Jane blogger really isn't apt to get recognized, or even read, in the vast blogosphere. So, conversation is where it's at. Provide content about one's life or one's musical interests, or one's band or *something* but read others, add links, leave a comment or two--and hope others will leave comments too.

Sitting there spewing mindless content will get you nowhere. Only reading content will bore you stupid. Going out and being social may not make you wealthy, but will get you read. When you are read your content has meaning. If content is not read and interacted with, then it has no purpose. It's all about being social, not about being a boor.

Think of it this way: if all we wanted to do was provide content, we'd all get into regular media--print journalism, tv, radio, something of that sort. They are great content providers. But people are tired of being passive receptors of content. They want to create but share--the only way one can create AND share is thru social interaction. Within the blogosphere, that social interaction is conversation.

Wake up Martha....your handlers are trying to swim in New Media using Old Mediathink...get yourself a lifejacket babe, or you'll sink too...


The Latest from Chicopee--Mayor Gets Passive-Aggressive and We Lose a Chunk o' Change

So, soon-not-to-be-Mayor Rick Goyette got a bit passive-aggressive yesterday when he decidednot to brief the aldermen on Chicopee's financial orders...

well, can we really blame the guy? One of the largest unions in W. Mass asked for his resignation, and the Aldermen asked for his resignation....guess he's feeling a bit of pressure, so the only way to deal with it is to just, well, stall a bit....

I do, though, wonder how much Goyette's holding back this information actually affects the town. Then again, when the town just got zapped for $2.45 mil on a wrongful conviction suit, we could be seriously pinching pennies for a bit.

This just in: apparently, Chicopee's bond rating isn't all that bad...but did they get wind of the $2.45 mil settlemen? or has Dunn & Bradstreet's database not caught up to us yet? Only time will tell...

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

I'll be away from blogging over the weekend due to a commitment to be the Volunteer Co-ordinator for the Northampton Independent Film Festival.

It's like herding cats.

But if you're bored, feel free to continue commenting on Anti-Social Social Media which has a really great discussion going on about problems with software engineering and the inability to receive comments on some newspaper-linked blogs.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Following "Goodfella" Goyette....

So, I'm reading the paper on a fine Sunday morning and find out there are more sordid details regarding Chicopee mayor Richard Goyette...

and I'm reminded of those great films by Martin Scorsese--you know, the ones with all the happy go-lucky gangsters having fancy dinners and saying "yo!" alot.

Although I do feel a bit sorry for the Board of Aldermen, who've never had to deal with something like this before, and had to figure out that the best thing might be to ask Goyette to resign even though they've never done anything like that before.

okay, I could make a very bad loss of virginity joke on that one...esp. in light of the Scorses comments...but I won't. I'll leave it up to your own sordid little imaginations.

I have to say, though, the more I stick around here, the more it's feeling like my old home, New Jersey, where there's trouble with the Senate race *and* the Governor's race (please note that the trouble's so intense that it made NPR)

Now all we need is for *some politician* to come out that he's gay...oh, wait, isn't that the case over in Northampton? Never mind on the gay politician part--it doesn't mean a heck of alot out in these parts....

It's strange though...when this kind of petty corrupstion stuff happens in New Jersey, we just shrug it off and chalk it up to politics as usual. There's a benign resignation to political corruption over there--so much so that people still vote. Out here, though, where these sorts of things Just Don't Happen (other than in Springfield) people are losing faith, figuring that all politicians are crooks, etc.

They've probably been crooks for years, just none of them got wise enough to push the wrong guys and get caught.

oh, goes on...we'll get a new mayor after tomorrow's election. By default. We didn't even get to choose between the "lesser of two evils." I think that's what I miss--the idea that we have a choice of candidates.

This year? Fuggettaboutit!

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Anti-Social Social Media

Why is it that our local newspaper's blogs don't have a feature for comments? Recently Greg Tulonen, who posts on a political "blog" titled The Fray, popped in to help sort out the political parties of the candidates for the Chicopee mayoral race (since I wasn't able to readily discern those parties from the candidate's promotional materials.)

I wanted to be polite, go over to The Fray, and thank Greg for leaving that comment--try to build a little sense of community between myself, the Grassrootser and The Man--but comments cannot be posted to the blogs.

What's up with that? From all my blog-education, blogging is a social activity. Its mode of communication is meant to be horizontal--peer to peer. If I cannot go back and establish dialogue with Greg, and thus extend not only my own community, but also the Masslive/Republican community then what's the point??

If I can go in and establish horizontal communication with Jeff Jarvis, who, from what I know, helped to set up blogging for papers like The Republican when he was with Conde-Nast (the Republican's parent company), and thus facilitate a face-to-face meeting with Jeff, why can't I have the same sort of communcation with Greg Tulonen?

What has ended up happening between myself and Greg is a top-down, old media communication style--something Jarvis preaches against and other newspaper editors, like Lex Alexander also try not to continue. I really appreciated the heads up from Greg (it spared me some additional embarassment and if I gaffed again, I'd welcome another heads up), but I don't like the sense of pulling rank.

So, I am puzzled and want to know why the Masslive/Republican blogs do not allow comments. Is it that many of the folks running them are somehow connected to the paper and don't have the time to be social? Or is it that, with their particular format, The Forums are meant to be the social medium and not the blogs?

Forums, however are one kind of social media, while blogs are another. Both build community, but do it slightly differently. And while there are some notable blogs where the Comments sections end up functioning like unmoderated Forums, blogs in general aren't meant to function like unmoderated Forums.

Or, more insidiously, is it the fear that an outside blogger might post a link which may not express the opinions of the parent company??

That's shouldn't even be a point, but just might be part of the answer.

Blogs are, for the most part, a means for the blogger to interact with the world around him/herself. They are a means of disseminating information (political, personal, tech, whatever) and thus establishing connection with others not only within one's own community but with the wider world. Blogs, for the most part, are meant to break down barriers not only between nations but between people and institutions. Some bloggers may choose to disallow comments, but for an entire group of blogs, clustered under the umbrella of a local newspaper, to completely disallow comments is not just anti-social but in a sense defeats the idea of blogs as social media.

I would like to run into someone from the Masslive/Republican blogs at the Symposium on Social Archetecture on 11/14-15, but I doubt that will happen. If they can't be social within their own sphere of influence, what makes me think they'd want to be part of a social architecture symposium?

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Party, Party, Whose Got My Political Party

Unless you've been following local politics for a bit there doesn't seem to be a quick at-a-glance way to tell the party affiliation of soon-to-be former Mayor Richard Goyette or his opponent, attorney Michael Bissonnett belongs to.

Bissonnette's website doesn't mention political party affiliation.

And Goyette's is gone. The only way I could double check his status was to look at this three-day old piece in the Republican, and read it all the way to the end.

None of the posters that litter the lawns of Chicopee mention any party or have the Republican Elephant or Democratic Mule (some would say jack-ass, but I won't say it)...

Apparently, being soundbyte-friendly isn't necessary in Chicopee.

Then again, maybe claiming to be Democrat or Republican isn't all that necessary either. Can't tell what parties Charlie Ryan and Tom Ashe, mayoral candidates for Springfield, belong to....

Doesn't seem to be much of a priority in New York City. You can't tell the party of mayoral candidate Mike Bloomberg from his website...but you can tell who endorses him. He looks like a Democrat--but isn't he a Republican? I can't tell...

So, does political party affiliation matter any more when it comes to local elections?

Or is it that candidates simply not want to alienate voters that might be put off by the label of "Demorcrat" or "Republican"? Perhaps there is the assumption that people will indeed be like "yellow dog Democrats" and just vote along party lines. I figured that those days were over. I thought we were past those days and into the times when voting with one's conscience would be more important than voting the party line.

If we are indeed voting our consciences, then saying what party a candidate represents should be considered, at least, an FYI point. After all, isn't this a two-party system and don't we have a right to know a candidate's party affiliation well before we get to the polls?

Then again--maybe on the local level anyway--we don't have a two-party political system...we just get two candidates. If we're lucky.

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And then there was one....

Chicopee Mayor Rick Goyette withdraws from mayor's race yesterday. And his website has been taken down.

However, someone has posted an nasty little anonyomous website here...I can't believe someone would waste the bandwidth. And leftyblogs lists a link to another blog in the Republican that says Goyette could still win.

What a joke.

Although, since he can't be taken off the ballot, people *could* conceivably vote for him....the philosophy being that since he's THE Republican candidate people are supposed to bury their heads in the sand and vote for him anyway.

People who used to do that were called "Yello Dog Democrats" back in the 60's--as in they'd vote for anyone running on the Democratic ticket, including a yellow dog. Guess it can apply to either party nowadays.

But even if you wanted to jump ship and vote Democrat, you can't find Mike Bissonnette's website all that easily. Is it because they aren't using some kind of Search Optimization Criteria, or just that they're too small to be noticed by the big search engines? Or is it that the site that's listed on his campaign up being the one for New York City mayoral candidate Mike Bloomberg. Perhaps Bissonnette's people, knowing this region is a technological backwater, simply decided not to bother to create a website once they discovered their snappy little domain name had already been consumed. Correction: you can find Bissonnette's site at

Although it's rather odd that his political party isn't mentioned on the main page...

Too bad--since someone who appears to be something of a techological low-brow found a really cheap and easy way to create a bash-Goyette site. And seemed to use some pretty good Search Engine Optimization criteria to put it pretty high up in any searches on the subject.

This whole situation is revealing some pretty pathetic aspects of this corner of the State of Massachusetts--crooked mayors and low techonological savvy.

Yeah, we're real ready for the Information Age out party electoral system and all that jazz...

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Visit Beautiful Downtown Chicopee Mass and Watch The Two-Party System Fail

So, Chicopee's Fearless Mayor, Richard Goyette's office was searched yesterday in conjunction with his arrest on corruption charges.

All this comes one week before the election--which means the residents of this little city have a choice between a Crook and Some Other Guy. But how much do we know about Mike Bissonette?

Apparenly, anonymous mud slinging documents, with mud directed at both candidates, started showing up before Goyette's arrest. So far, though, the mud has stuck to only one.

What if it stuck to the other one too?

Small-town politics troubles me. The whole thing with Goyette--demanding money from tow-truck operators in exchange for city contracts--is something that, anecdotally anyway, always happens in the hurly-burly of Big City politics. It's business as usual in some places. The fact that it's blown up in Mayor McCheese's face here makes me think that some small-towns are a little less corruption-riddled.

Or did he just cross the wrong Wise Guys?

So, where does all this leave voters? We have the choice between a crook and someone who might not represent what we feel is right for our city.

It makes me think, too, about how so many of the Capitol Hill issues don't really mean a Hill of Beans out here. The Republican Pary's stand on abortion and The War really don't cut it against issues like environmental clean up and job creation. Out here in a working-class city of roughly 56,000, the issues are jobs, dealing with a growing elderly population, and environmental clean-up (the result of years of neglect and greed). We might not like abortion or The War, but what a local politician thinks about those particular issues is, well, a personal matter out here. Voters can overlook that stuff if the guy is willing to address the larger issues--like whether or not the local farmer's market can accept food stamps.

It's a shame that Goyette did what he did for what amounts to chump change. He managed to get a program going that has helped revitalize an abandoned mall--and while it means we have a new Payless Shoe Source, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and 99 Restaurant--blights and some labor law violators, as well as bad food purveyors--it also means jobs and services of *some* kind. There's also been two new high schools and now a possible new senior center... all while every day we watch fresh groups of reservists ship out from Westover AFB to fight an immoral war.

What do we do? How do we choose the person who's right for our city? Do we turn our head to chump change extortion--shrug it off and say "well, he's brought alot of development here." Or do we keep one set of morals and issues for the Big Guys in Washington, another set for the Little Local Guys, and vote for who we figure isn't taking a kick-back?

In small-town politics, who do we choose when corruption jeopardizes our Freedom of Choice?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

We might not be the Big City out here in Chicopee,MA but we got crooks too!

Chicopee Mayor Arrested, Charged with Extorting $10,000 in Campaign Contributions

CHICOPEE, MASSACHUSETTS (WWLP) - One week before election day, a bombshell in the City of Chicopee. First-term Mayor Richard Goyette was arrested and charged with extorting $10,000 in campaign contributions. FBI Supervisory Agent Michael O'Reilly tells the Associated Press that Federal Agents arrested Goyette Tuesday morning. He's expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Springfield on Tuesday. The 36-year-old mayor, who is up for re-election next week, is charged with accepting 2 campaign contributions of $5,000 a piece. Under the law, candidates are only allowed to accept up to a maximum of $500.

This happens one week before elections out here. Unbelieveable. This kind of stuff used to go on all the time in New Jersey--it's just the way that politicians did business back there. Ten grand might not seem so much to all y'all city folk, but this is only one of many corruption scandals out here in this predominantly working poor part of the world (where one year's college tuition is more than what some working folks earn in a year.) Springfield, MA was rife with it under former mayor Mike Albano--just go to the main page of The Republican ( and you'll find the latest on that particular mess.

(via Channel 22 with a heads up from Carlos Tropicana)

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Rafat Ali whines: "Where are the entrepreneurs?"

A recent blogsurf under "citizen journalism" on Technorati revealed this piece by Mark Hamilton which directed me to this piece on Paid Content...consisting of Rafat Ali's observations at the recent ONA confab.

Rafat's one of those young dudes with enough clout to be at a whole bunch of high-profile conferences...and, like a petulant child who's tired of watercress sandwiches and thousand-dollar toy cars, he whines:
where's the entrepreneurship? The Web 2.0 thing, while may have been over hyped, at least has something at the core of it: innovation, on the cheap, and available to all. These are people who believe, and believe me, that's half the battle won. Why is that mentality not coming to journalism, and specifically online journalism? Why isn't more startup culture being encouraged at media companies? Yes, they'll start blogs on their site, but beyond that, what? Why aren't journalists being encouraged to be entrepreneurs, and the other way around? When will we have our version of the young-out-of-school-entrepreneurs amongst us?

Rafat, here's a clue: the entrepreneurs aren't sitting in expensive conferences. We aren't hearing what you or any of the others Up There are saying. We have day jobs or are in grad school for something unrelated to proper journalism. We do "citizen journalism" or "grassroots journalism" or whatever y'all want to call it on our own, in our own time, NOT under the auspices of the local newspaper or something like We are in the Technorati Long Tail and don't have time for attending conferences, or whining and kvetching and complaining. We aren't all young, wide eyed, and moneyed--we are all ages, races, and creeds. We sometimes even have trouble finding one another. Yet We are articulate and educated and are blogging daily.

We're there Rafat. We have the Passion you talk about. But you, and most of The Press are still up where the Air is Rare and can't see us. And when you find us, you want to find ways to diminish, disparage, and degrade what we are doing. There is no support from established journalists or organizations--only talk of ways of commodifying us and paying us wages that are well below what someone of less talent and more education earns. Come down from your conferences Rafat and check out what The People are up to. There is passion and raw talent far beyond what you will find in a conference.

Get out of the clouds and into the Long Tail. You'll be amazed.