Friday, July 20, 2007

Super-Terrific Tasty Links! 7/20/07

Some cool stuff for ya: Jay Rosen quickly on Assignment Zero....Jack Myers takes in the foul air of a slow news week....Jemima Kiss on brand un-"friend"-liness....Andy Carvin, media literacy, and the problem of Internet filters...the best post-mortem ever...Curmudgeons say the darnedest things (about blogging)! and Steve Garfield (not a curmudgeon) corrects them...

Jay Rosen writes a quick take on Assignment Zero. Quickly, from Jay:"In Assignment Zero we found that you don’t “have” contributors just because you signed them up. You still have to convince them that participating is a good option, that it won’t waste their time, that they will know what to do, or be able to figure it out." also check out Len Witt's interview with Jay and Derek Powazek's commentary on Jeff Howe's breakdown of AZ.

Jack Myers asks the musical question: "What is the news during a week when there is no major news?" Well, I don't know if it's that there's no major news, inasmuch as it might be that the broadcast news folks just don't want to bother us all that much with the goings on in Iraq. Another group of blown-up G.I.s and the impotency of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki doesn't look as glamorous in the hot summer sun as "Britney Spears’ bitch slapping episode with her mother Lynn," the disrobing of Harry Potter's plotlines, how much Daniel Baldwin likes coke (not the brand), Michael Vick's federal charges on dog fighting, and the suing of "To Catch a Predator." Jack sez: "I couldn't’t find one in-depth story about the hundreds of lives lost in Iraq this week, but dog fighting was a big story. I sure wish our president would send some American dogs to fight Iraqi dogs so we’d have a good solid case against him and maybe get Congress to take some responsibility for protecting our troops.

What do you do when a brand wants to be your Facebook friend? Jemima Kiss sez Just say no That's what Jemima Kiss of Media Guardian's Organ Grinder did: Amazingly, it's the first time I've been confronted by a brand posing as a person on Facebook and I haven't accepted. If you go to a networking event, you don't mingle with brands or monolithic institutions - you deal with individuals and personalities. Is it just me, or does this feel like a clumsy imposition? Actually, it's either darned stupid or brimming with chutzpah. But, seriously, can one network with a brand? Images of big, Old Gold cigarette boxes dancing in my head...

Andy Carvin, recounts how his talk on the importance of media literacy goes horribly wrong when he cannot access a video on YouTube. Not that it was blocked by YouTube, mind you, but by the JFK Library's filters. The library staff tried to override the filters, but no dice. But then a teacher says that if any of the other teachers get blocked again, ask a student how to unblock it. ". . .But I can’t say I’m surprised. Many advocates of filtering policies insist than an educator may ask to have a site unblocked when it needs to be used in the classroom. But very few teachers have the ability to either get this done promptly by the filter’s administrators, or the authority to do it themselves. They can’t teach what they’re trying to teach. Here endeth the lesson."

NewWest founder and editor-in-chief Jonathan Weber gives the final and best post-mortem Among many of the folks who have been hashing and re-hashing the death of, Jon is the only one who realizes that, as pioneers, Backfence was breaking very new ground. On some of the more harsh criticisms of Backfence, Jon says: I think the problem with Backfence, and with a number of the other early experiments in online community journalism, is that they aren't quite "about" anything. They have no editorial angle on the world, no story they are trying to tell, and thus they become a boring hodge-podge of information titbits. In the rush to reinvent local journalism, the journalism piece is getting lost. Great point. Frankly, I enjoy reading NewWest, even if I don't live out in the Rockies, because the writing is quite good and the comments are just as good. They've grown a great community around their journalism. But there's more to hyperlocal and community stuff than just the journalism--there's also ethically harnessing people's passion to participate. Or even cultivating it in the first place.

the Wall St Journal wishes blogging a happy 10th anniversary Kinda. Sorta. By featuring a number of CEO-types and their opinions on blogging. maybe I'm just jaded, but it all sounded like a bunch of yadda-yadda-yadda. Then again, maybe my yadda is someone else's yabba-dabba-doo. Steve Garfield--a most un-curmudgeonly fun guy--corrects the WSJ yet again on first-blogger rights: "From 1997 to 1999, Garfield was a producer and wacky sidekick on the Karlson and McKenzie radio show. Since the mid 1990s, he has been active on the Internet. Garfield hand-coded his own blog from November 18, 1997 to April 1, 1999 as a daily update for Karlson and McKenzie radio show listeners. Garfield was the first paid BloggerPro account user and has been updating his weblog, Off On A Tangent, daily since November 9, 2000." So there. :-)

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Steve Garfield said...

Thanks for amplifying my correction.

Tish Grier said...

you're welcome! (after some of my own experiences recently, I know how it can just bug ya when they don't get it right.)