A thoughtful response

Dennis Howlett over at Bazaarz.com linked to AudioActivism as part of a response to Dave Winer’s slam of the NY Times which I applauded. Here are my thoughts for Dennis. So nice to see a civil discussion. So unlike some personal attacks I’ve read. 😀

Thanks for linking to AudioActivism Dennis! Much respect for all journalists skills, hard work, blood, and sweat.

Your friend in San Francisco is right. Many Americans, myself included, are sick and tired of our media. That’s one reason we are making it ourselves. But many of us don’t call ourselves journalist and never will. Complicated and paradigm changing I know.

On the issue of trust it boils down to knowing someone. No longer do I automatically trust those who make news just because they do it professionally. I trust my neighbors and fellow bloggers whom I have met. (physically and virtually) When they trust someone else they pass along that recommendation. It’s this honnest system of transference that is completely and so terribly broken down in the main stream media.

I dream of a day when my next door neighbor will be better informed about events thousands of miles away than any journalist.

You Tell ’em Dave!

I love it when smart tech folks jump in the fray and tear the MSM [main stream media] a new one. Case in point; Dave Winer says this about the NY Times:

I’ve now gotten three emails saying they recently let a blogger on their op-ed page, but that’s very very different from having a blogger on their op-ed page. Give a blogger a guest slot, great, if you don’t like the piece, you don’t have to run it. But if you have a blogger there regularly, then you have to run what they wrote, and that would change the character of their editorial, it would make their regular writers think twice about taking the inexcusable shortcuts they take.

# Read the rest

And then he wrote this:

And of course let’s not forget the big stuff — they [NY Times] went to war with George Bush without calling him on his bullshit. They need some strong medicine, they’ve acknowledged it, but they refuse to take it. The stupidity of it is that it would sell newspapers, it would make them money, because they’d become much more interesting. They’re just too scared to piss off their world famous reporters, who don’t want to be challenged. They could make their paper interesting, but they don’t want interesting, they want job security. That’s their real problem, that’s where they need to embrace the web, and that’s what they haven’t done.

I freaking LOVE IT! Bloggers and Podcasters are FRESH and make media intersting! 😀

Albert Yee is Awesome!

The absolutely best part of going to Philadelphia was meeting Albert Yee of the DrangonballYee blog. (Plus the other cool liberal bloggers like Matt of bopnews.com and Chris of mydd.com). I had only exchanged emails with Albert and he gave me a place to stay, took me to get a steak, and introduced me to a cool bar and some of the best Jazz I’ve ever heard.

I was almost home and Albert called to see how my trip went. I realize then that he innately understood all that One.org (or whom ever fucked up this “backstage passes” stuff) didn’t. Treat others like you would like them treat you. Go out of your way for the people you don’t know. Live 8


Albert’s Blog. Albert’s Photos.

Blogging Teach-In at UNC

Live Blogging at a Blog Teach-In: Ruby and I are at an event Anton Zuiker is hosting to help people learn about blogging. We’re at the Health Sciences Library Biogen Idec Classroom on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. Anton starts off with an overview about blogging. Read Anton’s Blogging 101 tutorial.

Now we’re talking about specific blog software. Of course Ruby and I are evangelizing WordPress over Blogger. We don’t hate Blogger but are trying to prevent people from having to learn a new piece of blogging software when they’ll inevitablly outgrow it. WordPress is just more scaleable. Yesterday I found Blogsome. It hosts free WordPress blogs.

Q: Should I host the blog myself or let someone else do it?
A: To have a blog you need hard drive space on a web server. You can always use a free blog services that someone else hosts (ex. Blogger or Blogsome) or you can pay for your own web host. (ex. textdrive or dreamhost) The main difference between the two, in this case, is that free blog services already have the blog software installed and running. You just need to sign up and go. If you get your own web space you can install the blog software yourself and customize all you want. This option is a lot easier than it sounds. Lot’s of room for growth with this option too.

Q: If you start off with free blog hosting can I move to my own more advanced blog solution?
A: YES. Because your blog posts are stored in a database it’s relativly easy to transfer your text data to another server with another database. Lots of how-tos are out there on the web. Check google for some keywords like “move blogger wordpress database” Ask a geek you know to help you. Love them. Respect them. Feed them.

Here is MP3 of Anton and the groups discussion about blogs and blogging. We join this program all ready in progress… 😀

MP3 59m 49s 27.4MB 64kbps

International Podcasting Endowment

We need to support *all* podcasters so they can create their work. How can we collectively support them? Here are some thoughts on how.

Today there has been a lot of talk on tha blogs about iTunes having podcatching abilities in a future version. (Podcatching is the process of downloading podcasts.) Basically iTunes would do what iPodder does and potentially replace it on many Macs. On a Engadget thread someone brought up the possibility of the iTunes music store helping podcasters sell podcasts. Several people chimed in that they wouldn’t pay for podcasts. I’m afraid neither will a large enough number of people to properly support individual podcasters. But then again some people use Google Ads and are happy with what it pays them. So selling podcasts files might be an option for some.

This conversation gave me an idea of how podcasters could be supported. A International Podcasting Endowment. A large fund in the form of a non-profit foundation that would help ensure the future of independent media creation via Podcasting. Not necessarily one supported by any government, (Because we know how bad that idea can be. i.e. the National Endowment of Arts) but by thousands of individuals.

There would be lots of issues to address before this idea could really happen but one *really* jumps out at me. How do you fairly distribute financial help to podcasters? In other words how would you provide grants from the endowment without first setting up a big bureaucracy with a expensive overhead (more than 20% lets say). A network centric model could be used. How would this work? What would the basic model look like? Here is a challenge to you all. Let’s figure this out. How can we collectively support Podcasters and raise societies perceived value of their work? Especially outside of traditional business models that favor consolidation and large multinational organizations.