My UNC semi-mentor Paul Jones passes on the word that a couple of my favorite writers on Internet topics are coming to town... but his town, not mine. Aw shucks.
There's no way I can head over the mountains and across the piedmont to hear Dan Gillmor, director of the Center for Citizen Media, on a Monday afternoon (Nov. 13)... but there's a slim chance that I might be able to get there to hear David Weinberg (one of the Cluetrain Manifesto gang), who's visiting Chapel Hill on Dec. 7, which is a couple of days after my last class of the semester and before final exams start.
Just in case, I'm going to ask around the journalism school here to see if -- just maybe -- we can invite Gillmor to make a side-trip to Knoxville, although it's probably too late to get on his itinerary, and even later to find any travel/honorarium dollars lying around. He's the former technology columnist for Silicon Valley's hometown newspaper, the San Jose Mercury-News, an experience that inspired his motto, "My readers know more than I do" (or something like that).
He's expanded on that theme as a blogger, as the author of the book We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People, which includes some thoughts on journalism education under the heading "teaching new tricks." More recently he's launched his Center for Citizen Media, affiliated with both Harvard's Berkman
Center for Internet & Society and the University of
California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Hmm. If the J-school doesn't have the money handy, maybe someone from the News Sentinel, Metro Pulse or Scripps can get him to come to town... or perhaps the Rockytop Brigade has some travel honorarium money hidden away. Heh. Actually, if he could spend some time following the blogger-journalist conversations going on between http://knoxnews.com and http://knoxviews.com, he might be intrigued enough to visit on his own.
Back in Chapel Hill, Weinberg will be delivering the UNC School of Information and Library Science Henderson Lecture under an intriguing title, "Everything is Miscellaneous." He'll also be part of a UNC Symposium on Social Networking. Along with his section of the Cluetrain, he's written a book that I've been reading that captures the culture of the Web: Small Pieces Loosely Joined. He also blogs (where do these guys find the time?) as JOHO, which Paul tells me is really short for Journal of Hyperlinked Organization.
[More adventures of The Real Paul Jones appear regularly in his blog. And if he asks me what I meant by "semi-mentor," I'll make some very bad, but complimentary, puns. But now that I've said that much, he'll imagine them anyway.]