Saturday, January 29, 2005

David Wharton has figured out that southerners aren't really that freaked out by snow, we just like to declare the occasional impromptu holiday...

4:28:41 PM    comment []

Allen Johnson, editorial page editor of the N&R, has his blog up and running. "This space belongs to you, too."

4:07:49 PM    comment []

Heh. Definitely not Glenn's best work. If "the left" is really represented by people like this sad 9/11 apologist, then "the right" is represented by David Duke.

One thing I don't like in the comments to Max's post -- and I sometimes see this in Atrios' otherwise enjoyable Bobo's world series -- is snarking about southerners as right-wing cranks. That's buying into the lame Red/Blue mentality. Last I checked, Rick Santorum was from PA and I'm from NC. John Edwards and Bill Clinton are southerners. Martin Luther King Jr. and Richardson Preyer were southerners. There are lots of fine progressives and Democrats across the south, working hard to make a difference -- and for that matter, plenty of fine conservatives and Republicans doing the same. Quit bashing the region, please.

11:14:29 AM    comment []

Jay Rosen: "Will the Greensboro Newspaper Open its Archive?"

Hoggard's already on the case.

The N&R's current archive system is terrible -- links rot and then you really have to hunt for a story in order to buy it. I hear they will be fixing that. And maybe they will do more...

UPDATE: John Robinson responds: "Give some of us time to get there."

Cool. But in the meantime, fixing the broken pay-for-archives system will bring you more money...which might make free archives look even less appealing to the bean-counters -- or might show them the demand that's really out there, and drive them to figure out ways to unchain the files and sell into that market.

9:49:03 AM    comment []

Is Greensboro's blog revolution over-hyped? In terms of dreams realized, sure. In terms of possibilities recognized, not at all.

Certainly we've gotten a lot of attention for what's going on at the daily paper and within the independent blog community. My newspaper column tomorrow touches on that subject.

Is Greensboro changing the face of journalism as we know it, and doing it yesterday? No. The real world doesn't work that way.
But what's happening here is interesting precisely because it is happening in the real world, where change is more conditional and the circumstances that allow it can be fragile.
A good-sized daily newspaper has announced that it will be making its website more open to the public -- a public square, they call it -- and soliciting input on how that might be done along the way. The paper is edited by a guy who blogs and blogs well, and it has introduced several blogs under its own rubric, and the guy running the program has been blogging under his own steam for about three years. And they are talking about doing things like incorporating independent bloggers on their site.
And meanwhile the city has a humming blog culture, with the independent aggregator site emerging as an online alt-media hub, and others circling the same turf. Personal publishing is creating some interesting journalism. Our community created the first regional blog conference, which helped spawn another one down the road. We've lured some elected officials into the game. Blogs are begninning populate the subcultures where they may serve small but fervent clusters of readers, and to provide outlets for creativity.
Yet the total number of readers is still small, and the community still self-referential. The world has not shifted on its axis. Maybe there will be moments when big leaps forward happen -- the marketing muscle of the N&R could help create such a moment -- or maybe this will unfold slowly until one day we look up and the future is here.
Something is trying to happen in Greensboro. If you compare the weblog scene here and now to the situation one year ago, the progress is phenomenal. But it's an experiment. The people behind it are sincere and committed. It could falter, at least as a business proposition, which would lead some to say it failed. It may succeed in ways that the mass market or at least current understanding does not recognize as success.
It is what it is.

9:29:21 AM    comment []