Monday, March 31, 2008

"Legal service Web site launched for Arab journalists" - International Journalists’ Network

A very positive move.

Citizen Huff - The New York Times

I suspect we will see many more stories like this one of people who make it happen combing quality content and service with good technology. Or is there another explanation?

"State s politics take leap online" - News & Observer

The more opportunity for questions and answers - and the chance to read them "live" or afterwards - the better!

It is especially helpful for the N&O to include the specifics of how this will "work" and to note that you can read it later if not able to watch it as it happens.

"Mercury News to be leaders on Internet, "pick up the pace", and integrate staff" - editorsweblog

This appears headed in the right direction at a venerable newspaper which now lacks a certain je ne sais quoi in terms of associating the newspaper with quality ownership. That's still important to me, and this is not the case, alas, here. It's not that it's bad; it's just not clear.

Anyway, the real test is the changes that are made here and what happens as a result. I worked with Mercury Center people at the very beginning of this, it surely would be nice to see the paper come back to its former glory in leading the way toward a new formula that guards what's good of the old and draws on the present and future to make it an even more successful undertaking for all affected - the entire community it serves.

"BitTorrent Revolutionizes File Sharing" - NPR

I am not at all convinced that the classic model of 90% of most people preferring to watch than to perform or contribute is really changing that much. Yes, this technology is important, but I think the premise is faulty or at least limited.

That's when it comes to "creating" something beyond a text message or an e-mail -- something intended to go to a wider audience.

As for the more limited communication to individuals, family, friends, associates of one sort or another, the sky is the limit.

That distinction between what we create and distribute to people whom we pick for the most part and stuff we take or find from others...that line is worth preserving and respecting.

We should not say that technology either reflects that it is no longer so or forcing the result that the line can no longer be respected.

It can be, should be and requires a lot of harder patient explanation to future generations in order to preserve this. It's worth the time.

"2 Irish Billionaires Clash Over Publisher’s Course" - The New York Times

I am an Irish citizen, and these sorts of stories interest me a lot. I do not know Mr. O'BRIEN but I am acquanted with father and son O'REILLY.

This sounds as though Ireland is an island separated from the rest of the world by water and mentality. Some of that, of course, is true.

But one has to wonder in terms of share value whether a newspaper company like Independent News & Media can really make a go of it for the medium term. I think the only reason that newspapers outside the US, in some number of cases, seem to be doing better than those in the US is that the digital stars have simply lined up in a different fashion as part of the transition.

In the end, we will all be operating in a digital world, with some paper supplements. A company that now relies primarily on paper has got to rework itself and its relationships with the people who, together, pay the bill - those who advertiser and those who consume advertising and pay for services, including news.

I see no indication that Independent News has organized itself and its ties to customers in such a way as to get out ahead of what is sweeping so many newspapers off the media road.

"Obama's talking to all of us" - Sandusky Register

I support Barack OBAMA for President for many reasons.

This is a wonderful short piece from Ohio not necessarily supporting OBAMA but urging all of us to read in full his speech on race. One should read in full Hillary CLINTON's speeches and papers as well. And those of John McCAIN. All are available on their respective websites; you are free to use them without registering in any way.

What's so refreshing about this piece is the simple admonition - go read the full text and in a world where there is only a millisecond of reasons not to do so, do it right now. Don't wait. This speech; other speeches. Other candidates. Do your work as a citizen and/or a voter. Even if you are neither, help the rest of us make the right decision!

As I wrote above, I support OBAMA because I think he is the best of the three. But I am not an ideologue and I will continue to listen carefully to what the other two say, and read as much as I choose to make time to do.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A home for Fiesta™ Collectors

Amazing sign of our digital times that this ever existed and the fact that it disappeared as quickly as it came! I am not a Fiesta collector, by the way! | Tired of sloppy consumer service? Log on

Friday, March 28, 2008

Belarus: Journalists’ Homes Raided - New York Times

There has tended to be an assumption that US reporters, especially US citizens, carry the First Amendment with them as an endorsement to their passports. This never was the case and certainly is not today. Ditto for any US citizen abroad. In the case of Belarus or any other country, each person enjoys only the rights and privileges afforded and respected by the country where you are. Always assume the least protection, and always prepare yourself for the worst case scenario such as your hotel room or other dwelling being ransacked without warning by the local police. You're not in Kansas.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 | USDA s nutrition tool fails

It's always disappointing to see the failure of something that still has so much potential to help people eat better as the distance between them and their online lives grows so much smaller.

Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On - New York Times

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Katharine Q. Seelye - On Line - Election 2008 - Politics - New York Times

There is no doubt in my mind but that we will all be voting on the web for the President and other electec officials one day. What's so fascinating about this is the resiliency of concern over some areas of technological advancement. We are prepared to accept more mistakes, I would argue, when the mistakes are not embedded in a machine but rather in plane view, rather than in a place where none of us non-techies can penetrate. Oversight of this process is essential, and we should move more intelligently toward this goal of online voting.

Friday, March 21, 2008

"Obama France"

I was curious to know whether there are any organized groups of French people - and others in France - supporting OBAMA. This blog was the closest thing that I could find. Some quite interesting observations by whoever is doing this - one "cpachai" according to the profile associated with the blog. Why are so many people like this so reluctant to say who they really are?

In any case, it's a site worth a look.....

"Three New York Moguls in Talks to Buy Newsday" - The New York Times

This is another extraordinary sign of the times. We will look back on this period, I think, as one during which newspaper publishing became a much more personal as opposed to corporate undertaking. Owner-publishers will emerge from odd places and both First Amendment principles and our political system are bound to be affected by how this plays forward.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Send an Email - United States Representative Steve King

This is the Congressman who reportedly said that terrorists would dance in the streets if Barack OBAMA is elected President.

I wanted to ask him if he really said that.

But he has this set up - as do too many Representatives - to preclude any non-constituent from communicating with him.

It is perfectly appropriate for his constituents to have a preferred route of access, but to preclude the rest of us - unless we print and mail a letter or make a phone call - reflects a weakness unbecoming of a Member of the House of Representatives. In more colloquial terms, only wimps behave this way, and therefore this guy must be a wimp, I conclude.

Of course, he is free to correct the record here. I let anyone offer a comment and post all who write clearly regardless of whether they agree or strongly disagree. I seem to recall something about how democracy hinges on such exchanges.

Well, it seems to be true according to this report from the Associated Press. How sad to think that the good people of Iowa actually elected this man.

He needs a tremendous amount of professional and, above all, spiritual guidance. I hope someone connected to him - family, friends or constituents will offer to fill that void.

Friday, March 07, 2008

"Police: UNC Student Killed With Handgun" - AP

For God's sake, let's get rid of handguns. They have no place in a civilzed society. Special interests be damned; if the majority feels that people other than law enforcement should not be able to own handguns, w3hy shouldn't the majority prevail? If it provokes a Second Amendment challenge, so be it. Not to try is cowardice.