The highly intelligent and insightful editorial staff at Gov Tech has selected an article written by me to appear in their pages, encouraging more people from state and local government to blog. (This is the piece I wrote for Global PRBlog Week 1.0, BTW)
Terry Teachout unwittingly describes the essence of the WOLves Promotional Group here. His focus is on artists, but there isn't any reason why those in other fields beyond writing couldn't be part of the writer's Group!
if you’re an artist, ask yourself this: how are you using the new media to interact with your audience and spread the word about your work? I’ve said this before, but it can’t be said often enough: the mainstream media aren’t especially interested in serious art, and such interest as they do have is diminishing daily. If you’re looking to big-city newspapers to start reviewing more literary fiction, or to PBS to telecast more ballet and modern dance, or to your local radio station to continue carrying the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday broadcasts, you’re kidding yourself. They don’t care. Which leaves you with two options. You can sit around complaining about their indifference—or you can do an end run around them and use the new media to reach out directly to your audience, both existing and potential.
Heck, we could even start calling it the WOLves Writers & Artists. We're all doing the same thing, and appreciate each other's disciplines.
I, too, am a middle-aged digital immigrant—but I’m here, now, communicating directly with you via a medium that barely existed five years ago. No, it wasn’t easy, but I’ve rethought my expectations about what the mainstream media can do for me, and now I’m starting to do some of it myself. You can do the same thing, so long as you let go of your preconceptions about the dominant role of the old media in your professional life.
It was never intended for me to spout my opinions, which is one the reasons it took so long for me to put my name up there.
You might ask what was it for, then?
Well, it goes like this: it was originally intended back in 2003, to serve as a central location for a group of writers (associated with Writer On Line, hence the name) who were learning to promote their books, to report their booksignings and other events. That didn't happen. Back in those days, most of the book authors I knew were pretty much disillusioned with anything online, and particularly suspicious of blogs. Many of them insisted they would never, ever have anything to do with something as weird and unknown as blogs.
By now, as many of you know, that idea has changed. Lots of authors are using blogs to promote their books, and written works of all kinds, and so when Writer Online Magazine's new owner approached me to try something like this again, I figured it was worth a shot.
As part of their Writer's Learning Center program, we're offering a class on writer's promotion. This is not the kind of class where you study for a while and then go out and put into practice what you learned, it's a hands-on active group that will begin promoting from the git-go. Meanwhile, I'll be giving the newbies the benefit of my two years in the blogosphere, and many more years promoting things in other ways. It won't all be about blogs, because writers need to get out and about in their communities as well. So there'll be a bit on how to go about the in-person side of being a self-promoter.
As we get the newbies comfortable with blogs, and we all get comfortable with each other, there will be group events and plenty of networking going on! Maybe some offline group events too - who knows? Nobody has ever done anything like this before, so there's really no way to know how it will all unfold. Something I do know is that there's plenty of power in even the smallest group of blogs; and it's also a big help to be part of a group of people who are all doing the same things.
Interesting commentary over at the Blog Herald on Google News, and its (albeit temporary) inclusion of a Nazi site, while ignoring some of the A-list bloggers.
Well, back in 2003, I was actually reporting news on my activist blog, and try as I might, I could not get Google to get past the idea that all blogs were simply personal journals and nothing else. Now they’ve gotten past that issue and recognized that a blog can contain any kind of content, I haven’t even tried to submit that blog to Google News.
That’s because over time, the focus of the DesertLight Journal has changed. Instead of publishing reports contributed by activists all over the world, it now includes much more commentary, with a US-centric approach. It’s become a jumping-off point, at times, for discussion in other places, such as forums and listservs.
Does that kind of conversation constitute news? I’m not really sure. It does appear that the definition of what is and what is not news is changing. I’ve always defined news as something happening, and the reporting of same. Does the reporting at some point become the news? Doe the commentary on the reporting also become news?
Heck, I dunno. These larger questions are bit much for this early in the morning ;>)
I'm with Dave on the gender issue. I have tried to keep quiet about it, over here at WOLves anyway, but not long after Winer linked to me when I responded to his plea for some posts from females, I noticed a snotty comment from -- you guessed it -- another girl! Who hadn't bothered to respond according to the request.
I've said it before and I'll say it again -- not once online since 1995 have I ever felt ignored, passed over, or in any way demeaned due to my gender.
There are exactly as many women blogging as want to blog.
When people start complaining there aren't "enough" women I tend to start wondering about their actual agenda. That's because this whining business about "enough" women is standard feminist party line and procedure. It rarely anymore has anything to do with reality in the offline world, or online. Those who work to promote their blogs and participate in the blogosphere get noticed, and those who prefer to sit back and complain don't, it's that simple. In fact, not all who blog care to be noticed or widely read -- they're quite happy to speak to a modest audience.
The blogosphere itself is entirely equitable, and that's what irks the complainers. Over the years the feminists have gotten used to special privileges and preferential treatment due to their gender, and that just doesn't happen here. There isn't any way to manipulate the online world with the well-worn tactics of crying and stomping their feet, and holding their breath until they turn blue. You can only get a return here from hard work and cooperation, which is anathema to the radicals and perpetual malcontents.
Actual equality is good thing, folks. Let's not confuse it with the bizarre kind of reverse discrimination invented by those who believe in division and conflict!
I'm beginning to see some misunderstanding here. In this case, it's about somebody revealing a company's trade secrets, which in my mind is a different thing than say, writing an expose of a political party, or government entity.
It doesn't really address the question of whether bloggers are journalists.
Kleinberg refused to say whether Bhatia, O'Grady and Jade were members of a protected class of journalists. He did not rule against the reporters because they wrote for relatively obscure Internet sites, he said, but because they violated trade secret laws. - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Judge Kleinberg said the question of whether the bloggers were journalists or not did not apply because laws governing the right to keep trade secrets confidential covered journalists, too. - BBC
I think that particular issue is a red herring on the part of the blogger’s legal team, which, of course, is their job. That’s what lawyers do – work with the words and meanings to make them come out in their client’s favor.
Every now and again there will be a case where a journalist would/could go to jail for refusing to reveal a source. But these cases are about other things -- reporting on crimes, wrongdoing, manipulation of funds, etc.
This case is about corporate right to privacy, and the right of a business to own its property without interference. From anyone.
In this case, the bloggers revealed a corporation's trade secrets to the public. This was not information they had a right to have, it belonged to the corporation, and the bloggers used it for their own purposes, hence IMHO it was theft. A company should have the same right to own its information as an individual does. Just because it's a mega-corporation involved in this case doesn't mean it shouldn't have the right to keep its secrets. I think Apple is well within its rights to want to know where the initial theft occurred, so they can take steps to prevent it happening again.
For example, if it was Dave's Bakery involved and the Bigcakes Blog took Dave's secret recipe for the cake he sold all the over the world, and put it on the blog, Dave should be able to find out where Bigcakes got it, if the blogger wouldn't tell. Generally speaking, if anybody can make that special cake Dave sells, then it devalues the cakes from Dave's bakery.
This is a whole different kettle of fish than political commentary, or reporting news of the government’s budget. Those kinds of things are already public property, so to speak.
The business world has a different kind of situation, and a different set of rules. We still work under a capitalist system where people can own and control their property. As somebody engaged in small business, I would not want anybody taking something I’d worked hard to create giving it away to all and sundry just because they could. It doesn’t matter if the commodity is information or cakes. While I certainly think transparency is a good thing, it should be on my own terms, when it comes to my work or my property.
I know not everyone will agree with my point of view, but I bet if the bizbloggers think about it they probably will get what I’m saying here.