Posts tagged with ‘blogging’
Allan Lummus, My Mind As My Teacher, Between the Bars.
Lummus is an inmate who writes for Between the Bars, a weblog platform for people in prison. It’s an incredible project by the MIT Center for Civic Media. Some background:
Between the Bars is a weblog platform for people in prison, through which the 1% of America which is behind bars can tell their stories. Since people in prison are routinely denied access to the Internet, we enable them to blog by scanning letters. We aim to provide a positive outlet for creativity, a tool to assist in the maintenance of social safety nets, an opportunity to forge connections between people inside and outside of prison, and a means to promote non-criminal identities and personal expression. We hope to improve prisoner’s lives, and help to reduce recidivism.
It’s World Press Freedom Day and while it’s historically been thought of as a day to reflect, celebrate and promote traditional press freedoms, it’s expanded with the understanding that activists, pro-am journalists and ordinary citizens deserve their communication and publishing rights protected as well.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a great legal guide (US) for bloggers of all stripes to navigate issues ranging from legal liability issues to reporter’s privilege and issues specific to student bloggers:
Like all journalists and publishers, bloggers sometimes publish information that other people don’t want published. You might, for example, publish something that someone considers defamatory, republish an AP news story that’s under copyright, or write a lengthy piece detailing the alleged crimes of a candidate for public office.
The difference between you and the reporter at your local newspaper is that in many cases, you may not have the benefit of training or resources to help you determine whether what you’re doing is legal. And on top of that, sometimes knowing the law doesn’t help - in many cases it was written for traditional journalists, and the courts haven’t yet decided how it applies to bloggers.
But here’s the important part: None of this should stop you from blogging. Freedom of speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Internet bullies shouldn’t use the law to stifle legitimate free expression. That’s why EFF created this guide, compiling a number of FAQs designed to help you understand your rights and, if necessary, defend your freedom.
Read it. Bookmark it. And blog away.
From PandoDaily: freelance journalist Keith Ng breached a treasure trove of private government documents, revealing a security flaw. Instead of publishing his findings in a newspaper or magazine, he posted them for free at a site called Public Address and asked for donations. He made $3,727 in a day.
Hale Stewart, The Big Picture. Memo To Political Bloggers: Please Stop Writing About Economics; You Really Suck At It.
FJP: But sometimes charts and graphs look so nice.
Well played, Massachusetts. Well played.
Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyst with the Altimeter Group, believes innovative tech blogging is done with.
He identifies four trends that include corporate acquisitions that stymie innovation (eg., AOL’s takeover of Techcrunch and Engadget), talent turnover of the major tech blogs (eg., people are growing up and moving on from the Mashables of the world), audience desire for smaller and shorter analysis (eg., why read a blog when you can interact on Twitter, G+ and hello, Tumblr), and the simple fact that the medium has matured with not many able to make a living through blogging alone.
The post is interesting and includes commentary from stalwarts like Ben Parr and Ben Metcalfe. Owyang also links out to related, anecdotal articles from ReadWriteWeb, Techcrunch and Poynter.
What’s interesting above and beyond tech blogging though is that you could apply this across most any vertical. Blogging rose to prominence in the early 2000s and dedicated, talented first movers laid claim to rich content areas. As they gained success, those verticals became saturated.
The idea appears to be trending, with Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis recently telling ReadWriteWeb that blogging as a whole “is largely dead.”
Now the stampede is to stake out territory in the social web, and here again we enter something of another golden age.
A note left with the beheaded body of a Mexican blogger in Nuevo Laredo along the Texas-Mexican border*. As we’ve written before, traditional newsrooms, bloggers, and social media commentators have been targeted by the drug cartels for reporting on their activity.
The victim, identified on social networking sites only by his nickname - Rascatripas or Belly Scratcher - reportedly helped moderate a site called En Vivo that posted news of shootouts and other activities of the Zetas, the narcotics and extortion gang that all but controls the city.
The beheaded body of another blogger, 39-year-old Elizabeth Macias, who contributed to the blog, was found in the same location in late September.
A young man and a woman were hung from a highway overpass earlier that same month. A sign left with their bodies said they too had been killed for their social media activity…
…With mainstream newspapers and broadcasters terrorized by the criminal gangs, whose violence has killed upward of 50,000 people across Mexico in five years, social media networks have become key information sources in many towns and cities.
A senior editor at El Mañana, Nuevo Laredo’s largest newspaper, was knifed to death after leaving work in 2004. Gunmen attacked the newspaper’s offices in 2006, crippling a journalist. The newspaper since has dramatically scaled back its reporting of the violence, as have other news organizations.
* Correction: We originally wrote that Nuevo Laredo was a neighborhood in Mexico City. Thank you wiredthoughts for pointing out our error.
An excerpt from John Biggs’ new book, Bloggers Boot Camp, says the best way to start is with 1,000 words a day.
Via Boing Boing:
Some bloggers make [1,000 words] their ceiling, but many make it their floor. Either way, you must produce on a daily basis. How do you do this? You can crank out, perhaps, three posts of a few hundred words each in the morning and three in the evening. Or you can write one big post. Either way, do the word count. Why is this important? Because if you have a goal, you can meet it. After his heart attack, blogging great Om Malik set this number for himself to ensure he produced quality content in a timely manner and did not kill himself in the process. Sadly, Om’s heart attack was brought on by the blogging lifestyle, as well as too much booze, cigars, family history and bad luck. It took a massive change in his everyday life to reorient him toward a saner blogging schedule, and he found this 1,000-word limit invaluable.
This word count is not impossible. It’s about two pages of standard paper a day. At first, do not surpass this word count. This is an endurance race, not a sprint. The recommended dosage of 1,000 words a day is doable by the average writer, is a concrete number for you to strive toward, and is about as much as your audience can read in a day. Do not do less, either. This is a regimen. You need to get used to producing this much content quickly and without complaint.
Maud Newton, New York Times Magazine, Another Thing to Sort of Pin on David Foster Wallace.
Newton explores Wallace’s language and its legacy while bemoaning the fact that in “the Internet era, Wallace’s moves have been adopted and further slackerized by a legion of opinion-mongers who not only lack his quick mind but seem not to have mastered the idea that to make an argument, you must, amid all the tap-dancing and hedging, actually lodge an argument.”