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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"Nasdijj" admits he's Barrus

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2006 at 11:47 AM

Just saw this on the LA Weekly's website, and thought I'd link it. White guy Timothy Barrus has admitted that he's the Native American memoirist Nasdijj. Kudos for Matthew Fleischer for connecting the dots.

UPDATE: I just noticed the LA Weekly's got a whole special section on their homepage called "Navahoax." This is exactly the kind of innovative, quick-thinking that I wish we had here in Vermont. Look, the content people and the design people and the web people got together and produced something cool! That's what I aspire to, breaking interesting stories in a new way, and then offering comprehensive coverage that's clever, informative and easy to find.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Peter Welch live blogging SOTU

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2006 at 11:42 AM

That's the State of the Union Address. From a press release circulated by Blog For America:

Senate President Pro Tem Peter Welch, candidate for U.S. Congress, will be "live blogging" before a national audience immediately following President George W. Bush's State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 31.

The live online discussion will occur at approximately 10 p.m. on http://www.blogforamerica.com/. BlogforAmerica is hosted by Democracy for America, the national grassroots organization founded by former Vermont Governor and current Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.

Welch, the featured blogger Tuesday, will offer a prebuttal to the President's speech on the blog and, following the speech, will discuss the issues facing voters in the November elections.

I wonder where he'll be blogging from? Will he be the one at the keyboard?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Welcome back Doug!

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2006 at 9:32 AM

Doug Cadmus of Bloggle: Coffee & Commentary has returned following his emergency apendectomy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Citizen Video Journalists?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2006 at 2:08 PM

New England Cable News is doing this cool new thing where they let users submit video content. Check out this episode of video blog Rocketboom for the skinny.

Read anything by "Nasdijj"?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2006 at 8:40 AM

Then you'll want to read this thorough article from today's LA Weekly, an alt weekly in the city of Angels. It charges Nasdijj, a "Native American" memoirist, with being a phony.

This link is a little off-topic for me, but I stumbled across the story and felt compelled to pass it along. It's longer than it  needs to be, but it's a real eye-opener. This paragraph pretty much sums it up:

The question that remains is how these frauds are perpetrated in suchabundance. A writer, seemingly white in appearance and lacking anythingresembling a verifiable personal history, turns in a manuscript filledwith sage-like wisdom from an ancient and secretive people and no onebothers to check the facts? Houghton Mifflin’s Anton Mueller,presumably speaking for the publishing industry at large, has ananswer: “As you know, we don’t fact-check books.”

Yikes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Must-read for citizen journalists

Posted By on Tue, Jan 24, 2006 at 4:26 PM

Citizen media pioneer Dan Gillmor just published a lengthy letter to the online community he's cultivated at Bayosphere, his citizen media outfit. It addresses why his much-hyped site is essentially a flop:

Although citizen media, broadly defined, was taking the world by storm,the experiment with Bayosphere didn’t turn out the way I had hoped.Many fewer citizens participated, they were less interested incollaborating with one another, and the response to our initiatives wasunderwhelming. I would do things differently if I was starting over.

Gillmor graciously offers a thoughtful list of lessons he learned. If you're a citizen media purveyor in Vermont, and there are a few of you out there, this list is a must-read.

Here are a couple of his insights:

Limiting participation is not necessarily a bad idea. By asking for avalid e-mail address simply in order to post comments, you reduce thepool of commenters considerably, but you increase the quality of thepostings. And by asking for real names and contact information, as wedid with the citizen journalists, you reduce the pool by several ordersof magnitude. Again, however, there appears to be a correlation betweenwillingness to stand behind one's own words and the overall quality ofwhat's said.

And my favorite:

Tools matter, but they're no substitute for community building.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Battle for the soul of the internet continues

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2006 at 11:37 AM

If you're interested in the great telecom debate, you might find this Washington Post article intresting. Joshua Micah Marshall of Talking Points Memo recommended it, and I've gotten a couple emails directing me to it today. I haven't had a chance to read it, since I'm on deadline, but I thought I'd pass it along. Enjoy. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Friday, January 20, 2006

New Burlington Free Press web thingy

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2006 at 8:44 AM

Jeremi Lashua, Burlington Free Press web guy, emailed me last night to let me know that the BFP has a new web forum set up on the whole Cashman thing. That should be great news to those of you who just can't say enough about the controversy. You can now go to the Burlington Free Press website and vote on whether you think Cashman's decision was appropriate. And you can leave comments about the decision on a web forum they're hosting. They had 6 comments up there last I checked, so get to it!

I think this is a great feature, and I hope they deploy it for other issues in the future. My only criticism is that you have to scroll down on the main page to find it. I thoug

UPDATE: And another thing, I just noticed this Election 2006 page on the BFP site. It links to their election 2006 coverage. I'm not really interested in the national stuff. Let's face it, they're mostly wire stories I can find laid out in a more appealing fashion on another news aggregator. But I like that they've got this local election news archive. I got a call a week ago from an editor of a local newspaper who was frantically trying to figure out how many terms Kevin Curley has served as a City Councilor in Burlington. That kind of information should be readily available somewhere in a local political info database. The BFP could fill that kind of niche by putting their public interest info online. Kudos to them for making this accessible.

Also, the page's banner, showing prominent Vermont politicos, could be used as a kind of quiz — name them all and win a prize! I wonder how many people could name them all? I know most of them, though I'm embarrased to admit that I can't quite place the guy next to Bernie. I think he's a Democrat, though. Is it Peter Welch? There's no answer key...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Text based fun

Posted By on Wed, Jan 18, 2006 at 5:39 PM

I generally try not to get political on this site, because I try to keep an open mind, and besides, it's not part of my mandate. But this is really funny. If you ever played text-based adventure games on your Commodore 64, you'll know what I mean. Thanks, Bill.

Iraqi Invasion: A Text Misadventure
Revision 88 / Serial number 54892

    Oval Office
    You are standing inside a White House, having just been elected to thepresidency of the United States. You knew Scalia would pull through foryou.

    There is a large desk here, along with a few chairs and couches. Thepresidential seal is in the middle of the room and there is afull-length mirror upon the wall.

    What do you want to do now?

    > INVADE IRAQ
    You are not able to do that, yet.

    > LOOK MIRROR
    Self-reflection is not your strong suit.

    > PET SEAL
    It's not that kind of seal.

    > EXAMINE CHAIRS
    They are two several chairs arranged aroundthe center of the room, along with two couches. Under one couch youfind Clinton's shoes.

    > FILL SHOES
    You are unable to fill Clinton's shoes....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

More Cashman

Posted By on Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 1:41 PM

Just read an editorial from Scott Monroe at the Stowe Reporter. He writes on their blog, 49 School Street, that the Cashman coverage is "bankrupt." He points to an AP story from Friday undercutting some of the assertions the press made about what Cashman said (or didn't say) to the victim's family.

Monroe: What's depressing, at least to me, is that politicians (includingnational talk-show ideologue Bill O'Reilly) were allowed to spin thestory, create myth, and the press let them run with it. "The press," bythe way, I think can fairly be described as the state's top dailynewspapers: the Burlington Free Press, and jointly the Times Argus andRutland Herald, via the Vermont Press Bureau.

This controversial topic was allowed to boil down to a "he said/she said" issue...

But this, I think, is the kicker:

Cashman, the Times Argus reports today, is among the top issues nowat the Statehouse. Interesting it's Cashman, not the state's criminalsentencing law, that's in the hot seat.

Incidentally, they don't have ANY comments on that post. Yet...

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