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Monday, May 28, 2007

Technorati profile

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2007 at 7:40 AM

Don't know why I haven't done this yet, but I just registered for a Technorati claim on my blog. I joined Technorati in Feb. of 2005, but I joined with my earlier Blogger blog, and never made the switch to Typepad. Hard to believe that was 2 years ago.

I guess that means I've been officially blogging for Seven Days for more than two years, since April of 2005. I always miss my blogiversary.

Here's my Technorati Profile.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Joss Whedon, cell phone videos and feminism

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 8:10 PM

Joss Whedon, creator of the Buffyverse, wrote this excellent essay on feminism that begins with a description of a recent "honor killing." Some Muslim men stoned a Muslim woman to death, and among the crowd of killers were a couple guys who caught the murder on their cell phone cameras.

It's pretty sick stuff, and Joss Whedon puts it all in perspective.

Thanks for the email, Selene.

Reminds me of Ken Picard's story in Seven Days this week, about male violence in Vermont.

CORRECTION: One of the comments below brought this to light, so I thought I'd bump it up here:

Just a factual note - the perpetrators were not Muslim. They wereYezidis, followers of a distinctive Kurdish religion. In fact one ofthe "rationales" for this horrendous act was that the girl hadallegedly dated a Muslim.

DM

Thanks. Sorry for the error.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Branding Burlington

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2007 at 2:04 PM

Pamela Polston wrote a story in this week's Seven Days about a campaign to brand the Burlington area. She writes about a recent presentation from the Burlington Regional Branding Project, a collaboration between the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce and the Burlington Business Association. The collaborators are trying to come up with a marketing campaign that will lure  more tourists here.

Part of that process is coming up with a slogan that defines Burlington (think "Cleveland Rocks," or "The Aliens Aren't the Only Reason to Visit Roswell"). Here's what Pamela writes about the slogan generation process:

A panelist had mentioned that the group was considering a list of about30 suggestions, but hadn’t yet “fallen in love.” What were thesuggestions? The panel seemed reluctant to say. Peppered with morequestions — Who was going to decide? Why wasn’t it open to the public?What if Burlingtonians found the slogan lame and embarrassing? — thepanelists got a little defensive. They assured the audience they werestill open to suggestions. And they reiterated that the slogan was for visitors, not necessarily for residents.

Does this make anyone else nervous?

After this meeting, BBA Director Nancy Wood sent an email inviting BBA members to submit slogan ideas.

In the spirit of advancing the public conversation on this matter, Seven Days is asking readers to submit their own slogan ideas. We're planning to print a bunch of them in next week's paper, possibly on the new Web Page. So please, send us your slogans.

Weekly Post

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2007 at 1:49 PM

This week it's from Bryan Grundon at Cabin Fever:

CRB Delays, Congress Acts!

Good news for independent internet radio, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB)has delayed royalty collection, pushing back the May 15th date forroyalty rates to take effect, to July 15th. This delay will allowbroadcasters and advocates for independent internet radio to appeal thenew royalty rate change with the CRB. In addition, two bills have beenintroduced.

In the House (H. R. 2060),introduced by Representative Inslee (D-WA) and Representative Manzullo(R-IL) and the Senate companion “Internet Radio Equality Act”,introduced by Senator Brownback (R-KA) and Senator Wyden (D-OR), toroll back the CRB decision. Currently, H. R. 2060 is in committee andhas 81 co-sponsors. Check and seeif your Representative has signed on to sponsor this bill. Both ofthese bills have garnered strong support on both sides of the aisle,demonstrating the importance of this issue and the effects it will haveon millions of internet listeners and broadcasters.

The window of opportunity is closing, so please contact your Congresspersons and ask them to sponsor their respective bills. You can visit Save Net Radio for more information.

I picked this one because I haven't done a thing with the Internet Radio stuff, and I've been meaning to look into it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Introducing the "Web Page"

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2007 at 3:39 PM

For a few months now, I've been cryptically alluding to my plans to change my "Weekly Post" column that appears in the newspaper each week, on the Letters to the Editor page.

In the Weekly Post, which premiered in 2005, I spotlighted a blog post from a Vermont blog, as a way of connecting Seven Days readers to the local blogosphere.

But though I've some gotten positive feedback about the column over the years, I've never thought it worked the way I intended it to. The intent was to drive traffic to Vermont blogs. Because I linked to the blog posts from my blog, I probably did drive some traffic, but I'm not sure I ever accomplished that through printing the blog post in the newspaper.

I've been thinking about how to change this feature, and I think I've hit upon a way to make it work better for all of us  — bloggers and readers alike. I'm not ready to implement my idea yet, and I don't want to talk about it too much until I do. Suffice it to say that I think this new plan will do a better job of connecting our readers with Vermont blog content.

In the meantime, I'm saying good-bye to the print-version of the Weekly Post, in favor of a new, expanded section called "The Web Page." The name is admittedly not very clever (Don, our creative director, described it as "uncharacteristically bland," which sounds right to me), but at least it explains what it is.

Basically, The Web Page will feature a few short excerpts from our many Seven Days blogs, and it will highlight one or more of our web content features each week. This week I filled up a bunch of space with comments about busking on Church Street, from my blog and from our online poll.

I'm hoping that having this space to fill will push us to do more online-only content. I'm also hoping that drawing attention to our online and interactive features in this way will let more people know that there's something to see online. I doubt that people will actually put down the newspaper and log on to a computer to check out the stuff online, but at least having this space in the print paper will help publicize the fact that there's something going on.

I'll continue to name a post of the week here on my blog, at least for the time being, until I'm ready to roll out my new plan. I have no idea how long that'll take to implement, since it involves harnessing the power of other very busy members of our web team.

I hope all you Vermont bloggers aren't too disappointed that the Weekly Post will no longer appear in print. I really think there's got to be a better way to do what I was trying to do with it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bill Lippert on O'Reilly, post-mortem

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2007 at 12:32 PM

Last week, Fox commentator Bill O'Reilly sent a team of his reporters to ambush Vermont legislator Bill Lippert at the Vermont Statehouse.

Over at Green Mountain Daily, NanuqFC (aka former Out in the Mountains editor Euan Bear) has a comprehensive review of the encounter, including snippets of the hate mail Lippert has received since the whole shebang.

Incidentally, this is a picture of Euan from the blogger meetup in April. I snapped a bunch of photos there, to put some faces to the names in the Vermont blogosphere.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Seven Days and Front Porch Forum

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 9:29 AM

If, like me, you're a member of your neighborhood Front Porch Forum, you may have noticed that Seven Days had a sponsorship message in your latest email edition. And if you got NOW, the Seven Days email newsletter yesterday, you may have noticed a sponsorship message from Front Porch Forum.

This week, Seven Days and Front Porch Forum began an arrangement whereby we're trading ad space in our various venues. So you can expect to see FPF ads in our newspaper (like this one at right), and on our website, and occasionally in NOW. And if you belong to FPF, you can expect to see occasional messages from us.

FPF owner/operator Michael Wood-Lewis blogged about this partnership on Ghost of Midnight. I think he's planning to accept a limited number of sponsors in his emails, to help pay for providing the service. Seven Days is his first sponsorship partner. I'm curious to see how it works out.

Michael's in NYC today, speaking at the Personal Democracy Forum

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Busker poll online

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2007 at 1:08 PM

Hey, I did a new thing today on the Seven Days website.

Dan Bolles, our new music editor, wrote a story this week — Busker Dos and Don'ts — on the hoops musicians have to jump through to busk on the Church Street Marketplace. The "poster girl" is Zoe Christiansen (shown here, in a photo by Matt Thorsen). She's a clarinetist who has had a tough time navigating the bureaucracy at the Marketplace.

I had Dan record a short audio clip of Zoe playing on the street in Burlington, which you can hear on the story. And I put up a poll, which asks if you think Zoe should be allowed to play on Church Street.

I've never put a poll on the site before. I used Vizu to do it, because Mistress Maeve recommended them. I like Vizu, it was easy to set up. But it doesn't let everyone see immediately how  many people have voted, which is a bummer. Anybody else have any polling widget recommendations?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Jessica and Matt: a Tragic Love

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2007 at 2:03 PM

I'm out of town this weekend, in North Carolina for my sister's wedding, so I won't have much to say here in the next few days.

But as I was checking my email from our b&b this afternoon, I stumbled upon an interesting post from Bill at Candleblog. Bill has linked to a recording that I heard years ago and had all but forgotten (Jessica and Matt: a Tragic Love). Jason Cooley played it for me when I wrote about Found Magazine years ago. It's a creepy conversation that somebody picked up using some kind of scanner. But you only get to hear one person talking. It's very weird. I felt a little dirty after listening to it, but I listened all the way through.

Incidentally, I just got an email saying that the Found guys will be back in Burlington in September. Just for kicks, here's the article I wrote about found stuff back in 2002 (Finders Keepers).

Monday, May 7, 2007

What's up with iBurlington?

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2007 at 2:38 PM

Ok, I've been holding off on mentioning anything for a few months now, but what the hell is up with the "citizen journalism" website iBurlington? It's become really, really, really, really lame.

The only people who've posted there in 2007 are "Johnny," the nudist guy who started the now-defunct Brokeback Mountain in Vermont campaign, and perennial "third-party" (or fourth or fifth party) candidate Cris Ericson.

Check out the last three "news" items on iBurlington:

US HISTORY IN THE MAKING - HURRY TO MONTPELIER RIGHT NOW!!! posted 4/25 by Cris Ericson.

MARCH 20 WAR PROTEST ANNIVERSARY, posted 3/20 by Cris Ericson.

BABY HORSES ARE BEING SLAUGHTERED RIGHT NOW!!!!!, posted 2/24 by Cris Ericson (and that's a bad thing, although you might be confused by the exclaimation points).

Ericson writes:

PREMARIN FARMS OUT WEST TAKES URINE FROM PREGNANT MARES TO MAKE THE ESTROGEN REPLACEMENT HORMONE PREMARIN.

THE BABIES FROM THESE MARES ARE USUALLY SLAUGHTERED.

I FOUND THIS INFORMATION AT MYSPACE.COM
PROFILE USER # 71746065
about a horse named Spooky.

GOOD LORD ALMIGHTY IF THIS IS TRUE,
THEN SHIP ALL THOSE BABY HORSES TO VERMONT
AND RAISE AND CARE FOR THEM HERE
TO USE FOR TRANSPORTATION
AND REDUCE AUTOMOBILE AND SNOWMOBILE EXHAUST POLLUTION!!!

Boy, citizen journalism sure has caught on in Burlington!

Check out iBrattleboro and (to a lesser extent) iPutney and My Richmond to see some of Vermont's more successful citizen journalism endeavors.

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