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Monday, June 18, 2007

Vermont YouTube of the Day — World's Largest Strawberry?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 1:02 PM

This guy says he bought a 5-inch long, 3-inch wide strawberry at a market in Vermont. He's challenging YOU to find a bigger one. It is a pretty big berry...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Convention Report and Audio Slideshow Tutorial

Posted By on Sun, Jun 17, 2007 at 8:58 AM

I'm in Chicago, at O'Hare Airport. It's 7:30 a.m., an hour earlier than it is back home in Vermont. I'm totally sleep-deprived as I'm writing this — our 8-person Seven Days crew left Portland, Oregon at about midnight last night. I slept a bit on the flight, though I also watched most of Shooter, the in-flight movie, which was bad, but not worthless. I like Marky Mark as an actor way more than I ever thought I would.

We were in Portland for the annual Association of Alternative Newsweeklies convention. Last year we were in Little Rock, where the guest speakers included Bill Clinton and Wesley Clark. This year's speakers weren't quite so illustrious, though we got a heartening pep talk from Jim Hightower, which was cool.

I mentioned in my last post that my Bomb's Away audio slideshow was a finalist for the "web content feature" award (for papers with circulation under 60,000 — 7D circulates 32,000 copies in print each week). I was pleasantly surprised when it won first place. That was cool. I've never won one of the national awards before.

Of course, this is the first year they've given this award at AAN, and I suspect there weren't many entrants in that category. But it was still nice to win.

I think a lot of alternative weeklies haven't quite figured out how to do audio slideshows and multimedia content yet. I started producing slideshows after the AAN convention last year, when I went to a workshop called "Flash for Print Journalists," with R. Scott Horn.

Inspired by the memory of that workshop — and by Jessamyn's Ubuntu video — I whipped up an audio slideshow tutorial while I was at the convention. I did it in a few hours, starting early Saturday morning, when I woke up around 5:15 a.m. and couldn't sleep.

If you've ever been curious about how these slideshows get made, watch this 4-minute slideshow and learn.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Graffiti poll

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2007 at 11:28 AM

I also made this:

Opinion Polls & Market Research

Graffiti story, slideshow

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2007 at 11:26 AM

I put together two audio slideshows this week, and created an online poll about graffiti in the Burlington-area. Check it out and tell me what you think. I welcome comments on the tools themselves, and on the subject matter.

Up Against the Walls: Burlington Murals story and slideshow








Talkin' Tags: Graffiti in Burlington story, slideshow

Howard Dean Coming to the Blogger BBQ?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2007 at 6:43 AM

Odum, from Green Mountain Daily, interviewed Dean at last weekend's Democracy Fest...

odum: You gonna be in Burlington on July 15th? You oughta come to the blogger's barbeque on North Beach.

Dean: I'd absolutely want to do it - (double takes to consider what he's just heard) - the bloggers are having - this is Burlington - Vermont bloggers - are having a barbeque?

odum: Yes, Neil Jensen, Philip Baruth and I - Philip has Vermont Daily Briefing -

Dean: Sure.

odum: And last year was the first one, and we turned out a crowd ofpeople - most of our major candidates. An off-election year won't bequite as star-studded, but you could certainly change that if you werein town.

Dean: What time is it?

odum: 1 to 5.

Dean: (to aide) 1 to 5, North Beach - write that down. I haveabsolutely no idea what I'm going to do right now, but, you know -that'd be a fun thing for me to do.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Convention Week

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 8:54 AM

Not sure if I'll get to do a Vermont Blog Roundup today. I'm scrambling to get a bunch of multimedia content up on our website this week, and I'm getting ready to go to the annual Association of Alternative Newsweeklies convention in Portland, OR.

Seven Days
is a finalist for a few AAN awards this year — we compete in the "circulation under 60,000" category — including one for best website, and one for best web content feature. That's for the audio slideshow from my missile silo story from last summer.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Vermont YouTube of the Day?

Posted By on Sun, Jun 10, 2007 at 4:55 PM

I just browsed YouTube hoping to find videos from Saturday's World Naked Bike Ride though Burlington, but alas, there are none. At least, none that anyone has tagged as such in any obvious way. Too bad!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Wikipedia Needs You

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2007 at 2:58 PM

Great essay from Wikipedian Annalee Newitz in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, which begins with the tantalizing line,

When I edit Wikipedia, I am fighting for the future.

Annalee, you rock.


StoryCorps interview about visiting with J.D. Salinger

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2007 at 9:25 AM

I heard a fantastic StoryCorps interview this morning on NPR. They featured a Wisconsin man, Jim Krawczyk, who went to New Hampshire in the late 1960s to try to meet the famously reclusive J.D. Salinger.

StoryCorps never ceases to amaze me. Here's a guy, a fan, who goes on a road trip halfway across the country to meet his favorite author. An author who, as everyone knows, does not like to talk with anyone, fans included. And Krawczyk actually goes up to Salinger's house, knocks on the door, and ends up talking with him.

On one hand, it's a story of a successful quest, and you feel happy for Krawczyk, who sounds like a swell guy. But like the best StoryCorps segments, it's also a sad story, this time about the wall the separates celebrities from the rest of us.

Salinger tells Krawczyk that the success of A Catcher in the Rye has been a nightmare for him. And it sounds like Krawczyk doesn't quite get that. You can almost hear Krawczyk thinking, Why would anyone compare this success to a nightmare?

But of course, poor introverted old Salinger just wants to be left alone, and here's this guy on his doorstep who's traveled thousands of miles to see him. And no doubt Krawczyk is not the only one who ever stopped by. Sounds like a nightmare to me.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Prince in Verizon ad

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2007 at 8:02 AM

I saw this video posted at Outrageouschaos. Brooke calls her post, This is what it looks like when Brooke cries...

I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm torn. I mean, if Prince really likes his Verizon service, is it ok for him to prostitute his art in this way? I dunno. I feel like, 10 years ago, I would have said he was selling out. And it still feels like he's selling out.

But the decision seems to make more sense to me now, perhaps because I've become a corporate suck-dog. Or possibly because I've developed a greater appreciation for money now that I have a kid to feed, a mortgage to pay, car payments and a long-term boiler loan. Whatever.

But still, Verizon? Did it have to be Verizon?

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