Posts from October 2003

Mogeeking

Mogeeking
: Sometimes, such small things can make me happy.

I didn’t post last night because I was mogeeking. I got my Treo 600 to act as a modem for my laptop (thanks to Kevin Werbach‘s recommendation of PDApal). And so now I can blog from anywhere. I will go into a booth, change into my costume, and emerge: SUPERBLOGGER! He blathers anywhere! He types before he talks! He types when he walks! He’s unwired! He’s SUPERBLOGGER!

Or since 2001, actually

Or since 2001, actually
: Glenn‘s new slogan: Attacked by al Qaeda since 2003.

The report from Iraq

The report from Iraq
: Zeyad continues to give us wonderful reporting as a citizen-journalist in Baghdad. A few excerpts today. On bombing scares:

The latest fashion of Jihad in Baghdad today is fake bombs and false alarms. I returned from work yesterday to find our street blocked on both ends by Iraqi police and Americans.

Oh no, not again, I thought. They didn’t allow the taxi to pass, so I got out and asked some bystanders what was going on. They said a team was trying to dismantle a bomb placed on the road about 3 blocks away. Uh oh.

Our street was literally swarming with soldiers and police. I stood by expecting an explosion any second and ogling a beautiful blonde thinking how sexy she looked in that military outfit….

The bomb was a dud. And there’s this:

I heard some very distressful news today. Someone has been writing graffiti all over Baghdad threatening to kill children who accept the new schoolbags that are to be gifted to them by UNESCO for the new school season. Also warning that any hand waving to the infidel Americans will be cut.

He also reports on continuing problems with electricity.

Cast the movie now

Cast the movie now
: The most entertaining reading I’ve had in ages is David Gest’s suit against alleged hubby-basher Liza Minelli at The Smoking Gun. Enjoy!

Wow

Wow
: I’m impressed. Gawker got mentioned on Page One of the NY Times today.

Soon, we won’t even need to explain what a weblog is.

Noted

Noted
: More than half of Americans went on the Internet last month.

The all-in-one, super-duper, deluxe everything citizens’ reporting machine

The all-in-one, super-duper, deluxe everything citizens’ reporting machine
: If you were going to invent the ideal gadget for reporters — or better yet, citizen-reporters and witness-reporters — to carry around, what would it be?

I was lucky enough to go attend Clay Shirky‘s NYU ITP class this week to bring a real-world (read: old-fart) perspective to the students’ inspiring social-software projects. I was carrying (read: flaunting) my new Treo 600 phone/palm/camera/web device and so Mark Argo, a student, and I started talking. He said he’s been thinking about the perfect moblogging device. I liked that perspective; that’s why I also like talking to students so much. I said if he invented that, it would be the perfect reporting device. And I so started thinking about what that would require:

1. Capture. It needs to grab and store photos, video, and audio.

2. Selection. You need to be able to easily edit — that is, select — the key chunks of those media bits.

3. Comment. You need to be able to write (or speak) your comment to wrap this.

4. Connect. You need to have a resource that lets you search and find out more about the topic you’re reporting or commenting on.

5. Publish. You need to be able to get it online with a click.

That is the all-in-one, super-duper, deluxe everything reporting machine.

We’re not too far away from that. My Treo is still awkward but it lets me take a picture, comment on it, connect to the Web, and post it.

ticket.jpg: To prove that, earlier that same day, I happened upon a scene: A New York parking cop giving a ticket to a U.S. Postal Service truck. It struck me as rather dumb: One arm of our government tickets another arm of our goverment to get our money and pay for a lot of bureacrats in the process. It wasn’t worth bringing my camera out of my bag but then I remembered: I have my super-duper camera-phone. And it has the further advantage of being quite unobtrusive; the ticket lady wouldn’t even notice me taking the picture.

As with anything new, this will, of course, cause nervousness and efforts to control it. We’ve all heard about gyms banning camera phones. And USA Today reports that attendees at a Britney Spears/Rolling Stone party had to hand in their cell phones at the door.

Steve Outing predicts that there will be a backlash against efforts to take away our cameras.

Right. In the day when we’re all reporters and we all carry our all-in-one, super-duper, deluxe everything reporting machines, we’ll demand the right to witness what we witness and tell the world about it. For we’ll have all the tools we need to do that — not only our machines but also our weblogs.

We’ll be capturing scenes of politicians, police, celebrities, and fellow citizens doing or saying bad or stupid things everywhere. (Why isn’t the Gawker Stalker photo-ready, already?)

And friends will be saying to friends — just as bloggers say to bloggers today — “this is off the record.”

But news will be everywhere and everywhere, there will be citizens with their all-in-one, super-duper, deluxe everything reporting machines ready to capture it and share it with the world.

Dull and useless

Dull and useless
: At lunch with Jay Rosen the other day (aren’t you jealous?), he and I agreed that the import of FoxNews and Bill O’Reilly is complicated. People who look at Fox and say it’s just America right-turn signal are missing so much more.

Fox changed the very business of TV news (by getting rid of expensive produced pieces and the producers who produce them and by going to live discussion, which is not only cheaper but livelier).

Fox brought opinion to news and, via the ratings, we see that the audience embraces that because it’s simply more compelling and, in some ways, it’s more honest to reveal your perspective as you report the news. (The great irony is, of course, that Fox and O’Reilly deny their perspective when asked, but in every other way are in-your-face upfront about it; there’s a touch of Kafka to this story).

And, Jay writes, Fox and Bill O’Reilly bring something new to the alleged art of anchoring:

He brings forcefully to the surface and makes explicit what had been buried for so long in the journalist