Posts from February 20, 2004


: Technorati is trying to clean up its user interface (at ETech, Dave Sifry was quite self-deprecating about it). So instead of unclear words like “cosmos” to get you to a site’s report of inbound links, there’s now an unclear blue, oval icon (but at least it’s cleaner). But here’s the odd thing: Instead of saying that you have so many inbound blogs, you now have so many “fans” and instead of so many inbound links, you now have “inbound references.”

But they’re not fans. Some of the people who link to me (and vice versa) are, instead enemies. And what’s wrong with the word “link?” It’s clear and short.

Cleaning up is a good thing. But sometimes you can try too hard.

: UPDATE: Nevermind. I caught them playing. Now it’s all back to normal. Life is a work in progress and I love watching it.

Good-bye, Iraq

Good-bye, Iraq
: Adam Curry finishes his week on the air in Iraq and takes in local customs:

Lots of customs and traditions to follow during this high-level meeting.We all sat with our legs folded and never ever made the mistake of pointing our feet toward anyone in the room, a major insult. We were served tea in small shot glasses filled halfway with sugar, followed by tiny cups of coffee goop. Unless you politely tipped your cup from left to right the brew would keep on comin. I was able to stomach two cups. Hardcore stuff.

Citizens report… in Korea

Citizens report… in Korea
: I’ve been waiting for this for a long time: OhMyNews, the amazing citizen-powered news site in South Korea, now has an English-language edition. From the welcome exactly four years ago:

Four years ago today, Oh Yeon Ho, CEO and the founder of OhmyNews logged on OhmyNews server and declared the birth of new journalism. It was the first step of saying a final goodbye to 20th century journalism….

Born in the spring of the new millennium, OhmyNews declares it is making a complete departure from the media culture of the 20th century. We are going to change the culture of how news is produced, distributed, and consumed, all at one time.

Every citizen’s a reporter. Journalists aren’t some exotic species, they’re everyone who seeks to take new developments, put them into writing, and share them with others….

Our weapon is the proposition that “every citizen is a reporter.” We intend to achieve a “news alliance of news guerillas.” We will be unfolding a second NGO (news guerilla organization) movement.

We have three main tactics.

-Abolish the threshold to being a reporter.

-Break down the set formula for news articles.

-Demolish all walls that separate media….

OhmyNews is changing the culture of news consumption. Readers will be able to add their views to each and every article. And for the first time anywhere, readers will have the authority to determine much about how much news guerillas are paid for their articles.

More than anything else, OhmyNews is changing the way people think about what’s newsworthy….

*OhmyNews currently has over 35 dedicated staff reporters. On any given day, more than 30,000 citizen reporters post their stories on regular basis.

Finally, with some of OhMy in English, we can learn from their remarkable success.

Here’s a NY Times story on OhMy. And here’s a Dan Gillmor column about it. [via SmartMobs]

Monsieur Dean

Monsieur Dean
: Loic Le Meur helped a likely candidate for the presidency of France to start a blog.

A gathering of brains

A gathering of brains
: So as I mentioned below, I ran into David Isenberg today and he is getting his WTF (let it stand for what you want) nonconference conference together for April 2-4. He’s getting a good crowd of smart folks and wants more. The hotel rooms are running out (though you can stay at other local venues). I’m trying to wrangle a scheduling conflict to go. If you are interested in the future and the power of stupid networks (David’s expertise) and all the cool things they can and will do, then go.

More from Iran

More from Iran
: The BlogIran newsletter proclaims:

Reports from most Iranian cities are stating about the massive popular boycott of the Islamic Clerical regime’s sham elections. Millions of Iranians have stayed home and far from official ballot boxes in order to show the rejection of the Islamic republic in its totality.

: Keep reading the citizens’ reporting on Persian blogs, translated here: Great stuff, very local. A few excerpts here and also a few posts below.

: Here’s a nice post from a Persian blog on media manipulation…

eehum: Tehran 14:00pm – TV’s channel 2 is showing images of people voting in different cities across the country. Images of city of Tabriz [north-west of Iran] show a long queue of people waiting to vote. However, looking carefully in the images, you can see there are a lot of people wearing short-sleeve shirts and not wearing warm clothes. I would like to ask my friends to find out the temperature in Tabriz. There is no doubt that these films are taken in a warm season.

Later in this blog: A friend told me that Tabriz is almost 8 degrees celcius above zero [which is indeed cold and not suitable for summer T-shirts].

” More media moments:

Iran and World News: This morning, on 10:30, around 50 people gathered around a minibus


: New York’s amazing. I ran into Jay Rosen on the street today as I headed to an MBA conference, where I was blathering on a panel. Then he emailed me to let me know that he and Anil Dash were speaking at noon at the Information Law Institute about how weblogs are changing the world. In the lobby on the way in, I met the famous Zach Rosen, Jay’s nephew, who built much of DeanSpace (along with Jay’s mother). In the room, there’s David Isenberg, expert in stupid networks (whom I just saw at ETech and who’s holding his own confab in April… update in a minute). So I’m here and I’ll blog.

: Anil is taking the crowd — many PhD candidates, a journalism teacher from Moscow, Red Burns of NYU’s ITP, a stellar crew — on the basics of weblogs.

He shows Glenn Reynolds blog and links from there to mine and says this page is a triumph of content over presentation. Anil truly hates this undesign. And he’s right.

: Anil shows the top story on Blodex for the Grey Tuesday music protest. A prof asks whether there has been major-media coverage. None.

: Michael Weiksner, a founder of e-the-people, is talking now. His blog.

E-thepeople sounded like a good idea when it started (I tried to do a business deal with them) but it never quite took off. It was a one-size-fits-all space for any cause, any grassroots effort to start a petition or a movement. Deanspace, on the other hand, exploded, as did That tells me that the tool is just a tool; it’s the movement that draws the people.

: Now Jay Rosen is up. “I called it Pressthink because that’s what I do… I didn’t want to do it until I had the perfect title and this is the perfect title.” That is how Nick Denton thinks, too; he won’t start a site until he has the ideal name.

Jay says that when he asked people advice on starting a weblog, everyone said the same thing: Make it short. And that’s why he didn’t.

Jay says he has his own magazine in his weblog, but “it has an outlet to the sea.”

He says the weblog lets him to be an online equal to, say

Jay’s saying many smart things that I’d dilute if I tried to summarize them. Just go reread his seminal post on what’s radical about the weblog form in journalism; that’s what he’s going through now.

Blogging the White House

Blogging the White House
: Here’s blogger and publisher Rex Hammock’s blog report on his meeting with George Bush (see yesterday’s post for background). Great stuff:

The President sat with us at a conference table between me and a young stay-at-home mother of two whose husband is a police officer (and, like me, a expat Alabamian). Across from the three of us sat two other young women and an older man, an apple farmer from Gettysburg, Penn. One of the women was a single mother of two who works full time and takes graduate school classes online. The other was a mom who works fulltime.

There were a few staffers around the edges of the room, including the logistics and policy people who had planned the event and a White House photographer. Andrew Card sat at the end of the table as a quiet observer,

Each participant had a name card in front of us and the Prersident was quick to use our first names in chatting with us about our work and families, especially asking us about how we had used any tax refunds or incentives. Only a few people knew I was going to do this, but more than one asked jokingly if I thought the President would give me a nickname. I’m happy not to disappoint them. He did. He turned to me once to ask a question and said,