Posts from March 2, 2004

Worse and worse

Worse and worse
: Zell Miller keeps getting wackier and wackier. An alleged Democrat, he has endorsed George Bush and a constitutional amendment on marriage. And now Ernie Miller warns us that Zell (no relation) is introducing legislation to create a Council of Decency with three ministers (that’s ministers, not rabbis, by the way), three teachers, and three media people who tell the FCC what’s decent and what’s not. He’d fine artists, producers, and networks for whatever this august bunch calls indecent and he’d increase the fine to a quarter for every person who sees and is presumably corrupted by media crud (Janet Jackson et al would have paid $35 million). But it keeps getting better and better: He’s hand the fines over to faith-based organizations. Yup, and he sounds stupid, too:

Make no mistake about it. This is a tough bill, and it

Local blogging

Local blogging
: You know that I love the notion of local and hyperlocal blogging and so I’m delighted that Linda Seebach, an editorial writer at the Rocky Mountain News, sent me a link to Walter in Denver’s Rocky Mountain blog roundup. This is just the sort of thing that will extend a local community in blogs — and it helps that the editor of the paper agreed to link to the roundup from the opinion section as a way to reach out to bloggers. This is the way it’s supposed to work.

NRA, stopped

NRA, stopped
: The good news is, the NRA was defeated today. Says StopTheNRA.com: “It’s the most historic day for gun safety policy in the ten years since Congress passed the landmark Brady Bill.” The bad news is that the NRA — telling its puppet lawmakers what to do — defeated its own bill meant to protect gun makers because it included amendments to extend the assault weapons ban and the gun-show loophole and now those two important protections are also gone. So come September, you can return to your neighborhood assault weapons store. The real loser is yet to be namad. That will be the needless victim of that murder weapon yet to be bought and fired.

: Kerry and Edwards voted for the assault ban. It’s getting easier and easier to vote for Kerry.

: Glenn Reynolds links to a different perspective, natch.

Kerry’s in, Edwards out

Kerry’s in, Edwards out
: CNN says Edwards will drop out tomorrow.

Trashing weblogs

Trashing weblogs
: Rogers Cadenfield is in a right proper snit about the AP’s miss-the-mark coverage of yesterday’s Pew survey, which revealed — as I saw it yesterday — surprisingly large numbers for the creation of and audience for weblogs. The AP, instead, poo-pooed the numbers. Says Rogers:

Headlines around the world for this story: “Study: Blogging still infrequent,” “Very few bloggers on Net,” “Small number choose to blog,” “Web users slow to post journals,” and my favorite, “Blog hype belies use.” All because the number of webloggers is only 2.7 million, a number larger than the circulation of any newspaper in the U.S. Does anyone still wonder why amateurs are creating their own media?

Amen. And the number of bloggers from later Pew surveys is actually between 8 and 9 million and, as we know from Technorati, it’s growing fast: 11,000 new weblogs every day; one every 7.8 seconds.

Dave agrees and so does Doc, who says:

Hey, what percentage of the adult population would describe themselves as writers at all? Earth to AP: blogging is driving that percentage up, hard and fast.

Reminds me of Gandhi’s oft-quoted line about disruptive movements that are misunderstood by the institutions they disrupt:

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. The you win.

Seems to me we’re midway between 2 and 3

I’m surprised that one of my favorite blogs, Lost Remote, takes up the AP spin here and here, linking to this guy, who decides to quit blogging because Pew convinces him the audience isn’t big enough and thus not worth his time.

Wipe the snot off your face, fellow; it’s unbecoming.

Not big enough. That’s old, big media think. That’s powerlaw think. That’s consolidation think, in which only the biggest two players win.

Those days are over.

How big is big? Big enough.

I have more audience for this humble personal blog than I ever imagined I would have. But I will admit I had to adjust my own old, big media thinking about how big is big in the blog world. I’ve given this illustration before: Back before I was a hasbeen in a suit, I used to write for TV Guide and People, where — according to the inflated readership numbers — I supposedly had an audience of more than 20 million. Granted, there was no way to know how many skipped over, tore out, or spat upon my page but even taking away a large percentage, that’s big, measured in millions. Then I started blogging for an audience measured in the low thousands. Felt small. But then one Sunday, I looked out on the congregation in my church and saw about 70 attentive faces looking up at the minister, who had worked darned hard — much harder than any weblogger — on his message to them. Is that audience big enough? As him and he’ll tell that two or more gathering is big enough.

Abuse

Abuse
: I just got an abusive post and abusive email from one commenter who is now banned, whose posts have been erased, and whose email now goes into the spam trash bin unread. I’m delighted with the dialogue here but I will not tolerate abusive behavior.

Carbonated Starbucks

Carbonated Starbucks
: Damned smart: Coke is creating entertainment-laden lounges for teenagers in malls. It’s the teen Starbucks. [via Adrants]

Without comment

Without comment
: Today is the first anniversary of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

: Homeland Security is, of course, big business now. McGraw-Hill is publishing its first business directory for homeland security. On the site announcing it, I see an ad for bomb-resistant trash cans. (Don’t laugh. The PATH system hasn’t had a trash can in site since 9/11.)