After the confab

After the confab
: As it turns out, there were two reasons to go to the Online News Association confab (which is two more than I’d anticipated).

The first was meeting Andrew Sullivan.

One of the three most common blog posts is, “I just met Joe Schmoe of and, wow, he’s just liked I thought he was going to be.”

Well, Andrew Sullivan is not what I thought he’d be. Judging from the tenacity and intelligence of his blog, I’d expected someone too smart for safety, martini-dry, contankerous. Instead, he’s gracious, open, generous, enthusiastic, easy-going.

As you can tell from the quilt of quotes stitched together from his keynote today, below, he did a wonderful job selling, but not overselling, weblogs to a skeptical/fearful/clueless bunch. He showed what a passionate and addictive activity this is. He spoke convincingly about why it matters and how it truly is revolutionary.

This medium is our movement.

And our movement could not have a better spokesman than Andrew Sullivan.

: There were a lot of smart people doing good work at this confab but I heard that same kind of enthusiasm and zeal out of just one other person, Rob Curley, head of, a kick-ass site serving University of Kansas students. I made tons of notes about his good ideas and I’m even thinking of visiting Lawrence to learn more (it may be exhaustion speaking).

One great thing: He not only has citizens blog, he takes the content from those blogs and turns it into columns in a print publication created out of Now that is respecting citizens’ media.

: Ken Sands of the Spokesman Review, who has done more to bring blogs into newsrooms than anyone, is obviously quite attached to Spokane and has no ambitions to move to Chicago — or didn’t like what he found there (the weather was a gray as a page of classifieds) — for he started out blogging panel reminding everyone that Tribune President Jack Fuller urged the audience and industry to keep innovating, keep trying new things but then Fuller turned around and complained that blogs need to be edited for qualitiy control; like many there, he fears blogs. So here’s the punchline: Sands said that Fuller “wouldn’t know a blog if it bit him in the ass.” He said that surely Fuller reads and likes Romenesko. It’s a blog. So what’s to fear?

: Speaking of Romenekso, it’s too bad he didn’t come. He lives and works nearby. Apparently, he doesn’t like such gatherings.

: I’m not sure how the blogging panel went.

I’m sure I came off like a lunatic: fast-talking media revolutionary on speed. I think I scare people.

The most discouraging thing is that the turnout at this panel versus others was light. Even after hearing Sullivan’s great sales pitch for weblogs, not many wanted to hear more. Not a great sign.

: I have other notes, but they’re even more inside baseball. It’s late. Half the weekend is shot. So good-night.