Posts from January 17, 2005

Assignment desk: The Iraqi vote

Assignment desk: The Iraqi vote

: Craig Newmark said it well:

Folks, no matter how you feel about the war, people are risking their lives to vote.

If you’re in one of the cities where expat Iraqis are going to register to vote, why not go and talk to them and hear what they say about the vote: report and blog.

Jeff’s List: A job in Jersey

Jeff’s List: A job in Jersey

: There’s a project job opening at my day-job company that may interest one or two of you.

First, though a big, honking, neon caveat: I won’t be replying to your emails and applications. So please don’t think I’m rude. Think I’m disorganized, that’s fine. But not rude. I will merely collect the inquiries and put them in the right place. So please don’t email me followups wondering why I have not replied. And don’t think I’m going to get into a discussion in the comments about it. Cuz I won’t. Think of this is a classified ad. Jeff’s List.

Having now made that warm and inviting introduction, let me tell you about the gig:

Advance Internet, which includes NJ.com, MassLive.com, OregonLive.com and other fine local sites, is about to create a half-dozen town blogs in those markets — new, group blogs (using iUpload) to which any neighbor can contribute. These will live alongside the many individuals’ blogs, local forums, newspaper headlines, blogs outside the services (and their RSS feeds), and more. The idea is that — as in GoSkokie.com and NorthwestVoices — people may not want to start their own blog but they have plenty of news to contribute to their communities: opinions, news updates, sports reports, photos, calendar items, and so on. The hope is also that once we have a critical mass of content in a town from all these sources, a critical mass of audience is sure to follow. This means, we hope, that we can target ads down to the town level and automate them, saving the cost of sales and production, and price them in such a way that we can serve local advertisers who heretofore could not afford to market in big papers. That, I emphasize is the hope — untested, unproven. Testing that is the job.

This person would work on a project basis for a year running this from both an edit and a business perspective. This person would recruit uberbloggers for towns and help them beat the bushes to find more bloggers. He or she would supervise them and come up with procedures for how they should work. He or she would work with the ad department to create appropriate avails and set up the production means of accepting ads. And he or she would work with marketing department to find inexpensive and efficient ways to get the message out to audience and advertisers.

Interested? Send a persuasive email with experience to the address on the right — with “hyperlocal project” in the subject line, please — and I’ll pass it on. Thanks.

An attack on Christianity

An attack on Christianity

: The Catholic archbishop of Mosul has been kidnapped. The Vatican called it an act of terrorism. I wondered whether they have called the attacks on others there terrorism — they have.

Tag me

Tag me

: Much buzz about Technorati’s cool new tags from David Weinberger, Ross Mayfield, Mary Hodder.

So I’ve been thinking: Why stop at tagging text and photos.

It’s time to tag people.

This comes out of David Galbraith’s one-line bio and out of arguments I’ve made over time that the real future of classifieds is a generation beyond Craig and Monster: It’s a distributed world where resumes and jobs (or men seeking women and women seeking men) live anywhere and they are found and matched by some specialized successor to Google that uses tags (e.g., work status, education, location, languages…. or smoker, nonsmoker, single, divorced, great personality). In that world, in essence, people, ads, and content are all tagged.

This also fits into the discussion below about the ethic of exhibitionism — finding a way to exhibit key facts about our perspective so our public can judge what we say in that context.

So I started to wonder how I’d be tagged. Would I tag myself? Would the crowd tag me? Would a machine (based on my content and the links to it)? Would it be some Frankensteiny combination?

Would tags go to war with each other? Would the Democrats for whom I’m not conservative enough slap the Repubicans for whom I’m too liberal or would it all average out to centrist?

Would the tagee have the right to modify tags (like a credit report) or would that be self-promotion?

In the end, it needs to be a way for people to find people as well as content and comment and communities.

So how would I tag myself? Here’s a try: media man… blog boy… tall… fast-talking… parent… Howard Stern… Entertainment Weekly… TV Guide… New York… New Jersey… Iraq… Iran… FCC… centrist… shaky Congregationalist… exploding TV…

I would ask how you’d tag me. But I don’t have the guts. So how would you tag yourself?

: Note also how Micah Sifry is adding tags (instead of categories) to his posts using brother Dave Sifry’s new tagging convention.

I want a plug-in that lets me add tags to posts as easily as I add the less flexible categories. Better yet, I’d love a smart plug-in tied into a network of Technorati/Flickr tags that suggests tags to me.

The Committee to Protect Bloggers

The Committee to Protect Bloggers

: Sadly, a Committee to Protect Bloggers is an idea whose time has come, given what is happening to our colleague bloggers in Iran, China, and elsewhere. Its goals:

: We are concerned primarily, though not exclusively, with the well-being of the bloggers themselves. Press freedom is extremely valuable and will be agitated for, but our primary concern is keeping bloggers alive and free.

: We are concerned for them as bloggers, even if some are also journalists or activists.

: We are a group of bloggers, communicating via blogs, about other bloggers. We have some understanding of our fellows that other groups, no matter how well-meaning, cannot. We also have immediate access to the communications power of the blogosphere.

I know nothing about who’s behind this; heard about it on Global Voices; eager to hear more.