April 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Posted in read this, the media | 2 Comments
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Last night I attended a seminar on social media networking for journalists led by one of my former professors at Columbia J-School, Sree Sreenivasan, who has become a kind of new media/technology guru. At the time, he taught a course called something like, “New Media for Journalists,” in which we learned how to use the Internet for research and maybe how to create a webpage. In other words, there wasn’t much to the class (frankly, I remember finding it irrelevant — no offense Sree. You were just way ahead of all of us — I mean, I only acquired a legit email address in 1995…).

Of course, little did we know back in the mid-1990s how integrated journalism and the internet would become, and how this integretation would “threaten” traditional media. If I were still a print journalist right now, I would be fighting like hell to get as many Twitter followers as possible (Sree mentioned that some guy had just scored a book deal based on his Tweets — blogs are, like, so over) and would of course have a blog. Yet, were my employer a newspaper, they’d probably be fighting me every step of the way, lest I give my content away for free.
>My brother-in-law, the internet-savvy Pax Arcana, had a witty (as always) — but yet astute and insightful — post yesterday analyzing this impass and the looming failure of traditional media. Yes, it will cease to exist as we know it. And until recently I was one of the traditionalists who would argue, “You can’t let a newspaper fail.” But face it Bostonians: someone is going to buy the Boston Globe, sell off its cumbersome assets (printing presses, trucks), outsource weekend delivery, and move almost everything online.
Anyway, the overall point of the seminar was that the conversation (the big, meta conversation) is now online. It’s on Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. So journalists have to get in there — to get story ideas, to make contacts. This may seem obvious, but if you think about it philosophically (or even from a marketing perspective) it can be kind of overwhelming.* And, of course, media companies have to be where the conversation is, as well, so they too need Facebook pages or Twitter feeds. (That’s why CNN and Astin Kutcher apprarently are locked in an epic battle to be the first to claim one million Twitter followers. For reals.)
And, to that end, Marbury v. Madison Ave. has to be there too — so you can now follow me on Twitter (where you’ll get a Tweet each time I have a new post, or with links to other articles and tweets, and/or whatever else I figure out you can do on there).

*And exciting. Last night’s event reminded me how passionate I am about the media on that very meta/philosophical level — as much about the industry and its scope as about the craft itself.

Wired Weekend

March 15, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Posted in little bug, running, Starbucks, weekend | 2 Comments
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This weekend I bought a MacBook. It’s awesome. How can one laptop (Mac) be a hundred times better designed and more functional than another (Dell)? I also got an external hard drive and a free wireless printer as a promo. (My firm will reimburse me for a good portion of the total.) In short, I stimulated the economy. I am very patriotic.

Now I’m on a roll. I finally signed up for Twitter (though am still not sure why you’d need to be on Twitter and Facebook, especially since the Facebook redesign seems like it is trying to replicate Twitter). My sister had to stop me from also purchasing an iPhone (which I obviously don’t need since my firm doesn’t support them yet and thus I need to be physically attached to my Blackberry at all times. I’m not sure I can be one of those people who carry around both — although I know many people who do!) and a Kindle. I can think of a dozen justifications for both (especially the Kindle — saving space! Saving paper/the environment! Saving money! Commuting reading! Patriotic economic stimulation!), but will hold off until the glow of my newly wired self wears off a bit.

Tim worked all weekend (big site relaunch tomorrow — we hope! Stay tuned for a link…), so I had a Little Buggy weekend. It started off with a wonderful girls’ dinner on Friday night (with only one bottle + one glass drunk between three of us, making the next morning even better), a successful dentist’s appointment on Saturday morning (for some reason I’m the only person in my family with good teeth…), the successful trip to the Mac store on Boylston (accompanied by my sister, the Mac genius), playground, run, Starbucks, errands, playground, run, playground.  Oh, and it’s spring, I think (see the photo below for proof — the light and the shadows and the joy of a baby pushing an empty stroller).


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