November 30, 2004

This piece by Halley Suitt on the Alpha Female Blogger has something to do with my last post. Still formalizing what that it is. But read it any ways. It will make you understand bloggers (and writers). And will probably make you laugh.
I won?t tease you. I?ll give it to you straight. Blogs are artful. The best ones play with language, play with style, reference prior art and artfulness. They can reach down deep, make us laugh or cry, be a call to action. I thinHenry James is also famous for calling the novel a “loose, baggy monster.” I?ve always
liked that description. As they incorporate all types of writing within their ungainly
bodies, weblogs certainly commit the sins of loose, baggy monsterhood. As in James?
homage to the novel, I want to bow down to blogs and give them their due. They are
art. They are up to something. They are getting away with murder, entertaining us,
amusing us, making us act. They are not going away. They are here to stay. Get used to it.

They are also political — in the broadest sense, by sharing divergent voices across a
worldwide population — as well as in the literal sense, of often taking politics as their
subject and getting people fired up about new beliefs and calling them to immediate
action.k they are artful and artistic and radical as any new art form. They should be entertaining.

November 29, 2004

Why I Write - George Orwell

The Literature Network posts an essay by George Orwell in which he gives a look into why he and others write. There is an element of truth to this for bloggers as well:
Putting aside the need to earn a living, I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. They are:

1. Sheer egoism.
Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen ? in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all ? and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money.

2. Aesthetic enthusiasm.
Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story. Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed. The aesthetic motive is very feeble in a lot of writers, but even a pamphleteer or writer of textbooks will have pet words and phrases which appeal to him for non-utilitarian reasons; or he may feel strongly about typography, width of margins, etc. Above the level of a railway guide, no book is quite free from aesthetic considerations.

3. Historical impulse.
Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.

4. Political purpose.
? Using the word 'political' in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples' idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.

November 22, 2004

Real War Bloggers

Kevin Sites, who was responsible for video taping a marine firing on an unarmed Iraqi insurgent, tells the full story on his blog. He's been covering the trenches of war as a journalist for 5 years. This is my first time stumbling upon his blog, and the rest of it is just as gripping.

November 18, 2004

Adfreak Weblog Launched by Adweek

Adweek has launched a weblog, "Adfreak." Jack Freuer, on of my favorite Adweek writers, is a contributor. Kudos to them for launching in true blog fashion with a solid blogroll with self depricating links to sites making parodies of their own publication and those critical of the ad biz. (via Adrants).

November 15, 2004

Senator Spector Key to Judicial Future

With a possible 3 Supreme Court Justices being replaced in Bush's next term, if there's one small fight worth joining, it's moderate senator Arlen Spector's bid to head the Judiciary Commitee.

FCC Lies to Push Forward Indecency Case

Using the Freedom of Information Act, Jeff Javis uncovers that only 3 people, out of the 159 claimed by the FCC, actually wrote letters to the FCC about sexual suggestive programming causing $1.2 million dollars in fines, chilling the speech of our media and trampling over the very meaning of the First Ammendment.

There's a second travesty in all of this. It is the blatant laziness (or even worse, submission) by the mass news media to uncover this while reporting on the story. Every jounrnalist claiming to have covered this story should be ashamed of the standard they have upheld.

The FCC should repeal the fines they issued. Other citizen journalists should file similar FOIA requests and uncover what really happened with the Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction. And the mass news media should either get it together or just pack it up because you're worthless to us and you're losing to citizen journalism.

November 12, 2004

FCC Chills Speach of ABC Affiliates

KOMOTV: As many as 65 of the more than 200 ABC Affiliates chose not to air Saving Private Ryan due to fears of heavy fines and potential loss of broadcast licenses from the FCC.

November 10, 2004

Is branding dead, or just need to be redefined?

Hugh at Gaping Void gives us the top 9 reasons it's dead.

Number 4:
"Branding" is backwards looking. It's all about capturing past associations. It's never about what the business could become, but protecting what came before.

But an astute reader who works in branding counters convincingly in Hugh's comments:
brands should never be backwards looking, but tell the people - as you say - what the product is for. Make a promise and keep up to it.For me, the bradn itself is the key to the conversation between the companies and their stakeholders. It's like the common base for the conversation/discussion.Could sound like this:Company: "Hey, we know your problem and have a solution that's calles XYZ (the brand)."Customer: "Nice, but your XYZ lacks ...., fix it and I like you more."Company: "Ok, now we know better what you mean and will try."

P2P Search

Smart Mobs points us to a new P2P search tool called NeuroGrid.... keep your eye on this space.