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Archive for June, 2009

This is related to my post, Tweeting wisdom of the ages, attempting to debunk the notion that something less than 140 characters must be shallow. These are quotations from Winston Churchill that would fit in tweets:

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

If you go on with this nuclear arms race, all you are going to do is make the rubble bounce.

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

The length of this document defends it well against the risk of its being read.

The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.

I should note that this quote, one of Churchill’s most famous, is too long for a tweet: We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

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This is related to my post, Tweeting wisdom of the ages, attempting to debunk the notion that something less than 140 characters must be shallow. These are quotations from Mohandas Gandhi that would fit in tweets:

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.

I believe that a man is the strongest soldier for daring to die unarmed.

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.

Imitation is the sincerest flattery.

In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

It is my own firm belief that the strength of the soul grows in proportion as you subdue the flesh.

Let us all be brave enough to die the death of a martyr, but let no one lust for martyrdom.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Nobody can hurt me without my permission.

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.

Poverty is the worst form of violence.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience.

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.

There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.

We must become the change we want to see in the world.

You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.

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Tough questions help test and sharpen any vision for innovation.

Marty Weybret, publisher of the Lodi (Calif.) News-Sentinel and LodiNews.com, asked some tough questions on Chuck Peters’ C3 blog about the Complete Community Connection concept Chuck and I have been promoting. “The Complete Community Connection vision that you and Steve Buttry have enunciated is intriguing,” Weybret started. “You may detect a certain hesitancy in neutral words such as ‘vision’ and ‘intriguing.’ Frankly I have studied C3 with a fair patience and yet I don’t feel like I have my head around it. May I ask you a few questions — some carry the baggage of skepticism, for which I apologize. Some are posed with wide-eyed curiosity.”

First, I’ll embrace the skepticism and the curiosity. Though I will say that I regard “vision” and “intriguing” as positive words and I am pleased that this publisher has spent this much time and patience studying the vision. I don’t always have my head around it either and I wrote it. Changing deeply ingrained ways of thinking takes patience as well as persistence. (more…)

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Newspapers can be replaced.

Don’t get me wrong. I love newspapers. I have spent my adult life (and the later years of my youth) working in the newspaper industry, starting as a carrier. Old newspapers hang on my office walls and fill my cabinets and file drawers. I believe that pretty much any mediocre newspaper is still the best news outlet and advertising vehicle in most any community.

But I am concerned by a conceit I hear and read too often from journalists and newspaper executives hoping to get by with incremental approaches to innovation. It certainly underlies the notion that if newspapers suddenly all started charging for content, the freeloading public would have to buckle and start paying. These people dismissively proclaim that their communities would suddenly starve (or pay) for news and information if the newspaper went out of business or its content vanished behind a paywall.   (more…)

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KCRG While You Were Sleeping blogger Chris Earl responded by email to my request for advice from blogging journalists.  This is one of several posts related to Bloggers share lots of advice.

I would say, more than anything else, make it relevant to the reader.  As a blogger who “reports the news” on television, I try to relate to the viewer – not about what I do for a living – but the lives that we all live.  I try to bring them in with the nuances that we all have to go through.

What I find to be the real challenge is that, I read nothing but opinion blogs and stories in my free time.  Yet, as one in television, it is my job to play it down the middle.  The real work is creating interesting blog content that tries to bring on conversation but still has to tread lightly.

Growing a thick skin has always been part of being on-air in television.  I say, keep the comments up and just deal with it.  Often, if feedback or comments are mean-spirited, the poster comes off looking far worse than the blogger.

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Annette Schulte, who blogged for about a year as the Gazette’s Content Ninja, answered my request to share a lesson she had learned. This is one of several posts related to Bloggers share lots of advice.

Lesson learned: Trolls. Successfully building an audience (no matter the size) on the Internet for your blog, puts you at risk of attracting trolls. I don’t mean the local crackpot with conspiracy theories who wants to debate the city’s hidden plans for Mount Trashmore. I mean the creepy, vicious bully type of troll who hides behind a pseudonym and an assumption that you’re not smart enough to block or find him. Thing to remember, no matter how insulting the troll gets, is that it’s probably just some dumb, pimply-faced 14-yo in study hall or a sad, lonely 40-something that you’ve never met and never will. Trolls wander about the Internet, using comment threads to lob anonymous insults and threats at bloggers in the hopes that you’ll respond and start a flame war. They do this for fun. They do this b/c the flame war gives them a sense of power and control. That’s why it’s so creepy. So what’s the lesson? Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t engage. Remove the comments. Block the IP address. Let the insults roll off. Links for more info and advice: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll,  http://networkbloggingtips.com/dealing-with-trolls-and-negativity/, http://communitiesonline.homestead.com/dealingwithtrolls.html.

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Marc Morehouse, On Iowa sports blogger for The Gazette, offered some thoughts about blogging in an email. I wrote earlier about Marc’s blogging in a Gazette column. This is one of several posts related to Bloggers share lots of advice.

I truly enjoy the engagement aspect of blogging. It’s way more dimensional than the newspaper could ever hope to be. It’s writing “with” people and not “at” people. I can’t wait to add more tools and bring even more dimension. (Taped a presser on my phone yesterday, but couldn’t get it off without buying $30 worth of software.)

I just wish we could make money off them.

Here’s a link to one from yesterday.

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James Q. Lynch, Covering Iowa Politics blogger for The Gazette, offered some blogging advice in an email. This is one of several posts related to Bloggers share lots of advice.

A few quick thoughts:

  1. At CoveringIowaPolitics.com we are, for the most part, only posting stories we are writing for print. Some stories are written as breaking news and updated as they develop, but somewhere north of 90 percent are print stories posted on the blog. Whether we should be doing something more, something different is a good topic for discussion.
  2.  The blogs I enjoy most are those that have a point of view. The ones I enjoy least are nothing but opinion. Even in cases of blogs that are essentially aggregators, the interesting ones have a point of view. Not necessarily right or left point of view, but a point of view that makes people want to visit again and again. And whatever point of view a blogger chooses probably means some people won’t come back.
  3. I don’t think there is one way to blog. Some bloggers seem to succeed as columnist or essayists, commenting on the news, a sports team, the passing parade. Others are useful because of what they aggregate. And others are conversations starters, inviting people in to share their thoughts and, perhaps, take action.

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Jamie Kelly, Writing Hurts blogger for The Gazette, answered my questions about blogging an email. I wrote earlier about Jamie’s social media guide role in a Gazette column. This is one of several posts related to Bloggers share lots of advice.

How is blogging different from writing stories and how is it similar?

It’s different in one important way: your product is visible from the very beginning. That’s scary, but it’s also liberating. No one expects it to be perfect, just as correct as it can be given what you have. The ability to update makes blogging very powerful. But the same rules apply: you need to write what you know to be true, avoid speculation and be fair. (more…)

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Jeff Johnson, Diamonds and Ice sports blogger for The Gazette, offered some blogging advice in an email. I wrote earlier about Jeff’s blogging in a Gazette column. This is one of several posts related to Bloggers share lots of advice.

I find I’m learning every day about blogging. What works, what doesn’t, what interests people, what doesn’t. I’m still trying to get into that mindset of “engage, engage, engage.” Sometimes that’s still difficult.

A couple of thoughts, I guess. I’ve found blogging is a great way to break news. We have complete control over posting, we don’t have to go to an editor first. If you have something, run with it, post it immediately. (more…)

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Angie Holmes, FrumpFighter blogger for The Gazette, offered some blogging advice in an email. This is one of several posts related to Bloggers share lots of advice.

Blogging is different than writing stories because you can add your own knowledge of a subject matter and don’t necessarily need someone else to tell the story.

I “accidentally” began blogging about my son, Sage, and our journey on the autism spectrum when controversy began brewing about the death of John Travolta’s son, Jett, and whether or not he was autistic and receiving the proper care.  I realized tapping into my own experiences was not only therapeutic for me, but also helpful to readers. (more…)

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Jennifer Hemmingsen, You are Here blogger for The Gazette, offered some blogging advice in an email. This is one of several posts related to Bloggers share lots of advice.

I’m no expert — but here are a few things I wish I’d known when I started blogging:

1. Study the Masters. There’s a reason some bloggers are popular. Read them and figure out what they do well. (more…)

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