Is blogging killing journalism?

If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard someone snicker when I say something about blogging, then you know that I could quit my day job and live a nice, wealthy life. That’s why the argument of blogging versus journalism tends to fall into areas of white noise to me, mostly because I’ve been taught, by journalism professors, to not care anymore.

Still, there are those days when it gets me thinking, and it is more to the fact when journalists are the ones who are raising a stink over the legitimacy of this new medium. Such is the case that you can get more details on from a post that Raul made a few days ago.

It takes me back to the short time where I was once a journalism student. Wavering in and out of studies that would give me a better grasp on an educational background in broadcasting, I found myself surrounded by professors who saw print as the only worthwhile medium that one should dedicate themselves to in the realm of media.

Now, before I start to say anything negative, there is absolute truth in the need to develop a solid background in writing, and working in radio for as long as I have, I can assure you that there are folks who have missed this step in their career ladder in broadcasting. Point number one in your journey into TV or radio should be to learn how to write, and then you can focus on looking or sounding good doing it. Some improv acting wouldn’t hurt as well, but I digress.
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Blogathon 2008

Blogathon 2008 has kicked off and it is in full swing. As I sit here right now, I’m watching Dances With Wolves with Duane as he prepares to make post number nine or ten. To be honest, I’m getting pretty sleepy that I’m not sure where he’s at in terms of numbers.

Rual is here as well, firing away like a rabbit, making post after post with ease. I guess that’s easy for a guy who has a mind wrapped around academia. I recall those days, but it’s more common to find myself wrapped up in computer network cables and a brain full of code due to the number of projects that I have going on.

That’s pretty much why I’m not doing Blogathon this year. I like being the moral support and supplier of caffeine to the troops, aside from the occasional guest post for various Blogathon folks.

Rebecca has been working hard to get this years Blogathon organized, and you can see a list of the participants here. Duane has taken things one step further and created a RSS feed for all the Vancouver bloggers that are participating in this year’s fund raiser.

I admire there efforts and determination to make one post every thirty minutes for 24 hours. Trust me, if you think blogging, or even writing for that matter, is hard, you haven’t experienced Blogathon.

Also, if you feel like you want to contribute, think about making a donation to any of the bloggers and their charity of choice. Comments are great, but the real reason these people are sacrificing their weekend to blog nearly nonstop is to raise money for a good cause. It’s not just for the sake of being geeky.

Vegan food with Sean Bonner of Metroblogging

Sean Bonner On a bit of a whim, we were invited to have dinner with Sean Bonner and Jeffery Simpson at The Naam in Vancouver last week or so. Sean was in town on a whirlwind tour of the greater northwest, stopping in Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland to check in on the Metroblogging meetups for each of those cities. Reason being, Sean Bonner is the guy behind Metroblogging, starting the first site in L.A. and now up to 50 cities around the world.

We were able to meet up with Sean and some of the other Metroblogging Vancouver crew, of which Rebecca is a member of, the next evening. Still, it was a neat chance to find out more about the man and his methods of madness in terms of how the network operates on top of what he has gone through to grow the blogging site to what it is today.

What is Metroblogging?

Metroblogging started off as a more locally focused alternative news source in Los Angeles and has turned into the largest and fastest growing network of city-specific blogs on the Web. We got sick of reading local news that was syndicated from the other side of the country, or was just repurposed national chit chat that had nothing to do with our city. We created our first blog as a throw back to the days when a local news paper focused on local issues, and you could walk down to the corner coffee shop and chat up the reporters whose column you read earlier that day. This idea didn’t stay in one city for long and before we knew it there were Metblogs in Chicago, Portland, Karachi, and Vienna. Today there are over 50 Metblogs in countries all over the world. Local politics, event reviews, lunch recommendations and ways to avoid that big traffic jam downtown. If it’s happening in our cities, we’re on it.

We are bloggers first and foremost, and we love our cities. Even the parts we hate. [metblogs]

The project that Sean now heads is daunting, to say the least. It was interesting to learn about the trials and tribulations of the original structure of Metroblogging and the recent migration to WordPress to run the back end for all their city sites. That kind of a roll out has got to be a challenge, and there has been a lot of elements to work through for them.

Now with the hard parts are out of the way, Sean gave hints as to things they are working on because finally, with a WordPress engine running the site, they have the ability to start doing things they’ve been wanting to do for a really long time. I’m just not going to tell you what they are because you’ll have to check out the nearest Metroblogging city to you.

Side note, The Naam[googlemaps] on 4th Street in Vancouver is amazing. Vegan food that even non-vegans would love. I could have been fine with the sesame fries and fried tofu, but the chilaquiles were pretty awesome.