Friday, August 31, 2007
Vermont YouTube of the Day
I have no idea who these people are, but this short video of their bulldog lounging on a chair during their camping trip made me laugh out loud.
We're going camping this weekend (finally!), but we're leaving the dogs home. Trying to keep up with a 1 1/2 year-old in the woods is challenging enough without having to chase the dogs around, too. Our dogs are not nearly as mellow as these two.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Vermont Media on Facebook
I wrote a story this week about how college students are using Facebook — specifically, I profiled a delightful Jordanian junior at Middlebury who is voluntarily providing info and advice to incoming freshman.
I've spent a lot of time this week on Facebook as a result. I have to admit, I'm finding it both useful and fascinating. I'm surprised that more Vermont media folks aren't on there.
So I was excited just now when I got a friend request from Ethan DezoteIle, the editor of the County Courier. It got me thinking that we ought to have a Vermont media group on Facebook.
So I made one. It's called Vermont Media. Here's the description:
Join us if you dare!
"For Vermont media professionals and others interested in sharing thoughts about the internet, social media and the state of local journalism."
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
YouTube of the Day
This one's actually not from Vermont, but I couldn't resist.
A video clip from the Miss Teen USA pageant, in which Miss South Carolina gropes for an answer to the the question: Why can't 1/5 of Americans find our country on a map?
UPDATE: A witty video response. Thanks, Sky!
UPDATE II: Ha! Miss S.C. got so much attention that the Today show invited her to try again. Her new response?
"Well personally, my friends and I, we know exactly where the United States is on our map. I don't know anyone else who doesn't. And if the statistics are correct, I believe there should be more emphasis on geography."
Not as much fun as the first answer.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Crazy love story from Wired
An incredible story of love and murder in the IM age, from Wired.
Newspapers' Online Flops and Failures
Here's an interesting article from Editor and Publisher, for all you Vermont media types who tell me you read my blog.
Joe Strupp does an informative survey of pitfalls for newspapers to avoid online.
Lesson One? Blogs can backfire.
At The Roanoke (Va.) Times, editors noted that readers are not always that interested in what their fellow readers are saying, at least not on a regular basis. Online Editor John Jackson set up 10 online columns by local residents in 2003, finding maybe three got any real reaction. "They weren't writing about things that a whole lot of people were interested in," he says, citing a graphic artist who described life in that job. "One guy wrote about stuff he saw on the side of the road, and he would hand-write it and we would scan it in."
This reminds me of the RH/TA Reader Roundtable experiment. And of our own Jazz Mafia blog. It's more difficult than you might think to train people to blog. And to figure out what's interesting. Hard to know what will work until you try it!
UPDATE: Here's a few thoughts on how CNN is getting online news right.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Vermont Blog Roundup
• Curious about iPhone usage in Vermont? Doug Cadmus of Bloggle offers a comprehensive, link-filled blog post addressing the matter. I still haven't seen one of the suckers. This image shows a knitted iPhone from this guy's blog.
• Rebecca Grannis and Chapin Spencer of Local Motion have set up a survey kiosk on the Burlington bike path. They pose questions and invite people who pass by to write down answers and put them in a box. Every so often, they post the answers on the Burlington Bike Path Speak blog. This month's question: "What is your most embarrassing moment?"
They posted a few answers earlier this month, and I've been checking frequently to see the rest. They must have put them up in the last few days. Here they are. My favorites:
--I crashed into the bagel store in Shelburne two years ago!
--Tired from shopping I walked into a 3-way mirror and said "Oh, excuse me, I'm sorry" to myself!
--When I was four, I passed gas on an airplane and said "I have gas" - A. from S. Burlington
• Who's blogging about social media (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.) in Vermont? Dan York, Elaine Young, Meredith Farkas, Jessamyn West, Morgan Aldridge... If I were to compile a comprehensive list, who would I include? I'm looking for people who write often about social media tools. Feel free to suggest sites you like.
• Catblogging — Is this person for real? I just don't understand how someone could be that into a cat. Sorry, cat people.
• Speaking of furry animals, Don't kill the hampster! [sic] Very funny. From My Innermost Thoughts Gone Public.
• You Just Paid 80K to Teach George W. Bush A Good Lesson About Respecting Our Inalienable Right to Wear Blunt T-Shirts from — who else? — Philip Baruth.
Monday, August 20, 2007
More Odd News from Provincetown
And following up on that drag queen post, here's a crazy story from Boston's Weekly Dig about a Provincetown public official who actually lied about being on Oprah. He falsely claimed that she had chosen his third novel for her book club.
How could anyone actually think they could get away with that?
Check out the faked Oprah transcript from his website. Unbelievable!
Vermont Drag Queen Wins Award for "Biggest Hair"
Lucy Belle LeMay of the Hot Damn Trailer Park in the fictitious town of Beaver Pond, Vermont, was at the Provincetown Carnival last week, where she competed for the title of Biggest Hair. She won in 2002, 2003, and 2004, but came back empty-handed the past two years.
This year, her luck changed.
From the official House of LeMay press release:
Lucy Belle was determined to go back to P'town 'one more time' to prove she could still be considered one of the most distinguished drag queens in Provincetown history. Last Wednesday night, at the annual bingo game, her dream came true. She was not only named Biggest Hair, but was sincerely considered to be named Best Drag Queen as well. Lucy Belle also made an appearance at the annual Friday Drag Brunch where she performed 'Red Neck Drag Queen.'
The email, from "Amber LeMay," aka Bob Bolyard, adds, "Lucy Belle would like to thank Ron and Don at the O'm Salon in Burlington for assisting with her hair presentation."
Whoever helped her definitely deserves some credit.
This photo was taken by Russell Dreher.
Sorry for the dearth of postings. I spent a big chunk of time Friday with my new buddy, drupal. We're overhauling our site, and I've been mucking around on the new one, trying to figure things out.
My mom is visiting, too. She's watching Graham today while our day-care provider takes a holiday.
My mom is so cool (that's her in the photo). She was a computer programmer in the 1970s, and helped write the code for the first ATM machines at the National Bank of Detroit. She spent her later years before she retired as a "new systems development" manager, working with people more than computers, as I understand it. But she still tries to keep current with the online world — she was one of my first friends on Facebook! Hi, Mom! Thanks for watching G today.
Here's an interesting item from yesterday's Sunday New York Times. A magazine intern wrote in to the Ethicist with this query:
A journalism major at college, I was delighted to land an internship at a national magazine. My editor asked me to post comments on one of the magazine’s online blogs, being sure not to mention my working for the magazine but to write in a style that suggests I’m a reader. That felt dirty to me. Advice? — Nick McCarvel, Seattle
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Funny Classified Ad
I was browsing through the Seven Days classified ads for the NOW newsletter ad of the week, and I came across this one advertising a free fish that made me laugh out loud.
Free Live Fish!
Free 12 inch Oscar to a good home, or a bad home, whatever, as long as you have a home for it just take it home with you. Thats right!! A Fish! And it's free too! No money down. No credit? Bad Credit? Come and get it! You can find it at The Outdoor Gear Exchange in sunny downtown Burlington. Bring a bucket or a bag, just don't plan on sticking it in your pocket cause it bites. There is only one so act fast.