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Saturday, April 30, 2005

About 802 Online

This is from my new about page:

I'm a freelance writer, blogger and Winooski resident who has been contributing regularly to Seven Days — Burlington's alternative weekly newspaper — since September of 2001, (and blogging since the summer of 2004).

As I've been trying to explain to my wise but somewhat technophobic editors, it makes perfect sense for Seven Days to enter the blogosphere. Why? Because for nearly 10 years, the newspaper has been "the weekly read on Vermont news, views and culture." That used to mean politics, music, art, food, books, dance and theater. But it seems to me that no list of contemporary cultural pursuits can be complete without mentioning technology.

There are lots of ways we can cover technology. We can run profiles of local tech companies, examine trends in computer usage among the elderly, and explore the state of our public computing resources. We can offer suggestions on what tech toys to buy. And we can tell you where to find wireless internet access.

I've written about all of those things in the print newspaper — and I'll continue to write about them — but starting now, I'll also be covering them on them on this blog. And starting now, Seven Days will be reporting on the Vermont blogosphere — the expanding array of weblogs written and published by Vermonters — the same way we report on music, art, food, books and theater. For the most part, that content will remain exclusively online, though I'm exploring ways to integrate it into the print paper.

So, 802 Online is for Vermont bloggers and their readers, and for journalists and public officials. Basically, this site is for anyone interested in how, where and why Vermonters connect to the internet, and how this new medium is changing (or not changing) life in our rural state.

And ideally, it's not just me talking. Citizen journalism advocate (and former Vermont reporter) Dan Gillmor argues that journalists have to accept that our readers always know more than we do. I agree. That's why this site is set up to accept comments, and encourage conversations.

Feel free to let me know what you think. Only please don't use pornographic or violent language. Trolls and flame wars ruin the fun for everyone.

April 30, 2005 at 06:18 PM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Survivor Online

Crash over at Twenty-Something is apparently a finalist for a blogging reality show. How trendy is that?

April 30, 2005 at 01:28 PM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Weekend Wi-Fi — The Warren Store

Welcome to a new feature on 802 Online. Each week or so — or whenever I'm able — I'll travel to and post from public wi-fi (wireless internet) hotspots across the state. I'll let you know who's got hotspots, who's using them, and how much they're charging (if at all). I hope this will increase awareness of wi-fi availability, both among business owners and their customers. I'm also planning a comprehensive Vermont wi-fi guide (coming soon). No one else has one that's 100% reliable, and "where can I get online?" is a question that everybody with a wi-fi enabled laptop wants answered.

Today I'm posting from Warren, VT. This Mad River Valley town of 1,681 is home to both Sugarbush Ski Resort and Mad River Glen. You'll find the hotspot in the center of town. Both the Pitcher Inn and The Warren Store offer access. The photo is from the Warren Store, a quirky bakery/coffeeshop/general store, where you can get everything from fresh apple strudel to pink silk women's shirts, to large handcrafted wooden monkeys.

The folks behind the counter say they've had wi-fi for a year, though not too many of their customers take advantage of it. They get some tourists, but the users are mostly locals who come in for meetings. The connection is a little fuzzy — sometimes I lose the signal for no apparent reason — but it's free. If I had a photoblog, or was, say, a member of the 251 Club, I would definitely stop here to update my adventures.Warren_store_2

April 30, 2005 at 11:53 AM in Wi-fi/Broadband in VT | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, April 28, 2005

welcome, gentle readers

This is my first post on the 7d version of 802 Online. Blogging from a coffeeshop in downtown Burlington that supposedly doesn't offer wi-fi. Wouldn't even be here, but Speeder's on Pine Street closes at 5:30. Alas.

Welcome to my new and improved site, here in professional journalist land. Not that I'm, uh, getting paid, exactly. But hey, things change fast here in the blogosphere, right?

UPDATE: 7D started paying me to blog on May 18, 2005.

April 28, 2005 at 05:43 PM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack