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Friday, June 30, 2006

Best Vermont Blog Daysie— Vote now!

Daysie_1The polls are open, and the competition is heating up! Who will win this year's Best Vermont Blog Daysie Award, the premier (and only) Vermont blogging prize? Diabologue? She's Right? Green Mountain Daily? Vermont Daily Briefing? Will it be last year's winner, Candleblog?

You choose! Here's a link to the rules. The survey monkey dies on MONDAY JULY 3 at 5pm, so  vote now!

June 30, 2006 at 07:32 AM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

New Vermont Blogs

New to me, anyway.

MRBFK: by the mysterious "Bobby Farouk."

Bad Colonies Motoring Cooperative: Vermonters in the Mongol Rally 2006!

B-Sides Blog: by activist Michael Colby of Broadsides. "Broadsides is a project of Food & Water, Inc. (F&W) - a nonprofit organization that has been pestering the power elite since 1986."

Starting a Family Farm in Vermont: a blog about that.

Vermont Gardener: by George Africa of Marshfield. 

Brent's Notebook: new Burlington Free Press arts blog.

vt.Buzz: new Burlington Free Press politics blog.

Hemmings Auto Blogs: from the Hemmings Motor News.

News & Views: Shoreham, VT: a town blog for Shoreham. Local government meets the blogosphere! You'll be on the edge of your seat reading posts like, Draft Zoning By-Laws — Get your red pen ready! Seriously though, I like this. Too bad there are no comments.

Your Vermont Home: real estate agent blog that's not just about real estate.

Okemo Mountain Real Estate: by Irene in  Okemo Mountain.

Short Blog: from the Vermont Shortbread Company. Says the subhead: "Short Blog: Tidbits for small business guerilla marketing, a dash of juicy food commentary, sprinkled with a dollop of compassionate irreverence by Ann Zuccardy (with occasional marketing commentary from famous guest authors)." And that's not all! Here's an excerpt from june 29:

Yesterday, I was heading south on I-89 between the South Burlington and Williston exits.  It was mid-morning and the driving summer rainstorm made visability difficult.  I was completely focused on the painted lines in on the highway to guide my way when I noticed a family of ducks crossing the interstate.  They were in my lane (almost to safety, but not quite there).  I was able to safely avoid them without causing other motorists problems.  The mother duck safely led her four ducklings across the interstate in torrential rain.  No ducklings had been hit and those fluffy babies seemed oblivious to danger.   As I passed them, I watched their progress in my rear view mirror for as long as I could.  They all made it to the grassy area."

Zounds! Shortbread and suspenseful tales! I'm hooked.

June 30, 2006 at 06:58 AM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Media Giraffe

I am so sad I'm not at this conference on citizen media at UMASS Amherst. I'm going out of town on Sunday for a week's vacation, and had too much to do beforehand.

Looks like there are a few Vermonters there, like Lynn Gregory of UVM, Chris Grotke of iBrat, Rob Williams of ACME.

June 29, 2006 at 02:51 PM in Media/Keeping an eye on the competition | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Weekly Post: From Norsehorse's Home Turf

This week I chose to spotlight Vermont's most vigilant and prolific blogger, Morgan Brown. Morgan is once again homeless. He occasionally writes about the difficulties of his transient lifestyle, as he did in this post, In Transit: Moving, Day 2:

It appears I will be able to sleep on a couch on an outside porch of a place in town. I have permission to do so, at least if the couches are not already filled up with others by the time I make it over there. Late last Summer and much of the Autumn I slept on the same porch, until I moved indoors on October 22nd (2005).

While it is not always easy for me to get enough of a good quality sleep in such environs, relatively speaking, it is somewhat better than the alternative(s) -- of which there are not too many (i.e., good ones anyway).

If it comes down to it, my tent and camping gear is always at the ready, stored with the rest of my stuff, just in case it is ever needed; although having to resort to camping out typically requires a lot of energy and takes it
s toll on me.

I know Morgan and have read his writing because he has access to tools that allow him to publish and disseminate his work electronically. His blog is a great example of how the web can give voice to people who might otherwise be voiceless; how it can deepen our understanding of important but often invisible people and issues in our own communities.

You can read an excerpt of Morgan's post on the Letters to the Editor page in this week's Seven Days.

UPDATE: Morgan takes issue with my characterization of him as Vermont's most prolific and vigilant blogger. Hmm. In an email, he writes: "while I appreciate the honor, I am in no way Vermont's most 'prolific' blogger, I think that honor is best bestowed on the likes of NTodd as well as others. In fact labeling me with it might be taken as an insult to those who actually deserve it as well as their readers. In addition, I also do not think I am Vermont's "most
vigilant" blogger either."

Ok, maybe Morgan is not quantifiably the most prolific Vermont blogger. I said that because he maintains a bunch of different blogs. But I stand by the "most vigilant" label. Literally every time something interesting happens in the local blogosphere, Morgan writes to tell me about it, and often posts about it on his blog. And he finds all kind of Vermont sites I've never seen. He's got his finger on the digital pulse of what's online in 802. I call that vigilance.

June 29, 2006 at 08:48 AM in The Weekly Post | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Best Vermont Blog

DaysieOk folks, the polls are open. It's time to vote for your favorite Vermont-based blog. The winner will receive the coveted Best Vermont Blog Daysie award.

The rules are simple:

* Anyone, anywhere can vote.
* Everybody gets one vote. No ballot-box stuffing!
* The blogs you vote for must be on my my blogroll. If you want to vote for a Vermont blog that's not listed, let me know about it, and I'll add it.
* Make sure you give us the URL, not the blog's title.
* The polls close at 5pm on July 3.

Vote here, and spread the word!

June 28, 2006 at 02:19 PM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Missile Silos!

Cover_1I spent pretty much all of last week driving around in my car to various former nuclear missile launch sites in Vermont and New York. Here's the story in which I describe what I found. Don and I also put together this audio slideshow with the extra photos.

I love these audio slideshows! They're really fun to do. The narration on this one is pretty low-tech; I recorded it using the mic embedded in a laptop, while sitting on the loading dock in back of our office. I'm sure my production skills will improve over time, especially once I purchase some more appropriate recording equipment.

June 28, 2006 at 01:28 PM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bad News for Burlington Telecom

Looks like the Burlington School District, their 2nd biggest client, is switching Internet providers. Vermont Telephone offered a better deal.

UPDATE: Richard Donnelly, BT's Sales & Marketing Manager, responds via email:

The Free Press article  gives the impression that Burlington Telecom “lost” a major customer when the School System changed its Internet supplier from BT to Vermont Telephone (VTel) .  Nothing could be further from the truth.
BT provides the high-speed fiber connections that “power” the school telecom and information system.  It also provides the voice telephone system.  It will continue to do both.
In addition to the above services, BT has, in the past, purchased Internet Bandwidth from VTel and resold it, at no profit, to the Schools.  However, VTel has decided to provide a special offer directly to schools around the state—and offer well below what it charges to normal residential and business customers (including BT).   This heavily discounted Internet Bandwidth will still be transported to the Schools over BT’s fiber network.
Since BT never made any money on the Internet Bandwidth which it simply passed through to the Schools, it loses nothing by the switch.  The Schools, however, gain a great deal.


June 28, 2006 at 07:26 AM in Wi-fi/Broadband in VT | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vermont's Media Online

Well the Burlington Free Press has finally entered the Vermont blogosphere. Arts reporter Brent Hallenbeck is now posting to Brent's Notebook. It's embedded in the Freep's website, but when I click on comments, a Blogger-based comment window pops up. Huh. Guess I'll have to add him to my Vermont blogroll.

Too bad Casey's on vacation.

On a related note, the Rutland Herald and Times Argus are about to shut down their Reader Roundtable blogs. I'm not surprised. The RH/TA had initially contracted with several local bloggers to contribute posts, but most of them eventually stopped writing. The blogs have devolved into soapboxes for predictable political rants. They'll be disappearing from the sites on June 30.

Online editor Heather Aja sent me an email last week explaining the change. "We have noticed a drastic increase in participation in our forums at both the Herald and the Argus and feel as though the forums have taken the place of the blog," she writes.

"Over the next few months we will be exploring other options to enhance the sites," she continues. " We will be monitoring our traffic patterns and looking at reader feedback to see where new content and blogs will best fit the web sites."

I see from reading Aja's blog that she is also on vacation. If you've got feedback for her, send it to the email address on her site after July 4th.

Speaking of vacations, I'm out next week, too. Time to hang with my family in sunny South Carolina and play pass the baby.

UPDATE: Hey, I just saw that the Freep has also added vt.Buzz, a Vermont politics blog written by Sam Hemingway, Nancy Remsen, and Brent's wife Terri. Their first post says they'll be focusing on campaign '06.

Question — why are all the posts attributed to vt.Buzz? It looks like the writers will be signing their contributions at the bottom, but they will be posted by some other entity. The BN is set up that way, too. What's with the middleman? Also, why can't I find the politics blog from the homepage?

June 28, 2006 at 07:11 AM in Media/Keeping an eye on the competition | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tuesday Deadline Linkydumpy

Who's saying what this week on Vermont-based blogs:

Open_heart_farm• Charity Tensel at She's Right cheers the Supremes for striking down our campaign finance law — and the flip side, from Green Mountain Daily.
• The Blogger BBQ is coming up soon. Here's the Hamburger Summit FAQ from Vermont Daily Briefing.
• Eva the Deabeat meditates on socially isolated Americans and YouTube.
• Open Heart Farm invites folks to stop by for a visit. (They took this fine photo on their farm).
• Jessamyn West reflects on breakup etiquette as it relates to social networking sites.
• How she-gamer Gravity wrecked her mom's car last weekend. Jeez, be careful out there!
• Ed C. speculates on why there aren't more women bloggers (though this list is full of them). 

June 27, 2006 at 01:49 PM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

the blogging life

I haven't been posting much the last couple weeks. Got caught up with a convention, and new ideas, and then spent a week racing around the countryside looking for... you'll find out what tomorrow.

But while I've been posting less, my friend Alison Bechdel has been posting more. Houghton-Mifflin just published her graphic memoir Fun Home, which has gotten all these rave reviews. It's really great, though I admit to being biased.

Anyway, Alison's been blogging her book tour — in text, audio and video — as obsessively as she documented her childhood. Her blog has knocked down that wall that traditional media puts up between the artist/author and her fans. It's voyeuristic and strangely compelling, as good memoirs are. But it's in real time. There's little opportunity for reflection, for putting events in context.

It's interesting to see how a good memoirist uses a blog. It's not the most profound reading material out there, but it's entertaining. And it opens a little window into the back end of the publishing industry. I like it.

Of course, when I was her assistant, I had to beg her to post... but that's another story.

June 27, 2006 at 08:32 AM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack