« April 2007 | Main | June 2007 »

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Vermont YouTube of the Day

This is a good one, though it wasn't actually filmed in Vermont. It's a video from the first world championship highwire competition in Seoul, South Korea. It shows Circus Smirkus alum Jade Kindar-Martin of Shelburne walking/running a kilometer-long highwire across the Han River. The journey took him more than 11 minutes, nearly 10 of which have been captured on YouTube.

Kindar-Martin came in 3rd, out of 14 competitors.

Though he's from Shelburne, one of my editors tells me he's currently living in France. He and his wife, another acrobatic performer, actually got married on a high-wire. There's a nice photo on the Wikipedia page.

But Wikipedia doesn't say anything about the stunt Kindar-Marting pulled in Burlington in the 1990s. Apparently he stretched a highwire across Main Street in Burlington and walked back and forth between Nectar's and the Courthouse, while people stood beneath and watched.


May 30, 2007 at 03:14 PM in Vermont YouTube | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Weekly Post

Librarian blogger Meredith Farkas ponders social networking software etiquette in this post. Farkas frequently gets friend requests on Facebook, LinkedIN, Flickr, and Twitter from people she doesn't know. She wonders if she'll be offending them if she declines the requests.

I’m curious about how other people deal with this. Do you add everyone who adds you regardless of whether or not you know them? Do you add people you don’t know? If someone doesn’t add you, does it hurt your feelings? Do you think the term “friend” in these social networks has meaning if you add people you don’t know at all? I don’t know that people add certain people because they’re a “status symbol” to have on your list, as Sarah suggested. I assume it’s because they are interested in the person or think highly of them. It’s like subscribing to someone’s blog. Only it really does complicate the whole vetting process if you really don’t know the people who you’re affirming as your friend.

I really do think that these tools will stop being meaningful if people friend folks regardless of whether they know them, respect them (in the case of LinkedIN), or find them interesting (in the case of del.icio.us). But I, too, feel the draw to add everyone who adds me because no one wants to hurt someone else’s feelings. Oh what a tangled Web!

Here's one question that didn't come up — how should companies or media organizations use social networking services? Seven Days has a profile on MySpace with 500+ friends. But how exactly do we use that network? I don't want to use it to spam people with stupid comments or bulletins, but I feel like there has to be a way to use it to let people know about important stories they might have missed.

Any suggestions?

May 29, 2007 at 04:49 PM in The Weekly Post | Permalink | Comments (5)

Vermont Blog Roundup

Checking out Vermont blogs this morning. Came across some interesting things.

• The new intern at the Old Shaw Farm  writes a blog post full of "zest-i-ness." Writes Claire,

It's been a hard two weeks of incredibly dirty work... and I LOVE it!

Claire's learning what life is like as a small-scale veggie farmer in rural Vermont. God bless her. Reading this reminds me of the summers my partner, Ann-Elise, spent as an intern, and then as a farmer. It was hard work, and she loved it, for soooo many reasons, but at some point she found herself having to choose between having a family and having a farm... That's turned out great, but I think both of us still miss the farm. Hence my frequent links to these farm blog posts.

• It's definitely the season to read George Africa's The Vermont Gardener. George owns the Vermont Flower Farm, and things are finally blooming.

• Over at iBurlington, that incredibly informative bastion of citizen journalism, perennial Vermont candidate Cris Ericson complains in ALL CAPS AND EXLAIMATION POINTS!!!!!!! that GOVERNMENT IS GROWING LIKE CANCER!!!!!

•  Vermont Scrap Wood makes a good point about salesmanship, as it relates to the governor.

Dscf9186 • I read this from S.R. Wild and smiled. I used to drive around and take random turns, too. Alas, now I'm parked at a desk. Sigh. This is S.R. at left, from the April Vermont blogger meetup.

Dscf9141 • Tanner's ancient prom pics, from Highgate. Tanner, now, on right, also from the blogger meetup.

May 29, 2007 at 10:02 AM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Technorati profile

Don't know why I haven't done this yet, but I just registered for a Technorati claim on my blog. I joined Technorati in Feb. of 2005, but I joined with my earlier Blogger blog, and never made the switch to Typepad. Hard to believe that was 2 years ago.

I guess that means I've been officially blogging for Seven Days for more than two years, since April of 2005. I always miss my blogiversary.

Here's my Technorati Profile.

May 28, 2007 at 07:40 AM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Joss Whedon, cell phone videos and feminism

Joss Whedon, creator of the Buffyverse, wrote this excellent essay on feminism that begins with a description of a recent "honor killing." Some Muslim men stoned a Muslim woman to death, and among the crowd of killers were a couple guys who caught the murder on their cell phone cameras.

It's pretty sick stuff, and Joss Whedon puts it all in perspective.

Thanks for the email, Selene.

Reminds me of Ken Picard's story in Seven Days this week, about male violence in Vermont.

CORRECTION: One of the comments below brought this to light, so I thought I'd bump it up here:

Just a factual note - the perpetrators were not Muslim. They were Yezidis, followers of a distinctive Kurdish religion. In fact one of the "rationales" for this horrendous act was that the girl had allegedly dated a Muslim.


Thanks. Sorry for the error.

May 24, 2007 at 08:10 PM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Branding Burlington

Brand Pamela Polston wrote a story in this week's Seven Days about a campaign to brand the Burlington area. She writes about a recent presentation from the Burlington Regional Branding Project, a collaboration between the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce and the Burlington Business Association. The collaborators are trying to come up with a marketing campaign that will lure  more tourists here.

Part of that process is coming up with a slogan that defines Burlington (think "Cleveland Rocks," or "The Aliens Aren't the Only Reason to Visit Roswell"). Here's what Pamela writes about the slogan generation process:

A panelist had mentioned that the group was considering a list of about 30 suggestions, but hadn’t yet “fallen in love.” What were the suggestions? The panel seemed reluctant to say. Peppered with more questions — Who was going to decide? Why wasn’t it open to the public? What if Burlingtonians found the slogan lame and embarrassing? — the panelists got a little defensive. They assured the audience they were still open to suggestions. And they reiterated that the slogan was for visitors, not necessarily for residents.

Does this make anyone else nervous?

After this meeting, BBA Director Nancy Wood sent an email inviting BBA members to submit slogan ideas.

In the spirit of advancing the public conversation on this matter, Seven Days is asking readers to submit their own slogan ideas. We're planning to print a bunch of them in next week's paper, possibly on the new Web Page. So please, send us your slogans.

May 23, 2007 at 02:04 PM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (1)

Weekly Post

This week it's from Bryan Grundon at Cabin Fever:

CRB Delays, Congress Acts!


Good news for independent internet radio, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has delayed royalty collection, pushing back the May 15th date for royalty rates to take effect, to July 15th. This delay will allow broadcasters and advocates for independent internet radio to appeal the new royalty rate change with the CRB. In addition, two bills have been introduced.

In the House (H. R. 2060), introduced by Representative Inslee (D-WA) and Representative Manzullo (R-IL) and the Senate companion “Internet Radio Equality Act”, introduced by Senator Brownback (R-KA) and Senator Wyden (D-OR), to roll back the CRB decision. Currently, H. R. 2060 is in committee and has 81 co-sponsors. Check and see if your Representative has signed on to sponsor this bill. Both of these bills have garnered strong support on both sides of the aisle, demonstrating the importance of this issue and the effects it will have on millions of internet listeners and broadcasters.

The window of opportunity is closing, so please contact your Congress persons and ask them to sponsor their respective bills. You can visit Save Net Radio for more information.

I picked this one because I haven't done a thing with the Internet Radio stuff, and I've been meaning to look into it.

May 23, 2007 at 01:49 PM in The Weekly Post | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Introducing the "Web Page"

For a few months now, I've been cryptically alluding to my plans to change my "Weekly Post" column that appears in the newspaper each week, on the Letters to the Editor page.

In the Weekly Post, which premiered in 2005, I spotlighted a blog post from a Vermont blog, as a way of connecting Seven Days readers to the local blogosphere.

But though I've some gotten positive feedback about the column over the years, I've never thought it worked the way I intended it to. The intent was to drive traffic to Vermont blogs. Because I linked to the blog posts from my blog, I probably did drive some traffic, but I'm not sure I ever accomplished that through printing the blog post in the newspaper.

I've been thinking about how to change this feature, and I think I've hit upon a way to make it work better for all of us  — bloggers and readers alike. I'm not ready to implement my idea yet, and I don't want to talk about it too much until I do. Suffice it to say that I think this new plan will do a better job of connecting our readers with Vermont blog content.

In the meantime, I'm saying good-bye to the print-version of the Weekly Post, in favor of a new, expanded section called "The Web Page." The name is admittedly not very clever (Don, our creative director, described it as "uncharacteristically bland," which sounds right to me), but at least it explains what it is.

Basically, The Web Page will feature a few short excerpts from our many Seven Days blogs, and it will highlight one or more of our web content features each week. This week I filled up a bunch of space with comments about busking on Church Street, from my blog and from our online poll.

I'm hoping that having this space to fill will push us to do more online-only content. I'm also hoping that drawing attention to our online and interactive features in this way will let more people know that there's something to see online. I doubt that people will actually put down the newspaper and log on to a computer to check out the stuff online, but at least having this space in the print paper will help publicize the fact that there's something going on.

I'll continue to name a post of the week here on my blog, at least for the time being, until I'm ready to roll out my new plan. I have no idea how long that'll take to implement, since it involves harnessing the power of other very busy members of our web team.

I hope all you Vermont bloggers aren't too disappointed that the Weekly Post will no longer appear in print. I really think there's got to be a better way to do what I was trying to do with it.

May 22, 2007 at 03:39 PM in The Weekly Post | Permalink | Comments (4)

Vermont Blog Roundup

Fly Time again for my weekly Vermont blog roundup. Here's a small sample of intriguing items I found today:

• Many amazing nature photos and a two moose sighting stories from Jeff Gauthier at Midnight Modern Conversation . Meeyauw also posts a couple nice photos, including this one, "Another Fly." Lots more at Meeyauw's Flickr page.

• See what may be Martha Rainville's house's real estate listing, via Vermont Daily Briefing. Philip also posts this week about a diploma mill with Rutland connections. This is a rare bit of reporting from a guy who often opines. I'd like to see more of it.

How to Sell Your Vermont Home Fast: a free e-book from Irene at Okemo Mountain Real Estate.

• Can't believe I missed this Christian rocker in Barre this weekend (via the le duo).

• Chris Fells goes on vacation in Vegas and ends up reporting the horror stories of casino waitresses and card dealers who survived the recent NBA All-Star weekend:

While I was watching another game, I randomly asked the dealer what NBA All-Star Weekend in Vegas was like. She said, "Oh, the media didn't report things correctly — it was much worse." She then went on to tell me the horror stories of waitresses and dealers being physically assaulted, casinos closing due to the mayhem, fights breaking out, and pure overall chaos...

Being the reporter that I am, I couldn't let this one go. So, as I couldn't sleep anyway, I asked another random waitress the same question, and she gave me the same answer saying, "It was horrible. I have never seen it so bad in this town before." She went on to say that she believes there is a coverup being orchestrated by the City of Las Vegas. The reason being is the mayor wants an NBA team there so bad that he is willing to do just about anything to make it happen.

• Matt G. Paradise explains how to get your Satanic book or CD reviewed in his publication, Not Like Most.

• RADAR[THEORY] from Secret Movie Blog did not like Spidey 3.

• An interesting little community has gathered over at cartoonist Alison Bechdel's blog. Sometimes the commentors get rude, rowdy and out of control. She's tried stepping in to moderate disputes, but that hasn't gone well. Today she ruminates on the nature of her small corner of the blogosphere:

“What is the purpose of this blog?” I asked myself. “To whom does it belong? What constitutes ‘off-topic’ when my own posts are often quite frivolous?” And after protracted and deliberate consideration, I replied to myself, “I have no fuckin’ idea.”

• And last but not least, go check out Eva Sollberger's latest Stuck in Vermont vlog, about the Adamant Blackfly Festival. It's worth 5 minutes of your time. And I'm not just saying that because I'm the Seven Days web editor.

May 22, 2007 at 12:46 PM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Vermont YouTube of the Day

Apparently, the first-person shooter game Halo 2 lets players make movies with it, which is how this aspiring filmmaker shot the "Marijuana Halo 2 Video."

I'm not exactly sure what this short film has to do with Vermont, except that it seems to be "about" a pro-pot protest at UVM. This guy must have been high when he made this, and it's probably more fun to watch if you're high. Weird.

May 21, 2007 at 02:02 PM in Vermont YouTube | Permalink | Comments (0)