« February 2008 | Main

Monday, March 17, 2008

802 Offline

Photo_9 Yep, you read that right — 802 Online is going offline.

I started this blog in August of 2004, and brought it to Seven Days the following April. I envisioned 802 Online as a clearinghouse for information about Vermont blogs. For years I diligently kept a list of Vermont blogs, and regularly read each of them to keep up with how other local writers, artists, journalists, activists, businesspeople and techies were using this new medium.

That was pretty easy to do back in 2004. There weren't many bloggers here then. I organized a Vermont blogger meetup in October, 2004, and just three people showed up. Three!

But blogs have caught on since then. Today it seems like everyone's got one. And it's become impossible to keep up with them all.

So I'm giving up. Sort of.

As of today, I will no longer be posting content to 802 Online. But I'll still be writing for — and editing — Blurt, the new Seven Days staff blog. We modeled Blurt after Slog, the staff blog for The Stranger in Seattle. All Seven Days staffers can contribute, so there will be a constant stream of new material.

On Blurt, you'll find media criticism, news from local bloggers and interesting clips from YouTube alongside weird gag gift items that our art director likes. We're excited about it because we've been emailing this stuff around our office for years — now we can share it all with you.

I'll be abandoning my Vermont blogroll, but I've begun a Vermont Blog Directory, which includes all of the sites I used to list on 802 Online, plus any that anyone sends my way.

In other words, I'm still keeping track of Vermont blogs. I'm just not reading them or writing about them as much as I used to. I just don't have time anymore. Not only am I part of a team that's trying to shepherd the state's largest weekly newspaper into the digital age — I'm also the parent of a 2-year-old... who has another sibling on the way.

So keep sending me news, tips, and new Vermont blogs — you'll find me at [email protected]

Thanks, everyone, for reading. Hope you like Blurt. Over and out.

March 17, 2008 at 03:33 PM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (15)

Bloggers, Journalists and Sourcing

Here's a little Vermont blogger inside baseball news for you.

Last Friday, VPR aired a report raising questions about the political motives behind the crackdown on Intervale Compost. I heard it while I was on my way to pick my son up from daycare.

One thing about the story immediately jumped out at me — the meaty part was a conversation during which Agency of Natural Resources secretary George Crombie allegedly said he had Intervale Compost "in a noose."

People who have been following the story may recall that John Odum posted that item on Green Mountain Daily. But though VPR obviously used Odum's intel, it didn't cite GMD. Reporter John Dillon told listeners that the conversation appeared "on a web blog."

I was surprised and disappointed that VPR declined to name GMD. Bloggers who raise important issues deserve to be credited, especially when others use their reporting as a jumping off point for a story.

I wrote to VPR this weekend to complain about the omission, and John Dillon wrote back: "We had intended to name the blog and will make that addition in the web version of the story."

I just checked, and they have, in fact, inserted GMD in the online version.

I think the GMD-related bit of the story is worth sharing here, too. It's a good example of how journalists and bloggers can work together to advance the public understanding of an important issue. From the transcript of the VPR report:

On the Green Mountain Daily blog it was stated recently that Agency of Natural Resources Secretary George Crombie told the Intervale that he had the center in a -- quote -- “noose.” For some at the meeting, the meaning was clear: Crombie was going to tighten the regulatory vise on the compost center.

Intervale Director Kit Perkins was there.

(Perkins) ``It was upsetting. But I certainly didn’t get it out publicly. This is not my initiative here. But I will tell the truth and say yes that was said at the meeting.’’

(Dillon) Crombie has said publicly that the Intervale is the wrong place for a composting operation.

But Crombie said he did not use the word noose to describe his agency’s hold on the Intervale.

(Crombie) ``No. No. I would not do that.’’

(Dillon) Perkins said she said heard Crombie say it. She said she was hoping to work with the state on resolving the environmental and archaeological concerns.


As someone who's following this story closely, I was grateful for the opportunity to hear both Perkins and Crombie respond.

Alas, for some reason, the VPR website doesn't actually link to GMD's blog post. And it doesn't name Odum as the source of the tip. So there's still room for improvement.

March 17, 2008 at 11:42 AM in Media/Keeping an eye on the competition | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Vermont YouTube of the Day

I meant to post this a couple days ago, but I got distracted by my crazy job.

Remember Louis Armistead, the UVM senior who did the Davis Center video? We just hired him as a freelancer, and he's making videos every other week for Seven Days. At least, that's the plan.

The first episode of Loutube News features superstar politico-spawn Chelsea Clinton.

March 6, 2008 at 02:24 PM in Vermont YouTube | Permalink | Comments (9)