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)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

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)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Weekly Post

This week it's from Bill Simmon at Candleblog:

Have I mentioned that Comcast sucks?


Wednesday, May 09 2007 @ 03:31 PM
Contributed by: billsimmon

...I mean lately?

So our cable got disconnected. This is not the part makes Comcast suck -- we were late paying our bill. What sucks is that even though I paid the bill 24 hours after the cable went off, they informed me that we had already been "hard" disconnected, meaning that a technician actually came to the house and physically unhooked us (as opposed to a "soft" disconnect, where they just flip a switch at the office). Okay, so ignoring the fact that you can't get a freaking technician to your house to fix a problem in anything less than 3 business days but they were Johnny-on-the-spot to unhook us when we were a little late with the check, I had to pay a $30 reconnect fee for the cable and (here comes the Louis Black red-face) another $30 reconnect fee for the internet!!! It's one coaxial line that has to be reconnected! I understand that they need to send the tech back out to my house and that they expect me to pay for that, but why am I paying extra because I order more data through their one single pipe???

There's more, including updates, which you can read on Bill's blog, or on the letters page of this week's Seven Days.

Neil at What's the Point mentioned in the comments to this post that this is the 43rd time I've chosen a post from Bill's blog for this spot. Actually it's only the 4th time. But that's more than most. I tend to pick posts that are short or easily excerpted, and are about local stuff. Or as close to local as I can get.

Just a head's up, the way we do the weekly post may be changing soon. More details to follow, eventually. Thanks for caring!

May 18, 2007 at 10:56 AM in The Weekly Post | Permalink | Comments (5)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Weekly Post

This week it's from the funny pseudo-political blog Wicked Outdoorsy, home of the "Greennecks" (as opposed to rednecks). Blogger Drew Simmons writes about National Bike to Work Day, which is May 18. Drew lists the days preceeding it. An excerpt:

May 2 is Write Bike-To-Work Day On Your Calendar Day

May 3 is Give Another Motorist The Finger Day

May 4 is Wonder Why Kids These Days Are So Fat Day

May 7 is Drive To Work So You Can Go To the Gym After Work Day

May 8 is Put a "Bike To Work Day" Bumper Sticker On Your Subaru Day

May 9 is Make Fun Of the Guy On the Yellow Bike Day

May 10 is Feel Lonely In Your 9-seat Chevy Tahoe Day

May 11 is Think About How Good It Will Feel To Bike To Work While You're Driving To The Office Day

Read more on Wicked Outdoorsy, or on the letters to the editor page of this week's Seven Days.

On that same theme, cool story in this week's paper about the new Montpelier bike co-op that opens this weekend. 

May 9, 2007 at 01:23 PM in The Weekly Post | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Weekly Post

This one was actually posted on Sunday, April 22. From Jim Blynt at Disquisitions and Revolutions:

Last Monday a deeply isolated and troubled young man committed an act of great violence and tragedy, one that speaks to many problems in our nation and our human society.

In an unrelated article, the New York Times reported on Saturday that 33-year-old Kelly Lawson of Fort Wayne, Indiana, said, in reaction to having a Buddhist temple near her home, "I can't stand them. It is strange to us, so we don't like it." In the same article, Donna Davis, 56, also of Fort Wayne, said, "If they want to live here, why can't they start acting like Americans?"

Thanks, Kelly and Donna! You're sure doing your part! The nation is grateful to you both for your truly brilliant insight!

Please, someone tell me, if I do have to start acting like an American, that I don't have to act like the people in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Jim's got another interesting post up today, about racist and homophobic UVM students. He writes:

A Frat Boy recently moved into our little apartment house. His presence is jarring. Most tenants, renting modest apartments in a downtrodden part of town, just try to make ends meet. Frat Boy is annoyingly incongruous. He drives a sparkling new SUV, roughly the size of our living room (he never walks, even a few blocks). He wears the requisite Abercrombie and Fitch wardrobe. A woman who is either his maid or his mother pulls up from time to time with bags of groceries or a laundry basket of neatly folded clothes. A giggling bevy of bar sluts skitters through on a fairly regular basis.

When did so many students become so rich, so arrogant, and so intolerant, and why is it happening at UVM? I know from experience this isn’t the case with students at some of the city’s smaller colleges, which seem to dovetail more appropriately with Burlington’s atmosphere. How did life become so privileged for so few, and when did the rest of us in Burlington become fair game for their rude, racist, homophobic, and completely inappropriate public utterances?


May 2, 2007 at 02:07 PM in The Weekly Post | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Weekly Post

This week it's from Selene Colburn's blog Word Blur. Selene is a dancer — and also a librarian, hence the title of her blog. In the post I picked, she describes a dream of inadequacy. From Whippet good:

Last night I had a dream that I was performing street theater in some unknown town that hosted an MFA performance program. A bunch of students were watching. I was invited to give a lecture/demonstration at their school.  When I showed up in the corriders of the Art Building a girl who recongnized me from the street came up to greet me.

"You're performance was..."  I prepared myself for the accolades.  "Three-quarters bullshit."

"It was a whippet of snip-snobbery," she concluded.

You can read more on her blog, or on the Letters to the Editors page of this week's Seven Days.

I like this post because Selene is actually a fantastic dancer. I'm not a dance fan, but I loved her performance Devotional Clusters; she did that at the Flynn Mainstage a few years back. Selene is working on a new piece, The History of the Future, and she's still looking for volunteers to participate. You don't have to be a dancer to take part. Rehearsals are on Sunday afternoons. Check it out.

April 26, 2007 at 06:52 AM in The Weekly Post | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Weekly Post

This week's Vermont blog post of the week comes from Barton blogger meeyauw. It expresses a sentiment I'm sure many of us were feeling earlier this week:

I really can't take anymore. I still have a 10 foot drift blocking a window and snow up to five feet deep behind the house. I got to the barn before this week's snow only because it was so crusted that I could walk over it. Now I can't get to the barn again and the cats can't get out there either....

I have stopped crying and now I am trying to re-think myself into winter: movies, cooking, reading, blogging. It isn't working well. I am going to try denial tomorrow.

Read more at meeyauw, or on the Letters to the Editor page of this week's Seven Days.

And if you're a Vermont blogger, come join us at the Vermont Blogger Meet-up at Radio Bean on Saturday.

April 18, 2007 at 04:01 PM in The Weekly Post | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Weekly Post

Haik This week's post 'o the week is from former Burlington City Councilor Haik Bedrosian at BurlingtonPol. Haik and his wife just had baby #2.

He writes:

I have to be honest with you people. The blogger in me has been smashed in the face by a tidal wave called "baby"...

I feel ten years older since baby "Yanna" arrived ten days ago. To make matters worse for BurlingtonPol, it's like another eleven months until there's another local election to make fun of.

Monday I'll head back to work. I haven't shaved all week and there's a shocking amount of gray in my beard. I can feel myself softening. I no longer feel the sharp resentment I used to for the city's institutions- Fletcher Allen, UVM- Even the Co-op. I'm too tired to fight. I always lose and nobody cares anyway.

There's more here.

And check out this photo collage of Tim Ashe armwrestling Kurt Wright for the presidency of the Burlington City Council.

Thanks to Caleb D. for reminding me to post this. I've been forgetting lately. I've really been such a bad blogger ever since I got this online editor job. It's weird. My responsibilities have shifted, my work schedule has completely changed, and I'm having a hard time fitting the blog into it. Thanks for sticking with me.

March 29, 2007 at 07:57 AM in The Weekly Post | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Weekly Post

This week's Vermont blog post of the week comes from Chris Fells, at From the News and Sports Desk. Fells writes about Milton High School basketball player Jeff Cota, who is battling cancer, and who just got his Xbox and a bunch of other stuff stolen.

Last week it was reported that items, including an Xbox were stolen from Jeff's home while he was in Boston receiving treatment. The Xbox was a gift to help him stay occupied while home bound and recovering from chemotherapy treatments. To the little twits who broke into the home, shame on you. Jeff has CANCER, and needs everything possible to help keep his spirits up. Stealing something because you either want to hawk it on eBay or are too lazy to get a job to buy one yourself is simply a disgrace. You think you have it bad? Think about the kid who is literally fighting for his life right now.

You can read the post in its entirety on Chris' blog, or on the Letters to the Editor page in this week's Seven Days.

February 7, 2007 at 04:13 PM in The Weekly Post | Permalink | Comments (0)