Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog
Explorations of personal and community journalism...
Traditional, Alternative, Online...
2002-2009 blog page archive

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Saturday, April 10, 2004

Beyond Blogs: Selected Book Reviews for Spring Reading

Not only don't I have time to read more books right now, I don't have time to read these reviews... So I'm posting links here, with the intention of coming back to read the reviews, then pick a book or two to take to the beach or mountains or somewhere that there aren't any weblogs to read. (Of course I already have copies of Walden, Emerson's essays and a few other books in my Palm Treo for those stray moments at the coffee shop.)

'Against All Enemies' and 'Ghost Wars': Fixing the Blame. Richard A. Clarke's news-making memoir is a thumping good read; Steve Coll's pre-9/11 history is the best so far. By James Risen. [New York Times: Books]

'The Fabric of the Cosmos': Weird Science. Brian Greene, the author of "The Elegant Universe," explains cutting-edge ideas in theoretical physics. By Roger G. Newton. [New York Times: Books]

'Ramblin' Man': Coney Island Okie. Ed Cray's biography makes clear that Woody Guthrie was worthy of the legend he created. By Robert Christgau. [New York Times: Books]

'Queen of Scots': Mary Stuart Living. The historian John Guy describes how associates of Elizabeth I spun a web of deceit that ensnared her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. By Gerard Kilroy. [New York Times: Books]

I Wish I Had Said That, and I Will. Quotations can loose you from the confines of your own taste. By Margo Jefferson. [New York Times: Books]

Semi-geek footnotes

Who wrote what? The title in square brackets at the end of each item is a blog convention to credit the source of verbatim text from an RSS syndication feed. I've been experimenting with using indentation and background colors to vary the appearance of my own words and verbatim "syndicated" quotes.
However, while switching back and forth between a Mac and a PC, using several browsers on each, I've noticed that some environments don't display the indentation or background colors I've been using... another "site design" problem to fix eventually.
Meanwhile, the indented paragraphs above are verbatim book review summaries as distributed on the
Times's RSS feed.
Times link trivia: The links to the full reviews use permalinks provided by Radio Userland. Such "partner" links take you right to Times pages even if you aren't a registered user. For news stories, Userland links bypass the
Timespay-per-view archives. (Book review pages don't retire into the paid archives.) For comparison, here are Userland and direct addresses to a two-year old story about blogging:
Userland link (The address is too wide to display here.)
Direct link:

revised April 13

6:28:31 PM    

Citizen-Financed Media Revolution

An online fund-raising effort is underway to support youth media organizations through Media Venture Collective, a group of activists whose stated purpose is to help launch "open, participatory, collaboratively-built, democratically accessible public utilities that work better than media driven solely by the profit motive."

"This is truly a technology of cooperation, by people whose work I've trusted and respected for years," says Howard Rheingold. "Help grow the Youth Media Exchange, a free, open media publishing platform for youth media organizations worldwide. I'm committing myself for $100. I recommend it."  [Smart Mobs]

Here are some of the project's goals:

  • An online "commons" - free storage and bandwidth for video participants want to share online, provided by the Internet Archive.
  • Interfaces and tools - To level the playing field for access to that commons, no matter where you are or what language you speak, and to highlight the work most worthy of attention.
  • Mainstream exposure - YME will be working to finance development of television pilots for the best of the material, to be aired through Link TV, one of the partners that reaches 20M American homes, and other outlets.
While Bloggercon next weekend will be talking about weblogs and journalism, weblogs aren't the only "other journalism" being explored out there... but weblogs and wikis (collaborative writing spaces) are both part of the Youth Media Exchange development effort.

11:55:03 AM    

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