Boulder Naked Pumpkin Run: Halloween 2008

IMPORTANT UPDATE NOV. 2: I researched applicable Colorado law. It does indeed appear that any Naked Pumpkin Runner whose indecent exposure citation gets upheld in court will have to register as a sex offender! Read the details

I just got back from hanging out in downtown Boulder, enjoying the Halloween freakery. The peak of the evening was the 10th annual running of the Naked Pumpkin Run, where a bunch of people put jack-o-lanterns on their heads and streak down the Pearl St. Mall.

Yeah, the cops aren’t happy about this. This year, they ticketed lots of runners, and it look like some may have been arrested. Which seems odd considering the context of today’s local news:

Boulder Daily Camera Halloween News

Boulder Daily Camera Halloween News

Given that, I would’ve thought Boulder’s cops would have had more important law enforcement activities on hand tonight than busting harmless streakers…

Anyway, with that strange introduction, I give you some video of tonight’s Naked Pumpkin Run!…

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Working with Journalists: What’s in It for Geeks?

NOTE: This post originally appeared on Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits, and there are some comments over there. I’m reposting this here because, frankly, this site poses fewer hurdles to commenters, and I’d like to get some diverse discussion happening.

Earlier this week I wrote about the internal and external obstacles journalism schools face when trying to achieve collaboration with other academic departments (such as computer science). That spurred a pretty interesting discussion in the comments.

This discussion got me thinking: Right now, it’s becoming obvious to many journalists that our field sorely needs lots of top-notch, creative technologists. Developers for whom software is a medium, and an art form. Developers with a deep passion for information, credibility, fairness, usefulness, and free speech.

However, my impression is that, so far, it’s not nearly so obvious to most “geeks” (and I use that term with the utmost affection and respect, as do many geeks themselves) how they might benefit from collaborating with journalists, j-schools, and news organizations.

So if journalists need geeks, but right now they don’t need (or even necessarily want) us as much, the question becomes: What’s in this for the geeks? Why might they want to work with us? Where’s their incentive?… Continue reading

links for 2008-10-31

  • My neighbor here in Boulder & her six-year-old daughter saw this amazing phenomenon a couple of days ago. Wish I'd seen it!
  • Another great column about polyamory today — this time from the Univ. MN student press, about poly closeting & discrimination:

    "But I also know that the triumphs of GLBT rights we have seen over the last few decades would not have been possible without the courage and temerity of people who decided to come out of the closet and talk openly about their lives and their relationships, to show that no, their lives weren’t all about sex acts the way the Moral Majority liked to think, and that in fact, gay and trans people live lives that are absolutely normal and boring, not shocking and deviant. Without people who were proud and open, there wouldn’t be gay rights in this country or any other. With that in mind, let me tell you about my household…."

  • Wow: a remarkably sane, balanced, tolerant newspaper advice column about polyamory. So nice to see this from mainstream media! No reflexive "anything but monogamy is heresy" crap….

links for 2008-10-30

Knight News Challenge: 10 Tips for Submitting Your Grant Application

UPDATE 10/31: It’s come to my attention that some applicants have already been rejected from the Knight News Challenge — which may seem odd, because the Nov. 1 midnight application deadline has not yet passed.  The Knight News Challenge just clarified, “Applications that were submitted instead of saved for later editing have been reviewed and either declined or accepted.”

So I’ve amended this post to reflect that information. My earlier advice to submit even if you still wanted to tweak your application was wrong, and I’m sorry for any confusion I caused.

——————–

This year I’ve been mentoring several people who are applying for Knight News Challenge grants. The deadline for applications is midnight on Saturday, Nov. 1 — so this is your last chance to toss your hat in the ring for this year’s round of funding.

I’ve noticed a few idiosyncrasies of the submission process that may confuse some applicants, so here are 10 tips to help you get your application in order…
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Some Journos are Real Dorks: The Proof

My friend David Cohn of Spot.us today mentioned a fun site I absolutely adore: Stuff Journalists Like. (It’s a riff on the instant classic: Stuff White People Like.)

And what kinds of things do journalists like?

All of which point out what dorks my colleagues can be. But if you need more proof, check out David Cohn from an MIT conference this spring:

David Cohn of Spot.us, getting dorky

David Cohn of Spot.us, getting dorky

(Heh, Dave, I warned you….)

What’s the Difference Between a Blog and a Web Site?

A journalist friend recently asked me:

“What’s the real difference between a blog and web site? Can I have a link to my favorite sites, favorite videos, host a forum, etc. on my blog, or am I better off just building a Web site…and maybe having a blog on that. Likely I will probably only do one or the other.”

My take on this is that the difference between blogs and web sites is steadily vanishing. These channels are definitely converging.

In fact, they started out converged. After all, a blog is nothing more than a kind of web site supported by a content management system that provides a useful collection of features: Comments, a permalink for each post, categories, tags, a home page where the latest content automatically appears on top and earlier stuff scrolls down, etc. (If you thought a blog was something else, see: What’s a Blog? Bag the Stereotypes)

So what’s someone who’s just starting out online with a blog or site to do?…
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Media Career Insurance: Your Blog

Last month I spoke to a class of journalism undergrads at the University of Colo., Boulder. These people are just starting out in journalism. Not surprisingly, most of them hope to land more-or-less traditional reporting jobs in more-or-less traditional newsrooms.

I asked these students whether they read blogs. As is common, the vast majority said no. But, as with Web users of all types, it’s likely that in fact they do read blogs far more often than they think. That’s because nearly all Web users frequently encounter blogs through search engine results. But they may not realize that, since many weblogs don’t call themselves (or resemble) blogs. In fact, they often look just like any other Web site — except that they happen to be supported by a blogging platform on the back end.

Why should young journalists care about this? Because in a professional environment where staying findable equals sustained opportunity and flexibility, search engines are a key arbiter of your career. The more findable and linkable you are, the more search engines will reward you.

…And search engines really, really love blogs…

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