The Catch Is the “Challenge” Part

I’m at WeMedia 08 in Miami today, because at 4:15 ET I’ll be speaking on a panel about the Knight News Challenge. That’s where my colleague Adam Glenn and I got the grant to fund our community journalism project, Boulder Carbon Tax Tracker. Gary Kebbel, director of the News Challenge progam for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will be talking to my fellow grantee Nora Paul (Univ. MN) and me about the News Challenge process.

My understanding is that this is going to be more of a discussion than a presentation. But still, I wanted to pull my thoughts together in a way that might be useful to other people considering applying for a News Challenge grant…
Continue reading

links for 2008-02-26

links for 2008-02-24

links for 2008-02-22

Why Blogging Your Problems is Good

If you get really creative about it, failure and frustration can be the most engaging part of your blog. Don’t be scared to be human.

On a discussion list, a colleague recently asked for opinions about whether it’s a good idea to sometimes blog about the sucky stuff: Obstacles, frustrations, disappointments, setbacks, etc. Several people on this list responded to say that they only preferred to write — and read — about “successes.”

I can understand the general reluctance to blog about problems: Fear of being vulnerable, or of looking dumb or unprofessional (which is just another kind of vulnerability). It can be difficult to realize that sometimes vulnerability can be your greatest strength — especially in blogging.

Here’s my reply to that thread where I explain why blogging your problems can and probably should be a key part of your blogging strategy…

Continue reading

links for 2008-02-21

What I Don’t Like About Flock (so far)

When I open Flock’s feed reader, all my folders are expanded (above). I’d rather the default be that all folders are collapsed (below).

I’m still trying out the Flock browser, putting it through its paces. While I still generally like it, here are some problems that are bugging me so far:

Feed Reader: I love having this in my sidebar. It imports and exports feeds in OPML perfectly, including folder info. However, there are a couple of bothersome things.

First, when you open up the Flock feed reader in the sidebar, the default setting is for all folders to be expanded, rather than collapsed. If youhave several folders each containing lots of feeds, that’s a significant usability problem. I find myself constantly clicking folders closed. Could we change that default, Flock team?

Also, when you click on a folder to display all the latest results from all the feeds in that folder, it shows them grouped by feed. (That is, all the new results from feed A, then feed B, etc.) The reason I track so many feeds is I enjoy the serendipity of living in the moment. I’d love it if they offered an option to view results in a folder strictly by “most recent,” without grouping it by feed.

If they don’t fix these bugs, I might try installing the Sage feed reader plugin with Flock and try that instead.

A few more complaints…

Continue reading