Ed Cone shined his journalistic light on Karl Martino and Philly Future in a nice question and answer interview. Philly Future is the Philadelphia equivalent of The St. Louis Bloggers, and then some–that aggregator is a nice option. Perhaps we need a Planet St. Lous.
I liked Karl’s advice for integration between alternative media, such as local weekly newspapers, and webloggers:
—What would your advice be for us in Greensboro — both at the N&R as
it tries to set up a community web presence involving bloggers, and for
bloggers who want an independent online alt-media?
I notice you already have some great advice shared to you by folks who
know far more than me. But I’ll try my best. Take it with a grain of
salt. It appears you have two camps: those that think N&R should host
blogs, and those who think it should aggregate the independent
community. There are some that say do both and I’m with them.
* Aggregate your existing and growing local blogger community.
Encourage folks to join it. Provide them with pointers and advice on
how to do so. Get them to publicize their feeds. Greensboro101 us a
* Host blogs for those that are not comfortable to go elsewhere. Your
paper is a brand that inspires trust and some folks will be far more
comfortable using tools you host. Empower these folks and watch what
* And here is the most important point, right from Dave Winer’s “How to
make money on the internet”: use editorial staff and the community
itself to find the very best writers and posts within your hosting
solution and within the larger community. Highlight what they do and
stories they have posted. Put these posts of yours in a place where the
community will see them. In the paper. In the sidebars of your
newspaper’s online edition. Right on it’s front page. All over the
place! It will encourage participation.
Considering the recent problems with the local weekly, Riverfront Times and the former weblogger that I wrote about last week, seems to me that RFT might take some of this to heart.
Karl also had some very nice things to say about me that I’ve been thinking about since he let me know this interview was online. He wrote:
You need to really put yourself out there to do a good job of it. You need to be personal. Philly Future didn’t have enough personality (a problem it still has I think) and I didn’t put my heart on my sleeve the way I do off the web. Look at http://weblog.burningbird.net/. She has a community because her online voice is so authentic. I’m still too reserved.
I think there is personal and then there’s personal. In the last post I wrote about the famous strip tease artist, Lili St. Cyr, who created art out of the erotica, while only exposing brief and tantalizing glimpses of herself; as compared to the bump ‘n grind girls who just dropped trou and swung their boobies.
I know some great writers that can weave a truly intimate story around a simple act like buying a computer, designing a web site, attending martial arts classes, carving a Santa out of wood, or sitting outside a library getting busted by the cops; while other writers will provide every detail of the sex they had the night before, and not tell you a word about themselves.
When I write, I strive to be the former, but sometimes stray to the latter. Well, except for the sex, thing.