You Are What You Bot, Not What Bots You

I got a malware pitch this week that tried to ask me “If I had any advice to blog writers.”

Sorry, evil machine, no direct response to you. But not the worst question. Because a quite simple answer came to me, which was of course an intention of the twisted bot pitch.

For me, blogs are:

Not Confessional

Not Confrontational

Are Conversational

Basically, the oldest message I’ve sent out on the Interwebs — don’t write/post/whatever you would not say on the open street where anyone could hear you. But try to hold an active, varied, funny conversation that entertains and provokes ideas and new interests.

I can do quick, informal reviews of whatever I want here, old or new. And I’m very gratified that these are now considered real journalism of very informal sort. That’s fun, and the fun is what I want to preserve.

The Chaotic Creation of the Digital Newsroom

I’ll probably need a second life to read this book, but I wish that were more possible. This is a crucial tale and the selected examples are perfect. Abramson was of course correct about how to keep the professional ethics intact, but in retrospect that was not gonna happen under any circumstances. Must note that the one myth believed by too many otherwise smart people was that “local news” was going to be the fiscal salvation of modern journalism: that readers would pay more for hacked-out stories set in their neighborhoods than the most brilliant presentation and explanation of world-sized stories. I thought it mostly reflected contempt for the audience.

I Used To Work on Illuminated Manuscripts

At least that’s what it feels like in memory, from an era before Evelyn Berezin made the typewriter an antique. Doing papers in college was hell — I could type fluently since I had learned early in grade school because my handwriting was mere scribbles, but there would always be enough typos and lame-ohs to require at least one edit. Meant marking up the manuscript with a pencil and typing the whole damned thing again. Good that I was young, with boundless energy. Did I mention the last time I stayed up all night was 12 years ago?

The Portrait Of Dorian Facebook

Is it new tech or the interwebs or the combination of the two? Anyway, I learned a looong time ago that there was a sort of evil happy-talk associated with online business operations. “Hey, trust us, trust us — we’ll keep things idealized!” The only excuse is that back in them there days, internet commerce really did seem to have open possibilities. But ever since the Amazon flood, that’s been a fool’s delusion.

I’m So Stuck in the (Old) Mud

Was at an event with media-design crazies who work all day online, who were explaining their methods and motions to a crowd of about 40 UX fascinateds. The panelists mentioned Medium a number of times (with notes about its shortcomings as a source of information). So I told my whole story about Medium and my “How I Capture Rapture” piece and how they stopped paying people.

Did I say who I was? No.

Did I name this blog? No.

Sure hope this is (Old) Beauty Mud.