TITLE: Making News AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: March 02, 2005 10:10 AM DESC: My blog reached the desk of a writer for the local newspaper, so Knowing and Doing may find its name in print soon. ----- BODY: I was just interviewed by a feature writer for the local newspaper for an article on blogging. We talked about a wide range of issues, among them why I read blogs, why I write my blog, when and how I write, some of the technical issues of RSS, how I got started, and how others can get started reading and writing. We discussed the fact that some people think blogs are going to change the world of journalism, while others just don't get the whole blogging thing. I had to admit that I don't see much appeal in the sort of stream-of-consciousness confessional blogging that one tends to find at places at LiveJournal -- even if I occasionally post more personal items myself. I don't think that blogs are going to replace conventional journalism, and to the extent that conventional journalism changes in the next few years I think blogging will just be one instance of a larger cultural phenomenon at the root of the change. But blogging does lower the barrier for people who think they have something to say to reach out and say it. I likened such blogs to the articles that two UNI professors write for the Sunday issue of the local paper. Their articles provide them with a way to write about issues in their technical domain (popular culture and economics, respectively) for a wider and less technical audience. My blog doesn't reach that broad an audience -- yet :-) -- but I do reach a wider audience than my courses and published articles can reach. And I am able to write articles about topics and their intersection that would be difficult or impossible to publish in an academic journal. For me, the real value in reading and writing blogs lies in the intellectual community it creates. Reflective professionals and otherwise interesting people share what they learn as they learn, and we all grow richer in the process. Sometimes that stray idea would make great dinner conversation makes for a great blog article -- and folks who would never have a chance to dine together can have a conversation. The interview was fun for me, in much the same way as writing this blog can be: it caused me to formulate succinct answers to questions just under the surface of my consciousness. I hope that my answers make sense to the newspaper's readership. I also confess to a small bit of hope that I don't sound like a nutcase in print... The reporter was well-prepared for the interview. She had a broad set of questions to ask and did a good job of following my answers onto other interesting questions. Besides, she complimented me for being an articulate interview, so she must have good taste and a keen mind! Update: The feature will run in next Monday's issue, March 7. With any luck it will hit the on-line version of the paper, too. -----