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.
I was just interviewed by a feature writer for the
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
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
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.