Changes Brewing At Newscoma

6 09 2008

Tomorrow, I’m going to be changing some of Newscoma and, admittedly, I’m a bit scared because it’s change. Change is terrifying.

This has been in the works for most of the summer, but I’m moving Newscoma to where I can take ads. I’ve been asked and, for a long time, I resisted the idea. I asked some great minds like Jackson Miller in a series of emails in the spring (he is truly one of the coolest people ever) and Sharon Cobb was one of most supportive people ever about going ad-based. Heather and Ivy have also been a great inspiration and I thank them for fielding emails from me when I was wigging out a bit. And Sadcox is the dude. He has been just wonderful. My buddy, Chris, is going to help me out here with the techy stuff as I’m a moron about certain things. My main hesitation is actually learning widgets and stuff that I didn’t have to use before. I’ll learn it but it may take me some time.

As I said, bear with me.

So Sunday is the big day. And, as I walk into a bit of the unknown, I’m worried that you guys will wander off.

I started a magazine in 1993 and it was a lot of fun. We had a good time with it and it’s still around although I’m not a part of it anymore. I kind of feel the same way I did back then. Anxious, a bit excited and, you know, afraid of failure and burning in a huge blaze of public humiliation.

Basically, nothing is going to change here other than new digs, you will see some ads and possibly some collaborations with some folks who are working in the news business.

So, if it’s a bit wonky around here in the next few days, please bear with me. I’m trying to be transparent about it all so if you come to a page that has weird code on it taking you to a midget porn site or something equally as freaky, send me an email. Once it’s all done, change those bookmarks and your feeds (you can already) to

As we launch the new site, I have some giveaways next week from the Red State Update guys so stay tuned to that as well.

And send me some courage, as change freaks me the hell out.

She's Coming Too

What Katie Said ..

1 09 2008

What she said.

Just go read it. KAG breaks it down, and on a small plane, I understand what she’s saying completely.

Tennessean Talks Blogging

20 08 2008

In today’s Tennessean, there is a story about bloggers across the state from Knoxville to Memphis. Not a bad story but it amazes me that they didn’t link the bloggers they were talking about.

It’s a start though.

Of course, Silence has been telling us this for years.

Anything Goes In The Internet Era

19 08 2008

An article out of Pittsburgh takes on the mainstream media’s recent reaction to the John Edwards scandal. But the story is more about how the blogosphere is changing news delivery.

Such is the inevitable result of the revolution in the communication of news in the anything-goes Internet era. The old standards of how and when to report a story have gone out the window when instant disclosure is the imperative; anybody with a laptop can become Walter Winchell or Matt Drudge.

These are discouraging times for reporters who grew up under rigid restraints on pursuing stories within established boundaries of truth and accuracy — and with regard for privacy and reader sensitivities of all sorts. Those olden days, when a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking and was never reported, are long gone.


With the blogging phenomenon already elbowing itself into mainstream print outlets, you can expect more sensationalism ahead — especially in the once gray and staid top dogs of the circulation-sinking newspaper business.

If you are in news, you blog or if you are in news and you blog either personally or professionally, I encourage you  to read the whole thing.

Blogging About Blogging

15 07 2008

Do you ever get to that point in your blogging, non-virtual world where you run out of ideas?

Yeah, me too.

I sometimes struggle thinking whether or not I should post about my mindthink on politics (remember, I’ve become a conspiracy theorist, heh) and then sometimes I’ll post things that interest me.

Other times I navel gaze and talk about Homer (who is in Gatlingburg and got caught in the toxic spill on I-40. She had no idea what was going on other than she was stuck in traffic. If I know her hubby, Squeegee Monkey well at all, he refused to turn Fred off of XM which might have helped them understand their predicament.) The people who she is with are making her go to Dixie Stampede. I’ve heard of Dixie Stampede but I’m unsure if this is Homer’s thing. I don’t know if watching buffaloes run while eating will entice her. Then again, she might love it. One never knows.

We could start a Zombie Stampede restaurant. (Write this down in Newscoma’s brilliant ideas that never reach fruition.)

I’ve always thought the best thing to do is just blog about what you want to. There is also a new blogging age going on, in my humble opinion, where bloggers are going to go to their niche. I sometimes read new media strategists and think “Man, that’s cool. What the hell are they talking about?” I also read some mommy bloggers who are clever and think “I love my nieces but, man, that is a lot of responsibility.”

I tend to like the disc jockey approach to blogging but that’s just me. The days of BG being at the old Nashville is Talking is over. And with blogs monetizing (which I plan to do as well. Call me a sell out and also, if you know how to do technically groovy things, let me know) things are changing.

We create our own brand. True story, an A-Lister that will remain unnamed told me I was too all over the place. I thought about that because if an A-Lister said it, it has to be true. Right?

Well, wrong actually.

I thought about it and finally determined that for me, I like being all over the place. I’m okay with that. As long as I do this as a hobby, I will do what I want to. If I get paid, I’ll blog about whatever the entities paying me want me to write about. Until that time, you are stuck with liberal politics, Bigfoot, Zombies, goofy pictures and life in Hoots.

As for the black widow bitch of a spider that chomped on my foot. Well, my leg this morning does feel like it’s going to fall off but I don’t have the big gaping wound that some folks get. Last year, Killa got bit on her upper thigh and let it go several hours. Bless her heart, that girl was illing and I was worried about her. After seeing her and her hubby struggle with it all (he got bit too), I decided to go in to the doctor immediately. I think I’m going to have a luckier time but it hurts more today than yesterday. Back to drug therapy as this is a bit more painful than I had imagined.

Did I mention I hate spiders?

I did. Well, I’m repeating myself.

Blogging is about being a modern day pamphleteer making your ideas flow. Be it a discipline to communication or writing, promoting yourself or banging the drum for your cause.

You aren’t going to please everyone but if you please yourself, you win. And it it moves to another level, then that, my friends, is of the good.

Now, go see Bobblehead George in Greece. My gift to you.

The Voices In Your Head

19 06 2008

I’ve read a few posts lately, where people are asking their lurkers to unmask, comment, and I’m kind of puzzled as to why?  Why do you need to know who’s looking at you?  Are you worried about stalkers?  Well, if so, then I guess I’d have to tell you that you probably should have thought about that issue before you started blogging.  You know, before you threw your life out there on the intarwebz, for all the world to see.  It’s really the equivalent of allowing random strangers to come into your house and root through your undie drawer, in a mental way.  You know that, right?

Missy goes on to write about her perspective on how blogging opens up the world and how she welcomes everyone. That they read her posts and then they move on. That’s true. I have found that blogging is doing just that. It’s bright and shiny but then it’s moving on to something else bright and shiny.

I’ve met a lot of bloggers and I hope to meet some more. With that said, I dig comments. I don’t really worry about stalkers in my virtual world.

It’s the ones in the real world that make me take pause.

Rex’s Theory

15 06 2008

Rex is writing this morning about bloggers and writing longer entries. Of course, I’m here only to blow his theory out of the water as I offer you this.

Finally, I have this theory: People don’t read past the first paragraph of a blog post (or the first sentence of an e-mail). If you are reading this sentence you are completely blowing my theory. You are to be commended and you prove that at least one person — you — still has an amazing attention span. Congratulations. Now, go read a book and enjoy your day.

I’m one of those cats that reads the whole thing. I never think something is teal deer.

Unless, of course, I think it’s too long to read.


Silence Interviews R. Neal Of TennViews

15 06 2008

Wow, it’s Bloggers-In-The-Press-Day today. Michael Silence is interviewing R. Neal about the world of blogging.

Here’s a snippet.

Blogs incorporate more multimedia, including video with the advent of YouTube. Twitter-style “microblogging” is popular among the younger, “short-attention-span” digital generation.

As an old-timer, I don’t get some of it, but I find all of it quite fascinating.

Lastly, while barriers to entry remain low and there’s an unlimited supply of pixels, readers’ time is finite.

Blogging is increasingly competitive as sophisticated readers become more selective. Launching a new blog is easy, but establishing a brand and growing an online community is hard work. Fortunately, people do it anyway, giving individual voice to millions in the “marketplace of ideas.”

Neal will be representing Tennessee at the Democrat Convention as a, you got it, official blogger from Tennessee.

Update: Wait, there’s more on Twitter and K-Town blogging.

Blogging Because They Want To …

19 05 2008

Mike responds to a back-handed compliment singling him out in the Nashville City Paper’s Political Animals post written by editor Clint Brewer.

This jab at bloggers looks like the flip side of the mainstream media’s presumptive disdain for people whom they think sit around in their pajamas all day and try to copy what they do themselves. So, if they’re not writing about the City Paper’s stories, then bloggers must be taking the day off because God knows, we’re not doing anything else. It’s another example of how the press doesn’t get it.

I think some folks in the press do get it but not all of them. Jack Lail has been an ambassador and spokesperson about the value of blogging and new digital media creating a lot of good will around the community and the whole country while still remaining local in Knoxville. I try to encourage people to blog although I find my community, which is based in a college town, is more focused on MySpace and Facebook quite frankly.

With that said, Mike does bring up a good point in his post regarding good will at newspapers toward the blogging community. I don’t know the history between Brewer and Enclave but I do know that telling any blogger that writes for free that they should write about something which appears in the newspaper is only going to stir the pot and highly piss people off. Bloggers write about what interests them and they do it out of a passion for writing, a political agenda, focusing on their hobbies, social interaction and the list goes on.

I think it is highly possible for there to be a marriage between traditional media and the blogosphere. I do. However, I do think that some people, in my non-virtual world in the news biz as well, do not understand we live in a new world of media, anyone can self-publish and blogging is an organic process, one that cannot be forced.

Enclave is a great resource in Nashville for what is going on in his community. His content is original. I have called him before one of Nashville’s best hyperlocal bloggers. Mr. Brewer did commend him but it was done with snark and the compliment got lost in Brewer’s chiding. I reacted as well.

I only know a handful of paid bloggers. Newsrooms are losing people due to downsizing but that’s another story for another day. I think those folks in news need to remember people who blog do it because they want to, not because they feel a loyalty to a newspaper.

They blog because they love it.

My two cents.

Talking To Folks From Pakistan

22 04 2008

Over the weekend, I was contacted by the Pakistani Spectator. I had no idea why but they asked if they could interview me.

I was surprised but I said yes after I went to their blog and realized they were doing some very interesting things.

They sent me a questionnaire with a ton of questions asking me some great things about the blogosphere, philisophy about online relationships, the use of social media networking tools in politics and the list goes on.

It was pretty incredible.

This world is becoming smaller with the Internet. A woman from a small rural Tennessee town is interviewed on the world of blogging by a site in Pakistan within the span of about 36 hours. The 36 hours was me mulling over the questions.

It was all very eye-opening to me.

I would like to thank Ghazala for asking me to participate and it goes to show that our world is an amazing place. Doors are opening because of the blogosphere for everyone. We are having global conversations. I find that to be amazing.

And the idea of interviewing people is a good one. It creates a connection. I like the KAG is doing that on Knoxville Talks now as well.

Here’s the interview from the Pakistani Spectator..

Blogging In Tennessee

9 04 2008

A couple of things this morning.

First of all, as one of my favorite bloggers/news guys, I just wanted to say that Michael Silence’s new role at Knox News is inspired. I think this is a great move and he’s on my “must” list daily. If you break it down further, it’s interesting to watch progressive news organizations embracing the online community.

Katie Allison Granju wrote recently about the changes in newsrooms which is a must read as well. I’ve written before about personality driven blogging. I think it’s important.

I think we are seeing that happen although it could be said that Nashville is Talking began it with Brittney and a plethora of guest bloggers (I was one and it was an amazing honor) which began some of the trends here in Tennessee.

But it is evolving. We are seeing a lot of blogging activity out of the Knoxville area. We are also witnessing a shift in the way things are happening online. Joe Lance and Alice are keeping it interesting in Chattanooga with some insightful and targeted blogging which are also must reads. In Memphis, we see a community of folks blogging who have created an amazing network of not only information but who are also friends. Everyone needs to swing by Drinking Liberally on Thursday nights at Dish on the corner of Cooper and Young. It’s always some of the most insightful conversation on a weekly basis. The Drinking Liberally don’t update their site too often, but are very active on Facebook.

Also, I’m eagerly waiting for Kleinheider’s daily return at The Nashville Post. I hope it’s not behind a subscription wall. We bloggers vote but we be poor. So far, so good.

It’s an interesting time here in Tennessee when it comes to your daily dose of politics. If politics isn’t your thing, then here is a picture that I think Lindsey and Killa will appreciate. There is a lot more going on than I listed here. I guess I’m thinking of location today outside of the state’s capital.

Where Human Decency Is Ignored

8 03 2008

I don’t know why I do these things to myself.

I don’t really go to Thaddeus Matthews Blog other than when he’s being written up by the Commercial Appeal or there is some reason when I see a headline on a post of his in an aggregator that gets my attention.

Last night, I saw on Knoxville Talks where Katie Allison Granju wrote this:

Shame on you, Thaddeus Matthews.


I’m all for muckraking, truth-telling and aggressive reporting – on blogs and in the traditional press – but publishing these apparently illegally obtained photos of a murdered woman serves no purpose but your own need for attention

Me being me wondered “What the hell?”

This is going to be long, so there’s more after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lizard Man, Bad Movies and Angry Journalists

3 03 2008

A couple of links for you on this windy Monday afternoon.


Went to see The Other Boleyn Girl.  DO NOT see this movie if you have any in-depth knowledge of Tudor era history.  DO NOT see this movie if you’ve read the book.  It’s the cinematic version of Cliff Notes for Inaccurate English Reformation History.  A frackin’ Harlequin historical romance!  Beyond disappointing.  The real history behind this movie is so much better, read it instead.

It’s not my kind of movie because there aren’t any zombies or vampires in it as well as there isn’t any Simon Pegg because all movies need Simon Pegg in them, but with that said, I’m thinking that Missy needs to write movie reviews for a living.

That’s just awesome. 

The Blogging World Is A Small Intimate Place

27 02 2008

I’d like to take a moment and thank David Selvin for stopping by this blog and sharing a story about his father, Rick, who I wrote about a couple of weeks back in a post called “Oswald Still Dead.”

David has a new blog himself and his story once again brought us a story about the humor and wisdom of his father.

I’m sometimes overwhelmed about who stops by. Norman Lear popped by last year to talk to Ms Loraine Barr who also had a few words.

When these things happen, I’m humbled.

Blogging has made the world so much smaller.


McCain’s Kid Is Blogging

26 02 2008

John McCain’s daughter has a blog.

It’s sort of what you would expect.  And, in all fairness, it’s pretty entertaining. It’s commercialized and obviously is about putting McCain in a human light.

But, with that said, it needs to be noted if politicians on both sides of the political aisle where smart, they’d be doing this.

And I’m a leftie saying this.

H/T The Political Voices of Women 



20 02 2008

Malia is a genius.

I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile so I took her lead.

If you notice, my blogroll, which was as out of control as my curly head of hair, now has it’s own page. You guys are all over there.

Now maybe this confounded blog will load a bit better.

The Firing Of Chez Pazienza

20 02 2008

I’m sure most of you have heard about the curious case of former CNN producer Chez Pazienza. He had a blog, he was critical on his blog and CNN canned him last week.

CNN fired me, and did it without even a thought to the power that I might wield as an average person with a brain, a computer, and an audience. The mainstream media doesn’t believe that new media can embarrass them, hurt them or generally hold them accountable in any way, and they’ve never been more wrong.

I was going to write about this yesterday but I had to think about it. There is a lot of bravado in Pazienza’s post at his blog Deus Ex Malcontent about his dismissal as well at the Huffington Post where he also posts, but there is also a conversation to be had about all of this. In effect, Pazienza’s has been dooced. On the other hand, I had never really heard of these guy until he was canned.

The one thing he has done has effectively given a look behind the mindset of traditional, large-scale media. The post he wrote Monday is pretty long, but this stood out for me.

I say this with the knowledge of implied complicity: I continued to draw a salary from stations at the local level and national networks long after I had noticed an unsettling trend in which real news was being regularly abandoned in favor of, well, crap. I may not have drank the Kool-aid, but I did take the money. I may have been uncomfortable with a lot of what I was putting on the air, but I was comfortable in the life that it provided me. I just figured, screw it, most people don’t like their jobs; shut up and do what you’re told, or at least try to. Besides, I told myself, what the hell else do you know how to do?

That’s pretty candid.

Pazienza has done two things. First of all, he is spotlighting the impact that blogs are having on the big boys. The other thing that he has done has given a little light on what goes behind the scenes of a cable news network and how news is changing.

Pazienza will be fine and probably will have a new job pretty quickly.

At a recent event I attended with other journalists, the issue of blogging was discussed more than ever. We live in a time where anyone can have an online platform where they can discuss whatever they want. From knitting blogs to right-or-left politics, the enormity of the blogging world is changing the rules. All of us know that.

Because things are changing.

And with that change comes growing pains because the rules have been collectively thrown out the window. The debate will continue, but it’s not going to stop this moving locomotive of a new information age that includes traditional media and Joe Citizen.

Joe Citizen’s voice usually trumps media.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, campers. We will see what happens next.


On Blogging And Self-Promotion Part II

10 02 2008

I mentioned yesterday about the blogs I write and how I want you to read them and then either pat me on the back, give me a job making $100 grand a year or give me a pony.

I keed. (Well, maybe not about the job but you get my drift.)

With that said, it started a series of emails between myself and a few people off line that I wanted to address about public relations, promoting online content/products and the differences between being annoying and savvy. First of all, there is nothing wrong with self-promotion. It isn’t shady as so many people think it is. YES, I said it. It’s only shady if you are doing something shady. Many of us just blog because it amuses us and we like to communicate with other people. I’ve built some fantastic relationships with people that I’ve met in the blogging community. Relationships I would have not had otherwise.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tomorrow is Cool-To-Be-A-Voting-American Day.

4 02 2008

Dear Five People,

You know, you guys who come to the blog.

I have a couple of things to say today as I’m a whupped raccoon and I’m going to try to muster up enough energy to say Howdy. You know, the day job eats into the blogging life sometimes. Dammit.

First of all, please vote tomorrow. Vote for who you think will represent you the best. It’s the cool-to-be-a-voting-American Day.

Second, done with the shill blogging. DONE. I love you guys, but whoever wins the nomination is going to be standing on that stage in Denver with the winner. I want to read about why the candidates are worthy, not why those folks who don’t agree with you “suck.” We honestly are all in this together. Most of my dearest friends, and me for that matter, are voting for different people. The Dems among us are still friendly. And we are conversing about it. But we respectfully agree to disagree. We want to know why the other one feels the way they do. We want to be a team later in the year. We don’t have hard feelings. We are one in the long run. There is no reason for in-party sniping.

Third, did I mention the real job?

Fourth, go here. I’ve linked Democrats, Republicans, Newspapers (I’m cool that way). Stay informed and make your own mind up. It’s a good way to do it. I’m not the only one doing this. Our objective is to link to Tennessee election news and commentary. Go. I’ll wait.

Fifth, here’s a picture of a kitten and two ducks if you don’t dig the politics. Because tomorrow is going to be amazing.

Going to pass out in a heap of pre-Super Tuesday revelry.




From My Beautiful Wickedness …

27 01 2008

Bridgett says:

When you read something that pisses you off,  whether here or elsewhere, take ten seconds and think whether you can help soften a heart or change a mind.  If not, then let it go.  Life is just too damn short to bark at everything.