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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

keep on blogging in the new year

As you may have noticed...I slipped off the face of blogging for a good bit. This wasn't deliberate, it just happened.

Frankly, having been going at blogging in one way or another since the fall of 2003 and never having made a dime at it, I felt at liberty, if not the need, to let this mode of writing go for a moment while I sorted out other, more remunerative (and essential), components of my making a living in this world. (I am a small businessperson.)

I do think, whatever my participation, that blogging and bloggers are essential components of the 2008 landscape and forwards...and our voices will be of increasing importance as the new year emerges. The world is hungry for change and the status quo media is simply unable to keep pace with the scale and scope of the change needed. Online writing, whether it be in the form of a local blog, a community blog-site on national politics or a website that addresses international issues and cross-border communication is more relevant than ever.

As a veteran of the anti-Apartheid movement of the 1980's I can only imagine what we might have done if we had been able to communicate with each other online routinely with blogs and other such web innovations (Facebook, Google Groups, etc.)

As it stands, I think we've only begun to scratch the surface of the potential of bottom-up, small-d democratic communication online.

I am a habitue of one of the Berkeley/Oakland cafes that gives the East Bay its reputation as one of the ongoing nodes of political/cultural discussion and fervor here in the U.S. For me, it's always interesting to see how ideas move, separately, through the two environments.

Offline, at a cafe, it is easier to talk about ideas and to engage in free-flowing back and forth and questions about ideas in depth. It's easier to debate and to engage. Online, it is easier to stay abreast of the absolute latest news and to suss out the emerging conventional wisdom about a given topic...as well as track down the most-trusted sources with reliable fact-checking and in depth analysis through hyper-links.

I do not think that blogging is going away. Instead, I think that online writing and communication is slowly replacing traditional print and electronic media as the vehicle for how newshounds and political savvy readers keep up with the latest news and discussions.

Is there a business model for this kind of discussion and information sharing to generate small revenue streams for its best practictioners? I don't know. It seems to me to hinge on whether and how micro-transactions are implemented on the web and whether the online environment will retain the ability to have the equivalent of "small press" or "indie" enterprise or whether conglomeration and large corporations will eat up the smaller fish. Blogging must be, as I've stated before, sustainable and independent...or it will not flourish.

In blogging and politics, much is up in the air.

Truth be told, however, much of what the first half of the global 21st Century will look like is about to be shaped in the national outcomes of the domestic elections in the United States in 2008. Blogs will play their role in that outcome.

This election season, however, is only the beginning of a much needed sea change in how we conduct our affairs of state and our run our economy. All of us will have our part to play in this changing environment.

Bloggers too. That's you and me.

Cheers, and Happy Holidays

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Pitch Control PR = Spam Outfit?

Someone sold my blogging email address to an outfit called Pitch Control PR.

They've been spamming me ever since, even after an unsubscribe request.

Sending unsolicited email to bloggers, ie. spamming, seems like an idea so idiotic (why spam someone who could turn around and write about, well, you spamming them) that it leaves me scratching my head.

Regardless, if are looking for a PR firm that sends repeated unsolicited emails...even after recipients have unsubscribed...then Pitch Control PR may well be for you.