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Old Journalists, New Tricks

I'm really digging Eric Black Ink. It's a nicely designed bloggy online newspaper-type-thing from the former Star-Tribune reporter and current Minnesota Monitor contributor. Check out Bachmann's Mean Streak to get a feel for his free-reign reporting style.

Eric Black's Ink is a surprise entry in the local newsytown web races. Former Strib editor and publisher Joel Kramer is making the most waves with MinnPost.com. Former City Pages editor Steve Perry is cooking up a daily something. Who is going to win the race? It's not a zero-sum game, but it's an awful lot of media action for our twin towns. Let's break it down.


PRO: Big money, big names, serious news with some blog-like experimentation
CON: Bad design, old names, they don't pay much

CHUCK SEZ: Kramer's stable of experienced journalists and hefty funding make MinnPost the one to watch, especially if they're open to new ideas and smart audience interaction. Corey Anderson is key to that last part.

Disclaimer: I met with Joel Kramer before the site was announced to talk about video. He's a really interesting guy and I actually like that he's emphasizing quality over quantity. He's interested in video and knows they should be experimenting with it, and apparently have a documentary filmmaker videoblogging for them. There could be some Chuck video action on MinnPost if the stars align and it's worthwhile.


PRO: Frequent posting, diverse content, writing talent, CIty Pages kinda sucks
CON: Existing competition (MNspeak, Metroblogging, Mediation, etc.), financially viable?

CHUCK SEZ: I'm very excited to see this. I'm imagining bite-size chunks on a lot of topics relevant to me in the realms of arts and politics. Good writers, good discussion, a little video - could be a winning combination. I wonder if Rob Nelson might end up here?

Disclaimer: Steve Perry said I was a "trailblazer" so he gets secret bonus points.


PRO: Up and running now, clean design, Eric Black's experience and talent
CON: Just one dude, Regurgitated Minnesota Monitor content

CHUCK SEZ: I really like the Strib-free Eric Black. "Permission to speak freely, SIR!" It seems there are no ads on his site, so maybe he's just taking the opportunity to assemble his Minnesota Monitor writing into an online newspaper/blog format. This might not compete with the bigger offerings coming down the pipe, but it is what it is: One good journalist with fresh perspectives. Bravo.

Now I'll throw in the standard issue question: What do you think?

August 31, 2007 at 04:28 AM in Media | Permalink | Comments (1)

PZ Myers Interview

PZ Myers, aka Pharyngula

Check out this insightful interview with Pharyngula conducted by my favorite Prince collaborator-turned-amateur astronomer, Michael Koppelman. If you've ever wondered stuff like, "What is life?" then get ready for the answers, jocko homo.

August 21, 2007 at 02:06 AM in Minnesota Stories, Science, Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (17)

For Sale to good home: MNstories.com


I'm looking for an organization or individual to buy, rent, or otherwise partner with Minnesota Stories. My goal was to find such a partner this summer, and I've come close with a few Minnesota media organizations. I'm still in talks with a couple of potential buyers/partners, but I've decided to open it up to speed things along. Please email me directly if you're interested, or know someone who is.

I love the site and brand I've built, but I'm increasingly consumed by new projects (The Uptake) and projects I want to get going (Gastronomical.tv, Eskimo Witch), and now a couple of big commercial client projects. The time is right to find a new mommy and daddy for Minnesota Stories. It's a citizen media channel, not a Chuck channel, but I still plan to be involved and contribute videos like so many others do. I also feel like the site could be much more if time and money were invested in it.

Please spread the word.

SEE ALSO: Minnesota Monitor blurb

August 15, 2007 at 03:37 PM in Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (27)

Karl Rove Resigns: My video reaction


This breaking news brought to you by The Uptake. Please DIGG IT!

August 13, 2007 at 07:08 PM in Funny Crap, Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (4)

Jackson's response

Not to me, silly. To Loren Feldman.

HOW TO: Race Bait for Fun and Profit

He includes this thoughtful video from Gena Haskett.

As Bill Cammack pointed out in a comment, I haven't said jack about this issue. Mainly, because I was very busy and unaware of it until some time after the fact. I hardly read the Yahoo videoblogging list unless somebody Twitters about a specific issue, which is how I found out about Feldman and the controversy.

But also: I've participated in long, multithreaded, passionate conversations about race in the blogosphere before. (Just ask George Kelly.) Suffice to say, I reserve the right to thoughtfully observe this one mostly from the sidelines.

August 13, 2007 at 03:39 PM in Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (7)

My new all-time favorite Twitter


August 13, 2007 at 04:33 AM in Funny Crap | Permalink | Comments (3)

I started a joke


Where do I start with this minidrama? Nobody outside the tech world even cares - if that's you, I encourage you to watch the Bee Gees video at the bottom of this post.

There's a loudmouthed prankster named Loren Feldman of 1938 Media, an often funny guy, who made a fairly racist video. "TechNigga" caused a huge uproar and some vloggers called for the company that pays him for videos - PodTech - to condemn that video or get rid of Feldman.

PodTech is already in muddy hot water with vloggers for many reasons - see here and here. Add to that reports like this one saying "PodTech is literally falling apart" (nice misuse of "literally" there) and you have the best recipe for a cauldron of drama and intrigue this side of the Iron Curtain.

Where do I, your favorite-ish struggling Midwest vlogger, fit into this? I'm the court jester, the cynical prankster. I noticed some of Feldman's post-"TechNigga" videos were not presented in the PodTech video player. He was also completely schizo as to his intentions, lashing out at the videoblogger community, half-apologizing while insinuating it was all a social experiment we'd fallen for. Whatever. The world of PodTech/Feldman was ripe for some tomfoolery. I Twittered a couple of things, wondering if anyone would notice. A few people did, and it ended up posted on the Yahoo videoblogging list:

I've got Furrier on the phone now -- shit's gonna hit the fan
An hour later: Feldman's out

I was laughing maniacally. Why on earth would *I* be on the phone with John Furrier, the president of PodTech? Did I somehow get Feldman fired? I don't know, but I suppose it's remotely possible. I've been known to come to the defense of vloggers and mediate various situations. Anyway, I got IMs immediately from people like NewTeeVee's Jackson West. I told anyone who contacted me that it was just a late night Twitter joke, pay no attention. The next day I Twittered: never believe anything I Twitter after 1am CST. :-D

Friday night, I was longing to party with NYC vloggers, who raised a toast to me and I returned. A few minutes later, I posted the now-famous Twitter:

Just got off the phone with Furrier -- it's a shitbag salad over there... Scoble's out

I really cracked my drunk ass up at that one. First... "it's a shitbag salad over there" - that's just self-evidently funny. Second, that I would be on the phone with John Furrier again and that I, of all people in the world, would somehow be the first to know A-list tech blogger Robert Scoble had been ousted from PodTech. I mean c'mon... it's just ridiculous.

But - I don't expect anyone to follow the subtle nuances of my Twitter narratives. It's entirely possible that someone, in this case my man Andrew Baron, would see my Twitter out of context and post about it. That's exactly what happened, and it spread to other blogs briefly before everyone realized the source of this information was my dubious Twitter, and in fact a joke. Andrew has a legitimate critique of PodTech regardless of my Twitter joke - it simply gave him a spark.

The small fires and sparks should've been contained rather quickly. But no. Nick Douglas had to make a huge post about it on Valleywag, continuing his longstanding deathwish against PodTech, even though the truth of this rumor was plainly evident. Rex set him straight in the comments quickly, and eventually he got around to updating the post. This is shoddy even for a gossip rag like Valleywag. My comment there: A late-night Twitter joke becomes a huge post on Valleywag? That's fucking lame dude.

So that's how I started a joke, which started the whole world crying. My apologies to The Scoble.

What's it all mean?

• Be careful what you Twitter!
• It sure is easy to fuck with people!
• Our interconnected gossip-thirsty selves can spread bad info just as quickly as good info
How To Be Used By Your Social Network

August 13, 2007 at 02:34 AM in Media, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (38)

!!Japanese pee pee+poo poo!

August 10, 2007 at 03:04 AM in Funny Crap | Permalink | Comments (6)

Hail, Satan!


Salon.com: Airbrushing the Baby

[via After School Snack]

August 10, 2007 at 12:04 AM in Funny Crap | Permalink | Comments (0)

YearlyKos Convention Report Video

Today's video simulcast on Rocketboom.

Hillary and Obama, lefties and geeks. They were all at the YearlyKos progressive blogger convention, along with new journalism movers and shakers like Jay Rosen. There was a strong MInnesota contingent, including Mark Gisleson from Norwegianity, Robin Marty and Abdi Aynte from Minnesota Monitor, and Rob Levine of Cursor.org.

Jason Barnett and I were there videotaping everything and everyone we could for The Uptake, a new video citizen journalism project. There you'll find lots of full-length interviews, my travel diary video, and more to come.

If you're interested in picking up a digital camera and covering political events, shoot me an email.

Oh, and do us a favor? Add The Uptake to your blogroll and help spread the word. We're in the mood for link-love. Oh, yeah.

August 8, 2007 at 08:10 AM in Current Affairs, Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (2)