Journal: News & Comment

Saturday, February 19, 2005
# 5:10:00 PM:

Northern Voice notes in near real-time

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Northern Voice: Lightning Tools


  • Okay, Roland has gotten me onto the Flickr religion. I guess I'll have to go join.
  • Dave Shea (who actually told me about Flickr last year, but somehow I wasn't convinced) demoed his blog posting workflow, with NetNewsWire, MarsEdit, Safari, and Movable Type. I heard a few "oohs" about Mac OS X's Exposé feature.
  • Tris Hussey, demoed his company's Qumana, which is a pretty cool blog-posting application for Windows (and makes a cool combo with Lektora).
  • Seb Pacquet demoed WebJay, which hosts links to freely downloadable and streamable music (the playlist "Extreme Lounge Terror (International)" was pretty swanky. So is the XPSF player he found. Some interesting social elements there, which differ from other audio (and video) sites. But will I use it? Hard to say.
  • Robert Scoble (whose name I serendipitously pulled out of the hat to win a mug right before he started) flew through his blog-reading and -posting workflow using Memeorandum, Feedster, Technorati, NewsGator, etc.—and hey, NewsGator works on a Media Center PC and smartphones.
  • Nancy White ("I am not a techie!"), like me, uses Blogger. She calls herself a late first-wave or second-wave blogger. It was too painful to set it up on her own site. She has to ask: How did you get the sidebar stuff on there? Why didn't someone tell me about private subscriptions, folders? Why didn't I know Blogger has comments? It would be really helpful to have someone sit down with you to sort that out. People don't want to look stupid. There's a big learning curve, so how do you make it simpler? P.S. "Chocolate solves everything."

Northern Voice: personal blogging


I began posting on this panel, but the loose connection in my iBook screen started freaking out, so I closed it and just listened and asked questions instead. So here are the abbreviated notes:

  • Arjun Singh:
  • how flexible the blogging medium is
  • personal, professional, group blogs—all by one person
  • can be password-protected so they're not
  • how to find something useful: go to Google, type something you like, then add "blog"
  • Julie Leung:
  • gives an entire family separate voices
  • but there are concerns: how do you mask and protect what you want to keep private?
  • Susannah Gardner:
  • personal blogs from people who really want to promote themselves, or who end up doing so even if they didn't intend to
  • - detailed baby blog
  • - early person fired for blogging, but still popular for her strong writing
  • - also strong writing
  • - personal blog led to a job with Apple
  • post often, link to others, be part of the community
  • be able to measure whether you've succeeded
  • posting photos of yourself on your blog?
  • Susannah - worth doing just to give your blog some sort of appearance
  • Julie - need to be more careful with your family, especially children
  • Arjun - having a picture lets people know it's a real person
  • personal life, politics, food in Vancouver
  • how could various sub-blogs interpollinate
  • can you be discreet or separate without being anonymous? not really
  • quite common to split blogs on different topics into separate ones
  • especially personal vs. professional

Northern Voice: promoting your blog


Since I was on this panel (and Darren borrowed my laptop to use with the projector during the session, I didn't take notes. But if you recorded audio of the session, please let me know (or leave a comment at the bottom of this post)—I'd like to host or link to a copy, and maybe transcribe some of the choicer quotes.

Northern Voice: Julie Leung

Making masks: blogging as a social tool and family lifestyle


  • stories and experience about family, social life, and blogging
  • own photos, posts from others, etc.
  • photo of beach where she and her family scattered ashes of her brother
  • what parts of this am I going to put on my blog?
  • what can be made public?
  • kids are home-schooled, both parents blog
  • kids spell RSS on the fridge, make paper laptops, and a paper blog
  • they used the camera one day when Dave Winer came for lunch, and they've been posted on the blog
  • "social interaction is a negotiation between individuals"
  • we're not the same people in different circumstances
  • we all have multiple masks, and we select one depending on the situation
  • blogging is fragline is both public and permanent
  • "just a few hundred pixels on the screen can change people's perception of you"
  • once your audience gets wider, it can become complicated and frightening
  • "there are so many things I can't blog about"
  • cameras, Internet access, and other things have made private lives public
  • can we trust the world to handle our secrets?
  • we risk relationships when we choose to reveal things others would rather we not
  • think of your mom discovering your blog
  • what you share on your blog can be deeper than what you share in person
  • transparency, conversation, authenticity—are these safe things?
  • 18th century concept of public persona that differs from the private one
  • you have no obligation to share your personal life, and neither does anybody else
  • anonymity is an option, but there's no guarantee that you won't be discovered
  • more difficult if someone else in your family is already public, at least if you want to talk about the things you share
  • openness is a political stance, and may determine whom you can work for, for example
  • each family is different
  • what to keep private:
    • preservation - avoid being "paparazzi" in your own life
    • protection - restrict topics (do you want that associated with your name in Google?), for example; when you release things into the world, you can't predict how others can react; kids may not understand that—it's like a giant worldwide junior high; posting photos without faces
    • privacy - you can share life without opening up everything
  • why would you take the risk to blog?
  • if we're willing to make what is private into something public?
  • something you can use to share family things with the world
  • you can both break and build relationships
  • "perfect strangers make time to come to this site every day"—and so do other members of your family
  • it's both something new (being a diarist) and something new (immediate, communicative, etc.)
  • juxtapositions that you can't immediately understand (why did this person link to me on that topic?), which create new ideas
  • it can be a place to speak secrets, what's hidden, what no one else notices
  • children don't have much of a voice, and blogs can show what they see through their eyes
  • educate and encourage others
  • you can learn that you're not alone when talking about difficult topics
  • connect with others across continents, or in your own neighbourhood
  • you can "find your tribe"
  • "now I feel it when other people face rejection or loss"
  • we love stories: narratives help us become who we want to be
  • our real self is engaged with others
  • share things for others who are in, have been, or will be in a similar position
  • I asked about Julie's reaction to Eric Meyer's "Be a Parent" post
  • is this a religious/spiritual experience as well?


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