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Yes, I'm still a writer... - Riffs and Licks
Yes, I'm still a writer...
Back in the spring, I collaborated on a pair of brief articles with Barry Bealer, CEO of Really Strategies, a content-management consultancy, about standards and how they're used in the real world. (Standards in this instance meaning markup languages for text and other metadata standards such as PRISM or IPTC for images, etc. -- hence the "angle bracket" reference in the headline.) Barry's half was about how standards help consultants and other "solutions providers" like himself; my half talked about the view of publishers and editors who have to deal with "content" (or what, in my case, we like to call "news") in the real world. The article was published in the April/May 2005 issue of the Software and Information Industry's Upgrade magazine, but there's now a PDF of Translating the Angle Bracket Crowd available to non-members on Really Strategies' web site. It's a short article, but I don't publish much writing nowadays so it's worth pointing out.

In separate semi-writing news, CyberJournalist.net published my "Top Ten Reasons To Read a Newspaper" earlier this month. It was a somewhat (but not entirely) humorous response to their "Top Ten Reasons For Reading a News Site." I've spent more than 15 years in online news publishing, and I believe in it strongly, but I read news in print as well as online and I think each medium has a place. Newspapers will probably change drastically -- just as radio changed after television was born -- but there are many advantages to offline reading and I don't think it's going to disappear.

My web site features both of these articles, as well as many others I've written in the past 15 or 20 years. (I don't have electronic copies of almost any of my published writing prior to 1987, when Brooklyn College's Kingsman newspaper moved from traditional cold-type publishing to a Macintosh typesetting system.)

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rednoodlealien From: rednoodlealien Date: November 22nd, 2005 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, ooh, you added my suggestion for #5 (reason to read newspapers).

I read your standards article too. I couldn't get through the other guy's article.
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: November 23rd, 2005 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I did -- it ws a great suggestion. Should have thought of it myself -- we decided to make more than half the WSJ's home page un-personalizable because readers told us firmly they like the serendipity (and also the judgment of editors about what is most important to read).
rednoodlealien From: rednoodlealien Date: November 23rd, 2005 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Talk about willful ignorance

I would never consider putting a filter on my news. I'm ignorant enough.
steelbrassnwood From: steelbrassnwood Date: November 23rd, 2005 10:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Talk about willful ignorance

I certainly do some filtering, even when I read the newspaper. I throw the sports section out unread, for instance. I only read publications that interest me. The issue isn't whether you filter, but whether you only read news on topics you've already identified as "interesting."
rednoodlealien From: rednoodlealien Date: November 25th, 2005 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Talk about willful ignorance

I think the issue is whether you want to do your own "filtering" or whether you want something automatic to make it like certain things don't even exist. I think that's a kind of willful ignorance, potentially scary, & although there are things maybe we are happily willfully ignorant of (maybe sports or Paris Hilton), I'm ignorant enough and don't wany anything automatically keeping me that way.
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