ME and Ophelia

Thursday, July 29, 2004

At Democratic Convention

Meet the "bloggers" accredited for a national political convention.

It's the first time that weblogs as a news medium (other than the estimated 15,000 journalists from traditional outlets) have been accredited to cover the news at the Democratic Convention in America. Bloggers being accredited means the people behind the weblogs are allowed access to the main hall and can sit at designated workspaces with their computers.

As of yesterday the total count is 119 people blogging the convention.

Jim Moore explains how it is for webloggers covering news there in Boston and describes the tension he feels when deciding what is OK - or not - to disclose on the Internet.

It's easy to imagine professional journalists from traditional news outlets not treating the blogging media as equals. They have much to take into consideration when writing a story. Bosses, sources and reputations. It's their livelihood.

Bloggers are their own bosses and free to write as they please. Interesting how we are not an unruly bunch. 99% of the bloggers I read are mindful of what they write about and the effect their words will have on others. And seem pretty open, honest and caring over the truth and crediting sources.

Having said that, Jim's post talks about secrets. *Groan* .... secrets bug me when I don't have a clue what they could be about. Like when someone says: "Oh, you'll NEVER guess what -- Oh nevermind -- it doesn't matter -- it's nothing -- I'll tell you later..." Grrrr.

Hey Jim, spill the beans: WHAT secrets?! Do tell. Or at least give us a clue ;)

Update: More neat links in Blogger's Blogging-from-Boston post.
- - -

Above post is especially for Pauly to wish him best of luck with his new political blog This Side of the Truth [Pauly: sorry I'm behind with blog reading past few weeks - routine all upside down here with carpenter, visitors and stuff - not to mention Sudan - look forward to catching up with your posts soon]
- - -

Public pressure drives U.S. push on Sudan crisis

It's good to see that politicians do listen. See. Our voices do count. According to a report by Reuters, Jewish, Christian and black activist groups are driving U.S. Sudan policy. The lobbying has increased this month "in leaps and bounds," Kansas Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, who visited Darfur in recent weeks, wrote in a statement to Reuters.

One voice may seem like one drop of water in a bucket - but with enough drops, a bucket can overflow and be noticeable in no time. How to stop the drips? Get another bucket. What if the drips don't let up? Sort out the problem. The drip drip effect of activists must be a nightmare for politicians. On the other hand, activists can act as a support to politicians when they need the courage to push on certain issues. In times of doubt and uncertainty, it must help politicians and make them feel they are doing a good job.
- - -

Speaks for the speech-less now on a global scale"

Joe Lockard's report entitled Electronic Darfur came to me via Google's email alerts. I subscribe to Google's alerts on Darfur and Sudan, which means all online reports by mainstream media (not weblogs) that contain those two words are emailed to me within an hour of being picked up by Google. It would be great to receive the same sort of service for blogs.

The report appears on a group website "Bad Subjects" where Joe is a collective editor. He lives in Arizona and teaches English at University of California. On doing a quick Google search, I was surprised to find that Joe has a blog.

I've not yet had enough time to ingest and digest Joe's report. When I glanced through it, I got the impression that Joe was not a blogger. Seemed to me that he didn't *get* blogging. I wasn't quite sure what to make of his report but I did find his subject matter refreshingly original with useful links to good information on the genocide in Darfur.

Unfortunately, before I found out Joe was indeed a blogger, I'd drafted the below post. Instead of re-writing the post, I've decided to publish it here because I'd gone to the trouble of getting all the links together and I am over tired from putting together the above posts on Sudan and having visitors here at home over the past two days.

I need to take a blogging break for the next few days and look forward to reading Joe's report in depth after I've had some serious rest. If in the meantime anyone can get the gist of what Joe is saying, I would appreciate any comments or emails. Thanks. Here is what I wrote, before I found out Joe is a blogger:

[The above half-completed post is from my drafts folder from a week or two ago - I am posting it here now, before it gets buried and forgotten. Hopefully, I'll pick up on it again at a later date. The following is part of the second half - I wrote quite a long draft so this is a reminder to get back to it again]:

When it was announced that Kofi Annan and Colin Powell were to visit Darfur, I asked myself: "Did we bloggers make a difference?" and emailed David Sifry to ask if Technorati's databases held any evidence. I got a great reply saying he has asked his people to look into it. I'm also looking in to how professional journalists track and measure their reporting. But I don't have any answers yet which is the reason for the delay in posting on the subject.

Jim Moore and Ethan Zuckerman, both out of Harvard, have been working on ways to analyse our blogging of the Sudan crisis. Jim has a great post on "activisits supported by blogs and RSS aggregators and Technorati and Feedster desperately focus on genocide in Darfur and Sudan".

Ethan says he enjoys watching how news media work in parallel on stories like Iraq or how attention slowly builds around stories like the crisis in Sudan. He explains he's already seeing some evidence that blogs are moving in lockstep with major media sources.

Ethan has graphs showing data that he's been collecting for about a year. He has a graph of "hits" that represent the number of stories matched on a given search engine for a particular keyword: "Iraq" or "Ghana". Ethan started tracking BBC figures for 14 and 90 day periods, as well as for the last three years - and has data on stories for about 14 months now, so there's quite a bit more information if anyone is interested in digging into it.
- - -

How to catch a fly?

Right now there is a fly in this room. It's driving me crazy. Two hours. Buzzing around at full speed. Big black fat hairy one. Over my head. In front of my screen. So loud too. Bouncing from wall to window and back again. I just got rid of one two hours before. Don't want to open a window incase another comes in. Every time I get up to swat it, it seems to know. And speeds off at full blast out of the room and down the hallway. I go after it with a folded paper. It's so fast it goes from room to room. It's wearing me out.

Apart from bug spray, does anyone know how to keep flies away? I like to have the windows all open during the day. But during the summer, here by the seaside, some days flies are a problem. I don't want to install fly screens as they'd spoil the view. Maybe there's a herb or plant that keeps them away.

Now that I come to think of it, I am having a really bad day. Haven't been able to blog. Carpenter finished balcony. Painter arrived early this morning. He knocked on the door. We were still asleep. Next thing I knew I could hear all this commotion by the back door, like someone was breaking in. We rushed to the kitchen. It was the painter. How did he get in? The back gate was bolted top and bottom. He'd used two long ladders to get over a 12' high wall. Charming.

That's how the day started -- and the rest of the day went downhill. Fancied something sweet. Tried to bake a cake. But only had gluten free plain flour. Improvised by sifting it with baking powder. Did all the work. Used the food processer. Made a mess of dishes. 45 minutes in oven. Total and utter disaster. The whole thing turned out as a bubbling mass of liquified syrup. I've never seen anything like it. It was supposed to be German upside down cake with pineapple rings.

Ophelia seems to be having a slight problem swallowing food. I am a bit worried but wonder if I'm over fussing. Maybe she has a little sore throat. Time will tell. Right now she's curled up fast asleep on her chair. Her eyes are clear and her nose is healthy damp. And she is getting through her food OK. But not with her usual gusto. I want to wake her up and give her a kiss and a cuddle and tell her I love her. I'm glad today is nearly over.

Update: Ophelia is now rushing around chasing the fly. Heh. What would I do without her. It's gone now.

Update: it's back.
- - -

Courtesy NYT and

On July 28, 1945, a US Army B-25 bomber crashed into Empire State Building in New York City, setting it ablaze and killing 13 people.

On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. World War I began as declarations of war by other European nations quickly followed.

On July 29, 1981, Britain's Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 7/29/2004
Comments: Post a Comment
0 comments Newer›  ‹Older