God, please save the copy editors

Dear God, if you are listening, it’s me, Rufus.

I know you and I don’t talk much these days but you never say anything. Praying to you feels kinda like ranting into a twitter account. But we really could use your help about now.

In today’s social media-driven world where everyone thinks they are the next Joseph Conrad, John Steinbeck, Kate Chopin or Nate Hawthorne, we could use fewer guardian angels and more copy editors. I’m not sure if I should appeal directly to you or if you have an HR department or something that would be more appropriate, but … well, just let me know.

If you can’t actually send more copy editors, could you at least save the ones down here that all these newspapers and Arianna Huffington are slashing and burning? I don’t need to tell you that once they leave the publishing industries for a job at Waffle House, we’ve pretty much lost them for good. The words — including the apostrophes — can’t take much more of this abuse.

I was going to write a snarky post about this emergency in a couple days, but I couldn’t find the right angel… I mean angle. So, I jotted down this little prayer. The direct route seemed to be the best way.

Ok, gotta go. I’m sure you have more important things to do as well. Just thought I’d ask.

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Is it storytelling or curating? #letsblogoff

Jim Henson’s character “The Storyteller” and his dog. It is what pops into my head when I hear storytelling and it is the standard by which I measure all stories. Probably not fair, but it is what it is.

I wrote this earlier, but it applies now, so I republished for this #letsblogoff.

A while back, many bloggers decided they wanted to throw off the image of being one guy and his dog, hanging out in his parent’s basement ranting in his pajamas. They set about becoming “journalists.” And then that kinda didn’t set right because that was rather limiting their right of personal expression when they didn’t really have any facts and so they become “writers.” The latest metamorphosis for bloggers is to become “storytellers.”

Everyone now is a storyteller.

Only they are not really telling stories. They are curating facts. They are collecting events and regurgitating them. It’s the same thing they were doing as a blogger with a “new and improved” label stuck on the front only it is neither new or improved. The basic ingredients of storytelling are missing.

I recently received an invitation to Storify.com. They tout on their web site:

Turn what people post on social media into compelling stories.
You collect the best photos, video, tweets and more to publish them as simple, beautiful stories that can be embedded anywhere.

That’s not telling a story. That is assembling an exhibit piece for The Museum of Social Media. Bleckkkk.

If storytelling is not what most bloggers are doing, what is storytelling? I didn’t know myself until I received a tweet from @SaxonHenry this past Wednesday morning with a link to her blog. And with the following sentence, everything clicked.

Simply recording the boys’ actions wasn’t nearly enough! I had to determine how I would have responded to what they were doing. (I encourage you to read the entire piece.. after you get to the bottom of mine, of course.)

Saxon tells stories. I defy you to read this account of boys playing outside without feeling that film of grit between your skin and your sweat. Or read this poem and not smell the mix of old grease and pancake batter crisping at the edges, while getting an uneasy urge to run away from a life that has become banal and dull. Her choice of words, the cadence, the rhythm expresses her reaction to the story she is telling.

Jane Devin also tells stories. Her style is intense and many times uncomfortable but succeeds in ripping away a social mask that most of us have spent years affixing to our true faces. In her latest post, I defy you to read the entire post without choking back anger and a primal fear that you have been discovered for who you really are by those who have become the closest to you instead of the person you wish them to see. Jane’s choice of words, her intensely-packed paragraphs followed by a short, controlled release before she plunges you back with a half breath expresses her reaction to the story she is telling. It is almost like literarily waterboarding the reader.

In a culture where anyone can become a published author, claiming the title of a writer or storyteller without honing the craft is unfair to those who have. It cheapens their work. It disrespects their gift.

If you want to become a storyteller, then work to become one. Don’t just claim the title. Examine the elements of story by reading books like A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Watch episodes of The Storyteller. Watch the last scene of Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome over and over. Read books by Joseph Conrad, John Steinbeck and Kate Chopin. Read Ben Zander’s book The Art of Possibility and watch his TED presentation. And read Jane Devin and Saxon Henry. Buy their books when published.

And tell stories. Lots of them. Like acquiring any skill worth holding on to, practice, practice, practice.

And while reading and listening to all of the materials I suggested above, think about why their stories work. And work to be as good as they are in telling a story that has your reaction embedded throughout.

Or stick to curating and leave storytelling to those who choose to reach beyond their five senses.

This blog post is part of a blog-off series with a group of bloggers from different professions and world views, each exploring a theme from his/her world view. This was about “answering the question, “What makes a good story?”” To explore how others handled the theme, check them out below. I will add links as they publish.

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Imagine this as the future of newspaper

Gatorade Control Center

I read yesterday’s Dayton Daily News today and they had a special section included. I don’t know where it is on their web site and I gave up trying to find it. I had hoped to point it to you as it is really cool stuff.

They have assembled all the COX Ohio Media in one facility and really decked it out with a bunch of studio space, digital equipment and tons of toys. I hope they give tours. But as I read the 10-page broadsheet-sized insert, I noticed a gaping hole in their media– no social media. Just newspaper, television and radio.

Oops. I hope that is just an oversight. If not, call me and let’s do business.

Here is what I think a newspaper/television/radio media company should do. Build out a social media center like they did at Gatorade (photo above) and staff it 24/7/365 with people authorized to reply back. Anytime anyone mentions Dayton on twitter, Facebook or blogs about Dayton, they know it. They know all the influential bloggers, the restaurant directories, the sporting events going on about town. They see tweets from people stuck on 35, wondering what the holdup is. They see a shout-out to a favorite restaurant or a blog post just published touting the really cool things about Dayton, Ohio. They see tweets from a frustrated bride three days from her wedding looking for a wedding photographer because the one she booked cancelled on her. They get behind movements to get Kroger to carry cheese curds.

And they would suggest advertisers quickly and authoritatively. And advertisers would get calls. And business.

And they see tweets when people are coming into Dayton for a family visit and welcome them back. They see birthdays on Facebook and send out tweets and updates wishing each a happy birthday. Maybe they even send out random cupcakes on that special day from a local bakery who advertises with Cox. In short, they act as the bar in the City Where Everybody Knows Your Name.

Can you imagine how many people Jeff Pulver would tell at his 140conf Conferences about the time he came to Dayton, Ohio to visit Hamvention and the local newspaper made sure his experience here was warm and inviting? That they tweeted him when he landed, asking if he needed a ride, maybe even tweeted his hotel to alert them he was in town? I wonder how many other people would like to visit Dayton, Ohio, just for the pampering experience?

You are a neighbor here in Dayton, Ohio, not just a resident. And in the process, we all connect just a little bit closer to each other and the outside world.

That is what I think a local newspaper can become. And for not a lot of money.

Postnote: 2011-02-21
Chris Brogan posted a video about the future of media. Here is one facet of my take on hyper-local.

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Is that a blizzard up ahead? How we can easily get lured into a false truth

Many years ago, I was working as an area manager in Minnesota for a company that serviced retail stores. My area was all of Saint Paul, southern Minnesota including Rochester and Mankato and western Wisconsin. I was promoted to a corporate job in Dayton, Ohio and accepted in early December. Part of my transition duties was to take the new area manager to the stores and introduce him around. We decided to visit Rochester and scoot over to Mankato, then back up to St. Paul. Not a big deal, but there is no major freeway between the two cities so it was two-lane highway.

There was a forecast of a blizzard later in the the afternoon, so we set out early to beat the snow. We wouldn’t have another chance before I left and being stuck on a two-lane road in southern Minnesota in the middle of a blizzard was not our idea of fun.

….

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What do you think of that Wikileaks thing?

SOURCE: wikipedia.org
SOURCE: wikipedia.org

If you do anything with a computer, chances are your friends have asked you “What is that Wikileaks thing?” or an even smarter question that tries to hook you into a debate, “What do YOU think of Wikileaks?”

Firstly, I’m not really sure why anyone around me cares what I think about Wikileaks, but maybe they are unsure of their own opinions and just want to bounce it off someone whose livelihood depends on having opinions about such things.

Or maybe they’re just itchin’ for a fight.

If you haven’t guessed by the length of time it took me to write about Jullian Assange and Wikileaks, my official position on the matter is, “Meh.” I don’t think anything has been revealed that anybody who had been paying attention didn’t already know. And those who have not been paying attention probably already have short attention spans and will figure out actually reading the cables and documents on Wikileaks is a lot of work. (It was for me.. still on page one.)

Here are my opinions. Comment below at will:
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Why we are engineered for another 9/11; the TSA is working backwards

The media and blogosphere is going nuts with this recent hulla-balloo over the TSA pat-downs and full-body scanners. In news segment after segment, after the guest tirades about lack of privacy, dignity, pornography scan and whatever else is the convenient bumper sticker claim of the hour, the anchor eventually asks the guest, “What would you do differently?”

The question generally sends the guest into a sputtering mutter and the anchor then makes his/her point, “See? You have nothing. This is the best system we have even though it is imperfect, so sit down and shut up. We all want to be safe.”

Only that’s not really true.

All the TSA did after 9/11 is replace a patch-work of private security guards of questionable authority with standardized, uniformed TSA agents with unchallengeable authority and a McDonald-ized set of procedures. All airports must be set up a standard way. All interactions with passengers must be conducted in this manner with this script. All escalations are handled by a supervisor, here’s how passengers proceed through, here is how to wand, etc, etc.

When there is a procedure and a script, employees to fill the jobs are easy to find, easy to process, easy to train, cheap to pay and cheap to replace. It is like changing out a bolt in a piece of machinery. That is how we approached the job at hand; fill 65,000 jobs in less than a year. Instead of asking ourselves why we needed 65,000 TSA agents, we just marched forward to replace the patchwork system we had into a uniform one.

It’s how we handle anything that needs mass-processing in this country. And it is prone to malicious injection because it is standardized and predictable. A smart man who happens to be a retired Dayton police officer told me something right after 9/11 I’ll never forget. He said the minute we go to a national police system is when we become vulnerable. We may find it easier to communicate and coordinate, but it is easy to inject a virus and mole into a system. It is almost impossible to do the same with patchwork.

What I would do differently
Inject unpredictability into the airport environment. That helpless lost young man you helped who couldn’t remember where he parked? TSA agent. That pretty chatty girl who was in the elevator who wanted to know where you were flying off to? TSA agent. That grandmother whose cell phone battery just died and she asked to borrow your cell phone to call her niece? TSA agent. That frazzled businessman who was running late for his flight and wanted to know what time it was? TSA agent. That college student who thought your iPad was really cool, where did you get it and can I see it? TSA agent. That blind man with the dog at the duty-free store who asked you if he was holding a bottle of Absolut? TSA agent. The dog too. That hipster who liked your shoes and where did you get them? TSA agent.

All watching you, all asking you questions to determine how you react in situations that are unpredictable. And all either clearing you or escalating you before you reach security and even after you pass through.

And we all pass through metal detectors set up really high and we put our loose stuff in bins like we did before. We are waved through by cheerful uniformed guards but it is all just a show. Only the passengers who have been escalated past a certain comfort point are channeled through a special “high risk” area where their tickets, documentation, luggage and person is more thoroughly searched. Most of us blithely proclaim the United States is the most free country to walk around in. No planes are highjacked, because we all trust each other. That is how we live with freedom in America.

Or at least that is what the TSA wants us to believe. Just like Walt Disney makes everyone believe the streets on the Happiest Place on Earth are never littered with trash.

We would need less than half of the thousands we employ already with the TSA. We would have to commit to hiring and training people to be really good actors and profilers (not racial profilers) and we would have to be willing to inject new scenarios and outcomes every day into the airports. We would have to pay these people well. We may even be able to save a few from a life as a greeter at WalMart (who can spot a lie better than someone who has raised a teen-ager? AARP, you listening?)

We’d have to be committed to the real security of human beings by applying a human solution, not a blind faith in technology with a promise of automated safety. A system is predictable and predictability can be injected and highjacked.

What about putting people in charge again scares us most?

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Curb stomping

First, watch the opening scene from American History X. It is rather graphic, but please watch it through. (About 7:00min) If you have not seen the movie, please rent it. It will make you very uncomfortable, but it will make you think.

Now watch the more recent curb stomping that happened just last night by Rand Paul Bourbon County campaign coordinator Tim Proffit on Lauren Valle, a MoveOn.org protestor outside the debate hall.

You should now have chills up and down your spine. This is what we are coming to in American politics. It should make you very uncomfortable; it should make you think.

It should scare the hell out of you.

RE: Curb stomping

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Serving red-staters only

Three things of significance have happened in the past year that has made me pause and think that perhaps we may be on a trajectory that should reverse course.

1. The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have the right to free expression, which enables them to give freely to any candidate they choose.

2. I made a visit to Jim’s Donut Shop in Vandalia, Ohio. There were a bunch of old men sitting around the counter and I jokingly remarked to the counter lady that this must be the place where all the political talks take place. “Just don’t be supportin’ Obama in here,” she candidly remarked.

3. I participated on a New Media Dayton panel about content and the question of identity online was asked. I made a joke about how we will see businesses force customers into Red State and Blue State lines depending on their political views and the ones in the line the brand supported would be served first. I was immediately taken aback by how true that is becoming.

Eventually, someone at a client organization will find this blog and connect it up to my real life person. There will probably be some discussion around a board table in which a comment like, “That boy leans too far left to be able to represent our brand with integrity. All in favor of firing that liberal, socialist commie, say ‘aye'” will be made.

Will business ever get to the point where they start thinking “your money is not green enough for us to take from you?” They did once upon a time in this country when no matter how much money a black person was willing to spend, business did not care to take it or treat him well based solely on the color of their skin. Still happens, but we’re less likely to put up signs.

Business is not nameless and faceless. Business is people. People have emotions, opinions and points of view that are not necessarily in line with their long-term best interests or survival instincts. Most times, they are not.

Will we get to that place where business refuses to serve you based on the color of your politics?

I hope not. But I have not been back to Jim’s Donut Shop since.

And never will.

Photo source: http://loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8a33793/ Does using a photo in the public domain, stored by the US Government in the Library of Congress make me a socialist? I dunno.

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Real election reform ideas

This is a very strange election cycle. I think a lot of people are floating ideas ahead of the 2012 presidential election that will be mind-blowing and head-spinning. 2012 may see the electorate perhaps as divided than we were during the American Civil War. I fear some may even take to arms to settle disputes of ideas.

We need to stop this trend of stoking up the people to anger just so 535 men and women can either stay in power or gain power. With the current state of the media competing with Lady GaGa, The Jersey Shore and the Housewives instead of rational thought, I don’t see a change in the trajectory. I really hope I’m wrong.

In the hope that reasonable people are reading and are also as nervous as I am with the mood of this country, I offer two options for some election reform.

For every day or portion of the day an incumbent is campaigning, they may not draw a salary or benefits from their elected positions
These people are interviewing for a job they hope to keep. The taxpayers paying them is like me demanding a day’s wages from a prospective employer for interviewing with them for a job I need to convince them I am qualified for. If they don’t get paid for campaigning, maybe the campaign season will be shorter and the actual work we elected them to do will be done more in earnest.

The only TV ads that are allowed are one where the actual candidate is speaking into the camera in his or her own words.
All other ads can be run, but they MUST carry a huge disclaimer throughout the entire broadcast of the ad that says “This is an opinion only. Facts have not been independently verified.” Even if the ad contains facts, unless the candidate is facing the camera and willing to put his/her words on the recorded record, it should be labeled opinion. Free speech means you can say what you want, but you can’t make up your own facts.

These are just a couple ideas from one of the unwashed, fading middle class voters out here in Pro-America who is getting very tired of the rancor, hate and anger but knows that to ignore it would be more dangerous to liberty than getting more involved.

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You are bringing a soccer ball to a football game. Why blogs don’t matter.

Are blogs as important as bloggers think they are? The question itself is a bit of a stretch, but I think the shortest answer to it is one of the most American of all answers — the sports metaphor.

“Old media” — television, newspapers, magazines — are like Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) with some more minor players like the National Hockey League (NHL). Blogging is like Major League Soccer (MLS).

Who?

Exactly.

Actually, the MLS really doesn’t matter all that much, even to soccer fans. It’s just kinda.. well.. there. What matters more are the many youth leagues, SAY, AYSO, ODP and regional travel leagues scattered around the country. If you did not recognize any of that, you’re not alone and it’s ok. Soccer doesn’t really matter.

In the United States, about 4-6 million kids play soccer, depending on whose numbers you believe. That is more kids than football and baseball combined. By the time they reach high school most of them have dropped out to play other sports like football or baseball. While their kid is playing soccer, parents are engaged, almost fanatically, but when their kid no longer plays soccer, the parents quit caring about the sport, dedicating their time now to an extra dose of football and baseball.

“It’s a good thing Johnny finally got into a real sport like football,” most dads think quietly to themselves with a sigh of relief.

Sportscasters openly mock soccer as not being a real sport much like television and newspaper journalists mock bloggers as not being real media people. Sports departments cover soccer only when they have to or when it fits a pre-determined narrative, like during the World Cup and then only begrudgingly. Mainstream advertisers won’t buy placement in soccer venues. Many have soccer initiatives only because they are looking to attract the soccer mom and many times only as an ancillary buy to a larger media placement. Soccer-only product enthusiasts find out quickly how shallow and cost-concious the market really is, many going out of business within a year after launching their product or service. The parallels to blogging v old media almost rise up and slap you in the face.

And how does soccer respond? Not by being itself but by trying to emulate the larger sports leagues. It organizes the sport into a large national league (MLS) instead of deeper, hyper-local clubs tied to the community. It encourages rule and play format changes to make the play more exciting to American audiences. More goals, more points per goal, more physical contact, shorter fields, fewer players on each side for more ball touches per player, more tournaments, more, more, more….

And even internally, soccer people turn on each other, gutting one league to form another, jealously guarding their own piece of turf or breaking off to form their own club or league when the director pisses them off. (Read points 2 & 3 at Brass Tack Thinking) Sound like a typical impromptu parent sideline meeting? Sure does.

In the end, it is blogging that will change to fit an old media model, not the other way around. Sure, there will be some hold-outs like we have grizzly soccer guys who collect in pubs to watch a Arsenal game and complain about how kids today don’t play futbold like they did back when they were young. And they will eventually die and take their fan loyalty with them.

In keeping the metaphor alive, millions of bloggers write a million and a half blog posts a day. More citizen journalism, opinion editorials, lifestyle, industry insights, restaurant product and movie reviews are published each day by bloggers than network journalists combined. And still we ask, does blogging matter?

Does soccer matter?

This blog post is part of a blog-off series with a group of bloggers from different professions and world views, each exploring a theme from his/her world view. This was about “Do blogs matter?” To explore how others handled the theme, check them out below. I will add links as they publish.

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Yes, Velma Hart, there is a Santa Claus, but he is not Barack Obama. He is you.

When I saw Velma Hart address President Obama a couple weeks ago, I cringed a little bit as she talked and cringed even more at Obama’s response. And I was just going to sigh deeply and let this go, not really wanting to add to the mountain of left-on-left violence that was clogging up the tubes.

But then I watched a bit of the One Nation Working Together rally yesterday and all I heard was more Velma.

“I’ve been told that I voted for a man who said he’s going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I’m one of those people, and I’m waiting, sir. I’m waiting. I don’t feel it yet.”

Forgive me if I am interpreting this all a bit incorrectly, but what I am hearing is a nation all waiting around for someone to swoop in and give them a job, hand them a top 10 checklist for success. There never was such a thing and never will be. You were told “Yes, WE can” not “Yes, I can.” What part of WE did you not understand clearly enough? Did you think the fight was going to be easy? Did you think the fight was going to come without casualty? Your new reality, Velma, is your old reality: success is never easy; freedom is never free. Nobody is going to save you if you choose not to save yourself. It could very well be that your old reality was an illusion.

When was the last time someone swooped in and created change for you? Why did you believe Barack Obama was going to do that when others have not? When did you think you could coast?

What I would have liked to have heard the president ask back to Velma is, “When did you give up fighting for yourself? When did you grow tired of the hunt?”

This Velma moment reminds me of a scene in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. If it has been a while, watch it again. Toward the end, Harry is lying by the edge of the lake, dying as his soul is being sucked out by dementors. Some magic time shifting stuff, but he was on the other side of the lake, waiting for his dad to come and rescue him with the Patronus Charm; waiting as the dementors administers the Kiss, which sucked out a soul forever. He then realized that it was he who conjured the Patronus, not his dad. And this realization enabled him to create a powerful charm. Nobody saved him but himself.

This is how Velma — and all of us — need to view our “new reality.” We are our own saviors.

The world does not belong to the meek or the ambitious, but the tenacious. Sometimes moving forward means moving backwards a bit. But moving forward always means never giving up. Moving forward means getting back up when you get knocked down, regardless of how exhausted you feel. Moving forward, Velma Hart, means believing in yourself more than anyone else, even the President of the United States of America.

I think Barack Obama would agree.


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Shifting words to maintain the “incumbent” narrative

Did you notice it last night as the primary election results were coming in? The media narrative of “anti-incumbent” is not meshing with the reality, so the use of “incumbent” is being quietly shoved under the rug for words like “establishment,” “experienced,” and “DC-insider.”

The media was wrong in their prediction of this huge anti-incumbent wave sweeping the country, angry voters demanding change, etc, etc. but they won’t admit it. They stubbornly hang onto the theme they set and push valiantly through, changing the lexicon ever so slightly.

Did you notice? You should have. You should be asking “why?” You should be asking why media is predicting and producing a news cycle rather than reporting and analyzing.

And when the final results are in from the general elections and they don’t match the narrative then it was an “upset.” I guess it is all entertainment after all. Very expensive entertainment, but…

Am I wrong?

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Hello? Can anyone hear me? Koran burning over here

No, I’m not really burning a Koran nor would I burn a Bible, Torah or rip up a picture of the Pope. I wouldn’t even fling elephant poo on it, hang it in a museum and call it art. Why? It’s not that I don’t reserve the right to express myself in these ways — because in America, I do — but because they are deliberately intended to show disrespect to other people’s beliefs about themselves. Doing these things is only intended to send a message of disrespect to others, not as an expression of my free speech.

But that is not really my point. I just said all that because I believe it to be true, but also to stave off any nutjob who wanted to come over here and pee all over my carpet just to show he can. Whoopdeedoo, you found the comment box.

My point is just one small contention with one assertion President Obama made in his press conference today. He stated (40:22):

This is a way of endangering our troops… I hardly think we’re the ones who elevated it. In the age of the Internet, something that could cause us profound damage around the world.

With all due respect, Mr. President, I disagree.
Continue reading “Hello? Can anyone hear me? Koran burning over here”

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Questioning the journalistic ethics of Amber Lyon (CNN)

I found myself wide awake at 4:00 am or so last night with no remote in sight and the channel stuck on CNN. Amber Lyon was running a story about Craig’s List and its change from “Adult” to “Censored.” The whole thing ran like a more polished version of James O’Keefe’s “Acorn pimp” video. At about minute 5:00 after the “investigative” part of the story ran, Amber Lyon wrapped it all up and said “don’t question my ethics as a journalist.” The story as it ran on CNN is below.

My canine sense started tingling a bit after hearing this story a few times and watching Ms. Lyon assert her journalistic ethics, so we thought we might just ask a few questions:

– Why did Ms. Lyon inject herself into the story by placing an ad of questionable content on Craig’s List? There were thousands of ads she could have reported on without making a new one. She could have called several hundred and interviewed the person placing the ad, even if the questions were as simple as “how many people responded to your ad?” Out of a hundred ads, 10 or so would probably have gladly answered her questions.

– Why did law enforcement not take action against Ms. Lyon after she clearly admitted to placing an ad of the type she expected law enforcement to take action against?

– Why did Ms. Lyon not interview all law enforcement departments in all areas that Craig’s List ads ran to see if CL notified them of any postings? Interviewing one out-of-context investigator hardly establishes credibility. (Yes, we will be calling the Englewood Police department on Tuesday to see if anyone from CL has reported a postings. We want to be thorough.)

– She said she didn’t ambush Newmark and that she wanted to talk about his speech (6:08) and did no such thing once the cameras were rolling outside. Well, perhaps she led the interview with questions about the speech he just gave, but that is not the part that aired. The part that aired — and Ms. Lyon knew it would — was the part where she waved a printout of the ad in front of him and asked him to explain it, unread and unverified. That is an ambush.

These are just a couple of questions off the top that we think Ms. Lyon should be answering. As the viewing public, we should be questioning the journalistic ethics of reporters all the time, with every story, with every statement.

Just as we intuitively know politicians are lying the minute they say they are not, so too we feel journalists are being unethical the minute they claim to be ethical.

Am I being unfair to Ms. Lyon? Thoughts? (Please, no general statements about the MSM. Generalizations are also almost never credible as well.)

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#140conf Road Trip in Dayton, Ohio – Photos and video

Jeff Pulver of 140Conf poses with Gary Leitzell, the Mayor of Dayton at the Dayton Road Trip meet up for the 140conf.

When we arrived at Blind Bob’s for the 140conf Road Trip Meet Up, there were already a dozen people there, waiting for and watching Jeff Pulver and his “roadies” navigate the Ohio freeway system. When Jeff arrived we had over twenty people there and more on the way. Apparently, this was a very large crowd, so we’re very proud of our Dayton peeps!

Gary Leitzell, the Mayor of Dayton (the REAL mayor, not the fake one on Foursquare) joined us early and stayed almost the whole time until his official duties as Grand Marshall of the Ale Fest kick-off parade pulled him away. We can now claim another “first” in a long list of firsts for Dayton, Ohio; the first mayor to join an official Tweet Up! Dayton, first in flight; first in Social Media!

We’ll be publishing the more “official” story in the next couple of days, but for now, we have a ton of photos and some video. Cindy DeVelvis also shot some really cool footage that will be available soon. Links here when that is online.

To download all the photos, grab the zip file here.

And some videos…

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