1. Tuesday, December 4, 2007

    answers to your very nice questions 

    4rilla asks:
    How happy and excited was your Mom?

    My poor mom. She’s gone through a lot being my mom. She reminded me of the time I told her that I was going to go to the Czech Republic to help my friends start the first English-Language newspaper, Prognosis, (i later decided to stay behind to remain in a great relationship with my girlfriend). She basically freaked out when I told her that I was going to drive around the country (and Canada) in a big circle in a car with 120k miles to thank the readers of the busblog for buying me a car. And of course she had to read all the things that I made up and wrote in this blog “please tell me this isn’t true…”

    So the fact that I will soon get health insurance probably tops her list of things she’s stoked for me about.

    Aaron asks two questions:
    q. If you were told when you sat down in 2001 to write your first post that it would lead to a key position at the LA Times (despite blogging still being off the media radar at that point); would you believe it?

    Dude i still dont believe it. any of it. not the success ive had on the busblog, not the success i had at Buzznet, not the success i had at LAist, and sure as hell not this. I am a Cub fan. Nice things don’t happen to us, even if we deserve it.

    Will there be any place in the new job for traipsing across the continent uniting other bloggers?

    If you recall, when I was Community Manager for Buzznet, I traipsed across Canada, the US, and even Holland under the guise of uniting other bloggers. I believe traipsing and uniting is part of the job description. Hiding and dividing would make me a sad panda.

    Carrie axes two too:
    one, are you still gonna talk about sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll?

    In two weeks I pass that torch to you baby. I’m really old. No one wants to hear an old man write about those things.

    two, are you still gonna come to LAist parties? barring that, can I have my birthday party at your place next year?

    If I am in town, and I am invited, and there are Jello Shots I will be there. Where else will I be allowed to wear pajamas and drink champagne straight from a bottle?

    keir asks:
    Is lulu a good option for blooks? Do I recall correctly that you said something like that?

    When I was at SXSW this spring I saw three different blook manufacturers, all very impressive. Lulu impressed me a great deal. Specifically how well color photographs looked in the interior pages, and how “real” the books looked. All of the prices were right too. However, I have never made a blook with anyone other than CafePress, so I can only attest for my experiences with them, of which I have no complaints.

    the Holywriter asks:
    What’s the formula for a good newspaper blog? We’re thinking about putting one on the Marietta Register website.

    When i find out i will tell you. but change good to great because that’s what im shootin for. but to me what makes a good blog, in general, will probably apply. and what makes a good blog to me is that the reader is rewarded with every visit. surprise them, challenge them, treat them as adults. and do this around-the-clock.

    Can I have your empty chair at LAist?
    My chair was actually a black leather couch. And it’s rarely empty, so hands off.

    Zona zings:
    so now are ya gonna buy a condo and start stashing dough for retirement?

    i love my bachelor pad, and it loves me. magic has happened here and its still happening. i like my crazy neighbors, i like how central i am to everything. i like how close i am to the subway and the freeway. aint movin any time soon. as for retirement, im a workaholic. its 2:10am. i am doing this instead of sleeping because i promised you all i would, and i like to be trusted as a man of his word. workaholics probably dont retire, we just work somewhere more heavenly.

    Phil asks:
    If blogs were a reaction to a lack of character from mainstream news, and now mainstream news (papers, media channels, etc.) are investing heavily in the blogging game, what’s next for blogs? Do they get more and more personal, or do they change direction entirely?

    I don’t think blogs were a reaction to anything, especially what you suggest. Blogs were an opportunity for every day people to express themselves on web pages without having to be masters at HTML, Photoshop, and FTP. People have been interested in expressing themselves since cavemen (and cavewomen) painted on cave walls.

    Now that the MSM are getting on the bandwagon, the only difference that I can see is that bloggers will start to have easier ways to find stories that interest them. when people aren’t blogging about their personal lives, they’re blogging about current events. since the MSM are usually the ones who get (and keep) the topics on the table regarding current events, MSM blogs can aid bloggers with the stats-facts-and-graphics that could make blogging about those topics easier on the eyes – and more factual.

    I don’t think that personal blogging can get any more personal unless people start figuring out ways to put webcams inside their bodies. Right now most bloggers’ webcams are in their bedrooms, which is a tad more personal than most of us feel comfortable with, Pitt.

    If there is a new direction in blogging, I believe it will go the opposite way – outdoor blogging. Right now people blog in their homes and at work because thats where their computers are. Once the iPhone and other devices like that become more blog-friendly, people will be able to see something, hold up their cameraphone device, say a few things, maybe even type in some text and upload it quickly and easily.

    I haven’t seen a device like that yet, but if Google really does have a phone in the works, and if it doesnt allow for easy, portable, blogging, then they’re missing the one killer ap that will seperate them from Apple. Yeah it’s neato to flip through colorful album covers to get to your mp3s on the iPhone, but if you can let someone blog something quick in a matter of minutes, then you really have something useful instead of something thats just cute.

    such a sweet write up on Adrants