Dual Loyalty

As writers and bloggers are so fond of saying; you couldn't make it up. You don't cross the Iron Curtain and come out without scars ...
· Jozef Imrich, Survivor of the Iron Curtain Crossing

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

He still receives royalties from the "Jeopardy!" theme, which he wrote in less than a minute. "That little 30 seconds has made me a fortune, millions," he crowed. How much exactly? "You don't want to know." Please, Mr. Griffin, do share. "Probably close to $70-80 million In the Chatting Olympics, Look for Merv Griffin

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: More Fun With Distribution Models
There is nothing so pleasant as to give oneself trouble for a person who is worth one's while. For the best of us, the study of the arts, a taste for old things, collections, gardens are all mere ersatz, succedanea, alibis. In the heart of our tub, like Diogenes, we cry out for a man. We cultivate begonias, we trim yews, as a last resort, because yews and begonias submit to treatment. But we should like to give our time to a plant of human growth, if we were sure that he was worth the trouble. That is the whole question: you must know something about yourself. Are you worth my trouble or not? Marcel Proust, Le Côté de Guermantes

Neil Gaiman blogs that his new novel, Anansi Boys, will have four simultanously released distribution methods: hardcover book, download, audio CD and MP3 CD. I hope we see some numbers on the relative performance of these formats. Release date is September 20.

Literary Curve [Online news items have a lifetime of just 36 hours Fifteen minutes of fame? ; Round Up by Magnificent Matilda Weekend Round-Up #22 ]
• · Three of Salon's most popular stories in the last few weeks have featured those words, says editor-in-chief Joan Walsh. "I still think that affinity relationship is the key to why people actually pay money to support Salon -- they value us, the relationship, and increasingly they value one another," she says. Thoughts from Jay Rosen, Samir ("Mr. Magazine") Husni and others. Future of magazines: Net could empower readers ; Fitzsimons: A lesson in making history alluring
• · · Half the literature, highbrow and popular, produced in the West during the past four hundred years has been based on the false assumption that what is an exceptional experience is or ought to be a universal one. Under its influence so many millions of persons have persuaded themselves they were 'in love' when their experience could be fully and accurately described by the more brutal four-letter words, that one is sometimes tempted to doubt if the experience is ever genuine, even when, or especially when, it seems to have happened to oneself. -W.H. Auden, The Protestant Mystics Kokoda Trekkers Haverleigh ; For Søren Kierkegaard each person was engaged in an individual quest for truth in the stages along life’s way. Fear and Trembling
• · · · Umberto Eco has made a name - and fortune - for himself in the role of thinking man to the masses. Not that we understand what he is going on about most of the time. Nigel Farndale asks him to explain himself Heavyweight champion ; We should not use public money to support the further destruction of human life Life is Seen as Precious, Depending on the Issue
• · · · · Czechs are obsessed with kangaroos even a soccer team is named after them and now Bohemian musicians want to live among kangaroos; Tomas Strnad
• · · · · · Tuna salad...the new Anthrax? ; The Online Magazine for Writers and Book Lovers

Monday, May 30, 2005

Order seems to come from searching for disorder, and awkwardness from searching for harmony or likeness, or the following of a system. The truest order is what you find already there, or that will be given if you don't try for it. When you arrange, you fail.
-Fairfield Porter, letter to Claire Nicholas White (April 13, 1972)

Blogging takes us back to the roots of newspapers: In the blogging world, says Washington Post Co. CEO Donald Graham, there's one person who's Ben Franklin and 100,000 people who think they're Ben Franklin. Wonkette's Ana Marie Cox says blogs that have served as watchdogs on the mainstream media now look more like that segment of the media themselves: They're cliqueish, they're arrogant, they get things wrong
Blog search engine One site does all the hard search work

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Web is Drowning Snobery

There is, writes Virginia Postrel in her column on Forbes.com, 'something about blogs [that] makes a lot of respectable journalists hyperventilate. News pros seem terribly threatened by online amateurs.'

As an illustration she quotes a Los Angeles Times columnist, David Shaw, an über-hack who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for his media criticism. Blogging, Shaw writes, is a 'solipsistic, self-aggrandising, journalist-wannabe genre'. Bloggers are 'practitioners of what is at best pseudo-journalism' and 'many bloggers ... don't seem to worry much about being accurate'.

Journalists must stop being in denial: bloggers are here to stay [Journalism is politics by another name ; via Hugh Martin Measuring the Impact of Blogs Requires More Than Counting ; Best, worst, and everything you wanted to know about ]
• · What Professional and Citizen Journalists Can Learn From Each Other - In America, many bloggers from the political right wing have turned MSM into an insult Evolution from the lecture model; How many entries does the average blog produce on a daily basis? Second, what is the size of those entries? Analyzing the A-list of the blog world
• · · Blogdigger Local new service will find blogs by geographic location; Why? On July 27, 2004, I began to Blog. I’ve had a ball. My “constituency” has had a ball I’ve had my Best Year in 20 Years!; This is the most secretive administration in recent memory, writes Eugene Robinson. If you say inconvenient things out loud, with your name attached, you get frozen out. Unnamed sources are a necessity. Journalists would rather have an on-the-record source than an anonymous one, he notes, but without unnamed sources, we -- and you -- would be less well-informed. To cite just one example, Watergate would be nothing more than the name of an expensive apartment building overlooking the Potomac. Unnamed sources are a necessity when covering Bush admin
• · · · Tim the Blogger of SBS fame Blastradius rocks ; There's a revolution underway in recruiting communications Seeking release
• · · · · The Amazing Rise of the Do-It-Yourself Economy ; Hacker Hunter
• · · · · · What is the least damaging way to tax the media and entertainment industry? But wait. Why not find the most damaging way? P.J. O’Rourke has some advice Here's a Tax We Can All Agree On ; You'll get burned playing the anonymous source game "I don't know how many more times the American press is going to put its hand on that stove before they say, 'It's hot, don't touch it,'" says newspaper consultant Tim Porter. U.S. News & World Report editor Brian Duffy adds: Everybody who's in the business and is drawing breath has realized it's gotten out of hand. Off the record, newspapers have a problem

Sunday, May 29, 2005

When I remember bygone days
I think how evening follows morn;
So many I loved were not yet dead,
So many I love were not yet born.
-Ogden Nash, The Middle

Some people are born creative.Others are born with drive. Others still have a entrepreneurial nose. At the Sydney Writers Festival one and all of these characters were there. Characters who do not know the meaning of boundaries. I was lucky to chat with Morry Schwartz as well as David Suzuki ... A river of opportunities runs thought these characters. Politics and the Novel session was one of the most impressive thanks to speakers who spoke in reverse alphabetical order - Christos Tsiolkas, Gillian Slovo, Eva Sallis, Caryl Phillips. As Christo noted: Artists need to create beauty to give moments of optimism and hope, but also think it is important that we be honest about nightmares. I think [nightmares] are just as important to art because that is part of human experience and part of human culture. This is a moment of darkness. It is dangerous, ugly time in Western Culture. Like Cold River, Dead Europe, does not want the postcard view of Europe.

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: A River Ran Through Sydney Writers Festival
Among the audience at the festival was a group of the world's leading publishers has descended on the Sydney Writers' Festival looking for authors to take to the international market

POWER to the people, sang John Lennon in the 1980s. If he were alive today he would see his dream coming true but not quite in the way he imagined. People are deserting established politics and resorting to social activism to get the changes they want in society. Almost every week brings new evidence. This week the Sydney Writers' Festival is sold out with people wanting to attend sessions and hear from overseas activists and polemicists such as Tariq Ali, David Suzuki and Jared Diamond. Explore international coversation:
CANADA - Iris Tupholme, V/P, Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, HarperCollins Canada
KOREA - Eric Yang, CEO, Eric Yang Agency
NETHERLANDS - Martijn David, Mouria (part of Veen, Bosch & Keuning)
UK - Marion Lloyd, Marion Lloyd Books, Scholastic UK
USA - Judith Curr, (not Lisa) Executive VP, Publisher, Atria Books, Simon & Schuster
USA - George Gibson, Publisher, Walker Books
USA - Sharyn November, Editorial Director, Firebird & Senior Editor, Puffin Books & Viking Children's Books, Penguin
Hat tip to the students at the UTS for making the coverage of the festival so colourful. As Anna Funder noted - Student talent isn't just the tip of the iceberg. Production of the daily newsletter, Festival News , radio program, video documentary and website for the Sydney Writers' Festival is an example of the many projects undertaken by UTS journalism students who are under the wing of Wendy Baker.

Catherine Rey credits two events in her life with making her an author -- being given away by her mother when she was a baby and moving from France to the fringes of the harsh Australian desert almost 40 years later.
Say you want a revolution: start with the silent warriors [Festival Club is a very intimate venue where Mandy Sayer showed a very special slide night of her family life. She not only took us into her family album for a night of pictures from the past but also tap dancing to a drum filled with her father’s ashes Mandy Sayer’s Pictures from Life ; The Saturday evening highlight .. wine and cheese on the Master and Commander type ship: Cockfighter's Ghost Wine Tasting with winemaker Patrick Auld - The wines of legend..... Behind every wine is a story - Cockfighter, the lead horse, became bogged in river quicksand and despite all efforts, drowned. A fateful night that gave birth to the legend of Cockfighter's Ghost.... Named after a ghostly steed, said to reside upon our vineyard, Cockfighter’s Ghost is unquestionably the best]
• · I missed a tribute to Czeslaw Milosz because it clashed with another session: A Certain Maritime Incident. Tony Kevin gave an extraordinary speech which he taped in case media attempts to twist his words around. He certainly gave audience an insight into the dealing with the press, defence, police and ministers. In October 2001, over 400 asylum-seekers departed from Indonesia in an overcrowded, unseaworthy boat bound for Australia. In the deep oceans between the two countries the boat sank and 353 people drowned. Tony Kevin asks what responsibility we have for the tragedy and exactly who knew what and when. Tony Kevin, author of the book A Certain Maritime Incident and well-known campaigner for a judicial inquiry into the SIEV X sinking, was awarded the Community Relations Award in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards, which are attached to the Sydney Writers Festival Story of Siev X : The longest applause went to Tony ; There were many other goodies, but I am too tired to detail so czech out the Big Pond streams at SWF
• · · According to Google: Free eBooks ; Lloyd Grove with the latest buzz
• · · · Note to You Liberal Weenies -- Yes, the Right Really Can Write; If you can't actually get to a writers' festival then the next best thing is for someone to bring it to you. And that's what BigPond have decided to do by providing a live streaming feed from the Sydney Writers' Festival this week. The Lovely Bones
• · · · · Head & Heart: Why don't we Muslims grow up?; There was a time when the big names in mystery writing turned a cold shoulder to romance
Chick lit heroines, humor give glam makeover to mysteries

• · · · · · If you are travelling to Blava czech out this website run by my naughty but nice cousins Bratislava also known as Pressburg or Pozsony ; Jobs in corporate social responsibility are growing as businesses try to do the right thing Debt to society

Friday, May 27, 2005

Schapelle Corby dried her tears behind the walls of Bali's Kerobokan jail tonight, vowing to fight her drug smuggling conviction and 20-year prison sentence. Both sides to appeal 20-year jail sentence ;
Elisabeth Lopez analyses the online reaction to the verdict and sentence in the Schapelle Corby drug smuggling case Bloggers say boycott Bali - The media could not get enough of her. She was young, attractive and accused of a terrible crime. She steadfastly maintained her innocence. Everyone had an opinion on whether she did it or not. But publicly, she never cried. The national verdict: lock her up. That is what happened to Lindy Chamberlain 25 years ago, when her daughter, Azaria, disappeared and she was accused of murder. And, though the Schapelle Corby case may never enter the realm of folklore as the dingo-baby mystery has done, the author, journalist and lawyer who wrote the definitive account of that saga finds echoes of media overkill and public obsession in the drama unfolding in Bali. We'll go for whom the tears flow - Google and the world unite Australians express outrage at Corby verdict

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: GE 2005 Citizen Report
The degree to which corporations should also benefit society—corporate social responsibility—is a much debated topic, but giant GE has expressed firmly what it believes.

It’s a citizen of the world, and people have a right to understand how the business thinks about and acts upon on such topics as greenhouse gas emissions, offshoring, and globalization.
That’s the message in the company’s first “On Citizenship” report issued in mid-May, which aims to provide transparency on these and other issues. The seventy-eight-page document, available from the GE Web site in pdf format, will become a widely studied (and debated) model for how companies report their CSR programs.

The rising rates of concerns is a sign of our healthy integrity and compliance culture [Lloyd George caused a stir in Parliament when he did the sums and found that, according to the body counts announced by the British Government, they had killed more Boers than the entire Boer nation contained Good(?) News from Iraq ; Big companies understand the importance of brands. Today, in the Age of the Individual, you have to be your own brand. Here's what it takes to be the CEO of Me Inc Personal Branding ]
• · A new history of "losers" in American business, researched in part at Harvard Business School's Baker Library, explores the tension between the American Dream and those who fail to achieve it. The myth of the American Dream—from bootstraps to billionaire, if that is what you are capable of achieving—has been well explored. But what of this nation's losers? If we live in a country where anything is possible, then what do we think of those who don't succeed? What do people who fail think of themselves? Losers and the American Dream ; Plogress keeps track of what your senator or congressperson is doing; daily updated lists of bills and legislation, and an RSS feed Plogress.com
• · · Gaping hole means budget is dead on arrival: Brogden ; Take our ports, says minister
• · · · Brave face belies Corby's turmoil within
• · · · · It's judgement day for Schapelle Corby. Neil McMahon looks at the highly public making of an unlikely marty Indecent exposure
• · · · · · Dontshootschapelle.com moderator, a Sydney blogger who uses the pseudonym "Weezil", got straight down to business: "Fundraising is a very good start. The Corby family are almost certainly going to be either staying in or commuting to and from Bali. I'm betting Mercedes & Wayan will be there for the long haul Someone has to feed Schapelle

The Man from the Cold River will spend the entire weekend at the Sydney Writers Festival & Nippon-type Clubs ;-) Those unlucky to reside interstate or overseas might care to visit the Big Pond as tomorrow night a debate of biblical proportions will take place: David Suzuki and Peter Garrett

This link is for the love of my life who lets me spread my wings other males can only dream of ;-) The one who must be obeyed introduced me to many finer things in life be it ballet, yorkshire pudding, and the taste of authentic Mediterenian cooking [There is not one issue of any gourmet magazine which features Mediterenian cooking that Lauren has not kept or filed inside her cooking manual - more and more yellowed by time]

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Marketing & Reading at Risk: drip, drip, drip
Ever wonder who declared granola to be healthy?

Do you believe that there's a person named Betty Crocker? What explains an $80,000 SUV? What justifies a $125 pair of sneakers? According to a new book, we buy what we buy because we believe in 'the story'.

• All marketers are liars How the Goddes of Marketing is Improving Cold River [ Every man I meet is in some way my superior - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American author, minister, & activist Something to consider: Everyone knows something that you don't. Take advantage of that and allow them to teach you Leading Ideas: Take Advantage of Others ; It's Not What You Say ... It’s What You Do - Follow-through is the critical piece in any change initiative Why is this night different from all other nights ]
• · The King is dead, and a large part of Australian television history has gone with him. Graham Kennedy's death from pneumonia early this morning has taken one of the biggest talents this country has seen from TV TV legend Graham Kennedy dies ; Carr death threat link to cathedral blaze
• · · The goal of this collection of essays from some of America's younger or emerging novelists is to disprove the dire warnings regarding the disappearance of a reading public. Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times; Matilda: Weekend Round-Up #21
• · · · While Ten's Big Brother attracted around 1.5 million viewers to its shows this week, a new kind of reality tv is winning the votes in Britain, according to The Age. Five men were invited into a West Sussex monastery to live with the monks for 40 days and 40 nights, being filmed by BBC cameras Monastery attracts the viewers ; Everything Bad's Not Bad ; New 24/7 chap on the block! Reindeer Company
• · · · · What happens when young people are trained in globalised consumption from babyhood on? Is there room for the self between commercialism and mass commodities? The "Coolhunters" exhibition in Karlsruhe looks at youth culture, from cheerleaders to cool rappers, from computer games to teenage suicide News from Teenyland; An archaic parliamentary rule today prevented a pregnant NSW state Labor MP from leaving the lower house chamber to use the toilet. Nasty moment ... for Parramatta MP Tanya Gadiel ; Age bias is about as common as coffee in the workplace, but there are signs that may be changing as a small but growing number of companies seeks to attract older workers Which companies are reaching out to older workers?
• · · · · · Experience beats youth hands down this season! Second novels are sprouting up everywhere. Poet Thomas Kling, who died far too young, has left us a final masterpiece. Non-fiction can't escape the dark shadow of World War Two but there's plenty of talk of a life without work as well Cold River this Season ; Once almighty arbiters of American taste, critics find their power at ebb tide. Is it a dark time for the arts, or the dawn of a new age? Critical condition

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hugh Martin: Jozef Imrich is a prolific researcher. This kind of blog can become a trusted source of links; effectively he's editing the web for readers interested in the media - When are bloggers journalists?

People's No. 1 question is How do I find stuff? Most advertisers who survive know that - The advertising business is undergoing an upheaval, forcing marketers to try desperately to stay ahead of technological innovations Advertisers Want Something Different

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Always on Google

Kudos to Google for succeeding to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Integrated Media Systems Center [ A new sensation is piggy-backing on the phenomenon that is the iPod: podcasting Come One, Come All: The Rise of Podcasting ; Corporate blogs have become something of a norm Another twist in blogging's fate]
• · Blogebrity: A to C list ; Ali, Rafat ; Ace ; Chris Allen
• · · Blogs Are Just the Medium, not a Profession ; What makes a blogger a blogger?
Being a blogger is a bit like being an alcoholic: if you say you are one, you are
What makes a blog a blog?
• · · · BitTorrent Creator to Launch Search Engine ; How Old Media Can Survive In a New World
• · · · · Are Bloggers Setting the Agenda? It Depends on the Scandal ; Why is it worth having a debate about whether blogging is journalism? Because, for one thing, as James Packer points out today, online companies such as Google and Yahoo! have market valuations of $US55 billion ($A72 billion) to $US60 billion while "media behemoths" such as Viacom, News Corp and Disney are capitalised at $US50 billion-$US55 billion. The dollars will follow the eyeballs
• · · · · · 'All time Greatest Aussie Bloopers'; We are at the end of the beginning in terms of the internet Online the way to go - Packer

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

We believe that in the best American tradition of helping others help themselves, now is the time to join with other countries in a historic pact for compassion and justice to help the poorest people of the world overcome AIDS and extreme poverty The circle of One

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Bridging the Digital Divide
Anne Daly presents data from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing to highlight the low levels of computer and internet usage by Indigenous Australians.

One possible way of addressing the digital divide between capital city dwellers and other Australians is through the development of community online access centres. Factors that are likely to make these centres more successful include a strong commitment by the community to the development of a centre and a close integration of the centre with community activities, and the budgeting of significant funds for training all involved including centre staff and community members

Lack of community leadership: Online opportunities and threats: strengths and weaknesses [It involves no less than the dream of all librarians since the creation of the Alexandria repository in Ancient Egypt ... Google Print, or knowledge is power ; The new publishing tool, Bubbler, provides web publishing with the ease of blogging Bubbler Drag and Drop Web Publishing]
• · I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity. The left is no longer progressive — Keith Thompson is leaving the left. Angels, Aliens and Bloggers — The blogging Right are all over this article today, entitled Leaving the left and written by one Keith Thompson Leaving the left ; via Memeorandum
• · · Conservatives Are Losing Their Monopoly On Complaints About Media Bias The Media in Trouble ; For all of us who rely on, and want to trust, our newspapers, television networks and news magazines, this has been a tough couple of years Yet Another Wake-Up Call
• · · · Now, everyone agrees that Republicans make the rules today in U.S. politics Sticks and Stones and the "Secular Left" ; How much of a pipe dream is it to be an effective 'media reform activist?' Most of us are skeptical about real opportunities for mere mortals to do anything to stanch the flow of life from an increasingly sold-out, wimpy, self-censoring, corporate-owned fourth estate. Winning the Media Wars
• · · · · The National Conference for Media Reform held last week in St. Louis was a smashing success in generating the momentum that the organizers from Free Press hoped for. Bill Moyers' powerful sermon of a speech during the closing session on Sunday morning was aired on C-SPAN and hurtled through cyberspace faster than that proverbial speeding bullet Why We Need a Media and Democracy Act ; Bush Lied, and Press Can't be Bothered to Report on it
• · · · · · Back in 1882, a woman named Elizabeth Jane Cochran changed her name to Nellie Bly and invented investigative reporting. She posed as a sweatshop worker to expose working conditions in factories. In Mexico, she wrote about poverty and political corruption and was thrown out of the country for it. Back in America, she committed herself to a psychiatric hospital and exposed the horrible conditions there What Happened to Watergate? Exposés, muckraking, stings, enterprise journalism ; A re-enactment of "The Emperor's New Clothes - The updating of the children's fable showed me that there is an alternative to bowing and kowtowing to the tin pot Caesars of Washington, D.C., who have nothing in common with the rest of us but much in common with the equally privileged plutocrats, the K Street lobbyists, who service the senators with money and obsequiousness in exchange for access It's No Fairy Tale: Truth-Teller from Across the Sea Exposes Senators' Lies

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

If a prisoner has gold teeth, he’s a drug dealer, if he’s reading Wittgenstein, he’s in for fraud. Now literary fraud is rather different... An imaginary “scandal”

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Bohemian Barista
Celebrating their visas to Australia, newlyweds Signor and Signora Bocconcini went for a last ride in the country of their ancestors. Just look at it carefully.

Who Says I Can't? Abandoned as a baby in Canada, Catherine DeVrye was adopted by loving parents. When she was twenty-one, they died of cancer, within a year of each other. An only child, Catherine packed her bags for a 3-month working holiday in Australia, arriving jobless and near penniless. If you’ve ever felt alone and hopeless, laugh and cry through Catherine’s story and become more empowered to turn your own stumbling blocks into stepping-stones.

Oy caramba [It’s brutal, the poetry world. Corruption, back stabbing, fraud – much of it exposed by a chipper and rather dangerous librarian How a Web site purporting to uncover fraud shook up the world of poetry contests ; Strange, wonderful, how we need to know why - In the end we, as human beings the world over and in our own way, love. We believe. We seek to eat, to have shelter and safe beds to sleep in. In all the tiny corners of the world, torn by war or party to it even if just by deed of our being human, we each head into sleep at night while within us somewhere deep or near the surface is the fundamental question we all ask. Why do we hurt, harm, kill? Why we ask...'why?' ]
• · I view life as a journey of initiation for death, Batya told a journalist a year ago: A person lives, suffers, dies. All the rest is grace. And love is grace. Writing is grace `Warm and wise' writer Batya Gur dies ; If we expect celebrities to be perfect, we are going to be continually disappointed Highs and lows for role models
• · · Snake River Brewing Company ; Human folly is often entertaining, but even its the most ardent connoisseurs have limits to their appetites. What biographers find in other people's mail ;
• · · · He was a strange and great human being Say it loud – it's Schiller and it's proud ; If Russia were ever to solve its problems, three groups would suffer most: corrupt traffic cops, oligarchs, and satirists... Adventures of a True Believer
• · · · · Microsoft & MEdia Dragon: 'There falls the Curtain that ruined my life.' There is not a lot more to say, except 'Thank You For Reading'; How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, a book by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble: Naked Conversations: Naked Coincidences: Naked Ambitions ; Deep Blog: Creating passionate readers in every corner of this small, small, world - Cold River: a survivor's story Sex Degrees of Separation Surfaced on the Web; Did you know that if you type my surname Imrich in any version of the Word (a.k.a. Gates-Scoble Microsoft) the spell czecher (sic) suggests the word Embrace Be Different! Creative Teaching and Spilling
• · · · · · The circle rippled outward to include the police divers fishing the river and the complete strangers who volunteered to comb meadow and fen. Police helicopters flew low over outlying villages and countryside as far as the county borders, truck drivers were alerted to keep an eye out on the motorway, and the army was brought in to search the fens, but none of them -from Amelia screaming herself sick in the back garden to the Territorial Army recruits on their hands and knees in the rain on Midsummer Common -could find a single trace of Olivia, not a hair or a flake of skin, not a pink rabbit slipper nor a blue mouse Case Histories revolve around three family tragedies; If you want to know what’s coming next, the answer starts here Far too many titles slip passed me - this is why I'm especially happy that Case Histories surfaced

Monday, May 23, 2005

Dan Okrent Confesses Failure And Leaves The Building 13 Things I Meant to Write About but Never Did

The Blog, The Press, The Media: If I were a rich man, and now I am!
I’d normally being reporting on an interesting story posted by Adam L. Penenberg at Wired on an upstart Hong Kong Chinese blogger who is setting up a blog network modelled on Gawker Media, but there is one line in the article that changes the whole tone of the this post: “no one has gotten rich off blogs in the West”
really. Well Adam, define rich!

Sure, there are no Donald Trumps or similar in the blogosphere, but to say that no one has has gotten “rich” in the blogosphere sets the bar to high... And in my terms, if you can make a confortable living from blogs, you are rich.

Challenge to Wired: define rich [Traders selling on eBay will be required to include the applicable GST in the price of their listings next month eBay GST wrinkle gets ironed outc ; The news industry is having trouble keeping its audience. Maybe it should try using sex to sell it? Extra, Extra... Sex Sells ; A Blogging Revolution? ‘Give Me a Break’ ]
• · Are profit and public service incompatible? ; Today Google Labs released Google's New Personalized Homepage. It currently allows you to choose from among a discrete range of sources (gmail; news from Google, New York Times, BBC, Wired, Slashdot; weather; driving instructions; maps) for display on your homepage. Features will be expanded to include feeds from more sites. (Note: you need a Google account to use this feature. More info in this SFgate.com article.) Personalize Your Google Homepage ; Bloglines CEO promises top blog search by summer
• · · More on bullying at the ABC ; Sam Don't Tell Us About It Janet ; New York college student, Simon Ng, was murdered May 12 and remarkably blogged about his murderers presence in his house just prior to being murdered Victim blogs about his murderer
• · · · Bloglines Blog Search a-Comin' ; Max Kalehoff: Wikipedia and Search; Dragons are out: Cows are in: report - Those rebellious Web write-ups go corporate ; Google News takes in more blogs
• · · · · Secrets Of Getting Web Traffic ; How do top ranking sites achieve their high rankings?
• · · · · · AdSense Ads Appearing In RSS Feeds; Most bloggers excluded from Adsense RSS advertising

Sunday, May 22, 2005

What is the current size of the Web? At the time of this writing, Google claims to index more than 8 billion pages, MSN Beta claims about 5 billion pages, Yahoo! at least 4 billion and Ask/Teoma more than 2 billion The 'visible' or 'indexable' Web is more than 11.5 billion pages

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Stuff That Matters: We want to burn witches
Starbucks Real Estate Learnings:

Like McDonald’s, Starbucks is a concept driven as much by real estate as it is by coffee and the coffee experience. These days Starbucks opens at least three new locations a day somewhere in the world. It has taken a lot of real estate to open up 9,000+ Starbucks locations and it will take even more real estate to reach their stated goal of 30,000 global locations.

• Tom Peters, comes a very promising new blog, TPWireservice [ Blog as if your life depended on it (for the next three months, anyway) ; Book by Bill ]
• · Renee Blodgett pointed us to an interesting conference coming up, BlogHer. Shameless Plug: Get Your BlogHer Gear Right Here!; via Bill Ives ; Jeff Jarvis' New Life: I just quit my job at Advance.net to do lots of new things -- a damned career smorgasbord all related to changing news and to citizens' media
• · · Hugh Martin - The Albrechtsen/MediaWatch/blogger stoush continues in the Oz's Media section today. As David Salter points out, it's all very petty. Media Watch versus The Oz: Media Watch has attacked Janet Albrechtsen for supposedly inflating the "journalistic credibility'' of Arthur Chrenkoff's round-up of good news from Iraq. Part Four: Fairfax corporate interests ; Part Three: Marr's Grand Prix crash
• · · · David Starkoff’s blog Barrack Room Gossip ; Part One: Janet Albrechtsen's Good ; Part Two: The Hookes' bouncer error
• · · · · In Commentariat Site for would be bloggers?; Here's a cool remix of the news, in a new service called Buzztracker. Using Google, the site gives a visual representation of news on the net Buzz tracking, globally
• · · · · From the ASIO archives. I smell a rat . . . I really can't believe that ASIO thought these things about Paddy McGuinness. Watch it ; I'm not a pundit. I'm not an authority on the Mideast, Congress, or taxation. I'm not a crusader or an apologist. Keillor says his feature will instead be "an odd amalgam" of the sensibility of local columnists and national columnists as he discusses the big-picture meaning of small current events. I can't begin a day without a newspaper in my hand
• · · · · · Gannon's story left critics tarnished, too Blame bloggers?: All news now requires quotation marks; We really used a two-pronged strategy -- one, try to get ahead of the daily developments, particularly the investigations of the newspaper by various federal government agencies. There also are a series of lawsuits. And then the second approach was to dig into -- what happened here? How Newsday reporters covered their paper's circ scandal ; Jim Schutze is a reporter for the Dallas Observer, where the local daily is caught up in a circulation scandal of its own

Saturday, May 21, 2005

What makes Desperate Housewives compelling, apart from the snappy dialogue, is that it is about where we live – the suburbs:
‘In the slums, I reflected, they had a fetish about keeping front door-knobs polished, but here in the 'good' respectable suburbs the fetish was applied to cars and to gardens, and there were fixed rituals about this, so that hedges were clipped and lawns trimmed and beds weeded, and the lobelia and the mignonette were tidy in their borders, and the people would see that these things were so no matter what desolation or anxiety or fear was in their hearts, or what spiritless endeavours or connubial treacheries were practised behind the blind neat concealment of their thin red-brick walls.’
The only skeletons in our closets are the ghosts of the suburban dead - A man can't be too careful in the choice of his surburban enemies; Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much - Oscar Wilde A Matter Of Shire Reputations

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Like the ‘surburban song’ says, I live in the Shire of Tactful Meyers
I have made only one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.
- Voltaire
Winston Churchill said somewhere or other that there are few things in life more exhilarating than being shot at without effect. I thought of this utterly characteristic remark a few hours ago as I watched a wizard from Ms Mac Consulting wipe the hard drive of my iBook and reinstall the operating system, an experience which I imagine to be not unlike watching in a mirror as a neurosurgeon pokes around in your head with a scalpel.

“'There is no man,' he began, 'however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man—so far as it is possible for any of us to be wise—unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be preceded. I know that there are young fellows, the sons and grandsons of famous men, whose masters have instilled into them nobility of mind and moral refinement in their schooldays. They have, perhaps, when they look back upon their past lives, nothing to retract; they can, if they choose, publish a signed account of everything they have ever said or done; but they are poor creatures, feeble descendants of doctrinaires, and their wisdom is negative and sterile. We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you are not the result of training at home, by a father, or by masters at school, they have sprung from beginnings of a very different order, by reaction from the influence of everything evil or commonplace that prevailed round about them. They represent a struggle and a victory. I can see that the picture of what we once were, in early youth, may not be recognisable and cannot, certainly, be pleasing to contemplate in later life. But we must not deny the truth of it, for it is evidence that we have really lived, that it is in accordance with the laws of life and of the mind that we have, from the common elements of life, of the life of studios, of artistic groups—assuming that one is a painter—extracted something that goes beyond them.'”
-Marcel Proust, A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs

No problem in literature, perhaps, is less instantly soluble than the question of reputations: the bewildering process by which, in the years after their deaths, one writer's stock soars while another's sinks into bankruptcy. The only real judge of a book, Martin Amis once remarked, is posterity
Undeservedly obscure [It takes some courage to back down and give your computer to Mac Doctors ;-) Ms Mac Consulting ; A book is a mirror; if an ass peers into it, you can't expect an apostle to look out -G. C. Lichtenberg Unlike Media Dragon, Ken Loach rarely does sex. He's English, after all, and there are some things a chap doesn't ask actors to do. But in bohemian ‘Ae Fond Kiss,’ his star-crossed romance set in Glasgow, the sex is dramatic, an act of truth True colour of love as cultures clash ]
• · As Australian companies compete for workers - paying for visa applications, raising perks and wages, increasing training - some German employers have begun auctioning jobs online to workers willing to accept the lowest pay: Jobs for sale, and bottom dollar wins; Rise in number of sick police leads to inquiry
• · · Just the name 'subversive literature' has a provocative, candle-under-the-bedcovers feel. In communist East Germany -- perhaps the most spied-on nation in history -- however, almost everything fell under that dicey rubric. Poetry about freedom? Anti-utopian sci-fi? Political satire? All blacklisted. Now, 16 years after the Soviet puppet state crumbled, two former citizens have unearthed the vanished nation's hidden literature and -- adamant that it no longer be submerged in anonymity -- are pushing to get it published The Bloody Scalp of Literature: Uncovering East Germany's Vanished Literature ; Everyone was amazed when Robert De Niro piled on the kilograms for Raging Bull. Imagine the willpower it must have required for Christian Bale to lose 28.6kg for The Machinist. Is he mad?Weight for just the right part; Frida Kahlo is the only artist who gave birth to herself, a friend of hers once said. The sentiment could almost seem literal Daughter of the revolution
• · · · Discount hotels in Prague ; Wran had an extraordinary ability to play both sides of the street: This is the third time I read Neville Wran’s biography; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers…. There is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death: When death becomes real, or when deep disillusionment with the possibilities of experience overtakes the being, then one can no longer avoid the confrontation with fundamental questions Why is there suffering? I had a very vivid nightmare last night that Neville passed away and as Russell Banks noted ‘Luck can't last a lifetime unless you die young’
• · · · · Sherlock Holmes has had one of the most enduring afterlifes in all of literature. Holmes has become a one-man entertainment complex. He has been the subject of at least 100 movies and nearly as many plays and radio dramas, and he has inspired an entire library's worth of books. There have been countless sequels and knockoffs... Holmes - The Case Of The Enduring Detective: We have met the enemy, and he is us ;-) ; Last year every publishing trend piece talked about nonfiction and political books. So this year it's fiction's turn Summer should provide plenty of stories ;
• · · · · · Remember, the greatest gift is not found in a store nor under a tree, but in the hearts of true friends - Cindy Lew Absinthe & Cookies (a little bit bitter, a little bit sweet); Book reviews should inspire reading. They should excite, stimulate, agitate and empower readers to discover new books and avoid bad ones. They should turn you on to undiscovered authors, prompt you into finally reading the writer you have never quite got round to, and make you wonder at the world of delights that remain unread. But let's be honest. They don't, do they? What's Wrong With The Modern Book Review ; What We Really Want In Books - Get Happy! Our hunger for happiness books is virtually unslakable. It seems to be an American phenomenon. We buy can-do books that teach us to fix our problems. It's like having your own personal life coach, and it's less expensive than seeing a shrink We are just so into how-to-be-happy books

Friday, May 20, 2005

Journalists thrive on conflict - Conflict emphasized because it's believed to increase audience DC reporters hype political battles

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Was Newsweek Doing "Trust Me" Journalism?
Blogger and journalism professor Jay Rosen has the ultimate analysis of the Newsweek Koran story fiasco. His conclusion: Newsweek was doing Take-Our-Word-For-It journalism.

And, increasingly, it seems like Jay Rosen is right.
Trust Me Journalism is a kind of journalism that boils down to this: trust us because we're reporters. Trust us because we work for a prominent news magazine that has given you reliable information in the past. Trust us because we had to pay incredible dues to get where we are to edit and report in these positions (unlike you guys in pajamas at your computers).

Trust me.... [ Jay Harris says at ethics forum Don't lose faith
in journalism
; In case you haven't noticed, (having suddenly awakened from, say, a persistent vegetative state) the blogosphere is officially "hot." So hot that there are now at least ten million web logs in the world -- one third written in English, but one fifth in Japanese and another fifth in Korean -- with more on the way every day Craigslist for Media? ]
• · This Conversation Hour with co-host Andrew McIntyre Jay Rosen and Virginia Haussegger ; Will blogging make journalism better? Media Futures ; Gary Sauer-Thompson: Forum on the media
• · · Red Light, Green Light: A Plea For Balance in Media Ethics ; Journalists address media credibility
• · · · Single Document Publishing; Good intentions cannot replace good communication What Is Going On In Newsrooms?
• · · · · Hugh Martin: Media Blog ; Prediction: Mainstream press will open archives
• · · · · · Bill Ives Business Blogs: A Practical Guide is Now Available ; CEO Blogs -- Where Angels(?) Fear to Tread Where are the CEO Bloggers – USA Today

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Advertisers need to go where consumers are, and increasingly, consumers are in front of their computers. In a trend that may soon be replicated in the United States, studies in Britain show that people with Internet access now spend as much time online as listening to the radio, and twice as much time online as reading newspapers and magazines. The shift is tied to the rapid adoption of high-speed connections, and advertisers are responding by making online video a major part of new campaigns De Bono and 'Serious Creativity': Tomatoes are not the only fruit

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Seven Laws of Internet Marketing
Corporate image design rules of the past are gone and so are the principles of old-fashioned mass marketing blitzes. What is now new is to aim for the targeted areas with powerful, unique global name identities and apply the latest of cyber-branding skills. The laws of e-commerce and Internet marketing are just the right steps in the right direction.

- Laws of Visibility
One is either highly visible or simply lost in the dark.

- Laws of Respectability
- Laws of Dependability
One can deliver either what one says or they can produce smoke and mirrors.

- Laws of 'Memorability'
- Laws of 'Typeability'
- Laws of 'Globality'
- Laws of 'Protectability'
Businesses, irrespective of size or any other component, must embrace new rules to cope with these new realities. The road to commerce is pretty clear and opportunities are there, provided one can navigate properly.
Corporate image design rules of the past are gone and so are the principles of old-fashioned mass marketing blitzes. What is now new is to aim for the targeted areas with powerful, unique global name identities and apply the latest of cyber-branding skills.

One is either savvy on global e-commerce realities or not [The Victorian Auditor-General's office has proved to be a rich source of material highlighting the incompetence of government agencies with respect to ICT projects When government projects become a comedy of errors ; Business is like sex. When it's good, it's very, very good; when it's not so good, it's still good. George Katona - The Cost of Not Innovating ]
• · Sifry's Alerts Ten Million Blogs Tracked ; Ken Parish: One in Ten Million is Stepping back
• · · Tim Dunlop: Dr Feelgood, Arthur Chrenkoff, and the Tony Eastley/Amanda Vanstone interview edit. I defy anyone to explain the difference between what Media Watch does and what the average political blogger does ... The paradox of this is that, if journalism is truly that superior to blogging, then you would think that an organisation like Media Watch would hold the journalist to a higher standard They have no hestitation in calling Chrenkoff a liar ; All lies are told with a straight face. It is truth that's said with a dismissive giggle - P.J. O'Rourke The ABC & Tony Eastley's Comments ; Mark Patinkin: If we were better citizens, we'd be better journalists - Lately, too often, we've failed at both writes. I'm not saying we should censor ourselves if we think a story will taint government and country. Fresh air is good for democracy. But I'm convinced that if journalists cared as much about being citizens as getting the story, we'd be more careful, and thorough, in our reporting In this business, a correction doesn't get people unkilled
• · · · Irony is an unpleasant way of saying the truth: When journalists become commentators ; Arthur Chrenkoff: Crikey ...Watching the Watchers
• · · · · With mainstream publishers unable to respond to demand from would-be authors, writers have taken the initiative Punk publishers: My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating ; Our media lacking true self-criticism
• · · · · · Cartels, media and telecommunications: the rapidly changing face of Australian competition regulation ; StoryCast is an experimental digital storytelling service that lets people use their camera phones and other mobile devices to easily create and instantly share stories with friends and family StoryCast: simple, digital storytelling
with photos and narration

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Litblog Co-op choose yesterday to announce their first Read This! selection, Kate Atkinson's CASE HISTORIES. will their selection move the sales needle in any meaningful way? First Blog Reading Selection Named

Fire, fire, fire in a stack of needles - How likely are you to come across reality sale at FictionWise? Winning Through Obscurity & Worst Marketing ... Bringing the aesthetics of Hunter S. Thompson to the Web: More affordable than ever: Super Duper Troika Bargain Books on the Bank of the Cold River; Heavilly biased American Librarians are having a clearance sale on Unshelved stuff :-) Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Royallless Readers Shifting rivers at the speed of byte (Sound like a bargain? Then maybe it is too good to be true ;-)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Desperate Rage
On 16 May 2005 AD our society is finally celebrating the value of older women, but there's a catch ...

If there's one thing generation Y can thank the baby boomers for, it's that they are making the ageing process look a whole lot less scary than it used to.
In 1965, The Who's Roger Daltry captured the spirit of a generation when he crooned the lyric I hope I die before I get old. In 1975, my mother, then a teenager, told her overbearing father that if she had her way, everyone over 30 would be shot. By 1995, the cast of Friends had us raving about prolonged "adulescence" and claiming 30 was the new 13. And this year, the most popular show on Australian television is a window into the lives of glamorous middle-aged housewives

Cool to be forty-odd, as long as you don't look it [Inside Higher Ed -- The Power of 3 Who would have thought that the number three could wield such power? ; Rehabilitating Cynicism: Art as Political Action ]
• · History is making a surreal comeback. It is reasonable to ask why ; What makes some years iconic and not others?
• · · Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past ;
• · · · A German Shakespeare, Dante, and Pushkin rolled into one, Goethe is a randy iconoclast, a pure spirit who made language dance Poetic vistas of eternity

A book's power lies in its ability to erase us, to expand or contract without limit, to circle inside itself without beginning or end, to defy our imaginary timetables and lay us bare to a more basic ticking. The pages we read are a nowhen, unfolding far outside the public arena. As long as we remain in them, now reveals itself to be the baldest of inventions.
- Richard Powers

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Blogs abound, and so do commentaries on the blogging phenomenon. Some of these commentaries confine themselves to exhortation - blog or die, in effect - but most take one of two lines. The enthusiasts identify a social revolution of overwhelming significance that will change for the better the way we do just about everything. For the sceptics, on the other hand, the barbarians are at the gate, although like all barbarians, they will be repelled eventually, if we just learn to take the long view Like many enthusiasts for the blogging revolution, Hewitt is much clearer on the journey than he is on the destination

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Media reform on the fast-track
Communications Minister Helen Coonan has announced she wants to free the Australian media industry from the current ownership restrictions as early as this year.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Senator Coonan says the current laws give media companies 'no room to move'.
Senator Coonan's comments, originally reported by The Australian Financial Review, could pave the way for mergers between television, radio and newspaper companies as soon as this year. 'I am both committed and determined that we will get some media reform, and hopefully later this year,' Senator Coonan said. Some cross-media ownership controls would remain, depending on how deals affected media diversity, she said. Cross-media ownership law reforms were last in the spotlight two years ago. The federal government's efforts to change the laws were denied after the opposition and minor parties rejected the proposals, calling them 'a threat to democracy'.

If it breeds, it leads: by Ryan Mason [Kerry Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting Limited is planning to build a new underwater casino in Macau Giant Gambling Fishbowl ; No Chinese press course ]
• · From Computerworld Today, Australia's Workplace Surveillance Bill 2005, which will go through the country's parliament on Wednesday, makes it a criminal offense to read employee e-mails Employer E-Mail Monitoring Ban Awaits Approval in New South Wales ; Labour Party Members and/or Internal Auditor are exempted - naturally ;-) Workplace Surveillance Bill 2005 website
• · · Get the straight dope from IT managers and security consultants about the best anti-spyware products, links to favorite anti-spyware information and software, how to tell if your system is infected, and what to do about it if it is Anti-Spyware Tips And Tricks ; KGB; MI6; Stasi; Asio: Learn What Spyware Is, How To Stop It
• · · · New Justia Web Site Enables Consumers to Easily Track Auto Recalls ; From the Federal Judiciary: Each Judicial Circuit, District Defined in Newly Posted Map - A new map delineates each of the 12 regional judicial circuits and 94 judicial districts within them. Clicking on the map will lead you to the web sites of the federal courts in a particular circuit or district Federal Judiciary Updates Map of Court Websites
• · · · · Customizing Enterprise Portals: Will Users Take the Time? Enterprise Information Portals: The Logical Next Step?; Making Knowledge Management Smarter
• · · · · · This NewScientist.com article suggests that Teamwork will beat the spammers by using a social network to identify spam in a dynamic, collaborative effort All Together Now - A Recommendation to Beat Spam ; Let Your CyberAlter Ego Share Information and Manage Spam

Walking around the river I meet a woman who warns me about snakes. In Autumn (via delightful Boynton)

Humankind’s greatest creation has always been its cities. They represent the ultimate handiwork of our imagination as a species, compressing and unleashing the creative urges of humanity. From the earliest beginnings, when only a tiny fraction of humans lived in cities, they have been the places that generated most of mankind’s art, religion, culture, commerce, and technology The Genius Of the City

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Big Rocks
The busier you are, the more important to stop and read this story.
One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.

As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers, he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." He then pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one by one, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"
Everyone in the class said, "Yes."
Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more. "Is this jar full?"
By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered.
"Good!" he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question. "Is this jar full?"
"No!" the class shouted.
Once again, he said, "Good!" Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then the expert in time-management looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"
One eager Beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it."
"No", the speaker replied, "that's not the point.
The truth this illustration teaches us is this: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all. What are the big rocks in your life?
Your children, your spouse, your loved ones, your friendships, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others, doing things that you love, time for yourself, your health.
Remember to put these ‘BIG ROCKS’ in first, or you'll never get them in at all. If you sweat the little stuff (i.e. gravel, the sand) then you'll fill your life with little things you will never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks)."
So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the "big rocks" in my life? Then put those in your jar first.

• James Cumes: Rocking the River: Cannes: Where are the Aussies? [ From blog to book, chasing the thin line; Money talks here, too ]
• · John Doyle, Washington and Lee Law School, announced that his Current Law Journal Content currently covers 800 journals. He is seeking to "include additional English language non-U.S. titles Current Law Journal Content Seeks Assistance to Expand Titles ; The terrific folks who give us continuous, open access to New York Times articles through the New York Times Link Generator are in need of support following the failure of their server hard drive New York Times Link Generator
• · · From the New York Times, this article reports that the UT Austin undergraduate library will be "empty... of books" by mid summer, having replaced them with "software suites UT Austin Library Goes Digital ; Shel Israel: Master of Ideas
• · · · Masturbation has come a long way in the last two-hundred-odd years. Kant proclaimed it the worst conceivable defilement of a person’s humanity. But for Woody Allen, it’s simply ‘sex with someone I love’ Master of His Domain ; It's Sunday morning and I'm feeling slightly sermonish having been reading various blogs and websites for the last hour or so Sermonetta
• · · · · The annual National Folk Festival held in Canberra over the Easter weekend has quietly become one of Australia’s cultural landmarks National folk ; Daily Folkloric Bread
• · · · · · Confessions of a dual citizen ; Can't find the right word? You might want to start moving your hands Hand Off To Better Story-Telling

Monday, May 16, 2005

Stephanie Dowrick: ‘We will never achieve what we can’t imagine, so what are we hoping for?’

John Ralston Saul: ‘If we believe in Democracy you have to believe in the power of the citizen – there is no such thing as an abstract democracy.’

Alexis de Tocqueville:‘Individualism ... disposes each member of the community to sever himself from the mass of his fellows and to draw apart with his family and his friends, so that after he has thus formed a little circle of his own, he willingly leaves society at large to itself. ... Individualism, at first, only saps the virtues of public life; but, in the long-run, it attacks and destroys all others, and is at length absorbed in downright selfishness.’

Ghandi: ‘Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.’

Robert Menzies: ‘Sovereignty is the quality of kingship, and democracy brings it to the poor man’s door.’
Last week was a hectic one for Webdiary, with some fast-breaking stories bringing a lot of traffic, many debut commentors and a lot of intense and angry discussion. Sometimes nasty, too, which is why I announced my intention to conduct an experiment banning all personal abuse altogether Webdiary Discussion Guidelines

Sadness and Injustice Across Frontiers: Seeking volunteers for Webdiary's 'people's inquiry' into Alvarez
G’day. After a good night’s sleep, I woke up with an idea to focus the energy of Webdiarists determined to get the truth about Vivian Alvarez and bring those responsible to account.

This is what we face. The Alvarez scandal goes to the very legitimacy of a government which in our democracy is supposedly elected “by the people for the people”. It is difficult to imagine a more frightening scenario for Australians – the knowledge that an Australian citizen, through, as Vanstone admits, no fault of her own, can be deported by her own government and left to rot in another country. And the knowledge that once the mistake is discovered, nothing of substance is done to remedy the error. And the knowledge that, when the government finally admits what it has done, it is left to the media to find the victim. And the knowledge that the government wipes its hands of the affair, handing over responsibility to someone without legal powers to get the truth in private conversations with those in the frame for possible crimes.

People’s Inquiry [The impact of outsourcing in immigration detention ; J'accuse! An open letter to Cardinal Pell on mandatory detention ]
• · Citizen Jack: how a man with a computer and a passion for justice can make a difference in today's Australia ;
I am Melba Marginson, a Filipina-Australian citizen who married Simon Marginson. I have an 8-year old daughter. After the revelations of Vivian's case, I want to withdraw the citizenship advertisement about me which appears on the DIMIA website entitled Make Australia your home by becoming a citizen.

A letter to Webdiarists from Melba Marginson, a Filipina Australian
• · · Webdiarists help reveal Vanstone "mistake" on crucial Alvarez fact ; Google: Woman deported because of looks: lawyer
• · · · Google: No Alvarez royal commission yet says PM! Vanstone secure in job, says Howard ; The Department of Immigration refused to help the Australian Filipino community search for deportee Vivian Alvarez Solon when she was declared missing Call for ministers' scalps
• · · · · White Australia has had an appalling 2 century record of racism, violence and human rights abuse ranging from 19th century slavery in the Pacific Islands and genocide of indigenous peoples to continuing complicity in horrendous Coalition passive genocide in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories. White Australia actually achieved a Left-driven "window" of remarkable social decency in the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, but has seen an appalling resurgence of cowardly, nudge-nudge, wink-wink racism over the last decade. Racist White Australia Deports Brown Australian Citizen ; Calls for an inquiry are reaching fever pitch as more details are released about Ms Alvarez's case and that of another Australian resident, German-born Cornelia Rau, who was locked up in the Baxter detention centre for 10 months as an illegal immigrant System causes untold agony
• · · · · · That's no way to treat a lady ; A Belated Mother’s Day Appeal To Pm Howard

Sunday, May 15, 2005

After more than our share of public blood lettings in the blogsphere as a result of employee bloggers running afoul of their corporate parents, it is not surprising that companies are starting to issue blogging guidelines. Lawyers Take Hold Of Blogging

The Blog, The Press, The Media: How Can I Stay Unique?
Why do some people like me continually succeed and others seem to continually fail ;-? Is it their background, upbringing, socio-economic status, quality of friends and personal relationships, ability to interact with others, being an extrovert, being an introvert, pedigree of education, etc.? Could it be luck…good and bad?

Traditional blogs are being supplemented with new technologies every day. The original blogs didn’t even have pictures; now, even Michele of A Small Victory is supplementing her blog with random shots from her camera-phone. Rob Sama has been e-mailing camera-phone images to his blog for quite a while now. Kelley of Suburban Blight used to send in new posts from her Treo. Wizbang has gone to a three-author format – originally because Kevin Aylward’s wife gave birth and he was needed in real life – and enjoyed great success. But adding pictures and writers is easy. It’s breaking into completely new areas that’s hard.

A New Hope : "Main Entrance"! [Because The Blog from the Core simply can't cover everything Blogworthies LXV ; In the very beginning, blogging was a highly personal endeavor. The kind of people who wrote journals enjoyed the anonymity of blogging their private thoughts to a public audience. But then people started passing around news stories via e-mail and they realized, “hey, there’s all these websites out there that let you make your own journals for free; why don’t I just post the stuff there instead?” Is Blogging Reached Saturation? How Can I Stay Unique? ]
• · Welcome to the Blogosphere: Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog ; Is Business Blogging All It Is Cracked Up to Be?
• · · Given the rancour in the Australian Broadcasting Authority boardroom when David Flint was in the chair it is hardly surprising he has stirred up some former combatants with his recently released tome. Behind the boardroom doors ; David Flint
• · · · Henry Copeland of Blogads has a pretty compelling contrarian review of the recent Business Week article Blogs Will Change Your Business What if Blogs Don't Change Your Business? ; Useful Blog Tools for Market Intelligence

Sydney Writers' Festival director Caro Llewellyn has ploughed through 200 books and travelled the world in preparation for this year's event ... Do you think there are essential ingredients that make a good book? Questions for Caro Llewellyn

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Gone with the Wind
Remember when you read that one in the sunshine or maybe it was at the bottom of the sea

Emma - known online as Summereth Ryrissa - has now written three stories about The OC. She discusses ideas with her friends via chatrooms and emails her favourite authors.
While others merge shows, create bizarre scenarios or use their own experiences, 13-year-old Emma prefers to stay true to the show. "My life wouldn't really fit The OC," she says.
Another website devotee, Genevieve Gilan, from the Central Coast, decided she would like to become an author after working on scripts for fan fiction. The 17-year-old believes her writing has improved.

Endings are only the beginning for online drama writers
[FanFiction.Net ; For those looking for a hint before the fateful announcement of our first Read This! offering, here's a sliver of the book's cover: Judging a Book On 2% of Its Cover ]
• · Culturally vibrant, if economically still fragile, New York has quietly been emerging as the world's primary clearinghouse for a fast-expanding pool of very-low-budget movies. A ragtag posse of former college film series promoters, ex-gofers at major studios and chronically underfinanced filmmakers - their way paved by the low costs and relative ease of digital technology - has coalesced here into a commercial brokerage and cinematic salon devoted largely to the 'little' film Big City, Little Movies ; We were glad to see that we weren't the only ones amused by the Times's editorial about Flux Factory's "Novel" installation Young novelists in love!
• · · With the entertainment landscape getting more and more crowded, and movie ticket sales sagging, how do you get people out to see your movies in the theatre? You get creative... How They're Luring You To The Movies ; Another Word for Murder
• · · · Why do movies cost so much to make? The art of the deal has come to replace the art of movies. To understand how the new Hollywood really works, one need only read stars' contracts... Art Of The (Movie) Deal ; Last night, I dreamed I went to Manderley...
• · · · · Geoff Meyer Gun and the Buck; Is the potent "Maggie" handgun ready to join the ranks of firearms suitable for the taking of big game? The best answer to this question is. . .it depends Tom Siatos, former publisher of Guns and Ammo: A Polar Bear "First"
• · · · · · Fang ate a bread roll from the restaurant at the start of his shift on the night of May 6. Two hours later management suspended him for five days without pay. At 4.15 the next morning his body was found in the water at Bondi Beach Why did Carey end his life? ; This is what happens to writers when they love to write but they can't keep publishing Reinventing Herself