Tech & society

South Sound Technology Conference

The Blogging Boom: How Journalism, Private Enterprise, Parenting, and Civic Action Have Changed (link1, link2)

Kathy’s 5-minute remarks:

  • If the internet + HTML — otherwise known as web publishing — is equivalent to the printing press, then blogging software is equivalent to PageMaker + the laser printer
  • First and foremost, this is a medium of communication. What the medium carries as content is secondary. Printing press can make a bible, the TNT, the National Inquirer, a racing orm.
  • Newspaper companies need to realize that newsprint is simply a medium of communication. The content — news and information — is what is crucial.
  • “News media” do not have a monopoly on journalism — Jim Carey calls journalism our collective datebook. He also said:
    • The way that journalists tell stories is always changing,.Some of those old story forms came into being to solve old problems. In our time, they may be exhausted. We may need some new forms of journalism to solve new problems.

How have social web technologies affected news?

  • Accelerated the 24×7 news cycle got got its first push with the telegraph and another boost from CNN, which launched in 1980. Note that CNN reached critical mass during the 1991 Gulf War. Corollary for political blogs is possibly the 2004 election.
  • RSS -> syndication
  • Context -> links to archives, other sources, multi-media. Example: San Diego, KPBS and the fires.
  • Watchdog/Transparency -> from Trent Lott to Dan Rather. This week, Joe Klein and his “reporting” on the Democratic-sponsored FISA bill…. retired Brigadier General Kerr (last night) …
  • Distributed reporting -> earmark project on appropriations bill (2006)

Mark – introduced panel and set stage for discussion; TechCrunch changed power structure in Silicon Valley.

Matt – Cascadia Center – power of niche blogging; power of providing deeper analysis of reports than newspapers have time or space to do.

David – how much blogging means to TNT (300,000 average month – Seahawks blog) — over time, promotional power of the newspaper (40,000/month with restaurant blog) but the blogger has to create the community. Where is the leverage in the blogosphere? Manage straight reporting with attitude, personality. We have a skilled reporting corps — boots on the ground. 120 journalist covering south Puget Sound. Employing your readers to help you do your job: frenemies (lol!).

Audience ? – community provided info v professional provided info – ethics of inclusion/exclusion.

What do we do about filters, accuracy – gov’t blogs?
Chicago Transit Authority example
Bob Lutz – GM; Mavericks owner; Boeing blog, Randy Basler (bad example)

Q. Anonymous posts v anonymous comments
No shirt, no shoes, no service

Q. American Magazine Editors : web no long framed as “zero sum” (drains readers from print)
Dave – revenue from web about 10% and growing. Different MSM have different hunger to make this journey; it’s not a binary choice.

1 creator – 10 synthesizers – 100 readers
Creative Commons

Q: What makes a good blogger?
Matt: google news feeds; link a lot; voice; write well

Future Question:
Crosscut – good stories; Dave – good stories;


Parent Bloggers:
– Jen,
– Christina,
– Lisa,

Jen: when you become a parent, you need community support (and you don’t lose all of your opinions!). BlogHer & ability to have a part-time job/income. Blog came about because she set a goal to write one good thing about Tacoma every day in 2007.

Christina: “best of” site in 2005 at msnSpaces; this is how she became a reader-blogger.

Lisa: adoption adventure – husband started the blog. originally to keep family informed about the process (adoption from Russia). this is the 3rd iteration. fascinating journey.

See (1 million visits a day, one of the first people to be fired because of her blog). – group blog. (political parent blog).

Christine: bottle v breast feeding is WWIII. (Made me think of “oil v synthetic” thread in motorcycle conversations.) If you blog publicly, you are inviting public discourse. It’s made me a less judgmental parent; I’ve learned a lot of practical things from others.

Lisa: helps if you want to homeschool.

Tickle Me, Tacoma –


Blog Tech: Connecting, Reading and Feeding
Kevin Freitas, FeedTacoma


civic blogging – moderator Paul Ellis, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

Patrick ($ man) –

  • hyperlocal – deb gallant, mybarista?
  • link to 9-11 as a change in voice from “cool links” (boing, boing) to personal diary.
  • dec 2006 windstorm changed the discourse & appeal of the blog
  • (patrick blogs about philosophy – narrative, personal stories, we get a certain sense of self after hearing someone else’s story)
  • holding open public forum – mystery will go away

Derek Young –

  • increase civic involvement
  • comment guidelines … if you were to say this in a bar would you get a fist in your face .. probably not a good comment. no sweeping generalizations, no personal attacks.

Justin Carder – capital hill blog

  • – build series of local blogs
  • started because he was moving to a new neighborhood

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

One reply on “South Sound Technology Conference”

Kathy, I am still absorbing details from the 2007 SST Technology, it was fabulous. A pleasure meeting you as well. I will put my daughter in touch with you, Jacqueline Klingebiel who is attending Georgetown’s CCT program and doing the first-web-dissertation for the program on the effects of blogging and engaging the public conversation in public discourse. I will put her in touch with you to discuss. Thanks for such an insightful day. I was merely trying to write letters to the editor to deal with my “fifties angst” in what is going on in the world and thankful for the decision to take off and attend this worthwhile conference. Watch out for my blog…..
Pat Curran, Federal Way activist

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