Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Lotuslandian Bloggodome: By George, I Think Norm's Got It.


In my opinion Norman Farrell is one of the best, if not the best, of all the local Lotuslandian bloggers.

For all kinds of reasons, including the fact that he is both fair and fearless.

Norm also knows how to muck about in public databases to find the true nuggets that are strewn about there.

And, perhaps most importantly, like Hunter Thompson before him as well as his contemporary Ms. Yuile,  Mr. Farrell has a gimmick.

Which is that he knows how to write.


Anyway, I wrote this post so I could tell you that Norm's got an idea.

And it's a good one, I think...

...A number of bloggers plan a blog aggregation website featuring regular commentary about many issues important to British Columbia. Writers will maintain independent sites but there will be a single internet entry for readers to review abstracts, then make a choice to be linked, or not, to originating blogs for the complete articles.

In addition, original and cooperative publishing will occur as the effort evolves. We will promote vigorous exchanges but feature wise, witty and mannerly discussions. At least, most of the time.

We also intend to provide research assistance and training resources to encourage and improve independent journalism. Another goal is to help beginners start in the world of blogging.

To achieve this goal and ensure the website remains free of advertising or commercial sponsors, we must address start-up costs that include programming and internet hosting and communication services. That’s how readers can help. A number have already contributed but without further assistance, we cannot develop a product as fine as it can be.

Additionally, if you can volunteer technical or professional services to assist in the start up, send me an email and explain what those could be. We'll be looking for a graphic artists, web designers and a lawyer with media experience...

Don't know about you but I'm in.

So, head over to Norm's and check out what he's planning.


By the way...I actually consider Mr. Thompson to be the first true blogger...And I'm not kidding.
Speaking of folks who have demonstrated that it really and truly is possible to 'Be The Media'....Sean Holman's new documentary on the problems with the party system in provincial politics is being screened tonight on the UBC campus (Buchanan A-103 @ 7pm)....Trailer is here.... Details of other local showings in Victoria and Vancouver over the next few days are....Here.



Anonymous said...


What separates bloggers from their regular paychequed siblings are editors.

Ideally quality goes up and errors go down. Not quite at the level of peer review, but better than not having any system of checks-and-balances.

It should be noted that there is no current aggregate blogger site (that I am aware of) that uses editors before posting - not even citizen editors.

So if you fine folks were to institute a circle of love where at least one of you reviewed another's work before it was posted, then the site would be miles ahead of all others.

RossK said...

Thanks Anon--

It's a point very well taken.

I agree that peer review is a different matter entirely and thus is best left out of the discussion for an enterprise like that which Norm is proposing.

However, believe it or not, I've actually worked for an editor in an older fashioned public print-type enterprise, albeit only in a quasi sportswriting role, and I very much see the value of pretty strict editorial oversight there.


There is something that good bloggers can do that, I think, can ameliorate the need for strict editorial oversight. Namely, they can be self-correcting based on the feedback they receive.

This happened most to me based on a comment that the VSun's Kim Bolan left me on the comment thread to a post I had written...The upshot is that this led to a series of posts that resulted in a pretty interesting confluence of both popular and critical interest in what had gone on around here.

So, maybe there is a middle ground where there is some form of loose editorial oversight that helps increase the quality and rigour of what is being aggregated without squelching the actual DIY aspect of the actual product (which is what I think is one of the best things about the best blogging - think of the difference between what Bob Mackin puts up on his own blog vs. what he produces in BIV, for example)...

I have some ideas about how to do institute such oversight, and I plan to pass them along to Norm.

Thanks again, both for the suggestion and the interest.

(and you can always send Norm an Email if you are interested in passing along tips/pointers)

For anyone interested about how things went down, and how things turned out, based on my interaction with Ms. Bolan, things are summarized fairly well here (it's a shame all the comments to that and the linked-to posts were disappeared by the demise of the old haloscream because there was some really great discussion associated with them).


macadavy said...

Any blogger worth his/her salt is totally attuned to feedback (minus nut bar white noise) and responds to readers in a way no MSM letter-to-the-editor can ever do. Sometimes they even highlight screaming cri-de-cour comments from their faithful readers!
btw - your awesome archive deserves a search engine!

Anonymous said...

Post publication commenting and reactioning falls under crowdsourcing - which is fine, BUT it is NOT what I'm advocating.

I'm saying have a trusted pair of eyes go through the article PRE publication.

Maybe this is something folks like Yuile, Holman, Mackin or a Tieleman type who has experiances as both blogger and editored writer could bring their perspective on what value - if any - an editor brings.

RossK said...


Search engine driven out of little box on top left.



Got it.


(and just so you know, a number of folks do pass their stuff around, pre-publication, right now)


kootcoot said...

Mary often acted as an editor for me!

RossK said...


Me too.