Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Searching for placeblogs, with town names from an old atlas

October 13th, 2006 · 1 Comment

My fellow “citizen journalists,” blush with me. After reading 700+ placeblogs, Lisa Williams has our number!

“You know, a lot of citizen journalists are a bit shy. They don’t like to do cold calling and interviews. So what they do instead is dig into public documents, maybe put stuff that’s out there into a spreadsheet. Maybe in a way this is a kind of journalistic research that substitutes for stuff they don’t like to do. Or maybe it’s the kind of journalism you can do at 3 a.m.”

That’s a quote, not from Lisa’s blog, but from her talk about her new project Placeblogger, last night at Harvard’s Berkman Thursday group. A few more favorite quotes, from my TextEdit jottings….

YesBulb: The light bulb is giving some light!
The (shy?) citizen journalists at are doing something Lisa says is great.
“They pick a public document of the week each week and actually read it and talk about what it means.”

How Lisa found the 700+ placeblogs she’s studied so far
“It was very low tech. I kept typing placenames from the atlas into my browser–and every time I threw that net into the water, I came back with more fish!”

Lisa’s good news for old-line newspapers about the zillion web-versions they’re creating:
“I don’t understand why newspapers aren’t trying to make money from technology transfer programs like the ones that universities have. Newspapers around the country are building out tomorrow’s legacy technology today–and they’re not making any money on it because every newspaper is building its own one-off.”

Tags: Metablogging

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 High tech, high Ada-Lovelace-quotient Lisa Williams // Mar 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    […] she then branched out to find others like herself and built Placeblogger, mixing high-tech with low-tech can-do in equal proportions. Now she and Susan Mernit are teaming up, so who knows what the future holds […]