There is no quid pro quo. If you don’t like the book, say so. Of course, positive reviews would be welcome, but honest ones are better. Stores like Amazon have generous return policies. Honest reviews help the potential purchaser make an informed decision and better avoid buyer’s regret that leads to dissatisfaction or book refund requests. So, please, be straight.
Today, I resume posting at Oddly Together after two long hiatuses over four years. The blog returns focus to the original concept never executed—storytelling and things that go oddly together.
Presently I also post at my name domain, as well as several social sites. During the next month or so I will evaluate whether to regularly write at both blogs. I may dedicate the other, “Five Minutes Joe”, more to writing about writing, with emphasis on journalism.
My new mantra: “Go to the audience”. As I first explained six years ago in post “Iran and the New Democracy”, mobile devices and Internet-connected—so-called cloud—apps allow anyone to be publisher and broadcaster, bypassing mainstream media. Storytellers like me must go to the audience, wherever, whenever, and on whatever device. The days of expecting people to go to newspapers, radio, TV, and the like are over. Go to the audience, reciprocate, and it will come to you, too. Original content will be priority but by no means all posted here.
The Tumblr audience is bigger than when I joined in May 2008, but the character is remarkably similar. New York, baby. It’s that Big Apple thing far removed from Silicon Valley geeks. Then there is the founder’s personality reflected throughout. Yay, David.
I’ve got a pointer for bloggers and journalists, that’s probably unnecessary: Use all resources on hand when writing.
Late yesterday, I posted: “Google has lost control of Android”. After I completed writing the nearly 2,000-word missive (it’s longer now), I went to a Forrester Research tablet report received on Friday to look for a chart. I had planned to write a separate news story on the report and hadn’t read it before writing the analysis. How stupid.
There are two charts in the report, and the second one contains data that supports the main point my analysis makes. Had I seen that first, and the supporting text, I would have structured the story quite differently and written something shorter, since analyst Frank Gillett so affirmatively supports my main premise.
After posting, I inserted a second lead paragraph and changed the first, to clearly refer to the data. The analysis doesn’t flow as well as I would like, when adding in Frank’s tablet forecast, which is fault of my original construction not his data.
The point: I should have looked at his report before writing one word of my analysis.
Photo Credit: Tony Hall
Do you have a journalism story that you’d like told? Please email Joe Wilcox: oddlytogether at gmail dot com.
When I look at changing news media and things that go oddly together, Huffington Post and the Pulitzer Prize would be two of them. After all, Ariana Huffington is the queen of aggregation, right? Yet one of her reporters took the coveted journalism award this week. Could it be that—gasp—there is a place for new world-old world journalism after all, or that one becomes the other?
I’m a harsh critic of Huffington Post, and an unfair one at that. I don’t read the site ever and haven’t closely followed changes since being acquired by AOL only to really be the one ultimately taking charge. Huffington is Queen Bee over AOL news, make no mistake about that.
Quoting anonymous sources in the news these days is about as verboten as telling your waning audiences to bug off, as the student reporters at the college where I teach might attest. In some ways, they’re synonymous.
For decades, lazy journalists routinely attributed controversial material in stories to anonymous sources — until readers and media critics lashed out. By the time I got to college, the practice was so out of favor that I hardly imagined its use. My teachers preached the rigors of fact-based reportage and deep sourcing that comes from humping a beat. And if a source wouldn’t go on record with vital information, backdoor it with a comparable source or leave it alone — it’s not worth losing your credibility with audiences if the source turns out wrong.
Then I got in the news business, and shit got real.