Having my say about “Say Everything”

sayanythingSay Everything is about people.

But first, the news.

The destruction of two buildings in lower Manhattan marked the end of a lot of things — mainly our assumptions about how the world worked — and the beginning of a lot more. It also marked the moment when both traditional online news and the then-nascent field of blogging came of age.

If they didn’t know it on September 10, 2001, managers of traditional news sites knew it the day after that they had become the primary source for news during the work day. What they didn’t realize, as they struggled to restart their servers brought to their knees by the crush of traffic, was at the same moment, individual writers and their comparatively tiny audiences were discovering that there was a second path to enlightenment and information.

The blog.

The funny thing about people who think they’re smarter than everybody else is that, sometimes, impossibly and wonderfully, they are. And thanks to the rise of blogging, they no longer have to be famous and useful only to their closest friends.

“Say Everything” is a book full of stories of such smart people, each of whom, in his or her own way, thought there was a better solution to the problem of how to communicate better, whether the problem was technical or one of voice.

In a very straightforward and absorbing book that should probably come in a blister-pack with some SPF-90 as the perfect geek beach-read for the summer, Scott Rosenberg, a co-founder of Salon.com, lays out the second-draft of the history of blogging in book form (Rebecca Blood, as he notes, got there first with an online essay, and then the book We’ve Got Blog.). Wisely, he centers his chapters around individual stories which, given the very personal nature of blogging, often means that the focus of each chapter is one individual.

  • There’s Justin Hall, who Rosenberg makes the case as being the first actual blogger, even if he didn’t use that term himself. Described as “looking like one of Tolkein’s elves,” Hall is the king of TMI, sharing all details of his life and his body for all to see, until… Well, I won’t ruin it, but the ending is a classic story that began long before there were computers, or even clay tablets, I imagine.
  • We meet Jorn Barger, the man who probably was the first to describe his frequent jottings online as a “weblog.” More importantly, his was one of the earliest and most popular linkblogs, serving up Jeff Jarvis’ favorite online currency long before most of the rest of the world.
  • And then Heather Armstrong, the woman whose online persona - Dooce – turned into a verb when she was fired from a job – dooced — for blogging about, well, her job. Later she emerged as one of the earlier mombloggers and, even later still, as a book author.

The key to the success of “Say Everything” is Rosenberg’s focus on all of these outsized personalities. Without the story of how Ev Williams never gave up in the early days of Blogger or the “it just works” philosophy behind the controlled anarchy of Boing Boing or the dueling business plans of Jason Calacanis and Nick Denton, Say Everything could easily have tilted into a battle over the minutia of blogging history worthy more of a Wikipedia article (much-edited) or a conversation with the cast of Fanboys.

And standing in the middle of much of this is one outsized personality who strikes me as the most important to this story: Dave Winer.

If you haven’t heard of Dave Winer, you should. Without his efforts, it’s arguable that blogging, RSS, podcasting and even, to a lesser extent, online news would not be what they are today. Dave gets his own chapter here, of course (the very appropriately named “The Unedited Voice of a Person), but he’s also a presence that is felt explicitly and in the back-story throughout Rosenberg’s story of blogging.

You can currently find Winer at Scripting News, the site that, often, has absolutely nothing to do with its name and everything to do with one guy pushing and prodding the rest of us to think in new ways online.

Back in 1995, as noted in “Say Everything,” thinking different(ly) meant what we now know as blogging:

In 1995 he sent out a DaveNet (the precursor mailing list to Scripting News) essay titled “Billions of Websites.” At the time the number sounded ludicrous, even to Internet optimists, but Winer was serious:

“Every new website begets more websites. If I have one, I want my friend to have one, so I can point to it. And so they can point to my site. Someday, I’ll be able to walk a network of friendships, automatically knowing that each of us has mutual friends. It’ll be cool … The breadth of the web is limited only by the available space on hard disks, and the availability of human thoughts and feelings to fill that space … Every writer can participate in the web. Someday, very soon, I believe, every writer will.”

Winer didn’t just spout dreams. He shipped code — “shitty software,” by his own admission, but software that could iterate and inspire other efforts — and he beat the drum. He also famously got into a number of loud online arguments, but that’s not the purpose or the focus here; love him or not, there’s no denying that Dave Winer helped create the notion and the reality of the web you’re using at this very moment.

There’s more in Say Everything, including a chapter entitled “Journalists vs. Bloggers” that you can read in its entirety on the book’s web site. Also, there’s a treasure-trove of endnotes to the book featuring link after link to original source material for the book, much of it in the words of the bloggers themselves.

Years from now, Say Everything will serve as a valuable contemporary lens on how we got to the end of the first decade of the 21st century online. Today? It’s an entertaining and well-researched look at the early history of blogging that will keep you interested whether you’re sampling a chapter at a time or plowing through the entire book in a few sittings.

Kaboom!

Hah! It figures that the moment I decide to start writing about WordPress, my fancy-schmancy custom theme decides that it’s going to explode on the single posts.

There’s work to be done…

EDIT TO ADD: Looks like I’ve reverted to the stock theme. Marina hated that picture of me anyway. So enjoy the stock imagery for a few days until I have an hour to throw at fixing the theme.

WordPress: It’s a great CMS

So, WordPress.

Depending on the day, it’s the smile on my face or the knot on my brow. It’s probably the simplest thing I’ve ever monkeyed with behind the curtain and, yet, it’s insanely complex.

According to those who know, it’s a lousy content management system. And yet, I have to disagree. It’s got some limitations, to be sure, but I’ve found it to be remarkably malleable, bending itself to many of the tasks I’ve thrown at it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Because just a few months ago, I was very much a WordPress n00b, thinking that “customizing” meant ticking off the options on the expensive (and! virally! marketed!) theme I applied to this blog a year ago.

That was before I grew to understand the magic in a publishing platform for which you merely had to type into Google “Whatever crazy feature you’d like your site to have” and “WordPress plugin.”

But again, I’m rushing ahead. First comes the framework.

As Andy Ihnatko said the other day:

Forget about finding a WordPress theme that looks like it’s just a few tweaks and styles away from what I want. Instead, I’ll start with an utterly blank theme with every piece of WP infrastructure I’ll need, and use it as the starting point.

So here’s where I am right now: I’ve downloaded and installed the K2 theme. There are a couple of (old) tutorials on customizing it, and I’ll prolly be dipping deep into that well.

What’s the worst that can happen? The worst that can happen is that I learn something.

That’s been my mantra as I try to push and prod WordPress into a CMS: What’s the worst that can happen? Is trial-and-error the best way to teach myself PHP? Probably not. But as long as I pay close attention and make a copy of my files as I go along, the worst thing is, as Andy says, I pick up a little more knowledge along with the bruises.

So, sporadically, I’ll be sharing what I’ve found and, more often than not, begging for help out of a bind.

But know this: I believe WordPress is a great CMS.

After newspapers, what?

Because it had been so long since I’d posted, the previous “Why I need a vacation from newspaper blogging” was really more of a “Why I started my vacation from newspaper blogging months ago but neglected to mention before this” post.

So, what now?

I want to write more about what I’ve been immersed in for most of this year: higher ed digital communications. Or, in english, university web sites and social media.

I may be sick of newspaper companies at the moment, but I’m not at all sick of news, especially very local news as practiced by an exploding number of tiny startups around the country and here in Baltimore. I’ll be writing about that.

I want to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up recently that convince me WordPress has evolved well past a blogging platform into a very robust and flexible content management system.

And I want to write more about my home town, Baltimore.

So, as elegiac as the last post may have sounded to you, in my mind it was merely a buttoning up of that particular topic so that I can focus more on the very positive things I see happening in many aspects of digital communication outside of what Dave Troy calls “Big Iron” media. And if newspapers manage to pull out of the dive, good for them. They can do it — they just need to hand over the controls to the people inside their walls who can save them (Hint: Most have “interactive” or “online” on their business card).

More to come…

The last newspaper post for a while

Not only have I not written about newspapers for a while, I’ve also not finished a longish piece I’ve been working on about not writing about newspapers anymore.

But it really boils down to this: I’m out.

I can’t stand to be the guy screaming from the stands that the team is running toward the wrong end zone. If newspapers want to march off the cliff of paid content, they should get on with it so that they can fail faster and make room for what comes next. The industry’s endless hand-wringing is neither productive nor entertaining anymore.

As a good friend said to me last night, apropos the notion of “saving newspapers”:

“If the patient that’s strapped to the table is obese and sclerotic and cancer-riddled, do you give the patient oxygen? Or, to mix the metaphor, do you sprinkle water on the new green shoots coming up over here?”

If anyone asks after me, I’ve gone watering.

Livetweeting “The End of Local News?”

A reposting, in actual chronological order (not normal reverse), of the Tweets from the recent symposium in Baltimore on the future of local news after newspapers.

missjames: waiting for the merrill panel on local news to start. #localnews

nancethepants : This is the largest group of journalists I’ve ever seen converge without breaking news or booze. #localnews

pinkgrammar : With @ maryvale , @missjames and @ nancethepants at Merrill panel. #localnews

nancethepants : @ ckrewson yes! The place is filling up. Here with @ pinkgrammar , @missjames, @ maryvale , @johnemcimtyre, lots more #localnews

nancethepants : @ ckrewson sandy banisky just introduced him. He’s got his mac with him! #localnews

missjames: panel heavy on print, one tv and one online (@pottsmark) rep. #localnews

maryvale : The audience at the #localnews panel is infiltrated with extra speakers. Huh. Looking forward to seeing what @pottsmark has to say today.

maryvale : The first question was in there somewhere. What is the impact of changing media landscape on cities? #localnews @montycook is first.

missjames: @montycook: we must understand audience patterns in order to figure out how we can keep offering the hallmarks of print news #localnews

talkingheadsTV : @montycook says readers determine life/importance of news stories #localnews

maryvale : So @montycook says our work belongs to readers (viewers, users) once it’s out there. Agreed. #localnews

nancethepants : @montycook: “if you read [the news], it’s yours.” audience now owns the product, but who buys it? #localnews

missjames: sad? Oliver (afro): we came to realize soon that young people will likely never pick up a newspaper. they want more brief items. #localnews

missjames: Oliver: “we’re not confounded, we’re excited” about possibilities of new tech. “we’re not just a local newspaper anymore.” #localnews

maryvale : Jake Oliver says the Afro has to be national and international because of the Web. Interesting as we try to go local. #localnews

nancethepants : Oliver: Afro-American expands coverage beyond region because of Internet. #localnews

pinkgrammar : Afro American is excited about social networking. Web is causing it to evolve, reach out to national audience. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : Balt AfroAmer: Internet forced us to have national focus #localnews

davetroy : Roughly 75% of the room here at #localnews summit used to work for the Baltimore Sun. And I’m covering this? The inversion is real.

maryvale : Jayne Miller from WBAL just called for a show of hands of former @baltimoresun employees. Half the room. #localnews

nancethepants : Consensus seems to be that the audience is bigger, but there is little understanding of that audience. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : Whoa. When prompted, half the people at the future of news forum raised hands as ex-Sun reporters #localnews

missjames: jayne miller: when sun got rid of Maryland section, she subscribed to the nyt. if papers lose writers, tv will not replace them. #localnews

davetroy : Jayne Miller: “Only reason Hearst Corp has survived downturn is because it owns 20% of ESPN, and it gets subscriber revenue.” #localnews

maryvale : Miller says the answer for her isn’t adding more reporters to stations. It’s taking advantage of platforms. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : RT @ maryvale Jayne Miller from WBAL just called for a show of hands of former @baltimoresun employees. Half the room. #localnews

missjames: miller: future of tv is not more reporters, it’s delivery models. tv will be ok, but loss of print reporters is important. #localnews

nancethepants : Jayne miller calls out the sun, broadcast to work harder, do better. First real emotion we’ve seen so far. #localnews

pinkgrammar : Twitterberry causing problems. So few updates from me. #localnews

maryvale : Tim Franklin: if anyone tells you they know what the future of news is, they don’t know what they’re talking about. #localnews

MegMcKeever : Still at work. Keep the #localnews summit tweets coming!

maryvale : @ ckrewson @ davetroy Me and my gals are using #localnews hashtag (4 of us tweeting).

davetroy : Tim Franklin: “Today is much like the days of the penny press; low cost of entry, lots of participants + fragmentation.” #localnews

talkingheadsTV : TimFranklin: impossible to predict future of news, but my two cents says we’re back to the penny press in form of blogging #localnews

pinkgrammar : Tim Franklin says we’re back to beginning, to the penny press. Several new entrants to market chewing away at traditional media. #localnews

missjames: tim franklin: we’re back to beginning of republic. comparing new tech to penny press. as then, nearly anyone can publish. #localnews

ckrewson : Four folks tweeting from the Bmore news symposium are using #localnews to track the action.

nancethepants : Tim franklin compares today’s industry to penny press era: everyone can start up a news org. Reluctant to forecast next 5 years. #localnews

davetroy : Tim Franklin: “There will be winners and losers in this new market; whoever can capitalize on the opportunity. More job losses.” #localnews

maryvale : Franklin: Some of these Web sites couldn’t even charge a penny (jumping off penny press model). Zing? Or true about pay walls? #localnews

pinkgrammar : But he says there will be winners and losers. #localnews

michaeltdresser : RT @ talkingheadsTV TimFranklin: impossible to predict future of news, but says we’re back to the penny press in form of blogging #localnews

missjames: franklin: more papers will fold, no more two-paper towns, maybe even a major metro area w/out a paper. #localnews

nancethepants : Franklin says cities won’t have more than one paper, some less. Gives kudos to espn for mastering many platforms. #localnews

maryvale : Watching @montycook take notes about local ESPN channels. Competition from long arm of national news orgs. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : Franklin:ESPN developing model for behemoth conglomerates to cover local news, so maybe Google will fill in the gap #localnews

missjames: franklin: more localization from big guys like espn will happen, and from small guys too. #localnews

davetroy : Mark Potts giving overview of some of the local websites; like baltimoresun.com afro.com wbal.com mddailyrecord.com citypaper.com #localnews

michaeltdresser : RT @ talkingheadsTV Whoa. When prompted, half the people at the future of news forum raised hands as ex-Sun reporters #localnews

nancethepants : Mark potts says evolution of industry has been continuous. Fragmentation just highlights it. #localnews

davetroy : Potts investigativevoice.com baltimorebrew.com baltimorecrime.blogspot.com bmorenews.com blogbaltimore.com examiner.com/baltimore #localnews

pinkgrammar : @pottsmark shows us traditional media Web sites and some nontraditional ones. #localnews

missjames: @pottsmark: highlighting local news sites: baltimore brew, Baltimore crime, examiner.com (not the paper) (I’ve missed some) #localnews

nancethepants : Potts points out Baltimore brew, bmore news, blog Baltimore, examiner, baltimore crime, @localist #localnews

davetroy : Potts: localist.com/baltimore whatstoeatbaltimore.blogspot.com 600block.com yelp.com/baltimore baltimore.momslikeme.com #localnews

maryvale : Mention of @localist from @pottsmark. Also Yelp, Momslikeme, Kid Baltimore, @600block. #localnews

pinkgrammar : Baltimore injury law blog! Yes, blogs get VERY specific. #localnews

missjames: @pottsmark: people are starting to slice very thin pieces of the news to report. (pers. injury blog got laughs from audience.) #localnews

nancethepants : Potts mentions lack of “media filter” with company web sites. why do so many assume the filter is always a bad thing? #localnews

missjames: @pottsmark: voice of san diego, chi town daily news, minn post, baristanet, every block good examples of online local coverage #localnews

maryvale : Are these sites part of the future? Who knows. They’re part of the present. -@pottsmark #localnews

davetroy : Potts: voiceofsandiego.org minnpost.com baristanet.com westportnow.com everyblock.com dc.fwix.com “Some ppl don’t want payment” #localnews

maryvale : “Some of these people don’t want to get paid.” -@pottsmark #localnews

nancethepants : Potts: on nontraditional news orgs “some of these people don’t want to be paid.” passion doesn’t pay the mortgage. I wish it did. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : Very interested in Fwix.com- news site consisting of roundup of local blog posts #localnews

missjames: continuous invention, continuous failure, continuous restart is name of game, moderator says. #localnews

nancethepants : Tom linthicum: daily record is expanding. Steadier revenues, lack of business coverage competition has helped. #localnews

davetroy : MD Daily Record says “they are expanding” because of non-ad revenues (legal listings); me: is this not parasitic? #localnews

maryvale : Tom from@mddailyrecord says they made their move when @baltimoresun cut freestanding biz section. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : Linthicum said Daily Record is expanding- going for market share when Sun killed daily Biz section #localnews

missjames: linthicum of daily record: expanded when sun lost biz section. “we see an opportunity for us. [with new tech] but it’s not easy.” #localnews

nancethepants : Linthicum sees changes in technology as opportunity for serious, tough journalists. #localnews

mykeln : Looks like #localnews was a bad hashtag choice. It’s getting lost among tons of junk.

howe2skate: Its good to see that #localnews is finally realizing the old Business plan needs changing. Now they are only 2 years behind.

localist: We’ll be here tomorrow! RT @ maryvale : Are these sites part of the future? Who knows. They’re part of the present. -@pottsmark #localnews

maryvale : Mike Hill says loss of classified advertising happened “overnight.” Not true. It was missed opportunity over missed opportunity. #localnews

pinkgrammar : Don’t cry for dead print section, says Daily Record. It looks for way to segment biz community, take advantage of new landscape. #localnews

missjames: mike hill, former sun union rep: in 1970s, you could find similar number of former newspaper people bc they couldn’t afford it. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : Mike Hill: more peole looking at news content than ever- doesn’t matter, loss of classifieds revenue (20-40%) killed print #localnews

davetroy : “Journalism is going to end up being like the peace corps; young ppl do it for 2-3 years and then move on.” – Mike Hill #localnews

missjames: hill: last 30 years could have been an anomoly in journalism, but there needs to be more. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : …cont) opportunity. #localnews TRUE THAT

pinkgrammar : News corps were too greedy before Internet age, says Mike Hill, former @baltimoresun reporter. #localnews

nancethepants : Mike hill gives guild perspective, says new journalists will change Industries after only a couple years, like peace Corp. #localnews

missjames: moderator points out health news wire backed by kaiser foundation. will that happen elsewhere? is it viable model? #localnews

dontgetcaught: RT @ davetroy : Roughly 75% of room at #localnews summit used to work for the Baltimore Sun. And I’m covering this? The inversion is real.

nancethepants : No pay wall around entire site, but we need to be compensated for content, @montycook says. #localnews

missjames: @montycook: we’re trying out niche sites, new ways to monetize. “but we can’t put up a wall” around content #localnews

pinkgrammar : We’re hearing about possible pay sites. “Good luck with that,” says @pottsmark. @montycook adds: You can’t put up a pay wall. #localnews

nancethepants : Advertising will not carry everything, @montycook says. Then consumer will? How? #localnews

maryvale : Coming @baltimoresun Web redesign has “transactional opportunities” built in. Er? #localnews

talkingheadsTV : RT @ maryvale Coming @baltimoresun Web redesign next week has “transactional opportunities” built in. Er? #localnews

nancethepants : Franklin: niche sites with credibility will do well. Yes! That’s why we need to protect our own credibility @baltimoresun! #localnews

davetroy : “We will be flooded with commodity news on the web; solid public local journalism is where the value is.” – Tim Franklin #localnews

davetroy : “None of the websites we saw can hold a candle to professional journalism.” – Jayne Miller #localnews Really? That’s the stance?

nancethepants : Miller: smaller sites cannot hold a candle to professional journalism operations. They don’t compare. #localnews

missjames: miller: upstart web sites will not be substitute for prof journalism. “when 9/11 happened, the didn’t say go to your cpu” #localnews

pinkgrammar : No real answers on how journalism will be paid for. Miller says new Web news sites can’t hold a candle to professional orgs. #localnews

davetroy : “These websites don’t change policy; they don’t get the city council riled up; it’s not the replacement.” – Jayne Miller #localnews #wow

missjames: miller is obviously not a believer in future of online. #localnews

nancethepants : Miller: sites don’t change policy, don’t aid debate, can’t replace news orgs. // that seems short-sighted to me. #localnews

missjames: oliver: I’m not worried about online. #localnews

davetroy : Potts disagrees — suggests that Miller check out voiceofsandiego.org and others. Jake Oliver “not that worried about websites.” #localnews

talkingheadsTV : …cont) Drudge #localnews

nancethepants : Oliver: not worried about new media, not threatened, they have little new content. // I don’t think we go to the same sites. #localnews

missjames: here comes ettlin. asks @montycook about “aggressively trying to burt print edition.” @montycook: “we’re not.” well then. #localnews

missjames: “trying to bury,” that is. #localnews

mykeln : Sounds like they’ve run out of “the Web is cool.. yeah… we really like it” talking points and are starting to be honest. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : RT @missjames here comes ettlin. asks about “aggressively trying to burt print edition.” @montycook: “we’re not.” well then. #localnews

maryvale : Oof. Went to move my car and missed Jayne Miller’s divisive comment about upstart sites not matching mainstream credibility. #localnews

missjames: @montycook gives shoutout to @justinfenton, @phpscoop, @laurasmitherman for in-depth reporting. #localnews

nancethepants : Cook defends investigative work of justin fenton, @phscoop, laura smitherman when ettlin questions him. #localnews

nancethepants : Potts says big iPhone will kill kindle. Sad. #localnews

maryvale : Ettlin challenging @montycook on “watchdog” term; MC rattles off list of stories from @justin_fenton, @lsmitherman, @phscoop. #localnews

missjames: ha! @pottsmark: 17 years ago, “problem was you couldn’t take a cpu to the john. guess what.” (holds up iPhone) #localnews

pinkgrammar : Kindle talk! Franklin has one. I want one, too! #localnews

nancethepants : Franklin reads ny times on his kindle. #localnews

maryvale : Miller: You can’t have high def on one hand and and YouTube on the other. Really? Why not? #localnews

missjames: miller: says future is hi def, not YouTube. but welcomes all devices for broadcast delivery. #localnews

nancethepants : Oliver: kindle will add to evolution of industry, not dramatically change. Replace cost of print, push creativity. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : Miller: YouTube not a threat cause viewers want HD- ?? hasn’t looked at YouTube lately- HiDef is here. #localnews

missjames: Oliver says you don’t absorb digital info same as in print. maybe you don’t, but I’m a 5-year old may. where’s youth view? #localnews

missjames: sun alum asks about pay models for journalism. #localnews

missjames: franklin: I still don’t see pay model in near future. mentions Philly’s move to pay, itunes model, cable model. #localnews

pinkgrammar : Ok. My BlackBerry hates me. Follow @ nancethepants , @ maryvale or @missjames! #localnews

jayjudge: props to @ nancethepants , @missjames, @ pinkgrammar , @ maryvale for great tweet coverage of the Merrill forum #localnews

nancethepants : iTunes format for papers? Will reporters sing the news? Traveling minstrels will save news industry! #localnews

missjames: @pottsmark: “I’m highly skeptical of a pay model. … it doesn’t really work … but I’d like to see them try.” #localnews

nancethepants : Potts: niche publications can work with subscriptions, not general news orgs. // exactly!! #localnews

pinkgrammar : @ nancethepants Readers listening to the same story over and over, like their favorite songs! #localnews

missjames: @pottsmark: wsj works bc they’ve been at it a long time. likely won’t work anywhere else #localnews

maryvale : Now we are having the Google argument. Whee. #localnews

missjames: @pottsmark: 30 percent of traffic to papers’ sites comes from google. to turn off access would be detrimental. #localnews

nancethepants : Ex-journo critical of reader engagement. Hates anonymous comments on news sites. #localnews

maryvale : Rambling question about “pernicious” user comments and challenge to audience engagement. #localnews

pinkgrammar : Reader engagement: something to celebrate? Former journo says no, and says to get rid of anonymous comments. #localnews

missjames: ex-reporter: anonymous comments should be gone. says @pottsmark’s presentation missing watchdog journo. did he miss 1st sites? #localnews

talkingheadsTV : @ nancethepants , @missjames, @ pinkgrammar , @ maryvale who is this former journo yelling over my shoulder??#localnews

missjames: ex-reporter: is there audience for serious news? yes. online does not equal stupid. #localnews

nancethepants : Also poo-poos twitter as not being “intelligent news.” #localnews

davetroy : The lack of imagination here at this #localnews summit is awesome. No one can see how things might evolve. #shortsighted

nancethepants : Miller agrees, calls it ad hoc news, doubts demand for nontraditional news orgs in future. #localnews

maryvale : Miller doesn’t see how any startup can replace a traditional news organization. Replacement is not the idea. #localnews

missjames: miller says she doesn’t see how web sites will replace serious news. worries city will miss key info thx to diminished sun. #localnews

pinkgrammar : When you lose a newspaper, it is sad thing. 100 Web sites don’t replace a paper, Miller says. Getting fired up! #localnews

nancethepants : @ talkingheadsTV his name is skip. He also hates @readstreet. @ mykeln , @dumpkopf will remember him. #localnews

missjames: @pottsmark: why do you need 4 photogs to one conf? miller: you get four slightly diff perspectives. #localnews

missjames: @montycook cuts are being made not bc they want to, they’re trying to survive. now defending audience engagement. #localnews

missjames: @montycook: “much of these changes are generational. we’re trying to walk that tightrope.” #localnews

nancethepants : @montycook defends reader engagement. Not talkboards, but connections, new sources, finding communities. // good distinction. #localnews

lisawilliams : #localnews = #whinefest? No? Yes?

pinkgrammar : No gate keepers on examiner.com Web sites. #localnews

missjames: ex examiner guy says there are no professionals on site. says lack of gatekeepers are concerning. @pottsmark says he’s not fan. #localnews

blogdiva : YES! LOL RT @ lisawilliams : #localnews = #whinefest? No? Yes?

talkingheadsTV : @lenlazarick says examiner.com has no pro journos, no gatekeepers and is likely to screw up soon. also has paltry page views. #localnews

nancethepants : Concern about lack of gatekeepers, greater possibility of lawsuits. // this is why we need more journalists, not fewer. #localnews

realityck : Wish I was at #localnews forum, but keeping up thanks to fab tweets by @ nancethepants @missjames @ pinkgrammar @ maryvale @ talkingheadsTV

missjames: moderator: lots of anxiety evident. “there’s no clear invention of the future.” journalism “like canaries in tunnel.” #localnews

missjames: miller asks @montycook if papers still profitable. (yes) she says “journalism is one thing, blogging is another.” #localnews

nancethepants : After two hours of talking, many admit they have no answers. // but any new ideas? I hope so. We need new thinking. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : Miller: more you shrink, less value you have to readers, more likely they’ll drop you. Hint hint @baltimoresun #localnews

pinkgrammar : @nytimes was a failing penny sheet in the 1800s. So why are some people dismissing Web sites of the 2000s? #localnews

maryvale : Debate over what makes someone a professional journalist. It’s a good question, but is it *the* question? #localnews

davetroy : The one thing that’s clear to me is that the current journalism *companies* are not going to be the ones to find the answer. #localnews

missjames: @pottsmark: printing press invention wasn’t novel, was 15 years later w the book.”we’re still waiting for the book.” #localnews

jonathanjulian : RT @ davetroy : The lack of imagination here at this #localnews summit is awesome. No one can see how things might evolve. #shortsighted #SAD

missjames: franklin worried about short term effect on society. even w. 300 reporters, he was worried about quality of journo. #localnews

nancethepants : Concerned about democracy in the short term, franklin says we have critical oversight role, must find new model quickly. #localnews

agahran : @ lisawilliams What is #localnews? Ongoing topic or current event?

talkingheadsTV : I’ll just say 22,000 reporters have lost their jobs in past 18 months. I hope Franklin is right and new model gets here soon #localnews

missjames: @montycook papers aren’t at death’s door yet. we’re trying new things. couldn’t always say that, he says. #localnews

missjames: Oliver: I’m not concerned with burying then sun. brand of sun lends credibility others have. sun will survive he says. #localnews

nancethepants : Oliver: praises sun brand, stamp of credibility, says new sites can’t compete. // agree with sentiment, not arrogance. #localnews

missjames: Oliver: “I get the sense this is a wake. [for the sun] I’m not there.” #localnews

muckrack “> muckrack : Now trending on Muck Rack: #localnews http://bit.ly/TVnrF (expand)

davetroy : “This was about ‘keeping alive’ a news force in Baltimore” – S. Banisky; Anything that needs ‘kept alive’ is nearly dead. #localnews

pinkgrammar : Oliver says Sun format may evolve. He gets a sense that this is like a wake, but he’s not there. Neither am I! #localnews

missjames: iPhone battery dying. luckily panel’s wrapping up. I’m out. #localnews

nancethepants : Banisky closes us out. #localnews

talkingheadsTV : RT @ muckrack Now trending on Muck Rack: #localnews http://bit.ly/TVnrF (expand)

agahran : Folks at #localnews event today — what exactly *is* that event? Link? Name at least? :-/

justinemaki : Thanks @ nancethepants , @missjames, @ pinkgrammar , @ maryvale for great tweets from the Merrill forum! #localnews

timwindsor : RT @ davetroy : The lack of imagination here at this #localnews summit is awesome. No one can see how things might evolve.

EdBennett : Fascinating updates from @ davetroy – from a conference on the future of #localnews

tgdavidson : Debate at #localnews on what makes a pro journalist. Me: Irrelevant. 1st amend. belongs to everyone, not a priesthood. (thx @ maryvale )

tgdavidson : @ agahran Event details here: http://bit.ly/yiz2v (expand) Panel featured @montycook and @pottsmark among others. #localnews

tgdavidson : And DC3s sucked vs Pullmans. RT@ davetroy : “None of the websites … can hold a candle to professional journalism.” – Jayne Miller #localnews

tgdavidson : Sorta happy wasn’t at #localnews. Love @montycook and @pottsmark – but woulda blown a vein at some of the comments, based on Tweets…

cathro : #localnews: Some are missing that increasingly sophisticated users determine content’s credibility. You don’t dictate it w/press passes.

agahran : @ talkingheadsTV Link for #localnews conference?

GusSent : The #localnews event in Baltimore, abt future of journalism, sounded interesting. I couldn’t make it, sadly. Too busy blogging!. #balttech

kbilly21 : Searched Twitter for #localnews: http://tinyurl.com/qlnef9 (expand) Whoa, 13 pages of tweets from last night’s Future of Journalism conference!

talkingheadsTV : Searched Twitter for #localnews: http://tinyurl.com/qlnef9 (expand) Whoa, 13 pages of tweets from last night’s Future of Journalism conference!

umbcinsights : RT @ talkingheadsTV : Searched Twitter for #localnews: http://tinyurl.com/qlnef9 (expand) Whoa, 13 pages of tweets from last night’s Future of Jour …