Making it personal

Media moguls—journalism moguls, anyway—need two sets of skills. They have to be able to select and package material from the world in a way that gives it order and narrative drive and swagger. They also have to forge, through creativity, cunning, and force, a set of arrangements with customers, competitors, governments, advertisers, production facilities, and distribution networks which can generate a lot of money. Even in an era of focus groups and marketing research, any news publication that attracts an audience has to have a personality, which means that it has to bear the stamp of a real person.
—Nicholas Lemann on Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolf Hearst, Barney Kilgore, and Rupert Murdoch in “Paper Tigers”, The New Yorker, April 13, 2009

[To a friend on what I liked about her latest blog posting.]

“It’s like the Lauren ad from Microsoft. Using the recession to talk about things holds a lot of serious interest,” I said.

“That’s what I think too,” my friend replied, “But I remember when I used to make references to it in posts for someone else, the editor would always delete them.”

“He hails from a school that’s outdated. The biggest blogs make it personal. Take Orangette—that’s a blog about cooking. Why is it one of the most popular blogs? Or ZenHabits—how did it in two years become one of the top self-help sites?

“When I write personal articles with wide application, they take off on FeedBurner.

“It’s about making it personal, without taking it personally.

My problem is I always take it personally, 😉 ” I finished.

She laughed. “Well I already know what I’m going to write tonight!”

Ruby, Photography, and Women

My second twitterstalk was Andrei at Caffe Trieste in North Beach. Andrei is someone everyone should be nice to for reasons I mentioned before. He’s trying to get me back into photography.

I think it’s because he has a photoblog now…

and probably figures that getting my competitive juices flowing will be the photography equivalent of dollar-nassau. But I hate to compete and the only thing that motivates me is, quite frankly, intense fear. And besides, what chance do I have? As Ed Finkler says, the man’s got scary amounts of kevorka:

This White Russian smiles

This White Russian smiles
CNET Headquarters
SOMA, San Francisco, California

Nikon D200, Tokina 16-50mm AT-X PRO f/2.8 DX. SB-800
1/60sec @ f/2.8, iso 100, 38mm (47mm)

Go subscribe to his blog now (besides the pictures are good, quite unlike mine).

[cats, coffee, photography, ruby, and women after the jump]Continue reading