On Group Blogging

Carrie had created a site for Worcester group blogging on posterous on Sunday afternoon, and had a great amount of success with contributions in just 24 hours.

I had (and continue to have) no luck accessing posterous on a Mac, which is (unfortunately) a dealbreaker for me, but that in no way diminishes what Carrie has created.

There are plenty of people out there who read this blog, or other blogs, who might like to contribute something to a blog, but who don’t really want to have to worry about having to post daily or weekly.

You might be missing posts like these (goodness knows I do), and you might be willing to contribute to a series of posts about sidewalk-shoveling (or lack thereof) but don’t know how to go about that.

Among other things, that’s what the Worcester bloggers posterous site is for.  You can find out more here.

Jeff is irreplaceable, and, if there’s one thing I appreciate more and more each day, it’s that for a few years there was someone out there snapping pictures and writings posts, short and long, funny and angry, in a voice uniquely his own, in a voice I miss very much.

I’ve said this to journalists who’ve asked, and I believe that Mike said something similar as well: there is no Wormtown Taxi beat.  There is no assignment editor telling one person to start snapping pictures of Phil Palmieri’s unshoveled sidewalks, another person to write a short rant about Jim Polito, and a third to eviscerate a columnist at the local daily.

I miss those things.  I miss the bump installation crews, I miss the camera phone pictures, I miss someone referring to MOB as the “City Dictator.”  I miss knowing that someone out there was posting four or five times a day.

I think you do, too.

I am not the next Jeff Barnard.  No one is.

But if you feel like there’s a need to confirm whether a prominent city official has shoveled a sidewalk, if you feel the need to complain about something you heard on AM radio during your morning commute, if you’ve heard about a great local band, then we need you to contribute.

Start a blog, or get your feet wet with the Worcester bloggers on posterous.

11 thoughts on “On Group Blogging

  1. claudiasnell says:

    It’s been a fun project to be part of. I’m glad she set it up.

  2. Will. W. W. says:

    Is this gonna turn into one of those never ending unfinished projects?

    Thinking here. For some time you’ve had issues with Tirella. With the takedown I get the feeling that you get some sort of satisfaction. Tirella says take the blog down, and you jump. That makes no sense. Why accommodate her?

    How about I (or anyone) says, put it back up. What then? Whatcha gonna tell them? Can’t, Tirella doesn’t want me to. She’ll sue me. Come on girl…

    Jeff didn’t ask her permission to put it up. But you readily pulled it down. Um…

    Excuse me but it seems you have some issues you need to clarify before you’re ready for prime time.

  3. Steve Foskett says:

    That’s funny. I had a cool conversation with Carrie about this very subject last night for a story I’m working on.

  4. zed says:

    Jeff’s creation was his.
    “Maintain” it as is.
    No additions, no deletions.

  5. Brian Goslow says:

    Nicole… I’m on a Mac … Are you able to see the Posterous posts? Or is the problem being able to post? I’m using an email address Carrie sent me and if you contact her, I’m sure she’ll help you out ASAP. And make sure you have a Happy New Year …

    • Nicole says:

      Until today, I wasn’t even able to see Posterous posts. So it wasn’t that I couldn’t contribute (which I could have done via email); I couldn’t edit any of my email settings or see posts or see the faq. Very annoying!

      It seems like it’s better today; according to the laws of computing, once you say “X isn’t working!” to more than three people, X will suddenly begin working…

  6. Trish says:

    Thanks for the heads up, Nicole. Just sent Carrie Jo an email to join in on the fun. What is the problem you’re having with the Mac? I run a podcast on posterous and none of the Mac users have had any problems… want me to poll them and see if they have any insight?

  7. K.C. says:

    Nice post! Community writing is fantastic. Are you still having Mac probs? I’m on a Mac and good. Now, my iPhone’s another story. The app only works with iOs 4, and with my lil 3G, I’m not going to risk hosing it. Meh. Email will do.

  8. Chris says:

    I recognize that the Posterous blog is in the beta stage, but a few early thoughts nonetheless.

    “There are plenty of people out there who read this blog, or other blogs, who might like to contribute something to a blog, but who don’t really want to have to worry about having to post daily or weekly.”

    Fine, not a bad idea on paper. But the thing needs quality control, the ‘assignment editor’ you mention later on. ‘Quality control’ doesn’t have to refer solely to a person’s ability to string sentences together, it has to do with topic choice and relevance.

    So far, what I see on the Posterous blog is an unfocused mismash of the usual local-blog fodder: Photos of streets and other city scenes, pictures of people’s breakfast.

    The blog publishing format works for me, but one way to add some formal ‘traditional’ organization to it might be by creating snappy categories for a type of post. I.E. “Sidewalk Watch,” “DPW Follies” and if you must, “What I had for lunch today.”

    In this way, people can “self-assign,” add an additional measure of focus and intent to what they want to write/report, versus having any one person assign it — which as we know would not work at all in the kumbaya world of blogging.

  9. Julie says:

    Could this develop into specific interests groups such as Worcester Knitters Posterous or Worcester Foodies Posterous?

  10. carrie jo says:

    Wow, Thanks, Nicole, for writing this post and spreading the word. And thanks to everyone who posted comments. I especially like to see the aside on the Mac issues – one of the best things about the read/write web is open discussion. When 3 or 4 people discuss Mac issues they help each other and create a little archive of help for other people. Very cool.

    Chris-
    -I understand your points about consistency in both topic and quality. In the case of the worcesterbloggers Posterous site, I believe that the mishmash is appropriate. The theme is “what’s happening in the heart of the commonwealth”; the mishmash is a reflection of the many different things happening. This style is not conventional and may not work in the long run but, for now, I do feel it serves a purpose for this community blog.

    -I agree that a method for categorizing things such as ‘sidewalk follies’ would be useful for readers. Posterous offers contributors the option of tagging their posts with such categories. I think there is a learning curve for new projects and perhaps over time, if the blog survives, then contributors may develop tagging habits to help create a stronger archive for searching.

    -You raise an interesting point about ‘self-assigning’. If this project were formalized and adopted journalistic intentions this concept might fit the bill. It may also be fairly easy to implement since some of the contributors already blog about certain subjects on their own. On the flipside, this blog gives those bloggers a forum to share their other interests and take a break from their routine blog topics. Definitely food for thought and I sincerely appreciate your comments and feedback!

    Julie-
    -I invite you to snap some shots at your knitters’ group gatherings and submit to the blog. If it’s happening in and around Worcester it fits our format. The beauty of blogging is that niche bloggers (singularly or communally) can blog about whatever they wish to share.

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