February 22, 2010

Rhetorica Update

Rhetorica has always had an open-comments policy. No matter what happens in the blogging world, I will always try to ensure that anyone who wishes to comment here can do so with minimum effort.

I require, however, that comenters be civil and on topic. I’ve rarely had any problems along these lines.

Someone recently has been leaving numerous comments that I have decided are intended to be disruptive and annoying. Basically, s/he leaves numerous comments in a row (without waiting for a reply). The comments are, to the best of my ability to determine, utter freaking nonsense. I have marked them as spam as they come in. I have banned the IP addresses. And I’m looking into other minimally invasive measures to thwart this person.

February 18, 2010

What Will You Pay For?

I’ve never had a tip jar nor asked for money to write this blog. My blogging policy states one reason for this. Another reason: No one would pay me to do this.

But there may be some things worth paying for. Mashable reports on a Nielsen survey that showed the following results:

Newspapers and magazines look respectable on this chart until you realize where it ends — at 60 percent. And not even movies and music make it that far.

Students have asked me what the next business model will be for journalism and how journalism can pay for itself online. I have no answer for them, except this: It’s your revolution. You tell me. Go figure it out.

February 9, 2010

Play Subversive With Me

Anyone want to start a subversive organization with me? I’ll take anyone — you don’t even have to agree with me on anything — but I’m especially interested in recruiting people from South Carolina.

I don’t have a name for the organization yet, but I’m on the lookout for a “good” acronym, i.e. something using words such as STUPID, DUMB, TOOFUNNY, TOTALLYFREAKINGYHILARIOUS, or ROFLMAO.

Once I get a couple of members, I’ll fill out the paperwork and send it in with the $5 fee.

The form asks:

Do you or your organization directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of controlling, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, the state of South Carolina or any political division thereof? [ ] YES [ ] NO

Now I’m not into revolution or anything (ewwww… the messiness, the noise), but I’ve often thought we’d be better off with a parliamentary form of government that preserves the Bill of Rights. The Constitution itself is really just a procedural document. I think what most people actually (and properly) revere are the ideas in the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. We’ve amended the Constitution over and over. I think we love the idea of it — the political struggle to create it and what that means to human freedom — more than the actual procedures it outlines.

A position such as the one I’ve just taken would fall under “controlling” on the Subversive Agent Form. So we’re good to go!

Again, you don’t have to agree with me. I suspect you don’t 🙂 All I need is a coalition of the willing — two people, at least one from South Carolina.

Editors Note: I did a quick check on Google News to see if this is a joke. My source is the Huffington Post. At the time I hit my “publish” button, I could not find any coverage by actual reporters working for MSM news organizations. I have a College Council meeting in 20 minutes, so it’s more important for me to prepare for that than spend any more time on this exceedingly amusing topic. But know that I go to my meeting with a smile on my face 🙂

February 4, 2010

More on the iPad

Jay Rosen talks with The Economist about what the iPad may mean for journalism. He makes a point that I think could spell doom for this device: It’s about the rhetoric of lecture.

Can a generation that has been taught by the internet to be content producers be satisfied with a device that encourages them to be content consumers?

I’m also fascinated with his list of what a 21st century journalist should be. More on that later…