Archive

Archive for March, 2012
12 Mar

My proof, my metrics, my ROI on Social Media: #WJCHAT

It happens on occasion (okay, with this friend it happens a lot), but I battle with a friend over Social Media’s role in our lives and relationships.

I’m not a fan of the outsider, knee jerk reactions to Social Media that say we are getting dumber, we can’t focus and we are so lonely.

All those things may be happening, but it’s not because of Social Media… not solely anyway. These are, in fact, the same claims that have been preached about with every new development ranging from radio, TV and, I believe, even books.

So, I’m not a fan of those re-occurring, blame-the-newest-thing-for-our-bad-thing argument.

Nor am I a blinded super fan of Social Media… there’s crap out there (lots of it) and “gurus” making money by ripping people off.

I am, however, a fan of the true connections that have been made possible because of platforms like Twitter and Facebook. These platforms are just the latest evolutionary step from mail to telegram to telephone to Internet to e-mail, etc.

And, as you may have guessed, I am a SUPER fan of communities like #WJCHAT, that support and educate each other by harnessing these platforms.

The two-year anniversary of our little community was in February and, in my hopes to gets some attention to it, I asked a couple journalism sites to do a write up on us. To be honest, I didn’t really make a hard pitch.

Naturally, as good journos, the question led to why… but more importantly, what has #WJCHAT done? Where’s the proof?

I don’t have those metrics.

While we often talk about analytics, ROI and such, for me, I don’t really care about those when it comes to #WJCHAT.

All I care about is that people know that they are not alone in their struggle to find their place in journalism, that they are getting educated on how to improve journalism and that they are sharing their knowledge and experiences so we collectively “save” journalism.

My latest reminder of this was today’s ONA featured member piece on Tauhid Chappell.

I remember Chappell popping into the #WJCHAT stream and meeting him IRL at an ONA event. But I didn’t know that our little community played a role in his journalistic development… but it was enough that he felt compelled to mentioned #WJCHAT in his profile piece.

That is my proof. He is my metric.

Tonight I will be meeting “strangers” for the first time IRL at our now annual #WJCHAT meetup at SXSW.

I will be seeing old friends and making new ones (once we get over the awkward oh-yeah-I-know-you moment after we connect the avatar or handle to the face and name).

That is my proof. They are my metric.

Do you know that I have only met, maybe, half of the people who volunteer each week to run #WJCHAT. Never meet them outside of email, a collaborative document or Twitter chat.

These folks are my colleagues. They are my friends. They, too, are my proof… my metric.

Everyone in this diverse community is my argument proving that Social Media is an undeniably positive element in our modern lives.

And, my goal when Twitter life and real life merges later today, is to be present with this community of friends… and, on occasion, awkwardly look at my phone to see if I need to tweet out something.

Thank you for being part of this community. < cheesy >It’s been a positive element in my life.< /cheesy >

07 Mar

Saul Williams’ Pedagogue Of Young Gods and Horizontal Loyalty

I’m a big fan of the poet, musician, artist Saul Williams. His albums are littered with powerful beats and brilliant lyrics.

For inspiration and motivation, I routinely listen to his albums… but today, while hearing his 2007/2008 album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation Of Niggy Tardust on Spotify, I really heard the bonus song Pedagogue Of Young Gods.

I don’t have this song with my version of the album (yet), but this song is currently my anthem for Horizontal Loyalty.

Here are the lyrics… study them and see if they effect you as they have me.

Pedagogue Of Young Gods Lyrics

Are you afraid to have someone believe in you?
Can you commit to your ideals?
Even if you think nothing of it,
are you willing to allow others to think the world of it,
and of you?
Pedagogue of Young Gods.

All slavery ever does is free you.
All anyone ever does is an example.
All power is just collective energy.
To abuse the privilege is to sell your soul
and that is to rent with the illusion of owning.
We are the landlords.
If you misunderstand us,
you’re dead and deserve your demise
.

Your dominion is your overthrow.
The controllers are controlled.
Spread the word,
it will save you
and depends on you to be understood.
There is no school bell, only nursery.
Our heroes reward us with stars,
ever-still, ever-moving.
We sing to ourselves in our cars.
Music is our sanctuary.
Anywhere you put it it’s ours.
Our living voice,
our living testament.
We dream aloud,
we scream and shout.
Our courage will defeat them.
Our struggle will unite us.

Our wisdom is ourselves,
our resources our own,
our blood ocean,
our skin oil.
We are mountain and waterfall,
they cannot contain us.
Their prisons will not restrain us,
their customs will not un-name us.
We are what they know in their hearts,
you guessed it,
you knew that,
you felt it,
you tried to doubt it,
denied it,
but you knew it,
ain’t nobody had to tell you.
We had them from the start.
A world apart, a world within,
ancient and luminous.
The before before and the hereafter.
We are the essence of laughter.
The comforting prayer
and the gatekeepers
and the street-sweepers.
A mountain of ports outside of a city of dreams.
A bird that prays, yet offers its wingspan to the wind.
Things are not as they seem.
We hover above while giving the appearance of scurrying below.
All is as it should be.
We are more than we know.
More than we hoped and dreamed,
a generation of generators,
a power source and supply.
The better we learn to live,
the better we learn to die.
Old as anything,
old as everything,
we are participants in a ritual
older than our collective memory,
a marriage of heart and mind,
secular and divine.

All is as it should be.
Slavery carefully bred us.
No child of Greece or Rome can behead us.
We are ahead of our time.
Slavery was simply a state of mind.
Hip-hop reminded us of confidence.
Overcoming now is simply common sense.
You deserve the ice and the riches of Solomon.
But don’t let warped values turn you into hollow men.
Education is the only thing given that cannot be taken.
Learn to think for yourself,
analyze the forsaken.
Pimp your fears,
surrender to love,

dance all night when you need to.
Play this song for a thug,
let ‘em know ain’t no judgment.
We all hustle and grind,
any system against us is against the divine.

But there’s no sense of glory in repenting,
and repeating,
their mistakes.
You have a greater calling.
Answering it is all it takes.
Take a second to hear this
and go back about your day.

Know that laws don’t govern us,
we’re governed by what we say.
What we think, why we think it, how we handle.
Place no blame, point no fingers, take your aim.

Shoot to kill. The bullshit.

Now hear the powerful song:



06 Mar

Horizontal Loyalty: Video of Robert Krulwich’s 2011 UC Berkeley commencement speech

The moment I read the line — a line that was almost lost in a list of things — I knew I had found the words that captured my career and it’s challenges… in fact, my colleagues’, generation’s, students’ careers and their challenges.

It became my mantra.

It has become my religion.

“Horizontal Loyalty” has because the gospel I preach to colleagues to keep them and myself going as we try to change (and, yes, save) journalism.

That term, that phrase came from the 2011 UC Berkeley commencement speech given by RadioLab‘s Robert Krulwich.

And, thanks to my friend Jeremy Rue, the words come alive with the power of video:

You can find the text of the speech posted on the Discover Magazine blog: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/05/12/%E2%80%9Cthere-are-some-people-who-don%E2%80%99t-wait-%E2%80%9D-robert-krulwich-on-the-future-of-journalism/

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