Thursday, May 29, 2008

Just a quick update...

So... For the past few months, in case you hadn't noticed, I've been posting more and more sporadically. As I mentioned back in March, I've returned to playing poker full time as a job. I actually started in late January, and for the most part it has been a fun experience.

I haven't bothered to update this page with poker stories because - let's face it - the only purpose they serve is to let me complain. No one wants to hear about my bad beats or monster flops.

I think I've got what it takes, both in skills and bankroll, to continue this for the time being. Or at least through the WSOP this year, which if I attend again, I do plan to blog from.

As for the future of this page, well even though I am a bigger baseball fan than anything else, it just strikes me as boring to post about the MLB regular season on a weekly basis. Combined with my irregular schedule, blogging has really fallen off for me.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not going anywhere. But I might only post bi-weekly or even monthly until the NFL season gets underway. I'll do my best to provide updates and random thoughts, but I'm not sure when.

On another note, I've started up a new page with some friends called I'm a geek at heart, so this was just a natural progression. Take a look.

For now, I'm off to a sort vacation in Chicago (I'm actually in the airport right now... Technology is so cool) Then back home and back to grinding it out.


(Posted from my Windows Mobile 5 Phone)

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Letter to WEEI, and Mainstream Media in general

There was an argument on WEEI's Big Show this afternoon, once again rehashing the difference between the "old" media and the "new" media. I, by no means, consider myself a member of either. But I am proud to be a blogger, and proud of the fact that I have been doing it for four and a half years now.

Anyway, something struck a nerve and I fired off an e-mail. Since I doubt there's any chance it gets any mention on air, I figured I'd pull the old copy/paste over here. Besides, this way I can say I updated this page this week...

Let me take a crack at this whole "New" vs. "old" media argument…

First, let me preface this by saying that I am a blogger, and have been since the day after the Aaron Boone walkoff in the '03 ALCS (If you're at all interested, the link to my page is after this little diatribe. Sorry for the shameless plug). But I am also someone who has studied journalism, mass communications and new media at Emerson College, so I have a little knowledge about both sides of the aisle.

The single most important thing in today's media is reliable information with very little time wasted in getting it. That is why newspapers, and to a lesser extent things like the evening news are falling by the wayside. While people like Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, and locally writers like Will McDonough, Peter Gammons and others were masterful at getting information across to their audience, we no longer need to wait for their columns to come out in order to get the information, process it, and most importantly form our own opinions on a subject. We have 24-hour news channels, talk radio, and of course the Internet. Everything is available at our fingertips, and we no longer need the writers to tell us which stories matter and what we should think about them.

Bloggers have easy access to most of the same information, and while there are certainly niche sites that put their own spin on the information they give out – Kissing Suzy Kolber is the best example I can come up with for sports – many sites simply put information out there and allow their readers to digest it and form an opinion. Many sites receive "tips" that are actually legitimate - often accompanied by photos or video - that major news outlets like ESPN, CNN, ABC etc. won't run for fear of offending the involved parties. A great story is that of Ben Roethlisberger's "Drink LIke A Champion" shirt from the Super Bowl week two years ago and the story run on that was picked up by major news outlets, then immediately dropped because they were worried it might hurt Big Ben's image.

I've heard the arguments that without an editorial filter or some type of fact checking, there is nothing to stop a blogger from simply inventing a story and publishing it as fact. This is absolutely true. Of course, what is not mentioned is that the same editorial filters that stop writers from publishing material that cannot be confirmed often stops writers from publishing things that might lead to the newspaper losing advertisers or – gasp! – losing future interviews.

I've had the chance to speak with plenty of people who work on both sides of this argument, bloggers and beat writers alike (though admittedly, none from "major" newspapers – which is an oxymoron in and of itself these days), and I've heard almost the same thing from everyone – the major problem with the "old" media is the time it takes to report a story coupled with the distrust of the media by my generation. When newspapers and TV programs repeatedly "hold" a story until the opportune time to report it, how can we be certain that other stories aren't being quashed altogether? How do we know that a reporter, columnist or editor isn't slanting a piece to further their own biases against someone? At least with the blogging community, biases and dislikes are often disclosed in every piece, or as a running theme of the website (again, I reference Kissing Suzy Kolber and anything regarding Rex Grossman… or Deadspin and Chris Berman)

The fact is that the world has changed drastically since the heyday of the newspaper, when "news" was anything that had happened since the last time a print was run. Now that we have access to information 24/7, we as the audience have become acutely aware that the "news" never actually stops. While we might not be interested in all of it (I honestly couldn't care less about Brittney Spears, Miley Cyrus or any of the other fluff that is used to fill CNN's newsday) the fact is at least we know about it, and we can choose to listen or not.

Thanks for listening to my little rant.

That's it for today. Back next week... maybe. Getting busy.


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