Monthly Archives: September 2009

Some of my Emacs defaults (in .emacs)

(defvar my-dir-root (expand-file-name "~/elisp"))
(set-default-font "-apple-consolas-medium-r-normal--13-0-72-72-m-0-iso10646-1")
; appending to the elisp load path for our stuff
(setq load-path (cons my-dir-root load-path))
; stop that splash screen
(setq inhibit-splash-screen t)
; set the fill column
(setq-default fill-column 79)
; set the default tab width
(setq-default tab-width 4)
; always show the line number
(line-number-mode t)
; always show the column number
(column-number-mode t)
; allow selection deletion
(delete-selection-mode t)
; yes-or-no will always take "y" or "n"
(fset 'yes-or-no-p 'y-or-n-p)
; stop automatic insertion of new line
(setq next-line-add-newlines nil)
; enable selection highlighting
(setq transient-mark-mode t)
; enable search highlighting
(setq search-highlight t)
; show matching parens
(show-paren-mode t)
; have backspace be backspace
(normal-erase-is-backspace-mode 1)
; have emacs scroll line-by-line
(setq scroll-step 1)
; prevent emacs from making automatic backups
(setq make-backup-files nil)
; switch dabbrev-expand to hippie-expand
(global-set-key "\M-/" 'hippie-expand)
; turn off backups
(setq backup-inhibited t)

These are connected: Future of Journalism Links and Communication for September 23, 2009

Ethan Zuckerman covered a Clay Shirky talk given at the Shorenstein Center” on journalism today and its future. It’s an absolute must read for media/info/com future thinkers: “Clay Shirky and accountability journalism”.

Mark Bowden traces the path a story takes, from political operatives, thru social media, to mainstream news, in the The Atlantic piece“The Story Behind The Story”. Another must read.

Paul Graham: Post-Medium Publishing. Slashdot thread.

Mathew Ingram: Micropayments for news: The holy grail or just a dangerous delusion?

The Atlantic: The Rise of the Professional Blogger

And finally, Timothy Egan attacks an entire subset of the population for their passion based on a lack of facts, missing the point that he is working for a member of the industry that has a role in that: “Working Class Zero”

If you build it, but don’t participate, you get what you deserve

The Nieman Journalism Lab: Mathew Ingram: Newspapers get the kind of communities they deserve:

many newspapers still see comments as some kind of necessary evil: a bone tossed to readers to help drive traffic, but something that produces little else of value

That attitude is behind what renders the commenting at most newspaper websites so defective.

Surfacing the community around your news has way more to do with participating with it online than just enabling comments and walking away. In fact, doing the later by itself never works.

The web is littered with sites where commenting is enabled, and the hosts do not participate, do not curate, do not even moderate in a transparent fashion. The results of which are never good – thread after thread of trolling, personal invective, and lack of communication. This leads to far too many finding commenting as worthless add-on that you must have for a website, but for no other reason.

It’s a missed opportunity and for many of these sites, part of their failed web strategies.

If you have 10 million visitors a month and only 1 person focused on ‘community’ or ‘commenting’ – you have already failed.