It’s tough to forecast the weather, but easy to spead fear

I think Dan Gillmor nailed it with this. Not that I blame CNN alone for the school closings and long lines at the grocery store. Fear spreads fast. Last night I spent a silly amount of time refreshing multiple web pages, looking for any kind of clear consensus as to what we’d wake up to, but other than it being bad today, snow totals ranged from the boring to the world shaking. There has to be a financial cost to something like that as parents stay home for their children, who are told to stay home from school. And there isn’t even a decent hill to sled on.

Dan Gillmor Tweet

Blogging is far from dead

Last year I started to drive this old car around the block a few times and realized it still has it where it counts. This year, time permitting, it will feature some experiments and renovations with some serious fun along the way. The great thing is, I know I’m not alone feeling that keeping a personal blog still has value. So expect me to share lots of links to others doing the same, because that’s what we do, we link, we connect.

I’ve been doing this for so long, I can’t remember when I stared exactly, but I can remember, because I still have them, the many close relationships I’ve formed over the years having a corner on the Web.

To that end I’ve restarted the Philly Blogger Meetup. A long time ago it was a regular event that enabled our small community in Philly to meet one another face to face, and maybe form friendships. In the past few years I’ve tried to find other folks to keep the Meetup going, but failed miserably. Seeing this languish was killing me.

It’s true that there are many, many professional and fun Meetups across Philly that pack a lot of value in this space now, so we’re going to do something different, we’re going to share them with one another. And we’re not going to feature professional talks. Not going to have a regular time or place. We’re not going to have a set organizer (if I can encourage you to join in – please do!!!). What we are going to do is be a little different, and meet across the city and suburbs, in coffee shops and diners, and offer a chance for people that might not normally venture from behind the keyboard, a friendly way to do so.

When our hyperlinks become personal connections, amazing things can happen.

I hope to see you around.

We are always rational beings….

John Klein wrote up a short, but great list of cognitive biases and how they effect software engineering that might be an eye opener for some.

Via Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing.

(also… all generalizations are false…)

Bret Victor’s Highly Recommended Things

Check out Bret Victor’s “Highly Recommended Things”, his five star list of favorite things in the world, a mixture of fun, thought provokers and horizon expanders, and much, much more. There’s a lot here that would be on my list were I to compile one someday. Check it out.

A hosted blog at Philly.com to subscribe to: One Step Away

One Step Away is a monthly ‘street newspaper’ produced by people experiencing homelessness in the Philadelphia region. I always make sure to pick up a copy once or twice a month from its many vendors in across Center City, some of which are authors in the paper.

Philly.com has been hosting a number of blogs on their site over the past few years, some of which have brought it much controversy, but this one should not, it helps raise the voice of those whose voice needs to be heard. Check out the One Step Away blog at Philly.com.

What is a Data Journalism Organization?

Yesterday, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight launched, making a bet that you want news stories backed by data to help find the signal in the noise. Like Garret said, succinctly, it’s exciting.

In addition to this, Ezra Klein’s effort and others, are giving me hope we’re entering a phase of investment and innovation again in the news space, and by extension, how we tell stories in media. The Nieman Journalism Lab is a great place to follow what’s going on.

nate_intro_new300 Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 6.30.59 AM

Profile of Mark Horvath, creating an online home for the stories of the homeless

Philantropy.com: “After Living on the Streets, a Nonprofit Leader Seeks to Give the Homeless a Voice”.

Check out Mark Horvath’s Invisible People.

Happy 25th World Wide Web!

Hard to believe that the World Wide Web launched into being on March 12th, 1994. Its ethos, its architectural principals, and its use, have helped to open the world to each of us, with the simple power of the link. My career, and more important, the friendships I have made, wouldn’t have been possible without it.

A couple years after launch, in 1996, I attempted to launch my own home page on VoiceNet, a Philadelphia ISP.  Like Kimberly Blessing (a friend, old coworker, and influence on my career), I decided to see if I could restore it, and here it is, mostly.

My home page in 1996

Thank you WWW

Check out:

Blogging Dead?

Jason Kottke wrote for Nieman Journalism Lab an opinion piece, that along with the additional notes he added on on his personal blog, I mostly agree with. The roles that blogs grew to take on during their heyday (when was that really?), have been largely subsumed by social networks and open micro-blogging ecosystems these past few years. But that’s no reason to stop, and like him, I’ll be doing this for a long time going forward.

This form of web publishing has provided me opportunities to make connections and friendships from across the world. It has helped provide me a means of sharing what I’m passionate about and to learn from those who care about the same. It has given me a place to experiment with multiple publishing platforms and idioms over the years, in a challenging, exciting environment, that is still filled with promise, the open Web. And it has been a place where I can build something, make something, that at times gave me a way to give back to my community.

I’m going to keep on, keeping on (along with a lot of my friends who are doing the same).

Related:

Read how a few Philly students organized themselves to a few hundred to be heard

AxisPhilly: Isaiah Thompson: “How a few Philly high school students organized themselves into a few hundred in four days”:

It began, not surprisingly perhaps, with a modest online message.

About two weeks ago, school district officials had announced, once again, a serious hole in the District’s budget and had laid out, once again, severe cuts that would be implemented if a roughly $300 million hole wasn’t filled — this time invoking layoffs and cuts to programs, especially arts and extracurricular.

And as students pondered cuts to their favorite programs, the irony that last Friday would mark “Teacher Appreciation Day,” was not lost upon them.

Make sure to read Isaiah Thompson’s full story at AxisPhilly and get inspired, and maybe let the district and state know these ever increasing cuts are unacceptable.

For more on the impact of the cuts, read Rebecca Poyourow’s editorial at Philly.com.