Archive | January, 2008

A Twit Makes the News

31 Jan

Yesterday, I was driving to work during the height of the storm. I was on the Thruway heading west when I heard – and then saw – a large FedEx jet coming in for a landing. The winds were devastatingly strong from the west, with a very low ceiling and near-blizzard conditions.

I watched the jet’s wings wobble in the wind, and thought to myself that whoever that pilot his, he’s damn good if he can line up a landing with these sorts of brutal cross-winds.

I twitted, “Just watched a FedEx plane land in crazy snow and wind. Very hairy.”

Today, that little anecdote made its way to the Buffalo News. I think it’s the first time a twitter post has made its way to the pages of the paper here in town.

In many ways, the small but growing local community on Twitter reminds me of what the Buffalo blogosphere was like in 2004 – small, somewhat inside-baseball, and everyone followed each other’s goings-on.

My blogroll is pretty much unmanageable at this point, but seems to have plateaued – whatever new sites I find are generally offset by someone essentially abandoning a site.

Twitter is a micro-blog platform that enables people to post what’s generally supposed to be an answer to the question, “What Are You Doing?”, and the size is limited to that of a text message.

Anyhow, chalk one up for Twitter in the Buffalo News, although it’s most certainly not the first time a twit, in the Pythonesque sense, has made it to the pages of our local daily.

The Artemis & Stag Show!

30 Jan Wants Your Opinion

30 Jan

First, click on the new front page (if you haven’t already), and click around & check it out. Then come back here. I’ll wait.

K, done?

Now, please click over to this post by BuffaloGeek, who discusses some upcoming changes being proposed for the network. We want your input.

Edwards & Giuliani Out

30 Jan

Giuliani may have cleaned up New York, but he won’t be lending his special touch to the rest of the country. Probably not enough squeegee guys to rout from the sidewalks. Also, his 9/11 fixation wasn’t going to cut it in a race that’s becoming more about the economy than terror. Giuliani immediately endorsed current front-runner McCain.

Edwards is out, as well, but he has not endorsed anyone yet. Hillary responds here, and Obama responds here.

I’m not quite sure whose vote Edwards was splitting. It might have been even, for all I know. It will be extraordinarily interesting how an Edwards endorsement plays out over the next couple of days. I have a hunch that Obama will get a bit of a larger boost from Edwards’ supporters than Hillary. To my mind, Obama’s pitch to Edwards’ supporters was more persuasive than Clinton’s.

Also – if for nothing else but sheer entertainment value, read the New York Post’s endorsement of Barack Obama. (Seriously, was there ever a chance they’d endorse Clinton?)

There are No Hurricanes in Buffalo

30 Jan

I like to call it a snowicane. A Hurricane with snow. With the wind gusts down here by the lake, it’s the one time I can say that my weight is an advantage, because everyone else is getting blown around by the wind. I didn’t realize the temperature had dropped as dramatically as it did:

A wicked winter windstorm … packing gusts up to 70 mph and accompanied by a temperature drop of 21 degrees in just one hour … ripped through the region early today, prompting virtually all area schools to close and knocking out electric power for roughly 70,000 customers.

We lost power for some time this morning, but it’s back on now. There also appears to be a band of lake snow from about Lackawanna to Batavia. How is it by you?

SPoT Coffee to Williamsville

29 Jan

It’s not just a Chippewa / Elmwood (Toronto / Rochester) thing anymore. SPoT is opening up on Main at Union in Williamsville. You can read the details here about the conversion of the old CVS at that location into a trendy coffee shop.

Also, SPoT on Elmwood will be splitting the former New World Records space with its neighbor, Brodo.

Hillary Clinton's Breach of Contract

29 Jan

From the Manchester (NH) Union Leader:

COURTING VOTERS in Iowa and New Hampshire, last August Sen. Hillary Clinton signed a pledge not to “campaign or participate” in the Michigan or Florida Democratic primaries. She participated in both primaries and is campaigning in Florida. Which proves, again, that Hillary Clinton is a liar.

Clinton kept her name on the Michigan ballot when others removed theirs, she campaigned this past weekend in Florida, and she is pushing to seat Michigan and Florida delegates at the Democratic National Convention. The party stripped those states of delegates as punishment for moving up their primary dates.

“I will try to persuade my delegates to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida,” Clinton said last week, after the New Hampshire primaries and Iowa caucuses were safely over.

Clinton coldly and knowingly lied to New Hampshire and Iowa. Her promise was not a vague statement. It was a signed pledge with a clear and unequivocal meaning.

She signed it thinking that keeping the other candidates out of Michigan and Florida was to her advantage, but knowing she would break it if that proved beneficial later on. It did, and she did.

New Hampshire voters, you were played for suckers.

Hillary and Bill, up against a genuine competitor who is not letting them just walk away with the nomination, will do and say anything whatsoever to get ahead.

Why did she knowingly breach her agreement to stay out of Michigan and Florida?

A New Chapter For BuffaloGeek

29 Jan


It has occurred to me that I am just generally too busy with life, work, family, non-profits and whatnot to really keep this site fresh with content everyday. After all, the secret to high traffic numbers is at least one post a day.

However, I am not the kind of writer who can put out 500-1000 words on a topic in less than a day. I also don’t have enough traffic to just pop up a link and say “discuss amongst yourselves”. I try to post long form, discussion-oriented musings on an issue and I can’t seem to do it justice with my current schedule. I know that I am not the only WNYMedia blogger in this position.

In 2004 when Marc Odien founded, he envisioned it to be a portal site on which mainstream media and blog commentary collided and offered something unique. Marc built a great community with high traffic numbers and attracted some great writers and community activists into the family. In 2005, I joined the team and we decided to make a little business out of this blogging/web media thing. At our peak we had 40 bloggers updating their sites every day with news and opinion from around the region. As time wore on, we started to focus more on individual content that was networked together through RSS and we had a few fits and starts with template designs that we though would provide some uniformity.

At the end of 2007, we weren’t producing enough content on all of our sites because we were so absorbed with managing the network, web technology, dealing with web designers, and our video business. Thus, some of our bloggers weren’t feeling the love from us and content dipped.

Our dedicated blogging staff became more involved with the community they write about and many had some life changing events like marriages, children, home purchases, election campaigns, job changes, etc. As a result, we found ourselves at the confluence of several factors which were taking away from the quality of our product.

So, as he usually does, Marc boiled it all down to a basic strategy; “Let’s collapse the writing staff into one central portal”. I’ve learned my lesson on underestimating Marc’s ideas in our two years in business…don’t sleep on that guy, people never see him coming. Anyhow, I digress. Most of us are not able to post frequently enough to carry the water by ourselves on our own blogs.

What we would like to do is collapse the writers into one site if they wish. If they wish to continue with their own site, they can. However, most of our writers have agreed in one way or another to stop posting to their individual sites and contribute to WNYMedia Central.  By the way, if you haven’t stopped by the frontpage of in the last few weeks, do so. We’ve got a lot of cool features installed with more to come. Each writer will have a page where all of their articles are stored with their collection of links and virtual tchotckes, but the articles will primarily be displayed in a traditional format like News, Lifestyles, Sports, Activism, Arts on our front page and updated two to three times per day.

For an example of what a writers page will look like on the wnymedia portal, check this out.  Not much different from what we have now, just a different wrapper.   In many ways, you can still consume the content of only one writer if you just want to bookmark his or her page or you can more easily consume the content from the wider community by reading the portal and subscribing to specific feeds like “news” or “activism”.
Before we make yet another decision in a vacuum, I thought I would ask what you think.  Would you be more or less likely to read WNYMedia if the articles were organized on one portal?  Do you see value in having a one stop shop for all of our articles?  Or do you prefer the individual pages like this?

If you primarily consume WNYM writers via RSS, all of the articles will be streamlined into one feed for your consumption.  Or, you can simply subscribe to one writer, but most writers won’t be contributing daily, they will do it when they have time.  It’s all about choice on the new portal.  Is that cool?   We’ll mix in news feeds from local print, TV, and web…yes, even BRO articles.  You’ll be able to comment on articles from all over Buffalo media on our frontpage. Does this sound like a good idea?  You tell me.


29 Jan

Since I’m not posting much today, go check this out and munch on some popcorn.

A Ponderable

29 Jan

Buffalo gains a motorcycle rally that is leaving Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls says, “good riddance.”

So, does anybody win?