Tell a metro columnist where his blog should go

Dan Rubin is asking for your advice.

The metro columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, a big urban daily newspaper, wants you to tell him what direction Blinq, his blog, should go.

Rubin is crowdsourcing advice on Web 2.0 and, unfortunately, is getting mostly garbage comments from’s noted crowd of bottom-feeders – the reasons why are for a different post.

So tell him yourself. I did.

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Blavatar, banner for

Mark this off the list of simple things I wanted to get done for this site.

I made the above banner, though I don’t have plans for using it as a header. Rather, it’ll serve its purpose as a focus when I need one, in places like on my blogging experience page. Something that no site in the world needs but will get action if it exists.

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A German nod to ChristopherWink dot com for young journalists

Courtesy of Marcus Bösch.

I’m always surprised and really proud to see my unique visitors and subscriptions increasing and love nothing more than a fresh comment to help create a dialogue I try to highlight on this site.

Now, that has happily been a fairly regular occurrence for a good portion of this site’s one-year plus existence. Still, sometimes something happens that makes me smile, and, really, helps me to remain appreciative and in awe of the power of the Internet.

As I first Tweeted last week, a German blogger named Marcus Bösch linked to this site (danke!), suggesting aspiring young journalists – who speak some English – should check out my feed.

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A foreign correspondent's view on newspaper struggles

Here’s a brand.

Trudy Rubin is what’s left of the once glorious international presence of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

She just returned from another tour of Iraq, where she has further cemented her reputation as a top global-reporting force. Her Worldview column and her blog are musts for those following American presences in the Middle East (Subscribe here). Yeah, and she’s doing for the Inquirer, fo real.

On Tuesday, she fielded questions in an online forum and, along with politics and military, I was joined by others asking her thoughts on newspapers.

Find them below.

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Five books I reread in 2008 that you should try in 2009

Today is Jan. 2, 2009.

Looks like you ought to find something new to read. For me, there are those books I can’t seem to put down, even if I’ve already read them and have a stack of new stories I hope to try.

In 2008, I returned to more old friends than I normally do. Below, see the five books to which I returned and why you should give them a go if you haven’t, or a second look if you can.

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My five most viewed posts of 2008

Fireworks over the Delaware River in Philadelphia, celebrating 2009. Photo by Shannon McDonald.

Fireworks over the Delaware River in Philadelphia, celebrating 2009. Photo by Shannon McDonald.

Everyone does their lots of lists to end of the year. So, consider this my wishing you a grand, happy and successful 2009 and my doing just that.

I celebrated my one-year anniversary on this site early December with some of my most popular and favorite posts, so, because they might otherwise overlap, this is strictly my five most viewed posts of 2008.

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Twelve months of top journalism blog posts in 2008


Tomorrow 2009 begins. Instead of doing a top ten list of posts like most, I want to review the year in important journalism-related blog posts.

There are  a lot of bloggers who focus on journalism. From grizzled veterans, tech geeks and corporate stiffs who are looking for the future, to those who blog the news, and younger cats like me, who have some of the experience, all the enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to offer. Yes, while some have written newspaper obituaries, some are looking toward the future.

So, with all of us running around blabbing on about new media and the future of newspapers, it turns out that every once in a while something I think is pretty meaningful comes to light. This year has been a big one, so below, in my humble opinion, see a guide to 12 months of the best journalism-related blog posts of 2008.

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Professional Resolutions for 2009

It’s a new year, so it’s time for resolutions. Here are my professional ideas, as I shared some more specific personal ones here.

Here are a few I’ve been thinking about:

  • Write: I want to write more here, journal more, more establish my freelancing career, get pieces into big newspapers and magazines and be part of meaningful journalism. Most important, I want to think I am a better writer, reporter and journalist a year from now than I am now.
  • Technology: I need to toe more into the obvious steps of tech, multimedia and web design. I want to invest time in using my point and click camera, editing video and audio and move this website maybe to a self-hosted version without the
  • I want to make $30,000: Making that pre-tax total would mean I made more than I did as a post-graduate intern and allow me to save a little bit of money. I could do this freelancing, but I also might look for some writing and journalism jobs.
  • Make a book out of WDSTL: I created a lot of content with the cheap travel video podcast while backpacking in Europe, so I’d like to do something more with it.
  • I want to say ‘I don’t know’ more: All of us get trapped into making educated guesses and generally trying to answer questions or offer opinions for matters we don’t know. I want to stop that. If I don’t know something, I want to
  • Frame clips and diploma: I have some great newspaper clips and that diploma I paid so much for, so I’d like to display them to show them off a bit and be reminded of how hard I worked for them.
  • Update portfolio: I have a print portfolio that I’d like to update.

Those are my clearest objectives for 2009. What are yours?

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Your digital legacy: we know your wild past won't forget, but who doesn't?

Image by Steve Carroll

We already got the message. Twenty-somethings of today, I suspect, are already careful about their presences online. We were coming to professional age when we were first joining social networks.

But the conversations seems to be ongoing.

The Economist magazine has released its annual forecast for the coming year, and, among their predictions, the U.K. politics magazine says 2009 may be a year in which the social networking phenomenon will reach critical mass: hurting security, employability and socializing.

Hear their audio and my thoughts below.

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Number of Views:2260