My horoscope for Friday started off, “There is a very fine line between fear and excitement”. Perhaps that summed up the day pretty nicely. At around 12:30, I was riding down High Ridge Road with my eldest daughter, Mairead, at the wheel for the first time. She has just gotten her learner’s permit. There was a bit of fear and excitement as she made her way downtown.
Then, the telephone rang. It was my ex-wife Amy calling to let me know that my middle daughter, Miranda, had been accepted at Mary Baldwin College. I am so excited for her as well, and yet I have my personal fears. I’m having enough difficulties covering the mortgage right now. Having two daughters in college will really stretch things.
Back at home, another possible buyer was looking at the house. We live in an incredibly cool house, if I do say so myself. It is sad to face selling the house, but with the two oldest girls in college, it is probably time.
So, I look off into the abyss. Where will the funds come to cover college for both of them? Which opportunity in front of me will help pay my bills, and where will it lead us to move to?
Fear and excitement
This morning, Steve Rubel noted that John Edwards was one of his followers on Twitter. Sure enough, Sen. Edwards has over 500 friends and followers on Twitter and he’s also following me. I figured it was time to get a little more involved with Twitter.
On Monday, I participated in a conference call that Rep. Steve Rothman had with bloggers upon his return from a trip to Iraq, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Kuwait. It was a good conference call. We need more Congressmen doing more conference calls with bloggers. Yet we also need to think more about how we support our servicemen and women when they return.
Rep. Rothman described what he saw over there, admitting that it was all presented the eyes of the military, so it needs to be viewed with some skepticism. He said that it appears that various factions are coming to recognize that what they’ve been doing hasn’t been working and things need to change. The Kurds cannot expect to have their own country anytime soon. Such a development would most like start a major regional war, and the Kurds would end up worse off then they are now.
The Sunnis are recognizing that they are a minority and that regaining a majority position in the government just isn’t in the cards. Shiites are coming to understand that vengeance is a two handed sword.
Because of this, the various factions are trying to find ways to cooperate, and concrete results are happening, such as progress on an oil revenue sharing solution.
The other day, Genghis Conn, from Connecticut Local Politics wrote about The Greenwich Time and the Stamford Advocate being sold to Gannett. He worried about how the papers would fare and I spoke about my optimism for the papers. He asked me why and I gave a brief comment there. Let me take a few moments to expand on those comments.
On of the things that is particularly valuable about Freedom to Connect, and some similar conferences is the backchannel. This is typically a text based chat tool that gets projected onto the screen behind the speakers that people access from their laptops in the audience, or in my case yesterday, from my home computer as I watched the stream. It reflects Gillmor’s observation about the audience often knowing more about the subject than the speakers do.
During the “Peer Production News Panel” there were a couple interesting discussions that I got involved with, which I will post here, in a format edited for readability.
As often happens when you get people discussion the role of the internet in journalism, the question of economic models comes up, and people point out Craig’s List as taking away the advertising revenue of newspapers.