Blogging on the shoulders of giants

It’s not every week someone names me in reference to a generation (hint: name a generation of journalists after Adrian and you’ll get more useful code and less seething rhetoric), but if readership of this blog has passed the “three of you” mark, it’s because I’ve been paying gobs and gobs of attention for the last two-plus years to a horde of intelligent folks who write about media, technology, and education.

Here’s a few of the people I’m stealing getting the most ideas from:

Howard Owens – Here’s a bit from today about the “7 Be’s of Pull”:

“Newspapers are largely push. You get people to subscribe, and you deliver it to them, or you put it out on a street corner where it is easy to pick up. You’re not making people come to you. The web is entirely pull. The only way you get a visitor to your site is if you give them a reason to visit. They have to remember there is a reason to visit. There is no ‘newspaper on the door step’ reminder.”

Matt Waite – A journalist who knows more code than I do shares a real-world example of how and why he learned some new bits of script to work into a map project for a news story:

“The power of this particular map is that everyone in west-central Florida who is from somewhere else — which is just about everyone — can see the numbers on where they came from. We could never hope to do that in print.”

Angela Grant – She might be the Simon Cowell of the newspaper video world, but she’s a constant source of great tips for shooting straight-ahead video journalism. From a recent critique:

“…But I’m not into the voiceover. It’s read in that TV-news plastic style. It makes the story feel posed, forced and fake. It makes it feel like it’s talking at me, not talking to me. That mood doesn’t fit with Internet video, even though I may not think twice if I saw this story on TV. The actual information in the voiceover is good, I just wish I got it in a more organic and natural way.”

Mindy McAdams – Want to know how to get started in multimedia journalism? Professor McAdams has you covered. Gear, tutorials, and most important, logic — as in why you should or shouldn’t learn Flash:

“As for Flash — Flash is NOT BASIC. The first people in your newsroom who should be thinking about using Flash are the graphic designers, the news graphic artists — NOT the reporters!”

There are so many more. The blogroll way down at the bottom of this page is somewhere to start, but I don’t update it much, and some of the essentials are missing. Essentials like Dan Gillmor and Jay Rosen, two of the first media bloggers I ever subscribed to. And the new school, the hyperlocal thinkers like Adrian Holovaty and Rob Curley.

And here’s the worst-kept secret, kids: All of these people are incredibly accessible. Have a question? Looking for advice? Trying to decide if this is the right business for you? Working on a story about the future of newspapers and need a quote on deadline? Leave a comment, a link, an e-mail, a phone message.

These people won’t turn you away.

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