Seven notes, six links

Hypothesis:
Dooce is (still) one of the best things on the Interweb.

Plea:
Jay Rosen has the beatblogging with a social network thing worked up pretty clearly at this point, but if the project doesn’t leave behind tools (a WordPress theme, a Drupal module, a useful set of forms — something more tangible than good ideas that other news organizations can use), it’s just twelve more reporters with a blog and a bunch of know-it-all commenters. [UPDATE: Wow, that sounds pretty harsh, doesn’t it? I’ll write something more practical about it later and add a link here.]

More:
The NYTimes.com tech aggregator thing is cute, but first of all, isn’t this space a little crowded? And second of all, can’t you just use the frigging Blogrunner algorithm to add headlines to your stories from blogs that link to them? It was doing that when you bought it.

Seriously:
Why did my house get two calls in one day from circulation salesfolk from the Mercury News? Could it be because there was an earthquake on their front page for the last two days and someone thought it was a good time to blitz Santa Cruz? Or because the local paper moves out of downtown this weekend? Or do they just hate children and want to wake up sleeping babies every chance they get?

Fact:
I have worked in a newsroom where the circulation employees (not their fault – I blame the software) would call newsroom employees — at their desks in the same building — trying to sell them a subscription.

Opinion:
Scott Adams is a wonderful, wonderful man.

Thanks:
To Rex for the clue about Hype Machine when he blogged (or twittered?) its redesign launch. If all I got from it was the song stuck in my head right now, that would have been enough.

A career move

I’m happy to announce that on Monday I’ll be showing up for my first day of work at Gatehouse Media in Fairport, New York.

Gatehouse map

I’ll be working with Howard Owens, Bill Blevins, an awesome team of developers and designers, and many more talented folks. (Yes, I will try to pull that remembering-all-your-names on the first try trick again, but O’Hare-induced sleep deprivation may have played a role on my last trip out to Fairport.) My role will be helping many of Gatehouse’s smallest papers give their readers the best online local news experience possible.

For those of you keeping score, yes, this means that I’m leaving my post at the Santa Cruz Sentinel. I can’t thank everyone I’ve worked with at the Sentinel enough, so I won’t try to here. I’m proud of what we put into place in the past year, all difficult circumstances aside. This is a hard business to be in right now in many towns, and the people I’ve been working with know it firsthand, not as some abstract link in an industry blog.

To answer a few questions that keep coming up:

  • No, we’re not moving to Rochester this weekend. We’ll skip this winter, move in the spring, and I’ll have the pleasure of seeing a lot more of my wife and daughter for the next few months.
  • No, I wasn’t exactly looking for a new job, but it found me. To be more precise, Howard sent me a video message on Facebook. If you’re thinking “Hey, I told Ryan to call me when he was looking for work!” all I can say is thank you.
  • Yes, I am excited to be moving to Yankee country. I’m looking forward to living in a town where a coffee shop barista starts a conversation about last night’s game, and no one cares what Barry Bonds says or does.
  • Yes, I’ll still be blogging. All the usual disclaimers apply: This is my space for my thoughts and my opinions. No place of business or educational institution is responsible for what I write here.
  • Speaking of education, yes, I’m still working on my thesis.
  • A note to j-school students: Blogging about what you’re passionate about gets you work that you’re passionate about. Mr. Lebowski asked me to repeat that. Blogging about what you’re passionate about gets you work that you’re passionate about.

Conveniently enough, I’ll be in New York for a couple weeks, so I’ll be at the Networked Journalism Summit in NYC on October 10th. See you there, or in Fairport, or around town in Santa Cruz.

Notes on migrating three quarters of a mile

So we moved. And by “moved,” I mean we loaded our stuff into a truck and drove less than a mile to an apartment with more space, less drunk people throwing up next to our bedroom window (so far), and far more sanity all around us.

The state of our new living room as of a night or two ago:

A portion of our possessions

Yes, we did this with a seven-week-old in our arms the whole time, for those of you taking notes.

Many thanks to all the friends who lent a hand or a back over the weekend.

And thanks to my bosses who resisted the urge to insist that I work today. (We sent an intern to the illegal fireworks at the beach with a video camera – I’m banking on greatness.) I can hear all the action from our dining room table, now that we live on a block that’s actually above sea level.

One of the fun parts about all this packing and piling has been reading Grapes of Wrath in the middle of it all. The Joads just got to California, and they’re hanging out by the river near Needles waiting for the sun to go down so they can cross the desert.

Our short trip wasn’t quite so dramatic, but it was worth it.

Happy Independence Day.