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Archive for February 3rd, 2007

All around the world… visitors that is

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

It’s interesting to watch the visitor statistics on this site. You know the standard stuff: how many people come, where they come from and what they look at. And although I don’t get a lot of traffic, I do get some interesting traffic.

I turn up in the most random Google searches, such as “cute Akron cab driver.” Also, the technorati searches that lead to MerandaWrites are oftentimes pretty puzzling. Either way both offer a snapshot of what’s on people’s minds: Obama, Harry Potter, the iPhone, O’Rielly and Colbert, Sadam, etc.

But what fascinates me most isn’t what people are looking at (though I do find it interesting which pages garner the most attention) or what string of words landed them here. Nope, I’m most intrigued by where the people who happen upon my blip on the Web come from.

where my visitors hail from

You see, I noticed today when I looked at that map (part of the stats at W3Counter) that I have had visitors from all over the world. In fact, at least one orange dot representing a visitor is positioned on every continent. Wow. A decade ago, who’d have thought that a 21-year-old fresh-faced, wide-eyed recent college graduate could throw words out there that would be read by people on every corner of the earth? Certainly not me. And that’s why it enthralls me.

‘The learners inherit the earth’

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

I already posted my Quote of the Day, but I just came across this one and felt it worth sharing with the other people wandering in the new media landscape:

“In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
— Eric Hoffer

I think that’s worth remembering as we move forward.

Only the people willing to consider that everything they know is wrong or irrelevent or not going to cut it any longer — only those who open their minds to all of the possibilities — will prosper. Such is the world.

I am young, but even if I weren’t, I am more than willing to admit I do not know everything. I don’t, and I never will. Too many people, young and old, walk around thinking they know what’s best. They don’t. They think that because they know how to cover city council and read a building permit, that because they’ve sat through a murder trial or broke the story about a senator’s scandal they are somehow above the turmoil in the industry today. They aren’t.

As this quote says, the people who know everything are the ones who will be left in the dust by those who keep acquiring knowledge. Whether that knowledge is shooting video or editing Flash, or whether it’s simply acquiring a different mindset when approaching a story is irrelevent. The point is, they never settle. And too many editors and reporters in this business have settled. They’re just biding their time until they can retire and reminisce about that “world that no longer exists.”

QOTD: I am an idealist…

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

“I am an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.”
— Carl Sandburg

Rules to be a good journalist

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

12 and a half rules to be a good journalist
(nod to Howard Owens where I saw it linked)

They are all good rules. Some more obvious than others. But it’s a list worth keeping in mind each morning as you wake up.

My favorites: Be a thriver, not a survivor (No. 7); Keep learning every day (No. 4); and Never be embarassed to ask stupid questions (No. 2).

I also like rule 11, although it may have the most clichés in a single paragraph I’ve ever seen:

11. WAKE UP ANGRY, AMBITIOUS: Get the fire in your belly to do something, set things right. Respond to injustice, inhumanity, corruption. Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable. Don’t think it is somebody else’s job. Be the change you want to see.

And of course, rule 12 is just what the short bio about me on the side of this blog says: I love what I do. As I often advised some of the younger students at Kent when they asked me for advice about whether to stick with it or change majors. If you don’t love it, get out. You’re not going to be paid enough to hate your job. But if you do, even 12-hour days and enough stress to crack most people isn’t going to deter you from rule 1, chase your dreams.

Recording audio with the iPod

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

I have been meaning to buy a new audio recorder. I’ve never been one to tape my interviews, mainly because I don’t have the time to go back through and transcribe. And I haven’t had much chance or reason to use audio for any projects I’ve done. But I want to.

I used to have the Griffin iTalk for my iPod 4G. Well, I still have it, but as I have a broken 4G and a shiny Video iPod that it doesn’t work on, it’s no good to me. Although it certainly wasn’t CD-quality sound, it was effective for the few projects I used it on. It was also pretty good quality compared to most of the audio recorders I could have afforded. And since, as I said, I didn’t use it often, I wasn’t going to lay down too much money. I think I got the iTalk on eBay for about $30. Granted it had a much higher starting cost (the $300 I paid for the iPod), but because I already owned the iPod, the $30 was cheaper than the $100+ I’d have to shell out for another piece of equipment I’d have to carry.

Considering I already carry my cell phone, digital camera and iPod everywhere, (and my MacBook at least half the time) adding another bit of equipment isn’t really appealing. That (and the fact that my only job was Stater editor which paid enough to barely cover my bills and between that and classes left no time for other work) was part of the reason I held off on buying a digital recorder for myself. We bought some for the Stater, an Olympus model I can’t remember which right now, and of course I had access to those. So I didn’t have a reason to need one.

Now, as I’m starting to earn a little money and thinking about things I want/need, the audio recorder is back on my list. But I still have the same stipulations: I don’t really want to add to the gear I already lug around or spend more than $100, and it has to record decent quality sound.

I’m coming back to the iPod recorder model. I’ve heard good things about the Belkin TuneTalk. I already own an iPod. I can add an extral mic to it, if I wish. I don’t have to worry about Mac compatibility. It only costs about $70, or on eBay about $40. My only hesitation is that it’s black, and I have a white iPod and MacBook. But I guess if you have to sacrifice something, aesthetics should be among the first to go.