Thursday, August 30, 2007

Off The Bus #1

... in which the Atlanta blogosphere joins me on a Huffington Post-related ride. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Seeds and Stems

Somehow I've missed the terrific ATL blog, Drive A Faster Car. But it's on my radar now. Any blogger who posts Twits that rage Its Fucking Moron Day at the new Publix on Collier has got my attention. That's my 'hood after all, right smack here in traffic hell-on-earth.

Now that comments are ignited, Phil Kloer's new book blog at the AJC seems to be catching right on. Thirty five comments for the very first post! Phil's filling a phat void apparently, now that they fired all the A&E -oreinted "real" reporters over at Cox Plantation #1. Who needs 'em in a blogophied world anyway? Not when you can just click to something this good, or this, for a look at what's going on locally in, say, the very hot Atlanta music scene.

I've known the bright 'n clever Mr. Kloer for years now. Really good guy. He once interviewed me and some pals during a smallish Twin Peaks (that's how old I really am) viewing party we had at some cruddy apartment complex off of Ponce I used to pay rent to. That was way back in the seriously hazy days on Ponce, when you could look out your back window and see bums from the Clairmont taking a dump in the back parking lot. Ughhhh... But even if it's a kindasorta blog, please support his bloggin' efforts in the bubbasphere with lots of your own juicy written droppings.

Has all that much really changed on Ponce? Beats me. I beated a fast track to Buckhead shortly after Twin Peaks ended and have been here ever since. Go ask these kids for a more timely answer.

New video goodies are online now for the Bobby Saxon For Congress campaign. Courtesy (operative word is "courtesy") of WaySouth Media. Check out Bobby's announcement video here, and a shorter vid about his military background here. This guy's really one to watch; he's got a ton of charm and good horse sense and charisma that jump off the video, despite the incessant cricket 'n insect noises that got picked-up in the audio during taping.

Bobby, an Athens boy and running in the 10th, is really into spreading the word via new media, too. Look for good stuff to come over the next fifteen months of campaigning from Mr. Saxon. He's going to be around for a while. Heck, even his name just oozes a power, get'rdone vibe!

Anything else to add here, I just plain forgot. Have a great week!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

OnLineAthens The Coolest Kids In Georgia Media

OnLineAthens dot com, the online version of the Athens Banner-Herald (note how they brand print and online separately), is seriously head-and-shoulders above the rest of Georgia "traditional" media outlets in offering good, locally-grown multimedia on their pages. Scroll down on their AthFest page to click-on a video featuring the AthFest awards ceremony... still viable and good to watch even after the festival is over.

Not only is OnlineAthens wielding excellent, localized reporting, they're toting some nice DV cams while they're out and about. Too bad the AJC can't tap into a blazing Atlanta music scene right now to offer jack shit. Who even clicks on their one-dimensional site anymore, for that matter? I just go directly to The Blogs... or to Athens.

Heck, OnlineAthens even links you to a site called Talk about your one-stop shopping. Wishful thinking to feel that Atlanta musicians and artists could hope for but a crumb from Atlanta media/Cox Plantation table.

Chances are, when their paper version flutters away one day, and it will, as all papers are in the process of doing, the Athens Banner-Herald won't miss a beat; they "got it" long ago that it's all about the sharing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Backpack Network

As my kid headed back to her Atlanta public school (APS) last week, and after filling out what seemed like the hundredth paper form requesting the same contact information for our family, I put down the pen to rub my cramped, aching fingers.

I hadn’t done that much old-fashioned pen and dead-tree work since I myself was in grade school. As someone who types virtually all communications or phones them in, such tasks were a lot of manual labor, all for the purpose of creating unimaginable amounts of inputting work for whoever on the receiving end must decipher my atrocious, rarely utilized handwriting.

Then I scribbled yet another communication on some random, greasy kitchen notepad to the teacher about my child’s changing afternoon schedule. I placed that bit of scribble alongside the rest in my child’s bulging backpack and sent it off with a wing and a prayer -- through The Backpack Network. I’d have felt better if I could have sent it by Harry Potter owl.

While marginally reliable at best, the APS’s Backpack Network as chief communication device, in this time of email, the instant message, MySpace, Twitter, SMS, the YouTube debates, cell cams, webcams and iPhone, is amusingly antiquated. But it is what we are asked to use to communicate with the people in charge of our children’s school system.

While APS requires countless forms from the parent/kid end to be filled out as how best to find and contact us, they give us nothing back in return about how to contact them, unless of course you count the one email address on the (static) website for the school’s principal, and the one main phone and fax number to the chaotic school office. That’s it. There simply isn’t any more: no list of teacher email addresses; not a single cell phone number listed for a single staff member.

Why APS wants our email addresses at all is a complete mystery, as the few times I’ve tried to communicate with a staff member through email, I’ve been told to email is grossly unreliable and to “call the front office” instead.

The carpool line communication methods have even regressed, going from two-way walkie talkies to move things along last year, to written slips of paper now passed along from outside to inside. They sure could use at least a house elf or two.

So I got out the amusingly titled “Information Handbook” for my kid’s school, where I found over twelve, front and back printed, pages of paper listing schedules and rules and regs and names and places. The only communicating tool listed for APS staff was indeed -- the main phone number. The one electronic notation was for the school’s (static) website, buried way in the middle of the handbook.

I then read over the letter of welcome from the PTA President, who bravely gave out her cell phone number AND her personal email address, alongside a kindly quote that “communication is key, and the PTA offers many ways to be connected with your child’s school experience.”

And indeed, also inside the “Information Handbook” was a full list of PTA committee chairpersons’ email addresses: everything from the Gift Wrap Committee to the Family Spring Picnic! Heck, the PTA is so efficient it will include their family’s blogs and Facebook sites before long.

But parents’ regular communications needs are directly with APS school staff: the children’s teachers and the administrators, not with the 2008 Fun Run committee co-chair.

Until we need to know more about our “child’s school experience” than what time to show-up to put cones out on Field Day, we are left to the dubious efficiency of -- The Backpack Network.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lady Reporter

That’s what they used to call women in journalism: Lady Reporters. Cute, huh? And they stuck ‘em on the society desk to write about Margaret Mitchell’s little book, charity events and the Junior League. Well, Atlantan Katie Johnson wasn’t having any of that! Instead, she made the Civil Rights beat in the South during the sixties her own while working for the AP.

Johnson has had plenty of opportunities to tell her stories lately. The retired reporter, who covered the civil rights movement for the Atlanta bureau of The Associated Press, figures prominently in a new history of the wire service, “Breaking News” (Princeton Architectural Press). The book, which traces the world’s largest news organization from the Civil War to the war in Iraq, devotes a chapter to the rights struggle of the 1950s and ’60s. Johnson practically jumps off the pages.

Though she hasn’t worked for the AP in 30 years, it has given her quite a few assignments recently. She was summoned to New York for an oral history session. She appeared on a National Press Club panel that was broadcast on C-SPAN’s Book TV. She was invited to be on the program at the 50th anniversary of the Little Rock desegregation crisis next month, even though she had nothing to do with that story.

“They’re treating me like a celebrity,” she says, laughing. “They sure didn’t treat me like that when I worked for them.”

Full story here. What’s baffling and shameful is that Ms. Johnson isn’t given so much as a footnote in the “The Race Beat,” the 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning book about reporting the Civil Rights movement by Hank Klibanoff, a managing editor at the AJC. What a glaring omission.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Atlanta's Fat Ass

Jeff Haynie, a successfull web-based entreprenuer from metro Atlanta has a fascinating blog entry he's titled: How To Build A Successfull Startup Environment in Atlanta. Note his use of the critical word "environment." Jeff's really on to something here, something we need to help him grow:

I can’t even compare our environments to other major areas like the Valley or Boston - it’s just not much of a comparison. So, I won’t. Atlanta can become it’s own community and has the ability to not only do what others have done before us - but also innovate in it’s community environments. And, we need more people - “completely unknown” around town - to step up and make it happen. We need 100 Billy Payne’s passionate about making Atlanta a successful startup community, as much as the real Payne did for the Atlanta Olympic quest in the late 80s.

Full post here. I urge reading it carefully. There's just so much good stuff all through it. I've had to the good fortune to work with Jeff on media issues and making some cool new media. He's completely inspiring to be around. He gets things like, oh say, SoCon07 done. And Southern Fried Tech.

Like others who have come to get to know one another through SoCon07, PodCamp Atlanta or Atlanta Web Entrepreneurs, Jeff is anxious and willing to help build a strong e-entrepreneur community right here in the SE. Let's hope our entrenched media establishment, some of which he talks about in his blog entry, will keep the faith, the open mind and the initiative needed to help drive just this very thing -- a vibrant web-based entrepreneurial environment and community. Not only is it in our interest, their audience base and eyeballs, it would seem to be in their own self-preservation interests too.

FYI... Jeff's on to BarCamp Atlanta come October! I say... whatever was strong in Mr. Payne, is also strong in Mr. Haynie. Let's move beyond the entrenched way of doing things, the good 'ole boy network. Let's learn, create -- and above all -- share.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Making Integrated Media

Here's a fascinating conversation with Vicki Lynne of Satellite Event Enterprises about blowing-out an event and a marketing campaign in all possible social media ways you can think of! She's really nailed the strategy and the mindset; it's all about... integrating media.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Here's Your Participatory Media!

Boy, the media revolution sure looks pretty and fun!

Lip Dub - Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri and Vimeo.

Georgia's Aviation History

There's a documentary in the works about Georgia's aviation history. Take a peek here.

Creating New Media Buzz

I'm giving panel tonight. The topic: Building Buzz For Your Web-Based Business. Join the Atlanta Web Entrepreneurs group tonight at Georgia Tech for this. Starts at 6:45pm. Details are sign-up are here. Hope to see you there!

Ma AT&T Says Shut-Up And Sing

Not only will they not lay us fiber optic (least Ma Southern Bell never did), AT&T has a kindamaybesorta policy to censor “political” speech during live webcasting. So they tested every possible free speech boundary during a Pearl Jam concert this past weekend. From

AT&T’s culture of control has taken a frightening new turn. Some may remember when the company’s black rotary phone was the only device allowed on its telephone network.Today, the communications giant is banking that a world without Net Neutrality will allow them to exert similar control over another network — the free flowing Internet. Look no further than AT&T’s recent censorship of a Pearl Jam concert webcast, just as lead singer Eddie Vedder launched into a critique of President Bush.

AT&T’s slippery response to the resulting outcry is instructive. The moment the Pearl Jam news hit the Web, AT&T’s public relations division scrambled their spokespeople and shills. In a frenzy of damage control, they fired off a series of statements. One called the move “totally against our policy — of never, ever censoring political speech.” Another declared the Pearl Jam censorship “an isolated incident” — an “unfortunate” mistake by a rogue subcontractor.

Full story here. Wait ’til AT&T discovers what folks say on the blogs! Jeez. What a bunch of corrupted creeps they are. They’d sell-out their mommas for the ability to monopolize the way we pick our own noses over our own webcams.

That said, I gotta say I live-webcasted a big ‘ole rally for a bunch of Georgia Dems once, over what was surely AT&T owned and operated Internets “air.” No one batted an eyelash. Then again, we had about, oh say, 2 million or so fewer folks tuning-in for that one. No rock stars bothered to show to rock the North Georgia Dem vote, sad to say.

And maybe that’s a good thing, because if there’s one thing that annoys the crap outta me is perfectly great music interrupted by some ego-crazed musician with a brain the size of a pea wanting to shove his/her juvenile political pontifications down our throats when all we wanted to do was hear good music and get wasted. I want a political argument, I come to Peach Pundit! (Actually, PR shills and hacks for giant telco beasts annoy me even more, but that’s another post.)

Shut-up and sing, eh?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hillary's Media Makeover

Let’s face it, no matter what you think about her, Hillary Clinton could use a media makeover. I mean, have you ever even seen one snapshot of her exercising? Shopping? Eating? Plain ‘ole everyday things we (voting) American women do all the time?

Fellow Atlanta blogger, Sara, of the popular Going Through The Motions, and I stopped by Hot Political Air Night (any Tuesday, any season) at Manuel’s for a cold one last night and compiled our helpful hints Top Ten list. Since I’m all hot for lists now, of course.

Then again, it was compile lists or try to out-shout Tom Houck and Michael Maloof over the composition of Atlanta city politics come 2009. So here ‘ya go Hillary. Have at it:

1.) Get a dog. A Beagle would do nicely.

2.) Be seen with a Diet Coke in hand. Often.

3.) Get caught working-out, or at least power walking in soccer mom ‘hood.

4.) Drop by Global Coffee Chain; bonus points: use laptop while in Global Coffee Chain

5.) Photo-op at a hospital in am, preferably with sick children; then get snapped later same evening on celeb’s yacht. (This strategy worked great for Diana.)

6.) Visit with Chelsea, wherever she is. Have nails done together.

7.) Stop by a Whole Foods and chat with immigrant staff about organic produce in West African nations.

8.) Cook something. Suggestion: A simple, yet fresh and tasty pasta dish.

9.) Dump Bill.

10.) Take him back.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This Is Trying To Break Our Hearts

Sending A Delicious Shiver Up Yo Spine

This is totally trippy: “... there’s a 20 percent chance we’re living in a computer simulation.” From today's NYT, gulp.

h/t to Ben Homer via Twitter.

The Sisterhood

Lordy, I've been away for so long doing battle in the bubbasphere (Peach Pundit) that I'd forgotten all about the powers and the resources of the blogosphere sisterhood. So it's very refreshing and delightful to be noted by blog Queen Connie Reese on her list of women bloggers worth celebrating. Thank you Connie. I needed that!

. That is truly a good word when used wisely. I wish I could use it more often. Makes me wanna party!

Bad Kiddy Product

This is NOT too funny any longer, the growing number of toys being recalled that were made in Lead-Based China. These lists of bad toys represent about half of The Princess’ loot pile ’round our house. The Princess is NOT going to be happy when her Polly Pockets collection gets hauled off to the dumpster today. Don’t say I didn’t warn you if you can hear The Princess howling all the way down in Macon.

“The scope of these recalls is intentionally large to prevent any injuries from occurring,” she (Nancy A. Nord, acting Consumer Product Safety Commission chairman) told the news conference.

Several injuries had been reported in an earlier Polly Pocket recall last November. In all, at least one U.S. child has died and 19others have needed surgery since 2003 after swallowing magnets used in various toys, the government said.

“The scope of these recalls is intentionally large to prevent any injuries from occurring,” she told the news conference.

Full AJC story about yet more toy recalls here. Oh dear… here goes… pray for moms all across the country, please, with the nasty business we must go about today.

Blog It Long Time Baby

I'm working really hard on my blogging addiction, so I've cut way back here on the SGR with the more personal kinda posts. However, I see no need to de-continue the media and political stuff, but I like doing that more over at Peach Pundit. It just pisses 'em off so much when I do that it's got to be a good thing! So, make a daily visit to PP part of your nutritious breakfast.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Tale of Land, Politics and Bubba-Logic

Gather 'round the campfire, kiddies. I've got a wonderful little story to tell you about how the good people of Walhalla, South Carolina almost got taken for a nasty little boondawgle by their City Council. Bless their hearts, them folks didn't know they was dealin' with criminals!

Actually, I'll let Buzz Williams, Director of The Chattooga Conservancy, tell the story as he's a fabulous writer and committed conservationist. This whole saga-for-the-times reads like a crime novel! Here's a sample. Click at bottom for the full tale.
Nonetheless, Mayor Bailes (of Walhalla) showed up the following Saturday at the Community Center in Mountain Rest, SC, to answer questions about the proposed land sale and made a patronizing attempt to justify the sale. The mayor preached to the crowd about the benefits of the proposed development, predicting prosperity for Walhalla as a result of the projected tax revenue that the development would bring. Many left feeling that the dye had been cast.

It was about this time that the Chattooga Conservancy stepped into an important role in the effort to save the Walhalla watershed property. Everyone to this point had been asking questions about just who the mysterious developer was that had made the offer to buy the watershed property. An anonymous tip lead us to a Joe Simmons, who we reached by telephone. In an extended conversation, Simmons declared that he loved the property and promised to develop it to the highest environmental standards. He also revealed significant clues about his identify that would later become very important.
Read full story from the beginning here. (This cross-posted at Peach Pundit too.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Caroline's Playin'

Mark your calendars. Grab your hat. Cash your paycheck. Caroline Monroe is playing this Friday night at the Red Light Cafe, 9:30pm. She's breaking in a new band that night, too. Should be some high 'ole country music times. Hope Sara will wander on over and hear Caroline's genuine, classic country sound. Gal sings like a songbird.

"Hanging 'Round The Ceiling Half The Time"

The Strangeness of Kindness

Lordy hon, when it gets this hot out I start getting all BD-y, wantin' to slouch around in ivory lingerie and hang out in the bathtub, doing nothing more than leaning over to trace absent-minded swirls on the condensation of my long, tall, frosted, adult beverage glassware. Or maybe just drink gin, hallucinate, and contemplate smoking opium in a dark, velvet-curtained room with some dark stranger. Whew it is hot out, n'est ce pas?!

Weird thing is, everytime I get to feelin' this way, strange stuff starts happening... tsunamis, Class IV's, planes down, assorted global freakishness. My, my, my...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Give Away Your Best

Wow... there is someone out there who thinks that Rupert Murdoch/He Who Must Not Be Named aquiring the Wall Street Journal is not a bad idea -- especially if he make free. According to Jeff Jarvis:

I’ll go that far — and farther. By going free and with Murdoch’s investment in the product — that is, in the reporting and services and with his promotion — can become the unquestioned leading financial information brand worldwide, winning over its many competitors: Yahoo, Reuters (now stronger with Thomson), AOL,, Forbes, MSN, CNBC.

But that will happen only if it goes free. The strategy of charging for access to was, I’ll argue, a result of the Bancrofts’ absentee ownership. It was a way to play safe, to get another revenue stream and not cannibalize the paper. And management executed it brilliantly. But that wasn’t big thinking. Free is big thinking. And Murdoch thinks big.

Full BuzzMachine post here. I doubt I'll ever start reading the thing, regardless. Then again, weirder things have happened, the weirdest of all would be me making money. So maybe I just might.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Widening The Circle of Jerks

In case you somehow missed the train wreck, Bob Olin Butler expands this "circle jerk of self-righteousness" (his words) by going on NPR to talk ad nauseum about his affair, his former wife, and his thought-process and his overall literary greatness as a Pulitzer Prize winner. With husbands like this, any 'ole psychotic media baron crossing one's path starts to look real good I suppose.

And now, these folks have way over-extended their 15-minutes.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Where Goeth Ted Turner's Glorious Ding Dong...

Oh Gawd and Baby Jesus! Our big honkin' homie Ted's latest seduction of somebody's wife, this time the total mental case writer, Elizabeth Dewberry, aka the spouse belonging to number #1 narcissist/novelist Bob Olin Butler, has spawned the best comments ever on the Internets! Oh, they are freakin' priceless, confirming the collective wit of the American public in times of literary crisis.

But first you gotta read the email written (and circulated by Gawker, for starters) by the cuckolded Butler to get to the Priceless Comments place. A sample of Butler's email, sent to the department in whatever school he teaches in, is below. The whole spoiled rotten Gawker enchilada, entire email with comments, is here.

She will not be Ted's only girlfriend. Ted is permanently and avowedly non-monogamous. But though he has several girlfriends, it is a very small number, and he does not take them up lightly and he gives them his absolute support when he does. And Elizabeth's leaving me is as much about the three weeks a month she is alone as it is about the week a month she is with Ted. She will find her own space and her own light in which to create the great works of art she is destined to create.

I will keep my house. I will keep my dogs and cats. I will keep virtually everything. She is being characteristically generous about that. But I will lose Elizabeth. And that is very sad. But the loss has been happening through many years of our shared struggle to make her whole. In that, I've done all I can do, as has she. I wish her the best. I ask you not to think ill of her in any way.

Again, the comments section awaits you here. Scroll down. Meow! Woof!