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V.19 No.30 |

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A thousand monkeys posting a thousand tweets...

John Bear is e-tarded

By John Bear [ Sun Aug 1 2010 4:45 PM ]

Until recently, I was strictly a newspaper guy. Dead trees slathered in ink.

Now I find myself thrust into the world of web-based journalism. It started with the Alibi offering me a slot on its blog. (This post, by the way, will be the very first I put on the website, and you’re reading it.)

I have spent much of the last six years scoffing at bloggers. An editor once told me that a reporter without an editor is a blogger. He was fired for watching internet porn, so I guess everything is on the internet.

At my college paper, the other editors had Facebook and MySpace pages. I laughed at them, and proclaimed that I would never sink so low. (I have a Facebook page now.)
So I’m a hypocrite perhaps. But I’ve always been resistant to technology. I just can’t follow every new thing over the cliff like an E-Lemming. Call me stubborn. Thinking I needed one to be a serious writer, I bought a typewriter when I was 19. Soon I had a collection of IBM Selectrics cluttering my apartment. Slowly, however, they have been left behind during subsequent moves or I have suckered someone into taking one. (“Oh you’ll love it,” I lie. “Much easier than a computer. The IBM Selectric Mark Two, the big mother. Trust me.)

The worst thing about my typewriter phase is the large amount of bad, typed poetry circulating out there. It turns out that I’m not Charles Bukowski.

Web-based everything. It’s not just the wave of the future. It’s here. And I’m catching up. I’m also taking a crack at the coveted “Full Time Freelance Journalist.” It’s not easy to do, but I’m determined. This will also require a significant web presence.

A colleague who has already jumped into the abyss told me last week over cappuccinos that I’ll need a website, blog, Twitter account, etc. It’s all about shameless self-promotion, I guess. I can do that. No problem.

I’m working on the website, though it appears to have been put together by a team of monkeys. The blog account is up. I’m holding off on the Twitter account. I just can’t do it.
Right now, I feel like one of those apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey dancing around the monolith. But I have arrived late, and all the other apes have iPhones.

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