Today I got my first article in print. My interview with Marc Canter made it into Computerworld New Zealand (pg 16, April 19 edition - right over the page from Jon Udell). It was one of my goals at the start of this year to get my writing published in the print world, so I'm chuffed to have achieved it! Here's a screenshot PDF of the article (relatively low-res to save bandwidth).
For those of you who may have arrived at my personal website via Computerworld, you may be interested in reading the extended version of the Marc Canter interview. Or perhaps pay his company website Broadband Mechanics a visit (newly re-designed, with my interview linked on the homepage too. Excellent!). Or you could stick around, make yourself at home, put your feet up and browse through my archive of weblog writings - by date or by topic.
What the heck is Blogging?
Some of you may be wondering what all this "blogging" business is about. The best way I can explain it is invite you to participate in the personal publishing revolution. Firstly, to read and subscribe to weblogs - try out Bloglines as an easy-to-use "newsreader". You can start by subscribing to this weblog ;-) Click here to subscribe to Read/Write Web in Bloglines. Or, see that orange button with "RSS" on it - to your left? RSS means "Really Simple Syndication". Right-click that and copy it directly into Bloglines.
The second part of the blogging equation is the writing and publishing. There are a variety of tools out there, including Radio Userland, Movable Type and TypePad. I currently use Radio Userland to publish this weblog and Movable Type for my linklog (daily list of links).
So am I really a Journalist?
Not really, but my interview with Marc Canter was an example of journalism. The reason I bring this topic up is that there's been a lot of talk lately about whether blogging is journalism. Jay Rosen wrote an excellent essay on this a couple of days ago. His conclusion was that "Blogging is not automatically journalism." There's a lot more to the debate than just this statement, but it's all philosophical. Read Jay's post and all the great comments others made on his weblog, if you want the full picture.
For what it's worth, I think journalism is a craft that must be learnt and practised constantly - much like being a Web Designer or Producer is a craft. I can occasionally practise the craft of journalism, and perhaps I'm even good enough to "turn pro". But the reality is I'm an amateur Journo (sometimes) and a professional Web Craftsman (all the time).
Tom Coates wrote an essay last year called (Weblogs and) The Mass Amateurisation of (Nearly) Everything... that outlines how weblogs make it easy for "amateurs" to publish. Nowadays anyone can create original content and distribute it to the world. If it gets picked up by a professional publishing outfit, all the better for both writer and readers. It's a win-win two-way web world!