Friday, September 19, 2008

Pittsblog Requiem??

I blame Fester for instigating this blog, but Pittsblog paved the way. For the 1% of readers here who do not also check in on Pittsblog, make sure to pop over there now. Mike claims he is packing it in for a confluence of reasonable reasons. I will choose to call it a sabbatical even if that borders a bit on denial. Whatever the status is..... Mike gives the first installment of his ultimate answer to everything, nails the Pittsburgh psyche and takes no prisoners in his latest (not the last?) post. I'd sum it all up as the ultimate question: what cookie is your Pittsburgh?


Blogger C. Briem said...

and if we get a set of answers to the cookie question, maybe we can compile them and pitch it to our mutual friend John A. as a motif for another Next Page feature. It could be a follow up to the great cupcake manifesto.

Friday, September 19, 2008 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger Mike Madison said...

The mainstream Pittsburgh cookie would be Eat n Park's Smiley, which I reject as a metaphor for Pittsburgh because I find tasteless (as in: lacking in taste and character). I reject the Smiley cookie on the further ground that its corporate overlords overreached when they sued another cookie company to stop the sale of smiley face cookies. No self-respecting Pittsburgh resident should try to keep anyone else -- or anything else -- from smiling.

Friday, September 19, 2008 7:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mt. lebablog.

Friday, September 19, 2008 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Judge Rufus Peckham said...

More than three years ago, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, or whatever that paper is called, refused to print a letter to the editor I had written feigning outrage over something depicted in a comic strip -- too few people would "get it" I was told. I was inspired by Pittsblog to start Carbolic Smoke Ball as the antidote to that Post-Gazette experience. I never wanted some newspaper editor censoring me again. Now three years later, some newspaper editor censors us again, and on a semi-regular basis. But that's the subject of another note.

Pittsblog, to me, was the Gold Standard for blogging, and I am quite certain that too few people realized how fortunate the local blogosphere has been to have someone of Prof. Madison's caliber looking out for Western Pennsylvania's interests.

But it seems to be an epidemic. In short order, the local blogosphere has lost some of it's most prominent voices -- blogs written by people who know what they're talking about: TWM, the Conversation, and now Pittsblog. This blog is among the few left standing in that class.

I can't help but think that if these blogs had been better appreciated, maybe they'd not be closing up shop.

Friday, September 19, 2008 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Or if I was a better manager of my time...

I appreciate my name being mentioned in such august company, and for being paid the compliment that I know what I'm talking about. I think that's a quality like sincerity -- if you can fake that, you're set.

Here's my question: Are there cities where blogs are having a more measurable impact? Personally, I think that the likes of the Pittsburgh Comet, Busman's Holiday, and Burgh Report seem to be moving the needle, at least as far as exposing government malfeasance goes. (Granted, Mayo has an MSM organization behind him.)

As far as exacting a change in the broader culture, well, this ship just might not turn that quickly. But I suppose it needs to.

Friday, September 19, 2008 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I, too, appreciate the comment whether deserved or not. For the moment the experiment continues. It has been a curious journey.

I also share what I think is JP's question. I wonder what form appreciation would take. There have been some models of media reaching out and trying to integrate blogs into their world. I am aware of stuff tried in both Cinicinnati and Cleveland that is more aggressive than here, but I am not sure they have met with greater success, however that would be defined for all parties.

For the media in general, finances are on the poor end of all that is happening on Wall Street these days. When you are in scamble mode, sometimes it breeds innovation and other times you just try to hang on. The industry needs to figure out what its future model is to remain viable.

Honestly for me, I have not tried to be more than what I am. This is a means of self-expression more than most anything else though I am not opposed to it morphing into something. For the moment though I will stick with working on the cookie dialectic.

Friday, September 19, 2008 1:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read Pittsblog for a while, but quit for a couple of reasons: it was largely about Mt. Lebanon and high-tech industry inside baseball, and I found more interesting local blogs with wider breadth and deeper political content (i.e., Burgh Report, Null Space, ADB).

So Prof. Madison might have been a pioneer, but his blog was narrow and largely self-serving--as many blogs are--and consequently couldn't compete when new products came online.

Monday, September 22, 2008 11:36:00 AM  

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