Tag Archives: wired


I was name-checked in Jeff Howe’s Wired wrap-up of Assignment Zero!

In my rough count, at least 60 of the 80 interviews would stand up to professional scrutiny, which is to say the interviewer was well-informed, asked challenging questions and managed to elicit interesting (and occasionally fascinating) commentary from his or her subject. The gems are too numerous to mention, but a few standouts include Randy Burge’s interview with Innocentive co-founder Alpheus Bingham and J. Jack Unrau’s inteview with crowdsourcing scholar Karim Lakhani.

Basically he says AZ was an interesting failure. Go read the whole thing if you want to know why.

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Remember a few weeks ago when I did that interview about Crowdsourcing with Karim Lakhani? Maybe you don’t. It was up on Assignment Zero as part of this crowdsourced experiment in writing in-depth journalism. Well, Wired.com is running the story on the Assignment and what Crowdsourcing means and all that. This includes links to all the interviews that were done which were also the bases for other stories and stuff. All in all, interesting stuff.

And today they’re running my interview with a link to it from the front page. I now have a real Wired.com byline. I feel much better about this one than the “additional reporting” credit last time I was in Wired (which was also on Assignment Zero back when I was just stepping up). This time it’s based on actual work I did that required me to be a journalist, and my contribution wasn’t reduced to a chunk of a single sentence.

Also, my mom’s been getting many positive reactions to my Young Prophets thing in the Canadian Mennonite. And not just my grandma either. Actually I don’t know how my grandma liked it; I just know she read it. But other people are saying things about how nice it is to read something that isn’t so overtly churchy in there. And I keep on wanting them to write emails in to the magazine to tell them that I’m what the people want, damnit! (No, I haven’t heard back yet about being hired or not, but he said it’d take some time and that he’d let me know either way. It’s a far cry from walking out of an interview and getting a call that afternoon saying “Way to not be an idiot. Here’s a job.”) I also haven’t received my cheque for that piece yet, but I don’t want to bug them until I find out if I’m an employee or not.

Anyway. I’ve had a pretty good few days of confidence building on this whole writing thing. It’s reassuring that just because nobody will hire me doesn’t mean I’m completely wasting my every moment behind the keyboard. And if they decide not to want me as a professional Mennonite journo, that’s fine. There are far worse things than being my level of poor.

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there’s a reason I’m not a sick MC

Monday I was a journalizer early in the morning. I called up my source and interviewed the heck out of him for half an hour. Actually I didn’t do much. Got through a few questions and let him talk. It went well, and he did compliment one of my questions so I felt validated. Yesterday when I was transcribing the thing (man, transcribing sucks) I quickly stopped listening to my own voice, which I hate hearing. I’m not sure how people can handle my ridiculously unflowing words. Transcribing stuff is weird because of all that extra crap people add to their spoken communication. My interviewee filled his speech with “sort of” and “like” and fragments. I forget that sometimes, especially when I’m writing dialogue. Anyway, here’s the interview. We’ll see if any of it gets used in Wired or not.

I worked at the Osborne library on Monday too. That was so different from Millennium. Branch libraries suck to be a patron at, but are easy places to be a page. There were two carts that I just monitored and kept shelving from. Barely anything to do. Nice work if you can get it.

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toothpaste all over my face

I’m wearing my DMZ shirt with the PRESS label flipped to the visible side today. That’s because I have now been credited with doing “additional reporting” for Wired.com. The story is on the emergence of Citizendium as an alternative to Wikipedia. I’m doing some stuff with this Assignment Zero thing because it’s neat and I have the time to do so.

It’s kind of disorganized and if you don’t jump up and say this is what I want to do because it’s really really really important, you kind of get left behind. That’s a bit of a problem for me because of my inability to think what I do is important at the best of times.

Kazuo Ishiguro said it very well (in words to this effect): “Journalism is about working yourself up into a lather over something you previously felt nothing about. It is diametrically opposed to what you do as a novelist, which is to very slowly discover what you feel about things.” I fall much more naturally into the second of those two.

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oh internets, i heart u

I del.icio.used a Wired article on a Myspace murder the other day (hmm, that other day appears to have been a mere 11 hours ago) and now I got a chance to read the whole thing. Good article.

What I love about the internet is how they can do this: MySpace Murder: The Documents. It’s a whole bunch of supplemental material exceedingly relevant to the story that has since been deleted or might otherwise be tricky to find, collected right there. Great stuff.

Tomorrow morning is my interview with the City. I’m fully prepared to become a bookstacker. I’ll need every ounce of my multiple degrees to get this job which has a requirement of a Grade 10 education.

Also tomorrow, it’s possible that le pingouink won’t update as scheduled. There’s some server changeover stuff going on, which means that my finished comics for the rest of the week can’t be uploaded yet. I will get Wednesday’s comic up as soon as possible.

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greatest swordsman in the universe

I love the idea that Second Life has its own Reuters beat: All the Virtual News That Fits. That’s something I’d be more likely to get into than World of Warcraft or something. It’s just another world where you make weird arty things. I love that people make their livings wholly in that virtual world. It’s what the Net (or whatever it was called) of Snow Crash might look like. Scifence Fiction come to life.

Oh. There’s a party at my/Alison’s house on Saturday. Unless Rachael’s “I’ve got a paper to write” whining means that the rest of us can’t have 6 hours of fun. Seriously, a week is tonnes of warning so she can find somewhere else if she wants to write, right?

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I love going to McNally Robinson. I have to restrain myself since I don’t have the disposable income to support wanton purchasing, but I love the whole wandering through aisles surrounded by way too many words. That’s why, as in this Wired article, Read Between the Lines, Amazon’s got a long way to go to wrench me away.


shot twenty men by the time he was ten

I’m settling into my routine here. I wake up, fret for a while, do some work, fret until I can’t do any more work and then do something fun. Seems to be doing all right.

When Geez does a sex issue I hope they (we?) talk about people like this Joe Beam character. Maybe it’s my Mennoniteism coming out but these sex-positive preacher kind of people creep me out. They just seem to be trying so hard to be not sex-phobic that you wonder what they’re really hiding. Like they’re all pederasts trying to sneak it under the radar. Like they make their wives really uncomfortable. Like they make random comments about how big their sons’ cocks are because they’re so down with sexuality. Y’know, creepy.



The other day Margaret asked what I had left to do in China. Being that she’s another English speaker and not one of my students I tried to answer the question with a modicum of thought.

I started out by talking about some of the practical things I still had to do to get ready to leave Wanzhou – the mailing and packing and fretting about my computer. But she was all “no no no, what do you still want to do in China?” As if those leaving kinds of things weren’t focused enough on the place that will be left behind.

Which, I suppose, they aren’t.

The thing is that I’m pretty pleased with the amount of China I’ve seen. I’ve been most places that people who don’t live here know about (except for the whole southwest bit of Kunming and Tiger Leaping Gorge and such out there, but do people in North America know about them?). That’s also not entirely true since I haven’t been to Xian yet. But I will in a couple of weeks.

But what about the things I want to do that have nothing to do with location? I haven’t been arrested, I haven’t had a good talk with a Chinese person about the Tiananmen Square massacre, I haven’t witnessed a movie being made in Hong Kong. But I have had hotpot with police officers, ridden trains through deserts, and hung out with a Tibetan monk as he wrote prayers in gold ink.

There really isn’t that much left I want to do.

And then I read an article like this: The Train to the Roof of the World. And I go “Damn. That’d be super cool.”

Next time.

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because tyler knows this

It’s a linking kind of day.

First, an article on the glorious imperfection of baseball and how it’s getting sucked out of the game. Good stuff. Sadly all that WP Kinsella experience of the game is long gone. Seriously sadly. Like tears are running down my face right now.

Second, would you like to see a guy I went to high school with being an absolute fucking dick? And in my most favourite flavour (“you know I know you’re gay?”) too: sanctimonious religio-ass. The flayed cock is called Ty in the comments on Jared’s post about the CPTers’ release (his real name is Tyler ***** – none of the good *****s I know are related to him).

I love reading the dumbfounded expressions from the other people who are commenting over there (Reyn and Sean and Jared all friends of mine from highschool). It’s like they’re surprised, like they don’t expect Tyler to hang around with his two scrotum clad buddies day upon day all waiting to condemn people who aren’t being his brand of Christian enough. I do expect that of him. I live across the hall from Andrew Eggman, a man who has gone to New Orleans to hang around outside gay bars yelling at people condemning them to hell with a megaphone. This is what Tyler will grow up to be. I know this. It’s pathetic. It also has nothing to do with me. So really, why would I argue? And why can I not stop myself?

If you’d like to read a thing about the CPTers’ release that doesn’t spawn a comment stream of cockery, my friend James wrote a very good one last Friday.

Lastly, I’m completely with T-Rex on this one.

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