Fresh coat of paint

Stopped by the old site for the first time in nearly 10 years and did a little sprucing up.

I was thinking of exporting the site content into a PDF and deleting it from the web. But there’s a lot of stuff here, including comments from friends past that I deeply value, and I don’t want to tear all this history down, even if some of it can be a little cringe-inducing.

So I’ve done a little cleanup with a newer theme, fonts, header, and so on. I’m updating the About page as well, to reflect changes in how to find me. For example, I have abandoned Twitter in the wake of the Musk Meltdown of 2022, fully deleting my account (just like I did with Facebook in 2018). That was hard to do — I started on Twitter in 2007 and made a lot of friends, especially in Alaska and across the digital community inside public media.

But life, and the Internet, moves on. (Except, apparently, WordPress, which is still kicking and getting better. They even seem poised to join the Fediverse in some fashion this year.)

These days (early 2023) you’ll find me here:

If you’ve stopped by, say hello anytime, anywhere.

Please excuse the mess

I’m doing some housecleaning with the site, especially focused on cleaning up the design. I’m also deploying a new logo, like so:

Gravity Medium Logo

Things should be settled in by early October, well ahead of the PublicMediaCamp festivities. In the mean time, things may look a bit messed up and some features may not appear. Thanks for your understanding! site updated

Just wanted to point out I’ve updated with a fresh new theme, cleaned up the sidebar, rewritten some of the pages, removed the IntenseDebate plugin (didn’t need it) and so on.

I’m planning to do more writing here in the coming days, especially as I’m starting to put some of my new public media notions into action at the office and would like to report back. In general, I’ll get back to focusing on public media matters rather than general technology.

Upcoming topics (off the top of my head):

  • my Tweetup hosting experiences in Anchorage, including a station Tweetup and the creation of
  • our experience with creating on-air and online listener interaction to help plan a major broadcast schedule shuffle
  • the challenges of explaining the “streams” notion to employees and partners

Anyway, that’s the news for now. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates.

IntenseDebate commenting system installed

Hey, if it’s good enough for, it’s good enough for me. Very slick setup and operation.

And I consider this a bit of a test ahead of installing it at APRN, KSKA, KAKM and other sites I manage at work. I definitely would like a superior commenting/discussion system there.

Learn more at

Back from the dead / digital collaboration

It’s has been — and remains — insane at the office these days. We’re in the midst of a pledge period for TV, we’re preparing for another one in FM, and for the most part it’s my first run-through these events as the person ultimately in charge of our streams, so there’s a learning curve. I’m finding it easy to pick things up — it just takes time. Plus, the company is still shaking out some of the changes from about a month ago as we radically redesigned the management structure. So far, so good.

I’ve been neglecting Twitter and Facebook and this site for nearly a month as these events have played out. Luckily, it’s kind of a quiet period in public media as folks work through pledge drives and just get back into the non-summer swing of things.

Yet this past week a critical post went up from Dennis Haarsager that’s required reading for pubradio folks and I think for public TV folks as well:

It makes a good deal of sense to me, as it gives a revitalized reason/purpose for national/local collaboration, as opposed to simple distribution. I’m not quite convinced it can be successful, but it’s got a shot if a critical mass of system leaders get on board. I know I’m paying attention.

That said, I’m concerned about future collaborations of all kinds, especially in the wake of a semi-private discussion in which I participated recently.

It seems public media’s chief difficulty today is not one of distribution, but one of mission. Why are we here, really? And do we all share the same response to that question? “Public service,” is not a real answer. We need a product, a specific service that can bind all of us together.

Personally, I think that’s news. I’ve railed against the national TV news media before for their lack of real public service, and I’ve suggested that public media’s greatest strength comes from news.  Not music, not arts and culture, not high society, but news. (Those other things are nice-to-haves, but they aren’t core things around which we can easily collaborate on various geographic or business scales.)

What does news, as a primary mission for public, have going for it?

  • The Associated Press is breaking down as newspapers and stations — including my own — tell the AP to take a flying leap with their high costs and their regurgitated stories
  • Newspapers are distracted as their profits crumble and they seem unable to find a way forward
  • TV news is an abysmal, rancid landfill of time-wasters and poor information
  • New low-cost journalism methods (not necessarily bad stuff, by the way) is on the rise, both in video and print, offering us new opportunities
  • Digital exchange of information and finished media products has never been faster, cheaper or easier
  • We have a public service mission unparalleled in the commercial world — a world setup to distribute commercials, not thoughtful information

NPR grew as media consumers discovered that quality news and information was, in fact, a good thing to have around. It grew in an otherwise toxic radio environment.

We have a chance, now, I think, to develop this shared mission and build collaborative structures around that. At the moment, Haarsager’s initial diagram (PDF) speaks to a broader service set than news alone. But keep the mission focused and the distribution / collaboration system begins to make sense.

Anything new that proposes to simplify collaboration in an ecosystem of diverse and often competing missions probably won’t get us very far.

Don't miss the comments feed

This site has gathered a few comments in its first month on the scene. Some really, really good comments — and I don’t mean mine!

The most recent comments are briefly highlighted on the sidebar so you can check them out, but if you really want to keep up, you can subscribe to the RSS feed for the comments.

What I’m finding is that the comments are often longer — sometimes much longer — than the main pieces. And, no surprise, they’re so much more fun than my own posts!

Thanks to everyone that’s commented so far. I’m hoping we can continue the conversation.