Australian author and reprobate John Birmingham joins me yet again for another conversation about everything from China to gonzo journalism, from Australia’s federal budget to Irish scammers.Continue reading “The 9pm One Podcast, Two Systems, and a Ladydisease with John Birmingham”
Look, I’ve been thinking about this stuff all week and I can’t decide. So over to you. Scroll down for a Proper Scientific Poll on the Internet! What media stuff would you like me to do?
I last wrote about this in January, in Five questions and no answers about my media work. Read that before proceeding if you like, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
My regular media commitments currently stand at: a weekly column for ZDNet; a twice-a-month column for CSO Online; around one column a month for Technology Spectator; and a variable number for Crikey. Add in the occasional piece elsewhere, and it looks a little like this.
The main problem is that the base level of material isn’t high enough, and in recent months it’s started getting a little wobbly. So, how can I build on what I’ve got? And how can I have a bit more fun?
(If you’re not up to speed on this, please read Doing the business on Stilgherrian’s journalism and Death of a Freedom Fighter, a writing challenge before continuing. The second one includes an explanation of my focus on how the internet is changing power relationships.)
First, there’s a tidy-up of my arrangements with mastheads I currently write for. That’s already delivered two changes. Crikey has given me a pay rise, to a level they now describe as “slightly less pathetic”. I’ve started pitching more stories, and that’s resulted in three stories this week. And there’s this as-yet unnamed sky-shouting column in the works, which will start soon.
Second, I’m thinking of doing a few self-funded projects — or at least projects for which I directly arrange funding — rather than through someone else’s masthead. There’s all sorts of ideas rolling around in my head, though I haven’t reached any firm conclusions yet.
Three posts in a row from my ABC Radio spots? That’s too many. So until I get around to writing something original, how about we ponder some previous Octobers when I used to write a Letter from Newcastle, or about antlers, or just the random thoughts from an altitude of 11,700 metres.
Three years ago I even managed to tweet some interesting observations and compile them into blog posts. But these days Twitter has completely taken over the role of recording my personal life and this website has, I think, suffered.
I used to post long, thoughtful essays. Now, such essays tend to be about the things I write about for money, and published elsewhere — and there’s nothing wrong with that, except that I’m possibly becoming typecast as a “tech writer”. But between writing several pieces a week for money and maintaining a high-volume Twitter stream, there isn’t time or energy left for much else.
Have I got the balance right? I think not.
That’s not all I’ve gotten wrong this year. But I won’t wallow in the mistakes here. Or at least not now. I’ll merely note that perhaps I do need to disconnect more, provide more time for reflection. And maybe those thoughtful essays will reappear.
There’ll be plenty of people covering the event from a technical viewpoint, so I’m going for the anthropology. The culture. The fashion.
The style is bound to be a lot like my Gonzo Twitter 1: Saturday Evening in Newtown, but with more focussed snark.
Update 3.25pm: It’s been pointed out that using the hashtag #win7 will mean our coverage of the launch event will be lost in the global chatter. We will therefore use #win7au, which you can track on Twitter Search or track on Twitterfall.
I’m caving in to pressure. Following the success of my first experiment, Gonzo Twitter 1: Saturday Evening in Newtown, at 6.30pm or thereabouts I will liveblog from King Street, Newtown, or wherever the mood takes me on this fine Sunday evening.
Wow, that’s in just a few minutes! [Update 22 December: No, it was last night. But you can still see what happened in the CoveritLive tool immediately below the fold. The timestamps seem to be an hour early though.]