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Thursday
Sep132018

The Police, Michael Des Barres and the deep breadth of wikis

I've been online for more than 20 years but I continue to be amazed at the depth and breadth of what's online and the passionate people who feed deep content niches.

This was the first of two Fresno shows by The Police.Case in point: I got a Facebook Messenger inquiry from a German who ran across a 2016 Facebook post of mine featuring two tickets from Police concerts in Fresno. He simply wanted to know whether he could repost my photo of my ticket from a 1980 show on his Police Wiki website.  

Say what? A wiki focused on The Police? It's one thing to have a website focused on the band, but a wiki? That's hardcore. 

I'm all for taking care of other passionate music fans, so quickly agreed. So, now the Police Wiki has this lovely addition to its page on the Saturday, Nov. 1, show in which Michael Des Barres opened for The Police. 

I had forgotten Des Barres opened the show, but clearly remember The Police being rattled when the tough crowd at the beautiful Warnor's Theater were not standing during the band's performance. As they later said in Trouser Press magazine, they would never play Fresno again. As you can see in my original Facebook post, the band did return to Fresno to play a stadium show. I guess money can trump ideals. 

As for the tough Fresno crowd, we weren't tough - we just weren't submissive, as Sting thought we should be. I was a major Police fan at that point, but after reading that, I thought, "screw you," and stopped buying their albums, although I cared enough about the band to use a complimentary ticket to see the 1983 concert.

Thanks to Dietmar Cloes for bringing back a wonderful memory and for having the passion to curate and build a small corner of the digital world. 

Saturday
Jul282018

Slow News and my interview with OPB

I recently participated in the invigorating Slow News and More Slow conference at the University of Oregon, an effort to discuss journalism alternatives to the never-endeding onslaught of 24-7 media.

I like to equate our 21st century news diets to being caught in a meteor storm. Our brains, for the first time in history, are unable to effectively absorb and process the countless streams of content pace enabled by a pace of technological change that is growing exponentially faster. More than ever, we need thoughtful journalism that offers perspective and relevance so that we can truly analyze what's important in our lives. 

"Slow news" is a term Laufer and others have coined to address the problem. Whether that is the right term is up for debate -- as it was at this conference -- but the quest to deliver more slower, more impactful journalism remains the goal. 

As part of the conference, I was interviewed from Portland live on Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Think Out Loud" program, and discussed "slow news," newspaper trends and my time leading the Register-Guard. You can listen to my segment here: 

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Sunday
Jul082018

My new gig in Steamboat Springs

On June 11, I became the new publisher of the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

The photo that accompanies that story on my hiring was taken at the Yampa River, which runs through downtown Steamboat Springs.The Pilot & Today is a media company in Steamboat Springs, Colo. with a portfolio that includes a daily newspaper, a half-dozen magazines, a website and mobile app, events and a TV channel.

The company serves a vibrant resort community whose downtown is at 6,700 feet in the Rocky Mountains. The Pilot & Today is owned by Swift Communications, a regional family-owned media company that specializes in mountain resort markets with operations in Steamboat, Vail, Aspen, Park City, Lake Tahoe among others. 

I've been in the job about one month, and am having a blast. The market is

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