The Blogs of Today’s Mighty Oak
A former boss once described me as one of the most influential bloggers in Pittsburgh. I don’t believe it, but I’ll try to let my ego take the compliment.
Here are my blogs. They all aggregate in the main blog RSS feed, or you can subscribe individually. Comment, add links, interact, but most of all, enjoy:
- Yesterday’s Nut
- Warhol’s Phone
- The Great and Secret Show
- Metblogs Global Conspiracy
- Pittsburgh Metblogs
- The King of Spades
- Global Entropy
Easily distracted and always looking to experience new things, no matter how mundane, Mike’s writing is sometimes irreverent, oftentimes seemingly irrelevant. Mike enjoys camping, SCUBA diving, geocaching, reading, strange music, even stranger television and jumbo paper clips. Mike is a firm believer in the power of web 2.0 and runs and contributes to a multitude of websites scattered across the internet. Oh yeah, Mike sometimes writes in the third person.
Mike’s personal blog. Musings, media and lots of links. I try not to get up on my soapbox too often, nor do I recount every detail of my day, unless something especially exciting happened. Mostly, this blog is a look into how I interact with the Internet and things I find exciting.
The title is the continuation of the phrase that makes up the entire site, “Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” The titles of each post come from my massive quote file and more often than not, do not have to do with the content of the post. It’s kind of my thing.
I’ll be looking at Pittsburgh Communication in this blog. Any and all communication, either coming from, or about Pittsburgh. It’s a work in progress, and for now, I’ll probably be focusing on communications coming from Pittsburgh companies, but we’ll see how it evolves.
I took the name from a combination of the Progresso soup commercials, and Pittsburgh native, Andy Warhol. And, I’d also like to make a phone from two Campbell’s soup cans and some string, just like in first grade.
The Great and Secret Show
Here’s the deal. One of these days, I will go back to school for my master’s and doctorate. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of how the Internet has the ability to form and strengthen communities, bring people together, and allow us to interact in ways we would have never dreamed of a few years ago.
Even more of a work in progress than Warhol’s Phone, more of a dumping ground for some of my thoughts and ideas. I’ll be looking at a lot of ideas stemming from The Cluetrain Manifesto, Web 2.0, JoHo and all things related. It will be a strange journey, but we’ll see where it goes.
Things won’t be thought out, I may post things with very little explanation. It will be my own little sandbox to flesh out some ideas, even without the guidance of direction. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but I’m excited.
The title comes from one of my favorite books, Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show. One of the ideas in the novel is how the world can be manipulated and changed, and how that power is dealt with by seemingly ordinary people. It’s the first book of a trilogy that was never finished, but I still have hope he’ll write the third book yet. Very fitting all around.
Metblogs Global Conspiracy
I was the (uncredited) Northeast editor of the short-lived experiment that was the Metblogs Global Conspiracy. These are the posts that I wrote. Hopefully it comes back, but in the meantime, it’s a launch pad for a much tread-on subject. Here is how the project was described:
Newspapers are dying. Journalists are being laid off by the thousands. Local news is suffering. Filling this void are citizen journalists, often people without a background in writing who have found a need and passion to report on their community. Everyone is learning as they go. Metblogs Global Conspiracy is a guide for anyone interested in the constantly evolving and shifting world of non-traditional journalism, by providing advice from writers who’ve been able to apply their life experience to local reporting, to highlighting examples of CJ’s in action around the world.
While there is no agreed upon definition of “citizen journalism,” the Global Conspiracy blog will emphasize amateur, unpaid individuals around the world who have taken efforts to report on a story or subject around them using original reporting (not simply pulling and rewording info from other media), with a focus on community news and social issues.
To encourage and improve “citizen journalism” worldwide by highlighting good examples, discussing the issues involved, and providing tips and advice for experienced bloggers and journalists.
While the exact definition of “citizen journalism” is elusive and debatable, this blog’s focus will be on average citizens using non traditional media to gather and share news on their community or a particular social issue, with particular interest in situations where regular people were able to cover and report on a situation better, faster, or more unique way than traditional media outlets.
We’ll also be keeping an eye on these traditional outlets that are trying to co opt the methods and people who set out to do it on their own.
I started writing for Pittsburgh Metblogs in the spring of 2007. I was the only writer as Metblogs shut down. Anyway, here’s that official description:
Metroblogging started off as a more locally focused alternative news source in Los Angeles and has turned into the largest and fastest growing network of city-specific blogs on the Web. We got sick of reading local news that was syndicated from the other side of the country, or was just repurposed national chit chat that had nothing to do with our city. We created our first blog as a throw back to the days when a local news paper focused on local issues, and you could walk down to the corner coffee shop and chat up the reporters whose column you read earlier that day. This idea didn’t stay in one city for long and before we knew it there were Metblogs in Chicago, Portland, Karachi, and Vienna. Today there are over 50 Metblogs in countries all over the world. Local politics, event reviews, lunch recommendations and ways to avoid that big traffic jam downtown. If it’s happening in our cities, we’re on it.
We are bloggers first and foremost, and we love our cities. Even the parts we hate.
The King of Spades
A look at LGBT equality and the fight for our civil rights. As a gay man working for the Boy Scouts of America, it was a stressful time for me (student loans however, wait for no one to be repaid), and I kept a hidden blog to help release some stress and organize my thoughts. While I did what I could behind the scenes to make it a safer and more accepting place for everyone, I could only do so much.
Working with Scouts for Equality, the policies have changed, but we aren’t quite where we need to be. Work still need to be done, not for me, but for the youth that are being told they aren’t worthy. Being told they aren’t equal. Being told they are broken. Institutionalized discrimination hurts children, make no mistake. I’m bolstered by the stories I’ve heard, the people I’ve worked with, and the lives people have made me a part of. And they’re all worth fighting for. I’m tired. No, I’m exhausted. But the fight for equality rages on, and I intend to help.
I hope you read along, I talk about a lot of different things and it’s a fun journey that we can make together. As a teaser, I talk about stereotypes, beer, Pride, hockey, ENDA, camp, and much, much more. I have a lot to discuss, so please, stick around, I’ll make it worth your while, I promise.
Titles of posts in this section typically (but not always) start with the word “Wherein.” I’ll try to remember to add when I originally wrote the post in the body of it somewhere. Articles signed off with “The King of Spades” were written while I was still employed by the BSA. To see my original coming out post, And truth makes a better man.
A group blog to which I was an occasional contributor. Started and staffed by my friends, following the tenant that knowledge should be free, we took a look at various political and social issues, as well as cultural. While we did deviate to professional sports, movies and other mass media, we tend to write more about more weighty topics.
My writing there was typically more long-form, with an over-abundance of footnotes, although I did break out of that mold every now and then.