Bloginar, beer and bobbles

October 13, 2008

WCCO (the Minneapolis/St. Paul CBS affiliate) hosts a semi-regular event known as the WCCO bloginar. The first occurred in July and the second was last Thursday at Sweeney’s in St. Paul; I snuck my way into this most recent meetup.

Inviting local bloggers to a social hour and a discussion is a smart move by the station that has launched a local ad network for bloggers. The first hour was a social meet and greet. The second hour had speakers, Q&As and a quick overview of blog SEO.

In reference to my post title, there was a bobble with beer that resulted in all bloggers within arm’s reach of me covered in beer. I’m happy to report that I did NOT cause the spill. Let me repeat that (a la Joe Biden): I had no role in the beer spill. (I mention this twice as my friends and family would assume that I was the catalyst.)

Courtesy: WCCO.com

Source: WCCO.com

The second hour started with a Q&A with WCCO reporter and newer blogger Esme Murphy. As expected from a news blogger, Murphy noted that she offered added insight and details, but rarely took a stance on an issue. She was very frank about her limitations as a blogger (everything she writes is approved before it goes live), but discussed recent posts where she was able to share likes and dislikes from politican ads and commentary on recent trials.

Side note: my favorite bloginar moment occured when Murphy noted that during a Tom Petters’ court hearing, she blogged about the whistle-blower’s outfit, which included a Prada purse. Realizing that she also carried a Prada purse, she quickly said, “Mine’s old and beaten up.”

Source: TheUptake.org

Source: TheUptake.org

Following Murphy was Chuck Olsen, a local blogger/documentary-maker who leads the charge at TheUptake.org, a citizen journalism site. Most interesting, Olsen discussed the recent ireport issue where Steve Jobs was incorrectly reported as dead. Olsen railed against the idea that citizen journalism was tied to that type of inaccurate reporting and discussed The Uptake’s editorial process.

While nothing was shared that rocked my world, I enjoyed sitting in on a discussion where the dialogue surrounded the interplay of MSM and new media. Too often, the debate is around the trite story of MSM not being relevant or new media having no filters or editorial process. This conversation looked at the roles for both types and how they’re each shifting and morphing as technology improves and people modify their news intake.

As I learned about this on Twitter, below I’ve included a Twitter feed of comments about and on the bloginar account.