Saturday, July 30, 2011

Good music in Sherrill

I'm sitting on the lawn by the Gazebo in Sherrill with my lovely wife Linda and my son, George, listening to Chief Big Way.
It's far diffent than last year's Army band, but every bit as excellent.
There will be fireworks at 9:30.
C'mon down for some good,free entertainment (courtesy of the Gorman Foundation).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blogging session

People discuss blogging today at The Dispatch offices.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We want bloggers

I must fess up.
I have an ulterior motive for holding a session on blogging on Saturday: we want to add links to more blogs to our website.
We want to continue to be the leading information website for this area. One aspect of this is to bring together people who have something interesting to say.
What sorts of information makes an interesting blog?
There are infinite answers to that question.
Politics, religion, boating, bowling, fishing, real estate, yoga, chess, cooking, baseball, traveling, education, child-rearing, humor, trivia, comics, prospecting, coin collecting, volunteering, skateboarding, movies, golf, baking, biking, macrame, tattoos, photography, history, bocce, hiking, gardening, grammar, woodworking, racing, poetry, origami, and skydiving are just a few of the topics that could make a good blog.
Certainly some topics interest more people than others do, but a good blog doesn't need to appeal to everyone. It does need an author who knows something about a topic and, (this is crucial) it does need to be updated regularly.
In the pre-blog days, I received many inquiries from people wanting to sell (or give) me a column for the newspaper. In fact I still get such solicitations. There are many people who see themselves as the next Erma Bombeck, Art Buchwald, Jimmy Breslin or George Will.
And to be truthful, over the years I've read many excellent columns by unknown writers. It seems many people have a good column or two in them.
Now I'm not implying that writing a good column is easy; it's not. But writing interesting newspaper  columns one, two or three times a week is supremely difficult. Few people can do it.
But blogging a bit different.
First of all, there's no set length; unlike a newspaper column, it doesn't have to fit onto a finite-sized page with other columns, letters and cartoons.
If you just have something short to say, say something short. If your topic is complicated and needs lots of space to explain, no problem.
Another plus is that blogging's interactive; as more people read your blog, they contribute comments, ideas and other points of view that make your blog richer and more interesting. On the Web, more so than in print, readers can easily contribute ideas; it's called "crowdsourcing."
Also, if you make a mistake, unlike the printed page, you can fix it.
In short, there are three keys to a successful blog:
1. Have something to say that will interest others.
2. Promote your blog. Secure links on websites visited by people you want to reach. Put the address on your business cards and any printed material you use. 
2. Update your blog frequently. Once people find you blog and like it, they'll come back. If they come back several times in a row and it hasn't been updated, they'll stop coming.
I must confess I don't update my blog as often as I should; I'm making a resolution here and now to mend my ways.
Anyway, I'm excited to have the chance to talk about blogging on Saturday; I hope to help some people start blogs that we can add to our Blog Center on
The session is set for 11 a.m.-noon at The Dispatch office at 130 Broad St. in Oneida.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Anyone can blog

There was a time one had to learn the basics of html and computer file structures to be able to have your own website and post information on the World Wide Web.
Believe me, I know. I put together the first daily newspaper website in Pennsylvania back in the dial-up days of the Internet. It was complicated.
No more.
The advent of blogs (short for weblogs) have brought the power to communicate to online everyone.
All you need to have a blog is enough technical skill to fill in a few blanks.
All you need to have a popular blog is something to say that people find interesting.
Indeed, a popular blog can make money for its author.
If this sounds at all interesting, I'll be holding a free Community Media Lab presentation explaining how to do this.
The program is set for Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. to noon at The Dispatch offices.
We're offering free coffee; free tea and free doughnuts. No need to preregister, but an email would be helpful if you know you're coming, so we know how many doughnuts to buy.
If you already have a blog, please come. We're looking for a variety of blogs to add to the Blog Center on our website. With our site receiving over 500,000 visits a month, we can send a lot of visitors your way.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The festival is open

We're downtown  on Freighthouse Alley (across from the Oneida Street stage) at Oneida’s Downtown Association’s Summer Fest.
Stop by and see us. We're doing live blogging. You can blog, too.
There seems to be some confusion as to the time of the musical acts.
Here's the schedule:

3 pm - 5 pm - Matt Chase and Thunder Canyon
6 pm to 8 pm - Fritz's Polka Band
Until then, La Vie Boheme is providing open mic music

It's all downtown on Oneida Street.
Fireworks are at 9:30 pm or so at Vets Field.

Come downtown today

Circulation Director Marc Alvord stands inside our booth.
We're nearly set up on Freighthouse Alley (across from the Oneida Street stage) at Oneida’s Downtown Association’s Summer Fest Saturday.
The fun starts at 11 a.m.. We'll be doing live blogging.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Come see us downtown Saturday

The Dispatch will have a booth at Oneida’s Downtown Association’s Summer Fest Saturday.
We'll be set up by 11 a.m. and plan to do live blogging from the event.
I'm hoping people will stop by to see what blogging's all about.
I'll be happy to show anyone how to set up your own blog.
I welcome any suggestions or complaints you may have regarding our news coverage online in print.

Read more about the event here: