Welcome Post-Gazette Readers! :)

picture of Eric Williams and Rob Carr by Alyssa CwangerI mentioned yesterday that an article about Pittsburgh BlogFest 3 was forthcoming. I had no idea it would appear so soon. Nor did I know that I was going to feature so prominently. *blush* I also had no idea they'd use such an unflattering picture. πŸ˜‰

To those who are reading my stuff for the first time I offer a hearty welcome. For more information about me and my blog, go here. Comments are appreciated and encouraged. πŸ™‚

Now, on to the article… [BTW, It bugs me to no end that newspapers don't put links in online versions of stories. Any of the links seen above were added by me to give credit where it's due and save people a trip to Google. ;)]

"'Latin is already nerdy to the extreme,' Williams said, granting that the name of his blog is 'super-nerdy.'"

Like, fer sure, dude. Totally. I wonder if I really said it that way or the phrasing is just an artifact of writing from notes. I'll cut Mr. McNulty some slack and assume I'd have done as bad or worse in his shoes. πŸ˜‰

"But introducing to that growing community to each other in person — instead of online — still has its challenges."

"'There are a lot of people I know here, and I have no idea who they are,' said Rob Carr, 47, a freelance writer and former city paramedic who writes the 'UnSpace' blog."

I had a very different perspective from Rob's. Rob is sort of the unofficial ambassador of Pittsburgh Webloggers and comments on more member blogs than I could shake a stick at. I, on the other hand, haven't read many local blogs, so I didn't even know the electronic personas of most of the attendees. Thankfully, many were outgoing enough to approach me and save me from myself. πŸ˜‰

"Professors from Pitt and Duquesne contribute on other blogs, and elsewhere a young couple named Erik and Kelly Dahl have an audio version of the blog, or podcast, where they record things going on in their lives. At Thursday's party Erik Dahl had a mike clipped to his polo shirt, recording his conversations with other bloggers."

I had no ideas the Dahls were recording at the fest. I look forward to hearing what Erik got.

"One of the most interesting sites in the city is Williams' 'Ales Rarus' blog, where the grad student in intelligent systems at Pitt, and a convert to Catholicism, posts his witty and fresh takes on everything from religion to Howard Stern to stem cell research, while never seeming to have a preordained opinion."

Holy cow! That was unexpected. Wow. Thanks. *blush* I guess the pressure's on to produce more great content in the future. *nervous fidgeting* πŸ˜‰

"A beer in hand, Williams talked about the unique site, where discussions about labor practices at Wal-Mart share space with an encyclical by Pope Paul VI."

There are some good folks who deserve to take the credit with me – perhaps even away from me. Jerry Nora writes most of the stem cells posts. As a med school student and bioethics hobbyist, he's more qualified than I to argue effectively on such topics. The posts about labor practices were written by Lightwave, a professional computer geek who has an MBA. The reflection on Humanae Vitae was written by edey, a gentle soul with a bleeding heart wrapped in brutal honesty, who was once upon a time was fiercely pro-choice.

To be sure, I still write a lot of my own posts. However, I'm more interested in fascilitating intelligent and fruitful discussion than keeping this soap box to myself. To that end, I harass my friends to hop on as often as they're willing. I'm in debt to them for their unique and meaningful contributions.

"'One of the things that keep me going is I don't go in for the cookie-cutter vibe of blogosphere,' Williams said."

Again, I'm not sure that's quite how I spoke, but it's close enough. What I'd add, though, is what I meant by "cookie-cutter". Most of the political blogs I've read are either rabidly liberal or fanatically conservative. There's not much in the middle. Furthermore, most political blogs are just that, with little time given to other issues. Most of the religious blogs I read are either by conservative evangelicals or so-called progressives. Again, there's not much in the middle. The rest of the blogosphere seems to be dominated by personal journals, which I consider to be a different species from blogs and in which I have no interest.

My impetus to blog derives primarily from the belief that I can't possibly be alone. There have to be other "extreme centrists" out there who feel just as unconfortable when called moderates as when they're called liberals or conservatives (whether it be in politics, religion, or elsewhere). People in "purple" America are underrepresented. I blog as someone fed up with two-party politics, embarassed by Christian infighting, and an overwhelming urge to learn as much as I can about life, the universe, and everything.

For more about the PG article, check out Rob's contribution at UnSpace. Also worth highlighting is his excellent summary of the BlogFest.

As an added bonus, here are some past Post-Gazette articles on blogging in Da Burgh:

March 14, 2004: Pittsburgh goes blog wild!
December 12, 2004: Pittsburgh's bloggers have found a home for rants
May 18, 2005: Online diaries and discussions serving as cheap but effective marketing tool
May 18, 2005: Bloggers find mixing work life with private life can spell trouble

Comments 5

  1. Funky Dung wrote:

    Actually, I found the alien comment rather amusing. πŸ˜‰

    RE: my guest bloggers, I’ve often heard that one can be judged by the company one keeps. Since my guest bloggers are also my friends, I suppose one can still learn a few things about me and my sensibilities by reading their posts. Also, the kinds of stories I ask them to write are indicative of my blogging philosophy. So, although I certainly can’t take credit (or blame, tee hee) for the posts my guest bloggers write, I do take a little pride in my editorial instincts.

    Posted 14 Aug 2005 at 4:11 am
  2. Rob wrote:


    Sorry about the “erupting alien” comment. The picture’s an “action shot” and thus very photogenic. You look like you’re having fun. You’re a human being. I am just so grateful we weren’t portrayed as humorless, emotionless Star Trek Borgs.

    I’m still having flashbacks to my roommate/ college newspaper editor, aren’t I?

    Posted 13 Aug 2005 at 11:47 pm
  3. Rob wrote:

    I still think of your blog as yours and yours alone. I need to work on that. I know it’s not, but the voices in my head tell me it is a solo effort.

    (For anyone who doesn’t know me: To keep blogs separate in my mind, I imagine different people and different voices speaking them in my mind as I read. It’s a trick that results from almost 20 years of being on-line — it started back when I haunted the FidoNets on BBSes in Pittsburgh. Thursday forced me to re-adjust those images. I’m weird, but I’m not floridly psychotic.)

    Posted 13 Aug 2005 at 11:42 pm
  4. Funky Dung wrote:

    shocked the heck out of me πŸ˜‰

    Posted 15 Aug 2005 at 2:30 pm
  5. howard wrote:

    wow, “One of the most interesting sites in the city…”

    Way to go — that’s a pretty nice review there.

    Posted 15 Aug 2005 at 7:05 am

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 2

  1. From Leftovers from Blogfest 3 | Pennsylvania @ Ales Rarus on 02 Oct 2006 at 2:27 pm

    […] Remember the Pittsburgh Blogfest I told you about? Well, I forgot to mention a detail. While we were there, Cynthia of My Brilliant Mistakes, passed around a sign-in sheet of sorts. It’s a record of most the fest’s attendees. Plus, if you view it at MBM, it’s an image map that has links to all the signers’ blogs. Be sure to click a few. Pittsburgh has some talented bloggers that deserve more exposure. Funky Dung […]

  2. From Number Johnny Five is Alive! | Pennsylvania @ Ales Rarus on 04 Oct 2006 at 7:21 am

    […] Last night was Pittsburgh Blogfest 5. These events just keeping getting better and better. This time, we had a special treat in the form of όber-blogger Robert Scoble. Robert is a “technical evangelist” for Microsoft. He also co-wrote a book with Shel Israel called “Naked Conversations : How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers”. Don’t let his current employer fool you, though. He’s been known to use his blog to dis the 800-pound gorilla on occasion, as well as praise their competitors. Anyhow, Robert was in town to participate in a panel discussion on business blogging organized by the Pittsburgh Technology Council. The event will be podcast and I’ll get you the link as soon as it’s up. Since Robert was to be in town anyhow, someone thought it would be cool to invite him to our blogfest. We celebrated his 41st birthday with a cake and the gift of a Terrible Towl™. He seemed to have a good time with us. Everyone seemed to enjoy his company as well. I spent a little while talking to him, but I didn’t too deep into anything because 1) I’d be talking out of my tuchus (regarding a lot of tech industry current events) and 2) I would have had to admit that I’d never read his blog (though I’ll rectify that soon). Despite having a pseudo-celebrity in our midst, there was no press presence this time. I’m sure those who saw the horrible picture of me in the Post Gazette are thankful for that. […]

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