Archive for January, 2007

in other blogs: an east coast–west coast case study

While Seattle was barely noticing the Adult Swim viral marketing campaign [kiro], our pals over in Boston were totally flipping out. Follow along, courtesy boston.metblogs.com:

  • suspiscious packages [#]
  • guerilla marketing, mandy moore, david foster wallace [#]
  • inside the minds of elected officials [#]
  • menino speaks [#]
  • youtube video [#]
  • advertising vs. art? [#]
  • homeland security angle [#]

Not that it’s all laid back over here. While their city was thrown into terror over LEDs for new cartoons, ours was horrified by a downtown spree of random acts of setting of people’s hair on fire [p-i].

update: they were spotted in Ballard more than two weeks ago [the-agent]

Wednesday Agenda: Violin, Subtitles, Hip-Hop

Seattle seems to be taking a break for the night. Is everyone just staying home and watching American Idol or what? For those looking to get out, here are a few options…

  • Superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman plays tonight with the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall. The Symphony says it’s sold out, but it looks like there’s a few expensive seats left. Or hit Craigslist to buy tickets off the one classical music enthusiast who can use the Internet. [Seattle Symphony]
  • The Northwest Film Forum is in the midst of a Mizoguchi retrospective, full of new 35mm print goodness. If you’re occupied tomorrow night, then tonight’s your last chance to catch Ugetsu. Arguably the greatest work by the Japanese director, this 1953 ghost story follows a 16th-century potter who abandons his village for the big city. Probably the only chance you’ll ever see this on the big screen, so head over and see if you can grab a single-screening ticket–or better yet, get your $50 series pass and enjoy all 7 films. [NW Film Forum]
  • If you’re less of a violin and foreign film type and more into hip hop, lucky you! Lupe Fiasco is playing the HUB tonight. [Myspace]
  • Finally, if you’re eager for a night at the keyboard, see if you can dig up a code for tomorrow morning’s pre-sale of the Decemberists’ May appearance at the Paramount. [Ticketmaster]

February Art Museum Overview

here are enough exciting art exhibitions starting or continuing at area museums in February that I thought I’d put together a handy resource guide for the month. We really do have some great museums (and galleries and studios and other exhibit spaces) here.

If I could only attend one of these exhibitions, I would go down to Tacoma for their Paul Strand retrospective. No, make that Photographer Unknown at the Henry. Or maybe I’d check out Life After Death: New Leipzig Paintings from the Rubell Family Collection over at the Frye. Lucky for me, I don’t have to choose just one, and you don’t either.

Listings behind the jump:
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Let’s Have A Little Tournament

As I was writing my last post, I was thinking if there were a way we could figure out what the important, meaningful, and wonderful blogs in this city were. Maybe a tournament. You know, like March Madness. Only with blogs.

Sadly, the best I could do for a name was Blorch Badness. Or Super Fantastic Mega Blogger Ultimate Supremacy Championship. I need to work on names.

But a tournament! And it will be just like March Madness, with regionals. You will get to vote on matchups between the 32 highest rated, most popular, possibly best blogs the Seattle metro area has to offer. Even the Slog (if they behave themselves). And there might even be a prize at the end. (Hey! Anyone out there want to donate a prize?)

I started making a list, and the rest of the Metblogs hivemind has chimed in a bunch of suggestions. Now, it’s your turn. Is there a lesser known Puget Sound-based blog out there that you love? Or maybe a little more known but you think we’re too society matronly or clueless to read it? Tell me about it.

Just to be clear, figure that if they’re ginormous bloggers and not named Robert “I live in San Jose now” Scoble, I already have them on the list. And figure if they’re groupblogs for local alternative papers or blogging for one of the last two papers in town, they’re under consideration too. But there are hundreds of thousands of Blogspot and LJ and Typepad accounts and WordPress and MovableType installations in this area. We’re definitely missing a few.

And here are the rules:

Yes, we’re left out. Just to be fair. And unbiased.

Oh, and the rest of the rules:
1. Must reside in the Seattle metro area. That means King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap Counties. Thurston and Skagit county bloggers will be considered if their Technorati rank is really high.

2. Must still be regularly updating their blog. A post in the last 30 days at the bare minimum. Preferably, a number of posts this month (and a track record of posting semi-consistently).

3. A single media source (e.g. P-I, Stranger) cannot have more than TWO in-house blogs. So, the P-I can only have, say, their Microsoft blog and Buzzworthy, but not the M’s blog as well. However, they can have as many reader blogs as we want. (Basically, I’m trying to keep certain media sources from jamming the brackets, a la the Gawker
family all over the Bloggies.)

4. Groupblogs by our definition should have a stable set of primary bloggers operating from a single standalone site. In other works, seattle.lj does not qualify.

5. Individual LiveJournal accounts are eligible, though. Ditto Vox, Blogspot, and others.

6. Metblogs — and its authors’ blogs — will not be competing. We could, but we don’t want to be humiliated.

7. Seeding will rely primarily on Technorati rank, though like RPI, it’s not the be-all end-all with seeding.

This is either going to be the most fun ever, or Kate Winslett and Leo DiCaprio will be running Seattle Metblogs come March.

OK, there you go. Have at it. Make your list. Check it twice. Post it in the comments by the end of the weekend. We’ll then make the final cutdowns, seed them, and announce the tournament next week.

WTO verdict : unlawful search & seizure (yes), free speech violations (no)

The ghost of the WTO protests still hangs over the city of Seattle. Earlier this year, film crews dropped by to get a few location shots for the upcoming Charlize Theron movie; today the city lost its case in federal court:

the jury found the city liable for violating the rights of about 175 protesters against unreasonable search and seizure, but did not find a violation against their free speech rights.

A lawyer for the city argued that the mixed verdict shows the jury was confused by its instructions, and said Seattle will seek to dismiss the case.

Barring that challenge or an immediate appeal, the class-action lawsuit will move to a damages phase in which the city could be forced to pay millions of dollars. [montereyherald (AP)]

Tuesday Agenda: Lecture-Off

  • In one corner, scientific historian George Dyson is lecturing at Town Hall as part of the Seattle Science Lectures series. Son of last month’s lecturer Freeman Dyson, G. Dyson has journeyed from Bellingham to speak about John Van Neumann, founder of the modern digital computer. [Town Hall]
  • In the opposite corner, population geneticist Spencer Wells is lecturing at Benaroya Hall as part of the National Geographic Live series. Wells will speak about his work using DNA to investigate the history of human migration. For those who like a good travel slide show, Wells will also recount his recent adventures in Chad and Tajikistan. [National Geographic]
  • If a reading is more your speed than a lecture, head over to the Seattle Asian Art Museum to see Vikram Chandra, sponsored by SAM, UW, and Elliot Bay Books. For the price of $0, hear selections from Chandra’s new novel, Sacred Games, a literary thriller set in Mumbai. [SAM]
  • Of course, if you’re more the new-fangled rock ‘n’ roll type, the Paramount hosts Keane and a legion of screaming teenage girls. [Paramount]

photo of George Dyson by Jim Roberts [flickr]

Whither the Seattle bloggers?

Not MarthaNominations for the Bloggies came out a week ago, and I was hard-pressed to find any Seattle area bloggers on the list. Eventually, I did find Not Martha, Megan’s quirky little blog about crafting, is up for — natch — Best Craft Weblog. Congratulations to Megan! And all you Seattleites, vote early and vote often.

It did get me wondering, though — what happened to all the Seattle bloggers? Didn’t we used to dominate this? It seems like NYC, DC, SF, and LA are where the big blogs are, just as that’s where the national radio and TV networks eventually settled in the 1940s and 1950s. Are we becoming a blogging backwater?

Still naming the storm

Yesterday was the 86th anniversary of The Great Blowdown, the 1921 windstorm that knocked over a few billion board feet of timber, killed a whole herd of elk and one man, and destroyed at least 16 homes.

I imagine after the storm was over and all the newspaper folk were sitting around talking about it, one of them pushed back his hat and said, “Well, that was one great blowdown” and the storm was named. Easy as pie.

But nowadays the internet is involved with everything, and the Weather Service is still working through the list of names requested in their contest [mb]. The name will be announced at the Pacific Northwest Weather Convention on March 2, and I know you’re all waiting with bated breath. Will it be named after the Seahawks, or perhaps Gone With the Wind, which premiered on December 15, 1939 [P-I]?

More interesting is the question of whether or not it should be named at all. Since the storm was ultimately responsible for killing 14 people, would naming it after our football team be disrespectful to the dead? The meteorologists say no, that naming it will help cement the storm in local memory and perhaps help people be better prepared next time. (In which case, perhaps the name should have something to do with carbon monoxide poisoning. The Please Don’t Use Your Charcoal Grill Inside Storm of 2007 might help avert that level of tragedy next time.)

The Westlake Mercer Cleanup Project

I am cranky. Specifically, I am cranky because I was kept awake last night by the Westlake Mercer Cleanup Project. No, that’s not the name of my neighbor’s math rock band, but rather the official moniker of Conoco’s efforts at the intersection of Westlake and Mercer to cleanup a gasoline line leak.

A leak that occurred in 1980.
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columnist dishes out a bum rap to local bloggers

In today’s P-I, columnist Robert L. Jamieson Jr. reveals his apparent misunderstanding of the internet while trying to cover a practically nonexistent scandal. Believing that the web is aflame with wild rumors about Pagliacci’s limited West Seattle delivery area, he blames local bloggers for their unjust attacks, incorrectly attributing statements to West Seattle Blog and the whole of LiveJournal.com along the way.

In fact, the complaints came from a comment left on on a West Seattle Blog post [#] and an entry on the Seattle Livejournal Community [#]. In these, one or two people thought that it was odd that the delivery area appeared to be based on neighborhood affluence rather than geographic symmetry. Most, however, just complained that they wanted someone to bring them a pizza.

The best part is that after taking the reactionary “local bloggers” to task for ill-informed and damaging complaints, he uncovers the truth. Pagliacci’s delivery area for any given store is small (which they claim is due to quality concerns).

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