Soundtrack in my head: Bob Marley and the Wailers, “Coming In From The Cold”
This is my 123rd post on The Different Drummer Soundtrack, but my first post on Post. At the risk of making myself sound like a cereal commercial, I figured that I should make my first post on the new media called Post about…Post.
For those of you not in Madison or not in the know, Capital Newspapers is a partnership between Madison’s two daily papers, the Wisconsin State-Journal and the Capital Times. In addition to publishing both papers (and others), they also run Madison.com, which is a web page that links to stories in these two Madison daily newspapers, to local TV station WKOW Channel 27, and includes local discussion forums and Post.
I’m serious when I say that there is something interesting happening there. I don’t think even most Post readers realize the significance of Post’s experiment in bringing old media and new media together. As S.J. Barlament, a fellow Post blogger, said in a recent email to me, “The thinking here, if it’s not obvious, is that madison.com realizes that it sits atop a thriving online community… Post exists to raise awareness of, and draw traffic to, the blogs of the people who are making that community what it is. It’s a great idea, in my opinion, and it’s pretty impressive for a newspaper company to be embracing the internet in this particular way … I think Capital Newspapers is to be applauded for pursuing what I think is a fairly revolutionary concept.”
I agree. Post began linking to The Different Drummer Soundtrack website a little over a year ago. In past posts on my website, I’ve written a lot about how big media companies exercise disproportionate influence on public debate, and how the Internet in general and bloggers in particular serve as an important counterweight to that. Even as other entities try to find ways to control what we see on the Internet or how we access it, Capital Newspapers instead seems to be embracing the openness of the Internet and is trying to work constructively with it—at least as far as I can see right now. There is also—in a rather interesting reversal—a monthly print publication also called Post, which provides a snapshot of Post’s online content.
Even though I’ve ventured onto Madison.com many times during the 4 ½ years I’ve lived in Madison, it’s taken me a while to realize the significance of what they’re trying to do. There might be room for improvement in clearly explaining what Madison.com and Post are about. They might also take a look at the user-friendliness of the site (I’m among the 84% of people polled who believe they need to go back to the design they had until last month.) Nevertheless, I am glad that they are doing what they’re doing.
Now a little about me. I’m an “aging Gen-X’er” living in Madison. I grew up in the Chicago area and lived there most of my life. I spent twelve years in fundraising—much of it for environmental causes. Since moving to Madison I have lived in a housing co-op and have been active with the co-op movement and have been doing more and more writing. I’ve been starting to do a little DJ’ing and am a voracious collector of music.
As for what The Different Drummer Soundtrack is, well, it’s been a little hard for me to define it, and I’ve resisted doing so. I’ve recently broken all my posts into categories, and they break down to look like this (number of posts in parenthesis):
- blogging (8)
- co-op life (19)
- fat politics (5)
- madison (9)
- spirituality (12)
- music (8)
- personal (14)
- politics and culture (11)
- random weirdness (6)
- save the internet (10)
- the seasons (15)
- travel (4)
I’m not quite sure yet how The Different Drummer Soundtrack–The Website will relate to The Different Drummer Soundtrack–The Post Blog. There will be a lot of dual postings. I may post things on The Website that I don’t post on The Post Blog. Or vice versa. Or maybe one of the blogs will have a special decoder key that you can use on the other blog to reveal a secret message on the other one. Kind of like a toy surprise in a box of cereal…