Dan Savage, editor of Seattle's alt-weekly The Stranger, raised some eyebrows serving as a panelist at the AAN conference when he said—after almost 40 minutes of complete silence: "I just want to say what a bunch of fucking bullshit all this is."
The topic of discussion? Twitter and Facebook.
While his co-panelists sung the praises of social media, Savage, who blogs like a mad man on The Stranger's Slog and expects staffers to be prolific bloggers or beat feet, wasn't having it. It was a brilliant moment, albeit tense, especially since he was directly contradicting what the rest of the panel had been saying.
Don't know Savage? Here's an excerpt from yesterday's Savage Love column: "You should start sucking off strange men for money." Read him here.
Columnist Ted Rall and film critic Cole Smithey.
Me and Ted makin' faces.
Why all the fuss?
I'm on a mission to meet Ted Rall today.
I walked by him yesterday and I was just itching to shove my hand in his direction and introduce myself, but he was on his cell phone and I was on my way to a meeting.
I'm in Tucson, Ariz., along with Publisher Sally Freeman, Art Director Leila Rader and News Editor Nathaniel Hoffman for the annual convention of our trade association, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Once a year, the alt weekly trenches empty out in cities all across America to convene and bitch about what commonly ails us. We share ideas, network, meet new vendors, get to know our syndicated columnists and illustrators, and, of course, drink copious amounts of booze on someone else's tab. (Thanks for the party, Google. Last night as a damn good time.)
When BW brought Ted Rall to Boise to speak a few years ago, I was on hiatus and didn't get the chance to meet him. Lately, Rall has been taking some flak from BW readers. Ironically the conservatives are probably loving Rall right now while the liberals accuse him of being too liberal. Without doubt I'm his biggest supporter on the BW editorial team and that's good news for Rall. (Hey, if you're only gonna win over one of six, you might as well get the decision maker, right.)
Got something you want me to tell him? E-mail me. I'll check my e-mail via phone all day and pass on your message. Gotta go ... I'm sure there's free coffee somewhere waiting for my half-hangover.
I just got back from the 2007 Association of Alternative Newsweeklies conference in Portland, Oregon. My colleagues and I spent three days in the downtown Hilton jetting from seminar to seminar learning about everything from writing more ethnic and racially diverse feature stories to making online listings more reader friendly and featuring more user generated content to Web and design development and I'm ready to implement it all. One great thing about the conference was that it was a little like I assume an AA meeting to be: I met so many people who face the same issues week after week that I do.
We ate amazing food at a place called Oba in the Pearl District and shopped at a sweet little vintage/new store called Magpie just blocks from the hotel.
Things I do know: Just one thing for now...check out a band called Point Juncture, WA. Melodic, dissonant rock + vibraphone = cool new fave. Mama Auto Boss is their 2005 release and so worth a listen.
Check out http://www.boiseweekly.com/.