Summary:

I missed by a day, but this site and blog is now two years old…I started it on June 11, 2002 (the Internet Archive has a June 27, 2002 sna…

I missed by a day, but this site and blog is now two years old…I started it on June 11, 2002 (the Internet Archive has a June 27, 2002 snapshot of how my homepage looked then…), mainly as a way to raise my profile as a journalist. I was already working as the managing editor of Silicon Alley Reporter in NYC, but wanted to do something more. I was already blogging for more than three years (started in 1999–I wrote what I believe to be the first ever research proposal on blogs, back in Sep, 99…a rather lame attempt, and most of my hypothesis has been proven wrong, but oh well…), and figured that if I focused on one specific niche, I could make a larger name for myself and get a bigger job…I was aiming for something like the Wall Street Journal. That was then…this is now.

The discussion to launch this site started in mid-April at a lunch table at Tick Tock Diner in NYC, on 34th and 8th Ave…the inspiration then was John Hiler, who had started MicrocontentNews about a month ago and became a blogging superstar in no time. (He has since discontinued the site…)

And then a few e-mails back and forth, and Hiler helped me chisel out the focus and I came up with the idea of this site. I’m reproducing an April 14, 2002 e-mail in full (with typos etc) which led to this site…make your own conclusions from here. I think my naive hopes back then were for the better….

Thanks for the blog and all you help in this. It is really helpful.
there are two things i really want to write about, one more professional,
one slightly personal. The first one, as I probably talked about with you on
thursday, is online content business models, which i still think is a
specialty medium. it is not just about “subscription models” or “pay sites”
etc. There is the economics behind it, the macro and micro financial
implications, user behavior and innovations in technology. This would be a
mutant blog/opinion journalism. this may somehow conflict with JD lasica’s
blog
at times, but I want to break away from the “Online Journalism Review
kind of blog he writes, the newspaper guy turned online specialist tone. I am planning to write something blasting OJR.

Another more personal blog, would be about life from the trenches of
technology journalism, drawing upon my personal experiences during my day to
day life as a journalist. An essay which I have been thinking about for a
long time, and tentatively titled “The journalist as an analyst”, may
actually expand on your blog about having focus. I will touch upon the
current sorry state of tech journalism, and all what is wrong with
journalism education at school level. this essay may work well with my second blog.

I am redesigning rafat.org –and using the design for altmedia.org. the
“alt” in the this stands for “alter” — my journalist alter ego online..or
at least that’s how i’ll position it. What say you?

And dude, get some sleep–I noticed the timing of your e-mails! Gotta meet this girl tommorow..met her once and she’s the greatest..I know that my giddiness will evaporate soon, as this too will go the way of the previous experiences…..

ra

ps: the slate editor intro is on 30th april, and i will definitely go now.

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