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Calling All Word Nerds

Yes­ter­day I start­ed my new job as Com­cast’s chief blog­ger. Now I’ve had some fun with social media so far in my career and have had a real­ly great time get­ting peo­ple excit­ed about bring­ing the A’s back to Philadel­phia, but I have very lit­tle in the way of what you may call deep back­ground on social media prac­tices.

My take: I feel like I have the trick­i­est part–writing–down cold. I have a sol­id under­stand­ing of what sto­ries are best told through text and which are bet­ter explained by video, thanks to my tenure at comcast.net. I know that peo­ple want reg­u­lar con­tent and they have expec­ta­tions around how it’s deliv­ered. That’s under­stood.

What I have ques­tions about are best prac­tices in the social web. If you can rec­om­mend read­ing either on- or offline, I’d appre­ci­ate it. Leave a note in the com­ments or @ me on Twit­ter. If you have favorite blogs that deal specif­i­cal­ly in this, feel free to share those as well. My Google read­er feels a lit­tle emp­ty after I 86’d oh so many music blogs.

Don’t think I’m not doing some heavy lift­ing myself. I’m find­ing Kristi­na Halvor­son­’s work and the Brain Traf­fic blog a very use­ful font of info and links. I’ve also sub­scribed to sev­er­al rec­om­mend­ed com­pa­ny blogs, rang­ing from South­west Air­lines to Google’s Offi­cial blog. Love how they read!

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Reading

Tipping My Hat to Zoo With Roy

This may be the most elo­quent, poignant piece I’ve read about Roy Hal­la­day’s no hit­ter any­where. You’re a class act, ZWR,you mag­nif­i­cent don­key.

My take? What’s left to be said? He was exact­ly who we expect­ed him to be all sea­son long. He put the team on his back dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son and he does­n’t want to stop there.

I will add this: the love that Roy Hal­la­day and Car­los Ruiz share is a tru­ly beau­ti­ful thing for the game of base­ball. The ela­tion they feel when they accom­plish some­thing spec­tac­u­lar is infec­tious. Is there any­thing more fun than see­ing Chooch’s ear-to-ear grin?

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Reading

My Problem with RSS

I found myself shak­ing my head in agree­ment quite often with this Techcrunch post about the “death of RSS.”

If RSS does­n’t make it, I’ll lay the blame at Google’s dig­i­tal feet. They came so close to so many good, plat­form-wor­thy ideas with Google Read­er. Shared items with com­ments? Tum­blr, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. I’ve felt all along that Google just has no idea how to make their prod­ucts social. You can’t even plug Google Read­er into Tum­blr and get it to ren­der prop­er­ly. I went from shar­ing and com­ment­ing on things in my read­er to bare­ly both­er­ing to favorite any­thing in the last year or so.

RSS may have its short­com­ings, but it’s far more effi­cient for some­one like me who’s con­stant­ly read­ing the web. It offers bet­ter orga­ni­za­tion than either Twit­ter or Face­book. It makes it eas­i­er to eval­u­ate the val­ue of the infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed. I don’t need to click through to read any­thing on most blogs, which is a tremen­dous help. Sure, that does­n’t help the pub­lish­ers and con­tent cre­ators hit their goals, but if you’re cre­at­ing good con­tent, peo­ple will engage it. RSS, for my mon­ey, is still the best way to deliv­er it to an audi­ence that’s con­sum­ing the most con­tent.

I’d be sad to see it go. It’s dif­fi­cult enough to dis­cov­er reli­able sources as it stands now. If you watch Rick Sanchez I think you’ll agree that Face­book and Twit­ter aren’t improv­ing the way we con­sume news by any stretch.

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The Return of Rockism?

Pitch­fork may have done a good job of includ­ing dance music in their top 200 tracks of the 1990s, but a cer­tain some­one was con­spic­u­ous­ly absent. Have you ever heard of a record­ing artist named Garth Brooks? How about Sha­nia Twain? Must I even men­tion Brit­ney Spears?

I real­ly loved their picks, but they struck me as the return of rock­ism. I feel that the “r” word, like Volde­mort, has been whis­pered in cer­tain cir­cles in the past year or so about Pitch­fork. This list con­firmed that sus­pi­cion for me. Is it wrong to like pop­u­lar music again? Should we just pre­tend that we could always live in an indie bub­ble and nev­er be con­cerned with the likes of, say, Sug­ar Ray?

What I’d love to see Pitch­fork come back and do next week is reveal their staff lists, or give us a best of the rest. As I wrote last night, the ’90s in ret­ro­spect were a won­der­ful­ly eclec­tic decade. Garth Brooks, gangs­ta rap, Guns N’ Ros­es, and grunge? Yes, please! I know it’s dif­fi­cult to be per­fect­ly inclu­sive, but you might think it’d be accept­able to at least gen­u­flect to some of the best-sell­ing artists of that decade.

As some­one who went to a junior high and high school dances in the ’90s, it’s hard to imag­ine any­one omit­ting this gem.

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Reading

Pitchfork’s Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s

I’d been wait­ing to write how awestruck I’ve been by this, but I can’t con­tain myself any longer. This list has been facemelt­ing­ly per­fect, at least from the per­spec­tive of any­one who’s been read­ing Pitch­fork since the days of dial-up. I can hard­ly be both­ered with the snooty crit­ic’s picks, but what fas­ci­nates me are the entries for the cor­po­rate rock enti­ties that defined a gen­er­a­tion who thought they were rebelling against cor­po­rate enti­ties.

Favorites of the moment include the entry for Oasis’ “Live For­ev­er” and the Verve’s “Bit­ter­sweet Sym­pho­ny,” to say noth­ing of New Order’s “Regret,” the song that intro­duced me to their entire cat­a­logue. Those open­ing strains still stop me in my tracks.

Am I a lit­tle bummed no one has out and out shocked the read­er­ship by includ­ing the Verve Pipe? Am I amazed that nei­ther Live nor Dave Matthews Band have made an appear­ance? Which U2 song will make the list? I hope they pick some­thing from Zooropa. The ’90s weren’t per­fect and nei­ther were we. I hope they acknowl­edge that some­how.