Election Coverage

At work until 2 a.m. last night managing the web-publishing component of the J-School’s 2002 election coverage. A huge effort – 60 students, 6 editor/professors, and 4 web techs. It all came down in the end to a real-life test of Movable Type in action, which passed with flying colors, despite a few limitations.

Amazingly, references to the O’Reilly blog entry found it’s way into a bunch of blogs today, resulting in birdhouse.org hitting #16 on blogdex, a first.

From there, discovered that scripting.com’s Dave Winer had totally misunderstood the point of our Movable Type project. My article was called “Fooling Movable Type.” His rejoinder was called “Who’s the Fool?,” which I found personally insulting. His choice of words is probably an indirect result of the fact that I didn’t choose his product Radio back when I was selecting blogging software for the J-School’s intellectual property class. Ironically, he’s the one who now looks the fool, since he apparently didn’t read my ORA piece very carefully – not sure how else he could have conflated our election coverage with the IP/weblog class discussed at ORA a few months ago.

This is significant because his criticism of our project assumes that ours is a blogging project, when it is not. We are producing collective news coverage of elections, and he is suggesting that each student author be given his/her own blog. Dave has absolutely no idea how intense the evening was, how many people are running around yelling, making corrections, updating stories over and over again. It was all we could do to keep it together as well as we did under one roof, and he’s suggesting we distribute the project among 60 separate blogs, aggregating them together at run-time. All I can say is, “Whatever.” Dave’s misunderstanding of the nature of our project is profound, but he nevertheless has the cojones to ask “Who’s the Fool?”

The mind reels.

I’m very proud of the 2002 election site – we published a good looking, well-oiled site in record time with experimental tools.


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6 Replies to “Election Coverage”

  1. I read Dave Winer’s comments on your article — and was just disgusted. I’m tired of every post on scripting news turning into a commercial for Radio or Manilla or the fact that Dave invented weblogs or something. Argh.

  2. Hadn’t heard of WinerLog. So it appears I’m not alone. Was worried about setting up an antagonistic relationship with him, but it sounds like par for the course…

  3. You’re not the only one to receive such treatment … check scripting.com from a couple of months back for the amusing spectacle of Winer “debating” Lawrence Lessig on the topic of copyright, while persistently refusing to read Lessig’s book – even after several people offered to send it to him for free. Lessig was very gracious and articulate, while Winer basically jumped up and down and said “I’m not listening! I’m not listening!”

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