Telepresence in Lancaster

Mike Ward sends word from the University of Lancaster that a "Journalism Leaders Forum" Tuesday will be webcast live, and that one of the key participants, Tim Porter, will appear via weblink "from the States."

Dan Gillmor did a bit of telepresence for the University of Lancaster earlier this year from Hong Kong, as I recall. A few months ago, when I called on Dan to talk with the newsroom of the Savannah Morning News, we pulled it off with a couple of webcams, saving several thousand dollars and a lot of travel time.

Thinking so you don't have to

I've become a big fan of Ze Frank -- a New York vblogger whose real name is Hosea Frank. His intense, up-close, jump-cut bursts of incredulity are always funny, but since I've spent a lot of time traveling lately (Stockholm, Brussels, Kansas City, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Minneapolis, Washington) I really appreciated his rant about Delta Airlines and his riff on Minnesota, which was my home for over a decade.

Feeling Minnesota

I'm in Minnesota today at a workshop on digital storytelling pulled together by Nora Paul of the University of Minnesota's New Media Institute. It's a bit of old home week for me -- we're meeting at the Star Tribune. Participants include Ken Riddick, Will Tacy, Jamie Hutt and Matt Thompson, all currently at, as well as longtime site designer Jamie Hutt, former editors Rusty Coats and myself, and various current and former competitors.

Back from Russia

I flew back from St. Petersburg, Russia, yesterday -- a long day that began at 5 a.m. Russian time and ended around 5 p.m. EDT.

In my absence my ISP had broken my Internet setup -- Murphy dictates that technology will go haywire when you have no access to fix it. The first order of business today was to get things untangled so that I can resume getting my daily dose of drug, stock and mortgage spam.

It was surprising how few Internet access cafes I found in Moscow and St. Petersburg. By contrast, mobile phone usage (especially SMS text) is extremely high.