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Social Media Editor at ABC News
Social Media Consultant

Writer - Photographer - Musician - Philosopher
Minimalist Traveler - Maximum Experience-er

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    Male bulldog lovingly mothers kittens in need - PHOTOS:http://abcn.ws/1mefCO6

    Male bulldog lovingly mothers kittens in need - PHOTOS:http://abcn.ws/1mefCO6

    — 6 months ago
    #bulldog  #dogs  #kittens  #love  #animals  #adoption  #dogadoption  #cats  #news  #life 

    At a birthday surprise in the newsroom, there was a ABC News President Ben Sherwood cake and then magician David Blaine just appeared out of nowhere and started doing magic tricks… so…

    — 6 months ago
    #abc news  #insideabc  #david blaine  #magic  #birthday  #happybirthday 

    The boy asked why men waited in their misery.

    And he said no man waits in his misery; a man warning the pedestrian in the street is always one step behind being his savior, but a man’s savior is always first himself and only selfish men give away burdens to the unsuspecting. These are the men in misery, though they had chosen their misery. They were not waiting for anything. And some men enjoyed their misery and those men were to be left be, but not all men could contain, and that is why there was pain.

    He spoke as a deep, baritone horn, but his words carried the pierce of an alto flute. He was a forgotten man, of forgotten memories and forgotten ages. He lived three lifetimes and he knew life and he knew desires and he knew the hearts of men and he knew death as if they were his brothers. He could speak to them because he once did, and what once was, always was to the man.

    But he was a man of three ages and like the creek, he said, he swelled to a river in his years, and the pain of one lifetime’s memories was three lifetime’s memories, but still only one man.

    The boy asked if men were good when he was a boy.

    It was true the men of a forgotten age respected and revered in a lost way, but it was also true that he had learned of lies and their lifeblood in a man’s survival and it was disingenuous to him that any man of a new age should assume men of the forgotten age were not the same. He said that the lives of men were based on lies, but it was not taught, it was just learned.

    And the boy asked how it could be that one could learn if there were none to teach.

    The man was silent.

    The boy asked of life and its reasoning if it was built upon the lies. But the man said there was none and the boy said there must be and the man was quiet.

    And then he said there was no singular reason a man’s life existed and those who believed such things were mad and had gone mad in their attempts to reason a sole purpose.

    The boy asked how the man knew and the man said that he had gone mad and returned in his time.

    He said that it was true that men came across reasons in their lives and they lived for them. And when a man came to the times he found no reason, he took them as a sign; some men held on, some men died.

    The boy’s eyes were lost but this was not the first lost eyes the man had seen. He said that men learn as they do and they didn’t always need a teacher, that pain and memory were brutal but honest teachers; they provided lessons no man could.

    And the boy said he did not understand.

    And the man said that was expected.

    And the boy was silent.

    — 7 months ago with 1 note
    #writing  #philosophy  #life  #death  #childhood  #aging  #teaching  #lies 
    Across the snowy street, breakfast goes ‘til 3 p.m. The coffee is sweet and the milk is smooth. The waitress is an angel and I noticed that she’d gotten her hair cut. Bruce Springsteen is on repeat in my head… “What’s that?” They’re out of strawberries for the pancakes. “That’s OK. Regular buttermilk will do.” I think a bit about wanting to be in Yellowstone and Seattle and DC - or somewhere along the Amalfi coast, maybe. I always dream of multiple places at once, it seems. But I remember where I am. I love it here…

    Across the snowy street, breakfast goes ‘til 3 p.m. The coffee is sweet and the milk is smooth. The waitress is an angel and I noticed that she’d gotten her hair cut. Bruce Springsteen is on repeat in my head… “What’s that?” They’re out of strawberries for the pancakes. “That’s OK. Regular buttermilk will do.” I think a bit about wanting to be in Yellowstone and Seattle and DC - or somewhere along the Amalfi coast, maybe. I always dream of multiple places at once, it seems. But I remember where I am. I love it here…

    — 7 months ago with 1 note
    #Brooklyn  #NYC  #breakfast  #brunch  #coffee  #life  #travel  #writing  #milk 
    The growing danger: Journalists giving away their sources

    There is nothing new about news outlets and their journalists competing for the limited eyes and ears of viewers, but a paradigm shift in information sharing has occurred in the past 10 years as outlets and journalists have slowly, and perhaps unwittingly, begun giving direct access to their own sources, thereby slowly deleting themselves as media.

    The overall idea of journalism is to facilitate and continually increase the share of factual, pertinent information.

    A journalist is interested in giving to readers as much information from as many credible sources as possible; to allow those readers to make informed decisions with the information from those sources.

    But a loss of voice and function for media is slowly growing and it is troubling for the industry and the individual journalist.

    The practice of sharing the content of others makes your voice the voice of others; people hear their voices and not your voice.

    For a growing number of outlets and journalists, including myself, curating journalism sources has become its own form of journalism. But with that, an increase in sharing direct sources has greatly increased and opened a dangerous window between giving people information and giving away to people the sources that make journalism a career practice.

    In journalism, media are medium(s) between the reader and the source. They are the voice of information.

    But every person with access to a computer or smart phone and an Internet access now has a voice that can penetrate an audience large or small given the right circumstances. It’s not just, as some love to say with negative connotation, “The Establishment,” anymore — and that’s not going away.

    The shift seen is these established media accounts and journalists following along with the curators in directly sharing information from information sources — a police department, a government official, a politician, a fast food conglomerate, a link to a person’s Facebook photo, etc. — instead of vetting and reproducing the information and content for the reader, on their own platforms, where they make their living.

    In theory, these sources gaining the opportunity to share their own message is good practice, because, again, the goal is to give people access to information and let them decide their view, but what occurs in practice is people gravitate to the sources they want and stop using your service of curation and reporting — your platforms — when they get what they want on their own.

    They don’t need you anymore. They now have direct access to what they want. You have no purpose.

    The ramifications for the journalism industry should be obvious.

    If you look long-term, such practice could prove catastrophic, because if curators overshare direct sources and the standard-bearing outlets like the New York Times or CNN or Reuters or AP fold because their purpose as the bedrock source-gatherers collapses, journalism would simply be unfettered but unvetted information anarchy.

    The loss of market control is a common theme seen in the progression of technology in any consumer industry:

    "I took the train, but now I have a car. I don’t need the train." Train travel was revolutionary in its time and truly led to the expansion and populating of the country you see today, but the arrival of personal car travel subjugated the industry.

    "I used to send hand-written or typed letter via snail mail, but now I just email." The US Postal Service is bleeding loses because they didn’t adjust to the loss of their consumers.

    As someone who traffics daily in curating sources — be them other journalists and outlets, or citizen-journalists sharing reports and content on social media, or sources of information in my own reporting in a regional news market — I understand the danger of giving away my sources.

    Over time, you begin to see that instead of you being part of reports with the trustworthy sources you have curated over time, the sources become the sources of your competitors — even colleagues — and you are basically ignored when they begin to share information, circumventing you.

    In the breaking news community, especially on Twitter, this is common practice and just part of the dynamic in the community, but it teaches a valuable lesson that you have to be careful to not make the purpose of your work obsolete by giving away the sources you’ve worked hard and spent time researching to come to a point where you can trust them and share their information as a fellow information source.

    During the Westgate Mall attack in Kenya, I felt it necessary to cite government reports accounts without giving direct link to the Twitter accounts.

    For someone whose presence in journalism is gathering sources of information on social media and sharing them on the same platforms, giving away those accounts would make my work pointless, if my viewers had the same direct knowledge of access to those sources as I did.

    Why would they need me if they could just get it from the horse’s mouth?

    For some, it might be viewed as stingy or closed-off to withhold direct access to sources, but the point is not to make oneself point-less as a journalist.

    Those who work in the industry understand what happens when you cite and name a source of information in a report:

    1. Competitor’s report: “According to sheriff’s spokesperson John Doe…”

    2. Find John Doe’s number

    3. Call John Doe immediately

    4. John Doe is now your source and you don’t need to cite the competitor’s report

    or

    1. Competitor’s report: “According to a law enforcement official…”

    2. Call lots of law enforcement sources in the area

    3. Take an hour before you finally find the original source and deliver your own report

    To some extent, that’s annoying to those who are interested in Big J, as it’s not really holding the officials accountable by putting the pressure on them to make sure their information is accurate. Sources are much more likely to double-check their information is accurate if their name is in the report, as there will be backlash if they are wrong — either in the public view or in their inner circle or both.

    But it serves a very practical and survivalist purpose.

    If I give up my sources, I lose or greatly cut down my purpose as an information medium when local competitors divide the local viewership into eight segments, instead of just your one. Or national outlets get my source and overwhelm my report audience with their massive presence.

    It happens all the time.

    The direct sharing of official information or of competitors’ reports should be of great concern to journalism as an industry.

    This division of source information to multiple outlets is increasingly cutting down on the ability for individual outlets to maintain a big enough audience to generate the continued interest of the advertisers or funding partners who are ultimately the base drivers of journalism.

    A similar paradigm is what led to the ongoing decline of newspapers:

    Instead of adjusting quickly to the digital platform renaissance, there was much backlash from newspapers as they stuck to their print editions and saw digital platforms as threats to the print industry that needed to be overrun, not assimilated. Conversely, TV stations, bloggers and the like moved in and took a still-growing chunk of the print audience, because they jumped onboard with the inevitable and simply made themselves multi-platform outlets, thereby keeping and growing the audience that was adjusting to the digital age’s new platforms.

    Some newspapers get it now and are making their product cross-platform and are surviving and even growing. But still others are sinking with the newspaper platform ship, without understanding that though loved and tradition, a newspaper is just a platform to share the product.

    In simple economic terms, the supply is outweighing the demand as the markets become saturated with producers of the information product. There are only so many eyes that are interested in the daily consumption of the news product.

    What took a large news outlet sending a journalist on an intercontinental trip and working with established relationships to get to a source, one person sitting on their home computer can now reach that same source within seconds with a tweet or a phone call or a text message.

    As a regional news example, on Saturday, I saw a tweet from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office about a police officer involved in a shooting.

    At some point, I had come across that account because it was directly retweeted into my timeline by either a news outlet or a journalist from that market. I followed it as a new source of information.

    I then saw a vague tweet from WJXT in Jacksonville mentioning a little bit more information, but they had piqued my interest — without giving me a link to more information.

    With interest piqued, I went back to the JSO Twitter account and found a full recorded news conference with a JSO official that JSO had shared with the world on YouTube.

    From there, I was able to write my own report and had no need to cite WJXT, because I had all the information directly from JSO.

    I didn’t need WJXT to give me any more information. I had it, from an official, for myself and my outlet. Jacksonville is 200 miles away, but I had all the content I really needed to make a good, viral story.

    WJXT is singled-out because I needed an example, but the overteasing of information when the information is already readily available to the reader elsewhere is a chronic practice across digital journalism. Ergo, I’m not going to wait for 30 minutes for you to post it when it’s very likely I can find it posted somewhere else already.

    For media outlets like WJXT, fighting for views in a particular market, this is a problem that may not really be very visual in their analytics right now, but if outlets don’t begin to understand that they are being supplanted as a medium by the information sources they are meant to be between, their purpose will slow-drain away and they begin to merely limp along like snail mail or passenger train – or even become entirely obsolete.

    If I am only interested in getting information about the murder that occurred on my street last night, and the police department put their full (unedited, unchecked, sometimes biased) press release on Facebook, why do I need to go looking for it on a jumbled news website or sit through a video with ads or 15 minutes of TV news, when I could just see the whole thing, knowing it will be the most recent post on the department’s Facebook?

    Another interesting dynamic that is seen is media outlets directly sharing reports from other news outlets that aren’t even affiliated with themselves or their parent companies.

    For example, @Newsbreaker and @BuzzFeedNews on Twitter and Facebook have seen their following grow through this practice, as well as their own work in penetrating the market with original and pseudo-original content, and that is great for them, but troubling for those outlets that are struggling to gain viewers to their own account, with their own voice.

    Those outlets are sharing information, but giving away the opportunity of reach to those non-affiliated outlets. The viewer sees @Newsbreaker, not this local outlet or that local outlet that is sharing that content, without repurposing it and sharing it in their own name.

    To an extent, there is a return on the investment: you share me and I’ll share you. But for many, news is a matter of particular interests and if an outlet like @BuzzFeedNews can curate only the best stories, I may find myself unfollowing and stop paying attention to my local outlet because they often share stuff I really don’t care about.

    Example: “If it’s a story that’s interesting, @BuzzFeedNews will share it. So, I’m not going to clutter up my feed with the other mundane stuff from my local outlet.”

    With all the above in mind, I still think it’s important not to let it discourage the sharing of social media sources and giving credit where credit is due by promoting the outlets as good information sources — journalists who are doing great in remote places, journalists who are putting their lives on the line to cover a shooting, outlets like the Texas Tribune who function literally as a public service, citizens near an explosion or natural disaster who are sharing minute-by-minute information from the ground — but simply to be cognizant of maintaining and growing as medium and making sure the work doesn’t become obsolete.

    Law enforcement and government officials and companies and bloggers shouldn’t be offended or discouraged by what’s said above. There is a great work being done and I believe in open-source information, even if most of what is said above goes against opening the world directly to sources.

    My point is for journalists and news outlets to understand early that they can’t lose their purpose and for them to be more aware of how they share the information.

    To some journalists, their ideal is a society when and where professional journalists won’t be needed, where people perform citizen journalism and don’t have to rely on outlets to be media in the practice of information-sharing.

    But that will likely always simply be an ideal, as people lie and stretch the truth and hide information, and strong journalists backed by strong media apparatuses will be needed to cut through to at least as close to the truth as possible.

    — 10 months ago with 4 notes
    #news  #journalism  #curation  #breaking news  #sources  #theory  #reporting 

    I have learned that men are not inherently good and men are not inherently evil: they just are.

    I have learned that men can hate and men can love, in consecutive breaths.

    I have learned of deaths and fears and failures — I have memorized their rhythms when they have rattled my heart.

    I have learned to fight and press on and to give up and give in and to wait… wait.

    I have experienced vengeance and exhibited passion and heralded love and I have learned of their oft ambiguity.

    I have cried through pain and madness and have wept in crowds of jubilance, and surely, I have sat in the silence, the numbing silence, in disbelief at my inabilities and my misfortunes.

    I have championed great achievements and I have held my head high and survived my hubris.

    I have seen the exit flow of my blood — my life. I have tempted my fate. I have feared for my life. I have matched wits as I have matched fists against men.

    I have learned of forgiveness from those whom have sought my harm, just as those whom I have crossed.

    I have learned to all a purpose and to all a time, unto and post mortum.

    And for it all, I have learned the acceptances that I do not and will not know the why of all things in their time.

    I have learned… I have learned… my god, have I learned.

    — 11 months ago with 5 notes
    #poetry  #life  #prose  #pain  #writing  #living 
    My love note to the annoying news website ad

    Dear news website ad,

    I don’t mind you, mostly. I do mind when you’re annoying.

    And what may be more annoying, is that you can’t be more creative and less annoying with yourself.

    Some things you should know:

    1. No one has ever looked at your contents when you popped up without immediately X-ing you out.

    2. As a result, no one has ever intentionally clicked on you. Like… ever.

    3. Why are you behind my active window? I’m not even going to see you until I’ve decided to close out all of my windows. And even then, I’m not looking, because I’m trying to find the X.

    4. I immediately start looking for ways to get half-page you off my screen when I see you hover, without ever looking at what you have to say.

    5. I’m not paying to get inside your pay wall. I’ll just go to any of the other 100 websites with the same information.

    6. You as an auto-play video or audio is so annoying, especially when you hide at the bottom of the page. I’m not listening to what is said in you, because I’m trying to figure out how to turn you off.

    7. I was going to watch a web video you were in front of, but you took 3 minutes to load. In that time, I went and found the video I wanted on YouTube and watched the entire thing, and never came back to you.

    8. Tell your page to stop trying to artificially pad its page clicks by putting the article on 5 pages and making me click through them. One page will do. Just line it with a bunch of you. I don’t care.

    9. Tell your page that no one is trying to hack your stupid website. If you think you need a CAPTCHA, you should hire a better web development team.

    10. Oh, look. You got me to click on you by timing the loading of a page element to the average time it takes a person to click the area the desired link was before it moved. Now you’ve sent me somewhere I don’t want to be and I just clicked out of both windows.

    You’re being annoying. Sure, you’ll get short term gains in ads, but you’re annoying away visitors, like me, and I won’t stick around.

    Listen… I want you to do well. You are how I get to do what I do for a living, but man, figure something else out.

    Love,

    Micah

    — 12 months ago with 2 notes
    #ads  #news  #website  #web development  #advertising  #PR  #tech  #humor  #satire 
    Unconfirmed report: News outlet reports that maybe but maybe not because

    LONDON — An American news outlet is reporting that something may have happened but maybe not, too, because.

    The outlet cited unconfirmed reports that other media were reporting the report from the first outlet that reported it, dissolving itself of responsibility in the event that the provocative report turned out to be wrong.

    "The link at the end of this headline is going to get a lot of clicks and we want to make sure they click on our link citing their unconfirmed report as our unconfirmed report," a source at the news outlet said. "It’s important that we get out front of this story, because if it turns out it’s true, people will think we broke the story."

    The spokesperson said a plan was in place to not issue a correction and ignore everyone who asks why there isn’t a correction in the event that the report turns out to be complete bullshit.

    The initial outlet to report the report that the other outlet called an unconfirmed report called the other outlet out on Twitter for stealing their report.

    The other outlet released a statement stating, “It’s the Internet. Come on.”

    This is a DEVELOPING story. Check back for updates.

    — 1 year ago with 4 notes
    TAMPA, Fla. — Employees at a television news station in Tampa, Florida, are scrambling to pet and gain the affection of a golden retriever that randomly appeared in their newsroom Tuesday.
According to a witness at ABC Action News, the dog was extremely nice, carried a stuffed animal that appeared to be the Disney character “Tigger” and seemed wholly disinterested in every person who attempted to pet it.
The dog reportedly came from the back of the newsroom, to the front of the newsroom and leisurely walked around the assignment desk, but talked to no one.
Attempts to confirm with fellow employees in the newsroom as to why the dog was there went unanswered.
"I don’t know," a noon producer said.
"Aww," a veteran assignment editor reportedly said.
A managing editor who asked not to be identified was seen talking to the dog like a small child.
The dog has vanished into the set area of the newsroom.
The dog has not answered ABC Action News’ request for comment as of publication.
This is a BREAKING alert. Refresh your page for updates.

    TAMPA, Fla. — Employees at a television news station in Tampa, Florida, are scrambling to pet and gain the affection of a golden retriever that randomly appeared in their newsroom Tuesday.

    According to a witness at ABC Action News, the dog was extremely nice, carried a stuffed animal that appeared to be the Disney character “Tigger” and seemed wholly disinterested in every person who attempted to pet it.

    The dog reportedly came from the back of the newsroom, to the front of the newsroom and leisurely walked around the assignment desk, but talked to no one.

    Attempts to confirm with fellow employees in the newsroom as to why the dog was there went unanswered.

    "I don’t know," a noon producer said.

    "Aww," a veteran assignment editor reportedly said.

    A managing editor who asked not to be identified was seen talking to the dog like a small child.

    The dog has vanished into the set area of the newsroom.

    The dog has not answered ABC Action News’ request for comment as of publication.

    This is a BREAKING alert. Refresh your page for updates.

    — 1 year ago
    They brought me home in 19 and 88. Back then, you could carry me in one hand — this was after I survived that virus they tell me almost killed me — but Momma always said the doctor said I was gonna be biggest outta 99. And I was. I was gonna be a bird. Then I was gonna a preacher. Then I was gonna be a meteorologist. Then I was gonna play football, but I quit. And then I was gonna play football again, but I got kicked off the team. Then I was gonna play football again, and ran off to college to do it.  Momma encouraged. Momma always made me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and she still makes the World’s Finest Chili, though she took to not making me those sandwiches — as a matter of forcing me to grow up, I guess. Yea, my momma is the best momma I could have asked for and the best momma in my world — I ain’t worried about her rank in others’ world. One day back in the childhood 90s, I was playing in the backyard and I realized people died, and I was gonna die one day… and then I realized momma might die one day. Little boy ran into the house, screaming for momma.  We sat on the couch and I cried hard and asked momma not to leave and what was going to happen when she left. I think I remember her saying she didn’t know and that was about the best answer to that question. I still don’t know what I’m going to do when that day comes. Probably cry like I’m crying now, but like then, I try not to think about it and spend as much time with her as I can, even as I try to become the writer and editor and successful man that boy ultimately decided he wanted to be. I don’t know what one does without their mother. And I don’t want to see my world when that day comes… So, for now, I celebrate and thank all for my mother for the rock she has been for me since that September day they brought me home in 19 and 88.

    They brought me home in 19 and 88. Back then, you could carry me in one hand — this was after I survived that virus they tell me almost killed me — but Momma always said the doctor said I was gonna be biggest outta 99. And I was.

    I was gonna be a bird. Then I was gonna a preacher. Then I was gonna be a meteorologist. Then I was gonna play football, but I quit. And then I was gonna play football again, but I got kicked off the team. Then I was gonna play football again, and ran off to college to do it.

    Momma encouraged.

    Momma always made me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and she still makes the World’s Finest Chili, though she took to not making me those sandwiches — as a matter of forcing me to grow up, I guess. Yea, my momma is the best momma I could have asked for and the best momma in my world — I ain’t worried about her rank in others’ world.

    One day back in the childhood 90s, I was playing in the backyard and I realized people died, and I was gonna die one day… and then I realized momma might die one day. Little boy ran into the house, screaming for momma.

    We sat on the couch and I cried hard and asked momma not to leave and what was going to happen when she left. I think I remember her saying she didn’t know and that was about the best answer to that question.

    I still don’t know what I’m going to do when that day comes. Probably cry like I’m crying now, but like then, I try not to think about it and spend as much time with her as I can, even as I try to become the writer and editor and successful man that boy ultimately decided he wanted to be.

    I don’t know what one does without their mother. And I don’t want to see my world when that day comes… So, for now, I celebrate and thank all for my mother for the rock she has been for me since that September day they brought me home in 19 and 88.

    — 1 year ago with 1 note

    While living just outside Grand Tenton National Park in early 2011, I met a Russian girl, Alena, who was in the western United States on an internship visa.

    We became good friends and took a few scenic drives together, before we said our goodbyes at the end of the Jackson Hole winter season.

    One day, we decided to take a late evening drive from Jackson into the national park to check out Jackson Lake and hopefully catch the sunset on the Tetons.

    It was all we could have hoped as we took in momentous spectacles that included walking on water and sunset show that massaged the heart and the soul.


    Unforgettable.

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #Grand Tetons  #national park  #travel  #photography  #friendship  #Russia  #US  #nature  #snow  #mountains 
    I miss you… [Grand Teton National Park - Early 2011]

    I miss you… [Grand Teton National Park - Early 2011]

    — 1 year ago with 2 notes
    #Grand Tetons  #national park  #travel  #photography  #mountains  #snow 

    One must note when going to the defense of a friend, the attacker has diagnosed weakness that exhibited worth in attacking, and therefore, one must take into account that the friend’s weakness will not be corrected during the fight.

    One should not expect and rely upon help from the friend in defending the weakness, much less the entirety of the friend.

    One should enter defense expecting and anticipating being the sole defense, whilst accepting the added assists in defense from the friend, if capable.

    "Expect the worst. Hope for the best."

    — 1 year ago
    #war  #strategy  #defense  #Vietnam  #friendship  #friend  #weakness