August 3, 2009

Blogging nightmares come from missing dreams, words

The responsibilities of blogging overwhelm me at times. So does this ongoing struggle of how to define yourself to others.

Honestly, I thought I had found - and republished - all the missing posts dropped in an early-morning mishap. Honestly, I thought my husband was teasing when he said the blog was all messed up today.

And health wise, I was sure I was up to a session of batch-cooking until the stove heat delivered an ultimatum of "rest NOW." That rest order let me catch up on some reading, including G.D. Gearino's post on interviewing the interviewer. This paragraph stops me:
"When Donald asked what, exactly, my title was, I declared that “blogger” didn’t have have sufficient dignity and that instead I preferred “creator of online literature.” "
Even though he explains the answer was a wiseguy's reply, I think it reveals an uncomfortableness some struggle to shake when they move away from a media-company paycheck.

Dream Bigger blog blinder

Gearino, who I first met when he was just Dan Gearino, not G.D., and came to report for my former employer, is paying the bills with a Stephenville Dreams blog, also called Dream Bigger Blog. As I wrote in In search of dreams: Company paying for blogging, I struggled with who signed Gearino's new paycheck. But this question:
"Is the artist's integrity compromised by accepting that commission?"
helped me realize it was my traditional journalism background that led to my uneasiness. Still, when I read where he's living - right there in the 111-year-old home that is serving as its headquarters for the "Sleep Better, Dream Bigger" initiative, surrounded by the "innovative sleep products" - the uneasiness comes back. What erases the feeling is reading Gearino's blogging.

Today's rest-reading time also alerted me to Jim Romensko's noting a Fast Company post: Ex-N&O columnist's blog walks the line between journalism and marketing.

Chuck Salter writes about Gearino's latest venture in From a Texas Small Town and a Bedding Company, the Future of Journalism, Marketing, or Both.

Salter notes that the rapid layoffs of journalists is leading to new models and writes:
"Maybe there's a role for corporate-sponsored journalism and a way to do it without turning writers into NASCAR drivers or shills -- starting with the corporate sponsor keeping a safe distance from the journalism. Of course, if it doesn't help sell more bedding, dream on."
In the Fast Company post, Salters says that the project reminds Gearino of " the Federal Writer Project, when the government paid thousands of writers, including the likes of John Cheever, Saul Bellow and Studs Terkel to capture everyday life during the Depression."

Is Dream blog an answer?

This excerpt of a comment, by Mouli Cohen, reminds us that:
"Many of the stories from Stephenville Dreams are the same kinds of long form reporting that everyone fears will be lost with the demise of traditional media.I suppose one's feelings on this are a matter of whether you want to save traditional media outlets or traditional journalists. Keep the storytellers."
Cohen expands on his comments in Reporting plus marketing equals one future of journalism, asking
"Needless to say, it will be interesting to see if this project is merely a flash in the pan or something that will inspire an industry wide trend in the way our stories are reported."
Gearino is indeed a storyteller and, as he reminded me, storytellers still get bills.

More about Gearino's dream job

Gearino's new blog also is examined in a Future of Journalism post, "Journalist in bed with corporate sponsor." Its ending is worth your visit. So is Gearino's "regular blog" once he returns to writing that.

Gary Scott brings on lots of questions on Gearino's job in "Strange bedfellows"

An official press release - Texas Town Overcome by Sleep - is out Aug. 3. Or read about the venture through Furniture Today or even
Sweet dreams and high hopes
, which was published July 31 in the Stephenville Empire-Tribune

Oh, by the way San Antonio may try to recruit Gearino next-- or at least the bigger dreams campaign.

Here, then gone, back again

This whirl of references to Gearino's blog today helped me discover some lost postings including my original take on Gearino's new job. I believe I've restored the lost posts with the original publication dates, but if I'm wrong let me know.

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