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The Local-Global Blogger: Ed Cone in Greensboro

      Blogger Ed Cone of Greensboro talks here about the several intersections he overlooks.  That is: junctions of the public and the personal (which every blogger faces) and more particularly the contrasting voices of a newspaper columnist and a blogger (he is both) and the opportunities for a local conversation in a global medium.

     Ed Cone is a 4th generation North Carolinian and a man of respect in Greensboro.  He’s a Sunday editorial wiseman on the Greensboro News and Record, and he’s thought of running for mayor of Greensboro, as he said in our conversation.  So he’s up to his neck in local life.  At the same time he’s a well known tech writer in national publications (WIRED, Forbes and Ziff Davis magazines, among others)  and he swims in the global ocean of bloggers, with distinction.  The longer we talked–about the emerging “Tar Heel Bloggers,” the political leverage for bloggers in city and statewide campaigns, and the lure of the “North State” and North Carolina conversation–the more in love he seemed to be with the local pleasures of bloggery.  It’s nice to be cited by Glenn Reynolds and picked up in “the bigs” now and then.  But it may be nicer to have a strong voice in the neighborhood.  Local blogs, Ed Cone says, “are one of the next big things.”

     I wanted to find out also whether Ed Cone has different voices in different media, and now I’m sure he does.  Only on his blog does he use the vernacular and post pictures of his kids.  Or as he put it himself: his career is at Ziff Davis.  At the newspaper, he keeps his oar in politics and he makes greens-fee money.  But his joy is in the blog.  It’s only the blog that makes his wife a little jealous.  “You have to follow your passion on this,” Ed Cone said.  “You spend time on stuff you love, and good things happen.”  Listen in.

{ 25 } Comments

  1. Anonymous | July 20, 2003 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Chris – thanks for interviewing Ed. It would have taken me months to discover his different personae (if I remember my Latin). Audio adds so much to blogging. The tone, the pitch and energy in a voice tells a lot about a person. Anyone who uses the term “brain-fart” is ok in my book. I think he’s dead right about the NH primary blog project needing some “gatekeepers” or “aggregation” points.

    In any case, I hope to get to meet Ed when he comes to Cambridge for the BloggerCon.

  2. Anonymous | July 20, 2003 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Chris – you might want to take a look at Hugh Hewitt’s website . He is the current leader in what I would call “Blog Assisted Talk Radio.” According to him, almost all of his show prep is done via blogs.

    He and his colleagues at KRLA stream their shows . Their audio quality is not as good as yours.

  3. Anonymous | July 21, 2003 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I’ll also thank you, Chris. In general, bloggers don’t give their readers this type of insight into who they are. I wish one day I could take Ed’s course in blogging. With only a few journalism courses, I could use some coaching.

    I know where Ed is coming from when he talks about the need for filters or nodes especially when it comes to political opinions. But, I’d be careful in not destroying the end-to-end quality of the blog world as David Weinberger describes it. In his interview Dave Winer talked about news stories traditionally emanating from central sources aka the mass media to be distributed to the periphery. He sees blogging (and so do I) as information arising from the periphery, and being verified and authenticated in the periphery. Someone summed it up in this quip: “We can Fact Check Your Ass.” This is the best reponse to the trend toward consolidation in the mass media.

    With filters we’re building another inflexible hierarchy, where the “important” bloggers will determine what posts are worth considering. Don’t discount those of us who live and breathe in the “wiggle room” (nod to David). BK

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