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September 09, 2011

World of Web opens new pages, years later

Print-Exclusive I couldn’t be happier to feel the heartbeat of the NewsWire pulsing on our blog. September marks the month when our news services for the 3000 first went to press. But we had our eyes online from that very first month of Fall, 1995. This new forum here for news felt like a risk 10 years later, because my partner Abby and I learned our trade amid a passel of papers. From our first days in '95 we'd put news onto a website, post-print. Shortly after, we emailed mid-issue updates in Online Extras. Even while the dot com bubble rose, those mediums felt like enough for awhile.

But by this month I’m delighted to be conductor of three blogs that serve some part of the 3000 community. In addition to the NewsWire’s web address, I’ve administered OpenMPE News (openmpe.wordpress.com). Since the summer began, I’ve been stocking HP3000Reunion.com. There’s nothing like being able to blog onto a story as you hear more of it. The echo of updates has helped to draw scores of veterans to that in-person party, only about two weeks away (so get your Party tickets today).

People in your industry also have taken to blogging to have their voices heard. This summer I heard from Dave Elward, creator of 3000 software from 1987 onward, about his personal blog where he’s polishing writing skills. That’s the craft I teach evenings and weekends and spread through another blog, writestuff-writersworkshop.com. English is as rich and complex and confusing as writing in COBOL. In 1977 I took the fork down a road to writing in sentences instead of modules because I wanted a bigger readership. I can’t say for sure it’s turned out that way, but the English writing at least touches a more diverse set of readers than server CPUs.

We crossed the blog’s 1,650-article mark this week.This entry was a column in our August printed NewsWire, because that's its label in print. Here I’d call it an entry in the blogosphere. It’s longer than a tweet or a Facebook status update, although @ronseybold has been a way to tweet news about writing and storytelling. @3000newswire does the job for IT compatriots.

Why do writers need so many channels? It speaks to the evolution of our expression. We like to fine-tune our reception today. A bit of Apple news here, a slice of storytelling advice there, news tuned to the smallest detail of a sports team, the latest on mobile operating systems — all of this reflects how our communication has exploded into countless facets. Some people read the NewsWire through an RSS newsreader. These newsreaders stack up articles from all of your sources to save you time if your primary source is the Web.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the tone of the message I’m usually sharing. A reader recently lobbed a few complaints about what I’m writing to deliver 3000 news. "You write about all the sunny-sided things that happen," he said. He added that the stories are often from the usual sources. Both claims are true. Promoting the new and helpful improves learning, though there’s always room for the lessons of mistakes. The usual suspects often speak here because they teach, plus listen on our behalf. But you can discover unique user stories on these webpages as well.

This summer I read a dollop of hubris about newswriting. “News is something someone doesn’t want you to know,” it says on the reborn Byte website. "All the rest is publicity."  That’s a simpleton’s mantra to messages. News is something you don’t know yet. All the rest is something you share, a task our Websphere makes joyful and easy.

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Comments

Comments

No link to Dave's blog?

Posted by: Bruce Hobbs | Sep 10, 2011 3:03:29 AM

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