Dave Bullock / eecue

photographer, director of engineering: crowdrise, photojournalist, hacker, nerd, geek, human


Writing and Being Edited

Like most people, I've been writing since I was a kid. Unlike most professional writers I never went to college. I guess that makes me somewhat of a hack. I have been blogging for roughly 5 years now. In that time I've gone from writing on my personal blog, to writing for LAist, to writing for blogging.la, to blogdowntown and now to WIRED News.

When I first started writing for LAist, I was excited. For some reason I thought my stories were going to be edited by an editor. As it turns out, the editors at LAist, don't actually do any editing. At blogging.la, the editorial policy is clear: there is no editorial policy. When I started writing for Eric Richardson on blogdowntown, he did edit my work, which I found helpful.

When I first approached WIRED about running some of my photo galleries, they turned down my pitches by said they would keep me in mind. At DEFCON this year they contacted me and paired me with their reporter, Kim Zetter. The next time WIRED got in touch with me was to cover their NextFest show.

I ended up writing captions on a little over half of the photos that ended up in the NextFest gallery. After Nextfest I covered the ASTRO show and that time I wrote the intro as well as the captions for the entire gallery. Since then I've been doing roughly 1 or 2 galleries a week for WIRED.

Being edited is a great learning experience for me. I like to compare what I wrote to what the editor and the copy-editor end up posting as the final piece. I haven't had any humorous interaction with the copy-editors like Siel had, but I'm guessing that the WIRED copy-editors are a little more hip than the folks editing the LA Times blog.

The more I write, the easier it becomes. I've also been reading Daily Writing Tips. Today's post was a collaborative piece consisting of 34 tips from various writers. I found many of them very helpful and I hope you do too.


Microsoft Specializing In Being A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Microsoft, who I personally don't care for too much, has once again proven itself to be the last in line at the pop stand. First of all they are partnering with MTV to create an online music store / subscription service called Urge, which will offer 2 million songs, but which won't work on iPods or Macintosh computers. The only snag for M$ is that iPods make up 75% of the portable music player market share, so they have engineered their own obsolescence before even releasing the service to the public.

Next they are partnering with MCI to provide VOIP support in their instant messenger program allowing you to make calls from your PC to landlines and cell phones. Gee nobody has thought of this before, oh wait there is Vonage (which I use and it rocks) and Skype, who have both been doing this for years, and of course Yahoo is about to beat them to market with the integration of their messenger and voice calling.

And finally M$ issued a patch for IE that fixes a "critical" security flaw, one so critical that it took them several weeks to issue a patch, during which time exploit code was released to the public. I'm glad I run OS X.

Actually there is one more thing, it looks like the new Russian government funded TV station Russia Today, is back on the air today after being down due to hacking:

Margarita Simonyan, the channel's editor in chief, said, "There was an attempted invasion of the computer system from outside, which gave rise to viruses, which in turn led to a breakdown in transmission. We apologise to the audience but the channel had to cease broadcasting until the technical malfunctions are mended."

Sounds like bad Microsoft jujus to me, but man are people really running TV station on Windows? Does this seem like a bad idea to anybody but me?