Archive for the ‘online’ Category

Condescend much?

One of my favorite pages on Facebook is “Condescending Brand Page.”  Since I run a few Facebook pages, I always try to keep in the forefront that we’re people, what a like actually is (not what most brands think it is) and that we’re there to have a good time and a conversation.

In comes WTAE, which is really the only local news I watch, if I watch anything at all.  And they totally failed at being any kind of decent human being.  But thankfully, Facebook was there to call them out on their asshat move.

Yeah, that’s right, “give this story a ‘like’ to show support for these parents whose child was ripped away from them by disease.”

It doesn’t get much lower than that, ladies and gentlemen.

Now, to be fair, it looks as though they did remove that post.  But still, what kind of heartless social media manager would post that in the first place?


Another trip for 101 Achievements

I’ve posted before about an awesome local blog called 101 Achievements, but I need to post this one as well, seeing as I busted out laughing:

And then Michael decided we would play a game called 'baby Jessica stuck in the well.' Except that baby Jessica's well wasn't freaking HAUNTED.

Love it.  Check out the blog for more Pittsburgh awesomeness.

Dispatches from Fayette County

One of my new favorite blogs is “Musings from FayetteNam.”

Not only has it covered the recent ninja activities in the area, but also the ice cream truck wars:

On behalf of the children of the Nam, and myself even though I never manage to catch the truck that comes up here, give peace a chance. We need our ice cream.

Monday: Make Room for Kids

 Virgina Montanez, aka PittGirl, has announced the name of her fundraising effort for a game room for Children’s Hospital.

More information about how this came to be is available here, but here’s the crux of the issue:

The point is that you and me, WE are giving this room to these kids as a gift and we’re essentially letting them know that there’s a whole city of people that would really like to see them kick the hell out of whatever it is they’re fighting at the moment.

Donations will start to be accepted on Monday, courtesy of the Mario Lemieux Foundation.

One of the coolest things is besides the TVs, game systems, PCs and games, the goal is also go buy some portable gaming devices as well.  Child’s Play raises money for this kind of thing across the country (for whatever reason, they did not respond, nor do they raise money for any hospital in Pittsburgh), but I do not know if they ever include portable devices as well.  Even if they do, it’s a good addition.

I’ll post more as this kicks off on Monday, I’m sure in the meantime it will be making its way around the Pittsburgh new media scene, hopefully Metblogs can help just a little bit!

Hating on the Internet

I was just called a scumbag on PG+!

Seriously though, I’m really enjoying PG+, and if you haven’t checked it out, try it out for a month to see if you like it or not.  I’ll have more of a review up in a couple days when I can spend some more time with it, but sadly, just like everywhere else on the Internet, it seems impossible to hide from trolls and others who like to hate, but hate using their brains.

Propel Pittsburgh: if you build it, will they come?

You may still vaguely remember the Propel Pittsburgh Commission, Mayor Ravenstahl’s plan to get together a bunch of smart young people to find ways to keep other young people in Pittsburgh. So far, it’s been a little less than stellar; we’ve been around for a year, and we’ve yet to even make a single formal recommendation, let alone start trying to do something. At our meeting this week, we were told in no uncertain terms that His Honor The Mayor is aware of this, and he is not pleased. Longtime readers know that I’m more of a Peduto-head, but nevertheless, Mayor Luke deserves credit for at least keeping an eye on his creation and trying to make it produce something useful. He’s even gone a bit further and given us a new staff person who has orders to whip us back into shape.

The fundamental problem, though, is one that seems to plague many public boards and commissions: people just plain don’t show up. We know there have been several resignations, although the complete list isn’t available. Beyond those, there’s another five to ten people who haven’t been seen since the first meeting. There was pretty steep competition to get onto this commission in the first place, and we see a bunch of empty chairs that are itching to be filled. The reason for this non-attendance is unclear, but as far as we can guess, it’s about schedule. We meet Downtown in the early evening, because the city officials who support us want to go home just as much as we do. Problem is, most young people don’t have total control over our work schedules, and if Propel is at the wrong time, then one more Commissioner is SOL.

Of course, such young tech-savvy personages as MetBlog readers might ask: can’t you people just do business over email, have conference calls, and otherwise use technology to quit spewing so much carbon? We could… except for this eensy thing called the Open Records Law. Turns out that as long as we’re a formal Commission, we have to comply with Open Records. That means all meetings scheduled in advance, open to the public, minutes kept, etc. Hard to shoehorn a listserv into that framework. As the years march on, more and more of the world’s governance is going to use electronic mechanisms, and this sort of thing is going to be a royal pain in the butt. Probably a good thing for some enterprising young state legislator to be considering…

In the meantime, despite all these slings and arrows, we actually have gotten some work done, particularly about immigration. More on that in a future post.

Cut-and-paste: It’s not just for China anymore

The Post-Gazette has, on Sundays, been running a feature called “The Cutting Edge”, where they post snippets from Pittsburgh-related blogs. (Yes, I still get 90% of my news on dead trees. Portable, useful for stuffing shipping boxes, and doesn’t require me to pay some silly “hotspot” to read it.) It has sunk to new lows. You may recall that Chinese newspaper that accidentally recycled a story from The Onion?. Scroll down this week’s Cutting Edge and find “One of America’s great newspapers” doing the same thing. I’d like to hope they’re just adding it in as a bit of comic belief, but the lack of framing text makes me think someone there is just plain asleep at the switch.

Not to worry, though. They’re a “manufacturer” according to state law, and thus aren’t required to pay property taxes. With all that money they’re saving, I’m sure they can put it towards finding, you know, real news to report on once in a while.

A Miserable List

Well here is something to be happy about – Pittsburgh is not on Forbes Magazine’s List of the top 10 most miserable cities. We have been talking about this article on the Metrobloggers authors list and everyone agrees that this list extra miserable because the people at Forbes put it into a slide show, instead of just giving you a list. So to save you the trouble of watching a miserable slide show, here is the list:

1. Detroit, MI
2. Stockton, CA
3. Flint, MI
4. New York, NY
5. Philadelphia, PA
6. Chicago, IL
7. Los Angeles, CA
8. Modesto, CA
9. Charlotte, NC
10. Providence, RI

Ii am not sure how I feel about the criteria of this list, it is based on a lot of economic data. I know that there are tons of people who live in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles that love it there. Check out the responses from these cities:
Los Angeles

Where does a blog post go?

I write a lot of blog posts. It started with and then led to a job at Spreadshirt where I update almost everyday. Over the past 2.5 years since I started blogging I have learned that a blog is a great tool for sharing lots of information with lots of other people. I am often asked to answer the question “why should I have a blog for my business/club/organization?” and the answer is simple, but not easy to explain.
I usually send people to this video about RSS feeds – RSS in Plain English.
It took me 5 months to understand RSS feeds, this video does an amazing job of explaining it in under 5 minutes.
Luckily the folks at Wired are on the case and have assembled an amazing graphic on this article – The Life Cycle of Blog Post, From Servers to Spiders to Suits — to You – that shows all of the places that a blog post goes. I think that this graphic does a great job of showing how a blog can help to share your information with many different audiences.

Rust Belt Blogger Summit On The Way

Thanks to the efforts of Jim Russell and I’m sure many others, Erie PA will be hosting the first “Rust Belt” blog summit which hopefully will provide an opportunity for ongoing linkages and collaborations in the future.

Hopefully the people behind great Pittsburgh blogs like:

The Pittsburgh Metroblog
Pittsburgh Dish
Iheart Pittsburgh
Burgh Diaspora
Pittsburgh Comet
Tube City Almanac
Null Space
Walking Pittsburgh
Bike Pittsburgh Blog

Will get to meet the folks behind blogs like

Fix Buffalo Today
The Detroit Metroblog
Defend Youngstown
Outside Erie
Cool Cleveland
Brewed Fresh Daily
Buffalo Rising
Buffalo Pundit
I Will Shout Youngstown
In The Yo
girl in the D
Absolute Michigan
International Metropolis
And new projects like GLUE

I also hope there’s room for the people behind concepts that are not strictly blogs like

POP City
Detroit Yes
Model D

It’s not till July so pass the word around.

(The blogs listed have not all agreed to be represented– It’s just a list of some potential participants)

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