Steve Outing on the move (at least virtually)

Longtime online journalism leader Steve Outing has left the Poynter Institute to work on his own Internet company, Outing announced in Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits blog.

In the mid-1990s, Outing was one of the first reporters to write regularly on the emergence of online journalism, through a daily column on the Editor & Publisher website. That column decreased in frequency over the years, and Outing, who lives in Boulder, Colo., joined Florida-based Poynter as a full-time employee in 2001, bringing his group blog with him.

Now Outing will devote more time to his Enthusiast Group LLC, which he calls a “publisher of a network of citizen-media-driven websites about adventure sports and activities.”

Remembering Chandler: 'If I were starting out today…'

Kevin Roderick at L.A. Observed today excerpts author Dennis McDougal’s recent lecture on former L.A. Times publisher Otis Chandler, who passed away Monday morning.

McDougal literally wrote the book on Chandler, and muses on what has happened to the once free-spending Times and its pursuit of editorial excellence under Otis Chandler. The final graf is stunning:

“I didn’t come here to elevate the good old days, but to tell you that I envy you. If I were starting out today, I’d be pouring my energy into building my own website or joining one already in progress and asking myself the hard questions of what it is I care about, what it is I want to report on, what it is as an individual I have to say. I can’t help but believe that Otis would agree.”

Fear and shivering in 'Second Life'

On my web writing blog, The Publishing Spot, I recently tried a new experiment — running a bit of feature journalism alongside my usual interviews and publication tips.

In “Fear and Shivering in Second Life,” I’m trying to explore how the first-person reporter POV changes inside the online world of Second Life. This is only the first installment, and I’m looking for some advice from other journalists about how to proceed …

“My super screwed up last month, leaving my building without heat for 5 days; without hot water for 7 days; without a stove for two weeks. Gas companies were called and city inspectors inspected, but I still spent $110 in electricity running a space heater 24 hours a day. On top of all that, I lost my shot at publishing the best story I had all year.

“As I contemplated burning furniture for warmth, I ‘escaped’ to a wacky press conference held entirely inside the computer-generated world of Second Life. Time has passed, wrapping both these events together in my head—much like a wooly mammoth and a diamond mine buried under the same glacier. Something compels me to tell both stories, even after the editors killed them.

“In real life, I was pounding away on my laptop and breathing puffs of frozen air. In Second Life, I was lounging on the tropical island pictured above, with a crew of pixilated characters that included a blue skinny Martian, a Goth girl with a shimmering halo, a foot-tall monkey with cymbals, and some guy dressed tight black pants who floated in mid-air, bitching about everything he saw.”

Keep reading …