Today's Florida Times-Union has a front-page feature on the Jacksonville blogging community. I've been following local weblogs for seven years, so I was curious to see how many of our long-time bloggers were profiled.

Answer: None.

The story treats Joey Marchy's Urban Jacksonville as if it was the area's first blog:

Approaching its first anniversary, this is possibly the oldest ongoing blog in Jacksonville.

The piece missed all of the well-established Jacksonville bloggers who've been publishing for many years.

Joe Dougherty, an outspoken Jacksonville conservative who worked for years at a federal defense agency, began Attaboy in January 2003, where he puts an acerbic personal spin on current events and topics like the Jacksonville Jaguars. Quoted by Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post, Daugherty's takes on the 2004 presidential race never failed to irritate the hell out of me, and I mean that in the nicest way possible.

Dave Rogers, a retired Navy commander in Ponte Vedra Beach, started his Groundhog Day blog in 1999. A Mac devotee who made a first-day pilgrimage to the St. Johns Town Center Apple Store, Rogers offers a thoughtful mix of technology, philosophy and personal ruminations.

Todd Smith, who began SharkBitten in St. Augustine in 2003, take an off-the-beaten-path look at Americana music, an intriguing corner of the music world that gets no play on mainstream radio, and journals his newly formed band Doc Wheat.

Velociworld, launched by the pseudonymous Velociman in the same year, gives obscene and funny takes on the world as it looks from Fruit Cove. His endorsement of St. Johns Sheriff David Shoar in 2005 gives you a taste of what the site offers:

I met the Sheriff when he was campaigning last summer. Great guy. Stopped by the house, we chewed the fat for 45 minutes or so, I greased him a contribution. The incumbent wasn't running again, and this guy had a great resume.

Of course, we talked like many people in southern or rural areas talk. You make eye contact when you address each other, then you look down, at the ground, and spit in the grass, and rub it absent-mindedly with the toe of your shoe. As if to say, I enjoy your company, but not that much. I ain't gay, trucklehead! Talk, spit, rub. Had many a conversation doing that.

Local bloggers also include Kevin and Melissa Story, Jacksonville residents (until recently) who blogged his military enlistment, their marraige, the birth of their daughter and his recent deployment to the Middle East; OceanGuy's Somewhere on A1A; Jacksonville ER doc William Ernoehazy Jr.'s De Doc's Doings; Microsoft developer Andrew Connell's blog; and Jeff Miller's Catholic-themed Curt Jester. All of which have been around considerably longer than a year.

There's some ego at stake here, since my own eight-year-old Workbench was omitted in spite of creating an international incident with the Vatican last year and I'm the author of two books on blogging. But I hoped the local daily would eventually find out that a vibrant blogging community had sprung up here, and I'd like to see writers like Dougherty, Rogers and Smith get some recognition.

Shortly after I moved to Jacksonville in 1997, I began working from home and lost the opportunity to learn my way around the area from coworkers, so I sought out and began reading the local bloggers for their take on the area.

Seeing the Times-Union miss this community -- while giving props to precocious "we are the new media" newbies with sites launched as recently as April -- is the kind of agita-inducing media moment that drives a person to start his own blog.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

Screw the rednecks in Jacksonville. they are too busy inbreeding to be blogging. Im just waiting for you to go to bed and I'll be back on the retort


 

I'm staying up to watch the NBA Finals. I may not get to sleep until 1 a.m. Eastern -- later if Dallas loses.


 

Rogers,

Contact the reporter and see if another article with your assistance is a possibility.

A lot of these small paper writers have to crank out 2 pieces a day... give the write a new angle on the story (like a packaged version of "Name the Pope" roulette you played and how the story ended.

Then you can direct the writer to Daugherty, Rogers and Smith or even organize a meet-up for the four of you and invite the writer.

If you seek publicity (or coverage) you cvan get it if it helps the writer meet their requirements for output.

And don't play the classic complaint that the writer "got it all wrong"... that's a point of view you have from being so close to the story. You could be a tech resource for this writer over time and help him get the right slant on a dozen stories and increase you local visbility for more work. Quid pro quo.

Feed the writer new story ideas until it clicks.


 

I guess you just have to take people, who have newly arrived in a controlling organization, with a grain of salt.

IBM claimed to have developed/created a lot of software for main-frames that can be attributed to, the now defunct, RCA Computer Division. The Soviet Union invented the automobile and the airplane. The Times Union has identified the "first" Jacksonville Blog and Gore invented the Internet.

Some people's world ends just in front of their nose.


 

I just wanted to chime in on the conversation. In no way did I mean to slight any of the people who have been doing this longer than I have.

In all honesty the blogs I pointed out to Charlie Patton, the author, were simply the blogs that I was aware of.

During the interview, I made no claim to being the oldest blogger in Jacksonville. The other people Charlie talked to happened to be blogging for a shorter time than me, so that's the way it came off.

A big thanks to Rogers for writing this post and leaving a comment on Urban Jacksonville. I was able to responded to his comment, acknowledge the omission and point the Urban Jacksonville readers to this post so they can learn more about the bloggers who have been doing this longer than I have.

I agree with the previous comment. If this approach does not work, you can always write a letter to the editor.

I am excited to join the local blogging community, too bad our introduction was under these circumstances.


 

Somehow I can't help but feel that OPML could have prevented this mistake.


 

Rogers;

I've emailed Mr Patton and pointedd him to the link to this entry, just to give him an idea of what he missing.

The fools...


 

Sounds like what you need is a St. Pete planet, rcade.


 

I read the paper today, and I was wondering just how old the blogs listed actually were.

And looking at my blog, it's scary that I've been at that for almost 3 years myself.

I was also at the BarCamp with Mr. Marchy, who did a session on being hyperlocal. ;-)

But yeah, shoot some words at the writer and see what happens.


 

Well...this just confirms what I Technorati has been screaming at me for a while now...my blog is worthless!


 

How long have you been here? I was going to mention you in this entry, but BaileyBug was missing its archives.


 

Does anyone have an OPML feed of all the blogs in Jacksonville? Someone should organize a Jacksonville blog meetup.


 

Rogers...I moved over to the new domain about a month ago. My daughter has taken a serious interest in blogging, so I decided to give her baileybug.com.


 

I have started an official list of Jacksonville bloggers. Can you help spread the word? This will be a great way to organize us all for a blogging meet up!

www.urbanjacksonville.info


 

Rogers,

Just to drive the point home...

Small papaer writers have to produce more stories now than ever before as a result of competitive pressures.

So, try to give this guy some strokes for covering an obscure techie practice that threatens his profession on one level.

He didn't get the story wrong... he just did a basic interview and published from his notes. His budget for ANY story maybe 2-3 hours to meet his deadlines and workload.

Of course, I could be way off... and my source may write for a much smaller publication. My friend was writing 4-5 pieces 5 days a week and doing the photography too. She had very littel time to consider feedback of a critical nature. She quit and has decided NOT to pursue journalism but get a law degree instead.

We are having that effect on journalism... we're re-engineering a whole profession with a love of writing... amateurism.


 

Rogers,

Just to drive the point home...

Small papaer writers have to produce more stories now than ever before as a result of competitive pressures.

So, try to give this guy some strokes for covering an obscure techie practice that threatens his profession on one level.

He didn't get the story wrong... he just did a basic interview and published from his notes. His budget for ANY story maybe 2-3 hours to meet his deadlines and workload.

Of course, I could be way off... and my source may write for a much smaller publication. My friend was writing 4-5 pieces 5 days a week and doing the photography too. She had very littel time to consider feedback of a critical nature. She quit and has decided NOT to pursue journalism but get a law degree instead.

We are having that effect on journalism... we're re-engineering a whole profession with a love of writing... amateurism.


 

The Florida Times-Union is not a small paper, and reporter like Charlie Patton are not expected to turn 2-3 stories a day. When I worked there in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the most productive repoters turned three or four stories per week. (That's Metro reporters - community-news types often had to do much more). It's jaw-dropping to me that the T-U is just now realizing that blogs exist.


 

Hmmm... a reporter not doing complete research on a topic.

Whenever I am interviewed by a reporter about blogs I cringe to think how the article will turn out.


 

I don't believe I am urbane enough to comment on the Jacksonville experience. I've had to find my material elsewhere as a rule...


 

Why anyone wastes their time reading a low-rent paper like the Times-Union is beyond me. The history of its op-ed page is not a pretty one, but I can see where anyone who likes Velociworld might enjoy reading it. I can only say that you have catholic, but very strange tastes.


 

"Sopwith Camel":

There are many good reasons to know what's going on in your neighborhood and city. The Times-Union isn't the sole repository of such information, but it's a convenient starting point.

Do you normally throw babies out with the bathwater?

As to the aesthetic common ground -- feigned or real -- shared by the op-ed staff of the T-U and Velociman... it's an interesting notion. Care to elucidate? I can't tell whether you're sneering, snarking, or actually advancing a thesis worthy of argument... and unlike Rogers, Joey Marchy, myself, or even the benighted Charlie Patton, you haven't seen fit to put your thoughts where they can be read.

Just sayin'.

cordially, De Doc


 

I find it very hard to believe that this reporter only had a couple hours to flip this story. If I were y'all, I'd be ticked.


 

That's why I like reading Velociman...he makes me look up words in the dictionary. Urbane, indeed.


 

In reply De Doc:

Indeed I have put my thoughts where they can be read, you just didn't know it was me if you saw them.

I moved to St. Augustine in 1965, the year after Dr. Martin Luther King was arrested there. Even though I was only ten years old, I clearly remember the adults talking about that uppity "Miss" Peabody who came all the down from Massachusetts to stick her Yankee nose in Southerners' business.

The local sheriff controlled moonshining in the county (even I knew that), and the St. Augustine Record had been publishing the date and location for upcoming KKK meetings. Yessir, it was a different world then (thank God).

You should hear some of the old-timers wax nostalgic for them good ole days, when the Minorcan mafia ran the place, and everything was just dandy. Why, the Record still prints "Sands of Time" style retrospectives from our fine citizens about those "heroes" like L.O. Davis. Gag me with a shovel.

To be blunt, I don't like Jacksonville, or its newspaper of record. I know many fine people who live there, but I think the place is a black hole of corruption and political patronage, not to mention a hellhole of suburban sprawl (just about like everywhere else).

I think Jacksonville is a city of tremendous potential, which has yet to be realized, because it is hobbled by crooked politicians who are owned by development interests (just about like everywhere else).

I've heard some entertaining stories about the 'glory' days of the Times Union, when the reporters were mostly drunks, and kept fifths of liquor at their desks.

That's neither here nor there, but after I read the Folio Weekly account of the former Times Union editorial page editor Lloyd Brown's activities, I thought, "Well, I guess things haven't changed that much, after all."


 

The revelations in Folio Weekly of Brown's plagiarism and workplace porn habit were the last straw for me. I never liked the paper's editorial stance under his aegis, colored as it was by poisonous right-wing extremism. His strident, reactionary rantings were sub-par even for the Times-Union.

Ultimately, of course, the paper's owner, Carl Cannon bears responsibility for the fiasco. His contemptuous dismissal of the accusations made by Billie Bussard said it all--he wrote in the November 2, 20004 edition of the T-U: "I have a high level of respect for [Brown's] philosophy."

We know, we know.

Et tu, Doc?


 

I believe I have been insulted. But I'm not sure how. By a Sodwit Camel. I'm rending my garments as I write, and shall flagellate myself to sleep tonight.


 

Dear Velociman:

I assume your commentary at your blog is satirical, so I don't think you should be insulted. If I were you, I would feel complimented, and I mean that in the nicest way possible.

If you're not sure how were you insulted, maybe you should consider the possibility that you weren't insulted.

Sincerely,

Your butt-buddy,

Sodwith


 

Fair enough, Olde Sod. I was merely nonplussed that you would excoriate the op-ed page of the Times-Onion, then aver that my readership would probably enjoy such tripe. An understandable disconnect on my part.


 

You have a readership? If I had known that, I wouldn't have been so nice. (I'm just kidding.)


 

This is one of the many reasons I have suggested to you to do targeted, strategic public relations. I know 20 years later and my best attribute is still saying I told you so ...


 

When I read most blogs, I think of desk-bound wimpy knights sallying forth to defend the honour of their particular cause, or worse, to offer us their personal thoughts, most of which would have better remained under wraps.

The most interesting blogging is done by people who live lives of action, and have some interface with the world besides the web.

I think too many are hypnotized by the light of their monitors, and forget there are other windows to reality.

Having said that, I must admit it's surprising how many decent blogs there are locally.


 

"...targeted, strategic public relations."

Oh yeah, that would really work. Spoken like a true PR exec.

Bloggers can be the most self-absorbed people on earth, you know what a nightmare it is trying to get them to work together.

I can see it now...some Wineresque would-be Rasputin tries to run the show, brooking no dissent, and chaos ensues.

If you want some media attention, why doncha put on a nude circus already?


 

You could call your bloggers' circus "A Naked Conversation."


 

This is one of the many reasons I have suggested to you to do targeted, strategic public relations. I know 20 years later and my best attribute is still saying I told you so ...

The problem with doing that is that it would be a clear acknowledgement that Workbench is part of my job. If I'm ready to think of it that way, I have to look at how many hours a day it's taking me to earn around $4 in revenue.


 

About this Groundhog who made a pilgrimage to the St. Johns Town Center Apple Store:

I understand that a junkie has to go where the heroin is, but really, the St. Johns Town Center is a suppurating sore on the face of the earth. I'd drive to another state before I'd shop there.
And for its developers to call it the "Town Center" is a real slap.


 

Is it wrong to smell buffalo burgers when I read your comment about the Town Center?


 

Why, do they serve them there?


 

Since the military has moved me away from Jacksonville, I don't get to read the Times Union anymore, this was an interesting read. Even though I don't really call myself a "Jacksonville Blogger" I do claim my home town to be Jax, along with my Driver's License, and for my Taxes. My current blog is over five years old now. Oh well... maybe we'll all make the next article. Thanks for the links!


 

Thanks Rogers for naming us on this list! Sorry I am just now seeing it. : /


 

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