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A Welcome Pat on the Back


We sole proprietors on the publishing frontier, better known as bloggers, toil in relative obscurity. Having once run a print magazine with a full reporting and editing staff, art department and business operation to handle fulfillment and printing and delivery and promotion and ad sales, I find performing all those functions myself particularly frustrating and sometimes defeating.

There’s so very much more I’d like to write about and collaborate on and chew over and attempt. My audience is small (though hugely valued) and I need time to learn how to entice new readers. It would be ever so wonderful to actually be able to make any sort of a living doing this, too.

So as I stumble along alone, it is truly wonderful when someone at a meeting or reception says they subscribe or cites something I’ve written. It’s heart-thumpingly exciting when someone links to one of my posts or includes The Agile Mind in their blog roll. But being recognized by folks in the field, well, that is beyond thrilling. And that’s what happened yesterday, when BeatBlogging.org includedThe Agile Mind on its Leaderboard for the week.

What’s BeatBlogging? Here’s its description:

Beatblogging.org is a project of NewAssignment.Net that examines how journalists can use social networks and other Web tools to improve beat reporting.
Every day we highlight innovative beat reporters on our nominees list. The best of the nominees make our weekly Leaderboard.

We look at the latest trends and how they can help journalists and journalism. We find real-world examples of social media helping journalists improve their beat reporting.

We also have podcasts where we interview journalists who are pushing the practice. We ask them what works and what doesn’t. We are always trying to figure out what is the return on investment for investing time in social media.

This week’s list highlights a hardy band of us covering the government beat in new ways. I am very proud that The Agile Mind made the cut, especially given that BeatBlogging describes the Leaderboard as “a list of the most innovative beat reporters in the world.” The underlying goal is to give other reporters and news organizations ideas about how to innovate. Humbling thought that my fledgling effort might give someone else ideas!
What’s even more humbling is being recognized by a project created by Jay Rosen, the widely respected New York University professor who created PressThink, a prize-winning blog examining journalism in the throes of tectonic shifts. BeatBlogging is among the progeny of NewAssignment.net, a Rosen-created site for experimental open source collaboration between amateur and professional journalists in reporting the news.

So anyhow, this is a long way of saying thank you from the heart to BeatBlogging.org for the recognition. You probably have an idea how much it means to those of us out here working without a net, but you don’t know how much it meant to me specifically. Now you do.

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