I’ve been in Austin two months now, but it only feels like a few days. Last week was busy (got a job, launched a blog, moved out) and this week I’ll be couch surfing until I can move into my next apartment.
To make it just a little bit more interesting, the first place I’m staying at is being renovated. A friend of mine (who also happens to be from Fort Wayne) is remodeling while still living in the house. It’s a major overhaul, so the inconveniences will be well worth it in the end.
After I spend a few days here I’ll be surfing in a different locale. Peter, one of the co-founders of Rooted, is moving down here from Indiana as I write this. I’m going to help him move in when he gets here and stay with him for a few days afterwards.
Until then, here’s the view from my bed for the week. It makes me appreciate the simple things in life.
My week at Poynter and RootedAustin.com
“Turn to clear vision.” That simple phrase struck me as I looked out over the water in Saint Petersburg. I was there for a Poynter Institute seminar called “Bottom Line News: Creating Sustainable Journalism Start-ups.” It was an amazing week. I learned more than I thought I would, I met some amazing people and I found even more energy for my plans, hopes and aspirations.
The micro details aren’t important, but I did want to touch on one revelation that came unexpectedly. I’ve tried to be transparent in all things digital. All my social networks are open to the world, and I try to make sure to keep the interaction there rich and real. It came out of a shift in my personal life, one that made me feel I no longer had anything to hide.
In any case, I realized during the week at Poynter that I hadn’t applied my new way of interacting to the world to my plans for the future. I haven’t been able to figure out exactly why that happened, but I think it has something to do with a little nagging voice in the back of my head. It wants me to talk to all my friends and family about this before I put it out there for the whole world to see. I’ve done that, so now the nagging voice I shouldn’t have listened to in the first place is gone.
I, along with my three amazing co-founders, am going to start an online journalism start-up. It’s called Rooted Austin. At this point it’s just a page telling you we’ll be coming soon, but we hope to have a blog up soon so we can start getting feedback on our ideas and plans. We want Rooted to be Austin’s home page, the place you go for the best curated news and immersive storytelling. We’ll do the curation, and when you tell us you like a particular topic that’s when we know it’s time for us to go get the story and apply our particular brand of storytelling to it.
I can’t wait until Cassandra Adamson, Peter Gaunt and Becky Rother get down to Texas so Rooted Austin’s full team is here and ready to grow. In the meantime, keep on the lookout for a blog on the site and feel free to tell me what you think in the comments or send me a message at email@example.com if you’d like.
My vision is getting clearer by the day. I hope you’ll join me to help focus even more.
The future of journalism school
I previewed this post way back in February.
Thankfully, the topic is still just as timely now as it was when I first wrote about it. Some journalism schools have seen an increase in enrollment, despite the treacherous state of the industry. The economy seems to be on a rebound, but the central questions and concerns about the business (yes, business) of journalism remain.
The time for journalism schools to evolve has come. (more…)
Austin mobile blogging
I’m sitting in a high-back leather chair at the Spider House Cafe in Austin. I was planning on posting a bunch of pictures from the trip so far, but Cassandra is on my laptop trying I submit a photo story for the Hearst competition. I figured today would be a good time to test out the WordPress iPhone app for the first time and it seems to be working well. Not using my laptop is a small price to pay because she’s been nice enough to let me use her camera body and glass to shoot some semi-pro photography. I’ve always loved photography and she’s helping me stumble through my first real introduction to it. Anyway, the photos will come later.
I’ve been in a state of almost constant amazement since I crossed into the Austin city limits. I knew this trip was going to be good when my aunt from Tyler, TX said, ‘You’re going to fit right in when you get to Austin, it’s a very progressive place.’ She said ‘progressive’ with a hint of amusement, as if it was an oddity in Texas. She was right, and I’m glad the feel of the city seems to be in line with my personality.
Since we got here (we includes Cassandra Adamson, Peter Gaunt, Drew Preston Hainz and Becky Rother) we’ve met with a start-up incubator company called Capital Factory about possible funding, we’ve visited the multimedia journalists at the Austin Statesman, we’ve met up with BSU grads at amazing hole-in-the-wall blues bars and we’ve eaten tasty food every day. Those are just the big events, but even the small stuff like talking to random people in various businesses and locales has been great.
Overall, this city is everything I imagined and more. It’s a big city with good people, tech, food and music. What more can a guy ask for? Not much, I think. It’s time to sign off for now, more updates to come as (or if) I find time.
Mobile blogging experiment = success.