One-degree-of-blog-separation department: Through my friend, Alice, I have a friend, Jun Makihara, who I see each Thanksgiving when he and his family visit Alice and her family. A couple of years ago, at a small post-Boulevard Bolt breakfast we traditionally have at our home, Jun and I somehow started talking about blogging. I’d been blogging about year back then and Jun was perhaps the first non-blogger I ever talked with who asked me questions about my blog with a clear understanding of what blogging was all about. He told me his partner was a blogger in Japan. “Had I ever heard of Joi Ito?” he asked.
Now, two years later, in my conversations with Jun over the past couple of days, Joi’s name has come up several times (like when I mentioned some software I use on my Mac because I first learned about it via Joi’s Wiki or when I mentioned Joi’s sister’s bento moblog). I’ve never met Joi (though I’ve commented a few times on his weblog, and he on this one). But in a strange blogosphere way, I was able to talk with Jun about Joi as if he is someone I know quite well (a feeling anyone who regularly reads his weblog must feel).
It’s a small blogosphere, after all.
Publishing trends: I missed this WSJ piece ealier in the week regarding trends in magazine and book publishing. Of course, one the trends (#4) has to be, “The line between editorial content and advertising continues to blur.”
The American Society of Magazine Editors, the trade group that sets guidelines on the separation between advertising and editorial, is seeking new rules that will try to eliminate gray areas in which content and advertising can blur. Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker, president of the group, says he doesn’t want to see magazines follow broadcasting and film in embracing product placement.
Huh? Yes, that would be awful.
My vote for SI Sportsman of the Year: Tomorrow on Fox (the network that carries NFL football, not the “news channel”), Sports Illustrated will unveil the “sportsman of the year,” one of the magazineosphere’s (magazineosphere, I feel a new rexblog word coming) biggest promotional gems (but no where close to Time’s “person of the year” or SI’s swimsuit issue). In all seriousness, I believe Tim Layden’s choice is inspired: Pat Tillman. I predict, however, that something to do with the Boston Red Sox will win. (via: Michelle Malkin, who gives Tim’s “inspired” choice her vote, as well.)
Update: As I predicted, the selection had something to do with the Boston Red Sox.
Collectively, the Sox were Sportsmen in the truest sense — professional, collegial, colorful athletes who were easy to root for. The word heroic might get tossed around too blithely in sports, but how else to describe Curt Schilling’s surpassing pitching on a mangled ankle? David Ortiz, who played the role of the clubhouse cut-up, redefined the term clutch hitting. Keith Foulke — previously known for postseason jitters in Oakland — emerged as a reliable stopper. Lambasted by the Boston media, righty Derek Lowe pitched the clinching games in all the postseason series. Johnny Damon was the free-spirited lead-off hitter in terminal need of a haircut and shave.
Also, the Red Sox cover will sell a lot more copies of the magazine, but I’m sure that had nothing to do with the decision.