The Maine Edge explains RSS

In this week’s issue of The Maine Edge, Tekk columnist Justin Russell explains RSS and how it can help you browse the web smarter:

If you’re a seasoned Web traveler, there’s a good chance you’ve developed a standard routine over time. Your daily site checks may lead you to your favorite news sites, stock quotes, online stores or comic strips. Staying on top of your favorites can quickly become a major task. What if the latest news and information from your favorite sites could come to you automatically as it is posted?

That’s the world of content syndication. Syndication pushes new content to viewers automatically wherever they are using a technology known as RSS feeds. Many popular sites use syndication to enhance their readership and make it easy for viewers to stay in touch with their site. Checking the latest news or sports scores can be as easy as checking for new e-mail.

Justin was kind enough to interview me for the article (though I’m still not sure why). Head over to The Maine Edge and check it out!

Welcome to The Maine Edge

Welcome to a new alternative weekly publication in my local area: it’s called The Maine Edge, and it covers arts, technology, sports and more in Bangor, surrounding communities, and nationwide. I like the upbeat, positive tone and the coverage seems to be pretty competitive in terms of not just trodding the same ground as our major daily.

And in this week’s issue, they’ve got a nice article explaining podcasting written by Justin Russell. If you’re looking for Maine-centric podcasts– and come on, who isn’t– there are a couple out there besides Maine Impact, the one I co-host with Lance Dutson (we’re currently on hiatus, btw). Here is just a sample; for more, search the iTunes podcast directory for “Maine”:

  1. Maine Democrats podcast, from Maine Democrats.org
  2. Maine Things Considered, Maine Public Radio (link points to iTunes Music Store)
  3. Maine PodCache, Maine Geocaching Association (link points to iTunes Music Store)

This week on Maine Impact: Maine’s alternative media

Thanks to my friend Lance Dutson, who is keeping things active over at Maine Impact while I’m spending time with family. In this week’s episode, Lance has a lengthy conversation with Jeff Inglis, editor of The Portland Phoenix newspaper. We’ve talked about blogs, we’ve talked about the mainstream media, and this time, Lance and Jeff talk about Maine’s “alternative” media, which is thriving, thanks to publications such as the Phoenix.

Take a listen to this week’s Maine Impact and don’t forget to share your comments!

Dutson on the Maine GOP

My friend and co-host Lance Dutson has an excellent op-ed in today’s Bangor Daily News in which he, ah, encourages the Maine GOP to kickstart itself by using some new technologies. These are topics- Republicans, and new technologies- that are near and dear to my heart, and even if he weren’t my friend I’d say Lance nails this topic.

Some key thoughts:

The prevailing wisdom of Republicans this election cycle was that candidates needed to go door to door to get votes. While this presents an idyllic and quaint portrait of Maine life, it is an utter waste of time and resources. No candidate in any district can effectively seize control of the political dialog when they are hamstrung between their everyday job and what amounts to a slow-motion marathon race around their district. Political candidates win when their name is known, and the technology exists today that makes lack of message resonance an unforgivable political crime.

If you’re a Republican in a leadership position here in our great state, it wouldn’t hurt you to take a few minutes and read what Lance has to say.

Mainers- support a more interesting governor’s race

Hola Mainers,

Barbara Merrill is an independent considering a run for the Blaine House. Because her hopes rest on a Clean Elections candidacy, she needs your help to gather the required contributions to qualify for Clean Elections Status.

Please- even if you’re supporting another candidate- take a few minutes, and $5 of your hard-earned dollars, and mail it off to the Clean Elections Fund on behalf of Merrill. It’s an easy, wholesome, and meaningful way to support a slightly more interesting, slightly more varied, and slightly-more issue-oriented campaign season here in Maine.

And oh yes- she needs you to send out your check(s) today, as tomorrow (Friday) is her deadline. It’s not too late, especially if you get to the mailbox before this evening.

Donate $5 to the Clean Elections Fund to support Barbara Merrill’s campaign →

PS – If you want to vett her before you send in the cash, check out her site or Lance Dutson’s recent interview with her.

Maine blogger free of lawsuit; Maine not yet free of corruption

As I wrote yesterday, Maine ‘Pay-per-Gate’ blogger Lance Dutson has been relieved of a multi-million dollar lawsuit brought against him, thanks in part to his attorneys, Maine State Rep Stephen Bowen, and the public relations and legal work of the MBA (disclosure: I’m on the board of the MBA).

So at least nationally, this sad, sordid saga is over. But as this story began locally, I believe it’s still active locally. Warren Kremer Paino may have buckled under the pressure of the blogosphere, national media, and a lone brave state rep coming to bear on them, but I believe you can also make the argument that by dropping the suit, they win in a different way.

After all, with this decisive victory in Lance’s favor, national attention will turn away and onto other matters of importance. I haven’t heard anything different from our silent state government, so I can only assume that WKP will be back at work Monday spending our tax dollars to sue our residents.

The full story goes beyond WKP, as well. The fact remains that some of the most bizarre and inept behavior committed against Lance was never even raised on the national scale. And unfortunately, while Warren Kremer Paino has learned it cannot intimidiate a Maine resident while acting on behalf of our government, the sad reality remains that Dann Lewis, Maine Tourism director, still has his job. And Nancy Marshall, head of the PR firm representing the state agency, is still retained as official flack. Both have yet to be held fully accountable for their actions to date.

I trust that Lance will continue to follow these issues, and if he does (and I know he will), it will nearly impossible not to uncover further and greater incompetence. Now that he knows he has the full weight of a million other bloggers, plenty of legal help, and at least one state rep behind him, I hope that Lance’s efforts to hold those in power accountable is helped by more of his own fellow Mainers.

We owe it to Lance to support him, as he has come a long way to make it here. But we also owe it to him to help in any other way we can. There is still much left to be done.

Lance won…this round

Congratulations to Lance Dutson, who is free from the legal black cloud imposed on him by Warren Kremer Paino Advertising. The agency dropped their lawsuit Friday, though they made no public comment on the matter. Cowards, to the end.

In his latest post on the now seven-month-long Pay-Per-Gate saga, Lance thanked his own legal council, along with Media Bloggers Association and our (disclosure: I am a board member) legal and public relations support. He also mentioned the work of Maine state rep Stephen Bowen, who just yesterday publicized a letter he wrote to Maine’s governor’s office asking that Warren Kremer Paino advertising’s state contract be investigated.

More on this soon…