I mentioned that I would be taking a road trip speaking to voters across the US about the issues that would decide the presidential election. After I wrote that post, Grzegorz Piechota with Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland got in touch to ask me about it. Suw and I met Grzegorz at the Transitions Online new media workshops in Prague in July. Grzegorz said that Suw and I helped motivate him to start a blog, Forum 4 Editors. He posted an e-mail interview with me about the trip.
His long journey proves that online journalism is not about sitting at the office and googling for facts. Kevin is going to do an old-fashioned reporting – meeting real people and talking to them – but he will use all the gadgets of the new media – Twitter , Flickr , Dopplr, Twibble, TwitPic, YouTube, Fire Eagle and others.
It’s as I often say, I’ll be doing old fashioned journalism with cutting edge tools. We’re going to try to bring people along with us and hopefully kick off a conversation not only amongst American voters but also with the Guardian’s global audience.
In responding to Grzegorz, I found this blog post by Martin Belam about the history of blogging at the BBC, where I got my start in blogging during the last US presidential election. The post somehow slipped by me when he wrote it. I’ll blame the crush of the holidays. It’s a bit belated, but thanks Martin for the kind words. Martin also pointed me back to my ‘valedictory’ post from the 2004 US elections:
I first got on the internet in 1990 when I went off to university. We had to use Unix commands to do anything, and I never thought it would appeal to anyone without seriously geeky tendencies. The learning curve was too brutal.
But then in the summer of 1993, I played with an alpha version of Mosaic. Even as primitive as this web browser was, I thought to myself that this was going to change everything I do as journalist. And of course, Marc Andreesen, who helped create Mosaic, took his degree, went to Silicon Valley and created Netscape. …
However, I have to say that of all the high-tech projects I’ve done, this blog, which I consider pretty low-tech, probably comes closest to all my university dreams of what online journalism could be.
And I’m really excited about this trip. When I did the trips in 2000 and 2004, there were so many things I wanted to do but the technology wasn’t quite there. Now it is. I’ll be writing posts about how we’re doing on the trip here on Strange and share as much of the lessons I learn as time permits. We leave on 5 October from Los Angeles and will be travelling some 6500km across the US.
If you want to follow along, we’re GuardianUS08 on Twitter. I’ll use my own Flickr account. I’ll post the other details as I have them. If you want to be a part of the conversation, just drop me an e-mail. If you want me to see something, just tag it GuardianUS08. See you on the road.