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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

"You run like a girl." "You throw like a girl."

These are two phrases I was brought up with. And, ashamedly, I find myself slipping into using them every so often, even though I have an athletic sister and a heady wife who defy these stereotypes every day. This ad from Always is something I’ll show my boys and remind myself of the power of language — and when not to use it.

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trentgilliss:

Wow. This SuperBowl commercial is a testament to the power of religious language, Paul Harvey, and the dream of America presented through rural imagery:

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say,’Maybe next year,’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours.” So God made the farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark.”

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk, . Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. “So God made a farmer.”

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On Bin Laden Killing Tech Blogging

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

MG Siegler, a blogger at TechCrunch, takes a whack at Mashable and tech blogging in general for their capitalistic opportunism of the Osama Bin Laden news now that advertising dollars are beginning to ramp up online.

Is there some type of competitive rivalry going on here? Perhaps. But his question of business ethics and gaming the news and search engines in order to make money with SEO land grabs is something that is surely not relegated to the tech world.

The national tragedy question aside, do savvy operators undercut their own business in the long run in order to make short-term business gains? What kind of ethical responsibilities, if any, do businesses and news outlets like Mashable have in making sure their results don’t crowd out the most relevant news for quick access? What does Google owe its customer’s when businesses flood the search market with results?

From parislemon:

The information in the image above is not surprising at all. But still pathetic.

Imagine that, you write 35 200-word posts featuring the words “Bin Laden” in the headline and they pull in traffic on the day it’s one of the most searched terms ever

Were any of those stories really about technology? A few, maybe. But none were given the actual attention that a story of such magnitude deserves. It was a pure traffic/SEO play.

Read More

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Ride the BusAndy Dayton, Associate Web Producer
There’s been a bit of controversy resulting from the atheist ad campaign that placed the message “There’s probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” on buses around the UK. Well now, in the spirit of religious pluralism, anyone can have their own bus ad — or at least a photo of one, generated by the bus slogan generator.
The tag line in the (fake) SOF ad above paraphrases the opening sentence in Reinhold Niebuhr’s The Nature and Destiny of Man, “Man has always been his own most vexing problem.” It’s also a top candidate for our yet-to-be-produced (but often joked about) slogan t-shirts. Tune in to this week’s show for more on Niebuhr from Krista, David Brooks, and E.J. Dionne.

Ride the Bus
Andy Dayton, Associate Web Producer

There’s been a bit of controversy resulting from the atheist ad campaign that placed the message “There’s probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” on buses around the UK. Well now, in the spirit of religious pluralism, anyone can have their own bus ad — or at least a photo of one, generated by the bus slogan generator.

The tag line in the (fake) SOF ad above paraphrases the opening sentence in Reinhold Niebuhr’s The Nature and Destiny of Man, “Man has always been his own most vexing problem.” It’s also a top candidate for our yet-to-be-produced (but often joked about) slogan t-shirts. Tune in to this week’s show for more on Niebuhr from Krista, David Brooks, and E.J. Dionne.

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Effective Campaigning or Fearmongering?
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor

Colleen sent around this Wall Street Journal column examining one of Sen. McCain’s latest ads titled “The One.” Waldman does a good job of breaking down the methodology and ideas behind the campaign’s tactical approach. He also questions whether lightheartedly toying with a concept such as the antichrist, even meant in good humor, is an appropriate course of action for McCain’s campaign.

If the McCain campaign’s strategy is to solidify its base of support among Evangelical Christian voters in any way possible, they just may be paying attention to the polls. An August 11 report from The Barna Group states it more explicitly:

Among the 19 faith segments that The Barna Group tracks, evangelicals were the only segment to throw its support to Sen. McCain. Among the larger faith niches to support Sen. Obama are non-evangelical born again Christians (43% to 31%); notional Christians (44% to 28%); people aligned with faiths other than Christianity (56% to 24%); atheists and agnostics (55% to 17%); Catholics (39% vs. 29%); and Protestants (43% to 34%). In fact, if the current preferences stand pat, this would mark the first time in more than two decades that the born again vote has swung toward the Democratic candidate.

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