Time certainly flies! Back on April 16th we had the second meeting of the CNY Bloggers group, this time at Kitty Hoynes. Many of the people who came to the first one were at the second, along with some new folks. I can’t find the sheet now to list all the new people unfortunately, but it was a good time nonetheless.
There was one guy who made a very interesting impression however. His name is Larry Dietrich, and he’s the editor in chief for the Syracuse New Times. His presentation to the group was simple – write for us! In essence, something he’s like to see is more of a local flavor for the New Times online, and he’s reaching out to local bloggers to help do this.
It’s an interesting concept, one that reminded me of Huffington Post, so I asked some questions and answered a couple as well since I’m familiar with the concept in general. Each person approved would get their own byline and a link back to their blog. One can decide to write new content or post something that’s already on their blog; they don’t have the ability to repost via RSS so it would be a copy and paste situation if one went that route.
This is the kind of thing that takes some forethought. As the New Times figures out just what they really want, local bloggers would also have to figure out a few things.
One, time commitment; if someone is accepted will there be a request for a certain type of regularity that the blogger might not be capable of?
Two, will a blogger be limited to one post a week or can a blogger have multiple posts?
Three, if a blogger disappears for a long time, will they automatically be removed while their content stays?
Four, how many people who write will be allowed to write on the same subject? For instance, within the group are multiple people who write about food, designing and saving money; would those clash with each other, as well as the general goal of the New Times?
Of course the major benefit is potential traffic and notoriety. The majority of local blogs don’t come close to the traffic figures the New Times offers, and even those blogs ranked higher probably aren’t known by as many local people as they are people from around the world (I’d count myself on that one because of a couple of my other blogs). I know a few local people who’d be great writing for the New Times.
There is no pay, which is something that irked a lot of HuffPo writers when the creator sold it for lots of money so you might as well get that delusion out of your head. And yet, if your missives brought traffic to your blog and website… who knows right?
At this juncture I’m waiting to hear from Larry, who said he was going to reach out to me at some point. I’m on the fence because I write a lot already, and yet being able to reach more local bloggers than I do now, even with this blog… that would be hard to turn down. What do you think of this prospect?
I love cartoons, although I lean towards Warner Brothers and most older cartoons of that type. I also love art… okay, art that I can understand. I may not understand Picasso all that much but I had a feeling that I would easily understand the latest art show that was titled “Tooned In” that was exhibited at the Tymeless Tattoo Parlor in Baldwinsville this past Saturday night.Isaac Bidwell, who I interviewed at the link that’s attached to his name. This is actually the second art show he’s led that I’ve gone to in the same location, as there was another one held around Halloween that also had a lot of great pieces, some admittedly scary but still very fascinating; I can’t believe I didn’t write about that one.
Below you’ll see some of the other pieces for which I took pictures of so you can see the types of work there was. I tell you, there are some very talented people in central New York, and I’m glad I got to be a part of it in my own way. I just wish I was a better photographer. Be sure to click on the images to see them as they were actually taken, as I had to show them this way for formatting purposes.
A unique event created by myself. Maybe not so unique but hey, it’s my show.
Today I’m running Christmas and holiday songs on all my blogs. I’m doing this because I love Christmas songs and I felt that there’s so much other stuff going on that I wanted to do something just for the day. It also gives me a chance to introduce this audience to my other blogs, which you might not know about, all of which are more prominent than this one.
Those other blogs only have 3 songs each; this one will have 5 songs. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with their families if they have them, and if not then I wish you peace and happiness for the day. First, the other blogs are:
And now the songs:
A couple of weeks ago I went to an event called Mr. Habitat. It was a fundraiser for Habitat For Humanity, which I’ve known about for years, having met their Executive Director, Suzanne Williams, many years ago. The down and dirty of what they do is build or renovate homes and resell them to people at a reduced rate with interest free mortgages. They also have requirements of people to invest back into the homes to make sure they keep them up, and I like that requirement a lot.
Anyway, the event was held at the Oncenter in downtown Syracuse on a night where there was also a Syracuse Crunch hockey game and a concert at the Dome by someone called the Zac Brown Band (traffic was a killer) and it wasn’t anything like what I was expecting. It started off with a silent auction of lots of different types of things sitting out in the lower level of the complex. They also had what my mind defined as “weird” food sitting out, but eventually figured out was Greek fare, something I’m not the type to eat. But it wasn’t about me so I wasn’t overly upset about it.
In the auditorium area they had a stage and chair set up all around it for the second part, which was the Mr. Habitat live contest. The fund raising began weeks beforehand with a select number of men who had volunteered to try to raise money on their own. My friend Kelvin Ringold, who likes to be known as Mr. Positivity, was one of the contestant, and heading into the event was second in money raised, somewhere close to $1,000.
What came next was kind of a shock to me, and it was probably shocking to him as well. With Ted and Amy of 93Q working in concert with Kristin Earle, the Director of Resource Development for Syracuse Habitat for Humanity, the show involved lots of red flashing lights with a dim background as each man came out and tried to drum up interest in packages they’d put together hoping to raise even more money than they had previously. Some of the guys came out doing strip teases; one of those guys stripped into a suit and bow tie. lol Others danced and put on other routines, including a funny dance routine with Peter Hall of CNY Central coming out as Ron Burgundy of Anchorman; someone had to tell me that since I’ve never seen the movie.
It was a wild event that ran about 2 hours, and by my calculation they raised at least another $7,500 or so from that. I don’t know how much money was raised from the silent auction, but I do know it all went to a great cause, and it was a pretty fun night, even if there was little I’d eat, though they did set up an intriguing dessert bar where people could make their own smores. They’re still accepting donations online for the Habitat and thus I’m sharing Kelvin’s link, and if you’d like to learn more about Habitat for Humanity you can listen to an interview Kelvin did with Kristin on a blog post at his Intensely Positive site. A good time for a good cause.
Last week I went to Onondaga Lake Park with my friend Scott Thomas to walk the Lights On The Lake event, which is normally a drive through event. Usually they open things up with a walking event, and this year they had two nights, with the second night being a dog walk as well. We went that night, even though we didn’t have a dog with us, and it turned out to be an interesting and fun venture.
For one, you learn pretty quickly that when it’s dark you just can’t see dark dogs at all. This means when they walk up on you if you don’t get your emotions under control you’ll be jumping all night; that took a few minutes to get used to. You also realize the same goes for little kids, who not only are hard to see but, being at a much lower level, had some issues with the dogs they couldn’t see as well. Lost of crying, that’s for sure.
Also, I learned that it’s not quite a “walk” when you go with a professional photographer, and yet it’s still pretty intriguing. We’d walk until he saw something he wanted to get a photograph of, and then that would be a 5 to 10 minute pause of set up, then testing. The images you see here, except for the one I’m in, were all taken with my Android phone; follow the link on his name to see more professional shots taken at the event (though he doesn’t have them up at the time I’m writing this).
Finally, it seems that dogs don’t quite get the event, which of course makes sense. Dogs were walking into each other and frankly, some didn’t take it all that well. Lots of jumping and whining and a little bit of growling, but overall it was fairly peaceful. I was thankful I didn’t get a nose in the private area; you men know what I’m talking about.
I’ve always loved holiday lights, and this was no exception. If there was any complaint at all it’s that a lot of the lights had nothing to do with holidays at all. I wasn’t quite sure how to equate the water sports and animals with the holidays, so I went with “it’s a lake” and lakes have water belief and moved in, though it would be cool to one day see a real submarine on the lake; we’ll probably never see dolphins though.
One of the things you don’t think of as much when you’re driving is that there are significant dark areas. In the car you have your lights on, although low, but walking you have times when you’re totally in the dark. There’s nothing to do about that, and since it’s now supposed to be only cars that might be taken care of, but if you decide you want to try walking it beware a bit and don’t go alone.
I had a good time, even though at a certain point the cold started getting the best of me. Seems most of the people were enjoying themselves, as well as the kids, and that’s what’s most important. They were requesting $2 donations, which we paid, and unfortunately I can’t remember how much it’s going to cost for the cars to go through. Truthfully, I’ve always thought the lights look better with snow on the ground but I’m not pushing our luck on that one just yet. I hope you get a chance to get out and see the presentation; very cool.