A Song featuring my Hometown

Just saw Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers perform this song on the Tee Vee. Wondering why I’ve never heard of it. I figure some people in Virginia didn’t take kindly to it. 🙂

Blue Virginia Blues

Have you ever been to Richmond in November
When the cold Virginia rain is coming down
Friends I’m here to tell you it’s no pleasure
When you’re all alone and a stranger to this town.

Don’t take me wrong I do like East Virginia
And Richmond’s full of hospitality
Except for one Virginia girl I know of
Who made a perfect love wreck out of me.

Blue blue Virginia blue
There’s no blue like blue Virginia blue
No other girls in the whole wide world
Will break your heart like Virginia girls
There’s no blue like blue Virginia blue

She called me up in St Paul Minnesota
Said I need you here in Richmond right away
Take the bus I’ll meet you at the station
Bring your clothes ’cause I want you to stay.

My bus pulled in the station late this evening
And there’s no one around this place but me
She must have changed her mind or she’s forgotten
And her name’s not in the phone directory.

I wish I had the money for a taxi
And a warm and cozy place to go lie down
Instead of standin’ all alone in Richmond
While the cold Virginia rain is comin’ down.

Community Funded Reporting

This week Ruby and I went to two conferences in Minneapolis. The first one done in Open Space / Unconference style was New Pamphleteers/New Reporters:Convening Entrepreneurs Who Combine Journalism, Democracy, Place and Blogs at the University of Minnesota. (What a long name huh?)

One of the best ideas I heard this week was Spot.us.

“Spot Us” is a nonprofit that allows an individual or group to take control of news in their community by sharing the cost (crowdfunding) to commission freelance journalists to write important, or uncovered news stories.

Dave Cohn is behind this idea and he explained it to us via Skype. I was amazed at how few people where in this mini-session. Because it feels like a real innovation that could answer the burning question on every corporate journalist and CEOs mind, “How do we make money making journalism so we can get it done?”.

But the big difference between this idea, as I see it, and how media CEOs do is that this is about direct funding to individual journalist not organizations or corporations. Yet another middle man removed from the process of making media and protecting our democracy. But I don’t think the corporate media folks at this conference had thought about this that much. There were just too many competing sessions. Their loss.

I’ll be paying close attention to how Spot.us progresses. Dave plans to roll this service out to the Bay Area first then other communities one at a time. Sounds like a good plan. It worked for Graig’s List.