June 29, 2005

The Talent Show is dead. Long live The Talent Show.

Atrios asks some good questions about the FEC's proposed regulations on bloggers :

Why is somebody who prints up and mails out weekly vanity newsletter entitled to the media exemption but not me?

Why is Michael Savage entitled to the media exemption but not me?

Why is Salon.com entitled to the media exemption but not me?

In order to avoid any potential pitfalls, let me use this opportunity to announce that this post will be the last one on The Talent Show blog. Starting either late today or tomorrow, I will relaunch (without any fanfare whatsoever) my new web magazine, The Talent Show. I will still be the primary writer around here, but the traditional blog posts will be replaced with articles of varying lengths and topics. I will also be replacing the comments with article specific message boards. The look of the site, the writing style, the subject matter, the content, and the technological back-end will be identical to what I'm using now, but the change (as least as far as the FEC is concerned) will be drastic. Starting tomorrow, my days as a blogger are ending and my days as a writer begin.

posted by greg at June 29, 2005 06:50 PM

Your the man now, dawg! (gack...must...rinse...home-key fingers...ack).

posted by: teh l4m3 at June 29, 2005 07:25 PM

To make it even more "official," you should assemble a weekly digest of your best articles, print them as a PDF file, and send them out via email to people who sign up for a nominal charge - like a penny. Voila - subscribers paying to receive "printed" material! Not even Salon does that!

posted by: dave at June 29, 2005 07:33 PM

Dude. If I were you, I'd hold out for the expense account.

posted by: Grant at June 29, 2005 07:43 PM

Instead of article specific message boards, maybe you could letters to the editor.

posted by: Adolph Hitler at June 29, 2005 07:45 PM

I think the government should kick down your door, pull you from your bed by the ankles in the middle of the night, drag you into the street, kick you into submission, pour gasoline over your bloodied and bruised body, and ignite you right in front of your neighbors.

That's what I think.

I don't really know what you were writing about, but you mentioned Atrios in your first two words, so I figure you should be exploded.

posted by: ricky at June 29, 2005 07:48 PM

I was just kidding, by the way.

It's my sense of humor.

posted by: ricky at June 29, 2005 07:49 PM

Dus 'is mean we hafta start callin' you "Chief", Chief?

posted by: D.R. Marvel at June 29, 2005 07:51 PM


We will miss your blog. I hope the online magazine will help fill the hole in our lives.

posted by: Ottnott at June 29, 2005 07:51 PM

They keep retreiving the bovine excrement from these "hearings" and it always comes out smelling the same. I look forward to your new format and wish you the best!


posted by: LyleNews at June 29, 2005 07:53 PM


Now I have to find a species of octopus that starts with 'blog', or I'm shit out of luck. Blogtopus Magazine? Blogtopus Tri-Deca Monthly?


posted by: blogtopus at June 29, 2005 07:53 PM

What's 'is "Writer" Crapola???

You ain't no Lowly Ink-Stained Wretch (Retch?)...

You da Publishing Editor of this Cyber-Rag...

Whin's the Groundbreaking fer yore own Xanadu?

posted by: D.R. Marvel at June 29, 2005 07:58 PM

Yes. Web magazines. Join us.

posted by: Kyle at June 29, 2005 08:15 PM

Look.........I hope you're gonna be willing to do hard time rather than give my name to the feds....(man, I get all choked up whenever I think about that spunky little "Queen of all Iraq" taking that long walk to the big house, because she's got so much integrity).......(sob).

posted by: BigIslandBoy at June 29, 2005 08:17 PM


A little clunky.

posted by: lapin at June 29, 2005 08:19 PM

Get a couple of former bloggers together to form a for-profit company that designs and prints and mails these pdfs out and manages the subscriptions. Buy ads.
Then get some more former bloggers together and spin off a non-profit Society for Low Budget Journalism. Create a code of ethics. Have a few conventions that discuss media techniques for low budget journalism. Have them at J schools and B schools. Podcast. Sponsor referred low budget journalism awards. Sponsor press passes.
Next stop.... Cover of Vanity Fair!

posted by: jerry at June 29, 2005 08:21 PM

If you're serious about becoming a real producer of real journalism, you should throw your weekly best-of PDF printouts on the front steps of several thousand area homes. Unless you pad your circulation numbers, you risk irrelevance.

posted by: Rowdy at June 29, 2005 08:24 PM

Hey, can I be the ombudsman?

posted by: skeeve at June 29, 2005 08:51 PM

Well, thank goodness it will be a respectable magazine from now on instead of one of those filthy blogs

Now it will be fair and balanced, won't it?

posted by: OutFar at June 29, 2005 08:51 PM

Cool. Think of all the tax write-offs you'll now be privy to as a serious professional "writer". You can thank Georgie Boy for that :)

posted by: John at June 29, 2005 08:52 PM

And we could call the commenters stringers.


Hey! Commentators!

That's the ticket.

posted by: mario at June 29, 2005 09:05 PM

Do you need a masthead? I can make a masthead with Corel PhotoPaint. Well, it's actually a digital representation of a masthead...

Of course, even in hardcopy the "masthead" is really just a symbolic, two-dimensional representation of something else. In fact, the head of a ship's mast doesn't look much at all like a list of people...unless that's where they list the people who built the ship?

I wonder...

posted by: jimbo92107 at June 29, 2005 10:00 PM

Wait, I don't wanna be a commentator. I will be...a guest columnist!

(I hear guest columnists get a t-shirt.)

posted by: Margot at June 29, 2005 10:06 PM

Fine, I'll switch my blog to "I know where the WMD Are" Magazine.


posted by: Ahmad Chalabi at June 29, 2005 10:20 PM

"but then the evil-doers quick get-away was thwarted by a clever re-writing of the 3rd law of thermodynamics..."

posted by: disasterman at June 29, 2005 10:32 PM

Well talent is a biased term. Just like the truth is. (/neocon)

posted by: Mr.Murder at June 29, 2005 10:50 PM

I don't know. I'll have to wait and see how I like the new Talent Show Online Magazine. I really liked the blog, but I might get confused with the new format.

I mean, how on earth will everyone know how to work the message boards? Will there be training?

posted by: Emily at June 29, 2005 10:56 PM

In the grand internets tradition, let's start talking about OLM's and not deign to explain what they are--

posted by: pbg at June 30, 2005 12:33 AM

The Confucian concept of 'rectification of names' demands that things be given their proper names in order for language, speech, and thought to reflect reality and for truth to become possible in human endeavor.

The FEC is simply rectifying names with respect to the regulation of political speech so that bloggers be forbidden to raise money for candidates, etc., while all those known by their 'proper' name be permitted to shovel cash by the truckload to the candidate of their choice, so long as that candidate believes in One Nation, Under God and Christ, Amen.

posted by: Jon R. Koppenhoefer at June 30, 2005 01:50 AM

"The ONLY truth is that there IS no truth."
Mexican proverb

posted by: Big Daddy at June 30, 2005 03:40 AM

Fabulous. Do you get to yell "Stop the Presses!"?

posted by: deckko at June 30, 2005 05:38 AM

No, it's more like: "Hey Chief, Stop the Bandwidth!"...

posted by: D.R. Marvel at June 30, 2005 06:41 AM

"Of course, even in hardcopy the "masthead" is really just a symbolic, two-dimensional representation of something else. In fact, the head of a ship's mast doesn't look much at all like a list of people...unless that's where they list the people who built the ship?"

Isn't that where the names are posted for punishment (Captain's Mast, I think it was called)? Sounds right to me.


posted by: Ed Drone at June 30, 2005 08:12 AM

Wonderful! Congratulations. "Journalist" being a fake career today (few journalists actually follow any code of ethics and have no standard practices, Jon Stewart is more respected for honesty and acuuracy than any "anchor" out there, a whore gets a White House press pass and "journalists" by and large don't even react, newspapers are largely collections of reworked press releases, people on tv and radio who just make stuff daily are referred to as "journalists", etc.) I'm sure that "writer" will prove to be an excellent alternative to "blogger." Now you can organanize and attend conferences on the ethics and future of Writerism! Does "Writing" have a future, and should it be regulated?

posted by: W Action at June 30, 2005 08:36 AM


posted by: Jeff Gannon at June 30, 2005 09:10 AM


posted by: edud at June 30, 2005 02:55 PM

"Stop the presses!"

is now:

"Crimp the cable!"

[must credit ElectricMegaphone OLM...]

posted by: Parker at June 30, 2005 03:05 PM

Well done. You've effectively described the sticky problems in trying to divide 'new' forms of content delivery from 'old' ones. But why stop at comparisons with print media or Salon? If it so chose, The Talent Show could 'prove' that it is not only a magazine and newspaper, but also a radio station and TV show. (Whatever confers the best advantage.)

posted by: Mr. Snitch! at June 30, 2005 03:57 PM

I have already converted as one of the sheep following the pack. I am now a writer with an online web magazine. Soon the OWM or OLM will be shortend to WAG for Web Mag. So soon we will be waggers instead of bloggers. And since that is bound to happen I wish to be the first, the very first, to coin the term wagoverse.

posted by: IXLNXS at June 30, 2005 04:02 PM

The 'blogosphere become the 'zineosphere. It sure sounds better than it looks.

posted by: benJCarter at June 30, 2005 05:47 PM

The FEC called.

You had them fooled until they looked at your "article-specific message boards" and didn't find smileys.

Man... you were so close!

posted by: Ike at June 30, 2005 10:13 PM

I'm sorry, but I'm just not going to redesign, or retitle my blog for the FEC. I'd rather be fined or jailed.

You can jump through hoops if you want. I think refusing to do so and forcing the FEC to show itself for exactly what it is - a vehicle for censorship and government control of individuals - will have a more positive effect on the rest of the blogosphere.

I'm not going to cooperate with the anti-freedom machine.

posted by: Trevor at July 1, 2005 06:03 AM

As the two Guinness guys say: "Brilliant!"

posted by: jim at July 1, 2005 06:09 AM

Or you could do what I did with dumpsantorum.com - just install WordPress on Canadian servers. FEC has no jurisdicition up there. I'm seeking "digital asylum" in the great white north.

posted by: Mike Panetta at July 1, 2005 09:18 AM

Good. I've always thought blog was kind of a gross word.
... Oh wow - Dynamic preview! Nice!

posted by: Busy at July 4, 2005 03:02 PM
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