Simmons captured the tone of the Road Ramblings by writing that "we may finally have an answer to the question 'what if one of our friends was an NBA player and sent us emails about his life every few days?'" That sense of closeness – which the best bloggers communicate through a combination of casual prose and unobtrusively intimate perspective – is what makes good blogs, like the Road Ramblings, so compelling. And the NBA, increasingly desperate to connect with its increasingly alienated audience, is trying to use blog-style journals to build that connection...
Shirley's writing reflects a potent distaste for mythos and message discipline... "Most athletes have been taught to tell only a partial version of the truth because they think that to tell the whole story will eventually 'burn' them," Shirley says. "My problem is that I get bored way too easily and have to amuse myself by coming up with new thoughts and answers."
...Blogging, as an unedited style of discourse, would seem to be an escape from both the noisy scorn-loop of sports media and the NBA's damage-control brand management, but the Blog Squad fails at this: Its blogs are too on-message and too dull to connect with any audience... And Shirley knows this. "I think my side of things resonates with people like me – white guys who were raised in middle-class homes and dreamed of playing a sport professionally," he says...
Sadly, Shirley probably won't be answering that question in future entries. "I doubt the blog continues," he says. "It was more tiring than I thought, and it was difficult for me to keep things within the bounds of what was appropriate for the Suns' Web site." A book deal may be in Shirley's future; for now, he's an enthusiastic fan of blogging. "I love the idea because it cuts out the middleman, as it were, and allows more people to find a common ground," he says -- but can't resist undercutting that sunny note with the cynical wit that took him from the end of the Suns' bench to the top of NBA fans' Internet Explorer favorites: "I am sure it will be ruined within a decade."
A blog rebellion among scientists and engineers at Los Alamos, the federal government's premier nuclear weapons laboratory, is threatening to end the tenure of its director, G. Peter Nanos... Several outside experts said that the director's quick departure was inevitable and that the blog's attacks were playing a significant role. "Nanos is leaving," said Greg Mello, the director of the Los Alamos Study Group, a private organization in Albuquerque that monitors weapons laboratories. "The blog changed the climate, giving people an outlet they didn't have before."
...The blog (www.lanl-the-real-story.blogspot.com) went public in January and since then has registered more than 100,000 visits, with more than half a million pages viewed and more than 5,000 comments. Discussions run on a variety of topics, from the sanctity of retirement benefits to the likely identity of the next contractor who will run Los Alamos.
Since most messages are anonymous, there is no way to know how many laboratory employees contribute to the blog. Even so, from the sheer volume, detail and differing styles of the messages, the number is clearly many more than a handful. The language, often studded with obscure acronyms, suggests that the authors have a deep knowledge of the laboratory's exotic culture...
The blog's creator is Doug Roberts, a computer scientist who is a 20-year laboratory veteran. In an interview, Mr. Roberts said he was inspired to start the blog when he and his colleagues had their critical submissions to a forum on the laboratory's online newspaper rejected... "People were feeling like they were in a pressure cooker," he said in an interview. "Nanos is so abusive, not just to the general staff but his underlings. People were afraid to say anything. On the blog they could vent without fear of reprisal." Jeff Jarvis, who publishes BuzzMachine, a blog that focuses on media issues, said the Los Alamos site showed "a new ethic of transparency" that has come with the explosion of electronic self-publishing. "It's not just the power of the blog," Mr. Jarvis said, "it's the power of the citizen."
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