The Fundamentals of Middle-School Blogging

On what topics would an eighth grader blog? Anything and everything, I've learned. During an all-day creative writing workshop I conducted with about forty students at Henrico County Public Schools' Elko Middle School, I read student writings on everything from football to indie music, from wrestling to baking. I also read a powerful "open letter" …

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Do You Want a Netflix for Books?

The Wall Street Journal headline on Tuesday caught my eye: "Publishing Hears Echoes of Netflix Business Model: Digital Startups Prepare to Offer E-Book Subscription Services." What could this mean? Are we moving to an all-you-can-eat world of books? I imagined myself following the binge model of TV viewing popular now with series like Netflix's original House …

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MFA Nugget: A Fresh Take on How Artists Should Steal

MONTPELIER, VERMONT -- The quote is attributed to Pablo Picasso: "Bad artists copy. Good artists steal." The line has been quoted enough that it's lost a bit of its oomph. But I liked how poet Ilya Kaminsky began his discussion of the subject in his informal talk here at my Vermont College of Fine Arts …

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What’s Your Take on Pinterest?

Pinterest is the next big thing, right? Look out, Facebook. Get over yourself, Twitter. You're so 2011, Tumblr. That's the noise echoing through social media. It's so loud it reached the editor of one of my freelance clients, who asked me to write an article about how Pinterest is causing both excitement and concern among …

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Letting Go

Goodbye, Mr. Bacon. The sassy strip of undercooked pork made his debut on The Artist's Road in August, after he hijacked the summer vacation I was trying to enjoy with my family. This blog seemed a reasonable place for him to hang out, given the word "bacon" occurs here with sufficient frequency to justify its …

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When a Blog Post Goes Viral

I received a bit of a jolt yesterday morning when visiting my WordPress dashboard. The vertical blue bars showing daily page views were all but nonexistent. Then I realized it was because the scale had changed. The bar on the far right, showing that day's views, was climbing right off of my screen. My latest …

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Congress’ Push for Enforcement of Creatives’ Rights

I found myself back on Capitol Hill yesterday, listening to the Obama Administration's top official for intellectual property promise Congress more enforcement of creatives' rights. She said she is encouraging U.S. firms who facilitate online infringement to stop (Google's name came up a lot), but it was clear a bipartisan consensus of Congress wants stronger …

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