“Unfortunately, I am being forced to choose a side…”

I got a call last night from Lewis Byers who asked that I call Ross Myers, so I did.  Ross invited me out to Revolution Mill to see what he, Tara Sue, Lewis, TheShu, Jerry and many others are up to.  I agreed on one condition.  I would blog what I learned.  With that caveat agreed to… off I went.  Here’s what I learned.

The Revolution Gang is working their butts of to get a wide cross section of people blogging and having some success.  They have so far set up “over 10,000 blogs” for people and organizations throughout the nation.  Most notably are the VFW Weblog Network and the NAACP Weblog Network.  They tell me that others are on the way.

Even though I was not privvy to the details because of my “tell all” agreement, some new big roll-out is coming “by the end of the month”.

Lewis Byers made a great point about the mainstream media here in Greensboro.  Even though a lot of good things happen in East and Northeast (read predominantly black) Greensboro, very little of it is reported.  But if someone shoots someone, the news trucks and reporters come a-runnin’.  You would think that because WFMY-TV is located smack dab in the middle of black Greensboro they seem to do more to tear that community down than to build it up and I have to agree.  As a wise man said yesterday… “Leadership is about what you pay attention to as much as anything else…”  By that measure, Lewis’ wise observation shows that the mainstream media is not leading the building of communities.  They are helping tear them down by magnifying the negative.

To a man (woman) each one of the Revolution Gang is convinced that the News & Record does not have Greensboro’s best interest at heart. According to them, the N&R is only in it for the money and political influence and that is why they (N&R) are entering the weblog world – to control the money that will eventually flow from blogs.  (They lost me here)   As a matter of fact, Ross contends that “blogs will bring in billions of dollars” in the future.   Could be true, I just don’t see it as something I want to bank on right now.

I asked Ross and Tara Sue if they were due to make any money off their “business model” that will incorporate weblogs for content?  After a little prodding, they said yes but everyone involved will share in the pot equally.  So its not all about altruism with them any more than with the N&R… nor should it be.

None of them believed me when I said I have no interest in getting my portion of those some-day ”billions” from either the N&R’s efforts or The Revolution’s upcoming “model” launch.  I have a job and blogging ain’t it.  Furthermore, I have no interest in becoming beholden to any entity.

To the above point, Ross Myers opined that I “suck the N&R’s *ss“.  The reason I do this, according to him, is to get votes for political office.

Ross and Tara Sue told me they met with representatives of the N&R “for six hours” some time ago to try and convince the paper to embrace weblogs and a “business model” for making money from the enterprise.  Ross said the N&R folks all saw how everything would work and agreed it was a viable idea and business plan, but the N&R people then said “it will never happen.”

Ross also said he shared his ideas some time ago with Roch Smith, Jr of Greensboro101.com fame.  Ross said that after the meeting Roch said he would get back to him.  Shortly thereafter, Roch started up Greensboro101.com.  A clear inferrence of co-opting of ideas was made by Ross.

After I stated that I have never seen Ross or Tara Sue “follow through” on anything, TheShu set me straight.  He said that since he has been involved in the Revolution Mill internet projects, everything that has been envisioned has been either completed or is currrently being worked on.  No quarrel there.  TheShu may be just what was needed to actually get ideas implemented.

Neither Ross nor Tara Sue own any part of the Revolution Mill complex.  They have a deal with the owners where they trade out office space for work performed on the building.  Ross owns Irving Park Paint Company and they are doing renovation work at Revolution Mill.

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