The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Month: June 2009

The Ramblers aka Jim Watson, Bill Hicks, Mike Carver and Joe Newberry at Southern Village

We were over on the hill behind us called Southern Village eating the great food we’d picked up at the Carrboro Taco Truck (the one near Fitch’s) — great home made tamales pollo con salsa verde since you asked — and listening to the Ramblers or Watson, Hicks Carver and Newberry if you prefer playing some good old time music and telling very corny jokes. I captured a couple of songs (Piney Mountain a new old time song done acapella with Joe Newberry at lead vocal — above; Uncloudy Day an old old time song with Jim Watson at lead — below ).

Hugh McManaway statue in Charlotte

Hugh McManaway statue with link this time on Twitpic
I was in Charlotte yesterday to attend a memorial service for the father of an old friend when I ran into a whimsical statue of another old acquaintance. Hugh McManaway used to direct traffic from the median of Queens Road at Providence Road across from his church, the place where he used to eat (once the Town House Restaurant) and the grand old house where he lived most of his life.

Hugh was special. I’m not sure exactly how this specialness would have been diagnosed, but he was innocent and childlike in many good ways.

I first met Hugh one night as I was walking down the street later at night than I probably should have been out. As I walked passed Myers Park Methodist Church, I was met by a large man wearing a hat, raincoat and carrying some pamplets. He introduced himself and handed me the pamphlet which turned out to be some sort of religious tract. I didn’t get to read it before Hugh started talking telling me that he had a key to the church, I think he meant a chapel there. I was sure, for a second or two at least, that I was meeting some sort of prev and that the chapel invite was something else. But that was only for a second or two, Hugh’s voice, his body language and his eyes peering through what I remember were thick lensed glasses told me otherwise. Hugh was just explaining something that was interesting to him and he thought to me.

I saw him other times eating at the Town House where they delivered his meal to him. No money was exchanged. Hugh wasn’t eating for free. His trust fund paid the Town House as it paid his other bills. Hugh was alone by this time and, I didn’t know it, in his decline.

A few years later he would be placed in a nursing home, his house restored and declared historic home (for its architecture — not for Hugh).

Someone, not sure who (statue is credited to Elsie Shaw), memorialized Hugh with a highly polished statue placed at his station in the median. Soon, he became subject to good natured decoration and signs congratulating newly weds (usually those married at Hugh’s church, Myers Park Methodist) and flowers.

Jones-mania: national and local editions

Did quite a bit of talking with Vadim Lavrusik for a fairly long article on “10 Ways Journalism Schools Are Teaching Social Media” in Mashable which also features Jay Rosen, Jeff Jarvis, Sree Sreenivasan, and a couple of others. Very good company and some very good ideas for teaching.

More locally, The Daily Tar Heel has a nice story about how UNC Health Care has been using Twitter including their tweets during a surgery (Note: the DTH calls this “live surgery” as opposed to “dead surgery”? Isn’t that an autopsy?). I get a couple of expert lines which are slightly on topic. Basically I describe a “thick tweet” here: “Jones said the ingredients to an appealing update include mentioning someone else, featuring a link and adding a picture or video.” And I state the completely obvious:

Paul Jones, a journalism professor at UNC who has one of the most followed Twitter accounts in the Chapel Hill area, said gaining followers on the site requires posts that grab readers’ attention.

“Keep adding value, give people a reason to follow you,” he said. “The only people who will follow you are the people who want it.”

On another Twitter front, I did a little bit — not sure how much will be used — for WCHL about Twitter and Iran. In the parts selected I talk about how Twitter is difficult to block because it can be sent by cell, SMS, satphone, or a variety of internet protocols and interfaces (I did point out that the WTO protesters were hit with a total communications black out somewhat successfully) and later I talk about the social contract between social network service providers and their users and how users are free to leave and often do.

36 Hours in Carrboro

The New York Times just did their 36 Hours on the “Research Triangle.” Like most locals, I had plenty of beefs with their selections, which I have to admit are all pretty good. They did end up at the Cat’s Cradle. They did drive through the Sunshine Biscuit drive-thru. They did like my favorite parts of the NC Art Museum. They did discover Fathers and Sons — and the Scrap Exchange. They also took some very nice photos. They did miss the best BBQ, the best taco trucks and a lot more by staying in Raleigh too long. They missed out on a lot in Durham and in Cary. But for a sort of 30-something kinda visit to the area, it wasn’t all that bad.

First, it occurred to me that my own past 35 hours in Carrboro was a more walkable and more fun time than they found spending too much time in the car. In fact, the wonderful “It’s Carrboro” song gives great shoutouts to many of the treats of Carrboro. Just visiting those would make for a nice 36 hours of visit. You’d want to add the biscuits from Neal’s, a coffee stop at the Open Eye, beer stop at Milltown, another stop at the Station, and a great dinner at Acme, Glass Half Full, Provence, Aki Hana, ice cream at Maple View, and a trip to Johnny’s for crepes, tacos, coffee, wine and atmosphere. And you could walk all of it — if you were timing things right during the 2nd Friday Art Walk so you could party at Wootini and hear klezmer music at Carrboro Creative Coworking.

How would you lay out your unique visit to Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, HIllsborough, Pittsboro and/or Raleigh?

JOMC 449 Course Description

Yes a video intense course should have a vernacular video description. I’ll be building the whole syllabus in this same way. Here’s hoping my vernacular video skills pick up a bit as I get further into the course.

Ioana Wins $25K from Intuit – Social Capital in Action

When I teach about social capital theory — thanks to Nan Lin –, I always talk about the action of social capital is what makes it real. Thousands of friends mean little until they are successfully called into action for some cause. I prefer good causes.

This past weekend, I got to see and to be a part of a successful social capital call when Carrboro neighbor, Ioana Sherman won the Intuit Small Business Grant Competition and received $25,000 to help start her music business.

Here’s what happened:

I stopped over at our local 3rd Place, The Weave, for a tweetup with pals @boraz and @mistersugar to welcome (and meet) @cogscilibrarian who had just moved to our area to become the librarian for the J-school. Already several layers of social networks and social capital situated there.

On my way to look for a table, I noticed a woman talking to people and handing out small flyers. She was explaining why people should go online (yes there is free wifi in this 3rd place) and vote for her friend. I heard someone say, “You don’t need these flyers; you just need to talk to Paul Jones.”

Like Satan, I appeared at the mention of my name.

The tale told is an international one, one best told by Ioana Sherman herself here in her not quite 4 minute video entry to the contest. Briefly, Ioaona was born in Romania and became an accomplished musician. She also has a gift for teaching. She started a small business teaching kids traveling to their homes. She needed an investment to convert her house, at least part of it, into a studio/classroom. She had a great plan, a good background, a proven market, a good startup success record, but no funds. She learned, not sure how, about the Intuit Small Business Grant contest. She made her inspiring video and was getting great feedback online.

While the judging counted for a lot in the contest, community ratings account for 40% of the judging criteria!

Her neighbors were out drumming up votes.

@mistersugar, @boraz and perhaps @cogscilibrarian and I all tweeted:

Ioana Sherman is running for an Intuit grant to start a music studio. Http:// Please vote for her project & retweet.


Ioana Sherman needs your vote in the Intuit Contest Look here View, vote (all 3 buttons)

Our tweets are automatically repeated as our FaceBook status, our FriendFeed, on our blogs and so forth. Soon there were a lot more people viewing the video and casting votes for Ioana. She had already attracted a strong and dedicated following through her own social network (as the comments on the video show), but we did add some votes.

Ioana’s final count was: Inspiring (1422) Useful (1389) Funny (1363). By far the largest response among rated contestants.

Today I got this tweet from @intuit:

Intuit @SmallJones @PaulTimmers Your votes helped Ioana Sherman win $25K in Intuit’s Small Business United grant comntest

BTW @intuit uses Tweetdeck

Was great to be a part of Ioana’s story and to see social capital in action.

Studio Mali wins INTRAHealth/Yousou N’Dour Remix contest

I was at the Global Health Council meeting in Washington last week and was lucky enough to be on hand for the meeting of the OPEN Council and to get to dance a little that night when IntraHealth OPEN announced Indaba Global Remix Contest Winner – STUDIO MALI (see below) Afrissippi, Toubab Krewe, DJ Equal and Umar Bin Hassan were all there to play and lead some serious dancing for a very good cause — open source software for public health efforts in Senegal. Learn more about the project at

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