The Real Paul Jones

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Amongst the Online Journalists

At Chapel Hill’s best kept secret, the Barbecue Joint, with Ed Cone, Kirk Ross, Henry Copeland and Dan Gillmor.

Henry talked about deciding to be a financial journalist in Budapest thinking that with his understanding of finance that the journalism part would be a snap. Turned out to be tougher and he in the end did commit journalism but started companies that eventually led to

Lots of dissection of community sites and community news projects. What makes them? What makes a company work? Visionaries aren’t the ones who see the work through often. The programmer who is great at swift prototypes and proof of concept designs isn’t usually a very good production programmer or the one who turns out the final polished product. Likewise the production programmer who is great at seeing bugs and straightening out code usually can’t get the sloppy but needed prototype out. Are community thinkers like that? If so who are the production people in community — Ruby?

A number of still secret projects hinted at and even delineated. Great talk and in what seems to be an oxymoron — great brussel sprouts! I can’t believe I wrote that but it’s true.

1 Comment

  1. A great question, Paul. I really think it’s important for us to be aware of our strengths as visionaries, managers, and/or implementers. Many a project fails from having the wrong people in those roles.

    Some of the best policymakers I’ve met here were not very good politicians. A lot of the idea people can be found on local advisory boards, but of course we rely on the government staffers to actually make ideas into reality most of the time.

    On the technical side… I’ve had a few great volunteers who made ideas into reality on, but they usually get bored quickly and move on to other projects or other communities pretty quickly (I’m talking to you, Justin!).

    I am a pretty broad generalist myself, and I can implement a lot of my ideas *IF* can keep my attention long enough for me to learn the new technology. I am starting to lose interest is learning the innards of yet another platform and am even considering paying someone to move OP from WP to drupal, which is something I know I could do if I had the time.

    Anyway, the best generalist local politician in my opinion is Mark Chilton. He’s a really good problem solver, but also relates to people well. He can think big, but understands the details of implementation.

    Ooo, secret projects. Sorry we couldn’t join you for dinner – family obligations called.

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