Monday, April 18, 2005

I've Been Interviewed — Audio and Text Part 1

this is an audio post - click to play

Hello, Mr. Ingram!

This is the only way I found of contacting you, so I'm hoping you'll read this.My name is Espen H. Sørby and I study Media science in a town called Tønsberg in Norway. At the moment I'm working on an analysis of the phenomenon that is blogs, more specifically the use of blogs as a political arena. As luck would have it, I stumbled across your blog and have found it to be very interesting. And so comes my request. I would like to use your blog in my analysis as my key example of how to use a blog to convey political views, and I'm hereby asking your permission to do so. If you would have the time and interest, I would also like to do a short interview with you, by sending you an e-mail with a list of questions. If this sounds like something you'd like to take part in, you can reach me by e-mail: or post a comment on my blog: ""

Best regards,
Espen Sørby

Thank you very much for taking time out of your schedule to help me out. I've attached the interview as a word file. I've writen down the due date for the assignment and also prioritized the questions, in case you are too busy to answer them all.

Interview with Alfred Ingram

1. Could you give a brief presentation of yourself and your line of work?*

I am a middle-aged African American businessman, my business is Visual Communication. I've been involved with personal computers since the days when they were built from kits and I paid for my first fine art show by working as a technician. Computers paid for my art supplies, then, years later, computers became my art supplies.

Currently I am also a volunteer tutor at a neighborhood community center. I teach computer repair and use of the net as a resource.

2. What was your motivation for creating your blogs (concept, concept2 polyticks, concept3 tools) and what do you aim to accomplish with these?*

con·cept, my original blog, was started in October of 2000 as a way to keep track of resources, news, and tools I found on the net or recieved in email newsletters.

3.Why have you chosen to create three different blogs and what issues do you address in the three?*

There was so much political information I started con·cept2 polyticks in December of that year. In June of 2003, I started con·cept3 tools for technical information. There has been so much security related info I'm considering a new blog just for Viruses, Malware, and Security. I will be starting a blog for the people I'm tutoring but that might be private.

4.Do you mainly blog to express your own views, to inform others, to start discussions about subjects or for other reasons?

I blog to make information which is available better known. It's like marking a trail. It's my way of saying this is the path I took, and this is what I've found worth thinking about. More rarely, I'll post what I actually think about what I've found.

5.I see you mainly post articles written by other people. This is different from how most bloggers use this tool, at least from what I've seen, personally. Why have you chosen this approach, and do you also write yourself?

There are probably a million blogs that tell other people what they should think. What passes for news in the conventional media is too often the mere opinion of the powerful. Although mainstream media likes to think of itself as objective, things that don't agree with the powerful have a way of being buried in the back pages of publications. I like to post enough information from articles that inform me to interest others in reading the entire article, then, they can make up their own minds and if they comment we're discussing the same things. Occasionally, I'll post my opinion, and how I came to that conclusion. If I'm worked up enough about it, I'll post audio, but time is a major constraint. Until recently it also required a long distance call (from Chicago, Illinois to California) to get audio on blogspot.

6. Do you have a target audience or are your blogs intended for everyone to read?

My target audience is those who are honestly curious. If you're looking for things to bolster a preconcieved position sooner or later I'm going to disappoint you. I welcome honest disagreement and honest agreement, but, if believing is seeing for you, you should find other material to read.

7. Do you use these blogs in relation to your work?*

con·cept3 tools is related to both my volunteer and commercial work

8. What thought have you put into the design of your blogs?

My first attempt at con·cept was hosted at a different site. I was excited about cascading style sheets and spent more time designing than posting. the more I posted the less concerned I became about the design. finally in October 2000 I moved to blogspot, found the templates adequate and modifiable. This may change with newer blogs. To quote the late Ben Shahn "Form is the shape of content."

9. I see you update your blogs regularly. How much time and effort do you put into maintaining them?

I spend roughly an hour a day blogging. It can be as much as four hours if there's alot going onbut never less than an hour. I find most of what I post about in my inbox.

10. Bloggers seem to have gained considerable political influence over the last few years, in everything from following the presidential election to giving various, unedited views on the war in Iraq to revealing political scandals. What is your view on the cause and effects of this and could you give us a few examples that you know of?*

I think it started with the 2000 selection of George W. Bush. Like a large number of people I don't believe he won that election (though I do believe he won in 2004). People on all sides of the political spectrum were dissatisfied with the performance of mainstream media.
con·cept: I've Been Interviewed — Audio and Text Part 1