I’m back from Boston now, after my second Nieman Conference. Overall, another really impressive, well-run event. Kudos to everyone at the Nieman Foundation for putting on a fine conference.
A few quick closing thoughts:
Books I want to buy now, based on what I saw in Boston:
- D.C. Comics Guide to Writing Comics. Tom French swears its the best book on narrative structure he’s read. Plus it’s got Batman in it. Sold.
- One Person/Multiple Careers by Marci Alboher. I already have a “slash” life; I’d like to manage it better.
- The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin by Adam Hochschild. I’m already a big fan of Hochschild’s work, but the more I’ve heard him talk about this book, the more I can’t wait to read it.
A few overall impressions from the conference:
- Journalists are in a rough spot right now. Issues involving the collapsing newspaper business and the seemingly shrinking prospects for good, meaningful journalism kept coming up. It was the elephant stomping through the Boston Sheraton. I will remember Connie Schultz‘s words to the people in the hall: “The business model is broken. You are not broken.”
- I’m an experienced, professional web and multimedia designer who wants to do more writing. I found myself surrounded by lots of experienced, professional writers who want to do web and multimedia. Maybe we can meet in the middle someplace?
- Most journalists and writers seems to genuinely love what they do. Often, they make financial sacrifices to stay in their careers, but few seem to regret it. A lot of conferences feel cold and formal, with people milling about, shaking hands, handing out cards, trying awkwardly to seem excited to be there. Not here. Most of the people I met were passionate and excited about their work, getting better, and learning from others. That’s the kind of people I like to be around.
I hope to be back in 2010…