Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Tagged news

Best news story I’ve read in a long time

2 Muslims travel 13,000 miles across America, find an embracing nation

An excerpt: “After 13,000 miles, I think that America still exists, and I’m happy to know that it does,” said Tariq, a 23-year-old American of Pakistani descent. “It’s really made America feel like home to me in a way that I’ve never felt before. The America that we think about [as immigrants] is still actually there. I’ve seen it! And I’m seeing it still.”

Information overload? Get Smart Brief.

Screen shot smartbrief.com 2010

When I first discovered RSS, I went crazy. I subscribed to more than 400 feeds out one time. Ridiculous. And even though I’ve since reduced that number to a mere 40, I’m still inundated with repurposed, rehashed, and regurgitated information. Why can’t someone just point me to the good stuff?

Actually, someone can. At least as it pertains to business and technology headlines. They’re called Smart Brief. They claim to “read everything” so “you get what matters.” And after a week of subscribing to their various newsletters, I can honestly say they deliver on their promise.

As a result, I’ve unsubscribed to even more feeds. Now if only Smart Brief covered more consumer areas, I might be able to relegate my Google Reader to personal feeds only.

GamePro news articles written by me

Whoever said video games are recession proof is a turd. I know because my GamePro invoicing and contributions were drastically cut two weeks ago as the outlet readies for the great advertising scare and depression apocalypse of 2009. It was the right thing for the company to do in an effort to stay lean, even if freelancers like myself and lowly employees suffer as a result.

In any case, I will no longer serve as news editor for the publication, something I’ve greatly enjoyed since taking the helm in July 2007. Instead, I will remain an editor at large, helping to expand the coverage of GamePro’s subsidiary sites. I will continue responding to “letters to the editor” along with the occasional game review and preview, but for the time being, I will no longer be writing news.

During my tenure as news editor, I wrote more than 1,000 news articles (a partial list which can be found here) and oversaw 2,000 published works. I also scooped some original stories, got cited in CNN, planned coverage for a team of three reporters, and edited lots of copy. For any interested, click to your hearts content, and let me know if any media outlets are looking for wordsmiths (wink, wink).

UPDATE: Read this if you really want to understand the Georgia-Russia conflict

Though imperfect, The Associated Press is increasingly becoming one of the few U.S. media agencies that can be trusted for reliable news. After reading their thorough and objective report on the the South Ossetia conflict, I learned the following:

  • Two areas of Georgia have been operating independently (though unrecognized internationally) since the early 90s: Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
  • Georgia last week invaded South Ossetia without warning in an effort to retake the region, citing previous provocation from South Ossetian militants.
  • Russia, out of nowhere, came to South Ossetia’s rescue, then starting invading other (unaffected) areas of Georgia without explanation or reason.
  • President Bush criticized Russia for the “disproportionate” military response “outside of South Ossetia,” suggesting approval with Russian aide in affected areas, but disapproval with Russian aggression in unaffected areas, obviously.

Something smells fishy — seems like everyone, including Georgia, Russia, and maybe even the U.S. are more concerned with those ginormous oil pipes in the war-torn country than the security of little old South Ossetia.

UPDATE: For additional commentary, be sure to read the comments on Digg surrounding this story. If American, you’ll uncontrollably laugh at how brutally honest some Diggers are, before blushing upon realizing how embarrassed you should be.

TV news needs to stop link hoarding!

img7.jpg“You can find a link to the report on our website.”

That’s the same line every local TV news station in the nation uses to artificially inflate their website traffic. What they are really saying is: “We have no idea what we’re doing online, and our shortsighted logic tells us that we should funnel and horde all valuable web links on our site. But our website is so messy you won’t even be able to find the desired link.

“Furthermore, we’re pretentious and have no understanding that providing a courteous service to our audience (like saying, “For more information, visit WeLikeSharing.com”) is enough reason alone to keep them coming back — so we force the issue.”

I rarely if ever watch local news. But this sort of amateur move is enough to make me never want to watch again. Lame.

Airborne settles false advertising suit for $23M. So who got duped?

Airborne is fraudulentThanks to Good Morning America, we now know that the popular Airborne cold remedy is nothing more than an “extraordinarily expensive Vitamin C delivery system.” A placebo.

The Alka-Seltzer-like mixture originally claimed to be the “miracle cold buster” that could “get rid of most colds in 1 hour.” The company has since watered down those claims, obviously to avoid further litigation.

Continue reading…

Crispy Gamer: On the Bright Side, an introduction

Blake Snow examines gaming benevolence and creative development twice monthly. The color of next-gen is bright.

In 2007, a fictional food critic by the name of Antone Ego aptly described mass media and its audience when he wrote: “We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read.”

Ego’s definition couldn’t have been wiser. Indeed, positive news has long since taken a backseat to negative reporting, with the former often compressed to a 20-second closing spot in a 30-minute telecast.

The same is true of videogames, if not by more, which have long been vilified and blamed for idleness, poor grades, insensitivity and random acts of violence by the mainstream media. Interestingly, even the gaming press has become more grumpy in recent years, adding drama where there is none to be found, discouraging industry growth and change, and forgetting the playful nature of videogames altogether.

Continue reading at Crispy Gamer…

Will morning shows still air once baby-boomers die?

Sadie woke up early today. After getting up with her and dozing off on the couch, she unfortunately decided to turn on the Today Show on NBC. I don’t watch morning shows, and now I know why. The programming is pathetic — it’s like a prolonged advertisement filled with periodic non-news and weather updates every 10 minutes. Just horrible…

Which made me wonder: Will morning shows continue to air once the baby-boomer generation passes on? Who else is watching this dross?