Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ahhhhh! Cold Amarula Liquor And A Late Night 311 Email Binge!

718 West Broadway, photo and blog post by John Hoff

When fellow Northside bloggers ask how this blog puts out so much content, so quickly (and they do ask that, often enough) one trick I share is that I "take notes with my camera" and "write off my notes."

As stories happen in front of me, I start firing off pictures. Anybody who knows me well realizes I take pictures constantly, all the time, of almost everything. For example, as somebody at Holy Land Bakery and Deli prepared lamb testicles for me to grill at home, I took pictures, thinking the images of severed testicles might make a great stock photo for a story about Level Three sex offender concentration in North Minneapolis.

When I download my digital camera into my Mac, I scan the images in the "Last Import" file and recall the stories that go along with the images. And I start cranking those stories out, working from my array of photos as though those images were notes, double checking facts with phone calls, creating live links in the stories, tying the new stories into previous stories on my blog, other blogs, or other media.

Content, content, content. Crank it out, before the story goes stale, because tomorrow more stories will be clamoring for attention. And the more we tell our stories, the more social capital we gain, which translates directly into political power and making our neighborhood better. You're not writing a work of literature, here.

Bang. It. Out.

But sometimes I take pictures for a different purpose...

I am documenting issues that need to be reported to 311. These issues pile up in the memory card of my camera for a couple days or a week. And then one night I sit down and start composing emails, with photos attached, going on a 311 email binge.

Tonight, the 311 binge is made more enjoyable by cold Amarula Liquor, a creamy South African beverage with the unique flavor of elephant berries. It's like Bailey's Irish Creme, only lighter, and a little bit citrusy! Mmmmmm. Plus the company supports elephant conservation efforts.

Late night 311 email bingeing and cold Amarula Liquor.

Ahhh, now that's Northside living.


Anonymous said...

This is what happens when people hire an UNLICENSED trash hauler. They just dump crap in vacant lots or anyplace they can find.

Ray said...

Great advice! I'm like that too. I take photos non-stop...
I bought my newest camera in December and I'm coming up on 10,000 photos for 2011 already!

I think I'll take your advice and look for bloggable stories within my photos. Thanks.