James Eli Shiffer

Stories in words and pictures since 1967

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Failures

buzz.mn: In 2006, I led the Star Tribune’s ill-fated effort at a hyperlocal site. It was supposed to do everything at once: user generated content, community bloggers, hyperlocal news, multimedia experiments. It even borrowed its domain name from the Mongolians. By mid-2007, however, I was learning the limits of a separately branded web site – housed within the increasingly popular startribune.com. That summer, I moved on to a new assignment. Buzz.mn was quietly closed down in 2009.

My career as an academic: in 1992, I was convinced that I had a future as an English professor. Earnest smiling students would look up to me, lapping up my wisdom and crowding the lectern after class for a few last drops. The graduate admissions committees wisely recognized my weakness as a candidate, and spared me the inevitable pain by rejecting my applications. For this I will always be grateful.

Rock star: One practice, one gig, one groupie. April 25, 1987. Then I put down the Gibson for good. One of my erstwhile band members is a real live rock star with flocks of groupies. In Sweden. Honest.

1 Comment

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Bill McAuliffe // Apr 8, 2016 at 3:36 am

    If you’d learned a third chord, everything might have been different.

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