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Friday
Jan152010

2010 Canadian Weblog Awards Exclusive Nominee Interview with Jesse Kinos-Goodin of The Ashcan

Jesse Kinos-Goodin is a contributing editor at The Ashcan, which has been nominated in the Best New Weblog, Group Weblog, and Pop Culture & Entertainment categories.

Why blogging? And what drew you to writing about pop culture and entertainment for The Ashcan, in particular?

I think we all blogged because it's just an opportunity to write about whatever you feel like. There are no editors to deal with, no advertisers to please, so you have absolute freedom to pursue what you want. For us that was pop culture and entertainment.

The Ashcan has several authors. How did you come together? And how do you manage your writing relationships in terms of scheduling, style, subject matter, etc.?

We all went to journalism school together, and after being out in the work force for some time we realized, perhaps, how limiting certain journalist positions can be. It was sort of a mutual thing that we all wanted to write more about the things that interest us - and mind you, some of us already were and still are running their own blogs - and a great way to make a quality blog would just be to pool our efforts.

For scheduling we just split it up by days, and for subject matter it was easy because while we're all interested in pop culture, we each sort of come at it from different angles. Plus we all trust each others' abilities as writers, so style has never come up.

Do you think that being a Canadian blogger plays a role in how you discuss your subject matter?

Well, it is nice to try to fit in Canadian content, especially since it's what we know and love. But we don't feel obligated to keep it purely Canadian, if that's what you mean, because a lot of the stuff that interests us is also European, American, whatever. Short answer I would say no, being Canadian doesn't play a role.

If you were to impart some knowledge to an aspiring blogger, what would you tell them?

To just set a deadline for yourself to write a certain amount by a certain day of the week, and to edit. Nobody likes reading grammatical or spelling errors, whether it's in a blog, magazine, newspaper or even washroom graffiti.

Which blogs are your "must reads"? Are there any entertainment weblogs that particularly inspire you?

I would say on a daily basis I check out The Ampersand, the two Toronto blogs (BlogTO and Torontoist), and Gawker. Then there is also The Daily Beast, The Awl, Vulture, Freakonomics sometimes, various Canadian media blogs like the ones on Masthead and Canadianmags, and on our highly incomplete blog roll we have Gordon Gartrelle, Nah Right and Oh Word. I'm sure if you asked Anupa, Jef or Simon they could probably tell you dozens more.

The above interview was conducted with contributing editor Jesse Kinos-Goodin. He and his fellow contributing editors at The Ashcan can also be found on Twitter:

Anupa Mistry is @_anupa,
Jef Catapang is @Jeflee,
Jesse Kinos-Goodin is @JessKG, and
Simon Yau is @simyau.

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