Dear Mr. Winer:

I’d very much like to go to Jeff Jarvis’s upcoming conference on networked journalism. I’m a political junkie, although a bit less than I used to be, now that I’ve moved from a tech position at a progressive Washington non-profit to a banking gig in New York. I’m also recovering cable news junkie of the worst kind. Gone are the days when I could name the margins by which obscure congressmen won their elections

I’ve shifted my energy into being an avid thinker about the news—as broadly construed as reasonably possible. I think about the news all the time. I think about where it’s heading all the time, in at least half of my sore brain’s idle moments. What’s its most essential functional unit? The I also think about mapping the news. News graphs (of a simian kind) spin and reform themselves in my head to my delight even when I parse out thoughts about the sub-prime mortgage market, CDOs, high LTVs, low doc loans, default probabilities, IC and OC tests, PIK toggles, and so on.

I think Mr. Jarvis likes this general idea of maps, which I’ve been publicly and privately writing about for upwards of a year now, ever since I met, loved, and ultimately loathed this project for getting so close to something really interesting but stopping short.

This all been in my head for too long now. I need to get out and hear, in person, what others are talking about. I need to listen, and maybe I need to talk in turn. I want to be in the illuminating thick of a conversation on networked journalism. And yet I’m told that the conference may be overstuffed. I’ve expressed my keen interest the conference’s organizer, but that doesn’t change the brute fact that I’m a small-time blogger, an amateur thinker. So, Mr. Winer, I don’t want to sit idly while an invitation passes me by. Do you have any advice about how I can fatten up my meager chances of winning a coveted invitation?

I’d appreciate your kindly advice very much.

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