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A Meeting of the Sperm Donor Minds

SpermDonorDiaryLogoFor the penultimate installment of his New York Times “Motherlode” blog series “Sperm Donor Diary,” writer David Dodge has shared the details of an unusual East Village coffee klatch.

As the imminent, identified sperm-donor father of a daughter (she is currently overdue), he sought a better understanding of what the future holds for his progeny by meeting with Flannery, fathered by a donor who currently lives in Atlanta and raised in the East Village in the 1980s by two mothers. Flannery’s dad, a gay man, has never come out to his family. Although he spent a lot of time with Flannery during her formative years, she, in turn, has never met any relatives on his side. From Dodge’s blog item:

I considered this for a moment: What must it be like to know you have these relations in the world — a grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins — who don’t know you exist?

“Until recently, I was very saddened by it,” Flannery explained. “It would be really cool to get to know them.” But ultimately, she let it go, partly out of fear for how her father’s family might react to her nontraditional upbringing. “What if I met my grandmother after all these years, and she was like, ‘You’re from the serpent?’ That would be devastating.”

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Crunching the Forbes Freelancer Numbers

In his latest dispatch, Forbes chief product officer Lewis DVorkin shares some specific and very interesting numbers about last-year earnings of forbes.com freelance contributors.

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There are roughly 400 paid freelance contributors. Of that number, DVorkin explains, 15% were able last year through the outlet’s audience-based incentives program to surpass a critical yardstick:

Individually, 60 made as much or more in 2013 than the $45,250 a year the Bureau of Labor Statistics says is the nationwide average for a professional reporter or correspondent. Five or so have built loyal big enough loyal audiences (the model pays more for repeat visitors) to top $100,000. Many dozens more make between $10,000 and $25,000.

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Hidden LA Pays Forbes Blogger the Highest Compliment

There has been a lot of press coverage of Lynn Garrett’s great venture Hidden LA since she launched it in February 2010 June 2009. So when she singles out one piece of coverage as her favorite, it’s noteworthy.

Garrett tweeted out that honor Thursday to David Hochman, who blogs about Los Angeles for Forbes. High praise indeed. In the May 18 Q&A, he asked Garrett at one point what hidden corner she likes to most escape to for a break from the hustle and bustle:

“Franklin Canyon Park. It’s only three miles above Beverly Hills, and sits at the geographic center of LA, but you’d swear you were in Lake Tahoe or someplace. If you’ve ever seen The Andy Griffith Show, it’s the pond from the opening credits.”

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Best Lede About Dodgers-Padres Fracas Goes to…

Who is Grey Albright? Well, when you click on an embedded mention of that question at fantasy baseball blog razzball.com, you learn that this prolific LA-based author is using part of the proceeds from an e-book to support his “growing drinking problem.”

This morning, under the headline “That’s Fertilizer!” (a reference to Vin Scully’s instant-(again)-classic, family-friendly relaying of Matt Kemp’s “That’s f***ing bullsh*t!” 6th inning fury), Albright is also the owner of a very funny lede about last night’s bench-clearing brawl at Petco Park. We understand, as one of them, that this is no laughing matter for Dodgers fans. Still, it’s virtually impossible not to smile when reading Albright’s opening sentence:

When one guy in a fight is named after a maximum security prison and the other guy is named after something Velma from Scooby Doo says when startled, who do you think is gonna win?

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The G-Rated Parenting Blog Facebook Doesn’t Want You To See*

The Tumblr blog Reasons My Son Is Crying is only 6 days old and already has an enthusiastic following. That’s because the site’s chronicle of the very specific logic behind a toddler’s meltdowns is familiar to anyone who has ever cared for young children, or even used to be one. Reasons My Son Is Crying is finding fans on Reddit and parenting blogs alike.

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Facebook, however, is not laughing. They’ve blocked the website “for being spammy or unsafe” (the blog is neither) and removed all posts that linked to it.

This isn’t the first, or even the hundredth time Facebook has blocked innocuous links and content. In 2011, Facebook briefly took down film critic Roger Ebert‘s page for “violating the terms of service” after a controversial post by the author generated complaints. Facebook soon restored Ebert’s page and said its removal had been a mistake, but declined to explain further.

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Ken Layne Recalls the Enterprise Known as LAExaminer.com

Despite the Church of Scientology across the street, the pit bulls next door and a car that didn’t really work, Ken Layne insists his original home office set-up for LA’s defunct LAExaminer.com was “very pleasant.” That description also applies to his overall reminiscences for The Awl.

Layne says he was prompted to start the site and quickly rope in neighborhood pal Matt Welch by his daily dose of Romenesko. Later on, Richard Riordan would almost turn the blog into a weekly print publication, which would have been super cool:

The style was just the way we talked around endless pitchers at Ye Rustic Inn up the street on Hillhurst, full of moral certainty and outrage and cheap jokes — it’s what is widely practiced and critically dismissed as “snark” today, although we never had any interest in celebrities. The dreary mayor James Hahn and the pompous columnists at the terrible Los Angeles Times were regular topics, as was boosterism about the Lakers, public transportation and the eastside neighborhoods in general. We were reflexively opposed to the bland wealthy valet parking lot of the Westside.

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Hidden LA Sues Los Angeles Magazine Over Borrowed Moniker

Hidden Los Angeles, the popular Facebook page and website dedicated to our town’s lesser-known treasures, has slapped Los Angeles magazine with a trademark infringement lawsuit, reports LA Observed. Hidden LA’s complaint is with the magazine’s February issue and its “Hidden LA” theme, featuring “73 secret spots in the city.” The magazine also ran a Lexus Hidden LA sweepstakes and a private Hidden LA dinner event.

Los Angeles first published a “Hidden LA” themed issue in 2011, prompting Hidden LA founder W. Lynn Garrett to have a sit-down with the mag’s publisher, Mary Meltonleaving Garrett with the impression it wouldn’t happen again. This time around, she decided a sit-down wasn’t enough and filed suit.  ”I am not by nature a litigious person,” Garrett wrote on the Hidden LA facebook page. “I was left with no choice. A legally registered trademark is only as good as your steady enforcement of it.”

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USC Prof to KPCC: You Blew It with Patt Morrison

Carol Muske-Dukes, an author and professor of English-creative writing at USC, takes KPCC 89.3 management to task on The Huffington Post for the way they have recently treated Patt Morrison. The SCPR radio personality and Pulitzer prize winner was shown the studio door in early September after years of weekday, on-air service:

The valedictory eloquence of Morrison’s thoughtful September 7 farewell stood in stark contrast to KPCC management’s close-mouthed handling of their cancellation of the show. There was, by all reports, no announcement or explanation by the station’s administrators until days after Morrison’s show vanished – literally “into thin air.” Then, on the creaky-voiced Larry Mantel show, which had been re-positioned and extended in the wake of the Patt cancellation, there was a brief, vague reference to the termination by president and CEO Bill Davis, who murmured something about a “change.”

Although KPCC has assured that Morrison will continue in the future to contribute to the station, an online petition was launched urging the Southern California Public Radio operation not to cancel Morrison’s program. Muske-Dukes meanwhile called the station to complain, and to vp of content Russ Stanton’s credit, he returned her call.

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None of Christina Aguilera’s BFFs Are Bloggers

There was a memorable industry Q&A today at the W Hotel in Hollywood. The occasion was the Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Conference; the interviewee, singer and The Voice judge Christina Aguilera:

“Now everyone is a critic,” she said with a smile, on the subject of the tabloid press and online bloggers. “I don’t read blogs. It’s just God-knows-who in Buttf— wherever writing hate sh–. You can’t take it seriously. I’m sure you’ve all been hated on at some point by Buttf— people.”

Taking Aguilera’s analogy to its logical extreme, FishbowlLA checked out the blogs on the Internet’s two leading platforms that are literally parked at Buttf—. This will probably be only small consolation to Ms. Aguilera, but there is nothing posted at the Blogspot namesake, while WordPress Buttf— is in a foreign language.

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Forbes Adds Another Blog: Letter from L.A.

Under the watchful eye of Lewis Dvorkin, the Forbes blog network has grown to a gargantuan size. Today, yet another flavor has been added, with veteran journalist David Hochman at the helm. It’s called Letter from L.A. Check out today’s clever introductory lede:

On a trip abroad recently, someone asked me to describe Los Angeles. Without hesitating, out came a sentiment I’d always felt but never quite put into words: “It’s an awful place to visit,” I said, “but you’d definitely want to live there.”

Ha ha. Hochman is also opening up item #1 to readers, asking people to chime in via the comments with their three favorite things about the city. He got things rolling by sharing his picks:

1. Sundays on the big lawn at Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades.
2. The latte art “swans” at Urth Cafe.
3. The undying spirit that anything is possible.

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