Monday, July 31, 2006

Dr Weinberger: Reasons vacations are the worst

Dave Weinberger is en vacance and wein-ing about it--an excerpt:
More here.
(giggle)





5 Reasons: Why Life is like Software Development

Everything happens on a schedule.
There's the wish list, and the gotta have it list.
Sometimes you have to cut features to ship on time.
You gotta be agile.
If you screw up, try to pretend you're still in beta.
It's good to iterate.

Quote of the Day

"The world doesn't want a ski resort that caters to beginners. Doesn?t work.
Same for blogging tools."

-Podtech's Robert Scoble, commenting on Mena Trott's BlogHer panel comments when asked about the future of blogging.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

TechCrunch's Sunday Overviews-TV Guides round up

Looks like Mike Arrington's started a nice series of niche/vertical overviews and is publishing them every Sunday.
Assumed criteria: Categories that the web is (or continues to) game change; categories that combine structured and unstructured data, categories with large revenue.
Last week was online dating; this week it's TV-watching sites.

Mike's round up of TV sites is well done and well-articulated--this is a series worth looking for.

(And one I hope Mike continues--I'd like to see coverage not only of the well-known travel and autos categories, but an overview of the health space.)

What worked at BlogHer--And what didn't

Morning after thoughts about BlogHer, definitely my most-loved conference of the year--

What worked so well

What could work better (aka plan for next year)
The last panel--with Adriana Huffington, Carolyn Little,Grace Davis and Mena Trott, moderated by Chris Nolan--was terrific--and a great indicator of how the BlogHer organizers (bless 'em all) are getting it right.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

BlogHer: The sex session

Susie Bright, Melissa Gira, Halley Suitt...having sex and proud of it..and even better, talking about it. The audience is sharing about sex blogs they read, discussing how to empower women's writing and voices from a sexual/professional point of view, and--kinda--celebrating their own sexuality.
One woman asks: Is it possible to write about sex, politics, faith and pull it off?
This audience wants to believe the answer is yes--but looking at the faces in the room, I'm feeling that the true issue is that we've all become people who value personal expression enough that in some ways pretending to be who we're not is just so over.
My sense is that this audience has a tremendous amount to say--but like the guys at Gnomedex--are holding back more that I might wish--as the conversation continues, themes that are coming up include managaing identity and privacy, frank women bloggers getting caught in custody suits, and the fellatio wars, and how to make sex blogs rank higher in the page ranks.
There's more discussion going on about the various reasons for secrecy--Susie Bright is highlighting how women are sometimes demeaned--and then articulating how all of us want to protect our privacy during intimate moments in life and emotional passages--so that we can create a context (great point, Susie!)

Susan says: IMHO, this was a good session. Lots of respectful discussion, humor, and sharing--Next steps: Women concerned with these issue could band together, perhaps through BlogHer, and share more information.

, , sexuality, erotica, sex blogs

Quote of the Day

"I think you can care about shoes, and still be a really strong woman."

--Food blogger Pim Techamuanvivit, speaking at BlogHer

Blogher Day 2: This conference is amazing!

It's BlogHer day 2 and I am sitting in a room with 60 other attendees, listening to the panel on "Being the Next Martha Stewart," which is really a panel about building your brand around an arts/craft/food product. The discussion is GREAT, but that's not what's blowing my mind--it's the fact that there are so many people here, smart, impassioned, interesting- -who are just NOT the usual suspects I see at a tech conference.

I am so excited about the chance to meet and learn from new people and find out who they are--the energy here is so good, I wish I could bottle it and take it home to savor longer.

Meanwhile, Pim, Andrea, Gayla, Maggie and Marnie are rocking the house with their tips and stories. And the participants are jumping right in with stories and advice about being a web-based entrepeneur.

Some of the useful tips:

The general tenor of the room is relaxed and inclusive, and the mood is...friendly.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Quotes of the Day

"We can all agree now, women are the power of Web 2.0."
--BlogHer conference president Lisa Stone, on opening day, quoted in CNET.

"What's up with those Mommy Bloggers? They keep hugging each other."
--12 year old blogger Patrick Scoble, quoted on his stepmom Maryam's blog re BlogHer participants



More on BlogHer Day 1

The wifi isn't working. And there's a shortage of wireless mikes. Maybe the Hyatt wasn't the best choice...Maybe the sessions(some of them) are a little too loose--But hey, I am feeling great about the day--the positive energy, the interesting conversations--and, once again, I am in awe of the Lisa/Elisa/Jory team work--these three seriously rock.
I'm in a session right now with Lisa Stone and Lynn Johnson that Lisa is calling *a writing class*.
They're critiquing headlines from blogs and news stories, urging the bloggers in the room to be accurate in their headlines and ensure the payoff; also commenting on "link whoredom" and how putting celebrities in your headlines (for example) can drive SEO traffic to your site, big time.
The audience is listerning quietly and commenting; mood is gentle and kinda slow but with humor. Now under discussion: web searches and SEO.

Update: Waiting for the flickr photos to come in--latest links to conference photos here and here.

BlogHer: Day 1 Opening session 8:30 am

It's the first morning of BlogHer and the ballroom at the Hyatt is filled. The organizers up on stage are thanking the sponsors and the attendees are opening their lap tops. Just a usual tech conference, right?
Wrong.
It's the second annual BlogHer conference and not only is the 600+ audience 90% women, some of them have kids in tow, from babies in arms to toddlers nibbling fruit.. When you see at least five different women walk by, each of them holding a child by one hand, and a laptop in the other, you know this ain't no boys club --au contraire, it's the epitome of open source journalism--lots of the women here just plain don't go to tech conferences--but they come to this one.
For me, a friend of the co-founders, and an advisor to the conference, the energy in the room is bliss--this is the conference where I not only talk about emerging technology, social media and cool tools--strong interests--but where I can also talk about relationships, social identity and
real world-virtual world relationships--things that I think about a lot that typical conferences don't always cover.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Noted

MySpace and Fox: MUST READ article in The Hollywood Reporter by Diana Mermigas
Marketwatch: TeenPeople qutting magazine biz,going web only.
BizWeek: Facebook and iTunes go back to school for a 10MM music samplers giveaway.
Reuters/WashPo: Yahoo hires scientist to run social seach research. "At Yahoo you have this unique opportunity to integrate conventional search with Flickr, Del.icio.us, Yahoo Answers, Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Mail--How do you take all this search activity and learn from it?" says Raghu Ramakrishnan, the new hire.

Daylife: Hype vs. Reality?

It's funny how buzz works, isn't it?
Investors and partners are telling us to "keep an eye out for Daylife," the new news tool set tech whiz Upendra Shardanand has been working on for the past 18 months with the very vocal Jeff Jarvis, but the truth of where their product lies seems to put it much closer to early stage prototypes and back end algo to show the (very connected) investors, than to something ready to ship.
At least, that's what this job posting for an engineering lead on Linked In would lead me to think--but hey, creating value is about building buzz, right?
Sheesh.

Update: More Daylife jobs here. (Thanks, Lisa!)

Quote of the Day 2

"I've thought about what to do with the real power Diggers, the ones who spend their whole day on Digg and really work hard, is there a way that I could show my appreciation. The way I would show my appreciation would be to never give them more power, more features than another user has. It might be something like a T-shirt, it might be a rating that they can show other users, but it has to be a level playing field."

--Digg co-founder Jay Adelson, quoted in an article by MediaShift's Mark Glaser

Quote of the Day 1

"It really isn't about Netscape vs. DIGG... in reality the battle is "social news vs. top-down news." Kevin and I are brothers in arms right now and at some point I hope he will realize that."

--Netscape lead Jason Calcanis, expertly baiting the controversy afresh over Netscape vs. digg, a battle Jason *manufactured. *

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

BlogHer: Are you going? I am

BlogHer is this weekend, and it may be one of the only conferences I have ever attended where I am eagerly counting down till it starts. For me, last year's conference was powerful because of all the great attendees, and because I connected (unexpectedly) with bloggers who were focused on relationships, sexuality and social issues, themes that were pretty resonant in my very recent(at that time) post-divorce life.
This time, I'm excited about seeing everyone, and pleased to not be speaking--it's good to give others a chance, and for me to just be present and participating.

If you're coming into town for BlogHer, or here anyway--and you want to make sure we meet up, please ping me at susanmernit at yahoo dot com...I'll be there both days.

Dabble goes live--congrats Mary!

Mary Hodder's video/vlogging community directory and tools site, Dabble, went live this week after a year of work. Built with angel funds for a pretty reasonable price, Mary says Dabble is "the first comprehensive online catalog of videos in the word made by users" --it is a great-looking product--in fact, it's so nice Scott Rosenberg calls it the 'flickr for video"--that means users can use it as a jumping off point to link, list, tag, comment on and share videos on the net.

Mary is one of the smartest people I know, a good product developer, and the leader of a strong team--I hope this one catches on and goes big.

Dabble info here and press links here.

NewAssignment.Net: Open Sourcing the AP

Jay Rosen's got a new idea--an open source pool of bloggers/journalists who get modest funding to do investigative reporting stories that can be filed and distributed around the net. Called NewAssignment.Net, Rosen's virtual bureau takes the concepts of the wire service of the past 100+ years (started back in the day of the Pony Express) and gives it a citizen journalism twist (or would that be shove?)
Jay writes: "The site uses open source methods to develop good assignments and help bring them to completion; it employs professional journalists to carry the project home and set high standards so the work holds up. There are accountability and reputation systems built in that should make the system reliable. The betting is that (some) people will donate to works they can see are going to be great because the open source methods allow for that glimpse ahead."
In other words, this is funding for both independent journalism and the long tail of Evelyn Rodriquez, Chris Albritton, and others.
Jay adds:
"Each assignment would have a price tag, which is simply a realistic budget?- the amount that has to be raised to get the right people and do a very good job. NewAssignment.Net is a non-profit because it?s just about the journalism. Delivering audiences to advertisers isn?t the mission. The budget reflects the actual cost of doing the work, plus overhead for sustaining the site, plus whatever tax we decide to impose to carry New Assignment ahead."

Extra bits: Craig Newmark's donating $$, Dan Gillmor is advising, Jeff Jarvis's start up will provide tools--and who knows who else will get involved?

Susan says: This is potentially a very good idea, especially if Jay & co is shrewd enough (and I think he is) to make sure it's clear this project is for everyone--from 17 year olds urban kids to rural moms who want to research the power plant, to activists looking to do reporting abroad.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Noted

Corporate websites from 1996--you gotta see this!
Ad Age: Walmart's MySpace killer for kids--called schoolyourway.walmart.com--is a major dog.
Canada.com: California heat wave responsible for knocking out Yahoo and myspace servers.
flickr: Cantikfotos posts a striking photo set of Taiwanese housing, now abandoned... (Via digg)

More lovosphere links--" How to use Google to get a girl and get laid."

Check out the amusing Damien Mulley's" How to use Google to get a girl and get laid."
Could it work for real?
Uh, kinda, maybe. (Or maybe not)
Is it a hysterical geeky read?
You betcha.
My favorite section is on social network site Orkut ("... Orkut is ancient Brazilian for ?place to find people who will have sex with you.") , but the whole thing is a hoot.


(via TechMeme)

Lovosphere: Mike finds love, sorta

Mike Arrington's wisely turned his attention to the online dating business and done a quick wrap-up of 13 sites, ranging from CNETs Consummating to the very small Poddater. As someone who now watches this space with a professional eye, I appreciate not only Mike's observations, but the tremendous discussion going on in the comments, with shrewd observations from Hot or Not's James Hong, plentyoffish's Markus Frind, and many other entrepreneurs in the space (and users, natch!) chiming in.

Some of my comments at TechCrunch (cross posted now to here):
"One of the advantages of a big player like Yahoo! Personals (disclosure: I work there), is the very large number of profiles and the sophisticated searching and matching tools.
For many people, especially outside of bigger cities, or with more niche or specific interests,the smaller sites offer too few prospects, even though their communities and activities are really engaging. I personally don'ít see social networking encroaching on online dating sites-- think SN helps build a market for online dating, actually.

Why?
Well, online dating users have hit a lifestage event. They want to meet someone better or different than the people they have in their expanded personal network and they want to take focused action and meet people within a limited period of time. This is quite a different impulse than using a social network to find people to have drinks with, or very casual meeting. You can be linked to thousands of people on a social network, but for most people over 30, that doesn'ít mean you are going to find a great date, a lover or a soul mate. "

Anyway, this is a rich discussion and outside the usual Web 2.0 focus TechCrunch often has..worth a read if this market interests you.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Google just reported their Q2-2006 earnings, and their sequential growth is just 9% over Q1-2006 (the wallstreet whisper number was 10%). This confirms that the search slowdown is industry wide. Note that almost half of that gain in revenue for Google is not natural growth, its one-time growth coming from more ads placed on top of the natural web results (specifically the state where they have 3 ads, e.g. the flowers query). "

--Yahoo engineer Amr Awadallah, via David Jackson's Seeking Alpha blog

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Blowjobs are not the end all of feminism. It makes me crazy that we're spending time on stupid shit like this when we still make less than men do. In the end, I could not care less if you gobble up every cock you see or declare blow jobs a tool of the devil. You make your own choices."

--Blogger Freya, explaining why the current dust up about feminism and sexual choices is off the mark

Valleywag hits it: AOL/Calcanis

I'm already tired of this story, but it's always fun to be sourced by another blogger and then quoted--even (or especially?) when it's Valleywag's Nick Douglas, clearly one of my most astute readers, who folded every point in my post into an expanded story that's a good read (that's called journalism, folks).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Attack of the 50 foot trolls: Emily and Amanda

Welcome to the latest wrinkle of digital living: fake people with agendas to push--no, make that fake bloggers.
Apparently, both Amanda Chapel and *Emily* are real world sims--fake personalities with scripted story lines and writers who go engage real life bloggers as a way to push a commercial agenda.
Arrgh.
Does this mean we're entering a time when your search history affirms your wuffie, a la Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom?
Me thinks yes.

Quote of the Day

"I'm absolutely convinced that the top 20 people on DIGG, Delicious, Flickr, MySpace, and Reddit are worth $1,000 a month and if we're the first folks to pay them that is fine with me--we will take the risk and the arrows from the folks who think we're corrupting the community process (is there anyone out there who thinks this any more?!).
(snip)
...If we're (DIGG, Delicious, Flickr, Reddit, MySpace, Netscape, etc) going to make businesses out of this space we should share the wealth.

As we say in Brooklyn: everyone's gotta eat."

--AOL exec and Netscape lead Jason Calcanis, using personality and viral marketing to support his product--and stir up some press.

Netscape and Digg: Mike Arrington's take--and mine

Enjoyed reading Mike's astute observations on Netscape.com's forced migration into a digg copy:
"At the end of the day, the Netscape product is a soulless reproduction of one of the most interesting cultural experiments occurring on the web right now. It was thrown at millions of mainstream Internet users (previous Netscape portal users) who don't understand Digg and probably don'ít care (yet). If anything, my bet is that total page views at Netscape have dropped since the changeover, possibly substantially. Buying users from Digg won''ít change that one bit."

Back in the day of 2000-20001, when I worked for Netscape (which was owned by AOL), my team's job was to take the portal and turn it into something women and men who weren't high tech and over 45 could use. We built a good product, margins and traffic jumped, and there was rejoicing in the land--at least, until the next AOL re-org, a constant in their culture and one that required impressively titled men with huge egos to constantly be moved to other (less important) new projects so they don't do battle to the death with the other big dogs right in the Dulles parking lots.

In other words, AOL's never made the commitment to Netscape as a brand that Kevin Rose has made with digg--instead, every 18 months they've handed it over to some impatient executive who doesn't realize--yet--he's being sent to the high-class version of corporate Siberia--where, if he slays the dragon, they might let him come back and run something they consider really important--like shopping, autos, or travel (joke).

I like Jason and think he is smart and talented, so this isn't a comment about him-it's a note about a corporate culture that seems to not really value most of the satellite brands, but will expend tons of energy on the core business, i.e., "The brand."

If you question this logic, take a look at the wonderfully crafted tmz.com, an AOL-supported gossip site that's come out of nowhere and become the hot spot for celeb news and then imagine that Jason probably pulled his digg copy off by using Weblogs Inc staff already on the payroll and a couple of designers, plus one PR flack.

What else can the guy do but use his blog to market? AOL ain't helping him--and they're not letting him get near anything the old guard thinks is really important.

Can anyone say twisting in the wind of the blogosphere three times fast?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

News from the Lovosphere

The dating report: Another rate em and date em site enters the fray.
Perscription for Love: TechCrunch says right on to dating search with chronic conditions.
Stephanie Klein: 4 am. Montana. A guy is breaking down your door. "You can make this easy or..."
Online dating spammers blog: Yep, that's what it says.

Monday, July 17, 2006

BlogHer makes the Boston Gobe

Blogher's end of this month--meanwhile, a nice piece on the network's in the Globe.
A quote:
"The second annual BlogHer conference, with corporate sponsors like General Motors and Johnson & Johnson, will be held July 28-29 in San Jose, Calif. Attendance is expected to double from last year's session, which was supported by Yahoo and Google and attracted more than 300 women from around the country. Last year's theme was ``Where are the women bloggers?" The theme for BlogHer '06 is ``How is your blog changing your world?"

Quote of the Day

"...But I?ll say again that I didn?t organize that mob. The mob organized itself; I merely provided the convenient town square on which to light those torches. This is how the internet works: It brings us together and we learn from each other.

You see, in the old days, you could screw one customer with one bad product or you could insult one customer with bad service. But no more. Now, when you deal with one customer, you deal with all customers."

--Jeff Jarvis, Buzzmachine, describing his heated discussions with Amanda Chapel, a blogger who thinks Jeff's views on customer service and Dell Hell are unrealistic and inflated.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Amanda-- I've got two words for you: Martha Quinn. You've got a tough road ahead of you. You're going to have to create a franchise for yourself. Get to work--the clock is ticking and 90 days from now, it's going to be "what the fuck happened to Amanda Congdon?"

--VH1's Fred Graver, on Buzzmachine, via Rex Hammock

Identity Woman rocks the Merc

Kaylia Hamlin, aka Identitywoman, is in the Merc this week as a facilitator for Mashup Camp's unconference. The reporter says that organizers Dave Berlind and Doug Gold "have formed a company, Mass Events Labs, to organize more unconferences, including a third Mashup Camp this fall on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."
Dos that mean they're gonna pay Kaylia?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Noted

Consider this morning news from the land of smiles, department of after the future has fallen on you--each of these items could NOT have happened 18 months ago--both in terms of the news and who's reporting it (Big media, say g'night)
Paid Content: NFL to launch social network for football fans for the upcoming season; sample screens here.
Laughing Squid:PodTech's Robert Scoble snags some cool staffers--Irina Slutsky and Eddie Codel.
Podcasting News: Nielsen reports podcasts are more popular with Americans than blog posts. "...6.6 percent of the U.S. adult online population, or 9.2 million Web users, have recently downloaded an audio podcast. 4.0 percent, or 5.6 million Web users, have recently downloaded a video podcast. These figures put the podcasting population on a par with those who publish blogs, 4.8 percent, and online daters, 3.9 percent."
BizPodcasting: Nielsen is hooey.


Bonus: Also worth noting-:
Click Z:"Yahoo will supply both Web search and sponsored search listings to Hispanic Digital Network (HDN), a group of more then 70 Spanish-language Web sites, under an exclusive multi-year distribution agreement."
CNET: Podcasts appeal most to trekkies, Mac users.

Update: Peter notes how bad my spelling was at this ungodly hour...sorry, folks...not only was I not really awake, my older laptop needs a keyboard replacement..sweaty fingers have rubbed the letters right off...Fixed, now!




Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Music & books: Current faves

Books
Just finished The Stolen Child by Kevin Donohue, a literary first novel about a changeling child and the human boy his gang steals--well worth a read.
Am now reading Tales of Protection, by Erik Fosnes Hansen, translated from the Norwegian, an amazingly complex and rich novel.

Music
Gillian Welch, Revival
Joe Cocker, Ultimate Collection
Bonnie Bramlett, lady's choice
Mark Knopfler and EmmyLou Harris, All the Roadrunning

Prince, 3121
Nelly Furtado, Loose
Antena, camino del sol

Monday, July 10, 2006

Quote of the Day

" I now think of most people by their screen names. Even when I see them in person."

--24 year old Theodora Stites, writing in the NY Times about the virtual intimacy and always connected energy that MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Dodgeball, SecondLife, etc., offer her and her friends.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Quote of the Day

"The whole RocketBoom breakup episode has me thinking. What if the blogosphere really is high school after all? "

--John Koetsier, at Sparkplug, explaining why the Internet is EXACTLY like high school and why bloggers' behavior around discussions of Amanda Congdon's exit from Rocketboom proves it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

NBC buying Tribe: The Deal is Real

Yep, NBC really is buying Tribe--just think what iVillage and Tribe will do to their dream of going up against NewsCorp, TV Guide and MySpace!
(This is like the media armies of the east lining up on the great plain of user generated (video) content, ready to do battle).
A source who cannot be named, but who is truly in the know, confirmed the deal for me today...
Interesting, isn't it?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Gawker: More reading the((software) tea leaves

Buffalo Rising's George Johnson wrote me to point out something in the NYTimes article that most readers (he felt) had missed--Nick's interest in building better tools.

George writes:
"Remember Halsey Minor and how Vignette came to be born out of publishing necessity...How it put him in the very interesting position of software pioneer and content publisher (though not under the same corporate umbrella)? Whether it's Nick Denton developing tools with an ex-US software team or Mike Orren at Pegasus News or possible some other surprise player working on a platform under the radar, blogging software, blogging networks and the definition of what a blog is and when it begins to be something else are all in for some surprises pretty soon."

Susan sez: I don't think investing in tools is particularly surprising, but it is a good point. After all, a core part of the success of Weblogs Inc was the great software Brian Alvey built; one has to assume the Gawker platform brought them this far.

Quote of the Day

"...as Internet usage goes from rare and precious to commoner and commoner to unnoticed-because-everyone-is-(inter)connected-these-days-via-the-Internet and people are adopting these new technologies and using them in their daily lives in ways to such an extent that whole industries have appeared to support them (it is important--Susan's edit) that some kind of dialogue be opened on what it means to be in love or looking for love, a relationship or just sex in an era where access to information created by you is commonplace."

--Aryah Goretsky, reflecting on Sex and Longing and Web 2.0, the talk I gave at Gnomedex 2006.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Sitting in a coffeeshop working, two guys across from me, neither one with a computer, and one of them says, 'Web 2.0?'
It's always a shock to find random people saying this stuff. The future's getting more evenly distributed. "

--Lisa Williams, writing in her blog, Learning the Lessons of Nixon

Sunday night supper on Tuesday

Friends are coming over later, and for dinner I'm making the following:

Two kinds of shrimp: Pan-seared with garlic, chili and ginger & steamed with cocktail sauce
Pan Roasted Asparagus
Baked Teriyaki Salmon
Spinach Salad
Hungrarian-style Cauliflower


If we have any room left, there will be blueberries, nectarines and lemon sorbet.

(And of course I'll be eating the leftovers for dinner all week...)


July 4th: Happy--and grateful

Scoble has a post up today on people's private hells that mirrors my own sense of feeling very grateful today. Last year's 4th was a lot more stressful, but I had great friends to hang with last year, just as I do (later on) today.

Meanwhile, I am blogging away, windows open to the sunlight, dog asleep, playing Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris' perfect album, All the Road Running, along with two other current favorites--The Best of Delaney and Bonnie and Prince's 3121.

Have a great holiday, everyone!

July 4th...Home from Seattle

Came back from 4 1/2 days in Seattle last night--what a great time! Gnomedex felt totally worthwhile--had very interesting conversations with a bunch of folks I know, including Hslley Suitt, Julie Leung, Scott Rafer and John Furrier, had more conversations with folks I am getting to know, like Shannon Clark and Chris Heur, and met some interesting people I hadn't known--Phillip Kaplan, Ethan Kaplan, Elizabeth Lewin and Darren Barefoot definitely being on that list (along with many others).
After the conference and the (very convival) Scoble BBQ (thanks. guys!), my old friends picked me up and carried me off. After a great dinner at the Hilltop AleHouse in Queen Anne , they proceeded to take me on a tour of local parks where one could view the sunset--from Kerry Park (virtual tour here) to more rustic--and charming-- Carkeek Park. Then it was back to their house, where the newly installed deck looked out over the bay, the trees were old and tall, and the sun was (still bright). Is there anything as sweet as reconnecting with old friends and seeing where life has taken then when you looked sideways?

Conclusion: I had a great weekend and Seattle is amazing--this has to become the next place I explore in detail--the mix of city on the edge of the woods and mountains and access to lots of water seems irrestible.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Better to sober up now, before the end of the party."

--Gawker Media CEO Nick Denton, explaining layoffs and realignments in his properties to the NYTimes.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Jimi Hendrix and the Experience Music Project Museum

The closing Gnomedex party was at the EMP. I think I'd been in the building for 2 hours before it occurred to me to go upstairs and explore. Watching fellow Gnomedexers whail away on drums, voccals, bass and guitar in the interactive music studios was waay fun, but what blew me completely away was the comprehensive presentation of artifacts relating to Jimi Hendrix--from childhood drawings to old festival video footage to scraps of airline and hotel stationary with song lyrics scribbled down.
I never thought I wold have a chance to see a notebook of song lyrics, c. 1968, written for Electric Ladyland. Or a 1857 drawing of Elvis Presley done by the young Jimmy. Or the great footage from Montery Jazz Festival where no one can help dancing. --Apparently, EMP's collection includes more than 80,000 artifacts including guitars belonging Bob Dylan, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and Kurt Cobain, fanzines, costumes, and song sheets.

What a pleasure!

Quote of the Day

" The people formerly known as the audience are simply the public made realer, less fictional, more able, less predictable. You should welcome that, media people. But whether you do or not we want you to know we're here. "

--Jay Rosen, writing on The People formerly known as the Audience in a piece that is a MUST READ for everyone interested in participatory journalism, media, social media, etc. , so go there and check it out.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Gnomedex Day 2

Gnomedex: Quick summary of the day's worst aspects, summed up by a conference participant: ""You have ego overcoming ego here."
Best aspects: Halley Suitt's talk, the guys coming up to share stories around my talk yesterday, the women shaking their heads at all the guy talk about blow jobs, balls, and bragging and how unconsciously (sexist?) and condescending a couple of these older geek fellas are, Chris and Ponzi's beautiful spirit and energy.

(Quote via Eric Rice)

My talk at Gnomedex: Look back

So, it's over. My first Gnomedex talk, and the one where I chose to discuss identity, sex and relationships--not microformats.

The Look Back
How did it go?
Pretty well.
How did the audience react?
Quietly.
As one blogger said, there was no way the room full of (mostly) male geeks felt ready to share their own thoughts and feelings about such personal stories on the web--people in the audience seemed far more focused on the possibility that anything one exposed--under your own name--like smutty jokes from when you were 14--would live in Google's search results forever and make employers and investors made and ruin your reputation (Pud, aka Phil Kaplan, amusingly refuted this one during the Q&A, thank you).
So once I got over the fact there wasn't going to be a big open discussion with everyone jumping right in (did I really think that?), it was all good--There's nothing like dancing on the edge of your comfort zone in public, right?
I made the points I wanted to make and shared what seemed appropriate--And my talk hopefull added some fresh thinking to the conference.

(Aside)
All afternoon, post session, people kept coming up to me and sharing comments and stories, so final cut would be that this topic was hard to talk about in public, but that many folks had much to say...just not in a group.

The Look Ahead
Blogher is coming up in a few weeks and I hope to have a similar discussion within Halley, Melissa and Susie's ROYO session (or somewhere)...Identity, persona, safety, voice are topics that continue to interest me, and exploring how they function as cornerstones for online personal expressions is a conversation I want to continue to have.

PS. Chris and Ponzi, this was a blast--thank you!

Quote of the Day

"A video camera is just a clunkier pen."

--Star editor Joe Dolce, explaining his web site's preperations to serve celebrity videos a la TMZ.com

(via NY Times story)

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