10/5/13

The Genius that is Gary Kamiya


This is the beautiful Call building, named after The Call newspaper started in 1856 by five unemployed printers. It lasted until 1965 when it merged with the city's afternoon paper, The Examiner. Click the picture to visit the link to a Chronicle article from Friday 10/4/2013.

 The article is exemplary of essays contained in the award-winning book, Cool, Grey City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco Kamiya unleashes his wandering talent using revealing encyclopedic research. He brings a new depth and beauty to our understanding of our great city's unique, prideful and sassy heritage.

9/25/13

The Social Evolution of Mental Health

This is a radio piece with web version and slide-show about "The Changing Face of What is Normal: Mental Health" an exhibit at the Exploratorium through April 2014.


9/24/13

5/20/13

It used to be ilegal to revoke a liquor license because of "patron's status as homosexuals"



My grandfather, J. Bruce Fratis,  argued this case which held that patron's status as homosexuals, without more, did not constitute good cause for suspension or revocation of a liquor license under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 24200 (e) or Cal. Con. Art. 20 §22, and that Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 24200 (e), which required only a showing of patronage by homosexuals, was therefore unconstitutional.
Vallegra-v-dept-alcoholic-bev-control-29822

4/25/13

Letter to the editor | East Bay Express on San Francisco Chronicle Paywall



"Newsgathering Was Never Free," Seven Days, 4/3
A Desperate Effort
It wasn't really a choice to give away content for free. Basically, online publishers were trying to compete with AOL. I think it's just a desperate effort by the Chronicle to improve its revenue streams but I guess one person who pays for the subscription offsets the loss of whatever their free readership is.
Angela Penny, San Francisco

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/letters-for-the-week-of-april-24-30-2012/Content?oid=3530171

3/14/13

I'm so impressed that Moonves is using the word "ecosystem."

I'm so impressed that Moonves is using the word "ecosystem."

From Cynopsis: "This is an off-network model for a unique serialized show in today's television ecosystem," said Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation. "It uses creative windowing to serve the content needs of best-in-class partners, while realizing the full syndication value for a high-quality series."

3/13/13

Catching Up

Wow, I'm so grateful that this blog is still here. I might as well resurrect it.

Currently I'm consulting at KALW Radio and New America Media. I manage the blasts and some communications responsibilities at New America Media. We are currently working on a strategic plan to optimize social media.

I worked for the documentary "Speaking in Tongues" for over two years. It was an excellent experience in learning how to use the web and social media for events, as a hub of information about the issue and sales.

From 1995 through 2002 I was heavily involved with online publishing working in marketing and advertising. I sat on committees deciding what the word for "click" should be back when it was the Wild Wild Web. But it's always been the same, quality content breeds quality audiences.

At Time Warner, I became the Manager of Audience Development, then the Advertising Production Manager at Hearst New Media, then PR specialist at The Palace, NonFiction Guide at About, circulation director at Salon.com, Director of Metrics for Third Age Media and Director of Business Development for Upside Media. I then had my own company, ActionThink.

When the bubble burst I flew (actually drove) South.  I fell hard. From having dozens of messages on my answering machine to not being able to get a job as a temp. I figured that if I was going to be unemployed then I might as well be an unemployed actress rather than an unemployed online publishing executive.  

I ended up working for The Dr. Phil Show and then returned to San Francisco (4th generation) when my grandmother died at age, 98 1/2.

Once back in San Francisco I started attending City College of San Francisco, which I love. I earned certificates in Broadcast Journalism and Video Production/Editing. I was News Director for KCSF Radio, Chief Copy Editor and Multimedia Editor for The Guardsman. I started a social media club on campus and studied design, art, inDesign, Photoshop, and such. 

8/29/10

Fahrenheit 9/11

This documentary really bothers me.  It's not that I don't agree with most of what Moore says because I do.  Or, I think I do.  I'm not sure, I think it touches on too many separate issues without fully developing one, two or even three.  It's almost been ten years since the 9/11 catastrophes and over five years since the movie came out.

Like many I have a strong personal connection to the date.  One of the planes flew into my brother's offices on the 83rd floor of the South Tower.  Luckily, he was in Italy, but it was a small company and he lost 60 people.  People he had worked with daily for close to ten years.  He listened to their last phone messages, he attended countless funerals and tried to comfort their families. 

It's such a nightmarish thing to have happened and so frustrating that perhaps it could have been avoided if the right people paid attention to important documents.  I get that Bush was on vacation and played golf a lot during his first months in office but that's an overly simplistic conclusion on how the events could have been avoided.  There is a connection between Saudi Arabians and the Bush family.  Halliburton and others made a lot of money.  There was no reason for us to invade Iraq.  We let Osama bin Laden get away.

Because Michael Moore goes overboard on trying to sell us his ideas.  For instance having members of the US government shake hands with people dressed in robes who were apparently Saudis his message becomes sensationalistic.  I feel like it would have been stronger if it went a little bit deeper on the relationship between the Bush's and the Saudis for instance. 

The fact that soldiers were killed and expressed that they fought for naught is important in itself, as is the ongoing situation that while politicians seem to have time to write laws with hundreds of pages they don't have time to read them.  I feel that if Moore had focused on fewer key points and presented the information in a believable way that maybe Bush wouldn't have been re-elected.  Just documenting problems is not enough.  I feel like there needs to be a way to help spread the message.  When this documentary first came out social media was pretty much limited to Friendster.  Maybe if there had been more social media at the time then it would have had a different impact on the world.   


There is a general page for the film on Facebook. Facebook makes general pages like this for people and products who have not created their own page.  It's similar to a Wikipedia entry.  Currently over 11,000 people like it.  It's interesting that the film is not offered on iTunes but I found a free copy through Veoh

The film is on IMDB of course.  There is most recently a link to a news story that Moore is being sued because of a picture of an injured Iraqui girl on his website MichaelMoore.com .  The photographer alleges that Moore suggested that the girl was injured by U.S. soldiers when it was atually a bomb set off by insurgents.

10/30/09

Compete Graph Tech

According to this informal traffic comparison query I just ran on Compete.com, something's weird with Wired.

9/16/09

The 99 Cents Pricing Study

Bottom line: If you have two products you're looking to sell, one higher priced than the other -- price the one that you most want to sell with amount -.99. For instance 2 pens, one $2 and the other $3. If you want to move the $2 pen price it $1.99 and keep the $3 pen at $3.00.

If you want to sell more of the higher priced pen, tag it at $2.99 and the lower priced one at $2.00. If you use .99 cents on both, for instance $1.99 and $2.99, sales will stay flat.

This study was reported on by MarketingProfs who got the information from a study done by The Journal of Consumer Research.

Now, go experiment and let me (and your boss) know about your success.

9/14/09

Sugar Looking Sweet

Blog network Sugar benefits from mainstream online advertising crisis. New York Times, 9/14/09.

7/11/09

Nielsen Online Data Quick Take: Kids Online

Time Spent Online Among Kids Increases 63 Percent In The Last Five Years. 16 Million Strong and Growing: Growth Rate of Kids Online Outpaces Overall Internet Population

According To Nielsen (New York, US – July 6, 2009)

In May 2009, children aged 2-11 comprised nearly 16 million, or 9.5 percent, of the active online universe
  • Since 2004, the number of kids online has increased 18 percent, as compared to 10 percent for the total active universe, with a fairly even split between boys and girls.
  • The growth of children online outpaces the overall growth of children in the U.S., where kids under 14 are projected to decrease by 1 percent from 2004 to 2010 (according to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 7/04 – 7/10 projection)
Kids Go Cuckoo for Time on the Web
  • Time spent online among children aged 2-11 increased 63 percent in the last five years, from nearly 7 hours in May 2004 to more than 11 hours online in May 2009. Time spent among kids outpaced the increase for the overall population, which grew 36 percent in the last five years
  • Boys spent 7 percent more time online than girls; while girls viewed 9 percent more Web pages than boys did in May
Online Parents Keep the Camera Rolling
  • According to Nielsen’s @Plan Summer 2009 data, 26.3 percent of the online adult population, or 38.2 million, have children 11 years old or younger in the household – a 7 percent increase from Summer 2008
  • Online adults with children under age 12 in the household were 1.7 times more likely to purchase a digital camcorder and 1.5 times more likely to purchase groceries online than average
Jack Spends More Time Viewing Videos than Jill
  • Online video viewership among 2-11 year olds was split evenly between boys and girls, with 5.1 million boys and 5.2 million girls viewing video online in May
  • Online video consumption between boys and girls was not so even. In May 2009, boys led in viewing and time spent: consuming 61 percent of video streams among children and comprising 57 percent of the time spent viewing videos
Boys still love Pokémon and girls still love Barbie
  • Nearly 48 percent of video viewers on the Pokémon Web brand were boys between the ages of 2 to 11, while 38 percent of video viewers on the Barbie Web brand were girls aged 2-11

Unique Viewer Unique Viewer
Demo Top Video Site Composition % Composition Index

Boys Pokémon 47.9 1,244
Girls Barbie 38.2 988

3/4/09

The Ashtonization of Twitter (March 2009)

The world is abuzz with Twitter.

Ashton Kutcher, who writes a many a mean tweet, was on TMZ because he tweeted about his neighbors' construction crew annoying him and his wife, Demi Moore,  around the Super Bowl.

Then celebrities started going on talk shows and hosts started asking them if they tweeted. News people also seem to love it and often there are tweets saying I'm at the president's news conference or sitting at the anchor's desk.

It's a service where anyone can join and post anything they like as long as it's less than 140 characters. It's kind of like a giant IM where you can choose to read (follow) whomever's tweets you want to follow.  So you're reading IM's from hundreds of people sharing random insights from the universe and hundreds more are reading yours.

I've been tweeting for two years. Someone I knew had a "badge"-- a little square with someone's latest tweet on their blog. With a note asking for you to follow him on Twitter.  So, I did. 

At first, it felt like stalking. One thing that made me interested about it was that within seconds after I joined a woman from the Middle East started following me. It was a weird, yet cool feeling.  The fact that I could connect directly with some anonymous person so far away made the world seem smaller. 

Do you ever have random thoughts that you think or funny or explaining the meaning of life when you're alone. You can write it down on some random piece of paper or computer document, tell one other person, or blast an email to your friends. But that's so inefficient.

By tweeting it, you share your perspective with all of the people who follow you.

At first it was a big deal if someone had 3,000 followers. Now Ashton has 231,480 followers -- that's so crazy. Almost a quarter of a million people. I bet it's going to hit a million. This reminds of me of Myspace in 2006 when that was also growing like crazy.

Hopefully the guys that started Twitter are going to be able to keep it pure and it won't turn into another Myspace which has become a mess of gadgets and status updates and has always been plagued with friend harvesting companies that just added millions and millions of "friends" no matter who they were.

The Twitter team don't currently have a clear monetization vision but obviously they're very smart guys and will think of something. The best and scariest alternative is that they get bought by a major media company whose main profit comes from advertising. Yahoo! seems to be most respectful to the successful startups they buy, but I don't think they have any money.

The good news about Twitter is that you get to choose who you "listen" to. So if someone is boring or offensive you can turn them off and if they're boring or offensive in responses (done with an @) sign) you can block them. So while Ashton has the same amount of people paying attention to his tweets he only reads the tweets of 48 people. Twitter is personalized, engaging, efficient and fun.

Companies are using it for customer service and reputation management but gratefully you don't have to follow them.  But if you have an issue with Comcast, you can try to tweet the official Comcast tweeter and hopefully he'll get right on it.

3/2/09

WowOWow oh wow dot com


WowOWow

A rather unfortunate name, long, and confusing, for example what comes first the ‘W’ or the “O’. It’s targeted to women over 40 although the founders are quite a bit older.

Five high-powered media women each contributed $200,000 to the site:

• Lesley Stahl: (67) She’s been on 60 minutes for 19 years.
• Peggy Noonan: (58) Political conservative, WSJ columnist.
• Liz Smith: (85) Gossip columnist, let go from New York Post very recently.
• Joni Evans: (??) Former book publisher / agent.
• Mary Wells Lawrence: (80) Retired Advertising Executive

It reminds me of the Huffington Post but only an all woman perspective. It has features on the economy, politics, entertainment. On the day I visited the three headlining stories were 1) Liz Smith, 2) An interview with Phyllis Schlafly (84 year old quintessential anti-feminist), and 3) A review of a book on finding love over 60. It’s comment heavy and serves an under served prosperous demographic.

In this age of longer lives and longer careers I think it’s dangerous to lump everyone over 40 into the same group. Partially advertisers do this because historically older people have more brand loyalty but buying patterns like everything else is changing. Throughout a woman’s life she deals with the same issues more or less.

In an interview with Kara Swisher for All Things Digital, Joan Juliet Buck, one of the contributors and a long time Vogue writer said, “it’s not a blog because it’s not sloppy screamy opinions.” She also expressed the goal of taking over the world. A slightly condescending opinion she might associate the word blog with the likes of Perez Hilton or Matt Drudge.

All of the women are respected professionals in other media modes like TV or print and are excited to be moving online. It seems like they have the all important respect for their audience because they express that the women on their site are surprisingly honest.

There are currently 11 contributors featured wearing black turtlenecks on the home page. They include; Whoopi Goldberg: (53) Famous multi-faceted performer and current host on The View, Julia Reed: (73) Writer, producer, director Lily Tomlin’s partner, Candice Bergen, (63) Famous actress, Judith Martin: (70) Miss Manners, Lily Tomlin (69) Performer, and Marlo Thomas (69), author, philanthropist, and writer.
  • Jezebel (part of the Gawker family) says it's doomed to failure precisely because of the above mentioned Buck's insulting attitude. Apparently she compares similar site iVillage to Macy's.

2/23/09

San Francisco Kid’s Creativity Museum, Zeum, Turns 10!


In front of a large green screen, a young girl wearing a shiny blue Cinderella costume accented with a bright red boa dances while singing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” into a microphone almost as big as her head. A teenager dances beside her wearing a multihorned alien mask that looks like something from Star Wars.

A teenaged boy, wearing a matching boa, plays wild air guitar on a red electric model. In front of them a single TV monitor reveals the words to the song karaoke style. A grid of eight TV sets projects their music video as it’s happening with a red velvet curtain and bright spotlights replacing the green screen. The group gets a copy of their music video on a DVD to take home.

This is Zeum (pronounced Zee Uhm, like the last 2 syllables of the word museum), an exciting multimedia museum that marries technology and creativity in the midst of San Francisco’s futuristic Yerba Buena development. Conveniently located next door to the Moscone Convention Center on Fourth and Howard, Zeum is refreshing alternative to traditional museums where you’re not allowed to touch.

On Halloween, 2008, Zeum celebrated it’s 10th birthday.

“This is an important milestone for Zeum, signifying our maturity from a start-up organization to one that is established and rooted in the Bay Area community,” said Audrey Yamamoto, CEO for Zeum, in a press release. “We are now well positioned to make the transition from being one of San Francisco’s best kept secrets to a top destination for youth and families of all communities.”

Kids from near and far love having the opportunity to bang on computers and actually play with video and audio equipment.

Zeum is a cross between a toy store and a production studio. It’s designed for kids to experiment with fancy electronics to discover new ways of creating art. In the Zeum world, a music video is considered art just as much as a traditional painting. A spiral hallway (stroller-and-wheelchair-friendly) winds its way around the museum, taking patrons from one from one floor to the next. On one side of the path are wall-to-ceiling windows and on the other side is an ad hoc gallery, showcasing special creations collected over the past 10 years.

One of the pieces in the spiral art gallery is a big frame with a picture of a tiny TV in the center of it and the words “How do you want to change TV?”.

Zeum is a playground for the directors, performers and sound engineers of the future. It offers them a wide open space to develop their own ideas about what entertainment should look like and shatters the mystery and inaccessibility of what they see when they watch and listen to current pop culture.

Kids of all ages and their parents both have fun. Ten year olds stare into a Macintosh computer for hours playing with its internal camera where they can manipulate the image with all sorts of weird effects like a fun house mirror circa 2008. They can stretch out their cheeks and turn their whole face purple. The fact that they don’t have to worry about accidentally breaking something is liberating for kids and parents.

A young girl cries at the entrance because her father is making her leave.

“We can come back,” he promises.

“Now, I want to stay and play,” she answers.

“I love Zeum,” Dallas Haynes IV says. The 18-year-old recent graduate of San Francisco’s McAteer High School of the Arts is a broadcast and film major at San Francisco City College. His face lights up when he says proudly, “That’s where I made my first claymation! It was great when I was a little kid.”

Technology has made amazing strides in the past 10 years. In 1998 iPods didn’t exist and flat screen TV’s were thousands of dollars. Everything now is smaller, sleeker, and generally more user friendly. The developments are made obvious while watching a tiny preschooler playing with some phones and televisions from the 1990s. They’re huge and bulky and make perfect toys.

As an homage to the merger of technology and art of yesteryear, Zeum owns a 100-year-old restored merry go round, that used to live at Playland At The Beach which was torn down in the 1970’s, is parked immediately outside. The round architecture of the concrete and glass building mirrors the shape of the lovingly restored carousel. The architecture matches the futuristic mood of Yerba Buena, only it’s brightly painted gold and orange.

Also outside is a creative take on a xylophone. A sculpture with a painted board on top adorned with bent pieces of metal has a stick tied to a rope to form a rustic xylophone. A father tries to get his kids to stop running the stick back and forth over the metal so that they can go inside and see the “real” exhibits.

A large winning attraction immediately is a circular room in the middle of the building with ceilings that reach the complete height of the museum. A huge maze is projected from the ceiling onto the floor in kid friendly colors of pink and purple. A virtual ball must be manipulated soccer style to a yellow star at the other side of the purple and pink lines on the floor.

The challenge is to avoid getting stuck on a dead end or letting the ball get sucked into a black pothole. The floor of the maze is slightly padded and tilts up and down to add difficulty to the task. A bunch of tweens must use teamwork to solve the puzzle even if they’ve never met before. The exhibit was built at the technology center of MIT.

In different rooms visitors can make their very own claymations, play with sound production equipment to compose a song, or sit and contort their faces with the Macintosh program photo booth for hours on end. Little kids can push buttons and pretend to talk on old fashioned pushbutton phones from the ‘80s.

The museum celebrates the joy and creativity that technology can add to children’s lives. It unravels the mysteries of animation and television production and lets the kids be the stars of their own productions. Kids spend so much time consuming multimedia diversions that it’s empowering for them to learn the creative process so that they a have more balanced relationship with media.

In ten years maybe they’ll be featuring flying machines and using iPhones as Frisbees.

Presidency 2.0

A month after the election, Barack Obama’s Myspace page is quiet. A large graphic says “Thank You For Your Support.” The last blog entry posted on the site is dated November 5, a day after the historic presidential election. It’s a copy of the text message he sent to his supporters before giving his acceptance speech in Chicago.
I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first. We just made history. And I don't want you to forget how we did it. You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign. We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next. But I want to be very clear about one thing...

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,

Barack
Cause you know we're on a first name basis. Now that’s some effective social marketing. The note is addressed to the millions of people who connected to the candidate through some form of virtual networking platform. Social marketing is like direct marketing without the sleaze factor. Direct marketing treats people like consumers, social marketing treats them like human beings having a direct conversation. His Myspace page is only quiet because his strategy worked and he’s busy with transitioning to the Presidency.

Obama successfully leveraged large social networks like YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, and FaceBook to help him win the presidency. Additionally he created his own social network called my.Obama.com. With the same tools that movies and bands use to spread awareness and garner popularity, Obama went to where people are now, online, and strategically used these new media behemoths which weren’t even in existence four years ago.

Whether it was signing up to receive the text message announcing his nominee for vice president, or going to the “MyBo” (My Barack Obama) Web site and getting a list of people to call to get out the vote, donating money, or putting a campaign icon on their personal page -- the campaign provided a way for people to get involved and express their support from the convenience of their very own lap top or cell phone. Obama transferred his roots as a community organizer to dispatch his own viral army throughout the web.

“Over the past 21 months, millions of individuals have used My.BarackObama to organize their local communities on behalf of Barack Obama. People in all 50 states have created more than 35,000 local organizing groups, hosted over 200,000 events, and made millions upon millions of calls to neighbors about this campaign,” wrote 25 old Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, primary coordinator for the Obama campaign’s online organizing, on his MyBo Web site.

In the text message Obama sent when he knew that he had won the election but before he gave his speech, he typed, “we just made history,” and “I wanted to write to you first.” The note is intimate, short and inclusive. It makes people feel as though they have a special connection with the candidate himself. Obama has a way of making masses of people feel individually important – like they matter. Obama is a special politician with a strong message and sense of purposeful direction, but many say he never would have been elected without the user-generated content (UGC) based social networking platforms that have found a way to unify the increasingly fragmented population.

A YouTube video is embedded on the MySpace blog entry. It shows the Golden Gate Bridge, the Manhattan skyline, the arch in St. Louis, mountains of rock, corn farms, and anonymous highways. Varied narrators echo the theme of the campaign saying things like, “This is the first time I’ve felt involved in the voting process,” “This is the first time I’ve ever felt compelled to be part of a movement such as this,” “It is the relationships we have with one another, that is our strength,” and “We’re organizing ourselves.” It’s very upbeat, people-positive, and empowering. Folk of every age and type are included, holding handmade signs with the campaign code words, “Hope” and “Change.”.

He had consistent messaging across the web. These are the largest.

Obama has:
3,254,277 Facebook Supporters
1,057,097 MySpace Friends
490,361 BlackPlanet.com Friends
121,620 Twitter Followers
129,906 YouTube Subscribers
7,142 Flickr Contacts

The quiet sharply contrasts the electric fervor of the weeks leading up to the election when several new blog entries were posted daily on each individual network. Blogs instructed readers how to change their icons and how to volunteer, and warned everyone against being too optimistic. Not just the candidate himself, but millions of supporters, celebrities and regular people were creating their own content and expressing their opinions to their own spheres of influence. Whether a family or P. Diddy’s fan base of millions. Twitter, (the popular social network service where members post 140 character stream of consciousness tweets), aficionados had a special election section where people all over the world were posting news on election night at a rate of 50 messages per second. In the last week of the campaign, Obama’s team uploaded over 70 videos to his YouTube Channel.

“If not for the Internet, Barack Obama would not be president or even the democratic nominee,” claimed Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post Web site. during a roundtable on the final day of the O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Summit held two days after the election in San Francisco.

During his address at the same conference, former Vice President Al Gore said, "The new possibilities on the Web have revolutionized almost every aspect of running for president. And the electrifying redemption of America's revolutionary declaration that all human beings are created equal would not have been possible without the additional empowerment of individuals to use knowledge as a source of power."

“No one knows the impact of quasi-permanency on the Web yet, but it surely has changed the political world,” Allan Louden, a professor who teaches a course on digital politics at Wake Forest University, was quoted in The New York Times. “The role of gatekeepers and archivists have been dispersed to everyone with Internet access.”

Obama is being equally proactive in his new role as President-elect. He launched Change.gov, the official Obama and Biden transition Web site until they take office on January 20, 2009. Included are pages describing how Obama’s team will use technology to increase public participation in government and will more fully disclose important information, working toward the Web 2.0 goal of transparency. Updated daily the site promises to change the way government communicates with its citizens.

On Tuesday, November 25th, the Web site added a public commenting widget to the site, facilitating a two-way dialog between the governing team and the governed. The new feature is called “Join the Discussion,” and it asks users, “What worries you most about the healthcare system in our country?” The copy says, “our policy teams will be sharing new developments with you, the American people, and asking for feedback.”

The software they’re using to support the comments is called IntenseDebate, which was recently purchased by blog platform WordPress. It facilitates discussion by allowing people to comment and also vote on the quality of other people’s comments. After a week there were 3,646 comments which appear to be very well thought out and long. There is a place to give private feedback on the comment system itself. In keeping with the collaborative spirit there is a message, “if you have feedback on this commenting system or want to suggest a better way to do this, let us know.”

Change.gov was criticized when it was first launched because it did not offer the opportunity to talk back through public comments. The transition team heard and responded which bodes positively the nation moves into perhaps our first interactive administration. Obama is posting weekly addresses to YouTube. A self confessed Blackberry addict (in tech circles it’s called crack-berry), Obama is comfortable with today’s technological mandate of constant communication. It forces the administration to be more accountable and transparent since very little will be missed with today’s army of video cell phone users, paparazzi and Web site commenters. In a government founded around the concept of checks and balances, everyone with access to a computer or cell phone can be a more vital part of the process.

11/1/08

Women, Writing, & The Problem of Success

The Ambition Condition is a lengthy essay on bitch magazine, written by Anna Clark, about historic prejudices against women writers that surprisingly persist today. She points out that even J.K. Rowling adopted a gender free moniker because it was thought that young boys wouldn't want to read a book by Joanna Rowling.

The article seemingly was prompted because of the huge, negative response Emily Gould (Gawker) received after Exposed was published in May, 2008 as the New York Times Magazine cover story. It is an article about blogging publicly about her private life felt. I think Clark believes that most of the 'haters' were jealous and assumptively wouldn't have acted that way if she was a man.

I've never been a big Gawker fan although I know many people who are and were. I used to work in "publishing" from early 2005 through 2002. When the first bubble burst I headed for the Hollywood Hills and started working in television. Unlike most of the intellectual literati types I really love reality TV. Reading the New York Times Magazine article made me feel like I was watching a reality TV show. I looked up all the people she referred to and read the snarky piece an ex-boyfriend had written in The Page Six Magazine which I never knew existed.

I went and watched the clip of Emily and Jimmy Kimmel. Although many people refer to the piece as long, it was extremely easy to read and I liked it for the same reasons I like 'The Hills'. I know it's inane but these people open up their lives in a way that people in the real world don't. I've never gone on a date with a friend but I go on these people's dates all the time.

10/1/08

Browsing the Blogosphere

Hot blog posts I ran into today while I was browsing the blogsphere:

1) 21 reasons you should create art from The Future Buzz a personal blog from Adam Singer on social media, marketing, PR and creating buzz on the web. He is the Director of Digital Strategy for Pierson Grant Public Relations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

2) Media Director's weigh in on their favorite sites to buy advertising on iMediaConnection. This isn't surprising, the subheads are Go Big (ie Yahoo), Go Wide (expand your broadcast buy to include the broadcaster's web sites), Go Deep (MySpace and EW (ha?!), Other Options (the most interesting page in the article, talks about Digg, Veoh, iMeem as well as TMZ & Disney), the author, Robert Moskowitz, goes on to talk about the importance of niche and WOM.

8/24/08

Cubix SF

I wonder how good of a deal this is, 250 square feet in SoMa starting at $280. It's the Cubix Yerba Buena 4th & Howard.

8/1/08

Webby Award Winners Music & Art (2003)

MUSIC

Winner: Flaming Lips

5-Word Speech: "First a Grammy, now a Webby."

People's Voice:
Flaming Lips

Other nominees:


NETART

Webby Winner: Listening Post

5-Word Speech: "Scripted formula. Vegans. Political. Fashionable."

People's Voice:
Penny Arcade

Other nominees:

7/30/08

Pop Candy Twitter Comics


'Pop Candy', the USA Today column done by Whitney Matheson, readers created a Pop Candy Twitter Comic book based on her Tweets. It's cool, it's Flash. I used to hate Flash but I think that was because connection speeds were too slow or the program wasn't as advanced as it is today. Now I have no problem with it and I just love the way this page looks and sounds, even more than I like the individual comics.

7/7/08

The Guardian U.K.'s take on Cyber Celebrities (2/08)

The Kids From Boing Boing.net

Stars in your lap

They crack open a beer, they joke, they spoof, they dissect the news — and they're just a few keystrokes away. Bobbie Johnson meets the new wave of cyber celebrities. Can they break out of the techie real and into the bigtime?



6/24/08

Visa Network on FaceBook

Visa Network on Facebook: Viral, social marketing. Visa bought $2 million in advertising on FaceBook. Gave $100 advertising credit on Facebook to each of the first 20,000 U.S. businesses that download the Web application. Arrived online on Tuesday, June 29th. Apparently 80,000 small businesses are already on FaceBook. Google provides some of the services available on the Visa Network. Creative application of attempting to achieve holy grail of monetizing social networks.

6/5/08

Do I Need a Digital Pen?

The AP writer on Yahoo just reviewed digital pens. He likes the LiveScribe Pulse the best, the cheaper model of two pens the company produces. It sells for $149 from their web site. The more expensive $199 version has twice as much memory but he prefers "the cheaper model (which has) has room for 35 hours of audio at the highest quality setting, or more than 100 hours at a lower setting."

It is a sound recorder as well as a tool that remembers what you write which you can later transfer to your computer as a picture. The best feature is that you can insert "bookmarks" in your audio recording so you can find what you're looking for at a later date instead of having to listen to the whole recording. You can tap a place on your notes and the recording will go to what it heard when you wrote those words. You need to buy special paper with little dots on it that isn't prohibitively expensive. He says it's the best tool for taking notes during interviews or lectures besides an expensive tablet. Or even when writing about TV programs (my idea).

5/26/08

Artist in Residence @ San Francisco Dump


I'm so impressed that there is an artist in residence at the actual San Francisco Waste and Recycling center (or something to that affect). When I first saw some pictures at Laughing Squid I thought he was referring to a gallery called "Dump".

5/21/08

word of the day - Neologism

A neologism is a word, term, or phrase that has been recently created (or "coined"), often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, ...

5/5/08

Teen describes role in MySpace hoax

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MSNBC.com

Teen describes role in MySpace hoax
Says mother of a friend was more active in the ruse than she has admitted
The Associated Press
updated 6:24 p.m. PT, Tues., April. 1, 2008

DARDENNE PRAIRIE, Mo. - A teenager involved in an Internet hoax blamed for a 13-year-old girl's suicide said Tuesday that the mother of a friend was more active in the ruse than she has admitted.

Ashley Grills told ABC's "Good Morning America" that Lori Drew called it "a good idea" when Grills and Drew's daughter suggested communicating with Megan Meier over the Internet to see what Megan was saying about the daughter, a former friend.

Megan, of the suburban St. Louis town of Dardenne Prairie, hanged herself in October 2006, after mean-spirited online comments from what she thought was a boy she had befriended, "Josh Evans" and others. The boy was fictional.

Grills, 19, said she created a false MySpace profile of Josh Evans and even found a picture of a good-looking boy to use. But she said Lori Drew wrote some of the messages to Megan.

Drew's family previously said in a statement that Lori Drew was aware of the MySpace comments to Megan, but didn't send them or direct anyone to send them.

Drew's attorney, Jim Briscoe, did not return a phone message left Tuesday by The Associated Press. Grills did not have a listed phone number, and no one answered the door at her home Tuesday evening when the AP tried to get comment.

Megan's story drew international attention when a newspaper first reported details late last year.

At first, "Josh" flirted online with Megan, but eventually the messages turned mean. Grills told "Good Morning America" that she wrote the message that the "world would be a better place without you" that was sent to Megan, who committed suicide not long afterward.

Grills said the message was aimed at ending the online relationship because she felt that the joke had gone too far.

"I was trying to get her angry so she would leave him alone and I could get rid of the whole MySpace," Grills said.

Grills said she tried to commit suicide in the wake of Megan's death. She said she rarely leaves her house.

Drew has been villified by many in her community since news of Megan's suicide became public. Prosecutors have declined to file charges in Missouri, though several communities have either adopted laws, or are considering measures, to penalize Web-based harassment.

The Los Angeles Times has reported that federal prosecutors are considering charging Drew with defrauding MySpace for the false account used to communicate with Megan. ABC News reported that Grills had been granted immunity in exchange for testimony in California.

Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, told The Associated Press on Tuesday he could not comment.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23908375/


© 2008 MSNBC.com

Teenage Online Behavior | MSNBC | 4.29.2008

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MSNBC.com

Growing up online: Is your teen baring all?
Coming of age in the wired world is entirely different from what you knew
By Dr. Laura Berman
TODAYShow.com contributor
updated 9:49 a.m. PT, Tues., April. 29, 2008

Sexual experimentation has always been a part of adolescence, but in previous years it was confided to games of Spin the Bottle or Seven Minutes in Heaven. However, thanks to the Internet and the development of recent technology like camera phones, a new generation of teens is experimenting with sexuality in a whole new way.

Their first forays into sexuality no longer occur on a small scale within a circle of peers, but on a very large one, such as on MySpace and Facebook. From racy pictures posted on these online social networks to sexy photos being sent on camera phones, teens are making their first sexual decisions with an audience of thousands.

Even Disney star Miley Cyrus has received a barrage of press lately for photos that have surfaced on the Web which feature her in flirtatious poses. (Get the scoop here.) How can parents monitor this new wave of sexual experimentation and keep their kids safe from online predators or other serious consequences?

Talk to your teens
What seems like innocent fun to your teenager is actually potentially dangerous. Not only do online predators surf the Web for vulnerable teens, but racy photos can serve to harm your teenager’s reputation. Many teenage girls see sexy photos as something harmless and totally innocent — after all, most of them have no intention of carrying out sexual acts with anyone in the audience. However, by displaying pictures such as these, they are opening themselves up for attack and potentially putting themselves at risk, not just from strangers, but from people in their own peer groups who might not understand the pictures are just for show.

Realize there truly is a generation gap
Teenagers develop much more quickly from a physical standpoint than they do from a mental standpoint. In fact, the frontal cortex (which is the part of the brain responsible for judgment and decision making) doesn’t completely develop until after adolescence. Therefore, teenagers are awash in burgeoning hormones and newly developed bodies, but they do not yet have all of the mental tools that adults have to regulate decision making.

This isn’t to say that teenagers are not smart and capable beings, but they do not have the life experience and brain development that adults have. This makes them more likely to make impulsive or rash decisions. But in the past, these decisions weren’t on display on the Internet for thousands to access. However, now that the Internet is part of almost every American teenager’s life, we need to find ways to address this new trend of adolescent sexual experience. The Internet is not going away any time soon, and neither is MySpace or the iPhone, so adults have to find ways to bridge this generation gap and warn teens about the dangers and responsibilities associated with this new technology.

Acknowledge their maturity
One of the biggest mistakes parents can make is not letting their teenagers have some form of freedom and right to self-expression. Although they are not adults yet, they still need some room to grow and make their own mistakes. It can be extremely helpful for parents to talk about this issue with their teens and play out the potential consequences. Acknowledge how much fun it is to flirt and how exciting it feels to realize others find you attractive. But if you send off a sexy picture to a friend, what would happen if they send it on to 30 others? What would be the reaction? How would he or she feel? Help guide them through the decision-making process and lend them your own frontal lobe function without the judgement.

We can monitor our teens' behavior to make sure they are behaving safely, but after a certain point, they still need a little bit of breathing room. By keeping the communication lines open and letting them know that they can always come to you with questions and concerns, you can help your teen safely monitor the new trend of growing up online.

Even though the platform is new, teenagers still face many of the same battles that we did during our own teenage years. Teens today have the same questions about sex, body image and self-expression that we did, and they are seeking the same acceptance that we were. Let’s help guide them through this process with patience and a watchful eye.

Dr. Laura Berman is the director of the Berman Center in Chicago, a specialized health care facility dedicated to helping women and couples find fulfilling sex lives and enriched relationships. She is also an assistant clinical professor of OB-GYN and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She has been working as a sex educator, researcher and therapist for 18 years.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24356473/


© 2008 MSNBC.com

Great New Twitter Research / Entertainment Reviews Tool


Summize lets you search on a word and it brings up the recent tweets which has that word. It also offers "Trending Topics" which let you know which topics are hot at that particular moment. It's just one of a family of products from the Summize labs. Others are Realtime Sentiment where you input a word and the program reports how those talking about that subject feel about the word. For instance I put in "love" and it reported that the prevalent attitude toward this word was "great" (the highest grade). I put in "hate crimes" and the attitude was wretched, the worst grade.

Reviews, potentially very interesting, it summarizes attitudes and opinions from millions upon millions of comments throughout the web. (47,056,81 at this particular time). You can query for movies, books, music and interesting data magically appears. This is the search result for Madonna it provides opinions on all her products and even shows which bloggers are talking about her the most. Blogger Trends is another way of parsing the review data. It's like a techmeme for entertainment only done automatically which is fairer and while the numbers of sentiments look small, the results look fairly representative. And finally you can find reviews on the iPhone.

New eMarketer Study - User Generated Content


eMarketer projects that by 2012, 50% of the online population or 108.5 million people will be creating UGC (User Generated Content). This includes audio, photos, personal blogs, personal web sites, online bulletin board postings, personal profiles in social networks or virtual worlds and / or customer reviews on sites like Yelp!

The full report costs $695 and is available at eMarketer.

4/6/08

Animoto Music Video

Cool Tool : Down For Everyone Or Just Me ??

Ever not be able to access a site and you don't know if something is up with your computer or if the site is actually down for everyone? I learned of this cool tool that helps you determine whether its you or them without having to ask a bunch of people to test it for you. Appropriately enough it's called Down For Everyone Or Just Me and that is exactly what its URL is. I love it when that happens. I learned of this from @pistachio on twitter.

WSJ: HarperCollins New Plan for Publishing

Because the economics of the publishing business are changing, HarperCollins is experimenting with a new imprint that won't accept returns from retailers and will pay little or no advances to authors. They won't pay for desirable shelf-space in brick and mortar stores but instead will concentrate most of its sales efforts on the Internet and share profits with authors. The new venture is expected to publish about 25 titles a year, emphasizing shorter hardcover titles priced at about $20. It's run by Robert S. Miller who is leaving Disney's Hyperion, an imprint he founded in 1991.

4/5/08

Seesmic acquires Thwirl

Ross Mayfield talks about the offline web experience (ie the client based experience). Seesmic is a personal video sharing web site that makes recording and publishing person web videos easy and Thwirl is a client based application for Twitter which basically means that you can interact with Twitter from a client seperate from a web page. Seesmic plans to make the Thwirl client it's primary skin. The use of the word "acquire" is interesting, the exact finance facts aren't being released but the German developer now works for Seesmic.

Where To Keep On Top Of What's Going On

ReadWriteWeb which is a site that I like but find it hard to look up previous articles has a piece today on "How To Break The Techmeme Habit". I actually hate Techmeme and don't find it useful because basically it shows a lot of the same thing. For instance they list a headline and then 50 other blogs where you can read the same story. I find the headlines old and the relevancy doesn't seem based on anything important. This article lists several other services including Elite Tech News Reddit.

4/3/08

What is Twitter?

I was showing a friend Twitter and asked users to explain what it was. These are the wonderful answers I got very quickly. It was amazing.

zjjtrans
Twitter is an information pool like a network of walkie-talkies.

BeckyMcCray More bad quotes at my Favorite Tweets http://is.gd/45o

verso
@apenny more than IM, less than email. But with a megaphone
BeckyMcCray Twitter is the Chameleon of Social Networks. It changes to match your needs at any moment. Conversation, Info, Announcements @sass

zachw http://tinyurl.com/384n2f <-- common craft: twitter in plain english

lisamer Hi to you @penny and your friend. It's hard to describe Twitter; its charms announce themselves through use more than demonstration.

BeckyMcCray “Twitter germinates, where Facebook merely incubates.” from @danlight on SxSW http://tinyurl.com/39zqs3

BeckyMcCray "It's like LinkedIn had a cocktail party." - @NewMediaJim

sioksiok Twitter is an online cocktail party that reconvenes every day.
stephenk @apenny: It is the intersection between text messaging on cells and IRC chat on computers, I suppose. That's how it often is used.

3/30/08

FriendFeed New Popular Social Networking Site


FriendFeed is the new cool kid on the social media block. It pulls in your feeds from up to 32 sources listed in this picture. I'm sure new ones will be added as they go along. Personally it's an overwhelming amount of information and I find it disconcerting that it's organized by "friend", for instance a list of the 4 twitters person X twitted that day completely out of context. But that might just be a learning curve for me since I haven't really looked at it seriously.

I find it interesting that LinkedIn is one of the feeds and not FaceBook. You can comment, like, link mute comments, and unsubscribe for each individual post at FriendFeed itself. It's a pet peeve of mine that when you comment on something people reply to your comment at the same location where you commented so you have to go back there to read the comment. I usually don't go back and so if someone does reply it's lost to me.

Michael Arrington
has a post about it on TechCrunch today questioning how it fits in with the desire for data portability. He questions where an individualized centralized presence should be. Scobleizer was an early fan, he says because of the centralized commenting and that often the comments there become a much more interesting and lengthy discussion than the original "twit" for example.

3/25/08

Jason Alba: "I'm on FaceBook: Now What?"

Jason Alba who founded Job Search Management Service JibberJobber.com was covered nicely in US News and World Report about his new book "I'm on FaceBook: Now What?" and boosting sales through corporate networking.

Guy Kawasaki posted 10 things you didn't know about Facebook which come from the book also written by Jesse Stay on 4/3/08.

3/20/08

There's A Lot Going On

Like, duh. I'm kind of overwhelmed by all the recent developments in Web 2.0 and I didn't even go to SXSW. It's been about a year since I became interested again in all things Internet after taking a couple of years off to work in traditional TV in Hollywood.

I almost said "real TV" and I'm reminded many years ago of when I got out of MBA school and I moved to Los Angeles to become a TV producer (one can dream, no?). I had worked at Showtime Networks and MTV Networks for 2 years each. Some guy who was friends with a professor had me in to discuss breaking into the biz. He worked at an impressive production company that hadn't had a hit in over 10 years and told me, "call me when you get a job in real TV." Not nice, not nice at all.

It's interesting though. Did you know that The Real World on MTV which arguably got the whole reality TV ball rolling is celebrating its 20th season. I started working online in 1995 at Time Warner's Pathfinder project. Hollywood tried to launch episodics like "The Spot" and "The Couch". I lived in NYC until I moved home to the West coast in 1997. They're completely different in regards to content.

At least in San Francisco there is much more of a focus on the technology and software as content. They're really snobby in NYC and they have a right to be. I'm a 3rd generation San Franciscan and one thing constant about the artisitic community here is that there's not a lot of money in it. In general I think people don't necessarily move to San Francisco to help their career. It's more about the lifestyle.

3/3/08

Analyst: Recording industry needs even newer business models

By Jacqueline Emigh, BetaNews March 3, 2008, 2:23 PM

JupiterResearch analysts are pointing to the music industry's need to revolutionize its business model even further, as social networking sites, Internet radio stations, and legit P2P services are taking command of the market.

As music steps more and more toward online distribution, it will become increasingly important for the entertainment industry to find new business models along with new device paradigms, according to analysts at JupiterResearch.

2/11/08

Ad Agencies Need to Conversate

A new and redesigned Ad Age has an article about a new report from Forrester. Ad Agencies need to establish social connections and develop relationships with decision makers since most people get information from their friends and community members. Consumers are increasingly not paying attention to advertisers messages but they are interested in participating in a conversation so they can learn about how choose and use products.

2/7/08

10 Designers Checkpoint Services

From Smashing Magazine

10 Designers Checkpoint Services: Measure all sorts of things, keyword popularity, click-throughs, traffic, accessibility.

Funny Sells -- Brainstorm with Humor

From Fast Company, a conversation with John Morreall on the link between humor and innovation, why authoritarian bosses fear humor, and the funniest CEO in America.

John Morreall, a professor at the College of William and Mary, is the founder of Humorworks, a consulting firm for companies such as AT&T, Cisco Systems, IBM and Time Warner. He has written four books on humor and is working on a new one titled "Funny Business" with New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff.

You say that humor increases productivity, reduces conflict, and fosters change. Is this a joke?

Humor is healthy, especially the way it reduces stress. Humor is the opposite of fight-or-flight emotions -- especially fear and anger. I can't be laughing with you and angry or afraid of you at the same time.

How does it encourage creativity?

Humor makes us think more flexibly. People who think funny do better on creativity studies. To put it really simply, humor loosens up your brain to think of more possibilities and be more open to the wild and wacky ones.

1/22/08

Random Cool Blogs

Well Tumblr,

Hysterical Paroxysm

& a post pointing out a disease I didn't realize I had -- MADD
A Writing Disorder That Stifles Your Creativity from copyblogger.

1/21/08

Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2008

From the Sydney Herald, via THE BURGER via JaffeJuice.com:

Here they are:

1. The Chumby
2. Microblogging
3. Everyblock
4. 23AndMe
5. Peer-to-Peer Lending
6. Mob Rules
7. Guerilla Wi-Fi
8. World Community Grid
9. Loopt
10. One Laptop Per Child

I'm hooked on Microblogging (Twitter), The Chumby looks silly, all for Guerilla Wi-Fi and One Laptop Per Child, hopefully going to children who can really use them. The Burger makes a good point that maybe children need health care and food first.