it's me, jenna! jeneane's little daughter. i am trying to name my puppy. it is a girl. she's about two months old. a german shepherd mix. half floppy, half standup ears. black and tan. i need help naming her. some of my favorite names so far are grace, dori, chloe and pickles. my mom and dad only sort of like those. except mommy likes grace. they said to ask you.
Do you have some puppy names?
she sort of looks like this, except younger.
May 19, 2006
Because THIS one is scary. All I can figure is that PR is PRing itself because the whole industry would like to spin this puppy. Why? When what seem like familiar billing practices end up sending other firms' folks to jail, you go: oooo...man.
Another juror cited a series of e-mails among Dowie, Stodder and other Fleishman-Hillard executives in Los Angeles and the firm's headquarters in St. Louis. In them, Dowie asked that the billing be "padded" to help meet monthly revenue projections, and Stodder repeatedly directed his subordinates to bill more time to the city.
good thing most people are smart enough NOT to put those kind of requests in email.
I want one BigPR person to come here and leave a comment, with a hand on the Bible or The Da Vinci Code--your preference--stating that you believe the biggest account in your office has never had extra hours (either value-billed or hours from other clients' projects that went over budget) billed to that mega-budget client. Ever.
Heck, I extend that invitation to BigConsulting in general.
Come on--you stake your reputation on that having never happened.
May 18, 2006
Passion--with or without a business model--will always win out on the net.
The passionate Susan Kitchens started Family Oral History some time ago, before I noticed services like Our Story (formerly wisdom ark, though don't think it really launched as wisdom ark but that was the name a couple of weeks ago at OnHollywood, I think. Rebranding in beta--that's webby2.0ey. They were probably waiting to get the good domain, which they did).
Anyway, Susan does a great review of the Our Story service, complete with screen clips and a brief interview with a representative there upon noticing that the TOS indicated a fee may be charged to get your data back out of the service.
That's the thing with "the cloud"--fishing stuff back out.
Susan's post is an interesting look from the perspective of a bloggerpreneur with a passion for preserving family records getting under the hood of a seemingly squeeky-clean web 2.0 beta fresh from OnHollywood. Lots of good feedback there.
I hope Susan also has a chance to take a look at Amiglia, another new family 2.0 beta helping users map and share photos, people, music and games across family connections.
Secret: It's not just baseball. No woman has ever slugged me in the shoulder and not had me fall head over heels in love with her, even if momentarily. If you want to win my heart, all you have to do is get about a three or four foot running start and put your entire weight behind your tiny fist and plow it into my arm and you will see the cartoon hearts coming out of my head. I bet I’m not alone. You should try it with that guy you're interested in. Next time you see him, don't say 'hi' and curl a lock of hair around your finger coyly. Get right to the goddamn point. Just flat out deck him.
Don't miss the last line.
Even Elaine has slipped off the blue slope on the immigration issue. I'm stunned, and I'm attributing it to the stress of her recent move. Either that, or Elaine has jumped the shark.
And she's not alone. If I hear one more talk show, radio show, news show, friend or blogger bemoaning the plight of "our ancestors" who hung on to ship rails, pieces of floating lumber, donkey's tails and half-eaten skidoos to get to the promised land, using the "we" "we "we" voice regarding that universal experience, without even HINTING at a few details of how some other now-Americans got to this land, I'm going to have to tape the blood vessels back into my head.
Number one, your ancestors weren't the first ones here and no one saw their asses assimilating to the customs and language of the Cherokee; and number two, a very large and distinct portion of America's ancestry is made up of people who were bought, chained, flogged, and shipped here, where they were sold, chained, and put to work to build this-land-is-your-land without pay in slavery. Assimilate THAT.
To put it a little more clearly, we gots us a history with brown skinned folks a goin' way back.
NOW, the two facts above may have little to do with the immigration issues at hand and in the headlines. But they have a ton to do with many of the stupidest arguments I am hearing, day after day, from intelligent people about why Bush is right, as they mistake politics for reality.
I'm not saying I know how to fix it, but when it comes to discussing the topic, I expect more out of smart people.
May 17, 2006
...You'll want to find someone in your company who's willing to blog regularly, under their real identity and with an authentic voice, says Jeneane Sessum, a communications and social-media consultant. "The role of corporate blogger can be filled by a passionate employee...or [through] a concerted effort that encourages all employees to blog...or it can be the CEO, the development team, or the courier," Sessum says.
And you'll want to be sure that your blogger has something personal and interesting to write about. "If small businesses are thinking of reiterating internal news or press releases on the company blog, they would do well to save their energy and avoid the wrath of the commenters who have been known to swarm on lame entrants into the blogosphere," she warns.
Wow. I got to say "lame" and "swarm" in Business Week. Truthfully? It doesn't get any better than that.
Brand Dialoge lists a gaggle of Web2.0r conferences coming up all in one place, real organized, with speakers too--a great resource. Now you can see what you're missing in one easy glance! Because the BlogHer description is a little light, let me suggest you review who's speaking at BlogHer here and here for starters. It's an impressive assortment of women, a partial list of which I would call your attention to in danah boyd, Heather Armstrong, Arieanna Foley, Jennifer James, Toby Bloomberg, Susan Kitchens, Lynne D. Johnson, Charlene Li & Marnie Webb -- and that's just for starters.
Dysfunction Junction: BigPR, BigMediaList Keepers, and the Solo Practitioner -- An Eye on Bacon's and Vocus
I’ve been online a long time. I’ve done what I do for a living for a longer time. Those two areas of my life collided in 1996 with my first corporate website and online communications initiative.
You should know these things not because it’s a good way to rev up my rant, well maybe, but also because I’m tired. Tired as an online participant as an online user.
I’m tired of telling companies how to do business with me—NAY, not just telling, but showing: look, do it like this: 1, 2, 3. Wait, even better, get out of the way and I’ll do the work of doing business with you myself.
If my enthusiasm for changing the world, or at least the world of business, took a hit during Web 1.0, it’s been run over during this recent iteration of business as usual by any other name.
Enter the keepers of all media lists, Bacon's, and competitor Vocus, to name two. Now, understand that I have been a user of MediaMap (now Bacon’s MediaSource(?) (How much did that re-branding exercise cost?) for almost 10 years. I haven’t been able to afford access the last two years, having completely severed my agency ties and stopped begging email-password combos off friends.
I’ve said before, these high-priced ($3-$5K per year per license) services are among the most important barriers left keeping the small fish from taking over the practice and processes of PR from BigPR firms.
As such, the business models of BigPR and BigMediaListKeepers are tightly intertwined. Hello: That’s really important. And maybe that’s a good thing. Because where there’s a barrier, someone with smarts and a nose for opportunity will come crashing through it eventually.
More on that another time, as models for ways of crashing through this barrier are forming, and deserving of posts of their own.
But back to my story. Not only have I been a user of MediaSource, once Map, for nearly a decade, but I have been listed as a pitchable outlet in MediaMap, now Source, for more than three years, as writer/reporter/journalist (hee) of this very weblog, which is listed in the heretofore mentioned databases. When blogs were added as news sources, there I came. Kind of an early model of consumer as producer, I’d say.
Pitching myself was always the easiest answer. I rarely was rude, except when I caught myself on a bad day.
Anyway, typical with all of the media sources added, I wasn’t asked; they added me. That’s how it works. And, the reason so few object to being added as a journalist or media outlet is because – yes you do get pitched with bogus stuff that everyone in blogland can make fun of – but generally you find out some interesting stuff about interesting products from PR people who are just itching to tell you everything you want to know while you treat them rudely and make them do a lot of work for you. Win-win or what?
Except that it would be nice if Bacon’s made at least SOME opt-in and customizable options available online for those they pimp, like the old airline menus where you could choose Kosher or vegetarian—but that was before the airlines took food away altogether, put you in a coffee can seat with a strap and a fuse, lit your ass on fire, and called that air travel.
The relationship between BigMediaKeepers like Bacon’s and uberPR firms like Ketchum, for example, is a happily dysfunctional and expensively enmeshed co-dependency based on the way things worked before the conversational Web developed.
BigPR says to Bacon’s: you tell us who to send emails (used to be faxes) to, and we’ll pay you enterprise license fees so that we don’t have to get to know those people ourselves, because they don’t like us and we don’t like them but we both need each other. And Bacon’s says: Okay that’ll be lots and lots of thousands of dollars for an enterprise license, thank you very much, here’s your username and password, or would you like us to integrate our offering with your extranet for a little bit more, and train your thousands of users for—oh never mind we’ll throw that in for *free* with (some strings attached) after making sure no one can truly get what they need without the training.
This shit is SO ripe for an intervention.
Again, because these tools are essential, if dysfunctional, I’ve been looking at ways to get into MediaSource by sharing or creating an entity of likeminded solo practitioners who want to share a license. I don’t know if that’s legal—the two or three of us who’ve emailed back and forth saying, HEY, that would work for me, haven’t checked into all of that yet. Does this sound silly yet in the age of open source? Well it should.
That being said, I’ve tried to play by the rules, and have emailed inquiries to both Bacon’s and Vocus to try to find out how much their services actually cost.
I’ve gotten straighter answers out of used car salesmen.
First of all, let me say this to them about that: If you are going to ENGAGE me online and INTEREST me in your service, then you better give me a way to INTERACT with you online and—heavens!—even purchase online.
Instead with both of these companies, you have to submit your contact information and agree to be contacted by phone, at which point (I can tell you this from experience with both providers), if you have out of the ordinary questions, ass meet crack, you’re kicked out of the buying process.
With Vocus in particular, they are keen on setting you up with a 30-minute demo, which I can’t believe folks would spend time on BEFORE they know if they’re really interested—i.e., how much does it cost?
Nonetheless, I have one voice mail back from Bacon’s (man, when will they let you podcast directly from voicemail?) asking me to call back to talk about the service (I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, I want you to tell me how much and care that I’m a Blogger and I’m going to write about you), and I talked to a polite gentleman at Vocus who quoted me $4,900 annually, but implied that the price was somehow negotiable.
I stopped him half way through and said, look, what I need are the media lists, that’s all. And I need to know if you can make it affordable to a solo practitioner like me. And I won’t spend a half hour of my time until I know those things. I’m a Blogger and I’ve used MediaMap for years and I’m IN it, so if you can do what MediaMap does, and you have some affordable pricing, I’m sold.
At this point the Vocus guy tells me they are BETTER than Bacon’s because they update their databases DAILY, and he would have another person call me to discuss pricing, which, dear friends, I doubt would result in a satisfactory price for my solo modest means, but nonetheless the point is, I haven’t heard from anyone.
And I don’t want to. I WANT this information to be available ONLINE and I WANT them to show me they UNDERSTAND what I need by interacting with me at the point of engagement, not by wasting my voicemail on my cell phone. I want them to not keep their pricing options a secret. I want them to EMAIL me because I gave them my EMAIL. I want to see their sample lists without having to sit down for a half-hour time-share pitch.
I swear to you, it makes me want to learn how to design software because HOLY shit there must be a better way, and I already know what it is, and every day I don’t have it I wish I could pay someone to give it to me or build it myself.
I have to go take some ibuprofen now. Yes, that means you can pitch me on herbal remedies for pain. No spaam please.
May 16, 2006
why bother. if i'm not going to rant here, then where?
The truth is, none of this makes sense offline. And shit-little makes sense online--or increasingly so.
I can't stand outside with my across-the-fence neighbor and say, "How about fucking gmail? It's pissing me off. I don't want email that acts like a forum; I like email acts like goddam email, one message at a time, not all tied together pretending to be a conversation when for chrise-sake, it's EMAIL. If I want a phone call, I'll MAKE ONE."
Because he's nice enough for a neighbor, but he assembles fighter jets at Lockheed and I'm pretty sure he's on AOL.
Which brings me to you: What's up with gmail's chat/conversation/flowy/gooey/i-missed-your-email- everyone/freaked-out approach to organizing mail by threads. I hate it. I like dates, times, and when i want to, maximum sorting capability. I want email. That's "E" plus "Mail."
So, I'm assuming there's an Outlook-like Gmail Classic format that I'm missing a link to somewhere? A little button I can click to take the power of gmail an make it look like Outlook? Someone tell me where before i miss some reply from you to some very important email bumped down the food chain into WTF-land.
May 15, 2006
Our Canadian Brothers and Sisters and their friends are Meshing it up. Wish I wuz there. If I had tons of money, I'd invest in a few Canadian Web 2.0 companies. Canada's like the Valley, except without so much the obnoxious thing. You can quote me on that.
You waited, what, a whole day for this post?
May 14, 2006
if i could i would i swear i would
move the moon i've tried to, you know
move the sun inside to keep you warm,
i swear i would if i could bring the sky
so low it would cradle you,
wipe tears from your eyes with the clouds,
i swear i would if i could sew seams
from lengths of hair build a fine fashioned chair
for you to sit on, relieve your back,
if i could i would god knows
knock a nail with a hammer to build a cart
to take you here and there,
save your feet and aged knees,
if you please, if i could i swear i would
turn the roads from hilly to flat so you
would not bounce like that along the way
and i swear if i could i would
fix every little thing with a handwritten letter
make it all better, make you believe i love you
always will, and i would that you could know
with words already spoken so many times ago.
Fly away, yeah, ride the sky away,
Kingdom come tonight.
Mighty day, yeah the stone rolls away,
Chains will melt in the light.
They will tell you your wings have lost the power of flight,
Flew too close to the sun, fell back into the night.
But if we open our eyes, we can open our wings
Hey, and sail out of sight.
Higher and higher, goin' straight for the light.
Feel the fire, or you'll feel the fright.
Hey tonight, fly away tonight.
Fly away tonight.
--Fly Away, John Perry Barlow with Bob Weir
Looks like I'm GOIN' TO BLOGHER, BABY, courtesy of the generosity of our clued Canadian friends at Qumana, who've sponsored Jenna and I to make the trip. WAAAAHOOOO!
DO you know how many people are going to be there that I've been wanting to meet for-like-ever? DO you also know Dave Winer will be there as well? Not to mention, I finally get to verify for all of my co-Easterners who, like me, may not have ever ventured west of Texas, that there IS indeed gold in them there hills--and a left coast after all.
Jenna's like, "Will I meet RAVEN?!"
I'm like, "I DONNO!"
My friend Phyllis lives near San Jose (in San something I think) and I have never met her beautiful daughter in person. Only in her belly. WOW! And she has a bird named Birdie, and every morning Birdie says: "I'm a Birdie.?."
And I've always wanted to hear him wonder.
HOW ROCKING COOL is this? Holy shit. You all better come now. Else I'll feel all weird and homesick. I'd hate for you to be responsible for that.