September 26, 2006

Noticing my De-Evangelizing about BAU in Virtual Worlds

Ed Kohler was kind enough to notice and note some (what I thought were) keen observations (and a hell of a headline) that I made the other day about PR pros implying that they have the key to second life, and that the key is replicating first life, except shinier. Ed's article asks an important question: "Should businesses in Second Life mirror the real world?" I don't think so--because doing so is recreating an avataresque version of business as usual (BAU) that will repel human beings in these new worlds just like it did the first time around.

The push toward private relations--social relations among individuals and coops of individuals as organizations--isn't going to disappear inside of virtual worlds; it's going to strengthen. Like never before, the demand is for outsiders coming in to these micronets to adapt to the culture, to interact in context with those who are already there.

Businesses, you are entering a land of people who have already pushed westward and settled vast territories in a quest to be freer. What are you going to do--set up Parliament all over again? And think that they'll LIKE you?

Think again.

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Last but not least...

As I wrap up my fifth year blogging and head toward number six (in November), I've been thinking more and more about why we stay. Never mind why we start--a lark, curiosity, anger, the possibility of making a difference, whatever--but what keeps us here? And even when we leave, why do we keep coming back? About blogging, a certain raging boy once told me, "Just don't quit--there's something in lasting, in hanging on."

That was during a time of great personal drama and trauma in my life, when I wanted to walk away from everything--especially this blog. To delete it. To send it away. To show I still had control of something, I was tempted to turn this space to dust. By hanging on to this blog, I think, I held on to myself--and in the undoing of so many things, I reconstruct myself here. Still.

It is so simple what we're doing here. And yet, it embodies layers and layers of complexity in relating.

People have asked me so many times, why do you stay with Blogger? Why do you stay on blogspot? Why didn't you move everything over to on Wordpress? If you're using Qumana, what does it matter where you post to?

These are all very good questions. I rarely have a way to answer them that satisfies the asker or me. True, I have stayed here for five years although I've gone off and tried starting a typepad blog and wordpress blogs. Although I use a blog editor to post the majority of my posts. Even when Blogger has given me the most of its trouble, I have stayed. And each time I stay, the resolve to stay is stronger.

I can't say exactly why. Maybe Blogger was my mama goose for the Internet--imprinting itself on me with a homing instinct that drives me back. Or maybe it's because Blogger was and still is an accessible, free service--not just for me, but for people I care about, or because blogger's user interface is still superior to the other blogging tools for non-techs, or that blogger has gotten more of my friends and even a relative or two blogging who would not have blogged otherwise.

Yes, you can "set a noob up" with a wordpress or typepad blog, but if they're your aunt, or your aunt's priest, or your kid, or your friend, you can simply say: go to'll tell you what to do.

When Ev coined the Blogger tagline, "Pushbutton Publishing for the People," which is still the best description of what we're doing here six years later, it was no joke. That's exactly what Blogger was. And something about it's never trying to be MORE than that appeals to me.

I still think about the first time I hit the publish button and saw how much faster, easier, and powerful Blogger was for writing to the Web. I was no longer designing web pages. I was WRITING ONLINE.

So I guess that's why I stay. I stay because I came.

And because my staying helped other people come, I stay still.

And the easiest way to say Come, for me anyway, has always been: go to and follow the directions.

I accomplish MORE while I'm here using Qumana, which has turned me into a posting machine and makes editing and offline composition so much easier--and it can post to my blogs no matter what platform I'm on.

But I stay with Blogger because it's home.

I used to bitch about never getting a Blogger Hoodie when Google bought Blogger. I've bitched quite often when Blogger pisses me off. I've also stood up for Blogger and Blogspot to those who see this space as a Low Rent District.

I figured, if I'm not a good billboard, who is? In Gonzo Engaged, I started the first team blog ever on Blogspot. I was on BloggerPro the second day it came out, and I bought the highest subscription rate for Blogspot hosting in 2001-02, for both Allied and Blog Sisters. Blog Sisters was the first women's team blog on Blogger.

With all of this pretty well known, after the Google acquisition, when I saw all the old-time Blogger bloggers with t-shirts and Hoodies, I was like, "Why not me?" Folks were like, "You were supposed to request a Hoodie on the site." I said, "I DID request a Hoodie. I just never got one."

Well after a few years of wondering why my Hoodie never came, today it arrived.

And, to be honest, I cried when I opened the nondescript box and saw what was inside.

No, Really. I mean, I didn't sob. Tears simply came when I read the note: "Hi Jeneane, Thanks for all your years of blogging."

I finally got my welcome home.

Thank you, Blogger.

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Pre-Enjoyed Socket from M. Levy.
Originally uploaded by Jeneane.

September 25, 2006

You tell me what is a gig?


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Taking Care / Care Taking and getting away

Ahh -- Elaine finally got away on vacation. I'm glad to hear it. I can feel the autumn air - and time passing - in her post:

Sunday was a deliciously fattening breakfast at the newly opened Cheescake Factory in Albany. It's amazing how much has changed since I moved a year ago. New mcmansions being built where the nursery was where I used to buy my plants; the strip mall where I would hunt for bargains at TJ Maxx, empty.

And we are changing, too, as each, in her own time, reaches retirement age. Four of us had careers with state government, so our pensions are better than most. The other two are worried that they will never be able to retire, since their work histories are different. One, for example, works for the post office. Her retirement pension will be only $7000 a year.

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We may say this about the Valley, and we may say that about the Valley

and we may be right about the valley -- nonetheless, the clips here (especially Marc's) make me want to buy the In Search of the Valley DVD. I  just might spring for it. If you do first, let me know how it is. Hope there are some womenfolk in it too. Or maybe that's the point. ;-)

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Techmeme Goes Meta Taking Ads from Its Own

Wow. I felt all whiplashish visiting techmeme this morning and noticing "sponsor" posts -- or ads -- over on the right. Now I may not be the smartest cat in the bag (what?), but seems to me that the kind of sponsors ought to be paying to post on techmeme at $3K - $5K a month are sites that have 'getting a life' or 'living life as a normal person' as their central theme, not more web 2.0 sites, like Socialtext, ODesk and Wink, which are likely to end up on techmeme one way or the other for free.

Maybe camping or cooking out related sites or blogs. Or perhaps dogster or catster or pet sales sites. Anything that connects techmeme's passionate geeks with the realworld. Bridge their gap for them, eh? Even BlogHer, you know? Ah well, we'll see how it all comes out in the wash.

UPDATE: oh okay. Gabe has talked to a bunch talked to a bunch of savvy guys about it -- the Gillmor Gang, Jeff Jarvis, Nik Cubrilovic, Phil Sim, and Brian Oberkirch, among others. So, you know. Thank w00tness for that.

UPDATE 2: Vern over at -- a service that makes possible what techmeme's sponsorship section is doing -- has a great offer over at his place for Web 2.0 startups who can't afford to shell out a few grand this month.

For the next two weeks, if you're a Web 2.0 company or tech. startup and have a blog, we'll circulate your blog in our advertising slot at the bottom of the TGB widget. All we need you to do is contact us with your name, email address, url of your company blog, a short description of your company and the company url and we'll put you into our pool for consideration.

I'm also offering to add any women-run startups to our Blog Sisters goodblogs widget for a month. It's free. See Vern for the how-tos.

COME ON, come over.

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Did he say I edit wikipedia?

I'm too behind. I missed this. Thanks, wag. I needed that.

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PhoneCon 2006 -- They Came. They Talked. They Hung Up.

What happens when you plan a conference in 24 hours that no one has to attend about nothing in particular with a skeleton agenda and a six-hour day to fill?


Thanks to those who de-attended PhoneCon 2006. I can't remember when I laughed so much with so many different people at one time. First one to bring Hood Cam -- the hood-of-your-car-mounted-webcam (tagline: Images from the Hood) into production wins the PhoneCon Innovator's Trophy. That doesn't exist yet.

Next year we promise to innovate NOTHING at PhoneCon. HoodCam was a mistake.

I know I missed some folks in the list below--for no other reason than I'm a lame organizer/moderator and I didn't take a single note. SO, please feel free to add your link in comments if I forgot you, and I'll put you up here with these Solid Citizens who were in attendance.


PhoneCon 2006 Roll

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September 24, 2006

Text 100 Misses the Second Life Boat

Nice clean world presented by Text100 in their video on how companies can do better brand building and build stronger customer relationships all while "marketing their products much more efficiently" (the old fashioned way, except as good looking avatars), on Second Life.

While PR ass kissing goes on about what a good idea the video was, I have to say, What?

What a waste of a high quality video effort. I've got it! Let's say we're going to demonstrate the power of virtual world interactions so that we can build islands for OUR clients right? And show them how they can invite their customers to do business with them the same way as before, except, it's fake, right, so let's replicate the meeting rooms, dress up in nice suits that only Kenny with the earrings can wear "that way" in our real office, and drag our clients into a virtual world meeting where they can stare at a virtual CEO at a virtual podium talking about the power of brand building and marketing in a virtual world with our virtual logo installed in the virtual background.

Nice production value, okay, but WHAT? I think I even saw a PowerPoint Pie Chart.

I don't know what Second Life you're in, but in MY Second Life I'm still building cubes out of wood, wondering what the hell THAT creature is, how I kiss it, all the while mistakenly getting on (and booted off of) other people's vehicles as I look for my realworld friends in their Second Life forms. A good night is sitting on a bench chatting up the virtually buff Michael O'CC about how cool it is that we can both smoke in second life as I struggle to figure out what keystrokes = INHALE DEEEEPLY.

You see, an Island doesn't a strategy make. And don't let them fool you, my friends on the other side of the isle. The REAL power is in human beings inhabiting worlds where they are not who they are, and who they are is not who they become, and what they do may -- just may be -- who they really are. Within those nuances of play and passion and aggression is where we connect.

For example, if you're a major maker of floor coverings, you'd do better to connect with your market as an EXPERIENCE inside of a virtual world -- not on your own island or your PR firm's island, or on a pixelated repeat of Madison Avenue or your showroom. NO. Get to the context of the thing. Meet me in a seedy virtual jazz club where I'm tapping my feet on your hardwoods (what sound does it make? can I hear it?), or snapping my whip on the easy-to-clean linoleum of a BDSM hideout (is it really tough on stains?), NOT standing in a virtual demo kitchen staring at a virtual floor with a virtual pattern made up as a Carol Brady avatar in a post-modern suit.

You get?

Tell me you get.

(Hat tip for the little jig at the end of the video. Next time strip or somethin'.)



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Social Servings?

The Daily Plate - I think I like this. It can compare what you chose with some other choices that JUST MIGHT have been a WEE bit better than that triple big mac with gravy and cheese fries.

You can be the "me" who uploads healthy recipes too and link up with other getting-healthier people. Social software? How about Social-Take-All-My-Excuses-Away. I'm going to the Y (insert favorite Y joke) again tomorrow. It isn't doing a damn thing, but I sure can take a great nap after two hours of frolicking fitness. Okay one hour of fitness and a kickass sauna and whirlpool sit.

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Denise Heats it UP

I see Denise shows no fear of using the Pod word, so that's good enough for me. PODcast, PODpeople, PODipedia.

Mostly, when I read Denise's recent post, I found myself longing for the days of water and sun, which are long gone from these parts and have been for weeks--school started 6+ weeks ago in Atlanta.

I'd rather be floating.

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People who write for a living...

...get pee-on-thyself giddy when the opportunity to write a headline like this presents itself.

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George Clinton Sunday

"The defense department created the Internet," proclaims Clinton. "I know something’s got to be wrong with it. You don’t get anything that good for free." Clinton further expounded that the information age is merely a digital preparation for the masses. (here)


"After communism fell, they needed another war, so they went to Columbia and brought drugs in so fast they were on every street. The same people that were supposed to be protecting me from it are doing it to get more money for the fight."  (here)

"Why the Funk?? Wow, that’s a hell of a question.   That’s sacrilege." (here)

"It is a family.  Aint nobody stay together this long and go though the things we do without being a family.  You fight, fuss, kiss, love, and make up and start all over again. It ain't no virtual family.   It’s reality."  (here)

"When I hear music that parents hate, or older musicians hate, I know that’s the new music. When I hear older people saying, 'I hate Rap or Techno' I rush to it." (here)

"Sometimes we get so caught up in language, and “this” word and “that” word, that we lose site of the bigger problems in the world. At one time, the word “Bitch” simply meant female dog. Now, it has a negative meaning. Many negative words in one time and/or culture are meaningless in another. We’ve got to stop wasting time fighting over nonsense. I’m still waiting for aliens to come." (here)

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Calling all Libriarians, Authors, and Book Collectors, and Biblio Geeks

Rageboy has discovered some serious shit in the way of simple yet catastrophic cataloguing of books using his i-whatever webcam, Mac, maniacal brainpower, and some barcode scanning software somethingorother.


I can't say that I have a Mac, his kind of patience, or quite understand what is going on, but the resulting bibliography-cum-steroidal-manifest-destiny-of-books is IN-FUCKING-CREDIBLE.

I believe somewhere there was an accidental scanning of his own face. I'm not sure how healthy that is. For any of us.

These books (most of them anyway) were listed on the Mystic Bourgeoisie blog.

This collection contains 704 books and was last updated on 24 September 2006. It was generated (semi-)automatically by Bookpedia.

You can thank the publishers and (in some cases) reviewers for the crappy formatting and execrable spelling in many of the Summary sections -- which are pulled directly off Amazon, not written by me. I am not endorsing all these books -- by a long shot. Some are extremely valuable resources. Some are here precisely because they're utter crap. It is left as an exercise for the reader -- that's you -- to decide which is which.

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