Does jory not look stunning? Oh dear--all of these weddings and births and it isn't even summer!
November 01, 2006
"Some people seem to think that I either need to shut down TechCrunch, or stop investing. Here’s my answer: No."
TechCrunch seems to be down--I won't speculate whether that's because of a technical glitch or a temper glitch--but the words above are from Mike Arrington's post at CrunchNotes responding to all of the discussion lately over Mike, his site, his views, his mouth, and his business practices.
Of all the words in his post--some that make me want to pull out my own hair out--I like this sentence. As everyone knows, Mike has every right to run his business and his site how he likes. And as everyone knows, folks have every right to: poke fun, slam, love, hate, admire, envy, diss or ignore TechCrunch. Advertisers have the right to invest their money there or not.
That's why Mike's "No" is an appropriate response. Although I'm not sure the entire issue is the Federal Case Mike's interpreting it as. Mike doesn't shy away from controversy, so why does this last round of flack for his processes and views have him on the defensive? There's got to be something more. And that something must have to do with money, because everything does.
Whatever the deal is, and even though Mike pisses me off when he's oblivious to his own ego, I hope he gets back to the site soon and keeps doing what he's doing because TechCrunch is an important part of both the online tech food chain and the social structure of the blogosphere. Whatever you think of Mike, that's the case. I read TechCrunch every day. Even when I get pissed at Mike's mouth, I still read it. I enjoy the rise that he gets out of me. I usually also post about what I agree with and what I don't care for--and I'm usually NOT careful about NOT offending the folks at TechCrunch even though I and MY BUSINESS are part of the Arrington Economy. Because once I start caving to that, I lose credibility. And I'm not mainstream, so my voice is all I have.
The thing Mike doesn't understand as he slams mainstream media is that TechCrunch is under fire because TechCrunch has gone mainstream by blogworld standards. Once you have gained 13,000 inbound links and are being beamed out to every conceivable device and delivery channel, and once you have a business model and revenue stream dependent on the broadcast of your content across all of those channels, then you have become mainstream. You can jump up and down about not being mainstream and how you're not mainstream because you're happily biased. But you are broadcasting. Period. And a few responses to reader comments doesn't change that fact.
Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. But it does mean that you're not going anywhere anytime soon. You are entrenched and hard coded. No sit-in or protest or number of insults can take you down. You are in power.
Just as Mike believes his work helps gives mainstream media a reality check, he has to understand that that same dynamic is in play with his site and the people who criticize him.
It's one thing to know this because it's common sense, and it's another thing to know it when you're in the hot seat. I would imagine it's also harder to parse it when friends and people you respect are among those checking-and-balancing your ass as they light coals under your feet.
So all of this is my uneducated read on what's going on. Some people may think Mike's power is dangerous enough to try to run him out of town. Unless you run Technorati and Google out of town too, you're not going to run Mike out of town because link loyalty online is even more difficult to change than customer behavior offline.
Mike may want us to stop ranting and criticizing how he conducts his business and what he rants about. That's probably not going to happen. We may want him to behave more this way or that way. That's not going to happen either. Which essentially means that all's well with the net.
I just wish he'd stop sounding like Dave Winer has taken residence in his left ear.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:11 AM
October 31, 2006
The last two years of this blog have been peppered with stories about Jenna's mother hamster, CoCo. Who could forget? She ate her babies. She had more babies. She didn't eat those babies. She ran away. She stayed away. She lived under the stove. She came back.
The past six months in her new cage have been peaceful and uneventful ones for CoCo as we finally foiled her escape tactics. No more finding her in the laundry. No more kitchen capers.
Tonight after sorting Halloween candy, once jenna was asleep, I was posting the pictures in the post below when george said, "Are you sure coco's still alive?"
I said, "I think so--I gave them food and water two days ago. The boys' food dishes and water bottles were empty, but I didn't check her because she still had a full dish of foo...... oh shit."
"I've been smelling something all day--I figured it was the cages."
Downstairs I went. I hadn't quite reached the living room when he said, "Oh yeah. She's dead."
When I walked into the room, George was spraying air freshener. He was doing a mock commercial: "This air freshener works so well you won't even know there's a dead animal in the house!"
The rest was pretty much:
Me saying, "Well what are we going to do with it--Jenna's asleep."
Him saying, "It's garbage night."
Me saying, "Good, I'll dig a hole and fill it in, you bag her up. I'll show Jenna the grave--she doesn't have to know CoCo's not in it."
George saying, "I don't know--that' kind of weird. We can tell her it was garbage night--or we can save it for her, but a fake grave? That's just strange."
Me saying, "Save it for her?! I don't want her to smell that thing!"
Him saying, "We could double bag it. Ziplocks.
By now he's taken the cage out front, and he has to go get soy milk and cat food at Kroger--which is where he was headed when the discovery was made--because the cats are hungry and we're out of cat food.
Insert your own joke.
In the end we decided to bury the actual CoCo in a box in a shallow grave that I'll show jenna in the morning. I have a little statue with the word "peaceful" on it she can put there too.
I was saving it for the four boxes of dog ashes we still haven't sprinkled in our 22 years together. But I guess the dogs will have to wait. They're used to it.
CoCo lived an interesting two years and made our living room (and kitchen, and laundry room) a little a more fun for having her there.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 11:01 PM
I didn't know my blog brother Mike Golby was going through such exciting and harrowing transitions--a son married, a daughter turning 21, and more.
Minor life movements, not.
It was five years ago we met friend, here in this place they think they know (see below), when your daughter was but 16, and jenna only 4. You remember those days, I know, and the gnawing off of our legs together, our little blog collective, so many of us getting out of where we were, or in deeper, and now, together, we're growing up, are we?, to somewhere we weren't then anyway, whether we like it or not.
Readying these children, sending them into a world we're still trying to figure, get right, get wrong, get our sea legs, something, anything. Anything beautiful we can show them. There is, right?
I see you looking, concrete and waves, whatever surface will hold.
I don't know man, but I know seeing the pictures made me cry.
Congratulations, and Peace.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 1:12 AM
October 30, 2006
Significant Differences in the Ad-Based Revenue vs. Paid Post Revenue Model, using TechCrunch as an example:
FIGURE 1. - Paid-Advertising Revenue Model
FIGURE 2. - Paid-Post Based Revenue Model
For more good words on the topic, see Shelley.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 3:42 PM
I blogged a couple of days ago about my dismay over big bloggers' seemingly out-of-proportion disgust with PayPerPost. While many in-the-know bloggers were scoffing at PPP, some folks thought maybe I had a point, or at least a right to point fingers at the irony of chiding by rich guys who make money off of readers and advertisers colliding in not-so-dissimilar ways.
The fight between the PPP model and the journalist-paid-by-sponsor model won't end anytime soon. My opinion--that's a good thing. Think of it as a balance of power. Yeah, like that.
Teresa Valdez Klein said Jason Calcanis told her at dinner, "that if a blogger has to have a conversation with herself about the ethics of taking a product for free and then writing about it, or going on a blogger junket and writing about it, she has already lost the battle in terms of her credibility." She disagrees and so do I. How fucking stupid. The habit of approaching the bottom-up nature of the web with a broadcast mentality won't. go. away.
It's the nexus of the Rocketboom (broadcast) v. ze frank (bottom-up) debate.
It's the nexus of the PayPerPost debate.
You will find it anywhere and everywhere people are trying to payloads of broadcast-world-type money in a micro-market-based, micropayment-type online world.
The old-world mindset says: I am a journalist or respected entertainer or influencer, and so you owe me your attention, your trust, your eyeballs. The truth is, we come to this space as nothing, and we owe one another precisely nothing.
Hello, but: My default is, I don't trust you--I don't even know if you're you without doing a lot of extra work. (Happy ending is on the way; don't get nervous...)
What is special is that we build relationships over time that create trust, that puts bias into perspective and make it meaningful and valuable. What we do over time is suspend our disbelief, become entertained, play, fight, love. Emotion and interest bridge us from node to node. And what happens over even more time is that I get to know you. For Real.
And even then, I don't trust what you say about everything. I probably agree with you about technology but think your a shmuck about women. I probably would take your advice on cameras but know you well enough to steer clear of your political advice. Whatever. You get the picture.
That's only one reason why payperpost is no big threat to the Great. White. Purity. Of. The. Internets.
The more models of compensation the better. The smart ones will win out. The less effective ones will be buried.
A few years ago, we supported one another financially much in the same way as sponsors are today. Bloggers would toss other bloggers money in the form of donations and gifts, sometimes every month. I bought my last laptop from blogger donations. I had all my kids' fifth birthday presents paid for and delivered by bloggers. When a blogger was in a jam, other bloggers bailed him or her out--Sometimes Literally.
Over the years, my donations have dropped 98 percent. In place of those, advertisers now pay to put some ads here, and clients have come here who value my opinion and work. It's all good.
There is room for good writing to be compensated on the net. We don't need Transparency Police. The self-correcting nature of the Internet will take care of things. And in the mean time, a few more folks get some gas in the tank and keep their utilities paid on time.
That's what I call a win-win.
See Also: A graphic Representation of two ad-based revenue models
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 2:58 PM
October 29, 2006
So I'm not sure what was happening with blogads and my Blogger blog--could be meat, cake, or anything in between, but that Glenn Beck anti-porn ad I had up the last couple of weeks was only SUPPOSED to be there one week, and no matter what I tried in my blogads account, it would NOT go away.
A glitch in the system? A neocon conspiracy? You tell ME. I'm just pissed the conservative wanker got an extra week's ad play out of me. I finally took the code out of the template--figure I'll let it rest for a few days.
You may have wondered, was it worth taking the $50 Jeneane? I'm undecided. But $50 more toward the INCREASED HEALTH INSURANCE premium is nothing to (excuse the pun) sneeze at.
Of course, you should have all known, it was in preparation for for this moment...
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:31 PM
|Aunt Penny has been one of the most important influences in my life. George says, you get more like her every day. And he knows, there is no bigger compliment he could pay me. |
Jenna? You know I'm kind of crazy about her. ;-)
Two Loves of My Life
Originally uploaded by Jeneane.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:17 PM
Okay i have to admit this - I haven't carved a pumpkin in like 25 years. And guess what: you do forget.
Luckily jenna and I went over to our friends' house where they took over with newspapers, direction, scooping, pumpkin seed separation techniques, salt, seasoning, seed baking, pumpkin face design and modification, and make-sure-no-one-gets-eviscerated safety techniques.
Did I mention how smart our friends are that they knew to put glow sticks inside the pumpkins, and how cool a green glowstick looks inside a jack-0-lantern? Very Halloween 2.0ish.
Meanwhile I've moved most of my email activity to gmail to see how that goes. I haven't NOT used Outlook in like a hundred years. I was telling my good friend RB how havin' all these email locations was starting to confound me.
And he says what are you using. And I says, I'm using Outlook of course, then I have gmail and bellsouth webmail, got my blackberry and stuff too. RB says to me he says, "You still use OUTLOOK?" And I says to him, "Wha--yeah. The problem?" And he says, "Outlook's a problem. Close that shit up. Lose it. Jesus."
So he told me how to make my ewriter email go over to gmail and then he told me how to get my gmail on my blackberry and we did all that over google talk. Shit if he ain't worth something nohow, that RB. Dat's collaboration.
(p.s. His birthday's November 12th. shh don't tell him i said.)
In other news, blogger's been up and blogger's been down, and i think this is the migratory weekend for us old blog*spot plus accounts, those of us stupid enough to pay $180/year for hosting back in 02 when the web was all "e" and sheep were nervous.
Now they about pay you, what with the hoodie i got not too long ago.
And I hear the washington post says myspace is losing it's cool factor. Well let's see, they haven't actually DONE anything with MySpace yet, so I think that assessment might be a little early, and maybe when they DO actually do something that, you know, makes the site work, we might be surprised how hip it gets.
And p.s. who says myspace's core audience was supposed to be teens? And what is a core audience online? And what comes first the community or the core audience--it's a chicken/egg typea deal.
When it comes to teens, the most customizable spaces will win out. When it comes to the rest of us, we'll go where our friends go, and myspace is home to music makers and artists of all ages--and some freaky literary folks to boot. But again, they have to start, you know, finally DESIGNING MySpace at some point so that, you know, it works.
I defined MySpace as the Internet's intranet about six months ago. Some folks said that was brilliant. Who am I to fight them.
Part of the draw for me with MySpace is that it doesn't work right 40-60 percent of the time. Finding ways around, through, and among are some of the best times on myspace. searching and getting lost in the pages of new friends because search doesn't work. waiting so long for it to respond that you forget what you were doing. trying to get the music-playing widget to work right. FORGETABOUT making the HTML in your emails look good--I use Qumana for that AND for tagging in MySpace. Just copy the source code over in one-fell swoop. Otherwise, I'd be like aaaah.
Reports of second life's demise have also been premature. These dramatic proclamations--they are what give web commentarians stuff to write about. But in the end, as long as social networks are there, people will be there to live in, exploit, love and hate them.
Look at Orkut. Started with a few popular silicon women and Internet goodfellows like Marc Canter and Joi Ito racing to see who could get more friends or kicked off faster. Now it's active members are mostly our Brazilian brothers and sisters doing whatever it is they're doing. Does that make Orkut less valuable? Is the world flat?
Who populates what social spaces and why, and for how long, will always be a work in progress, the fun of being here, something to roll around.
Pumpkins, people, wifi rabbits--everyone needs someplace to call home.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:31 PM
Yes. This is where i keep my Nabaztag wifi rabbit named hopup. I know. Look at the filth. Look at the lack of food, water, shelter. However if he turns to the left, he has a good view of TV and what more does a bunny need really? Especially a plastic one with a cord sticking out of its ass.
Anyway, I am showing you because I wanted you to see his clay mouth George made. I am trusting you will not call DEFARS. Because I can hide all that junk on the dresser under the bed in a minute if the doorbell rings. You just don't know.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 1:49 PM