|they grow before we know.|| |
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November 30, 2006
November 29, 2006
Good news from the blog over at Qumana, sponsors of my past travel to SXSW and nearly BlogHer, and all-around smart, good people. The Qumana blog editor and Q-Ads tool are now offered to typepad bloggers, who will dig the easy tagging, posting, editing, offline-composition, and ad insertion capabilities. Have fun TPers!
Ronnie Bennett gave such good feedback on the Presto product/service, that I thought I'd post it here so that -- in case anyone involved with presto searches, they might find it and take some of her advice...
Take it away, Ronnie:
Oh, dear. There are so many things wrong with this it's hard to know where to begin.
In no particular order:
THE PRICE: $150? What kind of inflated ripoff is this. I have an HP printer/scanner/copier that cost just $89. And we all know how much those HP ink cartridges cost, the ones that seem to have less and less ink each time you buy them.
And $10/month just to receive? Full dialup connections can be had for that price. And they haven't even mentioned the cost of the paper.
OPERATION: Computers and their offspring are supposed to simplify our lives, not complicate them. How long will it be before this service becomes a pain in the butt to son or daughter with constant phone calls from mom or dad to please add another email to the approved list. (Elders don't stop making new friends just because they're old.)
Add to that, that friends will change their addresses and inevitably, email addresses will get screwed up from being passed on verbally, ending in arguments while mom and dad wait impatiently for their kid to update the list. It's too cumbersome.
ATTITUDE: Throughout the Presto site there is a subtle but definite assumption that mom and dad are too dumb to use a computer, but I'll spare you Crabby Old Lady's rant on that.
HOWEVER: It is true that some elders will never learn to use a computer because they are 1. not interested, 2. stubborn, or 3. not capable.
Still, we all know what a pain it has become to communicate with friends and relatives who don't use email, and printing and snailmailing grandkid photos seems, these days, to be more work than necessary now that we're accustomed to email, Flickr, etc.
SO THIS GIVES ME AN IDEA: (Some more tech-savvy sorts than I am can tell us if it is viable):
What if HP built this with a keyboard and small screen? Just that, no other computer capability.
Then, turn the service into a limited
dialup connection for email only. No need for computer-phobic people to learn all the ins and outs of computing and the internet, but the communication could then be two-way and eliminate the need for son or daughter to constantly update for mom and dad.
It could include a simple form for adding email addresses, but that's it. None of other even basic bells and whistles of email clients like Outlook, Thunderbird, etc. except choosing email addresses to write to. Just simple two-way email.
A huge added value in doing it this way would be that computer-phobic elders would become accustomed, over time and probably quickly, to using email. They would come to see how simple it is, enjoy the fast communication and it would ease more of them into computer use. Think of it as computer training wheels - one step at a time into full computer use.
BOTTOM LINE: For a few people, this is a solution. But overall, too expensive and not forward-thinking enough.
PS: The Presto website breaks more than one rule of elder usability.
Ronni Bennett | Homepage | 11.29.06 - 12:36 pm | #
November 28, 2006
Web 0.5 is here. Mike has the details.
Apparently, with this HP printputer and a service called Presto, helpful loved ones can set up the (probably older) people in their lives who don't own a computer to receive email as hard copy.
My first reaction was Mike's: EEEKS! Penis Spam! But Mike says you have to accept friends (using... uh... a computer) before anyone can send mail to your @presto.com email address. But that means you need someone else managing your friends, which is probably no big deal, except that it's another roadblock between the recipient and the communication. And it requires...uh... a computer.
But for people who are reticent to use computers themselves, or use them now but are sick of--or maybe they've been bilked by--ruthless creeps and their dicks--Presto's an option, and it's faster than snail mail.
Never mind spammers. Keeping salivating marketers from crawling directly out of the printer cartridge into grandma's waiting lap is going to be a lot harder to do.
The $10 per month for the service is probably a little more than most folks spend on stamps, but not much.
I predict good success.
I want to know what Ronni Bennett and Elaine think.
J. Brotherlove gives his 27 things. Maybe if enough of us overlap on some of the items, we can work together to get $mmm in financing and make them happen -- or sit at home and eat popcorn and watch VH1 since we'll have $mmm.
(oh wait, that's what i'm doing and i don't have $mmm.)
November 27, 2006
"You don't have a show if I don't crash."
What can I say. I don't watch TV but I can't stop watching Breaking Bonaduce. Of course, I'm a year late to the show. From last season, Slate looks at the two schools of thought on the appeal of the VH1 reality series, which follows a not-so-ordinary but not-so-unordinary celebrity (or at least notorious) family through the land of addiction and trauma.
Some critics hold that the show unforgivably cheapens the real-life traumas of addiction and domestic violence (though Bonaduce never, to our knowledge, hits his wife, he torments and bullies her incessantly). Other viewers, including many in the show's growing cult of fans, claim that the show has gone beyond exploitation to become a raw and moving documentary of one family's collapse. I started out in the former category, and now, six episodes in, have migrated uneasily over to the latter. If there's a more dramatically compelling show than Breaking Bonaduce currently on television, I don't want to know about it. No, seriously, I don't. Watching this one—much less liking it as much as I do—feels morally compromising enough.
You want to root or Bonaduce. At least I do. Been through the darkness. Familiar with the endlessness of feeling so bad. I can't help but hope he makes it through the landmines his father left for him.
In addition to being a recovering alcoholic and former crack addict who once lived in his car behind Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, he admits to being addicted to sex, exercise, and steroids (in Episode 2, we see him shoot up some 'roids before heading to the gym to pump iron). His impulse control is near nil, and his judgment is terrible; in last week's episode, he freely admitted he was too drunk to drive before getting behind the wheel anyway, telling his producers, "You don't have a show if I don't crash." (In the end, the cameras were turned off while the producers wrested the keys away.)
And yet he tries. As hard and haggard as his face is, as insane as his antics seem, as manic as his smile is, it's his eyes that get me. Eyes looking fiercely for the love he never got. Looking, stop looking. Looking, stop looking.
I tell ya, I got some tears invested in this one. What can I say.
[Hey, if you need a t-shirt or want a book, I see they have a website. Imagine wearing one of those to the next bloggercon. ;-)]
A pro, a nice guy, a blast to have come to know. He's leaving TechCrunch to do other cool things. Marshall, go now and twitter - 'twiddling thumbs.... not.'
Seriously, Marshall leaves with a bang up post on how to do feed reading "without breaking a sweat." Now when he figures out how to feed read AND break a sweat ON A BUDGET, I will pay hard cold cash. (And don't send me the link to that new techy tread mill. I can't afford it).
CHECK. IT. OUT.
OOOh, more good news on the job front from Anne Zelenka, via Shelley. Yeowsa! Awesome, Anne!
When I'm gonna get a gig? ;-)
I'm going to go on some more about what I think is good about twitter, beyond my prediction that Ev will get double-bought by Google, therein being re-employed for a couple more years at Google, after which -- and I'm speaking from personal experience here -- it would be a wise idea for everyone to unass the platform because Google will digest it and it won't taste good anymore.
But I digress.
What's not great about twitter is obvious -- no pun intended -- and welcome. It's the usual "huh's?" of nearly-live product enhancement. Like a few of us not being able to figure out how to do stuff that should be doable--but hey that's what 'direct messages' are for. Like can it scale and still be meaningful to me? How? Like what about spam? Like the culture of following and friending is not as intuitive as it might be. Like the ego-parade nature of twitter transmissions, more chicklet than conversation--how do I engage my friends?
But leave it to the guy who gave us a place to go last time we were bored online to come up with a new place to go when we're bored online, a place where our bored friends can go too. A place that doesn't demand the commitment of a post or a link--twitter: the one-night-stand of online conversation.
Can twitter be the bridge between social spaces? Maybe.
There's not only room for twitter, there's a need--especially in the current low-attention-span culture of the net, where blogging has become part of the 'job' for may of us and we're looking for new escapes that we can do on the sly (i.e., not second life). Twitter's where we can go to fuck off. The enterprise isn't there yet. The first white paper on "Corporations and Twitter: Maxi Results from Mini-Buzz" has yet to be written.
Thank you, queue the chorus.
Funny thing though--the insta-brainpower sitting idle (at least from the corporation's perspective) on twitter is oh so seductive. Change the question from "what are you doing right now" to "what should we be doing for you right now," and you've got insta-opinion (though count on some of it to be brazen and funny and deservedly mocking of the organization).
I'm not saying that businesses should crash the twitter talk.
I'm saying businesses will start asking HOW they can crash the twitter talk. And so we should tell them so they don't come screw it up. A few ideas:
See what Smith Mag did on twitter with the six-word memoir contest. A case study in good taste. Unobtrusively offer opportunities for twitterers to be creative, and reward them for that creativity. Nice.
Get a funny bone.
Make it possible for us to create more, do more, be more. Don't be afraid to create other zones and activities for twitterers to do (online and in real space). There's the open API, after all. ;-)
You could leave us alone and ask to thank you for doing so.
Ah, it's all new, so we'll figure out more as we go.
Right now I'm trying to figure out how to write my book on twitter.
Don't steal my idea.
November 26, 2006
a magic wand
$1000 amazon spending spree
cordless skype phone
cordless battery for laptop
more baskets and bins
50 less pounds
a food saver or rival seal-a-meal
to stop bleeding
my 800 LPs on CD instantly
to write a book
Bills in the superbowl
the new season of Flavo-FLAV
clean hamster cages
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...If you're not one, you're not changing the world!!!!
I'm being sarcastic.
Can you tell?
The Cultural Creatives: Coming to a Web (2.0) Near You...
Person-Centered: This dimension is largely unchanged from variables that originally created the Cultural Creatives classification. It is not especially New Age, but rather a mainstream concern for relationships, altruism and idealism, plus a concern for personal development over the whole adult lifecycle that includes both psychology and spirituality.
You will know them by their love of The Earth. By their Spiritual Auras. You will know them by their links. You will know them because you're not in the club.
(Watch for them--they suck you off while you sleep, and when you wake up your genitals are gone.)