September 29, 2007

sleepover live blogging

two asleep, four awake. one took the couch. the rest on the living room floor. i think couches should be off limits. Either everyone's on the floor or everyone's on the couch. what's with the one on the couch thing.

only one incident with tears and disagreements and ruination. it was fun now everything's ruined. five minutes later everything is fine.

the four awake are drawing and eating.

it's midnight.

what. hello. i'm old. it's time to go to sleep.

ten years ago tonight i was making sure my bag was packed and thinking I could easily wait another month instead of going in for a c-section.

tonight i'm thinking i could easily fall asleep.

zzzz

Live blogging the sleepove

My friend audrey is here. it took her 10 minutes, two bottle openers, and two knives to get the wine open. the girls have done the limbo, danced all the moves to high school musical, played flashlight hide and seek, and are playing truth or dare now. Audrey and I are upstairs watching Office Space. I can't believe it's only 8:55. omgz.

so ten is that age...

when they half want you around for the party and half want you to go away.

Injury count: 1 so far. Cause: large St. Barnard down the street did a leap-and-lick, knocking sleepover participant #3 to the pavement, skinning both knees. This was her first sleepover. I have to send her home broken. Dang.

Pizza count: 2 down one to go.

Cake count: 1/2 cake gone.

Cheese Doodle count: 1 bag gone

more soon

We Like to Watch

Gadget makers are going past the point of sale to gather data on their customers. According to this article, 200 Spokane, Washington residents have a chance to get a free 47" T.V. to watch if they agree to be watched in return.

Telematics has allowed automobiles to transmit data, remote diagnostics is booming, and the next frontier is your living room. This way advertisers can find out your triggers, your loves, your lusts, and tailor their ads accordingly. Think Google Ads in living color.

Welcome to the two-way T.V., the way I always thought it worked as a kid.

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Writer's Circle

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Writing is a lonely and often ANNOYING profession. Being good at it requires extricating yourself from home and hearth, from friends and family. It is an existence inside of the skull. The physical body dissolves during the act of writing. The
writers circle is a forum focused on everything writing. Writers share concerns, successes, and experiences. There are lots of good questions, like this post from bob41bob wondering if there's a good time of the year to submit manuscripts, and whether or not to go the agent route or right to the publisher. Lots of helpful answers. And HEY HO they also have a job board of writing opportunities there. It's cool that I get paid to point you here. Eh? I can even donate money to charities through PPP. Freaky.

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jenna turning ten and sleepover night

Tomorrow our little girl leaves double digits forever. Amazing to think -- one decade. one down, one to go. What is happening? I can barely fathom the speed of time. Blurrr indeed.

If I hadn't signed up to have a six-girl sleepover party tonight, I might have time to cry, like I usually do, at my baby's growing, constantly growing. A blogger once wrote that parenting is the only job where doing it right means you get left.

I've never done a six-kid sleepover before. I didn't realize that it starts at 6 a.m. even if no one's coming until 3:00 p.m. because the resident sleeper is so excited she wakes the whole house. RSVP that.

You'll be happy to learn that Jenna has finally received a pinata on her birthday. Shaped like a cake. Exact replica included in this post. We came across it three months ago in a clearance bin at Food Depot and grabbed it for $3. It's one of those purchases you pat yourself on the back for because you actually thought ahead. Speaking for myself that is.

Well, party time is approaching. For some reason I made this a 24-hour event. 3-3. That will teach me to use the phone when I'm manic.

Wish me luck. I'll report periodically if I can.

I'm going in.

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September 28, 2007

Monetizing White Space: A billboard in every pot?

Ronni Bennett has a great post on the changing blogosphere, the role of elderbloggers, and the distraction of all of the sidebar noise that can easily detract from not just reading blogs, but engaging in conversation.

Well I know that as noise pollution goes, I'm right up there with the frequent offenders. No matter how clean my blog design starts out, before long I'm sticking ever opportunity to say something funny, to get some spare change, or to shout-out to my blogroll friends over there. Where some prefer white space, my preference for clean design extends as far as hard copy paper. On the web, all bets are off for me. Send me everywhere at once. YES!

I can see how that distraction is eroding the human element of blogging though. As Ronni points out:

Many blogs are now so cluttered with Blogher Ad Network ads, Google Ads, Blogads, Blogvertise ads and others sometimes all together that they feel more like splogs; I know there must be editorial content somewhere, but it’s damned hard to find.

It’s not that making pin money from blogs is a bad idea; I’ve done it myself (although I gave it up as distraction both from the blog and to myself). But when the ads take up more real estate than the writing, it is no longer a blog; it’s mainstream media with some token commentary.

[As an example of how far it’s gone, I recently ran across a blog where the entire day’s post was a plea to readers to click on the ads.]

I have come across those kind of blogs too. Generally though I like looking at the ads. I don't know what it is. Perhaps I LIKE being distracted as much as I like reading and writing blogs. Perhaps I am drawn back to IM and the phone for real conversation because those are the mediums that let me focus these days.

I agree with Ronni that it's disappointing when once-frequent-posters disappear into social networks and virtual worlds and forget about their blogs. When this first started happening, the bigger name bloggers brought in "guest bloggers," to avoid the barrage of emails asking: "Are you ok?" "Where are you?" "Missing you!" These days, we could disappear into the belly of a volcano and no one would raise a stink about our going. It's rather expected. And it's also expected that sooner or later, the blogger will show back up again. Those re-appearances are sweet homecomings. I enjoy them so much, whether the blogger's been gone a month or years.

Anyway, I look forward to Ronni talking more about how elderbloggers view these phenomena -- the comments to Ronni's post are insightful and wise. As always, it's one of my favorite places to visit. So don't go running off to MySpace, Ronni. I'd miss you!

;-)
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PPP how it went so far

SO I signed up for payperpost a while back and checked in on it a few times, but never got a chance to play with it. Today I decided to try it in blogging about the morphing software while earning $10 to pay for jenna's birthday cake (OMGZ SHE'S TEN ON SUNDAY!).

There are some hoops to jump through in using PPP. You have to get approved, and you have to have a certain google page rank to qualify for certain ad opportunities, and you have to put some code in your template. That's probably all a good thing as it reduces the chance that jerks will come on and add issues to PPP's already shaky brand essence.

We'll see how the payment part goes. I have no clue how these folks operate. But as far as the user interface goes, web 2.0 startups could do worse than to emulate PPP's user experience. It takes a complex process and automates everything about it that's hard. It's a solid interface.

Now I'm a blogads gal from way back. I like Henry Copeland. I have high regard for Henry, and as such will likely remain loyal to blogads. At the same time, I can't say I'm never going to explore all of the interesting ad-generating models out there.

I've heard a lot of nasty stuff going back and forth between Mike Arrington and PPP, and I don't know the PPP people. At the same time, I don't see why the detractors have an ethics meltdown over user-generated ad content that's taking money/attention out of the hands of agencies and ad buyers and putting it into the pockets of regular people when those same people don't have a melt-down over every-day user generated content that's taking the money/attention out of mainstream outlets and putting it in the hands of regular people.

Will I sell out for $30 a day? Heh. Not hardly. But I do want to try this thing out and see what all the hubub is about. You will know whenever I make a PPP-related post, because I'll be discussing the process as much as whatever the intended post is about. Because that's interesting. And interesting's what I do best.

THIS POST:


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Large Black Man in a Wheel Chair, How Many Could There Be?



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fun with morphing photos and some advice

So I'm looking at payperpost today when I see this morphing image software trial thing, called Morpheus Photo-Morpher. (I downloaded the Mac trial), and I sit here and think, I'd like to download and try this software.

But do I do it and get the $10 bucks from payperpost, or do I download it outside of payperpost and play with it that way so I don't seem like the commoners the blogerati tend to view PayPerPost's assoicates as? In other words, should I take ten bucks for trying out the software that I would have tried out anyway if I had seen someone else blog about it? Or should I skip the $10 because payperpost is so unseemly to the influential?

Payperpost is sort of like a gun. It's inherent danger to the sphere-of-blogs depends on how it's used, when it's used, and the trustworthiness of the person who's got it in their hands. Instead of laws to regulate these things, we have something better online. We have the self-correcting nature of the Internet. My opinion is that the PPP model, as I've said before, deserves to be explored and has a place, despite the fact that mine is NOT the popular opinion. PayPerPost may not be the best at doing what it has set out to do--a future player may improve this formula of User Generated Ad Content.

But to really decide how it works, I decided to try PPP and to post my morph. So I used the software, which IS in fact easy to use, to morph a picture of me into something that is not a picture of me.

The thing is, I've spent 30 minutes in the software and I can't find out WHERE to get the actual animated gif, or a link location that is in an image format I can actually insert into my blog post, to show my image off. Best I can do is send you here: ME MORPHING.

So then I start thinking, Morpheus, in addition to using PayPerPost to drive adoption, you have to have a follow through on this strategy for sharing. Sharing by email isn't enough. I see that we can somehow share them on Youtube, but you don't tell me how.

The Morpheus homepage says:

Email your animations using the software's Share Animation™ feature. Before you know it, your animations will be forwarded from one person to another! Spice up your website or blog. Post your animations and videos to sites like Flickr and YouTube, or submit them to Animania!, the Morpheus Software blog. Make your MySpace page or Match.com profile stand out.

But I never got any code to cut and paste. I just can't seem to find it. Is it my pink eye? Am I missing something?

Mandatory these days is an optional widget, or at least an "embed" feature that lets me show off my morphing in a blog post.

And how about making it easy for me to morph my friends. Say giving me a little photo uploader window (web-based) that let's me easily pull in photos from my other social spaces to morph, then generate for me the code to insert in those spaces.

What about a flickr grabbr that reduces the steps it takes to bring in my flickr photos to morph?

In fact I want the whole experience to be web-based. Is that silly?

And what about a contest for Halloween--the scariest morph EVA!

I think the software is easy to use and cool to play with. The only thing I see lacking are enhanced ways to share and use my existing communities in the act of playing.

Anyway, that is my very first payperpost. It's worth more than ten bucks because I just gave some advice. But I would have given it anyway in telling you about how I made the morphy thingy.

So why not take the gas money? huh?

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September 27, 2007

DONE!

Did 20 posts, along with Mr. Paynter, tonight as we exercised our blog fingers together trying to get back in shape. Of course Frank cheated, so the race was called due to mud. Or else I won. We're leaving the tapes for the judges to review.

I look forward to a blog spasm in a day or so. All you have to do is find me in chat, say 20 in 20? or 30 in 30? or 10 in 10? READY SET GO! and off we go. If I'm not in the middle of something, like pouring boric acid in my pink eye.

I've never gotten it down to a minute per post, but I also haven't done this in years. Back in the day, we didn't enjoy the vast amount of USER GENERATED CONTENT we have today with flickr's blogthis and youtube's embed that. Makes it a bit easier to breeze through the posts.

Remember when we used to have posting marathons--24 hour marathons for this cause or that, or just because?

Too old now. Enjoy my bedtime too much. ;-)

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Thanks frank!

jam - job spam

The last time I did my resume and stuck it out on the Internet it was 10 years ago. Yes no shit. Well I did it again and to my dismay, there is a new form of spam that I will call JAM - job related SPAM - which means that if you stick your stupid credentials on the net in response to a particular opportunity you thought might be interesting, you will in turn get spammed by every insurance-selling, telemarketing, get-rich-quicking place on the planet saying that they've got The Job For You.

oye, more headaches as we watch the net help humans create more problems than we can solve.

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Robin's Egg Blue Boxes


Robin's Egg Blue Boxes
Originally uploaded by caterina
if you're caterina, I bet these DO arrive in the mail. ;-)

what's the coolest name of a place you ever worked?

Can you beat this one?

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it went swimmingly

Denise's friends' son did the escape from alcatraz swim, and he's ONLY EIGHT YEARS OLD! He is the youngest to have done it -- no fins, no wet suit. Pretty incredible! Way to go!! (p.s., brrrrrrr!)

Denise has the video.

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Drugmakers Should Go Social

Drug Manufacturers need to step out of broadcast mentality and into the world of their customers - or literally consumers - but are reluctant to interact with us because they are sooo risk averse. The thing is, being risk averse is risky. So start some healthcare communities and social networks to give micromarkets a place to gather around the conditions and remedies that mean something to them. Sponsor it--you KNOW you got the dough, pharmas. Why not come in and play?

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Slaw 2.0


onionslaw
Originally uploaded by Stowe Boyd
Slaw by Stowe

Pink Eye Herbalism...

Tea for two??



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swimming pool experiment



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paynter and i are in training

okay so we went for 20 posts in 20 minutes but we each got 9 posts in 20 minutes, and that just sucks. 2 minutes per post? THIS IS WEB 2.0! We should be able to post 20 post in two minutes. We are whimps. Inexcusable. Sad. Pathetic. Back to work!!!

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Kellypuffs calling time of death of Pownce

memorial services to be held on facebook, you know, sometime.

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Euan touched by technology

Transformational Technology.

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extra time at the pump

well this is interesting. knowing American college-aged men-boys, they might want to give the guys in the exam room extra time to stare too.

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anyone have BCBS vision insurance?

I got this brochure from blue cross blue shield of georgia today offering a new Blue Vision program. Does anyone have it, and if so, have you found it worthwile? THANKS!

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Bush ready to veto healthcare aide for kids...

Are you surprised?

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Architectural Bloopers

Hello, architect? Could you make the next building you design NOT look like a Swastika? Just wondering. kthxbye.

It may be the long tail...

but it's still coming out of an ass.

20 posts in 20 minutes--paynter and sessum

told you chat was the new twitter. frank and I made a deal. watch us go. ...

Racial Harmony in Silicon Valley

It's not like the south, you know, where you might actually SEE a Negro.

September 26, 2007

georgia highways -- wtf?

WHO and WHEN will someone convey to the dept of public works or transportation or WHOEVER decides to add extra lanes to I-75 that simply erasing the lane markers, paving, and narrowing all the lanes to fit in an extra one or two lanes, will serve not to HELP the commute but simply to kill more people.

On the way home this evening, I decided that the semi-truck next to me might as well just climb INSIDE my van and we could ride together. Why not? We're two vehicles squeezed into a lane and a half.

It would suck to be a non-native Atlanta driver, say someone cruising down 75 from Kentucky, who has no idea that you must thread the needle at 85 mph in order to make it in one piece to the downtown connector.

Madness. Simply madness.

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September 25, 2007

A new twist on the blogroll in PR land...

...Let's call it the 'does not blog roll'.

Well that is pretty pitiful.

But, you can look at the glass half full or you can look at the glass half empty (historically my personal preference). BUT since I'm making positive changes in my life, I'm saying that the glass is half full and that this is a great DeVeloPmeNt OpPorTunIty.

I learned that, among other Very Important Things, during my decades inside the corporate belly. Whenever something is truly pitiful, it's a development opportunity!

:-)

Now, move along to the next post so you can diagnose my pink eye.

do you think I'm getting pink eye?

Because I'm not certain, and I've never had it, but it feels like something sandy in my eye. And I assure you I haven't been around Any Sand.

Thank you.

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you had to be there...

...but i wasn't. i sure wish i would have been.

not surprised to hear it was a great show. He's one of my all-time favorites.

bless you, Stevie.

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punishment misfitting the crime

"In June, on the morning of his trial, the charges against Bell were reduced to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy. The black community again protested, taking issue with the battery charge, which requires the use of a "deadly weapon" — in this case the gym shoe that Bell was wearing when he kicked Barker. District Attorney Reed Walters argued the shoe was indeed a deadly weapon."

As far as I'm concerned, a shoe can be a deadly weapon, the same as you can drown in an inch of water, same as a hand can be a deadly weapon, same as a noose can be. It all depends HOW it's used. In this case, a bunch of kids kicked another kid in the head. That's not good IF that's what happened.

What IS clear to me, is that the proof is in the pudding. If there is little enough injury to be out of the ER in 2 hours and attend a party the same night, then it's a fight. Suspend everyone (and i mean everyone) involved and call it a day. Maybe get some Smart People involved at the school to work out the racial bullshit that precipitated the fight. Not mandatory. Probably smart.

But that's not what happened in Jena. And it's not ALL that happened. And that is the problem.

Shelley points out some other interesting facts on the racial tension leading up to the Big Event:

A black student was beaten at a social function, and no one was charged. The DA goes into a hastily-called assembly and, looking directly at the African-American students, warns them that he can end their life with the stroke of his pen.

A white graduate pulls a gun on three black students who take the gun away and no charges are brought against the white grad, but the students were charged with theft when they didn't give the gun back.

A white student taunts a black student beaten at a party and is jumped and beaten by six African-American students. Fox News points out that Justin Barker went to the hospital and was released the same day, attending a ring ceremony and social function that same day.

The DA charges those guilty of the attack with aggravated assault, and, when certain teachers and locals object, he ups the charges to attempted second-degree murder.

It's not that Bell isn't innocent. He's NOT innocent, in my opinion. It's that the punishment doesn't fit the crime, and THAT's what justice typically means for Black men in America. The unattainable bail ($138K in this case), the sub-par representation, the overblown charges, the all white juries. It is a standard matter of course, and the only thing that surprises me is how many people are surprised.

And I say IN AMERICA. Not in THE SOUTH. Because you north easterners and you californians and you bread basketians all know that this isn't a North/South thing. Just visit your local "inner cities" as many of you like to call them. Or your prisons. Same diff. You bet.

SEE ALSO: Frank and Shelley.

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Worst Practices Lesson 103

another lesson in worst practices:

1) go on national tv in a beauty pageant.

2) answer a question in pig latin.

3) lose contest but come in 3rd place.

4) wiggle self at The Donald.

5) get free crib at luxury hotel and make $25,000 per day.

6) get old, lose looks, give lessons to others on making money.

7) retire.

8) die.

always remember and don't ever forget

What the Internet is best at is disintermediation.

Another such opportunity comes to us with Zubka, a social network that makes everyman a headhunter and rewards them thusly. Job seeker, Job placement person, and the J.O.B.s hope to connect and link into happy unions through Zubka, as we use our professional networks to get and give jobs.

I haven't checked Zubka's guts out yet, but the concept sounds like the best thing since simplyhired.com aggregated the net's job ads into a single user-friendly, web-based UI.

Hat tip to Euan.

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Call It a Web 2.0 PR Strategy

Seven Steps to Web 2.0 Fame, Fortune, and Death

Step 1. Get a contract gig at a big brand company.

Step 2. Post ba-a-a-a-ad stuff on your blog about your boss.

Step 3. Get fired and get lots of PR for your cute self, traffic for your blog, and increased ad revenue.

Step 4. Land better gig. Instruct others how to do same. Speak and Present at industry conferences on topic.

Step 5. Have baby.

Step 6. Raise baby to do same.

Step 7. Retire and die.

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September 24, 2007

job insecurity

37 years.

...

They said union members walked out because they want GM to promise that future cars and trucks such as the replacement for the Chevrolet Cobalt small car or the still-on-the-drawing board Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric car will be built at U.S. plants, preserving union jobs.

Industry analysts said initially the strike would have little impact on consumers because GM has sufficient inventory stockpiled for most of its products.

But Monday afternoon, the Teamsters transportation union said its 10,000 automotive transport members would not cross UAW picket lines to deliver GM cars and trucks.


...

good.

And the One Trick Pony You Rode in On

social grafting / youtube mashup.

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He Always Says It So Much Better than I do

if the bears really loved their fans - the ones who have sat out in the cold for decades, rex grossman wouldnt be on our team. and if he was hed have on a baseball cap and be carrying a clipboard. the fans would chant for him in the fourth quarter during a blowout. hed be the peoples choice but he wouldnt be the man.

we allow the lamest people to be the man.

repeatedly.

all of us.

--The Man, Shakespierce

Hat Tip: Thanks, Karl!

September 23, 2007

Memo: While You Were Out...

I'm pretty sure it's coming.

As the empire continues in its decline ordinary people will increasingly ask why, and be more willing to listen to people who offer answers. When such things as the Social Security (the most popular program in American history and upon which 67% of Americans depend for their entire retirement) stop or is reduced to pay trillions in war debts or jack up stock market profits. When oil, which drives our entire national electrical grid, reaches peak, people will do more than howl. (Wanna bet that mountain top removed coal, which is being touted as our savior, won't be hiked up to the limit for maximum corporate profitability?)

Frankly, I think it will take what Americans would consider a collapse to turn it all around. The "American lifestyle" was but a brief moment in history, a civilization made possible by cheap hydrocarbons.

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Thanks Tom

...for making sure I didn't miss THIS! :-D

Whose asshole did you pull Zimbabwe and Burma out of, anyway? Those are the two countries you chose to replace Iraq in the Axis of Mean? First off, we’ll take our lectures on international relations from someone whose pre-Presidential travelogue included countries not featured in Maxim’s Spring Break Spectacular, if it’s all the same to you. And secondly, Zimbabwe? Like you knew that was a country a week ago. The day you spend one minute thinking about the death of democracy in Zimbabwe is the day Dick Cheney climbs a set of stairs without a defibrillator and a forklift.


my goz I am clappsing!!
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A little perspective in the matter

real or imagined.

I tell my kids there are two kinds of people in the world. I change the criteria around from time to time. Sometimes it's: kind people and unkind people. And don't confuse unkind with "not afraid to tell the truth". Sometimes it's: assholes and not assholes. Butt often they have the same agenda.
And watch out for "nice" people. Their rage is usually seething approximately 3mm beneath the skin. "Nice" is over-rated and often used by the worst assholes imaginable. Have a nice day.

I think Chris said it best when he sent me a link this morning. Although I don't think he was specifically referring to the Jena Six, he could have been. Adjustable black law enforcement indeed.

A history of Lynching.


Also, don't miss the BGB on the flurry of US-based racial stupidity lately in his Has Anything Changed post.

And while you're reading, listen to Aaron.
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IM Is the New Blogging

It used to be blogging was how we talked to one another using hyperlinks for punctuation and context clues. That was when we were amateurs and doinks. No one had to tell us we were doinks. We knew it. Doink was the default. And so, much of what we posted about was the this-and-thats of life. Opinion and Thought Leadership were the last thing on our minds because, again, we came here to get away from THERE.

Now that there IS here, and blogging has turned pro, enduring labor and giving birth to social media (which is hyper-pro), blogging isn't the place where I want to say what I want.

Let me say that again a bit more clearly: My blog is no longer the place I want to say everything I want to say.

It is sad. I think I've been grieving it for six months, the loss of my blog and your blog and your blog as platforms for passionate voice. Passionate conversation and disagreements and love and hurt and healing and all of it.

Some people have found their used-to-be-blog voices on Twitter. Somehow, they get what they need out of the abbreviated sound bursts from others, and feel fulfilled sharing their dinner plans and A-list sightings.

I don't get it. I hoped for a lot more from Twitter. But every time I re-try it, I wonder what. the. hell. am. I. doing. here? There is no getting to know me knowing you on Twitter. There's just him and her and them. The biggest problem with Twitter, as I've said before, are the Twits.

Me? I blog on G-Chat now. Yep, that's right. My most brilliant, sparkling, engaging, raw, and revolutionary ideas are the ones that germinate from chatting with brilliant friends on IM. From: CONVERSATION.

You don't get that with Twitter. Twitter is one-way outbursts, broadcast spasms, network flatulence. Don't get me wrong; sometimes they are entertaining, yes. But twitter blasts are not engaging, by their very nature.

Me? I think IM and Phone are where it's at. The new new thing is talking to one another. Not broadcasting our every bowel movement on Twitter or climbing Techmeme via our blog posts on conferences and business and social media magic.

But talking to each other.
Again.
Like we used to.
When blogging was the back channel.

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ooo i did not know Robert was also talking about twitter too. Robert says "What happens on Twitter should stay in Twitter." Open Sores Movement indeed! Robert, more baby pictures and less twittering, please.
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