October 21, 2005

Dear New Job of Tony's

Only TPop can write a letter to his new job and make it sound this good. It's just not natural what he does with those letters he writes to persons, places and things, but I and my readers are glad he writes them.

TPop (I made that nickname up for this post) works for Buzznet now, which is like Fickr but different. I would wager, being that they picked TPie (that's another nickname I made up for this post) to be their blog-liaison or I'm not sure exactly his title, that they're looking to be the badboy photo sharing community, which is to say I probably wouldn't have even given Buzznet a plug if Stewart had written back to me two weeks ago when I asked him to buy me. Sheesh. They always forget the little people.

Now that my Flickr Friends are all like can we grab a nap now that we're Yahoo, I don't mind plugging Buzznet, because you know me and underdogs and new things. Just ask Stewart. I was all over Flickr from day one, which is pre-day-one for you. What were there like four people on when we had the IM going and the slip-a-photo-in-your-chat-session thing? Talking about adding MP3s next, because it wouldn't have been that hard...

Dear TPie and Buzznet, you should go dig up some of the alpha features from the old Flickr and stick them into Buzznet, the good ones that is, especially the chat where you could slap photos into the middle of your chat session like exclamation points and surprise poeple--hey here's the penis pig dammit! And how you could like grab people and toss them into your session like photos, and then drag them out, and you didn't have to actually have PHOTOS back then, because if you ever look up my stuff on Flickr you'll notice that most are collages that I should be embarrassed to have up there, but I put them up there in the beginning when all you had was a little desk tray that those photos lived in, for example Dave Winer as Alexander Graham Bell.

Because when Flickr had to get all nice in order to get looking tastey enough to buy, God Rest Their Souls, I think they had to decide what to become, and I just HATE that stage as a user, so they decided to be a photo sharing site, and damn if they didn't build the best little taxi this side of manhattan. But back in the day of alpha, Flickr was much more than that; in fact it exploded features out of its own ass daily. And I even remember most of them.

Catrina and Stewart never slept and were always on, creeping up on you when you lest expected it. That is what you call a best practice. Hi Stewart!

So anyway, I wanted to tell T-Lo that we are proud of him and his new job and thank you for taking us to that BlowGun conference with you Tony because this is the second year it crept up on me, and I'm all: It's BlowGun Time Again?


October 20, 2005

Twisted Catholic Guilt

From time to time I take a break in the professional nature of this weblog to bring you a real-life story from the bowels of my family.

That is why I am taking this opportunity to tell you a story. It is a story that in any ordinary life might be an unstory. But here, listen anyway.

Last week Jenna and her 14-month-old near-brother ((she's changed his diaper and rocked him to sleep; I was there -- and I mean there -- when he was born)), who is the son of my friend, were eating dorritos. And I mean, NACHO CHEESE dorritos.

In fact, they were so cheesy by 7:00 that we stuck them in the jaccuzi, at which time the baby covered himself in bubbles and Jenna made him a dome-shape hat out of suds, then put a white beard on his chin. He screeched and threw suds at her. We watched and laughed. She even made headway in teaching him how to swim--it's a big, big jaccuzi.

In fact she had so much fun that she spoke out loud about it.

Which is all to say that I got a phone call this morning from my family telling me how wrong, immoral, unseemly, (keep going) it was for me to have put our 8 year old in the tub with a 14-month-old boy. "I mean, if she would have had underpants on or something, but even then..." "I'm just saying, it’s not right..."

I want you all to swish that around in your heads for a while.

Thank you.

The Eighth Wonder of the World

Reptition compulsion is so amazing to me - me a serial offender - that I have over my yet-to-be-made morning coffee labeled it the eighth wonder of the world.

Sure, it lacks a certain physical manifestation, there are no big waterfalls or canyons to distinguish it, except in my psyche and bank account, but it is astounding in its power and majesty all the same.

And so it is with pride, for my head knocking enjoyment and yours, that I reintroduce the simple, elegant wonder of repetition compulsion, which bears repeating.

Have a good morning!

October 19, 2005

internet postage increase

Shelley leaves us with some parting thoughts on sense and centsability.

Web 2.0: night of the living dweebs.

Originally uploaded by Burningbird.

October 18, 2005

I heart splogs

I'm trying not to. I really am.

Return To Sender.

Internet Stamps? This is a really bad idea. Unless, of course, I get to be Postmaster of the invisible multi-national post office and Shelley gets to be banker of the universal imaginary currency, and in the deal I want Park Place AND Boardwalk with two hotels each. Kay?

The guilty parties are at the bottom of the post. Have your fun as you will.

Now, what SHOULD come out of this is the new SPLOG boardgame which would be all the rage at cool blogging conferences like the recently completed BlowGun and the upcoming every other one.


I was very sad most of today and then I got happy just now

For two reasons, one being I just read this prayer from Tony Pierce to the Lord during his trip to New York (Tony's not the Lord's), his new job (ibid), and tony's pretty sureal visit to the now-popular BlowGun conference.
dear Lord,thank you for everything youve given me. my cup overfloweth. im considering a super big gulp cup. i cant believe that you do all of this for me. i know i dont deserve it so i will do my best not to be a jerk about it. those girls last night were amazing. im not handsome. i dont know what these girls want with me. i wasnt even funny. i barely had anything to say other than wow cool tattoos.also thank you for letting me meet all the cool bloggers and shakers at the conference. thanks for letting me meet some of my readers. i know i dont deserve any of that either. why are you doing this for me? is it to spread the Good News? fine, consider it spread.you know i totally believe in you and i do my best to be a good person. for some reason i didnt buy condoms at the drug store because i had no idea what was in store for me. what you have taught me on this trip is: when i leave my house, everything is in store for me.also thank you for letting me go to ucsb. i drank and smoked and partied and i was able to stay up super late and wake up pretty early and not make a fool out of myself - more than i usually do. thank you for letting me practice how to write over all of these years - its paid off better than if i had taken guitar lessons. plus i dont have to wear mascara.also thank you for getting me this job at Buzznet. i think i will do a great job there. we have some competition which is great cuz i love competition.also thank you for letting my book agent contact me today. i know ive been resisting writing a real book but maybe theres something down that path that you see and i dont. and maybe im being a lazy bastard.thanks for all the great food ive been able to eat here.please bless everyone especially the cubs. amen

And the other being that reading Frank's site and then Tony's recapitulation of last night, i can only figure that when tony says he met some nice people from Madison, Wisconsin sent over by jeneananenaenane or however tony spells my name, he musta meant the Paynters. And how cool is that? Now two of each of the three of us have never met eachother but are best friends, and what else is blogging for anyhow? comeon blowgun 2006!

why - template questions

Anyone know why:

1) google adsense is 'turned on' and the code seems to be at the top of the template, but the ads aren't showing up.

2) where do I need to close a title tag--is there still something weird in the title bar?

3) why does my profile picture load last--does it for you too?

thank you in advance!

P.S., I toyed with moving the font up to 12px but it looks suddenly like I'm an idiot writing this. Fonts are funny that way.

Digital Entertainment Platform

Chris Klaus, head of Kaneva -- the marketplace for digital content development and distribution -- does a video blog. It's a good white board talk on what they're doing and why.
Anyone in the community can start their own channel for free and begin putting content in that channel... We are also adding in other great community features such as blogs and forums. All of this is to allow participants to gather around certain types of content.
Among other things. Cool

A Ray of Hope?

I can catastrophize as well as the next guy and better than most. A little known fact: most of what RB and I discuss on the phone revolves around our shared conspriacy theories. And while I haven't quite come to terms with the "singularity" prophecies of genius Ray Kurzweil, I do have the book -- the very big book -- just waiting for a moment when I'm not afraid to begin reading it.

And so, it was with interest that I read today's opinion piece by Ray on the Bird Flu genome project, which he says has resulted in the dangerous proposition of an online RX for viral destruction. With the published genetic structure of the bird flu available in the GenBank database, Kurzweil wonders how wise it is to release the complete genetic code for such a deadly virus.
Proponents of publishing this data point out that valuable insights have been gained from the virus's recreation. These insights could help scientists across the world detect and defend against future pandemics, including avian flu.

There are other approaches, however, to sharing the scientifically useful information. Specific insights - for example, that a key mutation noted in one gene may in part explain the virus's unusual virulence - could be published without disclosing the complete genetic recipe.

The online publication of the bird flu's genetic viral recipe is likely to stir up the freedom of speech debate with passion on both the pro and con sides. I'm hopeful that the right people are paying atention to Ray's concerns.

Why? Because before I'm a writer, a net-head, a freedom-of-speech zealot or a creative commonsist, I'm a mom.

Doc is just great.

And not just because he heard me. He just really is. Over the last four years when I've gotten to the place where I think--man, is it just me or what?--Doc writes something that makes me go yes, that's what I was trying to say, but he says it so well and his headlines are the best in the blogosphere.

Plus he has ultrasonic vision and can read blogspot blogs with one hand tied behind his back. ;-)

One word that's in the news a lot these days:


One thing that really, really bugs me:


October 17, 2005

Death With Dignity--I mean, for your fish.

From Pharyngula comes advice on the best -- for the fish -- way to end a life with dignity and as little pain as possible. Hint: ms222. I don't think they sell it at Walmart.

We get to the lethal injection concept only after some really nasty (and perhaps flawed) euthanasia alternatives are discussed:
Less nasty techniques are the freezer and alcohol strategies. I don't think putting a fish in a freezer is humane: they don't seem to react strongly to slowly freezing to death, but then they can't - their metabolism is shutting down. Fish tend to be very sensitive to cold, though, and seek out optimal temperatures and avoid the cold, and can respond to changes of a few degrees with shock, so I have my doubts that this is a good way for them to go. Putting them in water with a few percent alcohol might be OK; they do get drunk, pass out, and die, just like people can.
OH! I thought that was how we were supposed to euthanize Aunt Hilda!

But fear not, you too can be the Dr. Kevorkian of fish:
I get my stuff from Sigma, catalog number a-5040, for those of you who can purchase through academic suppliers. Otherwise, here are a few commercial places that will sell it to you: Doctors Foster & Smith, PondRX, and Argent Labs. It's about $15-20 for a 5 gram bottle, which sounds expensive, but a little goes a very long ways. I bought a 25 gram bottle 8 years ago, and I've still got lots left -- and I euthanize fish far more often than your usual pet fish owner.

You know. Some questions are just better left unasked.

Tell 'Em Shel

A must-read for any PR professional, student, and client from Shel Israel on "what PR must do." More than a few of us older disillusioned sorts would like to have said what Shel says here, but wouldn't have the precise creds or eloquency to do it with Shel's class and style:
Why should the PR professional of today care about the reminiscence of what some old guy did 25 years ago? Because you are in a profession that is at risk. It is at risk because many systems in place don't work. You are at risk because the editors you do know are probably less influential than they used to be, and the ones who don't know you have little interest in hearing from you. You are at risk because your practice has become more expensive for clients even as it has become less effective. You are at risk because PR worked best when a handful of people influenced any market niche, now thousands of people influence it and they are harder to reach and much harder to build an authentic relationship.

There are solutions to this problem, and while I believe the PR industry has entered into a major shakeup, I do not believe that the profession is doomed. But I do believe that the survivors will need to fit into a new model, which is very much like the old model I learned at the old University of Regis McKenna.

PR people need to be facilitators, not mouth pieces and certainly not gatekeepers in suits and nice dresses. I will be writing about this subject in several doses. There is a good deal to say about it.

You got my AMEN, brother!

See Also - Jeneane on:
Ketchum Comes Unclued, 2003.
Bye-Bye BigPR, 2003.

Doc goes for context--breaking out of mono.

Over at IT garage Doc talks about the splog problem within the larger problem of homogeny and monoculturalism in tech.

And he's not even talking about penises! (well, not directly).

I think that what Doc is saying is so important that here goes the whole thing--call me a spammer, flag my ass and zip me in a leather cell, I don't give a crap:
I became convinced today that our biggest problems are monocultures. What's bad for lawns and farms is also bad for classrooms, churches, industries, governments, political parties, banks, credit card companies and every other organization that lives by controlling and isolating its members. In other words, silos.

Today there's been some interesting back and forth between Steve Gillmor (to whose gang I belong) and myself on the subject of what Steve calls the "page view model" vs. the "attention model". I've been representing the former and Steve the latter.

Background is provided by Dave Winer, who writes, Links are now devalued. Page-rank is under attack and the attackers are winning. It won't be long before Google itself is infested. Tim Bray is right, below, it's time for Google to get on top of this. They're both the victimizer and the victim. The spammers found a huge hole in Page-rank. You could drive a truck through it. I was the early warning system on this, the canary in the coal mine. They don't like to listen to me, maybe they'll accept Verisign's help. (Context: Dave just sold Weblogs.com, the ping site on which all RSS search engines rely, to Verisign.)

I believe links are devalued because Google has become a monoculture, both as a search engine and as an advertising system. Blog spammers, or sploggers, are taking advantage of that monoculture in the same way boll weevils take advantage of a cotton field.

I know a fair amount of what the RSS engines are doing about blog spam, or splogs. And I salute Mark Cuban for being the first search engine honcho (he's an investor in IceRocket) to call major attention to the problem, and for coining the term "splog".

But I don't see much sign that Google is doing more than putting a little notification flag on blogspot blogs, to allow readers to notify google that the blog in question is possibly a fake one. No doubt they are dealing with the problem, though. So is Yahoo, from what I'm told (and see in results). But we need to hear more (perhaps from Google's AdSense blog?).

But is any of it enough? I don't think so. The bigger question is, Can anything be enough to thwart a blight in a monocultural environment?

The real answer to the link devaluation problem has to come from outside Google. We need polyculture: for search, for advertising, for everything. In its absence, we get some fine but isolating services. And blights that take advantage of that isolation.

Forget for a moment -- if you can; I know it's hard to forget since we're in a discussion about silos among a group made up of white men in their 40s and 50s even though some women, i don't know, ME FOR EXAMPLE, also wrote about the topic -- that the conversation itself is homogenous. Doc knows that's a problem. It's a conversational problem (aka: richness and meaning), and a problem with the VOLUME of conversation and the WATTAGE of conversation that reinforces the status quo voice.

But that's not exactly what Doc is talking about.

What Doc's really talking about here is that as the value of each and every link falls with a proportionate rise in noise, then the very business model of search-and-find (as we know it) and advertising (as we know it) and rank (as we know it) have to change. That means the strategy, the model, the tools, the money, the everything.

I agree with Doc 100%.

And I'll get even more prophetic: Link-based search was neat. It's a good thing they gave it to us when they did. It made the web 1.0 fly. So did RSS. It's not going anywhere, but someone's going to find a way that is even more intuitive, that skates across spam but doesn't further silo the conversation by paving over neighborhoods that don't SEEM to matter.

I don't want to be fed. I want to feast.

SO, what's next. And quit looking to Google for the answer to why all of your also-ran stuff isn't working right now, fellas. Stop striking a pose long enough to innovate. I mean, it's gada.be you guys. Right?

I once was lost...

Tens of thousands of the poorest of the poor are now homeless and living outside. Entire villages are gone. Nearly 40 bridges are washed out. Roads have been destroyed making access to many areas impossible.
Mercy Corps is playing a lead role in orchestrating the relief efforts with Guatemala's government and other international aid agencies working in the country. Prior to this storm, Mercy Corps was already helping coordinate a program called the Disaster Preparedness Coordination Project, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
There are more than 1,000 new orphans. Guatemala's attorney general Roberto Molina said the orphans would be placed with close relatives or put up for adoption. If red tape could be cut, we would open our home to a child today. I bet many caring people would.

In the mean time:



More on Global Voices.


light the corners of my mind.

All I need to know about blogging while facing surgery I learned from Terry Heaton

Not only is Terry Heaton facing surgery without insurance, but he's also blogging up a storm of good advice on healthy blog living.
If you gain from something somebody else says, tell them.

You can't be a part of something unless you participate.

Meeting people at core enhances the sweetness of meeting them in person.

Walk away once in awhile, so you always have the energy to come back.

Nobody is better than you, but neither is anybody worse.

He's in the zone, on the cusp, and I pray on his way to great health AND great blogging adventures through the holidays and into the new year.

Below Whose Radar Screen? Blogspot: The Low Rent District

I own several domains. I host a couple of sites. I have my own site at sessum.com with extra space on the server.

And I keep my blogs on blogspot.

I pay them too.

Chris Pirillo finds the fact that a large population of legitimate bloggers live on blogspot unfathomable. He says that's because Google's spam problem is out of hand. I appreciate that problem, believe me. I have to deal with it for my clients too.

But the splog deluge has nothing to do with who's "LEGITIMATE" on blogspot.

Chris has said he thinks blogspot hosts 99% crap. Even in what Ev says in defense of blogspot residents, you can hear a hint of the prevailing attitude among some that the po-folk need a home too.

In case you don't get what I'm saying, I'll put it this way: The opinion among the big guys is that blogspot squatters are the undesirables of the net. We are also-rans. Not needed. Part of the problem. And, you're no one if you don't have your own blog.com.

I've known this for a long time. I've heard it first hand. In email. At an Atlanta blogger's gathering. I've heard it over and over again: "Jeneane, what are you doing on blogspot? No real blogger stays on blogspot. Why don't you move off that sewer?" Try this tool. Try that tool. At least host it someplace else. The blogspot domain pulls your readership down. They're not trustworthy. on and on.

Well-meaning people have been trying to pull me off blogspot for years -- some because they care about this blog, others because they can't believe a "legitimate" blogger would want to live here. I appreciate that. But stop.

Thank you very much--I have no intention of going.

The subtleties beneath the discussion over Splogs (the spam blogs littering the blogosphere--especially prominent on blogspot) offer some interesting attitudes and perceptions among the blogerati on blog real estate. If the old location-location-location adage works, then blogspot is the ninth ward of New Orleans. It's the ghetto. Take Pirillo's approach and pave it over.

Well news flash folks:

More than 50-percent of the blogs worth reading are on blogspot. And 80 percent of people who want to test the blog waters (some who stay, some who don't) take their leap of faith on blogspot.

THAT'S why this place is so important to me.

If you want to make blogging a place for professionals only, then get your own sandbox. You don't own this one. You want a place without splogs? I WANT a place that's free, and a tool that's easier than any other tool on the market so that Aunt Sophie and Barbara and Stanley and Joey and Leroy and Tarnjan and Stella and Martin and Martina can all play around and maybe Sophie posts a poem that makes me weep and Martin writes about his baby girl who died from SIDS, and maybe they stay and maybe they go, and maybe in the mean time you're pissed off you have to wade through VIAGRA VIOXX XANAX, but fucking fuck you.

Halley is on blogspot.

Tom is on blogspot.

Jessica is on blogspot

Blog Sisters has been on blogspot for four years.

Will's on Blogspot.

Every fourth or fifth blog on my blogroll is on blogspot.

So Google, hear what these guys are saying about the spam problem and fix it. It's not all henny penny, but it's really important. And yes, I'm willing to type in an authentication code for each post. That's not a bad idea from Chris Pirillo

The rest of blogland, hear the subtleties of what's being said about blogspot, and don't buy into it.

October 16, 2005

Locke Keeps Unlockeing

Chris Locke on MB does more connecting of more dots.

You know what? I would pay $ to hear Chris audio blog these posts in addition to the text-and-graphic versions which are essential. Half of reading Mystic B. is what's hidden behind the links. When I talked to Chris about a post last week, he was chorttling (most likely between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. mountain time) over some page I hadn't seen linked off of his post. I happened to mention that I hadn't seen that part. He was all: "DID YOU CLICK THE PICTURE!?" And I hung my head knowingly. "DRAT!" I might have said. But instead I said, "NO! I didn't notice that one was clickable!" and anyway, the moral of the story is always try clicking Locke's images.

Which has nothing to do with why I would pay for the ipod version of Mystic Bourgeoisie. It's because hearing him read it works so very well. Chorttles and all.

Anyway, don't miss the latest the jung-eliade school... wherein Chris further demasks the cloaked, caped, and ornamental and pseudo-religious symbol wearing vectors of the new age...who apparently can't even do drugs right.
The inherently gnostic aversion to "this world" is what brought these motherfuckers down. It was their way of making the psychedelic experience conceptually safe, colonizing it with "oriental" conceptualizations that tamed it, domesticated it, "spiritualized" it. My objection to these perennialist ex-hippie faux filosofers is not that they did drugs -- oh yeah, how shocking! -- but that, after doing all those drugs, they missed the boat.

In other words, if you're going to drop, don't forget what it felt like without your skin on.

The Bird Flew?

I keep hearing this--what is the big deal?!

Finally a reason to go to walmart

I wish they would open some of these clinics in walmarts or walgreens around here. What a sanity saver for the un or underinsured! The only problem is when flu season hits and you've got 88 poeple waiting to see the nurse who are germing up Walmart even worse than it already is.

My question: Are they armed with an RX pad from a physician? If not, don't bother. Just take a few steps past the clinic into the OTC remedy isles.

If they are, then it's great to be able to pay for a visit and to get your prescription with one sick kid in one sick place, which has lysol and kleenex to boot.

Some clinics, such as MinuteClinic, post their services and prices like a cafe menu for all to see. Services and prices vary among different clinics. For example, a meningitis vaccine is $110, the most expensive item on MinuteClinic's menu, said Dr. Woodburn. A flu shot is $30. An exam for strep throat is $49 plus the $10 for a rapid strep test and another $15 for a throat culture.

RediClinic, on the other hand, features a fixed-price menu where all diagnostic tests are a flat $45. There are also differences between the clinics in whether they accept insurance. RediClinic, said Web Golinkin, chief executive officer of Houston-based Interfit Health, which owns RediClinic, is "purely a cash business" but is considering allowing third-party payments.

I'm game.

--time out--

I wish I knew how to bump the font size up a smidgeon on the body font for each post. I just don't even see the reference to it in the template.

Is it big enough for you guys to read?

My Knee 2.0

My knee 2.0 is all about data.

The data tells me that I really screwed up my knee 1.0 when I decided to go from couch sitting 3.0 to riding a bike up and down hills .5 in one day. And that only after having lived 43 years, mostly not so healthily.

Anyway, I've been studying and researching and mining, and I think a little fluid-filled joint on the side of my knee is the problem. It's getting better, you see, and it would be better still if I could get my paws on some Vicodin 5.0.

Okay I'm kidding.

Anyway, what's making me more depressed than I need to be is that my bike - 0.0 -- is sitting undridden until I get this knee to where doing dishes for 5 minutes doesn't cause undue agony.

Anyway, hi.

allied 2.0

A lot of folks, they put stock in events and publicity and press releases and news articles and Top 100 bloggers. But it doesn't seem that it takes a majority to declare a 2.o transformation. Sometimes it takes, you know, just some guy. Or gal. Or a certain amount of time to pass by. A time for boredom to come and give way to new thinking and cool tools that do things. And one day, a couple of people go, hey, it's the next point-something.

So anyway...

I'm that gal.

And this is ALLIED 2.0


If I Ever Lose My Faith In You

by Sting (audio)

You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
You could say I lost my belief in the holy church
You could say I lost my sense of direction
You could say all of this and worse but
If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world
You could say I lost my faith in the people on TV
You could say I'd lost my belief in our politicians
They all seemed like game show hosts to me

If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do

I could be lost inside their lies without a trace
But every time I close my eyes I see your face
I never saw no miracle of science
That didn't go from a blessing to a curse
I never saw no military solution
That didn't always end up as something worse but
Let me say this first
If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do