March 04, 2006

Hello, Grief.

It's always strong this time of year, and I can't believe it's nearly here again. Already?

This past year has been one of tremendous grieving for what took place almost 40 years ago.

Delayed grief is the heaviest kind to carry. It sits heavy, moves little, comes only in unrecognizable fits of terror that can't be attributed to anything in particular.

Better late than never.


Today tears came while I was driving. Whenever the enormity of it hits, it's fresh. So fresh. Five minutes fresh, not 38 years fresh.

I'll get it right, the remembering, a certain way of leaning, the movement of an arm, shake of a wrist, tilt of his head, the precise indent of the dimple on his chin. And each detail astounds me. I recoil and remember at once. Reminds the pain just how bad.

I find myself gasping, sucking in wind when the reminders come.

They are always unexpected, but once present, undeniable and familiar. Welcoming. It is that juxtaposition that makes delayed grief feel very much like madness.

But, he has movement now in my memories. Once, he only moved in my dreams. All of my memories were still photos.

His movement is another layer of my grieving.

With motion and dimension my own grieving moves.

It all comes forward.

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Could you be a bot?

why do so many women's marketing blogs read like they're written by bots? I could definitely program the "post populator" for a women's marketing blog bot. It would start and end with stating the obvious. ("It's rough for women in the boardroom out there today, so here are some tips to get your biz blogging toolbox stacked and stocked so you can nail that next meeting.")

Why am I picking on women's marketing blogs? Because I don't see the same trend of peppy-go-go-nice-substance-light puffery in many of the male-written marketing blogs. I see debate, disagreement, and intelligent challenge. And I see a lot of between-men linking.

Are we still playing nice and playing it safe? Why do I sense a replication of the worst of office politics?

I'd rather read a conversation that breaks new thought ground with hard-fought opinion than zzzzz through another post that puffs up your google rankings, my female cohorts.

With a lot of the women-written marketing blogs its all cheers, good hair, new age success talk, rah rah, white wine -- it's like martha stewart on splenda. All the sugar none of the risk.

I don't get it. I want' you to risk something. Please. Do something NEW with your next post.

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i feel like trashing my feeds

170 channels and nothing good on.

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March 03, 2006

Pitch Masters--Live Blogging from the Local Coffee Shop

I'm sitting here at the local free-wifi coffee shop, office De Jour, and have happened in at a time when the local business association is having a meeting of some sort. Looks to be about 35 people, from chiropractors to Mary Kay consultants to cleaning services to insurance people.

Doc Eaton sounds really smart--Reminder to self: check out their wellness classes.

Next is a guy who makes signs and banners. He's looking to hook up with builders. Insurance for the self-employed from the guy who tore his rotator cuff and can't do chiropractic right now.

Mike O'Dette's here, he's with a business coach--which is a fancy way of saying "I sell me." If you're looking to move to the next level with creativity, ingenuity, and the standard process of getting to the nitty gritty of your business, see me.

Ooo here's an Allstate insurance rep talking about how to retain employees through benefits. HAHAHA  HAAA! (Glazed looks).

Doc Johnson (any relation to Doc Searls?) is here representin' home remodeling. W00t!

Holy crap--another chiropractor. There are like 7 alternative healthcare folks in a crowd of 30. This guy says MDs don't need to be here. We do. We take time to appreciate people. Said thanks to Doc Eaton for fixing his shoulder over the weekend. I guess a chiropractor can't adjust his own injured shoulder--has to rely on friends. Wow, bloggers should get along this well.

The next guy is a little bit freaky. He's talking about customer service and he just said:

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
I don't sell anything
Here's what I do...

He's got something to do with computers. I can't quite figure out what. Something about Voice + Face. He's going to Dallas next week to install a voice, data, Internet, long distance service. Whoa.

College Funding Solutions--works with parents of pre-college kids to do late-stage planning of how the hell to afford to send kids to college.

I liked the Mary Kay consultant wrapped up her pitch: How old you are is your business; how old you look is mine.  Damn. I ought to hang out here more often.

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Read her i love her

Too many good posts to pick so just go read and listen to La Vache Qui Lit.

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March 02, 2006

Today's Techcrunch has the word on BubbleShare's New ZOOM feature

THIS is one of my favorite new features on BubbleShare - the BubbleZoom, released today. I think we should use to see what Doc keeps at the bottom of his pool. And what Larry Lessig writes on white boards at conferences. Now I don't need glasses after all.  Zoom on. ;-)

Still Confused? Check out (or oooot as they say in Canada) to see more on how to use BubbleShare.

Lucky find along the way: COOL! Ways to add categories to blogs.

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The Subtext of Tagging

I finally understand tagging, although I'm not sure I'm doing it right. For a couple of years now (or is it a couple of months--you know, internet time) I've read the taxonomy geeks talking about and using tags to classify what they are writing. And I kept trying to figure out how to do that, and why was it necessary if search engines would pick up my meanderings anyway?

Then I started noticing these "tag clouds" everywhere I looked, and I thought, WOW, that's a really cool way to find out -- visually -- what a site or page is about, at a wide glance, and to read about certain topics I'm interested in (marketing, parenting, tuna fish) and avoid those I'm not interested in (snowboarding, hunting, liver).

But since I've started using tags in Qumana, I find myself unable to ignore the urge to somehow subvert the intent of these tag things. I want to make people laugh, to surprise them, and so I like to tag posts so that they'll show up in a way that makes the "finder's" experience richer not in the usual way, but in the way that makes them go WTF?

Most of the time, I use tags to add context to what I've written. Not to classify it. Not to organize it. Not to plug it in among the topics that others are writing about. Tags have a place beyond taxonomies and classifications and categorization. They are a beautiful, wide-open opportunity to add subtext to your writing. To sew meaning into the fabric of someone else's reading experience.

I like to tag based on emotion, inference, subtleties, in a way that make tags PART of my post, not an afterthought way to plug them into Technorati and what everyone else is talking about. I want you to get to the bottom and look at my tags and laugh, or wonder, or say Ah HA! That's what she's pissed at, or that's what happened, or, I wonder what other people have written about those "rough-edged stones" that get caught in my tires.

Because that's really how we find each other--the each others that we can make meaning with going forward. We find each other in our humanness, not in our ability to mimic machines. We don't need to re-create search engine technology. We need to get real.

We find each other inside subtexts, not categories.

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March 01, 2006

This Isn't Bewitched

And I'm not Samantha Stevens, although I wouldn't mind looking like her or being able to do that cute little, "Welllll?"

So, here's the thing. Stop it.

Marketing and PR Consultants, stop presenting to internal corporate communications folks (AKA your clients) as if you know more than they do. Okay? You don't. And if you do know more about your discipline (in my experience, that's a 50/50 proposition) at least pretend to care about understanding your clients' business. The best way to achieve this: SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO THEM.

The days of sitting through a meeting only to go back to your offices and spend a week coming up with a four-page document while you charge clients for multiple brainstorm sessions where you get to chomp on M&Ms for four hours are officially OVER.

Your client may not know, but I KNOW what you're doing back at the office while you pretend you have little elves crafting gold from the supposed coal you've been handed. I know that you're working on projects for other clients. The ones who COMPLAIN louder.

See, your client is my client, and I know what you're up to.

Even if you don't get the net, you have to get the fact that the barriers to online  collaboration are falling, and this sets the tone for what happens offline too. I don't want to wait for you to go back to your offices and spend two weeks tossing together  our shared client's brand brew and then have you bring it to me to taste. I want to be throwing the salt and frog eyes in it with you. Otherwise, you aren't going to get it right. I promise you.

The old Darren Stevens High Stakes Boardroom Presentations are thankfully reserved for the BigCos whose culture depends upon being slow-moving. For small to mid-size businesses and savvy enterprises, the jig is up. You have to let your clients create with you. And to do that, you need to close your yap and HEAR them.


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That's Real Good AmeriKKKa

you manage to screw up what could have been a fine day for your favorite pastime by honoring some who are way overdue and getting it right for fucking once. But no.

Talk about the class war. AS IN america's got no...

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By the way

There's more than one kind of A--or eh?--list.

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Technorati Makes Up New Word! Go Buy Domain Now.

I'm pretty sure Favorited wasn't a word a few days ago. But it is today. Thanks Technorati! "Most Favorited" blogs are the blogs that have been, I guess, "Favorited" by more people than blogs that have been Favorited by fewer people.

WTF part of speech is this?

I am trying to think. I suppose it would come from the VERB Favorite (which favorite isn't), in that one can now "favorite" someone in the same way that they "heart" them, except with more link juice.

So, To Favorite is a verb in the blogosphere as of today, which means you can go around Favoriting up to 50 people, and from those Favorited by the most people, THE MOST FAVORITED list emerges.

Just linguistic fun and frolic in blogtopia.

Seriously. The domain is available. ;-)

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More Loss--Unfathomable

Dear Elana.

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In Sympathy

Joey's Dad.

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February 28, 2006

good writing tips from a veteran

Dana's got some great writing tips -- nicely arranged, all process-like -- for newbies  oldies alike. Check them out. Give them a spin. Twist and Shout. You will win. {That is an example of how Not To Write.}

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February 27, 2006

i wanna be a stupid girl

go, pink.

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IE Users...

Has my sidebar done that screwy thing where it gets knocked down and doesn't begin until after the page ends? please let me know. Seems fine in firefox, but maybe... i dunno.... something seems a miss in IE.  THANK YOU!

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When an Anglican Priest Says Flickr's Community Guidelines Suck...

okay, so he didn't exactly say the rude and non-lewd flickr community guidelines SUCK, but in so many words, yeah, he did. Soon Flickr will have entire religious orders urging relaxation of its New Triple-G Stringent Guidelines. The Vatican itself will be draping its ancient artwork lest they be terminated or struck by a door hitting them on the way out! Ludicrous!

AKMA deciphers it a bit more rationally (and tactfully?) here:

"Pointing to Flickr reminds me of the changes in their terms of service. Much as I like the people behind Flickr, I don’t in the least like the direction their application has taken in the past few months. While they justifiably need to protect their service against abuse (it’s not a bandwidth sink for banners or other page design elements, and they have to abide by others’ copyright laws), the ludic t-shirt phase of Flickr has passed, and the serious button-down shirt phase has arrived — pretty soon, Flickr will be wearing a power tie and fancy suit, and its early enthusiasts will have migrated elsewhere. I don’t assent to the premise that “sharing digitized photos” and “sharing other digitized images” constitutes a fundamental distinction in the value of the service (and if it were that important, it would not be overwhelmingly difficult to implement a “photo” on/off switch to guide searches). I don’t agree that Flickr needs to forbid “photos that include frontal nudity, genitalia or anything else that your bathing suit should cover” (that’s what their sensible “this might be offensive” button was meant to deal with). I don’t think that the recipe for enduring business success involves abandoning the spirit that made you popular."

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Friend, Take that Money and Put it Where Your Heart Is

I don't care what else you do today, but go read falling down is a gift by Moreena. Thanks Jessica for alerting me to this family with seriously ill Annika whose health insurance premium has hit the cap.

I'd like to see today be a day where we STOP wining about fame and RSS and Pods and Wikipedia and OPML, and instead go change someone's life.

"Annika keeps asking what has happened to the leaves on the trees. Her sense of time, at 5 years old, is not that well developed, but I'm getting the feeling that she understands she lost a considerable chunk of her life to unconsciousness in the PICU. I'm trying to remember if the trees actually did still have their leaves at home when we left home after her bleed mid-November. I'm thinking that, yes, at least some of them still did, in all their autumn glory. How strange this must have been for her, going to sleep months ago with a strong body and lots of regular-kid energy and then waking up on all sorts of perception-of-reality-altering drugs with a gaping hole in your tummy. And then, when the drugs are finally done and your tummy finally closed back up and you're allowed out of bed, to discover that the body you've always known has been replaced with one incapable of even carrying you over to the toilet on your own.

And, all the trees were bare."

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February 26, 2006

Goin' to the Chapel.... again!

HA! And they said it wouldn't last... start... last... whatever! The shower's at SXSW! Hope the bride shows!

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Quote Night: The God Father

Courtesy of

I begin with my favorite: "In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns."

Shall we review some more? Let's do!!

Jack Woltz: ...She was the greatest piece of ass I've ever had, and I've had 'em all over the world. And then Johnny Fontane comes along with his olive oil voice and guinea charm, and she runs off. She threw it all away just to make me look ridiculous! And a man in my position can't afford to be made to look ridiculous!

Tom Hagen: Now we have the unions, we have the gambling; and they're the best things to have. But narcotics is a thing of the future. And if we don't get a piece of that action, we risk everything we have. I mean not now, but, ah, ten years from now.

[Tessio brings in Luca Brasi's bulletproof vest, delivered with a fish inside]
Sonny: What the hell is this?
Clemenza: It's a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.

Michael: [while eating diner with Sollozzo and McCluskey] What I want - what's most important to me - is that I have a guarantee: No more attempts on my father's life.
Sollozzo: What guarantees could I give you, Mike? I am the hunted one! I missed my chance. You think too much of me, kid - I'm not that clever. All I want, is a truce.

Michael: Fredo - you're my older brother, and I love you. But don't ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.

Emilio Barzini: [during a meeting with the Five Families] Times have changed. It's not like the Old Days, when we can do anything we want. A refusal is not the act of a friend. If Don Corleone had all the judges, and the politicians in New York, then he must share them, or let us others use them. He must let us draw the water from the well. Certainly he can present a bill for such services; after all... we are not Communists.

Don Corleone: What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you'd come to me in friendship, then this scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.

Tom Hagen: Mr. Corleone never asks a second favor once he's refused the first, understood?

Sollozzo: I don't like violence, Tom. I'm a businessman; blood is a big expense.

Michael: My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
Kay Adams: What was that?
Michael: Luca Brasi, held a gun to his head, and my father assured him, that either his brain or his signature would be on the contract.

Don Corleone: I'm a superstitious man, and if some unlucky accident should befall Michael - if he is to be shot in the head by a police officer, or be found hung dead in a jail cell... or if he should be struck by a bolt of lightning - then I'm going to blame some of the people in this room; and then I do not forgive. But with said, I pledge - on the souls of my grandchildren - that I will not be the one to break the peace that we have made today.

[to his associate, who has killed Paulie in the car]
Clemenza: Leave the gun.
Clemenza: Take the cannolis.

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master of his domain OR are you shaking yet?

From the land of RSS, OMPL, and WTF?

Hey I just linked to Amazon, I've been doing that lately, just a little, as I've relaxed a bit about patents. I've come to appreciate that this isn't a very kind world to creative people, lots of nasty people try to take anything that isn't locked up and nailed down. When patents are used to protect creativity, I guess they have a place. Not happy about that. I still don't support, in any way, the predatory way Amazon has used patents to take ideas out of the commons for themselves. It's the same way I feel about companies hijacking open formats, trying to take control of other people's creativity, without even offering to pay for it. Geez talk about greed. That's why it's cool that Dave Sifry respected my request to get out of the awkward place he found himself. There are other companies that haven't yet responded, and I'm not going to pull any punches if they don't get out the place they don't belong. No one is the Boss Man of the stuff I gave away.

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A Change is Gonna Come

"If corporations underwrote externally-produced [[sites]] and were careful to preserve site independence, the resulting sites could be far more credible attractors than are most current corporate web pages. This sort of enlightened patronage first appeared in the Renaissance when the Medici banking family supported artists like Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Strangely perhaps, it could work again today, financially rewarding quality site producers and enabling companies to better connect with nascent web micromarkets."

-- (C) 2001, Gonzo Marketing, Christopher Locke, AKA: RageBoy

This most recent quote from Gonzo Marketing is one I've used on my new disclaimer-sort-of page, now linked off my sidebar.

It should answer any questions you may have about who I'm working with online and how I view those relationships as they relate to my writing and this blog. Although I don't say in the disclaimer that I love these folks more than Thai food (i was trying to keep it sort of authoritative sounding, so i left food analogies out of it), the truth is that I do--except for Thai Coconut Noodle Soup at Mamasans in Rochester, NY, but nothing beats that.

These people-organized-as-businesses that I have met and come to work with online are amazing. Passionate, smart, fast, inspired, and most importantly, funny as hell.

Fitting those precise qualities I am proud to tell you about my newest relationship with the folks at Qumana, who've stepped up as our SASW corporate sponsor--JEEEEAAAAAH BOY!!!! That means we get to go to SXSW and pay the health insurance premiums that keep little Jenna in Albuterol vials for the nebby. Can I hear a w00t!

The best part of this new relationship is that it's with clued people who understand that what I write here is what I write here. My complete independence is content-wise is as important to them as it is to me. And you. And I'm not just saying that. Jon Husband of Wirearchy is massively clued. He and I have been corresponding for many months on Qumana, what I like, what I see that could help me be more productive, creative, fast.

In other words, this is no new thing, as you see I've been posting using Qumana -- which makes it a heck of a lot easier to blog, and can I just say has the ONLY blog-related spell checker I've come across so far that knows that "blog" is a WORD. Not to mention, you can turn on the little doohicky (which, in comparison, is not a word) that underlines in red as you type so you don't need to spell check when you're done writing a post. You see your own illiteracy as you type! I know all of my grammatically-obsessed readers will appreciate that. Let's face it--I move right along here and don't take much time to, uh, check my work.

NOW add on Qumana's tagging abilities and you've got something very cool. That's what I first couldn't live without. Believe it or not, I never understood how all these people were doing tags, and I never wanted to put the effort in to find out, because people writing about tags were talking about "taxonomies" and such. ew. But with Qumana I started tagging a month or two ago, and now I'm seeing what other interesting things I can do with tags. ;-)

The bottom line is this: I get to continue helping Qumana by continuing to understand and communicating what writers-cum-bloggers need most to erase the boundaries between "think" and "publish." I'll continue to write about technology that makes blogging easier, better.  I say "continue" because nothing has really changing as far as what I do here. What has changed is that I can now tell you there are real, live Gonzofied folks out there who GET how valuable it is to support us in doing what we do here. Qumana is walking the talk. And you all should know--it's the right time to start looking for companies who share your passion to invest in what you're doing too.

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