February 03, 2007

will i be driving in cold weather before dawn.

she's just not good at it. sleepovers. our jenna. she wants to so badly, but by midnight, she's awake, homesick, and on the phone.

tell me we're not the only ones. the call came about five minutes ago... tears.... "mom i can't fall asleep... i want to come home..."

what you do first is try to hear them. they whisper to drive you crazy. when you finally hear them they say, i want to come home. you think: oh no why lord it's almost morning. then you say, go to sleep, and they say i tried i can't, then you say, well then just rest let sleep come to you -- lay down and rest your eyes -- and they say i tried that, and then you say count some sheep, and they say i tried that, and then you say try again and they do. but it doesn't work, so then you say you can't keep calling--if you come home now, you're not going on another sleep over for a l-o-n-g-t-i-m-e. then they cry more. and you feel crappy for two reasons: because they feel crappy and because you know you are going out in the cold in the middle of the night. so you say go ahead and try for another 20 minutes and call me if you don't fall asleep. but if i have to come out again and get you, like last time, just know that it will be a long while before you try again. then she says i know mommy i miss you. and then you say, i'm going to see you in six hours at the basketball court. i love you. (you want to say, for god's sake! but you don't. yet.) you think if i give the phone to george that might be good--he will say to go sleep boodle and mama is already asleep so tough luck but he'd say it a little nicer than that but i bet she would stay. and the next day he'd say something like no more sleepovers for a year.

you know i'm driving by 1. you just know it.

February 01, 2007

no, in yours.

how far deep way in down around, just missing then flicking the sharp splinters on oak steps that wind, trace your face into the stairwell wall, up, look away, everywhere, sun crisped windows mandate happiness, confounded, smiling plaid-skirted suburban schoolgirls, mothersewn hems, how her knee socks climb to right there on her calf, never slip down, straight hair a ledge, in your eyes, it was never easy, laughter hesitates just before releasing--never full never fill never full, if you would have just once stopped.

Is it so different now, faces criss-cross, find eyes of another to fill empty sockets--you never blinked. why? far away far away not so far smoking on wet grass under the monkey bars, what was it 8 in the morning, sharing the stash.

Houston, you only thought you had a problem. what what what who who, if it's attention she's seeking, resolution is a curtain call, final bow.

In between sink under the water, no further, cold so much and up so far: burning, sparks, break through the glass membrane, how the night fire never engulfed their twigs, why not, that night, tonight he came near, came there. Emptiness is due north.

Children are marshmallows bonfires sticky cream sticks become winter coats, to gandmothers' house we go, seasons, not reasons, parkas piled on the guestroom bed, scarfs and mittens, layered in a freefall, feathers of our family bird.

Overtaken--always the scent, aunts uncles cousins, inhale, hold it, I climb underneath, loss is my blanket, safe I run, faster, to the swing sets, cold chains threaten to take my tongue, frigid blue sky my witness, flick, kick, stick, swing higher higher still, and when are you coming?

Bring the matches, baby I'm jonsing already, and how many scents are there, rearranging me, the first time, winded, a kidney punch, suck air in, how much can we hold before there's no more room, on the stairwell, everywhere, sun crisped, not knowing how to feel.

I will tell you; just ask.

the nicest thing no one ever said about me.

think global, write local, and you can be a marketing genius like Mike Rodriquez. And you know what--he really is and he really doesn't, but maybe now he does!

GOOBER ALERT: Jeff Jarvis Outraged Over Moms Ensnared in Advertorial Slavery Ring!!

I've watched the video of Jeff Jarvis explaining his issues with Pay Per Post; I've followed Jarvis' odd blog crusade to save children from their mothers, and the moms from themselves. I know he is one of the loudest voices calling for a halt on PPP's paying bloggers to make advertorials, an advertising mechanism as old as dirt. (Hey Jeff, ever send a mom to Davos in your place?) I've read comments and blog posts by Robyn -- Jarvis' newly-appointed "poor clueless mom of the day" -- and seen the actual video that won her her HP Camera Kit and $1K in cash; I have blogged about PPP before myself; hell, I've even watched Ted Murphy's obnoxious rockstartup videos of PPP's adventures.

All of this has led me to one conclusion: I want a little ticker tape to put at the top of my blog that sends out "GOOBER ALERT!" messages.

I want this ticker tape to work in the same way cable broadcasters use the public broadcasting system warn us of alarming events in our local area by scrolling scary words across the screen, and in the same way the Department of Homeland Security saves us from Terrorism by playing with primary colors.

My "on-topic" opinion is that while Ted Murphy has some annoying qualities, Jeff Jarvis tips the obnoxious scale by a long shot with his continual techmeme-gaming pseudo-rants that serve to boost his own ad revenue. PPP will either stand or fold based on the corrective nature of the Internet, not on anything Jarvis says or doesn't say, no matter how many mothers he claims to be trying to save in the mean time.

PPP, keep paying bloggers to make advertorials as long as they say that's what they're doing. (And just because I agree with the business model doesn't mean you aren't annoying in the truest sense of the word). Robyn, keep making your videos. (Tell your kids to use plastic bats next time.) BTW, I thought you looked great and laughed at your postie patrol blog introduction--LOL if you get my drift. One other thing: I'm not sure what you're doing with SEO and exclamation points, but girlfriend, stop it. You can write and still make the scratch. And finally, to you Mr. Jarvis, one day your righteous-prick shtick is going to wear thin on the wrong people.

jeremy gets personal

our experiences shape us, no matter who we are.

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January 31, 2007

Social Drama or the "Jazzification" of the Web

One of my favorite Canadians, Jon Husband is posting chapters of a book that he says he'll never write, but appears to be doing just that in front of our eyes, for all to read and comment on. Tres cool.

Jon recently expanded on my Social Drama post with his thoughts, offering clarification on what I might have meant, which wasn't so clear to me then (and still fades in and out now). He says:

What I have inferred is that we will have much to learn, unlearn and relearn about what being social is all about, and we will never again do it without the always-just-available email or voicemail or blogging or MySpace page or LinkedIn profile and digital identity protection requirements and .. and .. and ...

Oh, of course some people will eschew the use of the the Web and its tools and services, refusing to be prisoners of a by-and-large reductive and tautological medium, and we will never transcend the sociality of life behind the doors of our home or the relationships with neighbours or work colleagues who become lifelong friends ... but presumably 'social drama " will be redefined in this new hyperlinked context.

Yes, precisely, Social Dramas are being played out on the Web, but are not possible without the merging of our online and offline selves.

In fact, they are the result of just that. They urge us to take on new personas -- outside of pre-constructed intravironments like Second Life, where identity rebirth is expected -- to explore who we are across the web, and even who we are not -- then play out those roles here and there and there and there, doing so through improvisational story lines connected through hyperlinks and a shared creative sense.

Social dramas happen online only in collaboration with others or the co-story-telling would be impossible.

They are always the inverse of punditry and postulating. They are not commentary, they are complementary.

It is musical, you see?

Online social dramas are improvisational jazz, played with words, the story carried across and throughout venues -- sites -- sustained through the hyperlinking of chords and melody. The resulting piece is written over time, and is presented as it is written -- the listening ear piecing it together with delight at the end of every measure--or at least that's the goal. Auditory conception. Immaculate--no way.

What social drama is NOT, using the musical analogy, is Miles reincarnated as a red-sweatered avatar playing a concert within Second Life. Rather, it's Miles alright, playing every note he ever played everywhere at once for everyone ear and heart across a connected web.

At least, that's the goal. And admission's free.

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January 30, 2007

Splish Splash, I Got Back in the Bath -- How Was I to Know There Was a Party Goin' On?!

One of my favorite gentlemen of the Internet is involved in the launch of an interesting new service called SplashCast, which offers a multi-file, mixed media (video, photos, audio, text) embeddable player that gets updates via RSS. In other words, Splashcast lets you display and syndicate channels of content on your website, blog, social networking profiles etc. Gone are the days of Annoying Copy. Spashcast brings the real you up close and personal.

The way I'm explaining it inside my own brain is that splashcast lets me present a "multi-media me" that's auto-updated by RSS.

I wish my real-world, real me was auto-updated via RSS. Is that too much to ask? Can you add the real-world component in the next rev, Marshall? Auto take my vitamins? Auto feed my dog? And all the while you watch me do it.

Talk about putting the GREAT into InteGREATed!

Anyway, you can see SplashCast in action now, with Marshall himself telling the splashcast story, here. He is so cool.

Blogger FAQ's and answers are here: http://splashcastmedia.com/blogger-faq/

I'll be checking it out up close and personal once I get that webcam George got me for Christmas hooked up.

Now THAT's a scary thought.

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January 29, 2007

Hyper-Relations and In Between Spaces

There's only one direction in the faces that I see;
It's upward to the ceiling, where the chamber's said to be.

Like the forest fight for sunlight, that takes root in every tree.

They are pulled up by the magnet, believing they're free.

The carpet crawlers heed their callers:

"We've got to get in to get out

We've got to get in to get out

We've got to get in to get out."


Someone asked me last week, what's this "social drama" you've been talking about. I said, what do you want it to be? A beginning? An ending? A welcome? Rejection? It's the net--it means what you want it to mean.

Or maybe I didn't write back at all.

What I know is this: what's new is happening on the hyper-strands connecting us, not in the "places" where everyone already is. Sure, I'm interested in what's inside all of the coolest social networks, what's playing on the Internet's intranet -- from myspace to facebook to orkut to flicker to second life and on and on.

But I'm even more interested in the spaces in between blogs and old media and new media and social networks and marketplaces and so on. I'm interested in how we are living and working and hyper-commuting across the web, and in the ways we are relating to and touching one another as we go, and what our travels do to our DNA, and what strands we pick up as we travel. How it changes us. What kind of organisms we are waking up as we move. What wakes up inside of us.

's a big thing, that.

Somewhere in there is where social drama fits. I don't know exactly the parameters -- what constitutes a social drama or what precise definition it deserves. I do know that social dramas taking place AMONG and ACROSS the network, not inside. And I do know that social dramas of one or more people -- with real or merely realistic identities -- offer a way to pull the strands of our social travels together into stories that engage, entertain and maybe even move.

That's enough for me. That's enough for us.

It's not always easy--maybe you feel duped. Maybe you should. Digital Identity's more than a technorati tag, and suspension of disbelief can be a bitch. Conception-to-birth -- it's a rough ride.

You got to get in to get out.

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Media 2.0 Workgroup and Young Dr. Kildare

I'm delighted (you can tell when I use words like 'delighted' that this is serious business) to be part of the newly (as in today) launched Media 2.0 Workgroup.

When asked if I would like to participate, I said as long as I can play young Dr. Kildare.

And (you won't believe it, but) they said yes!

So in my new role, I promise you, dear readers and friends and detractors, that I will try to use my power for good, not evil, and that means I will construct my meanderings using the broadest interpretation of what Media 2.0 means. Or doesn't mean.

We came here to tell stories, didn't we? Yes we did! Once upon a time, we were the wedia media pedia, weren't we? Yes, we were! And with the web 2.o pony beaten just shy of the glue factory, I'm looking for new rides, higher slides, longer strides. So let's find some together! Are you with me?

Although my beat is PR, because my roots there are long and twisted, I plan to explore way more than what I already know about. What's your pleasure--social drama? network karma? big pharma? it's all good.

What made me say "Sure, if I can play Dr. Kildare" in the first place was the chance to join this cast of characters who are also part of the workgroup:

Ben Metcalfe (Ex BBC)
Publishing 2.0 (Scott Karp)
Stowe Boyd (/message)
Are you Paying Attention? (Touchstone)
Daniela Barbosa (Factiva/Dow Jones)
Jeremiah Owyang (PodTech)
Jeff Pulver (PulverMedia)
Suw & Kevin (Strange Attractor)
Frank Gruber (AOL)
Ian Forrester (BBC)
Brian Solis
Marianne Richmond (Resonance Ptnrship)
Jeneane Sessum
(Oh, duh, that's me)

Heavy company indeed. I'm looking forward to working with them all to build a useful, aggregated base for stewing and stowing and suwing together and with anyone who wants to participate, because that really excites me, and I could use a good dose of excitement about now.

You too? Okay then!

For a more formal description on what this whole thing is about, see the blogs listed above, and the announcement on touchstone.

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