December 01, 2007

A Book that Speaks Volumes for Mothers and Daughters

As part of the MotherTalk Book Tour, Jenna and I reviewed Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz's The Daring Book for Girls. Interesting that the first reaction of Jenna, whose ten years old, was that the cover and type looked old fashioned. At first she didn't want to read it because of that--a fact I'm not so proud of. After all, a little old fashioned culture is an inoculation against the Disney monopoly.

Far from old and boring, The Daring Book for Girls is an incredible guide for parents and children to explore together -- to find new adventures, little-known facts. Each chapter presented something we didn't know before, and that's a tall order for a book. Especially with two different age groups reading it.

From how to play gin to how to do a cartwheel to French terms of endearment -- Ma puce, or "my flea" for example -- you'll find just about everything a curious mind and body needs in this encyclopedia of coolness. Periodic table of the elements? Check. How to make friendship bracelets? Check. Games for slumber parties? Check. Women Explorers and a timeline for their accomplishments? Check. Making a flat scooter? Check. Sesquepedalian words? Check. Math tricks? Check. History of Women Olympics firsts? Check.

And a LOT more. For a taste of how much more, visit the book's website or watch the authors on The Today Show.

My favorite parts of the books were the learning activities and the games. I knew precisely NONE of the Words to Impress included in the book. I can now say, "Quit that echolalia!" and mean it! (Echolalia means repeating or echoing a person's speech, often in a pathological way.)

The back of the book best encapsulates the purpose of the book:

For every girl with an independent spirit and a nose for trouble, here is the no-boys-allowed guide to adventure.

I'd also add:

And... For every mom who wants to share
with her daughter
the coolest ways
to be active, be smart,
and have fun.

The Daring Book is a hit at our house. (And if you're looking for a word to impress on your next job interview, call me first).


November 29, 2007

yez i will

Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures

intentionally left blank

gnarles barkley

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place.
Even your emotions have an echo
In so much space

And when you're out there
Without care,
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?

And I hope that you are having the time of your life
But think twice, that's my only advice

Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are?

Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think you're in control

Well, I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
Just like me

My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember is thinking,
I wanna be like them
Ever since I was little,
ever since I was little it looked like fun
And it's no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done

But Maybe I'm crazy
Maybe you're crazy
Maybe we're crazy

Uh, uh

November 28, 2007

Building My Interstructure

Gmail was down for me for an hour this morning. My first thought: Here I go again. When I get into mail, will my email be there or gone-zo? How do other people keep up? Not to scobleize on this, but it's tough to keep up using tin-cup-and-string 2.0 web apps to run your business.

On the flip side, it's free. Ish.

Since the article on my and others' email loss via gmail, I've received many helpful emails from folks on how to protect against losing it all again. One of the easiest options I've seen for staying web based came from someone who suggested using another web-based mail service as a backup. So basically, you have your gmail forward a copy of all your messages to your yahoo mail. This doesn't save your sent mail, but it will give you a web-based duplicate of your incoming mail.

Woot! thanks for that suggestion. it appeals to me because it's easy and I already have my yahoo account in place but rarely use it. It occurred to me that building SMB 2.0 requires us to string together our own infrastructure from the tin-can-and-strings applications and tools web 2.0 gives us for free.

So get busy and backyoself up.

Watch me go.

I need a masthead for the kindle... work on spec

HEY can anyone make me a masthead for this blog? -- i'm submitting it to be available on the kindle. ahahaha don't laff. I know the kindle's not for scoble, but what the heck, I'd get me a kindle if i ever could get one for 99 dollars not 400 dollars. In the mean time, I would like to see what my blog would be like ON the kindle.

SO this is the specs for what they want as far as a masthead:

Format: EPS or a comparable scalable image format/n/n/t/t-

Size and Orientation: When the image width is scaled (without distortion) to 500px, the height should be no more than 150px. We will not accept mastheads that are taller than they are wide.


If I ever make any money off of this kindle, I'll pay you $50 for the design. If I don't make any money (see: google ad sense), I'll give you my undying gratitude and show off your designs here. Don't get over excited. I don't make techmeme much these days. heh.


November 26, 2007

memory lane

when in the hell did google become a library with archives? (okay some are ppv but still.) Are you bored with what your favorite bloggers are saying today? Travel down memory lane by searching them up in google's news archives. Travel back to the 90s, the 80s, the 50s and beyond. Yowsa!



Source: DAVE O'BRIAN, Mercury News Staff Writer
WHEN Dave Winer comes home late after a hard day at the office, there's no one there to greet him. But he doesn't really mind, he says, because he's hardly ever home. And though he may be by himself, he's not exactly alone. He's one of 3.6 million American males who live by themselves and have never married. More than a blip on a demographic chart, Winer's group has grown 124 percent during the past 15 years, according

Published on August 17, 1986, Page 1L, San Jose Mercury News (CA)


Video conferencing helps families connect - but don't talk to...
$2.95 - Dallas Morning News - NewsBank - May 11, 1999
"Yeah, I had 'the Naked Guy' call me one night," says Robert Scoble, a consultant who sets up Internet business Video conferences and helps runs the ...
All 5 related - Related web pages


IDEAS & TRENDS; An Avalanche of Information Is Coming to Video...
New York Times - Jul 23, 1989
''These tools will help People manage Information, But they are not going to subsume the tasks that People are doing,'' said Christopher Locke, ...
Related web pages

Text now on AI frontier: debate over best model for "reading&quot...
Subscription - Software Magazine - HighBeam Research - Nov 1, 1989
Christopher Locke, a vice president At Pittsburgh-based Intelligent technology, argues that even with those advances, AI technology is not capable of ...
Related web pages

Mecklermedia announces Internet appointment
Pay-Per-View - PR Newswire - ProQuest Archiver - Jan 10, 1994
Alan Meckler, president and CEO of Mecklermedia Corporation, announces that Christopher Locke has joined the company as general manager of its Internet ...
Related web pages


Of course, I'm not paying per view, and I doubt that PPV will be around forever; after all we stole cable, so let's not underestimate the drive of human beings for free content.

Either way, it's interesting surfing. The archives have probably been there forever and I just noticed them. I have a habit of that kind of thing. ;-)

Anyway, search up your family. You might find some good case law, like me!


The Other Side of the PR Fence, Which Shouldn't Be a Fence At All

PR people can't do anything right these days. (Okay maybe these years). It's true--spammers trying to sell you a boatload of nothing are a waste of time and should be called out for their lame tricks. But often times, PR people are actually trying to help in the most efficient way they know how, and they still get blasted by an egotistical editor or reporter having a bad day or a pair of britches on the small side.

I've been on both the shit receiving end AND on the shit throwing end of the PR machine myself. That's because I walk that blurry line, being both a "journalist" listed IN media map, and a PR flack USER of media map (and similar tools) where the journos and the PR flacks intersect (wish i could say connect--but that doesn't happen there).

Anyone having done any kind of media relations knows the reddening sting of a pissed off reporter saying, "You haven't read me, have you?" or "I already wrote about that," or "You're just blindly pitching." And yes, sometimes they're right. But they also fail to take ANY responsibility for how they end up in the endless loop of breaking-news tag.

They know that media map and other tools give PR people infinite details on their every bowel movement. So, if they prefer to be called, if their publication doesn't REALLY cover what media map says it wants to cover, if their beat is wrong, or if they just plain hate PR people and want them to know, then USE THESE TOOLS TO SAY SO. Don't be lazy on the front end and blame the folks who give you fodder for your stories on the backend.

Just like some BigPR SVPs who think they can pull a strategy out of their back pocket to 'build your brand' without understanding your customers, some journalists pull the "blame it on PR flacks" card because it's fast, easy and acceptable to do so. Rather than spell out (and update frequently) on their sites or blogs or in their publications (or God forbid in the tools they know PR people are stuck using) just how they want to interact with us, it's easier to shoot the proxy-messenger. All because an editor is bugged by some pain in the ass emails (news flash: we all get them), hasn't had a good night's sleep, or just plain needs to get laid.

The whole PR industry being broken is not news.

I and those like me have long said that it's badly busted, at least as far as non-public companies and the strategies those companies use to interact with the public and their markets go--and especially in Technology.

For public companies, PR is pretty much what it has always been. A combination of media relations and crisis management. A round robin of announcing good news, winding up with some BAD news, fixing that bad news, and making good news again. All's well that ends well.

For everyone else, all bets are off. In Tech, for example, you have the BigPR firms offering silver bullets in global networks and proven strategies. You have smaller PR firms whose strategies are often blast and follow up. Everyone's aiming to get you ink (or link) and subsequently get you funded and build your brand. Everyone's talking to influencers about thought leaders. Everyone's pitching media about news. All of these approaches are top down: they identify the target and shoot.

They are nothing new.

Something new would be PR people who help clients actually talk TO (not at) their markets. And understand me: clients need help doing this. Manpower, brainpower, and help.

They need help hooking up with customers in new ways, with celebrating their users, with getting the relationship and conversation started.

In Technology -- especially in Web 2.0 -- that is the job of PR 2.0, or at least the PR 2.0 world I'd build if I were Queen.

If I were Queen of PR 2.0, the job of the flack would be all about ENABLEMENT. It's a dumb word, but is accurate. The job of PR 2.0 should be enabling customers/users/participants/markets to DO SOMETHING they couldn't have done as easily without your client's product/service/brains/money.

Get out of the headlines and into the meat of the story.

Find out where there is a community need your client's product or service can actually SOLVE and make it happen. Solve something. Be the intermediary between need and action, between puzzle pieces and masterpiece. DO SOMETHING!

When I want to remember what that feels like, I remember what Albert Lai and I and the team at BubbleShare did, the best accidental no-money-PR-strategy-delivered-via-skype-and-a-hotel-room-and-a-wiki program of its day. My job as the PR person was to find the need. I found it on Doc Searls' blog, because I found a place where we could help.

No one could find a room ANYWHERE in vegas for CES up to 2 days before the event. So what was BubbleShare's product/service: a photosharing app. What was its market - initially bloggers and netizens, eventually everyone. What was the intersection/connection opportunity: Albert going to CES, Doc going to CES, Robert going to CES, Mary Lou going to CES, Mary Hoder going to CES, Charlene Li going to CES, everyone going to CES and no one with a place to stay!

So in one night we launched the Unofficial CES Wiki, which started out as a place for people to offer room share opportunities, leave info on what hotels had what prices, find out who was going and when, and arranging times to get together.

The Wiki turned into an event tool used by bloggers. For example, Charlene Li let everyone know where they could rent a bike. Other bloggers offered to share rooms. And we at BubbleShare decided to host a CES Camp, a hotel-room spot for those Not On the Show Floor to show off their products and services, to hang out, to get the latest stickers and give-aways, and to eat pizza and build relationships.

THAT is the job of PR 2.0.

It's about finding clients you believe in and hooking them up with people you believe in.

There is no $5,000 a month media map tool for this. There are only human beings and social tools for this. There is only living here among clients and their markets.

The tools of PR 2.0 are not Bacons and newswire and press releases with RSS feeds. They are Skype, and email and air travel and the phone; they are friends and the social tools we use to connect.

Well, that's how it would be if I were Queen of PR 2.0.

But for now, I'm a peasant. And as such, I don't have much of a voice on how things go. But with the little bit of voice I have, I will say this to both sides: PR Pros, don't bother journalists without real news. Journalists: Don't act like such asses when a PR person contacts you doing the best they can with what they've got.

And now, you may all resume your job of eating leftover turkey sandwiches.