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HighEdWeb 2008 Conference keynote by Kyle Ford, director of product marketing at Ning, Inc., and previously the associate product manager at Yahoo! Inc.
You might want to skip 10 minutes in or so, but there is some good background on smaller scale social networks in this presentation.
It's not Search & Pages, It's now Real-Time and Followers.
Biz Stone, co-founder and Creative Director of Twitter, presents a keynote address at the 2008 play Digital Media Conference.
Biz Stone helped to create Xanga, Blogger, Odeo, and Obvious. In this keynote, delivered at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, he discusses the creation and evolution of Twitter. (November 15, 2008)
Let's Go Surfing
Let's Go surfing
Cool video. Watch it.
Seen on a friend's twitter.
I have a weekend of errands before me.
Haircut, bills, paperwork type stuff, some cleaning, and a project for a friend etc. Busy work mostly.
It will probably be another weekend where I don't do anything with anyone. There are some people I could track down, and perhaps some groups I could even more fully participate in, but most of them seem like "filling time".
"Filling time" is a concept I've been thinking alot about lately.
Supposed to want things, and go forward etc. I've also spoke with people who have lost things and want to go back. Go back, go forward. Lots of going. Direction. But then what. Different dot on the same map?
There's a system. It's not defined, and it's not heterogeneous, there are lumps in the system and it's thicker or thinner in spots. Some people think that government is the system, or corporations, I just see those as facets, shiny surfaces that are easy to see reflections bounce off of. There's a system though, and most of it seems like it's on the go. It's going somewhere. Lots of going. Direction. But then what. Different dot on the same map?
I like learning things, giving my curiosity free reign. Sometimes I even give myself little projects so that the curiosity and impulse to learn has a directed focus. But most of it is arbitrary. The buzz isn't in the result, not in the go, it's in the doing, being and the soon to be un-unseen.
I look around and in my sphere I don't see needs. I see wants and drives. Those are different than needs. Needs aren't under your control. I need to eat, breathe, sleep. The sphere around me is powered by wants and drives, but people masquerade them as needs, perhaps some are not in mask and for those I am sad.
Labeling as wants lessens them somehow in most peoples minds. I see the opposite. Wants are what truly make change. If you are on the go, destination or direction minded, you have to want. If you are acting out of need, you won't go as far, unless not in masquerade and instead truly grotesque.
I think of Agent Smith in the rain: Why, Why do you do it Mr. Anderson. Neo: because I choose to. But that's not an answer either. It's true, but not satisfying. Choose does not answer why, want does not answer why. Drives may answer why, but they are not intellectually satisfying. To reduce action to the same set of forces that makes my stomach growl, or my eyelids heavy, is not satisfying. To invent mythological forces to layer beneath those is also not satisfying. The concept of satisfying however is terrifying, because if one were satisfied, what need, want, drive or choice would apply.
Paragraphs of twisted logic. Logic is not satisfying, Faith is not logical. Not upset. Not frustrated. Not blue and no dark cloud overhead. Comfortable with ambiguity. Ambiguity does not have to orbit fear.
I have a weekend of errands before me.
I just read another article that says that users should have control of and be able to delete their data from the internet.
That sounds nice, but it doesn't work.
The problem is, when does your data become my data?
Example: I create a website. The profiles are simple. You post your name and favorite color to the site.
I take that data and out of 100 participants, I calculate that, in the month of March, 75 people chose red as their favorite color.
In April there is a big public communist scare. Red is banned because it's discovered that people who like red are more likely to be communist. (It's a silly example yes, but I'm creating a point here.)
Businesses then start discriminating against people who like red in order to protect their public image. Well naturally you are going to want to remove your profile from my website that shows how much you like the color red.
But what about my data as the website owner? My data says that in March, 75 people listed red as their favorite color, but in April, only 5 people are listed with that preference. Do I change my data? If I do, what if my data correlates with other data (ie I post that 75 men dropped the color red as their favorite last month) and that correlation makes it possible to see who the red favoring people were even with their main profile data removed?
What if you are famous and a reporter goes to the site, sees that you like red and posts an article about that fact.
My illustration above is not elegant, but hopefully it does illustrate the point. determining what is my data and what is your data is always going to be arbitrary to some degree, because data is data, a person can not own a fact, any more than copyright is a right. Both are arbitrary social constructs that only work as long as a necessary majority of participants play some sort of lip service to them.
Collecting my thoughts.
How empowered to make an organization/individual
Account for time with Time sheets?
Self scheduled (as long as the work gets done)
Reimbursement for goods or services (reimbursement bureaucracy?)
Corporate Account for goods or services
Corporate Credit Card for goods or services
Petty Cash for goods or services
Finance Review periods
What's your fuzziness level?
What's your organizations tolerance for ambiguity?
Implicit vs implied vs tacit processes
Who can request?
Who can complain and to whom
Forms for request? Forms for complaint?
Bureaucracy vs. Anarchy
Top down vs Grassroots
Who is empowered to make what decisions
How big is the approval loop for those not empowered
Informative loops vs loops that can halt action
Control of resources to enforce control or control of hierarchy
Can you tell your organization your plans (solidly defined areas of responsibility)
...or do you have to plan (and execute) in secret (can be derailed by a penny on the track)
Real direction or hedging of bets?
Tigers made of paper?
Strategic vs. implementation
content creation vs. content critique and tweak... which do your content managers engage in.
Microsoft Sustainability contains many of the same scenes in the video I posted before but in an extended presentation.
The future never ends up being this homogeneous but still this sort of thing is fun to watch.
Recently I had a friend post a blog entry on the futility of blogging and what could be construed as the futility of the internet overall. One of his points made was that others are blogging better than he, with larger more dedicated fanbases etc. etc.
There was a short paragraph also lamenting the authenticity of Facebook, Twitter and Flickr friends.
This post isn't really a direct counterpoint to any of that per se. Those are valid feelings. What this post will be is a post on Why Blog?
Blog, for the same reason you vote.
Voting adds your voice to the millions and soon billions of others that share your ideas to shape the course of human history.
They say elections matter, They say elections have consequences. I would say, so does blogging.
In and of itself one vote doesn't make a difference. In and of itself, one blog post doesn't make a difference either. But elections and blogging do make a difference. In an election, our voices combined empower the people that will make decisions that will effect us and effect the course of human history. When you blog, you contribute to the great body of human thought and discussion that also combines to empower the people that will make decisions that will effect us and effect the course of human history.
I know I make blogging sound grandiose, and common wisdom is that it is not. Common wisdom is correct in that any given blog has maybe 10 regular readers but blogs also get swept into the all prevalent Google algorithm. Each of those 10 people will know 10 different people, the Kevin Bacon effect will come into play. Each link you add is a vote for a particular site to contain relevant information to the words that surround that link. Each word that you lay down, gives the Google algorithm context and understanding.
When I put the the words “Green” and “Lantern” together. I'm not talking about a verdant hued lighting appliance, I'm discussing a superhero. And because millions of people put those two simple words together and surround them with words like: superhero and DC and comics and Hal and Jordan and Superman etc. etc, those words have meaning beyond their root definitions in a dictionary. Google presents Green Lantern as a supehero and not a verdant hued lighting appliance because I and millions of other people put those words together in that context. Like voting, our blogging, our wikis, our web pages have given those two insignificant words a distinct and different meaning when put in proximity together.
The above example is trivial, but the forces in play in it's example are not.
Blogging has consequence. Your ideas and thoughts may only reach 10 people, Google may only direct 1 or 2 searches your way that day, but because you do reach those 10 people, and because you did help shape the direction of those handful of searches and others unseen, you shape the course of human events as directly as does your election vote. Your content contributes to the body of human knowledge and knowledge has consequences, knowledge generates action, and actions have effects on our lives.
Noone knows who invented the wheel, noone knows who first cooked over an open fire. The genesis of those ideas are lost, but putting ideas, thoughts and comments on the internet, those also have an effect. They shape the ideas, thoughts and comments of others that come after you. One idea builds upon another. Once one problem is solved, the next challenge can be taken up, and so it goes.
That's why some of us are so in awe of the internet, because we see the connections, we feel their effects and we realize the change in that we are now smaller voices in a larger whole, but at the same time, everyone now has the possibility for their voice to reverberate out on any random Sunday and effect the whole of humanity.
That's a grand sweeping effect, and that's why I think people should blog.
My thoughts on the Battle Star Galactica Series Finale.
At Google Talks
Three really good youtube, At Google Talks speakers that I have watched this week.
A Harvard Business School professor and a recognized & award winning thought leader in the areas of cultural diversity in organizations and strategic human resource management, David Thomas's work is thought-provoking, controversial and might make you think differently about the diversity climate across corporations. Professor Thomas presented his book 'Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America' to a packed room of Googlers.
While the speaker's research is focused on minority leadership in the workplace. There are alot of very interesting points applicable to anyone. Since much of the talk is compared to a baseline of white males, everyone who works in an office environment will come away with interesting things to think about with this talk, don't let the Minority/diversity part of the description push you away from this one if you are a majority white male.
Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks visits Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss his book, "The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq." This event took place on February 24, 2009, as part of the Authors@Google series.
Author of Fiasco discusses his latest book on Iraq. Good Talk.
Helen Fisher visits Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss her book "Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love by Understanding Your Personality Type." This event took place on February 20, 2009, as part of the Authors@Google series
Romantic Love explored from a scientific and anthropological stand point. Speaker is also affiliated with Match.com and Chemistry.com.
Fisher has also done a TED talk using most of the same talking points and conversational illustrations. This Google Talk is superior to the TED talk in my opinion.
So there you go, 3 hours of really smart presentations. Give a couple a watch.
Let's Go Surfing
Let's Go Surfing
Also you can look at their sketches and read their Mega Con Report on their blog
» Multiple categories of Free Superhero Stories in prose form. Wow... that's alot of stuff to read for Free. Just need a Kindle and no job.
The 10 Categories of Online Collaboration
Here are the categories we see today:
1. Forums. Yes, forums seem very old-school Web 1.0. But they are an effective tool and are being updated by vendors and included in integrated online collaboration services.
2. Wikis. This is currently a hot space, hugely competitive with many vendors, but also with a lot of adoption. Wikis nicely fit the gap between email (which is unstructured and bad for creating shared content) and traditional content management systems (which are too process-intensive).
3. Blogging. Blogs and comments are a good way to spread and find information.
4. Microblogging. The 140-character limit forces brevity, a huge blessing in the corporate context! There are many "Twitter for the enterprise" offerings. They feel more like features than distinct products, ripe for integration in larger offerings.
5. Document workflow. This seems really old school, even pre-Web 1.0, but most business processes require a document of some type. Some vendors are putting these features in the cloud as well as integrating them with other collaboration tools.
6. Email. We don't even think of this as collaboration. It's just what we do all day, every day, like breathing. But the evolution of email and its integration with other tools is an area seeing a lot of innovation.
7. Document creation. This is the office on the web, the online alternative to MS Office on your hard drive. Collaboration capabilities are the driver for this market.
8. Conferencing. Whether for text, voice, or video chatting or screen-sharing for demos, web conferencing is the alternative to expensive, eco-damaging, nerve-wearing travel.
9. CRM. As CRM moves more online, it becomes more about online collaboration. Some simple online collaboration tools can be alternatives to low-end CRM. We see opportunities in CRM 2.0 that really take advantage of online networking.
10. Contact networking. This is the space dominated by LinkedIn and Facebook. In our view, it is the key to CRM 2.0.
Let's Go Surfing
» I want an Eee PC tablet Netbook.
» e.ggtimer.com is a great site. You type the url and then your desired time 5:00pm or 1hour25min and the site counts down the time for you.
» Katie Can Draw made a PDF you can use to print your own Batman Mask
Let's Go Surfing
» Command Line Fu Neat site with all sorts of command line snippets to do different things.
» This Memo Mug is a pretty neat idea.
» Watchmen "80s" Arcade Game Pretty slick for the midi style soundtrack alone. Old School TMNT sidescroller like action.
» Marvel Super-Hero Squad Animated TV Series later in 2009 on Cartoon Network.
» Pillow with a Handle Cool.
» 11 Free and Useful Open Source Alternatives for Designers Lots of good free software on this list.
» Flump, Adobe Air App that allows you to download Flickr Photos.
» Mac Plus emulated on a Jailbroken iPhone... that's really cool.
Let's Go Surfing
» Snippage is a very interesting adobe air application. It allow you to make a desktop widget out of any part of a website. It's sort of the old Active desktop idea but with a modern twist. take a look at the Rendur is a site that let's you type in HTML and it will give you a real time preview. Also supports CSS.
» I want a Plastic Logic Reader. But they are not out yet.
» $99 Mids are coming but will we all have iphone, Pre and Android Smartphones before they arrive making them more or less moot even at that price point?
» Microsoft Recite is a program for Windows Mobile that let's you record voice snippets and then search fro voice snippets also with your voice. Watch the youtube below. It's impressive.
» Dell has a $99 Ultra Portable Printer It's ZINK based, which means you need the special ZINK paper. Nice Pricepoint. Nice Size. But 50¢ a print. Hmm. Not sure why anyone would need it. Better just to carry the prints around on your camera or phone I think.
» I hope the New V Series doesn't suck.
» Very Interesting Mouse. Watch the video
» Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Omnibus variant cover art by Mike Zeck and Alex Ross. Nice.
» HTC Magic Android G2 Looks slick. Video at the link.
» Image to Color Palette Generator Nice web site that you can paste an url or upload a jpeg to and get a color palate from. You can even save a Photoshop Swatch File.
» I learned that I can go to http://gmail.com/tasks on my mobile phone browser and I can view and edit my Gmail Tasks. Nice.
» Seth Godin Tribe Interview
Let's Go Surfing
» New York Times Article Skimmer Nice at a glance news.
» Tinychat.com Such a neat service. Instant disposable chatrooms. Great!
» Some Fabric Covered Boxes a co-worker made. Neat idea. I will have to do something similar for some CD boxes under my TV I think.
» Uni-Form Green Lantern, Neat.
» Tootsie Pop Owl That's kindof a cool thing for your desk.
Daily Show Cramer episode
Daily Show Jim Cramer interview was brilliant tonight.
Jim Cramer should not have gone on there.
Here's what I think makes Jon Stewart's take down of CNBC so poignant.
CNBC purports to be a financial news service. In fact they largely just do pundit commentary and read stock tickers out loud. With the the financial meltdown going on, NBC and CNBC are trying to make our current national crisis into CNBC's "CNN Gulf War". Just like the first Gulf War put CNN on the map, CNBC/NBC is trying to use this crisis to raise CNBC's ratings by purporting to be a financial news network that will get you through this. CNBC does very little investigative reporting or real analysis. CNBC was part of the problem in the lead up to this situation by creating a reckless minute by minute hype guised in authority that did not help the lead up to this situation.
For some reason Cramer decided to take on Stewart. That's the sort of hubris and invincibility that got him in the situation he is in. It was not smart to go after Stewart. Stewart is a comedian, but under the comedy he's a serious commentator, and if he draws his bow at someone, the someone better be sure not to have an apple on their head.
EDIT: the uncut interview which is even longer than what aired (Note at the time I watched the uncut clips, the pre-roll advertisement was for Bank of America. Nice)
Really fairly, barely coherent Random Non-Sequiters
Don't have time to read this much? Do you like robot voices? listen to this rant instead. Press the pink play arrow below:
I spent some time thinking about change this weekend.
We just had a change election. That's why we voted for Obama right? We wanted change?
But did we? Did we want change, or did we really want someone to change things back to before they got all effed up? I think it's the latter. I think what the campaign sign should have said was: “Change things back”
But you can't do that. You can't change things back, not in an open connected system. The “back” doesn't exist any more and no amount of change will get you to “back”.
People aren't going to accept that though. They realize that things are different, and some of the different, they want (like their internet and their ipods) but they want the new good different in the old framework.
As a illustration of my point. The recording industry is coming around to the idea of Mp3s but they want Mp3s to behave like CDs. they want to bundle them and charge for them and they want noone but themselves with their CD factories to be able to make copies. But that can't happen. An Mp3 is not a CD and it can't be controlled in the same way as the physical object, it's different and “back” won't work on it.
A less well worn example. America wants good paying jobs, but they also want to buy everything for a dollar at Walmart. American's can't have good paying jobs if everything they buy also has to cost a dollar. But isolationism isn't the answer either. Things can be made for a dollar and at present there are people that are willing to make those things for a dollar, so a dollar is what those things cost to make. Putting too many levys on them won't help the situation either.
Labor is the cause of our current problems. American labor is too expensive for the American consumer. But without the American consumer, the people willing to make things for a dollar can't make a living selling to us either. We've priced ourselves out of our own market, because the internet is quickly making things one market.
There has to be an adjustment. A leveling. the world has truly gone flat, one global market. Poor countries will have higher standards of living, but our country is going to have to have a lower standard of living. don't despair though, and don't hate outward at these “foreigners” taking our jobs. First of all, the people working for a dollar should be making more anyway, and they really aren't our problem in the first place. Why deny them the standard of living you ask for yourself?
How do we solve the problem? We solve it with less choice. A terrible thing to say sure, but less choice is the solution.
Walk into an electronics store. How many different TVs are there? How many different computers? Then think to yourself how much inefficiency goes into creating all those variations? How much cheaper would they be if there were three choices of televisions and would your experience of television be worse if you were watching on the same Sony TV as everyone else?
Walk into the mall. How much clothing variety do you really need? Yes you want to express yourself, but do you need that much choice.... how much does it really matter?
Right now all that inefficiency creates a lot of jobs and the illussion of prosperity, but we can lose a lot of choice, a lot of choice, a lot of choice, and our standards of living could be just fine.
Choice hasn't been driving our economy anyway. What drives our economy is the sense of lottery. The sense that if you work hard, educate yourself, make the right connections and catch the right breaks you too can be a multi-billionaire. That's what drives the economy. “You too could be a winner”.
That motivator: “you too could be a winner” that's what needs to be replaced, because we can't afford to have people at the top getting multi-billions of dollars as their prize any more. We could when there were lots of different markets, when there was lots of tops, little kingdoms for everyone, but things are too connected now. Winner take all doesn't work when it truly is one market and the all truly is ALL. We have to spread that winning downward, there needs to be a more equitable solution for everyone on the planet.
The multi-billionaires are going to fight that. Money is power and people never want to give up or share power. But it's going to happen, as sure as the Mp3 replaced the CD, it's going to happen because it's just the way the world works. And because the world isn't working that way right now, that's why you are having the current crisis.
“You too could be a winner” but you're going to have to find a way to “make everyone else a winner” first.
Star Trek Trailer
This looks really really good.
Charlie Rose Eric Schmidt interview
Google CEO... interesting conversation
Thursday Night Midnight Show, I saw Watchmen with friends at the Rivertown Celebration Theater.
It was better than I thought it would be. For the most part, I liked the ending better than the book.
As long as the movie is, I would have liked it to be longer.
The movie follows the book close enough that it is not a Hollywood formula type of movie. One of the things I enjoyed about it.
I have no idea how this movie would play to people unfamiliar with the book. I know that I filled in a lot of the blanks and missing parts in my head from my knowledge of the story.
The actor who plays Rorsharch, really hits it out of the park. Great stuff.
Night Owl was also well played. I also appreciated the fact that they went with the bad 80s late 70s hair for the actor. An odd statement I know, but I appreciate a movie that isn't afraid to have its cast not look like fashion models.
Comedian was fantastic too. The actor really disapeared into this character, I didn't see Denny Duket at all... He was pure Comedian.
I look forward to seeing this film again in it's extended release/directors cut this summer. If you like this sort of thing. Go see.
PS "I'm not locked in here with you! You're locked in here with me!"
» I watched Vicky Christina Barcelona. the film was written and directed by Woody Allen. I'm used to seeing Woody Allen films starring Woody Allen and set in New York. I enjoyed the same style of storytelling but the change of character types and location.
The film takes place in Spain. It centers around two young American women abroad for the summer. One of the women is played by Scarlett Johansen. Penelope Cruz pictured in the poster has a secondary role and doesn't come into play until halfway thru the film. the male lead is played by a Spanish actor that is total doppleganger for the the dead guy from Greys Anatomy.
Anyway, the film doesn't have much plot, instead in a very Woody Allen way the movie climbs into the heads of and puts the conflictions, reflections and everyday experiences (albeit everytday experiences set in Spain) of its cast of characters on display for it's duration. The dialogue is suberb, the acting natural, and the overall look of the film beautiful. If you are looking for non-standard non-Hollywood paced and plotted fare, you'll enjoy this film. Do see.
» Picked up my midnight Watchmen tickets for tomorrow yesterday. Had some challenges with that. The film is rated R and Rivertown has a bizarre policy whereby supposedly you can't buy more than one rated R ticket without presenting ID for everyone. I had to get a manager involved in order to pick up tickets for my well over 18 friends.
I'm looking forward to the film, although I feel it will be sort of a Snakes on A Plane type situation (cult following, mainstream flop). It's a little disapointing that so many people have seen advanced showings already, undercuts the midnight release experience abit, but still despite all that, I'm looking forward to it,. It should be a good time.
» Yesterday, I watched Monday's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. It was ok. It has possibilities, but I think it's going to take him a few months to get into the swing of it. The best part of the show was the Conan O'brien sketch at the opening. I was disapointed that he didn't find away to work in Twitter or Facebook or social web 2.0 stuff in some way on his first show. Disapointing given how interactive the webisodes he's been doing for weeks have been. Perhaps he'll gear up more with that in the coming weeks.
» Interesting to see that the Amazon has released a Kindle platform on the iPhone. I suppose that's one way to build volume in sales without actually selling cheaper hardware. Still I'd love to see a sub $200 eInk based reader in the near future. Perhaps Kindle on iPhone will help grow the market to make that possible.
Five things you think will make you happy but won't
Interesting article, especially if you like Devils' Advocate type arguments.
# 2 Genius - So What's the problem...
Want to know what it's like to live life as a genius? All you have to do is go hang around with the stupidest, most incompetent people you know. Cringe at their stupid jokes, feel the frustration as they fumble even the easiest tasks and fail to grasp the simplest concepts. Being a genius must be like that, only everyday. Everyone is an idiot compared to them. They're living Idiocracy.
Article also explains the problems with and fame, wealth, beauty and power.