November 30, 2004
Sometimes nagging works
Hey, Shannon is back!
ZuZu was a full room late tonight for Tom Thumb (AKA Andy) and his new indie rock band. He was a singer/songwriter sort of guy until six months ago when friends on bass, drums and keyboards joined in. Michael's bookstore cohort Molly plays the keyboard and sings backup. Hopefully they'll get some tunes recorded and share them on their website.
November 27, 2004
The Fuss About Marqui Paying Bloggers to Write About The Company
On a whim last week I sent an email to Marqui, curious about their new program in the works to pay a couple dozen webloggers to write about them as a new way of finding clients and generating press. Looking through the information on their website, it seemed interesting. They'd pay $800/month for a weekly writeup about their product with everything being upfront and transparent and no limits on what each weblogger writes about (the good and the bad about the product). The approach sounded interesting, so why not look into it?
I wasn't really expecting to hear back from them. But the next day I received an email from Marc Canter, one of their advisors who encouraged Marqui to set up the blogger program. He said we should talk over the weekend but then he got busy and I had a funeral to go to. So, fast forward to earlier this week and I get a couple emails sent out to everyone who has been invited to participate. I didn't really know what was going on since Marc and I hadn't even talked yet. I sent him a followup and then he called me last night.
Here are a few words that detractors have used about this project: hokey, blatant advertising, fishy approach, blogging ethics, perspective, integrity and not worth the money (which is a subtle way of saying they want more money?). Perhaps for people who rely on bringing a traditional advertising model to the web and weblogs, this is a scary idea. However, I do not get the concern anyone might have over ethics and integrity. I've been working and collaborating online since 1993. I've never done anything for the money. That might explain why I never made it big during the internet "boom" but that's a rant for another time. I'm going to participate because I think this is an interesting experience. If a company wants to pay me to ocassionally talk about their products and services, why not? I've lost track of the number of times I've been asked to offer my insight and feedback for free. A few months ago someone from Yahoo! Local emailed me after finding my address on the Boston Blogs.com website, asking me to check out their new site and offer feedback because they want (and value) the perspective of bloggers. In my reply, I asked if there was some sort of compensation for offering the assistance. I wasn't asking for a million dollars; but I think it's far worse to simply expect something for free every single time instead of at least making some token gesture of thanks for the input. Of course he never wrote back.
I sent an email to Alan, The Head Lemur, last night about all of this. He's signed up to blog about/for Marqui. I wrote a few blathering sentences, he replied with a very thoughtful response which he's posted on his website. When I asked him what all the fuss was about, I meant in so far as why are some of the bloggers originally invited to participate now backing away from it.
Stay tuned to see if I turn into a brainwashed Marqui monkey!
November 26, 2004
Michael and Christine at Thanksgiving Dinner
Yesterday I took a bunch of photos at Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by Debbie and Steve Femia (Michael's brother and sister-in-law).
November 23, 2004
New additions to Exploit Boston! Radio
On Sunday I added a bunch of tunes to Exploit Boston! Radio, my internet radio station on Live365.com's network. Thanks to The Charms, Count Zero, Soltero, The Dresden Dolls, Vic Firecracker, Mittens, Anti-Love Project (and more) for providing the rock, pop and/or alternative sounds to the 11+ hours of streaming music. If only the mystery listeners in China would email and let me know what they think of the tunes.
November 17, 2004
Save the date: Sushi Fest 2004 on December 9th
Gregor and I are conspiring to host my 7th annual sushi fest. This year it will be held at 9:00 PM on Thursday, December 9th. The dinner coincides with the first day of "Votes, Bits and Bytes", The Berkman Center for Internet & Society's conference about the impact of technology on politics. The location will be near Harvard Square with more specific details on the way.
Best Spam Ever and Gabriel Jeffrey's New Book
[UPDATE: So much for it being a random email. The book author gave the publisher my email. ;)]
I think I've got an email that may qualify as the best spam I've ever received. The publisher of Gabriel Jeffrey's new book sent me an email. I suppose this is the first time I've received a spam-ish email about someone I know. I'm surprised they didn't include a link to the book's website or Gabe's weblog especially since this email was probably targetted to bloggers.
Here's the email ...
With the country leaning toward a period of morality and rectitude where do regular people go to vent the little daily sins that plague us all? They go to www.grouphug.us, the confessional Web site created by Boston resident and graphic designer, Gabriel Jeffrey. Gabriel began the site in September 2003 (in his spare time/on a lark), having no idea it would explode into the most wildly successful, hippest confessional site today.
Based on the grouphug site, the new non-fiction guilty pleasure STONED, NAKED AND LOOKING IN MY NEIGHBOR'S WINDOW: THE BEST CONFESSIONS FROM GROUPHUG.US compiled by Gabriel Jeffrey, is a bit like reality television in book form. STONED, NAKED celebrates the slightly uncomfortable joy of reading about humanity's small (or massive) indiscretions from sleeping with a best friendšs boyfriend to forging a coupon for a free pie.
The book functions as a mirror on today's society, reflecting the joy, despair, humor, absurdity and chaos of living in the 21st century.
Gabriel could make a fascinating feature or interview, discussing the need for an anonymous, untraceable, thoroughly engrossing public record of naughtiness, where people can confess their deepest, darkest secrets without a trace of identity. Or, we'd be pleased if you chose to run a review of STONED, NAKED, AND LOOKING IN MY NEIGHBOR'S WINDOW: THE BEST CONFESSIONS FROM GROUPHUG.US on your site, and/or reprint some of the most amusing, heartbreaking or hilarious confessions.
Let me know your thoughts, and wešll send you a copy of the book for your perusal.
[publisher rep's info]
November 16, 2004
Online Before the Music Starts
I'm at the Paradise Lounge for the monthly Mix Tape Tuesday hosted by Mike Viola of the Candy Butchers. So I get to be semi-productive while the bands set up. Fun! Thanks to whoever left their WiFi network open. ;)
Exploit Boston! Radio
The fine folks at Whizspark are sponsoring my Exploit Boston! radio station. If you'd like to hear hours and hours of Boston area indie rock, pop and alternative bands, go listen to it! The music streams via Live365.com 24/7 on any MP3 player with a high-speed (cable modem/DSL) connection.
Peter Caputa of Whizspark also wrote about the sponsorship on his weblog.
Jeff Tweedy's Tidbits About Music and the Internet
We live in a connected world now. Some find that frightening. If people are downloading our music, they're listening to it. The internet is like radio for us.
What if there was a movement to shut down libraries because book publishers and authors were up in arms over the idea that people are reading books for free? It would send a message that books are only for the elite who can afford them.
Stop trying to treat music like it's a tennis shoe, something to be branded. If the music industry wants to save money, they should take a look at some of their six-figure executive expense accounts. All those lawsuits can't be cheap, either.
November 15, 2004
Nebraska Photos on flickr
What's Old is New Again
Exploit Boston! is alive. Oh, I know. You've heard that before. I started to write a long, personal, blathering entry about the past three years (I first registered the exploitboston.com domain about three years ago) but decided to keep the personal tidbits out of this little alert.
Needless to say, I'm thrilled this project is back. My favorite writer is co-publishing it with me and Exploit Boston! Radio is returning in a few days with a super cool sponsor.
November 13, 2004
MP3 player in exchange for ...
Will trade DELL MP 3 40 G Harddrive/ Complete Docking Unit/remote control/tungsten earbuds to any open minded woman......
Yup, it's a "barter" ad on Craig's List.
Stuff for sale/free on Craig's List: wireless-g notebook adapter plus box of Howard and Judy Dean interview videos
I'm selling my Linksys Wireless-G Notebook Adapter on Craig's List for $30. I don't need it anymore since I've got my iBook. My old Dell notebook computer is barely usable. I should probably find out if I can get the case replaced cheaply. And I'm giving away the box of Howard and Judy Dean on ABC's Prime Time Thursday tapes that have been collecting dust in a closet. One day when Michael and I were volunteering for the Dean campaign in January we drove around New Hampshire dropping off the tapes. It sure beat canvassing. I did canvass once because it was the right thing to do but ... ugh. I really hated doing it. At least the people whose doors I knocked on were friendly. There are additional tidbits about why I have a box of those tapes on the listing over at Craig's List.
November 12, 2004
Web Design World in Boston?
I noticed last night that Web Design World is coming to Boston next month, December 6-8. I have to confess, I'm a little surprised. Not just that there's a web conference in Boston (in 2004) but the price tag is also $1495. If you know anyone who is going, let me know. My freelancer budget doesn't seem to have room for $1495 but considering the speaker roster includes the usual suspects of very smart web people, I'm sure the content will be excellent.
November 11, 2004
NewburyOpen.net's Boston Music Project
NewburyOpen.net, the free/open WiFi network along Newbury Street that Tech Superpowers sponsors, has a new endeavor called the Boston Music Project. Using iTunes music sharing, anyone with a notebook computer with WiFi will be able to listen to streaming music of Boston bands via servers along Newbury Street. The idea was inspired by the Austin Wireless City Project's collaboration with the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. The project's info page mentions that it started broadcasting music in September. That hasn't happened just yet. They need to collect more CDs first. So, if you're in a band, check it out and send them your tunes!
November 07, 2004
Accelerating Change 2004
Gregor attended the Accelerating Change 2004 conference at Stanford this weekend and wrote about several panels extensively on his website. The first entry starts here and there a bunch more including Doug Englebert speaking about large-scale collective IQ, Will Wright (Sims creator) on sculpting possibility space, etcetera.
November 03, 2004
Time for another round of "If Bush wins, I'm moving to [insert country here]"?
Remember all those friends and celebrities who insisted they'd move out of the country if Bush won in 2000? No one I know ended up moving. And now it's time once again for those people and some new ones to start up the talk that if Bush wins, they'll move. My eloquent response? Whatever. Kos has perhaps a slightly more eloquent retort, though not directly about people fleeing the country but an appropriate response nonetheless.
I've always said today was merely a battle in a long war. The GOP built its electoral dominance over 40 years by building a massive, well-funded message, training, and media machine.
We started putting ours together last year.
You all have much to be proud of. But please don't think your job is done, or that your hard work was all for naught. It's not, and it wasn't.This is just the beginning, not the end. Regardless of who takes that oath next January we still have a war to wage. We won't wage it with violence, but by building a solid foundation for a new progressive movement.
November 02, 2004
Maybe that audio blog post worked?
One of the audio blog posts I tried to record earlier today found itself in the wrong blog so I moved it over to Hear Here!. I'm at Tealuxe and the nearby (open) wifi network is not happy with letting me download the MP3 to see if it really works. Hmm ...
Audio blogging, podcasting and the crazy Bush supporter who lost her cat
Earlier today while standing in line in Davis Square waiting to vote for John Kerry, I decided to revive my audio blog. I suppose all the cool kids these days are calling this podcasting. I don't quite get that since it's moreso about the audio and less so about the device you download it to. And I don't have an iPod. I've got 12 unused posts in my audblog.com account and set up a seperate site for my audio ramblings at Hear Here!. Alas, the recordings aren't showing up on the site and I'm not able to log in to my audblog account. What's up audblog? I've been thinking about setting up an account with audioblog.com if they'll let me pay with Pay Pal.
The story I thought I was telling via audblog this afternoon was about the crazy lady a few people behind me in line going on and on about how Bush is great and Kerry is an opportunist. Yeah, right. As if Bush hasn't taken ample opportunity to misuse his authority, etc. She lost her cat while standing in line, too.
November 01, 2004
Live Election Night Results From the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: RESULTRON
Using RESULTRON, you can receive text messages (or txt msgs) on your mobile phone as soon as there are updates in the close races we're monitoring here at the DCCC.
With RESULTRON's SMS text alerts, you won't have to rely on Fox News or CNN for breaking news on these races, and you won't have to curtail your Election Day activities whether that means participating in GOTV efforts up until the last second, or saving a bar stool for a friend.