March 31, 2005
Upcoming Conference at Harvard: Signal or Noise 2k5: Creative Revolution?
Meg Smith at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center sent out an email about a conference they are co-hosting on Friday, April 8th called "Signal or Noise 2k5: Creative Revolution?"
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the Journal of Law & Technology, and the Committee for Sports & Entertainment Law, all of Harvard Law School, are hosting Signal or Noise 2k5: Creative Revolution? on April 8, 2005, on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The conference website can be found at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/sn.
The conference offers an exciting mix of performances, demonstrations and discussions examining how digital technologies are enabling new forms of creativity by a broader group of people. Cultural, business, legal and ethical implications of new genres and new forms of authorship will all be covered along with an artist's interests and rights in downstream uses of original creations.
Scheduled conference participants include New York Times bestselling author Matthew Pearl, copyright scholar Terry Fisher, fanfic author Naomi Novik, David Dixon of Beatallica, innovative musician Dan the Automator, Paul Marino of machinima.org, Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow, and Wendy Seltzer of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Signal or Noise 2k5 is open to the public but pre-registration is needed: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/sn/register. For more information about the conference's location, schedule and participants, please visit http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/sn/schedule. To view a map of the area: http://map.harvard.edu/level2.cfm?mapname=camb_allston.
Please pass this along to anyone who might be interested. We hope to have as engaged and diverse an audience as the group of participants!
Connectors Are People, Too
By nature I am a helpful person. That's not an ego statement: it's just the way it is. I've noticed that I've developed a pet peeve. Someone will swoop into my inbox or instant messenger application and ask me if I know so and so. If I say "no" then they say "thanks" and wander off.
How about engaging me (or whoever your connector of choice is) in at least a small conversation before and/or after asking me for information or a favor? One of my personal goals for 2005 has been to lose some of the pessimism I've picked up since relocating to Boston from Nebraska all those years ago. Apparently it's a work in progress.
March 30, 2005
New Weblog Network?
Poking around Craig's List I came across this ad from a company called Niner Niner looking for Boston webloggers who want to write on specific topics and get paid. They seem seem to be setting up something that resembles the Gawker Media and Weblogsinc networks. I have no idea who Nine Niner is. Anybody know anything about them?
I just checked the whois record for their domain name and it appears the company is based in St. Louis and they've been around since September 2004.
Yahoo!'s 360 Degrees
Jess Barron sent me an invite yesterday to join the Yahoo! 360 network/community/blog thingy. It's been a while since I've logged into Friendster, Orkut and Ryze. It'll be interesting to see if I frequent Yahoo!'s project more consistently. Here's my profile if you'd like to add me as a contact at 360 Degrees.
March 29, 2005
About Sooz, Part II
This is an updated "About Sooz" entry. I need to submit a bio for a panel I'm on next month. So, I thought I'd put up a new "About Sooz" page here at sooz.com that will help me figure out what to say in that bio. I'm not really fond of talking about myself; but I suppose it might help to give some context to who I am and what I am up to.
I got online August 1993. I've been hosting and organizing events in the Boston area since 1998 and I've been one of those "connector" types for about that long, too. I send out event invitations to my email list on a semi-regular basis. In 1997-1998 I was part of Swanky.org, one of the first web communities/collectives of web designers and writers. I got us a bunch of press and a feature on the "Wild, Wild Web" television show (that I'd later go on to work for in the marketing department). In 2000 I raised $90k to put together the Geek Pride Festival at the Boston Park Plaza Castle that was attended by about 3,000 people. This was a very big undertaking as I did pretty much all the work for the owner of the festival. The festival received a lot of press from The Boston Globe, ABC News, CIO Magazine, CNN, INC Magazine, MIT Technology Review and radio stations just to name a few. I host a sushi party once a year that started in 1998 when Derek Powazek and I invited a couple dozen friends to dinner during Web98.
I've attended the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin for several years. This year my involvement was lining up a panel for type designer colleague Josh Darden who facilitated a panel called "Typography for the Screen" with Mike Davidson and Shaun Inman. In 2004 I participated on a panel with Kevin Smokler, Craig Newmark and Mark Mangan about city guides on the web. In 2002 and 2003 I helped put together three panels (each year) for Independents Day a project I incubated with Jeffrey Zeldman and Carole Guevin. I was on the South by Southwest Interactive Festival advisory board for a couple years, too.
I quit a corporate marketing job towards the end of 2001 and have been doing freelance work ever since. One of my clients is in real estate and I'm helping him with web marketing, events and weblog consulting. Pete Caputa and I are working together on a few of his event concepts. I also provide extensive feedback regarding WhizSpark's event marketing tools/platform.
My own network of websites right now is focused on exploitboston.com (it'll get a little makeover this summer), freeagentboston.com (a network of people working solo around Boston) and sooz.com (my personal website). I'm also talking to a leading web designer and a CSS guru about helping them plan a series of events.
In 2004 I helped set up BostonWAG, a wireless advocacy group in Boston. I'm helping plan a WiFi Summit in Boston that Councillor John Tobin Jr. has initiated. April 2005 I went to Los Angeles to participate on a panel about municipal/city WiFi at The Mobile Media conference hosted by the American Press Institute's Media Center.
So, that's me! At least the
March May 2005 version.
March 25, 2005
New England Arts and Entertainment Network at Blogads
I'm curating a new mininetwork in the Blogads network for arts and entertainment related weblogs in New England. Henry Copeland of Blogads wrote about the new tool a couple weeks ago including the first mininetwork that Amy Langfield is curating for New York City.
I decided to focus on arts and entertainment related weblogs and not just a general purpose New England network because I think it will help us reach advertisers who better match our blogs. Currently the following sites are in the mininetwork: This Modern World, Hacking Netflix, Exploit Boston!, Boston Sports Media Watch, pc4media and WestPortNow.com. If you're interested in possibly being selected for the mininetwork, sign up with Blogads.
Digging Into the flickr API: Help?
I haven't mentioned in a few weeks how much I love flickr. It will be interesting to see how their sale to Yahoo! affects them: hopefully in good ways. I've been wanting to do more with the display of photos on websites other than my flickr account/pages but I'm not really techie enough to figure out how to tinker with the API. It appears that Pete Caputa is also curious about what can be done.
I'd really like to talk to someone that has (or is interested in) building off of the flickr API, so that photos stored on flickr, can be shown in an album on another website. Anyone?
Personally, I'd like to be able to have photos from the Exploit Boston! photo pool appear over on my Exploit Boston! website in random order in one spot, similar to the bit of code that flickr provides me (used over on the right side of this page) to do that sort of thing with photos I've added to my flickr account.
Anybody know how to do this or have an example of someone doing this on another website?
March 22, 2005
Entertainment, Advertising & Media Networking Mixer Lands in Boston on March 29th
Pete Caputa and Duncan Arsenault have been hosting a networking mixer in Worcester for the entertainment, advertising and media industries for several months. With 100+ people showing up each month they're now branching out into other cities including Boston on March 29th at the Boston Billiard Club 8-11PM. Anyone working in the entertainment, advertising and media industries is invited to attend:
- bands, entertainers
- bar, restaurant, lounge and club managers and owners
- radio station personalities
- music, media, advertising, promotions and marketing personnel and professionals
I'll be there. Visit the Eastern MA Entertainment, Advertising & Media Networking Mixer event page to learn more and register.
March 21, 2005
Razor Blades and WiFi: Seth Godin's WiFi Hotspot Rant
Seth Godin wants to know why so many WiFi networks are closed. His rant was inspired by a recent (not very clueful) article in the New York Times. Seth wrote a followup entry to some criticism he received.
There were no razor blades in apples on Halloween when we were growing up. Did you know that? Really. They made it up. Someone should tell the Times and its readers that if you want to be anonymous on the Net, you can go to Kinko's or go to Bryant Park or the library. It's certainly not necessary to scare the nation into closing their wifi hot spots.
MicroRant #3849439: Not Everything Is Bloggable/Sharable
One of the things that bugs me that seems to have come about with the pervasiveness of weblogs is the notion that everything is bloggable or shareable. A lot of conversations I have with people require a disclaimer that our conversations are or are not bloggable. I joked with Pete Caputa that it might just be easier if I made a shirt that says "I am not blogging this." Transparency and openness are both awesome things but sometimes, every word we speak is not intended to be transcribed, shared or documented.
My new del.icio.us tag: peopleimetatsxswinteractive.
March 20, 2005
Fiveish Years with Dreamhost Web Hosting
I noticed the other day that the welcome bar at the top of Dreamhost's web admin panel said I've been a customer since February 2000. Technically I've used their services since 1998 but I switched to two other web hosting companies briefly in 1999. It's interesting to see how much they've grown. Back when I first heard about Dreamhost (and not long after they started up) in mid-1997 they were just a handful of twenty-somethings with a couple servers in college.
They've got an excellent referral/rewards system, too. Anytime you refer someone and they put your account name (mine is susank) in the "Found Us" question, you are paid $97 for the direct referral and $5 if it's a secondary referral. I've got the "Code Monster" plan which they dropped the price on a while ago from $39.95/month to $19.95/month. Each of the plans are a few dollars less if you pay a year or two upfront. Most personal websites would probably be fine with the $9.95/month plan: 800MB of storage, 40GB of monthly bandwidth, 600 email accounts, an excellent email announcement list tool, useful web admin panel, etc.
Dreamhost is running a special deal until the end of today (March 20, 2005) that triples the storage space and monthly bandwidth. My account name is susank if you'd like to note me as your referral. Feel free to email me any questions, too.
March 15, 2005
A Few Tidbits From The South by Southwest Interactive Festival
My annual pilgrimage to South by Southwest Interactive is coming to a close tomorrow afternoon. It seems like attendance is up this year which is awesome to see. Check out the video of Halcyon on Austin360.com describing why he keeps showing up at the festival after seven years. He captures the essence of why this conference is more than just another conference. I took a few photos with my camera phone and there are a ton of SXSW-tagged photos taken by other conference participants over on flickr, too.
March 12, 2005
March 10, 2005
Getting Stuff Done
Yesterday Pete Caputa and I went on an appointment tour to various venues in Boston to talk about his company's (WhizSpark) event planning platform and promotion tools plus my event planning services. I watched him handle a cold-call situation immensely well. I was interested in sticking to the places I had spoken to in advance but Pete is a braver human than I will ever be. He reminded me that it's good to step out of our usual routines now and again. Very true! The highlight of our appointment tour was meeting with a corporate event coordinator at an upscale restaurant in Back Bay. I've known her for a couple years so that certainly helped make it more of a conversation and less a sales meeting. But also, she just seemed to get it -- that WhizSpark provides a platform and tools that can make her job easier. And make her look good, too. Who wants to take oodles of RSVPs over the phone? That is so 2004!
A big client/project needs to hook up with WhizSpark so they can spend some money on design: customization of the layout and colors is key.
For a humorous interpretation of yesterday, read what Pete has to say on his blog.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Lame
I don't seek out reasons to be sassy, honest. But today's email from an SEO company working for one of my favorite websites/tools: local-i, is retarded. He sent me an email several weeks ago asking that I talk about local-i on sooz.com and also include it in one of my newsletters. I didn't respond because well, it was lame. Had he spent a bit of time on my website he'd have seen that I have linked to pages at local-i several times already. He could have started out his email in a way that was less like a form letter and moreso a conversation. I'm already a fan of local-i.
Is there a cluephone that can be included with each copy of the Cluetrain Manifesto book?
March 08, 2005
Boston WiFi Meetup Wednesday 9 March @ 7PM
The March 2005 edition of the Boston WiFi Meetup is tomorrow, March 9th at 7PM. We're meeting at Toscanini's in Central Square, located at 899 Main Street. We'll be talking about the Boston WiFi Summit that Boston City Councillor John Tobin is putting together and whatever else comes up.
tag: JPG Magazine
March 07, 2005
Public Service Announcement: What's In A Name?
I go by Susan Kaup or Sooz. There is no Sooz Kaup. Or if there is, it's someone else, not me. Just for fun I've started to tag websites that I come across by other Sooz humans out there. Here's the collection that I've tagged via del.icio.us.
March 05, 2005
Now Playing via RSS
I noticed a few weeks ago that my Audioscrobbler RSS feed was working again. It didn't seem to be working for quite a while. So, if you're ever wondering (bored? curious?) what I'm listening to on iTunes (when not listening to Exploit Boston! Radio), add this RSS feed to your newsreader.
Warning: Questionable (perhaps) music may appear such as the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers duet "Islands in the Stream."
Happiness can always be found in projects that use a favorite word such as "conspire." Pete Caputa mentioned our conspirations. The people I share office space with and I have a newish website in the works for our space: The Conspiratory.
When I use the word (and variations of) conspire, I like the second definition that's noted at dictionary.com since (of course) none of my conspiring activities are illegal or wrongful. ;)
- To plan together secretly to commit an illegal or wrongful act or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.
- To join or act together; combine: “Semisweet chocolate, cocoa powder, espresso, Cognac, and vanilla all conspire to intensify [the cake's] flavor” (Sally Schneider)
March 04, 2005
WiFi Task Force at City Hall
The group's mission:
- Advocate for public access to the Internet via open wireless networks. BostonWAG believes that open wireless networks can strengthen communities, foster economic development, minimize the digital divide, and improve the quality of life in today’s information age.
- To educate the public, policy makers, and the media about the value of Internet access via open wireless. BostonWAG provides practical, detailed information on the best practices of open wireless networks in order to inform community conversations, media coverage, planning, and project development.
- To inspire people to embrace open wireless networks to benefit individuals and communities. BostonWAG leverages creative communication, lively discourse, and fun events to spark interest in wireless computing with the premise that only widespread adoption and useful applications will maximize the value of open wireless networks and make them ubiquitous.
We've been using the WiFi Meetups to get the group organized and bring a bit of life to the WiFi Meetup that wasn't really used much before August 2004. We attended a "Wifi Taskforce" at Boston City Hall this afternoon hosted by Councillor John Tobin Jr. His plan if all continues to go well is to host a series of of taskforce meetings, conduct a study about community WiFi in Boston (funded by the Boston Foundation) and then host a WiFi Summit in Boston with Mayor Menino's office. I'm optimistic. It's nice to see an open dialogue and planning instead of jumping on the "WiFi City" hype bandwagon.
Photo: Patrick McCormick, City Councillor John Tobin Jr., Michael Oh
Dear Basecamp: Will You Marry Me?
Thinking about life before Basecamp is a lot like trying to think about life before the internet itself. I use my Basecamp site for my clients, project planning for my own projects/websites, etc. I recently set up a project area for business collaborations with Peter Caputa at WhizSpark and to also offer feedback about their premium event planning platform and tools that are under development. It seems to be working out really well. I set up a category that I drop ideas and questions into that come up when I'm using WhizSparks' tools. It's easy to lose track of things in email. Since everything is on the web, there's an excellent archive to look back on.
March 02, 2005
Yahoo's Netrospective: 10 Years on the Web
Jess Barron, a coworker in 1999 at Wild, Wild Web (and a high school classmate of Michael's -- it's a small, random world!), sent me an email this morning about Yahoo's 10th Anniversary. She's part of the team at Yahoo! who put together a "netrospective" of their first decade on the web called "10 Years, 100 Moments of the Web." Yahoo! is giving away free ice cream today at Baskin Robbin's around the U.S.
Jess also wrote on her website (no permalink for the entry, alas) about her own 10-year anniversary working and writing on the web.
The past 10 years working on the web have kept me experiencing a continuous deja vu. Anyone who has been a web writer, editor or producer since 1995 or 1996 certainly must feel somewhat akin to Bill Murray's character in the 1993 movie "Groundhog Day." For instance, when reading this Christian Science monitor article about Yahoo!'s new media plans in Santa Monica last week, I was struck by the initial thrill about these exciting plans and these exciting times, but a few moments later I had a strong sense of deja vu. Hadn't I already lived in this exciting time? Hadn't I already heard *these* exciting plans? Ah yes, I had. Reading this article brought me back to the spring of 2000, when I worked at Scour.com in Beverly Hills and we had partners like AtomFilms and iFilm and Stephen Spielberg's Dreamworks-backed pop.com was set to launch with an offering of Internet-only programming. This time (five years later) we have seen that the world (well, the U.S. at least) is finally ready for consuming entertainment content on their computers. This time, I am convinced that this stuff can actually be successful. My conviction is so strong that I am leaving San Francisco to move down to Los Angeles again to give it another try.
March 01, 2005
Dear boston.com: Where are the Links? Part III
I received an email today from the customer service department at boston.com in response to my second email I sent to them about the lack of links in Adam Gaffin's new column about weblogs. Eventually, I hope they do the right thing. My guess is that boston.com itself might be clueful regarding the merits of linking; but they have to deal with the old school newspaper who is possibly less clueful. The response I received today makes it sound like web publishing is magic.
I am sorry for misunderstanding your comments.
Articles that appear in the Boston Globe are automatically published online. The web address was not copied and pasted onto the online version of the article; it was in the printed version as well.
Your request to have the Universal Hub link active has been forwarded to our editorial team for consideration.
In Search Of: Portable Recording/Podcasting Studio for my iBook
One of these days I'd like to set up a mini recording/podcast studio so that I can record live shows of Exploit Boston! Radio, my streaming internet radio station (to offer up via podcast), conduct interviews with Boston bands, etc. I did college radio ten years ago and I've been broadcasting an internet radio station off and on since 1999; but I'm entirely clueless about what sort of equipment I need to set up a mini studio to use with my iBook. Something that's reasonably portable would be ideal. If you have tips as far as mixing boards, microphones, software, etc. -- I'd enjoy hearing from you.
I set up a tag at del.icio.us called macpodcast to collect helpful tidbits.