Saturday, December 29, 2007

1938 Media Predictions

Loren Feldman of 1938 Media is my new favorite bad boy. The predictions involve new media references, searchable if you're interested. For example, included are Jason Calacanis and Mahalo, Robert Scoble, Owen Thomas, and Hugh MacLeod. The French reference has to do with a fairly amusing dustup that Feldman had with Seesmic's Loic LeMeur wherein Loic apologized and, in fact, posted this very video on his blog.

I'm pretty taken with Feldman's delivery. Yes, yes, yes- he's got no end of real substance, grit and honesty. But the timing? Genius. All the way around.

An egalitarian erosion

Jim Long's day job is shooting history as it unfolds. Always a guy who can think on his feet, he offers this quick assessment. He's answering Loic LeMeur as to why we see the same images about an event across all networks.

Cost-cutting and audience flight are not uncommon phrases used in describing the state of contemporary journalism, but when the topic is specifically world events, that's just deeply disturbing.

Good thing Jim has such a buttery delivery. It makes it easier to hear the bad news.

Bringing home the bacn

This just in: no more hunting around far-flung public radio stations to find this favorite. Thanks for the memories, Public Radio Fan. You've been a great help in finding this show all over the country- and sometimes the listed station would actually have the show run as scheduled. and sometimes I could even score a decent stream. You see, I never seemed to hit it right, being at my radio when this show was carried by my local NPR stations.

Today, I received the weekly email from iTunes that I usually just delete. The subject line Podcast Spotlight: Best of 2007 caught my eye. I lifted my chin and politely harrumphed about what they thought was noteworthy. Hold the phone! I'm the last to know that some NPR favorites are now podcasts!

Yes, it's all very great that Fresh Air is now a podcast and I adore Terry Gross and her verbal cleavage and inimitable interview expertise... but her show streams from the NPR site. And yes- I did subscribe.

But it's the Selected Shorts hour that made my day. This is an award-winning series of short fiction read by stars- cool stars, that is- and recorded at Symphony Space in Manhattan. It has a 20-year history of excellence.

And, listen- now it's aggregated.

Friday, December 28, 2007

It can’t be helped.

  —  The smell of butane can be rather pleasant.

  —  It's been a smoke-free nine years,
        but I'm playing the ten-year breakup card.

  —  A perfect martini and a cigarette- now that's just good adult fun.

  —  My neighbors smoke. It's a vote for camaraderie.
        Lucky for me they're menthol people. And I'm not.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto

Here's where gender is not an issue.

Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated.

from the page

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed Thursday in a suicide bomb attack on her vehicle, an aide from her party said. Witnesses and police said some 20 others were feared killed when the attacker detonated his bomb.

It was not immediately clear whether she was killed by the bomb or by gunfire that preceded the attack, which occurred during a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad.

A party security adviser said Bhutto was shot in neck and chest as she got into her vehicle to leave the rally. A gunman then blew himself up.

end quote

I was following Jim Long, an NBC camerman as he reported on his work in Crawford, Texas. Things have gotten even more interesting. You can follow him, too.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holly and merry, the aftermath

My Christmas was an Italian family state-of-the-art love and food experience: two parents, three sisters and their families, four dogs, seven fish courses on the Eve, one over-the-top Christmas brunch,
and one valiant attempt at recycling any paper or ribbon that
could be re-purposed.

It's been a year of difficulty, loss and grief.

And yet- it's also been a time of reflection and personal epiphany,
at times, thanks to some rather surprising sources.

With gratitude, I send this out to the cybersphere,
hoping some thanks hit their mark.

And in the end, the love we take
will be equal to the love we make.

Click above and listen to Golden Slumbers, The End
~ Lennon, McCartney ~

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holly and merry

I checked the television schedule to see if my favorite version of A Christmas Carol- the one with George C. Scott- is on late tonight. It never gets old and puts me in the spirit of things. I can tell you that this, and a little inordinately strong wassail, would be quite helpful this year.

What I noted, though, is that A&E and Bravo are running Goodfellas and The Godfather. Nothing says Christmas like a little mob mayhem.

That said-

Happy holidays to everyone- no matter what or how you celebrate. Now let's be careful out there.

Cheers, dears.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Right of Boom

coming to you from the post-kinetic environment that is my studio. . .
Of Gorno, Bacn, Lolcat, and the other Buzzwords of 2007.

I can't help it. I love lists.

I do feel a little sheepish that a fair amount of these buzzwords in this particular list are new to me. Many I can do without; some are gross, already tired, or outside my purview. I will, however, find a way to use forever stamp as a verb.

This is a New York Times article so who knows how long this link will be viable.
My pal TapwaterJ links to them with impunity all the time. So there.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Susan Reynolds and Frozen Pea Friday

Social media gets personal and Twitter is, once again and estimably so, more than the twittering machine that people might think it to be.

Meet Susan Reynolds an intensely amazing woman, who, as I write this, is recovering from surgery right now. In addition to her world of family and friends, there is an entire online community waiting to hear of her progress.

Susan is documenting her fight against breast cancer at her unblinkingly honest reportage at Boobs On Ice. Frozen peas played a role in soothing her pain after a visit to a diagnostic radiologist.

. . .

In the entry What's with the Peas, Susan tells it:

To keep bleeding down & relieve pain I'd need to keep things cool. Traditional ice packs are hard and heavy. As much as I try to be a good sport I'm not into having a brick sitting on my chest.

Enter a bag of frozen peas. I tucked it in my bra, took a picture, and was ready to tell the story later that night. That bag of peas added a touch of lightness to what could have been a sad and serious tale.

• A bag of peas was something everybody could relate to.
• Some people love them, some hate them, some use them for their own injuries.
• A bag of frozen peas was a vehicle for conversation and let people tease me instead of having to cry.
• It let people share instead of bemoaning.

I napped a lot during the first few days after the biopsy. The news was sudden and stunning after all and my body was being assaulted.

Mmmm peas for lunch? When I fell asleep with peas in my cleavage I’d wake to the smell of freshly cooked peas. That made the story funnier, and more human. Of course I shared it because what is life but a series of stories.
After enough cooked peas I moved on to baggies with ice cubes or larger gel-packs which truth be told still are too big and too heavy to be comfy but help with pain. The peas however live on in the form of stories from others about their use of pea-packs and the line-up of twitter avatars sporting peas in support of my struggle.

This makes them a comfort in more than one way.

. . .

Susan's elegant grit has inspired an entire community that reads like a who's who in new media. This phenomenal outpouring of support, both emotional and financial, certainly takes the idea of Twitter as a conversation ecosystem even farther than that phrase's original definition as a business tool, something I found at Chris Webb's site. (@chriswebb is also a supporter.)

Susan, a major networker and presence at Twitter where she is @susanreynolds, posted an avatar of frozen peas tucked in her camisole. It wasn't long before her network, as well as new well-wishers and friends started doing the same. Everyone from Jim Long @newmediajim, C.C. Chapman @cc_chapman, Chris Brogan @chrisbrogan and Cathleen Ritt @cathleenritt to Biz Stone @biz and Loic Le Meur @loiclemeur. There is even a new Twitter account called @peaple that was started by Laura Fitton, Pistachio Consulting, an early and ardent supporter @Pistachio.

The Frozen Pea Fund with the tagline We will not appease cancer, was inspired by Susan Reynolds. You can find out more how the Fund was started at Community vs. Cancer by a post from the excellent Connie Reece @conniereece. Connie also poignantly holds forth at the Frozen Pea Fund in the Frozen Pea Friday entry. You can view the Flickr Frozen Pea Friday group here.

Many thanks to all the people who have been so generous with their time and talents. You can read Connie Reece's gratitude here and follow Susan's progress at her daughter's Twitter page @badwolf.

You can donate to the cause through the Frozen Pea Fund site or directly at this secure location. And please keep a good thought for Susan and her family and all women who battle this disease.

Open your heart to this worthy cause.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Spontaneity is relative

I wrote.
I read.
I posted.
I made a phone call.
I did some work.
I processed a podcast.
I made another phone call.
I read the post.
I paced around.
I fretted a while.
I de-posted for edits.
I will return with more substance.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Roseto Stone

. . .

Woods 11

. . .

Woods 10

. . .

Roseto. Yes, that's spelled correctly.
Images from the rainy solace of the woods on a grim Thanksgiving.

Monday, December 17, 2007

One of the good guys

C.C. Chapman, a formidable new media guy, actually knew the team at Alive in Baghdad. He writes about Ali Shafeya's killing. He provides information on how to donate to Ali's family to help defray the cost of the funeral. Actually, you can go to the team's site and Chip In there. Consider that Ali Shafeya was not only 22, but the last surviving male member of his family. We have to ask ourselves, what will they do now?

People, this is as if a Doctors Without Borders volunteer were killed. Every murder is tragic in this malevolent war, but killings like this are beyond reprehensible.

And while I'm on the subject, forego that extra bottle of champagne and send some love to Doctors Without Borders this holiday season.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thirty-one bullets

Ali Shafeya Al-Moussawi has been killed.

This story doesn't seem to be in the MSM yet. I wonder if it will be picked up at all. Jim Long of Verge New Media weighs in with some information at Seesmic.

Ali Shafeya, a correspondent for Alive in Baghdad was shot and killed at his home by Iraqi National Guardsmen.

He took thirty-one bullets between the chest and head. Thirty-one.

I'll say that again.

. . .

Alive in Baghdad's Mission Statement
Above all, Alive in Baghdad is devoted to empowering Iraqi citizen journalists to share their stories with the world in a personal, candid and non-bureaucratic way. We endeavor to cut through the red tape and politics of corporate news and deliver the real stories, from real people, everyday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Words from an innovator

Recently the estimable Steve Rubel said this:
Community is a river that runs through the web and does not solely consist of big destination sites.

* * *
That's a clear thought that is deceptively simple and wholly incisive.
I'm keeping an eye on this guy.

Hal- is that you?

Today I left a comment on a site that has a spam block. I pressed "submit comment" and was shown a phrase to type to ensure a human was writing:

the abandoning

Thanks, Captcha. Thanks a lot.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Get an intern on that wiki entry, will you?

The New Media Wiki Entry
Ummm- Huh?

This might as well be about cassettes replacing eight-track tapes.
The most recent chronological moment cited was circa 2005.
In New Media years, that's practically the Civil War era.
No mention of micro-blogging, vidcasting, Skype, much less
anything cutting edge.

I like to be a positive gal, but I've been hanging with
the early adopters, listening to what they're saying,
and I know better. [Some pretty impressive brains, I might add.]
And there's a lot more simmering than you think.

Thumbs down, baby.

No direction but its own bright grace


Everything on the earth bristled, the bramble
pricked and the green thread
nibbled away, the petal fell, falling
until the only flower was the falling itself.
Water is another matter,
has no direction but its own bright grace,
runs through all imaginable colors,
takes limpid lessons
from stone,
and in those functionings plays out
the unrealized ambitions of the foam.

-Pablo Neruda, Love Poems

Monday, December 10, 2007

Do you still respect me?

I am the last person on the planet to realize that olive oil will remove candle wax from a ceramic plate.

What else do I not know?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hard liquor at 3 am

and this is what happens.

I dreamed relentlessly last night:

- a horribly bizarre murder- a man crushed in the cab of a front-end loader that was as chillingly clear as if I were awake;
- work with a sound company, loading equipment, trying to make a deadline, using a tractor trailer for the job;
- an uphill run in a landscape that looked like it was shot by a Holga camera- I was dressed circa early Sophia Loren;
- slick roads and high vaulted curves- I drove very fast;
- waiting for something in an office setting- I burned paper to pass the time and felt no remorse;
- laughed with old friends who appeared through the night;
- smoked two cigarettes- this was delicious since I stopped ten years ago- as real as the waking world...

The entire night of disparate scenes seamlessly changing, there was a leitmotif of something ineffable- a darkness, large and present and compelling, but just out of reach.

I woke with a taste of pepper and a sense of longing for something absent but maybe not lost.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

On Tap

Brickgrrl: Your page always looks like one of those ├╝ber-expensive, ultra-gloss, high titanium content magazines. Oh- and there's lots of substance, too.

TapwaterJ: Oh, shucks, I have this formula. Yours always looks like the magazine everyone pretends they know because it was always on Andy Warhol's kitchen table.
. . .

Do you have any idea how much I love that compliment?
[It was about my site at SU.]

The best part is that it's from TapwaterJ, an essential friend with wisdom to spare, a voice of reason in the cyber stillness, an iconoclast within the system, a sensitive soul with a slashing wit, a cultural ninja who's had more lifetimes than you and your best friend combined. Oh- and all the smartest chicks dig him.

At the movies

Frank: What about you, is there someone else?
Kathleen Kelly: No. No... but there's the dream of someone else.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I have felt my heart beat high...

Wilderness Rivers

There are rivers
That I know,
Born of ice
And melting snow,
White with rapids,
Swift to roar,
With no farms
Along their shore,
With no cattle
Come to drink
At a staid
And welcoming brink,
With no millwheel
Ever turning
In that cold,
Relentless churning.

Only deer
And bear and mink
At those shallows
Come to drink;
Only paddles
Swift and light
Flick that current
In their flight.
I have felt
My heart beat high,
With exultant eye
Those pure rivers
Which have known
No will, no purpose
But their own.

-Elizabeth Coatsworth

This is from a cherished book of verse for young people Faces and Places, Poems for You. It's yellowed and taped and scuffed, bought for a few cents at a library sale. And today, this poem took me to a better place than I've been.

Hank was a pretty smart guy.

Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden:
"It is characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things."
I'm going to carry that thought around for a while.
It could really come in handy right now.

[Clearly though, Thoreau never went to a sample sale.]

The eastern end of Walden Pond. Photo by Richard Lenat.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The continental divide

The world is clearly and irrevocably divided into two groups:
people who live online and those who don't.

Sunday, December 2, 2007