Sunday, August 31, 2008
What is BlogDay?
On August 31st, bloggers are asked to post recommendations of 5 new Blogs, preferably Blogs that are different from their own culture, point of view and attitude. On this day, blog readers will find themselves leaping around and discovering new, unknown Blogs, celebrating the discovery of new people and new bloggers.
Here are my 5:
1. Trends in Japan
CScout Japan describes the site this way:
We will lead you on your way to a different world, with new innovations, trends and market potentials. We will be your representatives on site, providing you with informative and visual input about products, lifestyle and marketing. We will support you in the search for the right business partners and help you organise and execute your successful business trip.I enjoy new things and this blog surely does introduce you to a new world that you don't get to see every day.
Found via [ delicious tag Japan ]
2. I DREAM OF MCCAIN
REAL DREAMS PEOPLE HAVE HAD ABOUT JOHN MCCAIN
Here's dream of a Female Democrat And Graphic Designer In Brooklyn:
I was on a family vacation in the mountains on a skiing vacation, and John McCain was my father. He was driving the car, but the road became very zig-zag hilly and snowy and we were slamming down a very steep incline with a deep ravine to our right. The car was skidding out and almost slipped into the ravine. I asked if I should get out and push, but John said he had it under control.Just took a brief look at this site while at the computer at 3:55 AM. I'll go back to sleep now count McCain's as I go back to sleep. Maybe I'll have an entry when I wake up.
See also: I Dream of Barack.
Found via [ Google Blog Search "McCain" ]
3. The Caucus: NY Times Political Blog
Michael Cooper writes about McCain and Palin's stop at At Buckeye Corner, a sporting goods store in West Columbus, The McCain-Palin Bus Tour Rolls Out:
Ms. Palin and her husband, Todd, as well as some of their children, made their way through the store. Ms. Palin thanked people for their congratulations, held a slightly nonplussed-looking one-year-old for a cell phone picture (she tried to cheer her up with a little babytalk) and made a few purchases: a fleece, a newborn sleeper, a barbecue set, and a cheerleader outfit for her daughter Piper, who seemed excited by it.
Found via [ Google Search for political blog ]
(Photo: Jim Wilson/The New York Times)
4. Gustav Information Center
Alerts and Information Regarding Hurricane Gustav
An online community for coordinating volunteer knowledge-sharing related to Hurricane Gustav.Timely. On online community assembled by Andy Carvin.
Found via twitter:
Andy Carvin: Setting up Ning community + aggregator for Gustav: http://gustav08.ning.com/
5. Ernie the Attorney
Hurricane Gustav - update from NOLA:
Mayor Ray Nagin just came on the TV and told us that Gustav is 'the mother of all storms' and that it is likely that there will be significant flooding on the Westbank of New Orleans. He says this storm will be worse than Katrina and there will be a mandatory evacuation in effect for the city starting at noon tomorrow. The storm is supposed to hit on Monday morning, which is exactly what happened with Katrina.He then goes on to say:
Today, as I rode around on my scooter, I was impressed by the visible presence of police and National Guard troops. The streets of New Orleans are mostly clear, and pretty much everyone I know who planned to evacuate is gone. By way of contrast, on the Saturday before Katrina hit there were many people still in the city.
I say this knowing that I won't be evacuating. Believe me, if I lived in a low-lying house I would evacuate. I think the threat of flooding Uptown is not as significant as government officials are reporting. I'm not faulting them. It's their job to report the worst case scenario. But, for me (living in a high rise condo with storm shutters and very thick concrete), the worst case scenario is more the inconvenience of being in the aftermath of another major storm. Fortunately, my kids are all safely evacuated.Makes you want to tune in to get a first person account.
Found via [ Google Blog Search for Gustav ]
(Photo: Becky and Buddy on 'zen porch' by ernieattorney on flickr (c) All rights reserved)
This was a good excersise in finding blogs. What's interesting is that 3 out of the five new blogs I found were via Google. That's 60% in this little test.
Timely too since on Thursday I start teaching New Media Tools for Journalism at Boston University.
Join the discussion at JO540 Multimedia Journalism. I'll be tweeting, Seemicing and Qiking from the class.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Absentee Ballot Postage
Absentee Ballots require 59 cents postage. Please provide adequate postage to ensure delivery of your absentee ballot to the Election Department.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Breaking - The UpTake's Chuck Olsen reports LIVE from Invesco field:
Sneaking onto the Obama podium and getting turned away by secret service, and singing along to Michael McDonald's live Obama-fied rehearsal of "America the Beautiful"Chuck. You rock.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I'd like to see earlier notification that Fast Lane is accepted on E-ZPass roads.
Let's start with the New Hampshire Turnpike.
Where can I use the Fast Lane?
A Massachusetts Absentee Ballot Envelope requires how much postage?
The Absentee Ballot return envelope says, "Place Stamp(s) here."
Hmm. It's 10.5" X 6". Seems oversized to me.
Hello City Hall
I called the City of Boston Election Department and the operator told me that it needs one stamp. She didn't seem to sure, so I asked to speak to someone in the election department.
She transferred me and I was disconnected. I called back. She tried again and the line was busy. I asked for a direct #. I called myself and the line was busy.
Mayor Menino does not believe in voice mail.
I called back and spoke with a woman who told me that I should probably put a few stamps on the envelope. She said it depends on the mail carrier if it gets delivered. She said it depends on their mood that day.
She gets ballots delivered with none, 1, 2 and 3 stamps.
I explained that I thought the envelope seemed oversized and she suggested that I use two stamps.
How about finding out exactly what they require and then telling people that? I also suggested that she tell the main swithchboard operator to stop giving out false information.
Hello United States Postal Service
Looking at the USPS postage price calculator, it says:
Letters that meet one or more of the nonmachinable characteristics below are subject to the $0.20 nonmachinable surcharge. For items over 3.5 ounces, see large envelope or package prices.
- It is a square letter
- It is too rigid – does not bend easily
- It has clasps, string, buttons, or similar closure devices
- It has an address parallel to the shorter dimension of the letter
- It contains items such as pens that cause the surface to be uneven
- The length divided by height is less than 1.3 or more than 2.5
So my letter is 10.5 / 6 = 1.75. Seems ok.
Is it too rigid? Hmm...
I'm bringing it to the post office for an official determination.
Video - It Costs 59 Cents to Vote in Massachusetts
Additional version: YouTube
Just got a call from the City of Boston election department. They are going to include a note in the Absentee Ballot mailings and on the website to let people know that it costs 59 cents to mail.
Yay! Thanks for calling!
Just got my absentee ballot for the upcoming election.
The envelope still says Place Stamp(s) here.
There is no note included with the mailing telling me how much postage to use. The City of Boston website has no note either.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
It's hard to find a high quality combination of both good audio and video of Michelle Obama's DNC speech.
In the end, Google video had the best experience with good audio and user control. It was a better experience than watching on the C-Span site, where the video comes from. Ironic. The DNC site had great video but poor audio. The YouTube version, on the Obama '08 page, edited the introduction.
Google Video ( C-Span ):
August 25, 2008 C-SPAN Michelle Obama Keynote Address to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. 36 min.
Mrs.Obama is joined her daughters Milia and Sasha, and then Barack gets in the picture via satellite. This video includes the video introduction, her brother's introduction and her speech.
Quality: OK video quality, very good audio.
The embeded C-Span video player includes scollbars and is very small. Note: To delete those scrollbars, you need to add "scrolling="no"" to the code. You can watch this video on the C-Span page but you must disable any pop-up blockers first.
Quality: Great sound, but you can't scrub ahead to fast forward through the video. No control equals a poor user experience.
Democratic National Convention - Official Site:
Remarks, Michelle Obama. In HD. Requires Silverlight and Move Networks video player.
Quality: Great video, but the audio has a lot of pops and cut outs. Poor sound quality detracts from the beautiful vieo experience. Includes Michelle's brother's introduction.
Searching for Michelle Obama's speech this morning, resulted in a Sponsored Link from the Obama campaign, Watch Michelle's Speech, that leads you to a sign up page which has a 1:35 embeded YouTube video, Backstage with Michelle. That's not the speech I was looking for. Clicking around on YouTube some more I found it, Michelle Obama at 2008 Democratic National Convention. 20:14 min.
Quality: This version has an very short introduction by Michelle's brother. Good audio and average quality video. No high quality viewing option.
YouTube: Michele Obama, A short biography of Michelle Obama that introduces the Obama family to families across America. It played Monday night at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
YouTube: Michelle Obama prepares for her convention speech.
guardian.co.uk: Michelle Obama speaks of Barack's qualities as a man, husband and father.
Laurin Manning's Blog: Michelle shares her story
This post is cross posted at techpresident.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Every election I'm frustrated by the scarcity of sample ballots. I will be out of town this year for the primary, so I applied for an Absentee Ballot.
I've scanned it in for the benefit of voters in Boston's Ward 10 Pcts 1-3, 5-9, Ward 11, Pct 6, Ward 19 Pcts 1, 3-5, 8, 9.
The reason I print this out is because every single time I arrive at the ballot box, I'm surprised at some choice that I have no idea of.
Looking at the ballot, I see it again. This time it's the heading labeled Councillor. That section is actually for Governor's council. Christopher A. Iannella, Jr. is the incumbent.
I don't know anything about the challengers.
The Globe wrote about this race on Sunday, Primary sees competition in an unlikely place
The other race I'm very interested in is the Senate race where Dianne Wilkerson is up against Sonia Chang-Diaz.
The race will be decided in this Democratic primary, so make sure you get out and vote.
More, or less info here: City of Boton Election Department and League of Women Voters of Massachusetts
Braveboat Harbor Farm
Calvin & Cynthia Hosmer
110 Raynes Neck Road
The Garden Conservancy Open Days Program:
...more than 300 gardens that will be open in 2008, we invite you to explore first-hand examples of outstanding design and horticultural practice that are growing in America’s gardens.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
The NY Times misspelled Brian Conley's name on Wednesday. [ Article: 5 Americans Are Arrested for Protest in Beijing ]
I clicked on the reporter's name in the article to let them know.
Here's the response I got back on Wednesday, when the article initially appeared.:
Thank you for writing to us. Your message has been received and will be forwarded to the reporter you contacted. Please note that messages are delivered once per day, at 8 a.m. (EST). Because of the high volume of responses we get from readers, not all communications can be responded to personally. But be assured that we want to hear your thoughts. (Please do not reply to this e-mail as this address is not monitored for incoming messages.)Here's the response I got back today:
Thanks. (that's the spelling the organization gave us but will correct.)They actually fixed it on Wednesday.
Brian Comley should be Brian Conley
PLEASE NOTE: You may not reply directly to this e-mail. If you want to contact this reporter again, you must search for the reporter's name at www.nytimes.com, click on one of the reporter's articles, then click on the reporter's name to bring up the e-mail screen. We know this is cumbersome and apologize for the inconvenience.
More info on the story:
Free Tibet 2008
Students for a Free Tibet
Free The Beijing6
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
CC Chapman's photo is an entry in the Boston Globe's online photo contest on Boston.com at The Raw Blog.
Boston.com is starting to get it.
The contest rules are written in English AND the Globe does not take ownership of your photo.
You can submit to the contest by tagging your photos in flickr. THAT is the right way to do it.
I'd like to see each entry, that gets highlighted at The Raw Blog, get a link back to it's page on flickr, so people can comment over there, and see the licensing.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I had a nice Pinotage. Take that Gary Vaynerchuck!
Here's the new menu:
Megan Mainzer-Ramirez, Assistant General Manager of Bella Luna Restaurant, and Carol Downs, co-owner of Bella Luna and Milky Way, show off their new menu at last nights Bloggers Lounge, which attracted bloggers from around Boston to the Jamaica Plain eatery.
A good photographer always looks for a new angle for a photo. I looked up:
Then I looked down:
This was not your average group of bloggers. There's co-owner Kathie Mainzer, bottom right.
I was happy to meet some new people including:
Chelsea Adams and Susie Anderson of We Are Not Martha...
Here's Susie eating a Portabella Black Bean Slider:
I also met:
Fang Friends and Cheap thrills Boston and a bunch of other who are going to email me...
Also nice to see friends Brad of Bradleys Almanac and Mike Ball of Mass Marrier.
I suggested to the Bella Luna owners that they start up a blog to keep us informed on going on at the restaurant and also to keep us up to date on what's happening at the new location. They are on flickr at MilkywayJP.
If you were there, or have a comment about Bella Luna, leave a comment.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Donating to the American Heart Association this year? Consider supporting Carol's Boston Heart Walk Team. twurl.nl/u5j6gi Thanks!
2008 Start! Boston Heart Walk
Saturday, September 13, 2008
DCR Hatch Shell- 1,3, or 6 mile Routes
10 am Start!
Video interview at New Media Expo by David Tamés with Steve Woolf, Zadi Diaz, Walt Ribeiro and Steve Garfield
I LOVE everything about this 'New Media Expo 2008 Discussion' video interview that David Tamés (Kino-Eye) produced with Steve Woolf (Epic Fu), Zadi Diaz (Epic Fu), Steve Garfield (SteveGarfield.com), and Walt Ribeiro (Ustream.TV).
I love that David appreciated the moment, and asked the people to take 15 minutes to record it.
I love that David got great audio.
I love that I had the Nokia N95 on me and decided to record a video at the last moment.
I love that I had David stop until I was ready to record from the beginning.
I love that I passed to camera around to the other people being interviewed so we got to see different perspectives.
I love how David edited it together.
I love new media making like this.
It's my mom's birthday today. At 83, she's one of the internet's oldest bloggers according to The Ageless Project.
I made her blog, My Mom's Blog, into a hardcover book as a gift.
Take a look on her blog. She writes about it and there's a video too.
See the back cover on flickr.
You can preview the first 15 pages of My Mom's Blog book at Blurb.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Alex Beam writes in the Boston Globe, Twittering with excitement? Hardly:
"You have heard about Twitter. Maybe. It's something other people do, mainly younger people. You subscribe to the service, then you can post little messages on people's cellphones, or on their instant message accounts. About nothing."Alex Beam is a columnist. In this case I guess the definition of being a columnist is being a writer who does no research.
When you read something in the newspaper, on a subject you are very familiar with, it easy to see if the writer knows what s/he is talking about. Alex does not.
Let's look at a couple of things he says in the first paragraph:
You have heard about Twitter. Maybe. It's something other people do, mainly younger people.Where are the statistics on that? I see people of all ages on twitter. It's not a question of age. That's ageism. It's a question of early adopters. They can be of any age. I'm not sure there's any way to actually know the age of twitter users. They won't even disclose the number of users.
You subscribe to the serviceActually, you sign up for the service. You subscribe to the newspaper.
...then you can post little messages on people's cellphones, or on their instant message accounts.You actually post messages using your cellphone or computer. Those messages can be viewed on a cellphone or computer. There are many ways to have the messages delivered, granted instant message is one, but SMS and web applications are others.
...About nothing.The content of twitter messages are not about nothing. I subscribe to people who write about things that I am interested in. They share links with me, alert me to news, inform me of local meetings.
Twitter is a lot more than just a place to tell people what you are doing.
There are two comments on Digg about this article:
sageone73: "Alex Beam does NO homework for this story on Twitter. He just doesn't get it."It's sad that the end of the article says this, "Alex Beam is a Globe columnist who does not twitter."
ariwriter: "Alex cites Twitter feeds that are broadcast channels, not real people with conversations. It's no wonder - and a shame - he doesn't get it."
If he actually tried Twitter, he might like it.
I'll refer Beam to this article written by Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWrite Web, How We Use Twitter for Journalism. Kirpatrick says:
The scoffers can scoff all they want, but here at RWW our use of Twitter so far has included:That post has 44 comments. Beam's Globe article has no comments.
- the discovery of breaking stories,
- performing interviews,
- quality assurance
- and promotion of our work.
You can't comment on Globe articles.
Yvonne Abraham writes in today's Sunday Boston Globe, Asking more of a senator:
"In a month, voters will go to the polls to vote in the Democratic primary contest between Wilkerson and Sonia Chang Diaz, who gave the incumbent a scare two years ago. And Wilkerson is in trouble again: Earlier this month, she agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for yet more campaign finance violations, some as recent as last year. Under the agreement, Attorney General Martha Coakley will now monitor Wilkerson as if she were an errant child, requiring her to file monthly campaign finance reports. Coakley as good as said the senator cannot be trusted.Please VOTE for Sonia Chang-Diaz in the Tuesday September 16th Primary. THAT election is going to decide this race.
So will those voters finally conclude that their senator is beset by a distressing and pathological self-destructiveness?
It's time for a change.
See also, BOSTON PHOENIX: Will race enter the race?
There's the expo floor, the sessions and the hallways, but some of the best times I had were after the show. Being able to spend some quality time with great people.
On the first night I went out to one of my favorite places, Gordon Biersch. David Tamés, CC Chapman and Drew Olanoff joined me. It was a great time. I love being able to sit around a table like that and be able to both talk to and listen to everyone else. Mmm. Marzen.
The second night, I went along to get along, and 30 people ended up walking the strip and eating at Canter's Deli. It's hard to please such a large group, but I got to spend some quality time with Jim Kirks, Charlie Baker and Molly Lynn and some new friends.
The Jim Kirks, Charlie Baker and Molly Lynn contingent joined me in a French hamburger place after the amazing Coverville show where I had a salmon burger on an onion roll and tried to ignore the drunk girl beside us who demanded to know what blogging was and how you can make money at it.
When I first walked into the Hilton Hotel, I saw the casino floor and this:
Very impressive. Lots of people were playing the Star Trek slot machines. In fact, there were lots of people walking around in Star Trek outfits. It wasn't unusual.
The Hilton/Conference Center complex is huge. To get from the Hilton to the conference center you have to walk through a maze of twisty passages that all look alike.
The funny part of the walk was seeing all the other niche conventions there were there. The government was having an FOD gathering. Foreign Object Detection.
On the New Media Expo floor I met Felicia Day from Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog.
Felicia was SO nice. She remembered that I had highlighted her web series The Guild in August of 2007.
Here's The Guild Vlog Soup episode on YouTube.
Had to get a photo with two great people, Dan McVicar and Natalie Gelman.
Dan is now living in Italy and Natalie is a full time musician. She rocked the Coverville concert at Bally's.
It was great to see Vinvin outside the Revision 3 party.
So funny that he was grabbing a pizza in a storefront. I joined him and had a few squares. Thanks Vinvin, always great seeing you.
Vinvin was also busy at the expo showing off Seesmic.
Here he is showing Felicia Day:
The iPhone sometimes makes to interesting mistakes.
Sunny Gault interviewed Zadi and Steve from Epic FU for Saturday's keynote.
They are really rocking it. I really enjoyed spending some time with Zadi and Steve. They are working on an initiative to get college students involved with EpicFu as reporters and I want to get my class at BU involved in that.
My session on Saturday went well. The goal was to give people tips on using a cellphone or other portable devices to shoot and post video to the web.
A few of the attendees received life changing tips. One of the best was how to post a YouTube video to a WordPress.com blog.
Here's the code you use:
Here's my presentation up on slideshare: Your Mobile Phone: The Ultimate Personal Media Creation Tool
The flight home was uneventful. At the airport I was able to change to an exit row seat.
When I got on the plane I had the exit row all to myself, then a man from behind me asked if he could join me so that his whole group group be together. Him in my row, the group behind.
I said ok, but then his wife sat behind me and started talking. She would not shut up. At that point I knew I had made a poor decision. I put on my headphones and watched a TV show on my iPhone.
It was the first time that I had watched something like that on my iPhone. The video quality and sound was amazing. It watched episode one of Primeval. Here's an explanation from the site:
When evolutionary zoologist Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall) discovers prehistoric creatures alive and well in the present-day, the natural world is turned on its head, and humanity faces a threat to its very existence. Unexplained anomalies are ripping holes in the fabric of time, allowing creatures from the very earliest stages of Earth's development to roam the modern world.Great show and a good experience with portable media.
There's room for both independent and professional video content on my iPhone.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Blentec at New MEdia Expo blends an audience member's cell phone.
Nalts' daughter got her ears pierced, but Nalts didn't know about beforehand. They made a video about it.
He writes about it here: Statistics and Ethnography of YouTube
Reminds me of videos that Michael Verdi takes with his girls. Here's one from November when the girls weren't too happy.
Watch the video and read the discussion over on his blog, Because Why Not?.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I demonstrated the Qik service to the guys from Big Fantastic at New Media Expo. Fun! Gave them the Nokia N95 and had them interview each other.
The cool thing about this is that the interview streamed live to both Qik and Mogulus, and was streamed to big screens around the conference center.
Quotes from Gary Vaynerchuk's NME keynote:
"If you're 47 and living in your mom's basment, embrace that. It's a big market."
"People watch reality tv although it's not."
"People want authenticity."
Audience question: "I'm from tornado witness radio and concerned that my niche is too small."
"It's not the size of your niche, it's how you work it."
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Here's a good thing I have to say about an airline. US Airways did a great job handling my trip out here to Vegas. Best thing: They sent me an email to remind me to print out my boarding pass 24 hours prior to the flight. When I clicked on the link in the email, I could print out the pass without having to log in or search for anything. Very cool.
Note: They now charge for everything. Good thing I bought some juice nad water prior to boarding.
The movie was Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. I liked it, although I didn't realize it was the sequel until the movie ended. Now I'll have to watch the first one.
No, this isn't a Las Vegas restaurant. It's a slot machine that I saw in the airport. Lobster!
This IS at a Las Vegas restaurant. David Tamés and I ate lunch in Quark's Bar, part of the Star Trek Experience. I had a Hamborger. A Klingon came by and smiled at me. He's a stand up comic too. We also saw a Borg.
Wish I was here for the Gino Vannelli concert. He's one of my favorite musical artists.
New Media Expo
That's Room N250. Tomorrow morning Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV gives the keynote here, on Friday it's George Wright, the Will It Blend Guy, and on Saturday the keynote is Zadi and Steve from Epic FU hosted by Sunny Gault.
My session is also in this room on Saturday at 11:45 AM: Your Mobile Phone: The Ultimate Personal Media Creation Tool.
Description: You may think you need expensive HD video cameras and a Ph.D in video editing software to create interesting content. But no! Inexpensive video cameras available on many cell phones today can be used to tell stories without a lot of editing and without expensive lighting and time-intensive pre-planning. In this session, you'll learn how to convey your ideas and stories in a way that will capture the attention of the viewer and keep them coming back for more. Practical tips for mobile video blogging will be discussed so that you can start creating content the moment you step outside the workshop door. You'll also learn the best places to post your content, how to best present the video clips on your website or blog, and how to get attention for your media early-on.I'm going to give you practical tools you can use to shoot and share video. It's easy.
Here's a quick look at my hotel room at the Hilton:
Here's the Mogulus channel for New Media Expo. Here's my Qik channel and here's the Qik event page for New Media Expo.
Hope to see you in Vegas.