Sunday, 31 December 2006

Undead End

After reading an article in my RSS reader, there are a number of actions I’d like to perform. All of these are about moving the ball forward. How many of these does your aggregator do easily?

  • Post a comment to the original article.
  • Email the author.
  • Post a reaction on your own public blog while quoting, crediting, and pinging the original article.
  • Email a article to someone that doesn’t read your blog.
  • Save the entire article to a private archive.

Starbucks – Community Building in Small Communities

I’ve talked about the value of places like Starbucks in places like…Wausau…before.

That was from a city-mouse in the smaller city perspective. Now that I’ve been in Wausau for a few days – popping to Starbucks for internet access – not coffee. I’m aghast.

The place is packed. Filled with an amazing cross-section of the community. Reading the paper, catching up, working. So packed, that friendly people are sitting on each other’s laps.

Here, I’m pleased to say, the Starbucks – just of the highway – is a functioning 3rd place.

On a related note – the locally-owned coffee/wine/martini bar in downtown Wausau is no longer.

Thursday, 28 December 2006

Political News: Tomorrow Started Yesterday

The 2007 political races have already begun:

  1. John Edwards announces his candidacy for POTUS on YouTube.
  2. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of politics, my dad announced he’s running for 3rd Ward Alderman up northern Wisconsin over a phone call with me.

While the former was hinted at and could have been guessed. The latter came completely out of nowhere and showed me a whole new side of my dad. I’m excited for him.

Happy birthday to me – and good luck Dad.

Oh, and John Edwards too.

Wednesday, 27 December 2006

The Widing Space Between News and Paper

Earlier this year – for about 3 months – McClatchy owned both the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Now…they own neither. After selling the PP to MediaNewsGroup in August, the Strib is now owned by a holding company with stakes in the Weekly Reader, yearbook publisher Jostens, and real estate marketing materials publisher Merrill Corp.

Here’s the reaction from the pundits:
Snarky Garrick: “Now there is in fact, no difference between the Weekly Reader and the Star Tribune.”

Intrigued Garrick: “Broadsheet newspapers are now considered a specialty publication, like yearbooks and home-for-sale brochures. Huh. Looks like Avista doesn’t have a lot of holdings in internet technology. Why’d they buy more printing presses?”

Media Mogul Garrick: “The separation between news and paper is nearly complete. Avista just needs to divest themselves of the writing staff.”

Thanks to Matt @ for the tip.


“But half the price of the original purchase? And no interest from other newspaper companies? Those are signs of deepening malaise, or worse, in the newspaper business.” – Dan Gillmor

“…if Avista behaves like most private equity investors, they’ll come in to the Star Tribune with their knives sharpened, ready to slash costs. That could mean cutting staff in the newsroom…” – John Morton in MPR’s report on the sale.

Three Wise Men on Authenticity

It’s not the ancient gift of perfumes and spices, just some good thinking on being yourself:

“[Pro sports marketing] puts athletes on pedastals . Exactly where they shouldn’t be….The beauty of Happy Gilmore and big personalities is that you don’t have to create commercials to promote them.” – Mark Cuban

“By adopting a term that seems like a simple re-branding of ‘users’, but which is actually unconnected to head count or adoption, they’ve managed to report what the press wants to hear, while providing no actual information.” – Clay Shrirky

“You’re not a bad person, not really, but telling the truth at your current company tends to get people fired.” – Hugh MacLeod

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Aggregate Trust, Filter Relevance

“I want to subscribe to other people who I can trust, and also, who I can dial down a little” – Eric Rice

I like and trust Eric Rice…though I’m not as psyched about Second Life as he is. Same with Mark Cuban and basketball. Same with Doc Searls and photography. Same with Dave Slusher and SciFi. I subscribe to many others where there’s just the occasional interesting bit – that I gotta dig for.

Our current RSS aggregation tools don’t handle this problem very well. In fact – RSS is very different than email (just as radio is different than voicemail). All but 1 of the aggregators ( ) I’ve played with treat them the same.


“We have always measured, instead, relevance, trust, usefulness, interest, attraction, action, value. Those are the measurements that matter, always have been, only now media must catch up to us.” – Jeff Jarvis

“I’m happy to let her sift through the left (and right) blogosphere for me and pick out the gems, that way I don’t have to read either.” – Dave Slusher

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Why HD-DVD & Blu-Ray Will Both Fail

Last night, while getting an update on our latest winter storm, we caught a story comparing HD-DVD and Blu-Ray on a local network affiliate.

The story was all about which new format will fail, and comparing Blu-Ray against Sony’s non-adopted BetaMax (and dare I include MiniDisc and Memory Stick). It didn’t hint at a winner, but I see both failing.

Here’s one reason why:
BBC to distribute high-def programming on Azureus

Here’s another:
Swarmcast High Definition streaming

Tim’s voting for HD-DVD

“…we may find that consumers are far more interested in quantity, portability, and ease of use over high quality source material” – Clint DeBoer,

“…by this time next year, millions of people will be able to play high-def movies in HD DVD or Blu-ray formats, perhaps through their game systems. That is, if they want to….But I’m starting to think maybe they won’t want to..” – Jon Fortt, Business2

“HD-DVD and Blu-ray, touted as the second coming of the DVD, will look increasingly like the second coming of the Laserdisc.” – Ed Felten, Freedom to Tinker