Category Archives: Communication

This is Why I'm F'ing Sick of Web 2.0

It’s bad enough I have to delete a dozen new social network invites every day, with each one of them hoping to be the “MySpace Killer.” It’s bad enough I have to upload my videos to an increasing amount of video networks just to increase market penetration throughout these “YouTube Killers.” It’s bad enough that (every day) some random PR person asks me to interview the CEO of some new startup that is the “Google Killer” – when they’re not even aware that mere Gnomedex attendance would provide greater coverage and connections.

What I’m really waiting for is a “Web 2.0 Killer” – something that really, truly exists – something that really, truly matters – something that doesn’t exploit the workers – something that doesn’t rely on proprietary anything – something that doesn’t lock me into accounts – something that doesn’t lock me into a community silo – something that doesn’t have a damn label attached to it – something that people can’t get funding for – something that just f’ing works.

But, no… instead, we have consultants selling something that simply doesn’t exist:

Web 2.0 has now, officially, jumped the shark.

Weekend Retreat

On Thursday, Ponzi and I took off to a relatively secluded part of southern Washington for a personal retreat (of sorts). It involved a bit of relaxing, a bit of stargazing, and a bit of reflection. I’ve come back to my desk feeling energized, albeit in a way not previously expected.

My life is changed forever, due to the confluence of three rather insightful experiences – some public, some personal. Of course, my inbox count (and corresponding task list) has ballooned ever-so-slightly since coming home yesterday – but nothing that’s insurmountable.

While I realize that few people in this world likely missed any insight I may have posted here (on YouTube, or anywhere else)… understand, it was at the price of sharing insight with myself. That statement is intentionally obtuse, and will likely remain so for at least another month.

20 Reasons I'm Not Getting an iPhone Today

  1. It rains a lot in Seattle – no phone is worth getting pruned over.
  2. I don’t need to give people another reason to beat me up.
  3. Despite the Apple brand, I’m confident iPhone 2.0 will be more my cup of tea.
  4. Going from 3G to Edge is like going from DSL to dial-up.
  5. Can’t replace the battery? Is that a feature?
  6. I’d rather find a sponsor for it (and the plan), instead.
  7. Buyer’s remorse will set in after bragging rights are no longer valid.
  8. Still unclear on Windows / Outlook integration.
  9. Do I really need to make Steve Jobs any richer than he already is?
  10. Do I really need to give AT&T any more of my money?

    Apple iPhone -  Most Ripped Gadget Ever?

  11. I’m already sick of the hype.
  12. My current mobile device (a Blackjack) is working just fine for me.
  13. My current iPod isn’t broken yet.
  14. I’ve tried touch-screen phones before and hated the experience.
  15. I’m afraid of dropping something worth more than my TV set.
  16. No support for the SlingBox yet.
  17. Unsure of the iPhone media recording experience at this point.
  18. There’s no iTunes content subscription service yet.
  19. Waiting to see how many Apple fanatics return theirs.
  20. Why should I? Seriously, WHY?!

Apocalypse 2012

Ponzi and I decided to pick up Apocalypse 2012 (a real book!) this weekend. At first, we took turns reading chapters to one another – but Ponzi’s brain voluntarily dropped out at the halfway point. I continued to read the rest of the book on my own, finishing up around 3AM. I was hoping for a truly scientific approach to these matters, but Joseph couldn’t quite deliver full impartiality. I’m particularly interested in the “facts” on page 114:

The next peak in the planetary tidal force, essentially the sum total of the planets’ gravitational pull on the Sun, will come in late 2012, according to [solid state quantum physicist] Burgess’s calculations. The sunspot maximum, coincidentally also due in that year, will compound the situation, subjecting the Sun to maximum stress. The Sun’s magnetic poles, which reverse every twenty-two years, at the peak of every second cycle, are also expected to switch in 2012, adding further volatility to the situation.

The resulting synergy of gravitational and electromagnetic pressure on the Sun cannot help but distort and distend its surface, releasing megabursts of imprisoned radiation, quite possibly ones that are far deadlier than any the Earth has encountered since homo sapiens has been around.

By and large, I found the book a compelling read – but it left too many questions unanswered. Numerically speaking, it’s possible that the “end of the world” will come independent of any actions Man may take. Will it? Best to be prepared than otherwise.

"F" That "S"

I’m sorry, I just don’t see the logic in claiming that the “F” word is a bad word. It’s not a bad word any more than the “A” word is, or the “B” word – and let’s not forget about the “Z” word. Entire civilizations have fallen from using the “Z” word. I understand not using the “Z” word, because the “Z” word is the most offensive word in the entire galaxy. But the “F” word and the “S” word?

How, precisely, are they bad?

Words can be used as weapons, but that doesn’t make the words bad – the people using those words to demean or demoralize are the ones who are bad. The “F” and “S” words (themselves) are inherently not evil. The “F” word helps convey strong emotion – and the “S” word is something that every f’ing human does. If you’re offended by the “F” or “S” words, then I feel sorry for you.

Mind you, I’m not talking about the “W” word, the “C” word, or the “N” word – I’m only talking about the “F” and “S” words (rather, racially-independent words). I can’t really defend the “G” word, because the “B” (and/or “T”) strictly forbids its use. Think about WHY you might be offended when someone uses the “F” or “S” word – is it because the words are bad, or because you feel it’s immoral to use words that aren’t sanctioned by some random moral authority?

Oh, and then there’s the “E” word – which is a completely different argument (with direct relation to the “O” and “Y” debacle). Moreover, why is it okay for some people to use the “J” or “K” words when others can’t? Doesn’t seem fair to me, and that is quite offensive in and of itself.

I use “F” word, and I don’t feel a “D” bit of shame (especially when I’m trying to eke out a wicked “S”). Let s/he who has not f’ed cast the first “Q.”

The Telemarketer Game

Hey, I’m streaming and recording live all the freakin’ time. We’ve got telemarketers selling newspapers, giving away vacations, and asking to take surveys. Guess they’re looking for free advertising, eh? Lockergnomie Harmon Everett has been following my “escapades” with telemarketers, and has taken some remedial action. Fed up with Telemarketers, too? Make a sport out of it. He has some recommended scoring. When a telemarketer calls:

  • If they call you while you are preparing or eating a meal: +2 points
  • Every minute you keep them on the phone: +2 points
  • If you buy what they are: +10 points
  • If they buy something you are selling: +5 points
  • If what they buy from you is a direct competitor to their product: +10 points
  • If the product they are selling is inferior to a product or service you already own: +2 points
  • If you get them to go to your vendor to purchase your favored brand of product: +2 points

For instance, a mortgage refinancer called the other day – while I was preparing supper. Plus, two points for timing. My mortgage is fixed at 6.5 percent, while they were offering a variable that started at 6.7 percent, and I kept them on the phone for ten minutes while we discussed that: 24 points.

Or last week, a caller offered me a deal on a nationally known video documentary collection. It took fifteen minutes, but I sold him a copy of the historical documentary I made about Billy Durant, the creator of General Motors. 40 points.

And don’t even get me started about credit cards, mine has a fixed rate of 4.9 percent, they send an end of the year categorized analysis of the account, and once my wife was in Paris buying some things at the same time my daughter was in Toronto buying some things, and their security staff called me up to ascertain whether that was supposed to be happening. I’ve sent several phone marketers to them. Maybe one a week or so.

This is almost fun.

The Future of Audio and Video is Here

I’m thrilled witless – making #1 Guru on YouTube today without having been featured anywhere significant within the network. Everything is going according to a loosely-structured plan, and things are only getting better with every passing day. While anybody is free to set up an account, we’ve been specifically invited to MetaCafe, LiveVideo, and a few other video verticals – all because of our production workflow, inherent community value, and forward-thinking sponsorship strategies.

Marshall is starting to put two and two together, too. He submitted a video voicemail via Eyejot – and I thought it was a good enough question to dive further into (although OPML is anything but a simple subject for people who are still trying to wrap their heads around the Back button in their browser). No matter, here’s how it came out:

A few hours ago, I received an odd notification in my brand search folder. Some site was referencing my YouTube video, but… here’s the text, which seemed to be a machine translation of the video’s audio…
Continue reading The Future of Audio and Video is Here

USB Desktop Microphone

I’m not an audiophile, though I’m finding myself surrounded by an increasing number of media gadgets. On someone’s suggestion, I purchased a Samson C01U for general recording purposes – and it’s served me quite well to this point. Even so, Lew Hann tells me that its position on my desktop has not been optimal:

Chris…I am somewhat surprised that someone has not mentioned this earlier, but are you aware that the Samson CO1U mike you are using is a “side-address” microphone? The way it looks in the video, it is positioned so that you are talking into the TOP of it, rather than the SIDE. It should sit vertically, with the green USB light facing in your general direction. I think the already good audio will be even better in this position. Forgive me if I you already know about this and just want to use it differently. Regardless, I love the “show.”

I sit corrected. After repositioning the USB microphone accordingly, people in the chat room claimed to hear no difference. Guess this is a really good mic after all!

Clearwire: Clearly NOT Worth It?

I was looking to cancel my two-year contract with Clearwire, considering it hasn’t been anything but mediocre for me (questionable download “speed”, unusable upload “speed”, consistent miscommunication with my router, etc.). Looks like I’m pretty much stuck with Clearwire:

Kirkland, WA-based Clearwire, for example, imposes a early termination fees ranging from $180 to $220 for customers who drop its wireless broadband service before the end of their contracts. (You can view Clearwire’s terms and conditions by clicking here.)

Interestingly, Clearwire does pro-rate its $220 early termination fee, knocking off $10 a month for each month the customer has service. The pro-rating would only reduce the fee by $110 at the most, however, meaning even a customer canceling in the final month of the contract would still owe Clearwire $110 in early termination fees.

Are the Clearwire executives clearly off their f*cking rocker!? This is no way to treat a customer, even if they’re deciding that your service isn’t working for them any longer. More than anything, no former Clearwire customer (in their right mind) would refer others to even TRY the service. Do they honestly believe that anybody would walk into a Clearwire contract – knowing that it’ll be a financial nightmare to escape it? Caveat emptor.

Newspaper Industry Problems?

The newspaper industry is dying:

  • Web pages and emails are 100% recyclable material
  • “News” is old by the time it hits newsstands
  • People don’t (and won’t) pay to read general news
  • Craigslist eats classified ads for breakfast
  • Bloggers typically publish out of passion, not payment
  • Traditional press misquotes, misquotes, and misquotes
  • The Internet doesn’t leave ink on your fingers
  • Executives continue to operate as though the Internet wasn’t real
  • Printed word is no longer seen as the definitive word
  • Marketers no longer understand what they’re selling…