Thursday, March 29, 2007

Smile for the camera

"So the Marketing department is taking team photos of all the groups at our
company? It's in this room with white backgrounds and lighting and crap. So
I'm there kinda early and then every body else in our group kinda straggles
in. John's last. On his way by Jimmy and me he goes, "This is going to be
done tastefully, yes?"

Then later the photog guy is singling groups of people out, so Joe and I go up
to stage a handshaking event. Joe looks me in the eye and says seriously,
"Don't ruin this for me."

Too much.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

evhead: Clarks Public Library

evhead: Clarks Public Library

Folksonomy is a remarkable phenomenon. Proof is right there on Evan Williams' blog. The inherent lack of strict rules allows tags to multiply across the web. Folks just play, well, word association, then the magic happens as millions join-in to take part. Out of that thronging tangle comes organization and formation. Best of all, I always seem to get what I want when I look at tags. Instant gratification.

Lately I've amused myself looking up restaurant tags. Nine times out of ten you get a picture of a plate of food and happy faces around a table. "I'd eat there!"

Tags will be great for business. At least I tell myself that.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Clinton St. Baking Co.

Clinton St. Baking Co., originally uploaded by Lodigs.

I ate just about the same burger as Lauren here did, without the cheese and perhaps with an extra glass of whine. Thanks to Peter who tipped me off to the Apple Store Soho photoblogger thingy - standing death march, that it was - and to introducing me to Lauren and Meghan. Fancy burger eats at Clinton St. Baking Co. and good chats.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

read more on Librarything's tag literature

Most often tagged literature

* The Riverside Shakespeare by William Shakespeare (183)
* Pride and prejudice by Jane Austen (230)
* Mythology by Edith Hamilton (21)
* Crime and punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (177)
* Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra (139)
* The Odyssey by Homer (156)
* A tale of two cities by Charles Dickens (138)
* The brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (135)
* The great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (182)
* Moby Dick by Herman Melville (135)
* Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (163)
* Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (137)
* The Canterbury tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (121)
* War and peace by Leo Tolstoy (113)
* Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (146)
* Great expectations by Charles Dickens (127)
* The Iliad by Homer (121)
* The Norton anthology of English literature by M.H. Abrams (40)
* Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (124)
* Gulliver's travels by Jonathan Swift (96)

Regarding Librarything's Victorian Tag

Most often tagged victorian

* Great expectations by Charles Dickens (78)
* Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (23)
* Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (88)
* Bleak House by Charles Dickens (49)
* Inside the Victorian home : a portrait of domestic life in V… by Judith Flanders (19)
* Middlemarch by George Eliot (52)
* The woman in white by Wilkie Collins (40)
* Armadale by Wilkie Collins (17)
* Hard times by Charles Dickens (42)
* Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (35)
* The mill on the Floss by George Eliot (37)
* Villette by Charlotte Bronte (36)
* North and south by Elizabeth Gaskell (27)
* Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (68)
* Victorian people and ideas; a companion for the modern reade… by Richard Daniel Altick (10)
* The crimson petal and the white by Michel Faber (31)
* Vanity fair a novel without a hero by William Makepeace Thackeray (39)
* A great and terrible beauty by Libba Bray (26)
* The moonstone by Wilkie Collins (31)
* David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (39)

SXSW 2007

SXSW 2007, originally uploaded by Laughing Squid.

Ze Frank and (Mike Hudack there...) together in real life in Austin at SXSW. I like the lighting of this photo. All purplely and a wee bit out of focus on the left. Ah, to not wear a jacket in the evening air...spring is coming children!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Daily Kos run through Britannica's Linkfinder

I took the same snippet Kottke grabbed from and I ran it through Encyclopaedia Britannica's Linkfinder, a beta tool.

"Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., one the United States' great historians, is less than two lifetimes removed from a world where the United States did not exist. Through Mr. Schlesinger, you're no more than three away yourself. That's how short the history of our nation really is. Not impressed? It's only two more life spans to William Shakespeare. Two more beyond that, and the only Europeans to see America are those who sailed from Greenland. You're ten lifetimes from the occupation of Damietta during the fifth crusade. Twenty from the founding of Great Zimbabwe and the Visigoth sack of Rome. Make it forty, and Theseus, king of Athens, is held captive on Crete by King Minos, the Olmecs are building the first cities in Mexico, and the New Kingdom collapses in Egypt."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Ze Frank

Myspace News, USA Today, and old media questions

On Techmeme today I caught up to Terry Heaton's interesting report on Myspace News, which will be launching Q2. (

Heaton provides the following rationale:
  • MySpace News takes News to a whole new level by dynamically aggregating real-time news and blogs from top sites around the Web
  • Creates focused, topical news pages that users can interact and engage with throughout their day
  • MySpace is making the news social, allowing users to:
    Rate and comment on every news item that comes through the system
    Submit stories they think are cool and even author pieces from their MySpace blog
  • MySpace users previously had to leave the site to find comprehensive news, gossip, sporting news, etc. With MySpace News, we bring the news to them!

The article hints at how adding the social networking elements of Myspace to the news experience will maintain the goals of the publisher running the show - keep the user on the site, engaged with the content, selling advertising to monetize it.

At issue for Heaton is what sorts of news items will appeal to the Myspace community. Will it be mainstream news sources or Onion-esque reports for the buff, hot, cool crowd that hangs out on myspace? Will newsblogs be included? Who will be left out? How much will some have to pay to get in?

And adding social networks to real news sites - is that just a brand extension tactic? Can it be anything else? News companies, and really any content publisher for that matter, should be looking at distributing their content into any platform they can, rather than focusing resources on creating platforms for their own distribution. It's a scale thing. Corollary: Monetizing every bit of content can be hard, but every morning I read a recycled paper here at the office and no one minds. I subscribe to the local paper at home that I read only two or three pages of per day.

Did I just out myself on failure to keep up on local news?

Is any of this worth it to the consumer? Will it really be "news" or just entertainment? Is "news" just entertainment after all? Does it really require substance

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Why Ordinary is Extraordinary

People can say it better than I can write about it. So take a look at this wonderful Washington Post project. You'll be glad you did if you have any interest in ordinary people.

Look for the profound, you'll find it. It's all around.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Get rideo's time for new school video

I have been intrigued by video on the web...maybe it's come to me later than oh, just about everyone else. But I really like it. Walt Mossberg wrote about it in today's WSJ, which they get here at work and I dig it out of recycling.

Walt wrote how he loves YouTube and that he loves other sites out there. Eventually one video will grab the attention and that will be it. TV will be vaudeville, or the telegraph, or the landline. It will be a memory. My attention has already turned. So...

What channel do you watch? I mean, what site do you watch?

I like Vimeo for now. Maybe because it's small. And it fits. It puts fits me inside.

dream ramble; celebs on Vimeo

Tagging Photos with Ages

My mother, who's turning 70 years young in a few days, wrote recently about her habit of writing ages on the backs of photos:
"When I do have a birthday I start to think how old my parents were when I was a certain age...maybe that's why I put age of people in pictures on the back. I think that's an interesting perspective. And may we all reach old age...I'm in the turtle stage now.
I dragged my feet on getting into doing my blog but when I was ready I did it and I love it. That's why we have children so that they can keep us up to date on things."

This was standard practice for her while I was growing up, much to the admiration of my wife, who loves to see pictures of me as a kid. Up until Flickr came into our lives, we couldn't easily keep track of ages. I mean, we could use the date the photo was taken and calculate the ages ourselves, but who really wants to do that?

I think everyone should get in the habit of "writing" the ages of people in the photos they take...of course this means tag them with a simple method. I'd suggest people use "firstname_age" or something like that. In my family's case, it'll be fun to see all the photos tagged with madeline_4, madeline_8, kit_78, linnea_41, jerome_41, nicole_25, etc.

If anyone has any better ideas on how to tag photos with people's ages, please leave a comment.

I'm going to start doing that from now on, and when I get the chance I'll go back over the 5000 photos I've got on Flickr and add in the ages. Thanks for the tip Mom!

(On second thought: can someone write me a script that takes the date of a photo from flickr's API and runs it against a list of names and birthdays, compares it to existing tags that have people's names and then adds an age tag for matches?)

I'll cook breakfast on Saturday. Nothing like a home cooked meal on your birthday! Can't wait to visit!