In this episode, I play a song from the Thermals, the first of a few; I talk about the civil rights era, and protest past and present; who are the inauguration protests for?; I don’t want to argue with anyone about; Eat to Live opposition is weird; Robert Scoble is the post-Trump model of an advocate; the VR boosterism feels to me like Second Life boosterism circa 2005; I declare (limited) podcast bankruptcy
In this episode, I play a song by Duncan Cameron; I talk about my involvement in Knowledge16; I admit I am an introvert; I discuss why I my current job is my favorite I’ve ever had; I am trying to support podcasts via merchandise; I subscribed to Adventures in Angular and Gillmor Gang;
Via Doug Kaye comes this link to a new version of the Gillmor Gang. This might well be the best one yet. I’m just waiting for the Andrew Keen puppet. Maybe I should build one and start competing with Feldman!
As it happens, today I listened to a few weeks old episode of the GIllmor Gang, the one from August 22. In it, they talk about Pandora and tip jars and micropayments, the same sort of things I was discussing yesterday. Despite Doc Searls talking up his VRM stuff and my enormous respect for him, I think that’s the wrong path and Cory Doctorow is on the right path. It doesn’t matter how frictionless you make the money pipe, the selection energy it requires you to think about how much to tip makes it unworkable. I get pissed off having to decide whether to give a wait person 15% or 18% or 23% most times I’m in a restaurant. I don’t want to have to decide whether to give a musician $0.03 a play or $0.05 or whatever. Just the thinking about it is too much trouble.
The quip that occurred to me listening to them talk about it is “think less about the tip jar and more about the tipping point.” Consider 100 fans who might tip $1 apiece. I think you’d be better off if you could convert 2 of them into the Kevin Kelly style “1000 true fan” types who will give you $50 this year, and each year until they stop being a true fan. You make the same $100 that way, but you’ve got an annuity and evangelists and a deeper relationship with the people who do kick you dough.
The more I think on this subject, I think “go big or go home” is the way to go.
I’m listening to the 8/2/2008 episode of the Gillmor Gang where Steve is talking with Dustin Sailings of Twitterspy. As they are talking about Twitter and Identi.ca and such, a realization hit me. Because I know nothing about how any of these microblogs are implemented this might be naive and redundant but let me throw it out there.
Microblogs absolutely need GUIDs. Particularly if we are talking about federating together identi.ca powered services that exchange messages, it is highly important that we be able to uniquely identify them. Since every microblog post originated somewhere, I believe this GUID should almost always be the URL of the individual message on the originating service.
For example, I make a tweet on Twitter. FriendFeed picks that up and aggregates that in my feed. That FriendFeed message should have a GUID that is the original Twitter URL. If I have a ping.fm or TwitterFeed or any other reposting type service running, they should all pass in the GUID as they do the push from Twitter to other services. If I post originally to Identi.ca and it pushes to Twitter, just reverse that notion. Then in cases like where your blog automatically posts messages to Twitter, the GUID should be the permalink of your blog post. This would enable easy deduplication. For example, now FriendFeed could see that the Twitter notification of the blog post is something it has already seen from the blog itself. It can only show a single occurrence, not the avalanche of duplicate messages we now see.
The same basic principle would hold with Flickr entries that get posted to Twitter or similar services. Use the Flickr page as the GUID so that it is easy to tell that the notification from Twitter, Plurk and FriendFeed are all the same thing so whatever interface you are using should show it only once. I think the benefits of this fall out very quickly. This seems like it would be simple to add in if it doesn’t already exist, simple to add to every bit of message flow and simple to use at all the user interface ends. If the idea is that in the future these services will be distributed and federated, this sort of thing should happen sooner rather than later.
Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for May 31, 2008. I play a song from Corb Lund; I talk about playing poker and why I love it; I talk about my podcast listening queue and shows that I am both loving and not loving; I talk about my travails trying to get City of Heroes set up on my MacBook; I talk about my first ever teaching gig in the new media world; I tell a story about and then play a song from Boiled in Lead and then walk myself out into the heather to do what needs to be done.
Here’s an interesting post from Dan Conover in which he riffs on some Tweets of mine about new media and the press. My original impetus for writing those tweets was my cynicism and disbelief of any “received wisdom” about our election and primary. When any talking head on TV makes a statement about something that isn’t verifiable, such as “event X will hurt candidate Y” I just don’t believe it. I think most (not all) of those people believe what they are saying to be true but most of them believe it because they have been gamed in one way or another. That was my point about blogs, not that they are wonderful intrinsically or impossible to be gamed but that it is cost and time prohibitive to buy the opinions of a million or even a thousand bloggers.
Interestingly, on the same day I listened to the episode of The Gang where Mike Arrington came on and was talking shit with Dan Farber. Most of it was pro-wrestling style theatrics but there were some actual substantive bits that showed the difference in their approaches. I have to say that Arrington has hit the point where his motives and goals for himself and his empire horrify me. I might be a special case in that I really don’t care at all about Tech Crunch. I talked to Arrington about AmigoFish back in November 2005 and I subscribed to Tech Crunch around that time. By February I had dropped it because I just didn’t care about 98% of the things and companies they post about. The only reason I stuck around was to see if they posted about my site, and when it never happened I got bored and left. As a property, Tech Crunch holds no interest for me. When Arrington talks about rolling up “A-list blogs” and making a network out of it, I don’t see what value it holds for anyone on my side of the feed reader. It makes him money, but why should I care?
I do know the guy I talked to the day after Thanksgiving in 2005 seemed awfully different from the guy on the Gang. It seems like success has gone to his head, and he’s gotten high off his own tailpipe fumes for some time. When he talks about the value Tech Crunch brings vs Cnet, he sounds like a CEO talking about the value of outsourcing to some country with lax labor and environmental policies. What he is selling as his advantage the fact that he gets to do the same thing and even try to sell to the same advertisers but without playing by the standard rules of big j Journalism.
For me, there is no difference between Tech Crunch and Valleywag. They are both Silicon Alley porn of one form or another, and that’s a subject that holds no sex appeal to me. Even if I cared about the subject matter, the presentation and drama around it would reduce the value to nil for me. Most of the promise of new media melts away when it becomes yet another mechanism to disseminate and reinforce cults of personality. “Bob” save us all from blog celebrities.
Man, the thing between me and Steve Gillmor just won’t die. Steve talked about it for a looooooong time in this week’s Gillmor Gang, and even Dan Farber mentions it on ZDNet. Steve’s outlook seems to be as long as people talk about you and link to you, it doesn’t matter if they think you are brilliant or an idiot, so I guess I’ll take some of each thank you. I believe I am now the tail wagging the dog, and it is either terrible or fantastic and I can’t tell which.
For the record, I find it unbelievable that anyone is pushing back on my outlook. All I am saying is “if you are going to pitch me, tell me more about your products not less.” Isn’t saying “tell me more about what you have to sell me” an advertiser’s wet dream? To respond with “No, we prefer to keep it cryptic” is really missing an opportunity.
I talk about missing Podcastercon and being in the RTP area; I play a song by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists; I play a clip from the Gillmor Gang and talk about DRM and why it shouldn’t be used, not from the moral perspective but the pragmatic; I play a song from The John Doe Thing; I talk about boring and/or annoying ads; I play a song by Michelle Malone; I talk about why I’m dropping the Gillmor Gang from my subscription list and on that cheery note I head out.