Converge South, Day 1+

I’m here in the auditorium of Converge South. I had access in the hotel room at the Biltmore but didn’t really have any time to blog. Last night definitely counts as Too Much Fun.

I ran late, forgot keys and screwed things up and generally made a mess of my exit from the house yesterday. I got to the office in RTP about an hour after I wanted to, and it took an hour longer than I thought it would, so by the time I got to campus, parked and found the building it was pushing 1 PM. One of the first people I saw was Ed Cone, with whom I chatted and who pointed me in the right direction. I had lunch and met Dan Conover and Janet Edens , attended the ethics panel with Jay Rosen and then headed to the hotel. After a little downtime and email checking, we headed out to the evening barbecue at David Hoggard’s, which was a complete hoot. It rained like hell and I got soaked, but it was great. Standing in the kitchen talking about wikipedia and new media with a circle of folks including Jimmy Wales was one of those moments that seems too surreal to be real.

After the party, back to the hotel and then to clubs. I ended up just going to Flat Iron and just staying there, seeing Miles Apart, Bruce Piephoff and the Murray Street Band. Good music all around. I stayed to the bitter end, about one hour and two drinks more than I should have. I got back to the hotel at mumble mumble AM, back up at 7 AM and now here I am. Looking forward to the day.

PS – who was it in the hotel that was attached to my iTunes? Sorry I had to reboot. What were you listening to?

Twinkle in My Jaundiced Eye

This may just be me, but I have a hard time getting excited about the news that Weblogs Inc is getting bought by AOL (via gaping void.) Actually, I have a hard time getting excited about the company at all. I don’t read any of their blogs, having dropped Engadget – the only one I’ve ever read regularly – 6 months ago. In fact, I can never remember which blogs are Weblogs Inc and which ones are Gawker Media. They all seem of a piece to me, and none of them interest me enough to follow.

Is there an object lesson here? But of course. There is good money to be made in sharecropping – that is if you are the plantation owner. It may not be so wonderful if you are plowing the fields, but owning the whole thing is lucrative. I’ve always thought both companies were pretty cynical enterprises and I’ve never bought either as a harbinger of wonderful things for citizen media. In fact, I’ve always thought of them as the worst of both worlds – the quality standards of new media with the crappy labor practices of old media. Bleh, who needs it?

Vague Flattery

Here’s one of the recent trends I’m seeing in comment spam – content free comments that are vaguely flattering. Here’s the text of one recent one I received:

Well said. I totally agree with you. The point you are making here does make sense. And all those who oppose your views actually lack the basic essence of the subject. You must keep doing the good work.

Is the goal here to lull someone into approving it because it is sort of positivish? This sets a bar for weblog participation – if your comment is generic enough to seem like spam, you probably shouldn’t be leaving it. In that case, you “lack the basic essence of the subject.”

EGC Clambake for October 10, 2005

Note to Rocketboom fans – If you can possibly download the bittorrent, please do. There’s a whole lot of you, and all the bandwidth you save helps. When you download a legal torrent, you stick it to the man!

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for October 10, 2005.

This is the special Converge South episode! I talk a little about my very positive experience there; I play a song by Alana Davis; I tell the story of the barbecue at the Hoggard household; I play a song by Bruce Piephoff; I play the interview with Amanda Congdon and Mario Librandi of Rocketboom; I play a song by the Murray Street Band; I welcome a new sponsor and fade out like an exhausted guy might.

This episode is sponsored in part by the fine folks at iPod Observer and Reel Reviews! Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package.

This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0.

Links mentioned in this episode:


The Conversation Continues

Here’s Paul Smith’s end of the conversation with me on New Orleans. Downloading and listening to this file was an odd but good experience. In email to Paul, I described it like a phone call if one of us was in the outer solar system and had a 30 minute speed of light delay. One of us talks, the other listens, and then responds at length. It’s an interesting paradigm, considering that all of it is also public.

Operation Eden

Doc Searls referenced this blog Operation Eden and damn, but do I have to say this is amazing. Well, amazing, in the sense that I deeply wish this blog did not need to exist. It’s photographer Clayton Cubitt’s blog of his attempts to help out his family in the Pearlington MS area, and his photos of the survivors. These pictures are heartbreaking things, and I like his goal:

I normally shoot fashion and portraiture for magazine and advertising clients. I’m often called upon to make celebrities look heroic. Celebrities aren’t heroic. These survivors are. I wanted to make portraits of them that showed their pride, and dignity, and strength, even in such low circumstances. I wanted to show my respect, and love.

He is selling prints to raise money to help get his family on their feet. I’m not quite sure how you buy them. It looks like we might be between eBay auctions. If he were to sell a set of those photos of survivors, I’d get it.

Inside Mac Radio

In 15 minutes, I’m scheduled to be on Inside Mac Radio. It came about pretty last minute, but I’ll try to rise to the occasion. This is only the second live radio thing I’ve done, the first being the fairly impenetrable experience of being on BBC Five’s Up All Night where I got lots of clicking on the phone and then boom I’m on talking for a few minutes and then boom I’m off. We’ll see how this experience goes.

After the show is over, it should be up in the archives fairly shortly. My goal here is as it ever is – not to make a total ass of myself. If you listen, let me know how you think I did on that.