Monthly Archives: April 2006

Stephen Colbert White House Correspondents Dinner BitTorrent

Download a high quality version here. Colbert’s piece begins at 0:52:10. 625 Seeders and 1677 Leechers so far. Wow. This will be remembered for a long, long time.

My thoughts: the negative reaction coming from many on the pro-Bush bandwagon is, unfortunately, par for the course these days�as is the celebration of Bush�s �bravery,� especially when there are no real consequences for engaging in meanspirited political humor other than, say, being thought a dick.

Politically, I think it�s fair to observe that we�ve reached that point of partisan purity wherein a certain activist segment of the American Right has decided, en masse, to pretend to believe a whole number of things that are objectively false (including, in this case, Bush�s genius)�and they have decided to do so in order to build consensus and then use groupthink as a political bludgeon, even it comes at the expense of their integrity and intellectual honesty.

Ends justify the means, man. Ends justify the means�

And yes, these three paragraphs are a complete reversal of Jeff Goldstein‘s words, simply replacing “fawning” for “negative”, “Bush” for “Colbert” and “Right” for “Left’.

I need to write a bookmarklet that anyone can use on any blog post by those that follow their party no matter where it goes, even if it’s off a cliff, fighting to defend its brand over facing reality.

Philly Future news and a lawsuit you should know about

I’m happy to announce that my membership to the Media Bloggers Association, for Philly Future, was approved. See Philly Future for the details. Congrats to all the new members, which I see includes Seth :)

Also on Philly Future, we are helping spread word about Maine Web Report and the multi-million dollar federal lawsuit it has been hit with.

MBA will be helping defend Lance Dutson who blogs for Maine Web Report. Maine Web Report is a service very much in the spirit of Philly Future, and what Lance Dutson is dealing with is illustrative of the threats we face. Scratch that – the threats you face.

Whenever you speak truth to power you take a massive risk. A risk where those with more resources then you can crush you and your family thru the legal system. Newspapers have numerous measures of defense that enable them to do the work that they do, but bloggers, by and large, operate without a net (no pun intended). Make sure you read the EFF’s legal guide for bloggers if you have not done so.

“the more it starts to look like real life”

Slate: Paul Boutin: A grand unified theory of YouTube and MySpace:

When trying to rope in the movie and TV studios, YouTube should point to MySpace, where A-listers like Eminem peddle their wares alongside unsigned bands and lip syncers. MySpace makes it easy for musicians, kids, and grandparents to post their own pages by removing the technical hurdles. I created a profile page in three minutes, complete with an auto-play jingle. I’d planned to upload an MP3 of a band I used to play in, until I found they already have their own MySpace page. Clicking “Add” instantly copied the song from their page onto mine. Another one-click tool imported my Gmail and Hotmail address books so I could mass-invite everyone to join me.

MySpace isn’t that much easier to use than Friendster, or than other shared-user-content sites like Flickr (photo sharing), del.icio.us (bookmarks), or Digg (tech news). But it mixes multiple publishing models–blogs, photos, music, videos, friend networks–into one personal space. Most important, it doesn’t presume to know what your goals are. The site’s management ditched their early focus as a home for musicians when they realized Margaret Cho and my crazy friend Kenny wanted spaces of their own. Next, MySpace may let marketers set up profiles for brands. That’s a great idea–the same people who’ll bitch about Snickers having a page will add Wikipedia as their friend.

I think MySpace’s popularity has to do with its puppylike accessibility. A typical page looks like something a Web-enthralled high schooler might have put up in 1996, but with more pics and a soundtrack. I agree with design guru Jesse James Garrett, who says the site’s untrained layout sends a “we’re just like you” message to newcomers. That encourages them to experiment with content genres the site’s designers didn’t build into templates. If tech builders want to hand the controls over to their users, shouldn’t they presume they haven’t thought of everything? Apple’s iWeb publishing system is easy to use and way more attractive than MySpace, but we’d have gotten old waiting for Apple to invent a Lip Sync Video template.

The secret to success is to make everything one-button easy, then get out of the way. If you think collaborative architecture matters more, click the charts: The same Alexa plots that show MySpace and YouTube obliterating top sites reveal that Flickr, Digg and del.icio.us have plateaued with audiences barely bigger than Slate’s. Photos, news, and other people’s bookmarks just aren’t as interesting as bootleg TV and checking out the hotties. The easier it gets to use, the less geeky the Net becomes, and the more it starts to look like real life (emphasis mine – Karl).

“Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey”

I can’t wait for Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen’s anthropological look at Heavy Metal to be released on DVD later this month. Yahoo! had a writeup about the film earlier in the week.

Check out “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey”‘s trailer.

From a Chicago Tribune review:

Unlike the current youth movement Emo, metal was never “a way to understand your loneliness,” says music writer and pop-culture sensei Chuck Klosterman, “but it’s a way to feel a part of something larger than yourself.” So Dunn travels to Germany’s Wacken Open Air festival to mosh with 40,000 other metalheads and experience that larger-than-life adrenaline rush that makes otherwise intelligent kids thrash their heads toward permanent brain damage.

Touching on sex, religion and violence, Dunn zooms through the history of metal (the genre is rooted in blues and, more obviously, classical), rattling off a mind-blowing list of musical subgenres, from heavy to punk to British to black to speed to death to hair –to name a few.

From Ruthless Reviews:

…this wonderfully entertaining movie doesn’t pit bands against each other, or foolishly attempt to argue in favor of Megadeth’s importance while picking on “lesser” bands like Motley Crue and Poison. From glam to progressive, black metal to thrash, it’s all the same silly, loveable music. It made us laugh, helped us accept a solitary prom night, and allowed us to feel superior to those burdened by the bad taste of associating with Duran Duran or Wham. Metal is a dying giant to be sure, and is rarely discussed without some sort of VH1 “Where are They Now?” detachment, but fans remain; scattered and low key, perhaps, but still in love with a style of music that always managed to piss somebody off. It was about rebellion, arrogance, and hate, yes, but also the true spirit of the form — being an individual. Sure, we always exaggerated the impact, and more often than not the lyrics were nothing more than the umpteenth derivation of fucking a slut in the back of the tour bus, but we could read between the lines, even then. All we knew was that our parents hated it, Congress sought to act against it, and for the time it took to finish a cassette or LP, we felt like gods. Zit-ridden, painfully shy, and inept on all fronts, but gods nonetheless.

My kinda movie.

Philadelphia bloggers engage the local political establishment

Monday’s Daily News profiled Hanna Miller, Albert Yee, and Chris Bowers and their efforts to not just speak out – but to make a difference by getting involved in the political process here in Philadelphia. There are a lot of challenges, and one of the not so surprising ones is that long time local leaders fear the new faces and the new passion for civil service in their midst.

Chris posted a summary of his first ward committee endorsement meeting last night. It’s a great example of how someone involved in civil service and politics, using this medium, can change the process to be more transparent, open, and participatory. In short – more Democratic.

Congrats to Albert on his migration to WordPress and his new design.

I’ve been meaning to post about this since Monday, but it’s been a crazy week.

“Power Law of Participation”

Ross Mayfield’s Weblog: Power Law of Participation:

Most of Chris Anderson’s Long Tail examples have focused on models of consumption, not production, where intelligence is largely artificial. Amazonian algorythms guide users down the long tail from Britney Spears to Nobodys, made available without the constraints of shelf space. But the interesting question is will the tail wag? Can users discover their own power together to either discover something great, or even create it?

As we engage with the web, we leave behind breadcrumbs of attention. Even when we Read, our patterns are picked up in referral logs (especially with expressly designed tools, like Measure Map), creating a feedback loop. But reading alone isn’t enough to fulfill our innate desire to remix our media, consumption is active for consumers turned users.

Vaccinations make it a scary night

Emma got three vaccination shots yesterday. I wasn’t at the doctor’s, I was at work at the time, but I believe Richelle when she tells me I would have cried at seeing Emma in the pain she was in. I felt like crying seeing her in pain when I got home. I feel guilty for not being there. For the next round I definitely will be.

She was very, very uncomfortable last night. While she didn’t display any of the symptoms of a vaccination gone wrong (talk to your doctor before giving your baby a vaccination – be aware), the pain she was in was still scary. When she screamed, which would happen in these short frightening bursts, it would rip right into you and vibrate there. Some Tylenol (on doctor’s advice) and lots of TLC went a long ways. Emma so far this morning seems herself.