Monthly Archives: July 2006

A lot of money being made on your participation

Many “grassroots” participatory media efforts “flip” (are sold) to larger companies, earning their founders millions, while those that helped build these businesses – those who participate in them – get no portion of the ever growing riches.

Kevin Rose of Digg is furious at Jason Calacanis of Netscape to propose a model were top contributors actually get paid for their labors, their passions, their enthusiasm.

Kevin Rose seems to think it’s ridiculous that some people get paid for their efforts: “Ya see users like Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit and Flickr because they are contributing to true, free, democratic social platforms devoid of monetary motivation”.

Really? So you’re giving your excess investment money to charity Kevin? Not taking a salary in the tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars? You aren’t going to take a few cool million of your own when you flip?

Driving a Hyundai like myself bub?

Didn’t think so.

Here is what Dave Winer has to say:

Digg’s Kevin Rose responds to Jason Calacanis, but doesn’t really respond. Jason raises a good question. No doubt Kevin is going to make something like $20 or $30 million when he sells Digg, which seems a pretty likely outcome. What will the users get? It’s a bit awkward for him to claim they do it for love if he himself doesn’t do it for love. As always Silicon Valley breeds hubris, that’s what Calacanis is taking advantage of, and doing it skillfully and without shame. If a lot of people didn’t agree with him he wouldn’t get away with it (Calacanis, that is).

I’ve mentioned before that I wouldn’t want Philly Future to follow this typical Silicon Valley narrative. It would be nice to be rich, but not on anyone else’s backs. Especially my neighbors. And that is the difference isn’t it?

Philly Future’s community is comprised of neighbors. Not just in the virtual sense, but in the actual physical sense.

Update: Turns out Kevin Rose doesn’t take a salary. That doesn’t change the rest of these questions however.

Crossposted from Philly Future. Comment there.

“This IS the news”

There is a classic moment in Megadeth’s “Peace Sells” video, where a shirt and tie wearing parent storms into the living room and chastises his son, “What is this garbage you’re watching? I want to watch the news!”, to which the teen replies, “This IS the news”.

The dad these days would be a whole lot hipper looking and would have caught his son blogging to be sure.

Watch it all the way thru and get over your elitist musical sensibilities for once (you know who you are). The imagery, the lyrics, the terror and power could all be ripped from today’s headlines.

This follows earlier music video posts by Duncan and Susie, related to today’s world’s madness.

Hearing “the other side”

According to to Pew’s latest study, “Bloggers: A portrait of the internet’s new storytellers”, “Bloggers are about as likely as the general internet population to pursue non-partisan news sources. Forty-five percent of bloggers (and 50% of all internet users) say they prefer getting news from sources that do not have a particular political point of view. Twenty-four percent of bloggers (and 18% of all internet users) say they prefer getting news from sources that challenge their political point of view. Eighteen percent of bloggers (and 22% of all internet users) say they prefer getting news from sources that share their political point of view.”.

That’s interesting since linking patterns of fellow bloggers suggest otherwise. But maybe, just maybe, folks are reading what they are not linking to.

One place to get exposed to new and different conversations and discussions is Global Voices Online. It’s a Philly Future style service that “seeks to amplify, curate and aggregate the global conversation online – with a focus on countries and communities outside the U.S. and Western Europe. We are committed to developing tools, institutions and relationships that will help all voices everywhere to be heard.”. Sounds a lot like our mission.

It’s a great service, one I wish there were more emulating, but the business model might not be there and that maybe why we see so few try.

Having the possibility to open our minds so simply, by just a few clicks, is a large part of what the web offers that excites me so much. Of course, the web can help us hear other points of view, in the end it may not change how we listen. We still need to click, even if we don’t link. The great thing is that according to Pew, we do. Let’s hope they are right.

Still here, despite the baby boomers best attempts at blowing up the globe

The world seems to be going mad like never before and there is no solace in what is to be found online. At at time of world is in clear crisis just a cursory glance at Memeorandum exposes deep divisions, those yearning for blood, others keeping support quiet, or fears silenced to avoid confrontation with commentors. No leadership anywhere. Not one strong voice for peace of any kind. Just birds of a feather continuing to flock virtually together.

Everyone clutching to the marketed versions of reality that they’ve chosen to buy. And worst, that they’ve chosen to sell.

I wonder about the world we are leaving our children. Forget the Left/Right divide – it’s the entire Baby Boomer generation that has failed them, and we are reinforcing that failure. Becoming part of the machine we claim to want to replace.

You know who I’m listening to in my free time? Late 60s, early 70s Rolling Stones. If any song is a song of the moment, it is “Sympathy for the Devil”: Use all your well-learned politesse, Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, um yeah. Timely.

All the while I really just care to think about is the wonder of Emma.

The last three weeks or so have been mind blowing: she has started sleeping thru the night, moved into her nursery, started siting up and standing under her own strength, eaten her first few dishes of solid food (sweet potatoes and oatmeal, not exactly solid, but it’s not a bottle), took her first couple of swims in a pool (well, not swimming, but hanging out with me, Richelle, Mom and Dad).

She can roll over to her belly now very easily, and tries to crawl. She gets frustrated, but man she is determined! One thing that makes us pause is the difficulty she has in rolling to her back. She does it, but sometimes gets very upset while failing to pull it off. She’ll get there and I know I shouldn’t worry, Richelle seems to handle it better than I do, but both of us still check in on her a few times a night. Yeah, I know, we’re amatures :)

Speaking of the pool, I’m signing up for swimming lessons. Emma’s grandparents and Richelle aren’t going to be there every day so I am going get over this hump for her.

And speaking of learning things, I need to learn some lullibies on my guitar, which I’ve recently restrung after not playing since Emma’s been born. She loves music and her reaction to a few things I’ve played and sung is just fun.

Emma has spirit and heart. She reinforces mine and reminds me what is really important.

In other news, things have heated up at work and I’ve seen an increase in responsibilities, some of which involve my interests out here. One place to keep an eye on is labs.comcast.net. More on that later.