Norgs stories: The Web Disintermediates (wait for it…)

One of the ideas that gets branded about whenever slumping circulation numbers are screamed from headlines, CD sales are found to be tanking, movie ticket sales slumping, or broadcast TV viewers disappearing, is the notion that because the Web disintermediates the middle-man between content creator and content consumer, people are going to the Web and abandoning “traditional” media.

There is some truth in that to be sure, but there is also truth in that human nature abhors a vacuum. We seek out sources of information and entertainment we decide to trust. And as such, the Web has always created a new opportunity for intermediaries, bundlers of information and entertainment, and aggregators to help manage the flow we partake in each day.

A simple out of the box example – What is a good link blogger like Eschaton, other then an aggregator of sorts?

How about YouTube? What of Google or Yahoo!?

Something to chew on as you read the following stories: Why Aggregation & Context and Not (Necessarily) Content are King in Entertainment (source for the graphic)

Philly Future: MyFox Philadelphia – Fox News Wants Your Blog

Philly Future: – NBC 10 Wants Your Blog (includes a who-who in local social media efforts)

Washington Post: Howard Kurtz: At the Inquirer, Shrink Globally, Slash Locally?

Center for Citizen Media: Newspaper as Blog Portal

GigaOM: The Content Aggregators and the Fat Belly

The Only Power We Have

Viktor E. Frankl, a Nazi death camp survivor, famous psychologist, and author of “Man’s Search for Meaning” (on my to-read list), once said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Steven Covey made this a central tenet of his “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. There is a huge money making machine around the book and his tools, but I can never recommend the book enough.

Yesterday was Richelle and my 7th Anniversary (hi Richelle). We’ve been through hell and high water together. Among lovers people say things like “it was destiny”, or “we were born to be together”. But the truth of the matter is, if she didn’t make the choice to believe in me through my dark times, and if I didn’t make the choice to get over my fear, we’d not be here today and be blessed with Emma and each other.

There are cards we are dealt. We fool ourselves into believing we control the hand all too often. A lie we tell ourselves to make things feel better.

And then there is how we play those cards.

Read Dave Rogers’s latest post, “Social Hygiene: Love Better” (via Shelley Powers). It’s a little more than 500 words, and worth every one of them:

This isn’t an endorsement for the Salvation Army. I’m not saying everyone should go throw money they may not have at something. I’m saying that love is faith in action, and you have to find a way to make a choice to embrace faith somehow, as often as you can. A practice that reminds you of your faith, helps you find it. The kettles are probably not a great choice, because they kind of disappear as soon as Christmas is over. I have other practices, not enough probably, but driving is one of them too. “Don’t drive angry. Don’t drive angry.” isn’t the tag line here just because I thought it was hysterical watching a woodchuck drive a truck on Bill Murray’s lap.

But this is a good time of the year to help people get started. There are lots of good messages out there right now, but they can be a source of suffering for many too. But the only power anyone has is the power to choose. Lots of people are going to be getting those 50″ high definition plasma TVs, and Sony Playstation 3s; and maybe you’re hoping you can just put gas in your car. Maybe you wish you had a car. Maybe that’s not fair, but you have the power to choose. You can choose where to place your attention. You can choose to embrace faith instead of surrendering to fear. And you still won’t have a Playstation 3, or a 50″ high definition plasma TV, or even gasoline, but you’ll have something else that money, or attention, can’t buy.

And you won’t get it reading this blog, or anyone else’s for that matter either. So go on, get out of here!

But thanks for stopping by.

The usual disclaimers apply. As Dave would say, if you’re coming to this blog for advice on life, you’re coming to the wrong place.

Get off your chair and do something.

Wow, whadda day yesterday!

It was a terrific day for democracy wasn’t it? When I look out and about on the web and in the media however, I find some real nasty spinning, everyone pointing fingers and claiming it was some slice of the populace that made a difference. Counting upon who you read it’s the progressives, the liberals, the middle class, the independents, the disgruntled Republicans who didn’t vote, the evangelicals who went back to the Democratic party, even Lou Dobbs Democrats.

I think a few things are clear:

1. The Neo-Cons are ummm… toast. Rummy resigning yesterday and Dubya’s ever growing ties with earlier Republican administration officials (in particular his father’s – an old fashioned conservative if there ever was one) are sure signs that Neo-Con ideology is being ejected from this Administration, just as its proponents distance themselves from it. Can the damage they’ve wrought be repaired anytime soon?

2. Karl Rove isn’t the genius everyone makes him out to be. Wedge issues suddenly were being thrown as election day approached, and it wasn’t enough to turn the tide of public sentiment. This time.

3. If the margin is wide enough – the vote can’t be stolen.

4. With enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow. The web empowered thousands of people to become watchdogs, that had to have some kind of effect. That isn’t to say that folks shouldn’t take the eye off the ball when it comes to voting machines and the voting infrastructure. There were troubling signs across election day.

5. The web is now established as an environment you MUST campaign in. It has empowered both politicians to get their message to audiences before not reached, routing around news media filters (via YouTube and other participatory media), and it has empowered citizens to organize, fundraise, and be heard as never before (via the same).

6. TV commercials got nuts this year, didn’t they? I was waiting for a candidate to accuse their opponent of eating children. When the analysis comes in, I bet there will be a realization it was money spent that had little to no effect.

7. A diverse coalition of people came together for a moment to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – and the American people spoke.

All and all, it was a sunny day in Philadelphia.

One Party Rule and Where It Gets You

When you hear pundits and politicians berating the ‘other side’ as the cause of all this country’s problems, consider that we’ve had one party rule of the three branches of our government for some time now.

Ask yourself, where has it gotten us? One party in power. The other with no capacity to contribute but scream from the peanut gallery. There’s no accountability, no oversight.

Our governmental system works best with checks and balances.

One party rule, for as long as we’ve had it, has left us in a state that serves only to re-elect those already in office, and for them to gather more power as a matter of course.

There’s no question that this is the most corrupt Congress ever. It serves only to rubber stamp anything the Administration puts its way.

That’s not the way the founders of this country intended it. And it needs to stop now.

I’m voting straight Democrat on Tuesday. That’s not something I typically would endorse. But we live in a time where our government no longer answers to its people. That has to change.

While I’m not one to throw around conspiracy theories, there’s a good deal of early evidence that would lead one to expect plenty of voting problems on Tuesday. It’s going to be up to all of us to keep an eye out and and spread word when or if that happens.

Relaxing before a night of meeting the neighbors

Emma had a great first Halloween. The weather was perfect and we had around twenty or so trick-or-treaters come by. A few families had even minivanned in to our area. Towards the end, Emma, Richelle and me took a stroll to chat with our neighbors. Emma loves people so she had a lot of fun. It was literally a story book experience. We didn’t grow up with a Halloween tradition, nor lived in neighborhoods where it was safe to have one, and I think I experienced Halloween for the first time last night. Now I can relate better to why my brother Dante got so excited with his children. Can’t wait till next year 🙂