Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Trivial Nature of Life

The past couple of weeks I have been amazed at the dynamics of communities within the Social Media Sphere. Both the Frozen Pea Fund and also the nature of debate, such as the debates in Seesmic that have spilled out into blogs has been fascinating to watch. In a sense these things have existed in online forums and the like long before online video, but the nature of the current trivial communication mechanisms, such as Twitter and Seesmic, I think have broadened who we would encounter and how we can communicate, and in the case of video by providing tone of voice and body language.

Now I realize that in person meetings and gatherings convey a whole new level connection and people can just waste time that could be spent otherwise. That said, I have found it fascinating that these tools that enable us to easily communicate the trivialities of our lives give us more of the sense of a community or a tribe - where we might go beyond simply words and move to actions - such as raising funds for someone we've only met through 140 character snippets.

Here is a video where I talk more on the subject:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Frozen Pea Friday

So much to post about and so little time on winter-time Friday's but before I go, a quick post. Please check out the FrozenPeaFund.

This is an incredible example of how our online communities and "tribes" come together and support each other. It is more that talk, it really is connection. More on that later.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Podcamp - Coming to Colorado in 2008

Today I went to the Denver Area Podcasters Meetup. It was great talking with Eve and Jim and meeting them in person. I arrived a bit late, so there had already been some discussion, and that discussion included having a Podcamp in Colorado.

We are still at the very beginning stage of it all, but it was very exciting to start talking about it with others. I shared my ideas for doing the event PodcampXL style and I'd love to see those ideas develop.

We have yet to set up the wiki for Podcamp Colorado, but I will post the information on that once it is set up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Virtually Tagged - 8 Virtually Random Things


Ok, technically I've already posted on the 8 things about me meme, but those were 8 things about me outside of Second Life.

So....when Tara5 Oh tagged me I thought I'd do 8 things about me as it relates to Second Life. (Though looking at where the meme has traveled who I'm going to tag is a good question...but I'll worry about that at the end.)

1) I joined Second Life for the conferences. No, really. I kept hearing about Second Life, but it wasn't until I heard about Bar Camp being in SL and Lawrence Lessig speaking in SL that I though "Gee there are going to be conferences I want to go to in SL and I won't even know how to walk". So I joined SL. Of course it was over a year before I actually made it to a conference.

2) I chose my SL last name because it was the only name available at the time that was close to either my maiden name or my married name. Ironically Katsu means pork cutlet - which for someone who keeps kosher is particularly amusing.

3) I've helped set up two Arabic classes in SL - one pre-SL Voice (using skype+streaming software) one post-SL Voice. I find the potential applications for language learning in SL fascinating. Immersion and use of words relevant to the speaker are the most effective ways to learn a language. Within SL the likelihood of running into someone who speaks another language is pretty high.

4) I collect Linden bears, which are bears that the Lindens give out. The lore as I understand it was that it was started as a means to give residents a reason to start a conversation with a Linden. I have made bears for two Lindens who did not have them so they might have one to give out, but as of this writing, neither the bear I made for Cory Linden nor the one I made for Joe Linden has become an official bear.

5) I like to build in SL. I find sculpture and architecture built on the basic prim types fascinating. I love see what people can create from these simple shapes, and it was amazing how after I started building I would walk around and look at buildings and break them down to their prim components in my mind.

(For those not in Second Life "Prim" is short for "primitive" which is to say the basic lego shapes that make up Second Life. Just about everything you see in Second Life is built from boxes, cylinders, prisms, spheres, toruses, tubes & rings - the basic primitive types - which can then be cut hollowed and twisted etc. this is changing with the introduction of sculpted prims.)

6) I have been mistaken more than once for Golda Stein. Not that I look anything like her but I guess there was a time when there weren't so many Goldas and Goldies.

7) I did a Menorah lighting as part of last year's (2006) Official winter festival. This year the festival is after Chanukah so it didn't seem so relevant.

8) I'm trying to learn how to do machinima but so far I've only made one Seesmic video as machinima.

Ahah! And now I get to tag 3 more people. Hmmmm....I tag Mark Forman and going a bit cross media to Utterz I'm tagging Yxes Delacroix, and thirdly Akela Talamasca. You three get to write 8 things about yourself (or speak it), and then tag 3 more people at the end.

Have fun!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Animated Menorah - an Utterz Experiment

Since I was reading the book "The Animated Menorah" to my husband anyway I thought I'd call up Utterz and record the reading. The audio is cellphone quality, but if you'd like to listen along here are all 8 Utterz in one place.

Candle 1


Candle 2


Candle 3


Candle 4


Candle 5


Candle 6



Candle 7


Candle 8

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

Friends, Romans and Countrymen

lend me your ears. Oh wait...that was another post but a useful opening line.
It seems that the matter of friends, especially those made in the virtual context, has been on the minds of many. I suppose some of this is spurred by the 10,000 post threads (here) and (here) to start with. But it is a topic that has come up a few times, perhaps spurred by the fact that the social media sites tend to call connections "friends". Even gtalk has joined the bandwagon.

So what is the matter of digital connections. Are there such things as digitally made friends, or are we really more "Romans" and "Countrymen" to borrow the quote. I think of Romans being a bit like the "tribal" concept that was put forward in a New York Times article this week. To some extent we are creating our "tribes" or our social circles. In each "country" we join, be it Twitter or Seesmic or Facebook. I think that the idea is an interesting one not without merit. We all, on some level, seek to belong - whether our belonging is in that of the questioner and the one who rocks the boat, or whether we just want a crowd that we hang with.

I think we can see this tribal nature in the way we chose the tools we use. Twitter I think is a classic example of it. Twitter goes down, lags, does weird stuff - we all talk about going to Jaiku or some other service, but we keep coming back to Twitter because that's where our "friends" are, or as I would posit where our "tribe" or "community" is.

In a sense it is no surprise that we have this need for gathering. In many places the concept of "neighborhood" or local community is gone. We drive away from home to our jobs and our meeting places. We live distributed across miles and miles of our daily life. We travel from one end of the country/world to the other. For many of us there is no time or space where we can have that "place where we live". And if we don't travel then it is our neighbors who do. Humans are social beings. We tell stories, we desire to connect with others, we look for our place to belong. These digital worlds and countries give us a "place" where we can exist. We can find our "Roma" or our "tribe" even as we traverse the world, we have a "foundation of community" to base ourselves on, to take with us through our cellphones and laptops.

But wait, how solid is this foundation? Is this a false hope we pin ourselves on? Is our identity slippery enough that we can make and remake ourselves again? I think that the answer is that lifetime communities, and the attendant challenges of changing our identity are a thing of the past for much of us. We can be as slippery as we'd like or as real as we like virtually or in physical space. I think these social media tools are merely where we find our need for community met for now.

So I think that many of our "friends" are more members of our tribe. That said I think that there are real friends to be made out there even through this digitally mediated medium. Real conversations do happen, and people do form connections. There are some people who I have met only over the net who I do consider friends. And I think that this makes sense too. What sense of belonging would we have if we had no friends within the medium? What kind of an audience would Brutus have had if he had called out to Romans & Countrymen. For a community to become real, for the "tribe" to exist there must be more connection than just causal acquaintance or ones attention will wane with their needs unmet and they will move on to the next digital country.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Useless Tools of Importance

The latest and greatest of the web provides us with a plethora of tools to play with and communicate with. Some of the tools out there seem pretty...well...silly at first glance. Some of these probably still seem that way to people who don't "get" what we are calling web 2.0.

Of course this "useless" moniker could have been applied to a lot of stuff that is now common place. Who needs a web page? Why do you need email? Wireless - what for? The list goes on - probably forever (who needs a telephone in their home...)

A few of these tools were tools I used on in my recent road trip. The two tools that took center stage were Twitter and Utterz, and to some extent the two of them together.

Twitter was definitely something that I didn't get when I heard about it. It sounds narcissistic at best, and pointless for the most part. Oh yeah, let me broadcast details of my daily life, like people care. Well the truth is - in physical space we do broadcast details of our daily life, not to everyone, but to anyone who is in listening range of our casual conversations. "Hey I'm heading to the x movie.", "I'm on my way to a restaurant", "I read this really cool book". Just over the web we didn't chat in public spaces and how many of your friends were really on line that you'd tell them online instead of in person.

Twitter sort of changed that picture, and although we may have started with only a couple of friends, or people we thought were interesting that we wanted to eavesdrop on, eventually this evolved. People we followed followed back and casual chit chat developed into relationships - in part by the other places where we could "go out and talk" like chat rooms on the live video websites, real life meet-ups and Second Life.

Utterz is a bit more recent. Quite a few people that I was following on Twitter were using Utterz (I know because their Utterz were tweeted.) At first I though it was yet another add on service - there are many out there. Eventually enough people were uttering that I had to check it out. (Ok, it got my curiosity going.) Something about Utterz is better than the other "record audio" services out there. You can call in on your phone and it records your message. You can send videos and pictures and text and also have it be part of your Utterz. And, and I think this may be the key feature, it can tie into other services - twittering, auto-posting to blogs, and the like. That feature is what let me know about it in the first place.

A road trip is an awesome time to spend time thinking, and experiencing the road. With all the thinking there is a desire to capture those thoughts because once back in the crowd of civilization that perspective can be lost. I suppose the answer for some would be to keep a journal of the adventure, or even record ones thoughts on tape. (Admittedly I did record some of my thoughts on voice recorders.) However Utterz and twitter added to this experience. They provided a way to record my thoughts and at the same time share them with others. The people who cared about my progress (and safety) on the journey could all receive messages as I progressed on my journey, and for others they could enjoy my journey vicariously. At the same time when I came to a place to stop I could check in and see the responses to my updates. It was a pretty amazing experience, and it was interesting seeing peoples responses to the journey. At the same time these "new tools" provided comfort for those who worried about me journeying alone.

Could I have done it without these tools. Sure - for now. But it may be that some time in the future broadcasting tools, and the way we gather information, will make tools like twitter and utterz essential, just like the "luxury cellphone" has become an essential item when traveling.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Voices and Volumes - What do You Know About?

Continuing on the local thread, I just accidentally found out about a Denver area Podcaster meetup. It's been around for years. I've searched on "denver podcast" and "boulder podcast" many times before and have not found this site before. I've even poked around on the Meetups page and reviewed more than a few weeks of the upcoming events and not seen anything on this. Only now when I've wandered over to a local seesmicer's blog, have I found out about this event.

Meanwhile, I know about Jeff Pulver's social media breakfast in Boston today. I also have heard other tweetups and social media gatherings in San Francisco, Boston, New York, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and parts of the UK. All of this makes me ask why?

The only answer that comes to me is that some places have better spokespeople than other places.

Chris Brogan and Jeff Pulver are big connectors, verbal, regular posters on blogs, twitter and video venues - so we all hear about whats going on in Boston, New York & Israel.

San Francisco has its share of big names - Robert Scoble, Loic Lemeur and many others.

The UK has Loudmouthman (Nik Butler) and Phil Campbell and again, many others.

These people are verbal, visible in a global sense, and actively doing stuff. Even if I missed a tweet or two their blogs and videos and various media expressions - and the echoes on other blogs - all make sure I hear about the events that they are part of. In a sense this is the regional elitism that Eric Rice was talking about a while ago. (Yeah, which I said was really the fault of the local folks.)

So the question is, how do we address this? I imagine for people who are plugged into the local networks there is no perceived problem as they know what is going on. But what about the newly transplanted or the newly interested? How do we hook in and and how do we find out about these things. And judging by the varied attendance of some events it seems even the plugged in would benefit from more visibility.

So who do you think of as a voice from the Boulder/Denver area? Am I just not following them? How to do small local areas improve the "volume" of their local news and events so that people find them as easily as I find the "big center" events? Or even so that when I search for such events in Google they come up somewhere towards the top?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

PodcampXL - First Form

PodcampXL - Podcamp with the Local Focus

So here are my first ideas on how I envision PodcampXL Boulder.

Attendees:
First of all this is a local event for the Boulder/Denver Area. If you consider Boulder/Denver to be local then this is for you.

So who is this event for. This is ostensibly for/about podcasting but podcasters in a rather broad definition. If you have done audio or video on the internet that you have made public, whether an official podcast or a viddler video or a seesmic video or an utterz, (etc) then this is about you.

Also if you are interested in watching, listening to, or influencing video and audio casting this is also for you. You don't have to be making the content to have a stake in the content.

The event itself:
First off, this is a participatory event. Everyone is expected to contribute whether presenting speaking, or contributing opinions. If you aren't comfortable getting up in front of a crowd to talk there still are ways you can contribute to the content.

There are two parts to the camp.
The first part is creating and evaluating content.
During the course of the podcamp people will create 'casts in whatever format they prefer to present what they do - what their content is.

This would be started off or done concurrently with some workshopping on how to make 'casts. Different workshops would be held on various aspects of casting - the tools, the process, etc.

At the end of the camp there will be a showing of these casts. Depending on how many people are participating and how much content is produced we may need to find groupings of the casts and have simultaneous showings.
Also I would like to have several audio listening areas so that the audiocasts can have fair listening.

Watching is fun - but the point is to get feedback, and this is where everyone can contribute. These showings will be evaluated. The details on how they will be evaluated and what kind of evaluation will be done needs to be fleshed out.
Some possible ideas:
  • Where would you enjoy watching/seeing this
  • How would you categorize this
  • How would you promote this? (Would you promote this?)
  • What would you want to see more of/less of?
These are just ideas off the top of my head, but the purposes of the evaluations include giving casters things to think about to improve their work and thinking about what the next steps for casting are.

And that brings me to the second part of the camp. 'Casting has been going on long enough that it is time to ask where are we going next. There are plenty of blog posts on "getting out of the fishbowl", "How do we monetize", "How do we get distribution" and other areas. Its time to talk about these questions and think about next steps and how we reach those next steps. This is where ideally we will have not only podcasters but people who distribute media and promote media - both old and new - as well as business people and others who want to join the conversation.

So in addition to making content and evaluating it, we will be thinking about what 'casting means and where it is going.

What sessions go here? Well that's also to be fleshed out. Some ideas:
  • Monetizing podcasts - how to? should you? what is the impact on monetizing?
  • Out of the fishbowl - How do we get visibility beyond the already interested parties, like to those who's view of new media is "Oh yeah my husband forwards me YouTube videos" (Real quote from someone who is a film critic and has written a book on such.)
  • How audio content is different between mediums?
  • Social implications - Are we in an age of meritocracy? How do we preserve such a democratization of media - or is this destined to fade away like other moments of meritocracy? What differences does the easy 'casting present to how we learn information and share information?
  • Etc.

And then of course from these discussions and evaluations I would like to see the discussion continue, whether in living rooms, meetups, or in other ways.

But for all of this we need to come together and create this event and share in this event.

Get involved!
So if you are in the Boulder/Denver Area and are interested in a Local, Participatory, Discussive event let me know. If you want to help create it - really make sure you let me know.

Feel free to leave me a comment below or send me an email: I'm goldiekatsu at gmail

Thoughts on Location and Local

I mentioned PodcampXL and an interest in doing one locally back in July which is when Eric Rice first mentioned it. Its nice that I was interested, but until now not much had happened with that.

Recently I took a road trip, which was prompted in part by a need to reflect on where I am and where I am going. Of the many topics of thought one was about location and community. Between twitter and Second Life, and the chatrooms of BlogTV, Ustream and Operator 11, and the recent advent of Seesmic a lot of what I think of as my community and my friends with like interests are found all over the globe. This in and of itself is not a bad thing. We are living in an increasingly global society, that is one of the effects of fast ubiquitous communication. However, when it comes at the expense of the local community that is a problem.

Sure I do have friends locally and a community that I live within, but the majority of the local community has no idea what I'm talking about when I talk about global friends, video on the net, cool new technologies, and the desire to think deeply of the consequences and future of these technologies. For that discussion I go to the net.

The network will always have a broader pool of people with similar interests. Yet at the same time the ease of finding such people with such interests over the network sometimes causes a person to overlook the local. Case in point, I was visiting Seesmic in San Francisco and Loic pointed out that there were a lot of seesmicers in Colorado. I had noticed that, but the truth is that I have not yet met any of them. In a sense it is kind of silly. People with similar interests are living (figuratively) in my own back yard and yet we wave from the distance over video.

So...that brings me back to PodcampXL. I know, it sounds like a super big podcamp (extra large) but as Eric Rice describes it the focus is local, extra local perhaps? Community comes together from doing things together. Sure gatherings are nice but what seems like the next step for me is to start working on this PodcampXL. It is inspired by podcamp but the focus is participation and presentation - of one sort or another - by all. I'd like to see this PodcampXL be the start of something rather than just a great event. Afterwards I'd like to keep the discussions going the working together going. How that works isn't clear to me, but it shouldn't be - it should come organically from the process of the PodcampXL.

Rather than describe the ideas of how I envision PodcampXL and make everyone scroll through my thoughts I will write more on my PodcampXL idea in the next post.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Now Back to a more Text Based bit of Blogging

I have moved most of the Utterz off of this blog. If you would like to listen to my audio Utterz, mostly thoughts while I'm on the road., feel free to stop by my page on Utterz.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Made it home


Starting mileage was 138881
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Mobile post sent by goldiekatsu using Utterz Replies.

Echo Resevoir



Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Mobile post sent by goldiekatsu using Utterz Replies.  mp3

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Public, Private and Otherwise

As most of you probably know I am active on Twitter and Seesmic and Facebook and other web 2.0y sites. One of the themes that have been coming up a lot is about how we build relationships over these mediums. Loic Le Meur compares Seesmic to us all living together or being in the same room. Jeff Pulver calls it his social media living room.

I will admit I have some of those feelings. With these instant communication mediums we see into people's lives: Moments with their children, questions they have in life, ceremonies and celebrations, issues they think are important, what they are having for dinner or when they are drinking coffee. We develop a certain intimacy while never really being there physically. I mean, the ideal is that I will meet my Seesmic and Twitter friends but so far I have not.

That said, these living rooms, and bedrooms and kitchens we see are being shared on the public internet. Each tweet gets indexed by Google and our visages and words are easily brought up in a search. So that begs the question, how much do we share in public, even as we have the feel of a private space?

Last night, while my internet was down, I wrote up a post explaining why I haven't been posting which included the personal story of my past year, and ending with basically "I've been thinking lots, still have questions, am not satisfied, but time to get posting again." As you might note that post is not here. That might change, but putting those details down in my blog seemed to be too much of an exposure.

Now there are a a few points that make a blog differ from a Seesmic post or a tweet. My blog is, in a sense, where a person would go to find out more about me. Sure they might check my tweets or videos, but those sort of stream by. It is a public statement, but with so much volume as to make the information a bit of blur - at least for a human reviewing the data. So a statement here is a bit more permanent and likely read. Also, other than bits of data that slip I rarely share my questions and doubts and challenges with others, so perhaps I am just a bit less likely than most to share.

But I wonder how much people chose to show of their inner side. What makes someone comfortable to share the information? When is it appropriate? Is this sense of "private" and "public" a generational thing? a cultural thing? Do we become less sensitive to that boundary as we share more often, more consistently and more in private public areas? Or do we, in our minds, come up with our personal boundary - that we many not be aware of - and share freely on one side, and keep private what is on the other? And how do these boundaries, and the ubiquitousness of the social milieu affect how we interact in our actual private lives and relationships?

Right now all I have are questions, but I thought I would share them with you. Let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Regional Elitism & Web 2.0 - A Video Response

A video response to the thread that Eric Rice started on regional elitism.
(Scobleizer's rejoinder to Eric can be seen here. Other parts of the discussion are scattered about the web)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

An Autonomous Metaverse - in Text

The video in the previous post seems to have disappeared so I will try to recap what I discussed in the previous post.

First there is the general lay of the land in law and virtual worlds. Since the people behind the avatars live in a physical space those people will fall under the jurisdiction where they live. What is legal or illegal in their country or city or etc. will likely apply to them in the virtual world.

The place where this begins to get interesting is really in the Virtual World provider space. While the provider is bound by the laws of where they and their machines reside there still is a question of how does the provider interact with the laws that apply to those that use their worlds. Although this has been dealt with to some extent by the Internet, there are many areas that are different as there are actions within a virtual world that do not exist on a relatively static web page. One would hope that providers will spend some time looking at the international legal spectrum and come up with a plan of how to handle these rather than just reacting to the cases as they are presented, but predicting how those laws will apply or appear even is not an easy task. (How many thousands of conflicting laws are there?)

So that is the obvious case - laws of the physical worlds will come to apply in the virtual worlds. But...what if the virtual world could be sprung free from the legal jurisdiction of the existing legal systems. What would you view as a "legitimate form of government" in that world? What kind of laws would develop?

Now at first glance it seems like that is a pointless question - how unlikely is an autonomous world. Well I don't know how likely, but to me it doesn't seem impossible. In fact, using existing technologies and legalistic oddities I could see how such a virtual world - or grid - could be created. Let us call this virtual world the autonomous metaverse. There are three components that I think are necessary:

1) Places for the servers
2) Anonymous network access
3) A way to get money in and out of the system and to the physical person

For the servers, having watched the legal dances of services such as bittorrent there are legal jurisdictions that are fairly hands-off on what is served up on the network from their locale. This would be the place to start for hosting the autonomous metaverse.

For the networks, on the video I was postulating that something along the Freedom network that Zero Knowledge Systems had created would work. But the Freedom network has since disappeared. Since then I have found out about the Tor network which provides anonymous communication on the network (and seems to have built upon the work that was done on the Freedom Network. Connectivity to the autonomous metaverse would be through Tor or networks like this - and be restricted to access through such trusted channels.

The money at first seemed to be a hard one, until I started thinking about what in the US we call "offshore banking". Either offshore banking or other anonymous banking methods could allow money to go in and out of the autonomous metaverse and be placed in some account that the physical person could access. The legality of this may be questionable for the person receiving the money, although I suspect there are legal means that could be used as well.

Using these three components the autonomous metaverse could work outside of other legal jurisdictions.

It would be interesting to see how law would develop, what laws would develop, how they would be enforced, and what would happen if one could cross from the autonomous metaverse to the standard worlds.

Monday, October 1, 2007

An Autonomous Metaverse

I have been involved in a discussion over on Virtual Worlds Connect about how law applies to cyberspace. Some side discussions got me thinking about how one might go about creating a virtual world that could have an independent legal system. I thought I'd capture the general ideas in a video.

After the introduction to the more practical aspects of law and the metaverse, the alternative metaverse idea begins at about 2:20 on the time-line.

The video associated with this post seems to have disappeared. For the ideas contained in the video please see the post "An Autonomous Metaverse - in Text"

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Toy Before the Holiday

I picked up one of those little tennis ball thrower dog toys a few days ago, but hadn't yet brought it in. Before it was Shabbat I thought I would bring it in and play with the dogs. Just bringing it in from the car the handle was a smell fest for the dogs - verry exciting. Then I opened the wrapping about the tennis ball launcher - tennis ball included. Ooooh new tennis ball smell.

Barak was beside himself.
He started bouncing around like he was on a pogo stick and then offering any behavior - perfect intent on me sit, down, stand, bounce and around again hoping it would get him the toy. Ember was wiggling with excitement herself. They seemed to have missed the memo about Akitas being aloof reserved dogs, but they got the goofball part.

We headed outside and I threw the ball. Sometimes Ember will actually play fetch, but this was not one of those days - today was keep away/hand off the ball and wrestle day.

They both race to get the ball and then the victorious hunter runs while the other chases, then the front dog stops throws the ball down and chases the other while the formerly chasing dog scrambles to get the ball. They bounded about the yard leaping and turning in the air. Ahhh the joy of a new tennis ball - the simple pleasures of life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Twitter Tutorial

If you aren't already on twitter - or if you have a friend you are trying to get into twitter here is a tutorial of twitter. The basics are covered in the first 11 minutes and the rest of the video goes into a slightly more in depth view of twitter.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Patience of Dogs

Some times I think I am very lucky to have dogs. Here it is late at night and as I prepare to say Slichot (penetential prayers - in this case in preparation for Rosh Hashanah) I look down at girl dog and ask her if she wants to say Slichot. I keep on prattling on in my primate manner and after looking intently and checking to see if there are going to be any words that she knows and needs to respond to she sighs and rests her head on my lap as if to say "Whatever you want mom."

The Gaze


When I stand up to begin she stands up too and stay standing for a bit, but when I finish I look down and she sound asleep on the floor, as she should be. She is a dog after all.
Ember Asleep

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Wine Tasting - Kosher Wines

I've never done a wine tasting before so why not do a self run one on camera :-)

This was a MealToday for Viddler. Wine tasting of a Malbec from Argentina, Cabernet Savignion from Solano, CA, Tempranillo from Spain & a Muscat from the Golan.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Blog Day - Across the Bridge

Today Chris Brogan reminded me it was Blog Day. Now I feel a bit silly pointing out new blogs to check out, as I feel that I'm hardly an authority, but I can play too. In looking at my facebook connections (which really represents only a small portion of the circles I am in) I realize that I tend to connect different groups. So in that vein, rather than focusing on "new" blogs I will focus on blogs that are by folks that are not part of the "New Media" crowd on Facebook.

First we have Treppenwitz - Hardly a new blog or a small blog, but in looking at the connections map he's definitely in another circle. He writes about his life - sometimes it is about his politics but it is also about his family and work and fun picture stories.

Secondly, and I'm a bit surprised about this, is Gwen Bell. She seems more connected into the new media scene, but on Facebook she isn't highly into the Web2.0 cluster. She wrote about the Startup Weekend in Boulder but also writes about all sorts of stuff, yoga, karaoke, things that are important to her.

Third up, Mark Corner. His blog, Lose that Tyre, is ostensibly about weight loss, but occasionally has other interesting thoughts. I actually found out about the Thirty Day Challenge because of Mark. He followed me on twitter, I followed back and then he mentioned he started twitter because of the challenge and so I checked out the site. The other big cluster on my map is folks I've met through the Thirty Day Challenge. Since then, I get to find out about all sorts of cool things from Mark between the groups he lets me know about and his twitters. Check him out.

Fourth we have Neptunus Lex. He is a Naval Officer & Aviator. My husband turned me on to his blog as he has amazing stories. I have a renewed appreciation for what goes into landing on an Aircraft Carrier. I'd like to learn to fly, but I think I'll pass on landing on a boat.

Fifth we have Ouria Tadmor and his blog The World. His blog is mostly pictures and when he writes he often writes in Hebrew, which I don't know well enough to read, but I love his pictures.

Updated: Yeah I had problems finding 5 - especially because I forgot I was going to add this one. Caroline Middlebrook has a great blog. She writes really well, explains concepts really well and tells her story while she does it. I definitely recommend her blog.

What I find interesting is that many of my friends who were early adopters and creating the new web back in the early 1990's don't seem to be very present in the current new media. Yes, they still have their web pages, but not much else. I wonder what makes a person continue to explore and get involved in new technologies and what makes a person become satisfied with the tools they have and their personal projects and leave the early adopting to others.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bacn and Paper Towels

Ok, now that I'm seeing even people I think would know better complaining about Bacn, like Seth Godin I have to speak up about Paper Towels.

You want the info but later (otherwise you probably would have turned it off on the configuration of your twitter/facebook/pounce/jaiku/8apps/etc.) What do you do?

People - this has been around forever. When you are on lots of mailing lists you don't necessarily want the news in your in-box either - that is why G-d invented mail filters.

Each mail program has its own special way to set up mail filters - but you can have the bacn go straight to its own special folder. You know the domain the email will be coming from - it's really easy to filter.

So stop complaining about bacn - enjoy it in its right place and keep your email useful.

Below I will provide some tips on how to set up mail filters on some of the more common mail programs. (Sorry Linux users I don't know what the "common email program" would be for you but I suspect you already know how to do this.) Enjoy your paper towels and consume bacn responsibly.

(And if you don't want the service notifications - check your preferences - most of these services let you turn off their info emails.)

On to the email filters.

Gmail - They are called filters but the power comes from the labels. Label the mail and archive it (Skip the inbox checkbox.) Then click on the labels on the side bar (towards the bottom) to read your bacn when ready. Learn how to set up filters here: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=6579

Apple Mail - Set up rules and dump the mail in its own special mailbox. If you want you can create a bacn folder and then have a mailbox for each service - or you can just dump it all into a general bacn box. Ok...I'm not finding a great page on this but I'll augment the Apple support doc I found.
1) Create your bacn box (Mailbox-> new mailbox)
2) Select some Bacn
3) Follow the directions to set up a rule here http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=151480
because you already selected the mail you want to filter it will already fill in the the email address to filter on (you can chose other criteria if you prefer). Tell it to move the message to your new bacn folder.

Outlook - What you are looking for is user defined filters. Check out this page for the details: http://www.uh.edu/infotech/php/template.php?nonsvc_id=247

Outlook express - Details on filters for Outlook express can be found here: http://www.opentechsupport.net/forums/archive/topic/7626-1.html

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Brief thoughts on Second Life & The Media

I was just reading an article on ABC News about the SLCC. I find it amusing the constant "well only x people made a lot of money in Second Life".

What percentage of Internet users make real money on the internet. Is it even 1%? What use is the Internet then? Oh..it was started as a way to exchange ideas between scientists, educators, and inventors? People use it just to share with others and connect to family far away? Where's the worth in that? Could it be the communication and connection and creativity has its own worth?

SL is just a new medium that is still growing. It's also different. When companies first came to the internet few made much money or had more than a few brochures online. It took time to learn the new medium and now many businesses exist only on the web. Given time SL, or other virtual worlds like it will develop in to a new medium for business and yet still be a medium for play - not unlike the internet, but at the same time in a different way than the internet.

And for those who ask why would you spend money on virtual objects - what does your movie ticket buy you? 2 hours in the theater and a memory? How is that any more tangible than a virtual outfit that may be "worn" many times and is used to impress someone who might become a business partner?

Hype is hype, but given time and the development of more pervasive bandwidth and better computers virtual worlds will become as common as instant messaging and email.

Brain at Work & Visiting Grandpa

In looking at the blog I've noticed I've not been posting much, and over on viddler I've not been videoing much. Now one theory might be that I'm not spending as much time on line lately, but really that's not the excuse. I think the problem is best described as analysis paralysis. I tend to have lots of ideas of things to write about. I've probably written about 10 posts in my mind - but getting them to the blog - now that's the challenge. I guess part of it is my public and private tendencies battling it out.

Some people are good at writing no matter their mood - in truth we all are human and have ranges of emotions. I often want to share thoughts when I'm in my darker moodier moods, but then I stop. I wonder - how will this inspire someone. How will this make their life better. It's my mood - why should I bother others with it. But in a sense, I'm doing the same thing that I HATE about some writing. "Oh yes, everything was tumbling down and I was violently ill but I had faith and it all came out wonderful because of my great faith." "Wonderful", I say to the author "and how exactly am I supposed to relate to you and learn from your story?" So perhaps those down days aren't so bad for writing after all.

A week ago I was busy packing for a trip to Nevada City to go to my Grandfather's 90th birthday party. It was wonderful to go and sad to go. In some ways Nevada City is the place that is most like "home" even though I've never really lived there. I have been going there during the summers for longer than I've lived any one place. My grandparents were always there along with my aunt and uncle and usually some more of my mother's side of the family.
It was in the summer that I would read what I wanted and contemplate the universe. It was a consistent "home base" more so than that which would be called "home" at any time in my life.

That said I have not been back to Nevada City in years for various reasons. And this past March my grandmother died. I couldn't make the funeral because my mother-in-law had died just 6 days earlier and I was physically unable to make the trip on top of that. So this trip "home" was the first time I had been back since my grandmother had died. As I stepped through the gate that led to the house I looked and saw my grandmother's touches on the house and cried.

There was the swan on the railing:
The Ugly Duckling All Grown Up

Which reminded me of the stories she'd tell me of Half-chick and Dapple Gray and other stories.

And then there were the details along the roof-line.
More Roofline Critters

Yet More Roofline Critters

Roofline Critters

And the little planter stand she and grandpa would make together.
Grandpa's Woodwork Grandma's Paint

After a few seconds I composed myself and headed across the little bridge to the house and called out the family "yoo hooo" as I opened the door to announce my arrival.

Over the Garden and To the Cottage

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Operator 11 Twitter Vox

Wednesday I remembered that Loudmouthman had mentioned the Twittervox Show on Operator 11 and I asked him when it was. It turns out it was in about three hours from when I asked him. I was able to join in on the show, and it was the first Operator 11 show I joined and it was a ton of fun. Once the show got going it really felt like a round table discussion. We talked about twitter and second life and relationships built over virtual spaces.

Warzabidul, the host, blogged about it and pointed out that it was the featured show for today. You can check out this weeks episode here. If you can, join us next week on August 29th at 12PM PST for episode 3.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Workout Today - August 9

This video is about motivation and about working out.

Thoughts on Later Adapters

I'm listening to Loudmouthman and Jeff Pulver on the PulverTV show and they are talking about the reactions of people to their most recent missives on the subject of social media. They were noting that VoIP seems to be taking off but there is a slowness to grasp the value of social networks.

The thought that occurred to me is that people have a framework with which they view the world. For most this means that things that do not fit their paradigm just do not make sense. I think VoIP is close enough to phone that that is something they can grasp the value of (and free VoIP services help - it offers something they use for free.)

The temptation, given the above, is to describe the new technologies in terms of older technologies to help them grasp the new ones. Although as a teaching tool analogies are very useful and may well bring the later adapters online, the question I have is do these analogies limit us. When we see new technologies in terms of new ways to do old things (which I will admit I often see those patterns) does it limit our ability to see how new technologies can offer something new or allow us to something new - other than the same thing faster and shinier.


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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bread Soup and Cookies Part 3

And now for the finally of the 3 part video - cookies or the making of Biscotti. This is the same recipe as documented below.

Bread, Soup and Cookies Part 2

Here is the video wherein I make soup.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Bread, Soup and Cookies Part 1

So viddler switched their contest from MeToday to MealToday. Yes, the premise is making a video about what you ate or made to eat on a day.

Here we have making Challah, part 1 of a three part series.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Relay for Life in SL


Today I explored the amazing builds that were created for the Relay for Life event in SL. They are going away soon so catch them if you haven't already.

You can still make a donation to the Cancer Society of America and have it be part of this year's relay for life at http://www.todayisave.com/alife

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Me Today July 28th

A question of timing and connections.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Me Today July 26

Don't let your fears hold you back from what you want to do.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Me Today - Faces Edition

Some days you gotta just be a little silly. This was one of them.

Monday, July 23, 2007

8 Random Things About My Desk

It was late...I was casting about for ideas - so you have 8 Random Things (that were) About My Desk.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

8 Random Things About Me

I have been tagged by Susan Reynolds to tell ya'll 8 random things about me. So, with a bit of delay, here are 8 random things about me.

1. My Erdös number is 3. It helps when you work with your husband and his Erdös number is 2. :-)

2. I have met and talked with Nadia Boulanger. She was an amazing lady, and I will always remember her telling the group that was chatting with her to remember "I will not be deflected from the pursuit of my goals." She spoke of the challenges she had faced, and how important it is to not let someone else's perception of limitation stand in the way of achieving your goals. I was probably 7 or 8 when I saw her.

3. I am an accidental ham. (And kosher too.) My husband decided to get his ham radio license, starting with the technician class license. I went along with him when he took his test. The folks there cajoled me into to taking the novice test. I hadn't preprepared but figured why not? I passed the novice written test. They gave me 15 minutes to review the study book my husband had brought in the car, and I took the technician test, but missed by two points. I came back next test round and passed the 5wpm morse code test and the technician test and got my "ticket". I later tested up to getting an advanced class license.

4. My Uncle works at Skywalker Ranch as a sound engineer and has worked as the road manager for Eddie Money and Santana (at different times).

5. I ride a motorcycle, a Honda Hawk with a custom paint job. The paint job looks stock (gunmetal gray) but if you looked carefully at the bike, instead of saying Honda in the requisite logo sites it has my first name in the same font. I also got my husband into motorcycling.

6. I graduated from the University of Liverpool, but I have spent less than 8 hours in Liverpool England. I attended through an online course coordinated with Laureate Education. I went to Liverpool for my graduation which had considerable Pomp and Circumstance.

7. I play clarinet. I was convinced to learn clarinet by a friend who told me our marching band needed "More marching bass clarinets." At least she didn't tell me we needed more marching harps. I started with bass clarinet but moved to the B-flat clarinet when they started up the orchestra for the King & I. I have played clarinet in the Tournament of Roses marching band and in the Youth Orchestra at Cal State LA (this was about 20 (gasp) years ago).

8. I grew up on a private girl's school campus (Foxcroft School for girls) as a faculty kid. I learned gardening, Appalachian dulcimer, and horseback riding there, even though I never attended the school. (I was too young for most of my time there and chose to go to public school for the one year I could have attended.)

Now to pass the baton: I am inviting Jim Long, Jon Swanson, Bryan Villarin, Gruven Reuven, Kim M. Bayne, Clarence (DYKC), and Eric Rice to share 8 random things about themselves. I totally understand if this isn't something you do on your blog, but I wanted to know more about you so I thought I'd let you know by passing along the theme.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

Attitude & and iPhone Giveaway at Viddler


This video has two parts the first part is about the excitement of the drawing for the first iPhone that viddler gave away. They have one left and you can enter by doing MeToday videos yourself.

The second part is about tackling a problem, and how talking with a good friend helps. I realized that I was looking at problem with "past eyes". As we grow and change the way people react to us changes. Also, people and situations change.

To assume that something won't work "because it never worked before" is using "past eyes". Why didn't it work before? Are those factors still the same? Can you change the ground rules? It may not have worked in the past, but is there benefit from trying it again now? It might just be worth giving it a try.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why I do MeToday and Why You Should Too

This is about why I am doing a daily MeToday video over on Viddler and why you should consider doing it too. Sure, recording a MeToday may not be for everyone but if you aren't doing it because you don't think you have something interesting to offer, think again. We want to hear about your day, and you may get some benefits from it too.

Promote Yourself

Eric Rice was talking about the skills rating feature of 8apps on Twitter, and there was a bit of discussion of whether people like/don't like such a feature. Given the way the tool is implemented, the feature can be a great tool, because it lets you know how other people perceive your skills.

You know what you are good at and what you like to do, but if others aren't seeing it they aren't going to think of you when they need that skill. Tools like these help let you know how others are seeing you. By knowing how others rate you, you can know if you need to work on how your being perceived.

Perception, in part, comes down to promotion, or more specifically self-promotion.

I don't know about you, but for me for years self-promotion seemed selfish and egotistical. My attitude was "I did it, that should be enough for me to get recognized." (Ok...now what attitude was egotistical.)

The truth is, everyone is busy living their lives and has their own priorities. They may notice that the job was done but not bother to see who it was that did it. Alternatively, maybe your work was fundamental to the success but not the flashy front-line work that everyone notices. In our fast paced information filled lives there is only so much we can pay attention to.

This means that we need to promote ourselves if we want to be recognized for what we do. AND...and this is the part that took me a while to get... it isn't selfish. If you don't promote yourself people won't know what you can offer and you will be denying them the use of your skills.

Now how to promote yourself, well Chris Brogan has an excellent post on this. As he points out: make it about your audience. This is true whether it is your new product/website/gadget or if it is about your skills at your everyday job.

There is a time and place for anonymous action. Just make sure your anonymous actions are chosen and not caused by an oversight.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Security and Trust

Chris Brogan and I have had a few discussions on security and one of our recent discussions inspired this post:

One of my many hats is that of a security "expert". A lot of times security comes across looking like the bad guy. They are the ones who shut you down, tell you no, and throw a pile of requirements at you. Even when they talk about security it often seems completely irrelevant or like some corny version of Reefer Madness. Even I often come out with a line like:
"Security is about confidentiality, availability and integrity (CAI)". That's nice Goldie, but what do I care.

All the security books will give you some version of the CAI definition. It is a nice way to break things down - but what security is really about is trust - how we define it, how we build it, and how we ensure it.

In that sense security is about us, and as much as applications need to provide some fundamental security it also relies on us.

Confidentiality - What a dry word with so much potential. Usually this word reminds one of secrets, and, with much of computer security's origins being from the military it often is about making sure secrets are kept, and only "people that need to know know". How relevant is that in a Web 2.0 world where we twitter like no one is watching?

But wait, if you look at the word, it is related to the word "Confidence". Confidentiality relates to confidence. Even as we share we take others into confidence in some matters that we would not share with others. We want and trust that information that is intended for one person goes to that person, and not to another. We rely on the programs to ensure that the messages go to their intended place, and we rely on the person to ensure that they are the ones who will read and reply to these messages.

Availability - Well availability is a snap to see why that matters. Anyone who has dealt with their favorite online application's down time - or seen too many LOLcats knows how critical availability is. Depending on how critical a service is, if it cannot be available reliably we cannot trust it to perform its function.

Integrity - Even if a bit stuffy, this word is a bit easier to relate to, and perhaps the most critical component of social networks. Integrity is often about data - the asset server that doesn't lose our inventory, or the mail that doesn't become corrupt. But integrity is also about communications.

It can be the simple fact that my words don't change on this page unless I edit them. It also is the ability to trust that someone else cannot post words for me, or that the words that I hear from a person came from that person.

We rely on the integrity of the system to present our identities. But at the same time the system relies on us to identify ourselves, and we are part of the system of integrity. Without integrity fast communication would happen but the bonds of connection that we develop would not - because integrity is necessary for trust.

There are many features that people identify as web 2.0 but what strikes me as being the most prominent is the element of connection. Whether through tagging & linking or through twittering & sharing data more and more web 2.0 is about the connections we make. These connections are built on trust, and that trust is built on a non-tangible platform where the assurances of identity come from digital marks that are protected through confidentiality, availability and integrity - both the systems and ours.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Find Your Strengths 2.0

Back in June Chris Brogan mentioned a book and a test called Strength Finder 2.0. The test and the book sounded interesting and I'd been meaning to get some books so I bought it, and about 7 other books at the same time.

Saturday I read the book, and although it was interesting I didn't entirely agree with it. Instead of saying "You cannot be anything you want to be - but you can be a whole lot more of what you are." (p.9) I would argue that if you have a dream you should pursue it, but you will get there a whole lot faster if you leverage your strengths.

That said, knowing ones strengths is useful, thus the popularity of various personality tests such as the Meyers Briggs test, and obviously the Strength Finder test as well. Today I took the test and I found the questions fascinating. The items they chose to compare were interesting, some being very disparate in my mind "I like to be alone vs. I like to be with people" to some seeming to be more how you feel about certain words "I like to be liked vs. I like to be adored". I found watching my reactions, and trying to quickly select the choice was interesting.

That said, I found that the results were not at all surprising to me. Perhaps this comes from the fact that I've been working on trying to analyze myself and determine my strengths and how I would sell myself, as "I do good stuff" isn't a real wower when trying to promote oneself or even introducing oneself in a new community. Or it could just be that I'm good at recognizing strengths?

So on to the results, my strengths are:

Ideation
People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

Individualization
People who are especially talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.

Strategic
People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

Learner
People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

Connectedness
People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.


What I found interesting is that all of the strengths seem to deal with seeing patterns and connections and building on them. (In learning I build on patterns as well). But again, that isn't something that surprised me. I enjoy finding patterns and seeing the different ways that things can be put together. One thing that would be interesting is to see how strongly I scored in the other areas, but then this probably would be contrary to the stated purpose of helping people focus on their strengths.

Anyway, if you are interested in taking the test you can order the book over at Strengthsfinder.com (or pick it up/order it at your favorite bookstore.)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Podcamp XL

Ok, I should be going to bed, but instead I'm thinking about Eric Rice's blog post about Podcamp XL. You see, when I first heard about podcamps I thought "That's cool I want one here". And the thought that usually pops into my mind shortly thereafter is "well you could arrange one." Of course the counter to that was "But I've never been to one, I hardly know what happens at one..." Now I'm thinking about it again, and when I mentioned it to my husband he thought it sounded cool. Ruh roh...

So before my "top of my head" ideas fade I thought I'd quick blog about this and share the initial thoughts.
1) Talk with the Boulder Weekly and get them involved.
2) Have the event at the Boulder Theater (I've never been in there but a lot of discussive/disruptive events seem to happen there.)
3) Boulder County Council of Arts...sponsorship? Promotion?

Other ideas will go here as they come up. Anyone in the general Boulder/Denver area interested in joining in on this? Let me know what you think. I think I'd best go sleep on it.

The Challah Cast

A few weeks ago I live broadcasted making challah on blogtv.com. I promised to post the recipe for the Challah, so, after some delay here it is:

Sponge:
3 cups warm water
1/4 cup sugar or honey
2 Tbsp (3 packets) of dry active yeast
~3 cups flour

Whisk water, flour and yeast together. Add in flour one cup at a time until sponge has a pudding like consistency. Whisk until smooth (or around 120 strokes.)

Place in a warm area and let sit for 45-60 minutes until doubled in size.


Add:
1/4 cup oil (I use canola)
1 Tbsp salt
1 eggs (optional)
enough flour to form dough

Mix in ingredients, when dough begins to stop sticking to the bowl pour out onto a board and kneed until gluten develops (it holds its form and if you poke it the dough springs back).
Cover with a damp cloth (use hot water on the cloth) and let sit 45-60 minutes until doubled in size.

See how it is done

Preheat oven to 450F (232 C)
Line baking tray with parchment paper

Take the dough and divide into 1/3rds. These will become your 3 loaves.

For each third take it and divide into 1/3rds.
Take each of these portions and roll them out into ropes.
Take the ropes and braid them together and place the braided loaf onto the baking pan.
Repeat with each loaf.

If desired take an egg, whisk it and brush the outside of the loaves with the egg.

Put the loaves in the oven and bake at 450F (232C) for 10 minutes
Turn down the oven to 425F (218C) and bake for 30-40 minutes until done.
When the loaves are done you can tap the bottom and they will sound hollow.

Enjoy!

Me Today in Rhyme - July 5th

This is Goldie Katsu and this is Me today
And now I have some words on july 5th to Say
The fourth was a blast with a boom and bash
And now back to work with some documents to hash


Today I have sorted and filed some piles
And written some words and walked some miles
Some days are interesting, exciting and fun
And other days are just a list of things to be done.


Whatever the day an opportunity is given
How will you view it, and how will it be driven?
What words will you say and what lives will you touch
Will the day seem just right or maybe too much


However it feels and whatever you sense
24 hours each day will dispense
With these words I leave you and now I must fly
But first I will wish you all good day and good bye.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Me Today July 3

Today I introduce my dogs. On this me-today I have a short clip of the dogs playing. And yes, this actually a more gentle bit of wrassling.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Goldie's Me Today July 2

I've started working on doing a MeToday video every day for the month of July. Here is the second me-today of the month with a little introspection.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summertime - Time for Fun

And this summer I have a few fun projects to invite you to. I'll be working on these so come join me!

First up we have one you can do from where you are sitting right now. It is the 100 Comments Project that Chris Brogan has launched. Right now we are talking about how do you make consistently excellent video. Well, I suppose the question is phrased a bit different, so head on over to check out the post and add your comment. I want to know what you have to say.

Secondly we have a very cool video project. Jeff Pulver has some great ideas and great ways of looking at things. I really enjoy reading his blog as he asks the reader to get involved. The summer project he's writing about now is "The Everyday Heroes" Project. I recommend reading what he has to say, but the short form is:

Go out with your camera and/or microphone and interview the everyday heroes in your life, the people around you and share their story with the world. Or if going out doesn't appeal, invite them over and get their story.
When you post it, tag it with the tag everydayheroes and share with us the wonder in the "ordinary" people around you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rez Day Writings

Eric Rice just twittered about it being rez day for when he first joined Second Life (SL), and that reminded me that today is my rez day too. One year ago today I joined SL. So what prompted me to join SL. Well, Robert Scoble had been blogging about SL so I had a bit of curiosity. What finally tipped the scales was when I heard that they were having a Barcamp in SL (which I later found out Eric Rice had something to do with). I figured that if there are having conferences in SL it was high time I figured out how to use the tool.

Of course, that's what I thought I was joining SL for. In truth I think I was joining for other reasons. I am a rather social person. Right now I work from home, and at the time I was in serious pain and not leaving the house for anything, except maybe a doctor's appointment. SL gave me the opportunity to meet people again. It also gave me a way to rethink movement. Even though movement in SL can be a bit wonky compared to how I was moving in real life it was a big improvement, and there was no pain when I walked.

So far I've only gone to a few conferences here and there. I tend to spend my time role playing, dancing, building, and getting to know people. I've been adopted as mom, been the one to talk to about problems, planned and executed a coronation, and done a whole bunch of fun stuff in a year. And the friends I made gave me the courage to go through with two hip resurfacing operations, go to England (6 weeks after one and before the other) for my graduation at the University of Liverpool, and think a lot about who I am and what I can contribute.

And now, here I am wandering the web2.0, social network, blogosphere, virtual and real worlds one year later.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tools and their Use

This past Monday I decided to poke around Linked-in and find people that I knew that I hadn't connected with. I sent out more than 20 link up requests. What I thought was interesting is that a good half dozen or so wrote me back and say "Hey how are you doing. I was wondering what you were up to." Now I'm in Linked-in by the name they all know me by, (with a couple of exceptions of people who knew me by my maiden name) and I'm the only one in Linked-in by that name, yet we hadn't made contact even with all the "Here are people you've worked with" features of Linked-in.

It just made me think, how well do we really use these social networking tools?
Are we using them to their potential, and do we see their potential? Of course, I must admit it wasn't until Monday that I actually went through my address book and added people in. Perhaps my playing with social networks has increased the value that I see in them. So what is a network worth to you?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Innovative Media 30 Years Ago

On one of the shows Chris Brogan hosted on Blog.tv he invited me to co-host with him. We talked about security, Jewish mysticism, and how I might use this new media for the things I teach and do. When he asked I was struck a bit by how much of this "new media" has been used, in the past 30 years, for spreading Jewish mysticism and the like. I was going to email Chris some thoughts on this, but I decided I would put this here and share it with everyone.

Right now there is a project going on called The Living Archive where they are working to digitize vast stores of magnetic media from 12 to 30 years ago. These are videos and films of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Now what ties this to the new media theme is the following. Although some of the film is from professional recordings, a large portion of the film is from individual people making their own recordings of something they thought was significant in their life.

Even more relevant to the new media is that talks that the Lubavitcher Rebbe gave were broadcast over an improvised phone network (I think it may have been a call in line) not unlike the live podcasts of today. There were also real time translators who translated from Yiddish and Hebrew to English. (In the videos you can see people listening on earpieces to the broadcast translations as they watch). For some events, like Menorah lightings they did at an international satellite linkup of live Chanukah Menorah lightings around the world. This was done in the 1980's.

So many of the features of the "new media" have long been used, but only recently have the tools been developed that enable anyone to implement global broadcasts at the push of a button.

I'm still working out what I can contribute to the video podcasting/new media trend, but I found reflecting on what has already been done an interesting exercise to determine what of what are we doing is truly new and what is the democratization provided by new technologies.

Thoughts from a power outage

Last night we had huge winds around here, gusts up to 100 mph. As you might guess quite a few power lines were knocked down, including ours. I had wonderful surprise as I went downstairs and looked over towards our addition and noticed the lights on. When we added on to our house we put in a redundant 24 volt DC solar power system. We have a fairly small system, but it is enough to run a few led lights without a strain. So while everyone else was by candle light we had regular lighting in parts of our house. Unfortunately that didn't include our kitchen. So we cooked and dined by candle light.