A Blogger and a Camcorder – Impact

With a blog and a camcorder and the right opportunity, anyone can have an impact. (When will I be able to buy a cell phone with a good video camera?)

Link: Your Call Is Important to Us. Please Stay Awake. – New York Times

Two weeks ago, a Comcast repairman in Washington fell asleep in a customer’s home. The customer, Brian Finkelstein, a student at Georgetown Law School, took the incident to the Internet. He shot a video of the repairman sacked out in his couch and posted it on www.SnakesonaBlog.com. The video is one of several recent examples of angered customers taping their interactions with customer service, then putting the experience online. 

The Comcast video, in particular, struck a nerve. In it, the repairman, in a red golf shirt and short pants, has his head back in full snore and a laptop perched on his knee. Mr. Finkelstein sprinkled in sarcastic barbs at Comcast with slides "thanking" the company for two broken routers, high prices and missed appointments. A drowsy rock ballad by Eels, "I Need Some Sleep," accompanies the one-minute video.

The clip was picked up by the technology blog Gizmodo and was also shown on Keith Olbermann’s program "Countdown" on MSNBC.

Video: A Comcast Technician Sleeping on my Couch (youtube.com)

Too Many Great Blogs: Information Overload

Once upon a time I read every post to every blog I subscribed to in my aggregator. After recognizing that I didn’t have time to read them all and not all posts are pertinent to my life or even interesting, I now just scan the subjects of the blog posts downloaded to my aggregator and choose which ones to read. This strategy assumes the blog writer chooses a good subject name for a post and I will recognize that it is of interest to me.

David St Lawrence discusses the problem:

I am really grateful for my visitors, especially those who take the time to leave comments, but I will readily understand if I don’t see you as often as before. There is this incredibly interesting blogosphere out there and only so many minutes we can spend online.

David Weinberger is even more explicit:

I don’t want to lie any more. I don’t want to feel guilty any more. So let me tell you flat out: There are too many blogs I like and too many people I like to making "keeping up" a reasonable expectation…. I will read your blog on occasion, either because I’ve been thinking of you or because something reminded me of you…. But I hereby release you from thinking I expect you to keep up with my blog, and I preemptively release myself from your expectations.

Here’s my proposed solution. I would like to be able to subscribe to specific categories of a blog. This would increase the specificity of the posts my aggregator downloads and reduce the burden on servers.

For example, two of the categories of this personal blog (Myke’s Weblog) are golf and herding cats. I have noticed that there’s not much overlap between people who really like golf and cat lovers. In my solution, golfers would be able to subcribe to the golf category on my blog and cat people could subscribe to herding cats. It is specific, targeted, and efficient.

Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace

REQUIRED FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)
(1) I found this experiment at URL: http://www.wingedpig.com
(2) I found it via “Newsreader Software” or “Browsing the Web” or “Searching the Web” or “An E-Mail Message”: Newsreader Software
(3) I posted this experiment at URL: http://www.mykesweblog.com
(4) I posted this on date (day, month, year): 05/09/2004
(5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 12:45:00
(6) My posting location is (city, state, country): Woodstock, GA, USA
OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):
(7) My blog is hosted by: TypePad
(8) My age is:
(9) My gender is:
(10) My occupation is: Web App Entrepreneur
(11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: NewsGator
(12) I use the following software to post to my blog: TypePad
(13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 01/02/02
(14) My web browser is: IE
(15) My operating system is: Win XP Pro

Link wingedpig.com: Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog!

Is Bill O’Reilly on Fox News really Fair and Balanced?

As I learn more about Bill O’Reilly’s intimidation of guests who disagree with him and his subsequent distortion of what actually happened, I see evidence of a self-righteous runaway ego. Why does fame grossly inflate self-importance so often?

Lawrence Lessig blogged a letter to O’Reilly about his treatment of a guest he interviewed .

You have declared a “war” on the New York Times. That’s good for you, good for them, and good for our democracy: Strong opinions deserve strong spokesmen. Your battle will help sharpen a debate about matters important to the Republic.

But in waging this “war,” you are continuing to abuse a man whom you have wronged, and to whom you owe an apology.

On February 4, 2003, Jeremy Glick was your guest on THE FACTOR. Glick had lost his father in the attack of 9/11. He had also signed an ad criticizing the war in Iraq. You were “surprised” that one who had lost his father could oppose that war. And so you had him on your show, presumably to ask him why. (Here’s a clip from Outfoxed putting this story together.)

You might not remember precisely what you said on that interview, or more importantly, what Jeremy Glick said. So here’s a copy that you can watch. Nor may you remember precisely what the ad that Jeremy Glick signed said. Here’s a copy that you can read. And when you’ve watched what was actually said, and read what was actually written, I’m sure you will see that the statements you continue to make about Jeremy Glick are just plain false. Not Bill Clinton “depends upon what is is” false, but false the way most Americans learned growing up: just not true.

Click on the link below if you would like clips of the interview.

Mr. O’Reilly, please just stop

Dave Winer attacks the music


One day, and that day is coming soon, a creative artist will use the weblog world to distribute a musical meme, good music, a catchy tune, and then sell a CD with a high-res scan of the same music, and that will undermine the smelly assholes and their cronies, forever. Say goodbye. That’s their Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Bing.

Weblogs are as important as having good lawyers and organizations like the EFF and Berkman Center. The lawyers are our defense. Weblogs are the offense. We push forward with weblogs with work that would make Jefferson and Franklin stand up and cheer. JFK would love what we’re doing. We’re not asking what the Internet can do for us, we’re doing good works for the Internet.