Friday, February 29, 2008

Statesmanlike Custody of the Assets

JUAN GONZALEZ: And you also detail in your book the same kind of flimflam going on with the soldiers who are recruited into the military, a bonus pay that they get that then, if they happen to be injured too soon when they get on the battlefield, they then have to pay back?

JOSEPH STIGLITZ: Yeah. I found that just absolutely astounding. You know, you’re doing this research, and you find things that—I say, “Linda, are you sure? This can’t be!” But they said—you know, the view is, they signed a contract to serve for three years. The fact that they get blown up after one month means they haven’t fulfilled their contract.

AMY GOODMAN: And so, what happens?

JOSEPH STIGLITZ: They have to pay back the money. Demo Now

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Twitter queries for the Candidates

I don't even know if these are the actual humans running for president, but they seem sufficiently lifelike:

HC: Are all your media moves this unimaginative?

BO: Can't tell: yourself or memorex?

JE: No campaign, no life?

JM: Al Gore invented it so you're not playing?

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

FASTForward to Serendip (FF pt. 4)

"We have all become revolutionaries," said FAST ceo John Markus Lervik at the start of FASTForward08. This note was echoed by several speakers at the conference:
  • Enterprise 2.0 will challenge monolithic corporate structures, said "Wikinomics" author Don Tapscott.
  • "Corporations are going out of business at an accelerating rate," noted John Hagel, adding that average life of S&P 500 corporations has declined by 80% over the past 70 years and today averages 15 years.
  • For JP Rangaswami of BT, power placed in consumers' hands is a major driver roiling the formerly more placid outlook of large stratified corporations.
The elephant-in-the-room is not exempt:
After starting the year near the $700 mark, Google shares have shed about one-third of their value. The stock slipped more than 8% in the past two days following the release of data from comScore that showed a decline in the growth rate of so-called "paid clicks," which takes place when Web users click on an ad-supported link. Marketplace
Only 1/3 of user queries scurrying across the web bother to go through web search engines, said IDC's Sue Feldman in her keynote. Once you've established a relationship with a gateway, hub or node, says Feldman, there's no need for the sort of search Google offers.

Which is where FAST and other companies come in. Beyond the $3 billion market Google has largely cornered via quick search + advertising, says FAST's Zia Zaman, there's another two to four billion market that will grow through advanced search and the monetization thereof.

So we'll take a peak here into advanced search and in a further post offer a similar glimpse of monetization.

Search is not changing something: it’s changing everything - JM Lervik

The claim for advanced search as the next big thing -- as far as I could make out from listening to the speakers at the conference, and talking with some of the analysts and vendors -- is in its ability to get to know the user, anticipate his/her wants and needs, and intervene with relevant information sensitive to the intent of the user and to the context in which the search is afoot.

Michael Cleary of Reuters spoke to Jerry Michalski about fusing user intent and advanced search content. Somewhat more elaborately, Zaman spoke of FAST's developing art of "interaction management," leading to a flexible, personalized mode of search built around the uniqueness of the individual user.

Rapidly ticking off four attributes of the new technology, Zaman told analysts and bloggers that search
  • connects my world
  • translates to my terms
  • understands what I need
  • finds what I want
It's a bold claim, made bolder when he notes that via a mode of "conversation" with the seeker, search will not only find what the seeker was looking for, but via the power of serendipity, change your decision by discovering "something you didn't know you needed."

There's a rich, suggestive tonality to these descriptions, reminiscent of the language of quest romance and psychoanalysis. More than an algorithm, what's being described is a deus ex machina probing the subterranean desires of the seeker even as he explores the web (rather than surfing it) to discover that which he doesn't yet know he wants.

It's as if search has undergone a profound augmentation. No longer is it simply and matter of factly, "seek and ye shall find," a la Google. Now, and moreso in the coming time, the "user" is on a quest, but in the course of the quest, he or she discovers what there is to seek. Search 2.0 = search squared, the turning of the explorative intelligence of IT upon the aura, the trace, the smudge of the seeker in the interactive slipstream.

If that's what's on offer, how does it work? Because let's face it, this isn't easy to do, as Zaman himself made clear when he told us, "It is terribly difficult to get at the true intent of the user."

For a hint, let's return to our friends at Lexalytics who shared some of their techniques with us the other day.

Unstructured search analyzes all sorts of information, however messy. It can locate and purports to assess the sentiment and tone of massive amounts of information.

According to Brian Pinette and Tim Mohler at Lexalytics, the art of sensing the tone of articles relies at least in part on algorithms that suss out emotive or value-laden words and relate them to nearby entities, persons or companies or products, with methods that distinguish which entities are being described or judged.

I was curious how the analysis could be certain that the words it was sensing belonged to the author of the document. Say, for example, there's a movie review in which the reviewer quotes another writer who loved the same film he's writing about. That encapsulated review presumably would glow with positive terms; but say it is within the reviewer's own strongly negative review -- same movie, two patches of words sharply differing in sentiment. What then?

That falls under the problem of anaphora, Pinette explained. Not the rhetorical kind, but the linguistic variety, defined as: coreference of one expression with its antecedent. The antecedent provides the information necessary for the expression’s interpretation. (link)

E.g., Mr. Defamer said he hated the film would be anaphoric in that it is relatively simple for us to carry the identify "Mr. Defamer" forward to be picked up by the pronoun, "he." Of course taken in isolation it's impossible to be sure that Mr. Defamer is not speaking about his friend Mr. Carp's view of the film, or for that matter, his dentist Dr. Scheissfinger's opinion of something found on his, Mr. Defamer's, front teeth. Then there's problematic anaphora.

Pinette said anaphora is a challenge but appeared confident it will be mastered -- along with cataphora, endophora, and the like. The rules of grammar and logic, while complex, seem after all to obey the rule of rules. But what, I wondered, of metaphor-a?

I was intrigued partly because the more complex texts, essays or literary forays that include not simply reported speech but implied speakers and the full panoply of rhetorical devices -- the stuff of rhetorical analysis which as a comparatist I used to do -- would appear to offer yet greater challenges. I suggested to Pinette that there might be in the forest of rhetorical terms some useful means of describing various linguistic structures. Whether they would help sort out the elusive, polysemous turns of sense flowing through sentences, chapters, or books remains to be seen.

Beyond the question of computing the reading of content --of sentiment, tone, and figurative speech -- is the question of sounding the intent of the seeker. How do you give him the thing he didn't know he was looking for? The kettles of fish this borders on -- questions of intentionality, meaning, the nature of mind and intelligence -- are likely to require more than the isle of Serendip.

More later

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Orpheus among the algorithms (FF pt. 3)

It's a golden "Chamber of Commerce" day in Orlando in February. In a vast darkened hall at FASTForward08, 1,200 people from northern climes are intent upon a 90-foot video screen. There's no porn, no bloodsport, no gladiatorial contest under the glare of hot and heavy wagering.

If there's an edge with blood on it, it's in the hands of two softspoken geeks from Comperio, an Oslo-based firm, who are walking us through a search tool that responds to music.

On the large screen is a databank of 10,000 songs, with columns labelled artist, genre, decade -- metatags provided by the customer who supplied the songs.

The last column is different. It's labelled "mood," and derives from Comperio's search wizard that purports to extract metadata not from labels, but from the music itself, assigning to each song a "vector" of the song's musical character.

According to the blurb:
Monetize the Long Tail
Unlike regular multimedia search, Comperio Music SearchTM unlocks the information inside the music. State-of-the-art content analysis algorithms pull the music apart and record over 100 unique features for every song, covering important musical facets like rhythm, harmony, timbre and instrumentation, intensity, structure and complexity. This is Comperio Music MinerTM.
The brief demo involved looking up the mood for "Party." The user was offered two moods: Furious and Relaxed. As proxies for the user (and perhaps as Norwegians in Orlando), they chose Relaxed. An Elvis Costello song played -- (sorry, memory fails as to which - anyone who was there recall?). Then the engine was told to search the database for similar relaxed party music.

The algorithms fetched the hardest working man in show business:

A second test began with ABBA's "Dancing Queen."

The search for similar songs brought back a long list, among which was "My Baby Left Me" by Creedence Clearwater.

More later.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pulling out the heat chart (FF pt. 2)

As noted in an earlier post, there were two big stories at FASTForward08 -- and I'd suggest there's a third positioned to play out. The first story is the technology - advances in search are claimed that have some of the players speaking of "visionary technology" (that's Zia Zaman of FAST); the second story is capital - how these advances will yield new modes of profitability and competitive advantage. The third not-quite-written story has to do with the relation of these two: of technological depth and business technique; visionary promise and practical payoff.

I'll try to offer in this and a few more posts a few glimpses into what's at work. It's fascinating stuff, it's also very complex. I'm neither an analyst nor do I pretend to have special competence in corporate fields such as Knowledge Management. For some sharp appreciations of the implications of what was on offer at FASTForward08 for KM, for Business Intelligence, social computing and the like, check out some of the conference bloggers who are writing about them here and on their own blogs. Here at IMproPRieTies, it's all amateur all the time.

Among the vendors I met at the conference were Brian Pinette (left) and Tim Mohler, of Lexalytics. Among its skills, the small Amherst, Mass. firm offers a very specific expertise: They search texts -- blogs, movie reviews, restaurant critiques, political discussions and much else -- with the aim of gauging sentiment.

Two things to note: They use a form of text analytics that derives from unstructured search. Structured search categorizes and indexes databases and objects that have clearly demarcated fields of pre-set sense. Unstructured search crawls across all sorts of things - texts, music, video - with the view of pulling out from the massive amount of stuff that whatever happens to be meaningful relative to the purposes and needs of the searcher.

According to their White Paper on Sentiment, Lexalytics first parses texts into parts of speech, then looks for emotional language, often adjectives, and examines the proximity of the emotive words to key terms. "Devastating loss" offers a pretty high negative, but the context will be examined for other similar language in order to compile a case for the strength and positive or negative valence of the sentiment.

Often texts address more than one subject -- a political blog might weigh in with a comparison of two or more candidates and their positions vis a vis one or several issues. Lexalytics (and similar firms: see this description [link no longer active] of customer voice analysis by Palo Alto-based Attensity) [see this update on Attensity[link deleted, no longer active]] says it can parse sentiment by sentence or other localized segment, or by entity. It can tell, for example, that blogger "abjectNEOCON" strongly prefers one candidate to another; it can sample hundreds of such blogs and offer an overview of the bunch (think of the marketing application); it arrives at numerical gauges of sentiment about products, companies, feeling threatened or safe, and the like), and locates them on a graph, or "heat chart":

The new thing here is not that one can go about assessing consumer sentiment. The new is that one no longer needs to do it "by hand," or by structured (and hence "artificial") question and answer, or poll-type data collection devices. The candid, naked sentiment out there in blogs, newsgroups, chats, Youtube, twitter -- the entire inchoate realm of information -- is now susceptible to highly sensitive and sophisticated modes of analysis.

I can't help being reminded that this eventuality was anticipated by Locke, Weinberger, Searls and Levine quite some time ago:

6. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.

7. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.

8. In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way.

9. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.

10. As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally.

Let's not forget # 12: There are no secrets.

More later.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

FASTForward 08: The You in User

I'm going to blog a few things about what I gathered at FASTForward08 here, and some others over on the conference blog. Items here do not assume you attended. Items there sort of do -- it's a conference blog, after all.

Several big stories played across the large conference stage in Orlando earlier this week. There was the explicit theme of the conference: The User Revolution - which has to do with a heady expansion of the notion of search from a simple task into a mode of interaction with tacit modes of knowledge and richly intertwined human relationships -- that whole messy realm that David Weinberger talks about in Everything is Miscellaneous, for example.

There was also the overarching business story -- a double story, really: Microsoft's agreement to acquire Norway's FAST for $1.2 billion (and the prospective amplification of FAST's business and Microsoft's Enterprise offerings resulting from it) on one side, and on the other, Microsoft's $40 billion gambit to acquire Yahoo.

There's a striking difference in tone between the two deals: The FAST "marriage" as several described it appears to be a lovefest involving mutual respect and commitment; the Yahoo takeover seems fraught with antipathy and louring threats of a proxy fight.

These big stories will play out in media, in white papers, in boardrooms and in code over time -- my glimpse into the Yahoo story came from a close observer who was hearing that Microsoft might not sweeten its offer for Yahoo. My glimpse into the FAST story -- other than what was specifically told to analysts, media and attendees by FAST execs and Jared Spataro of Microsoft (at left) -- was in the buoyancy and sweet scent of success hanging in the atmosphere of FASTForward08 -- the sort of chipper anticipation of prospects that supports a lexicon of possibility, of change, of dramatic 2.0-style openness within and without the corporate structure - in short, a verbal exuberance of revolution.

Now the brief point I want to make before getting into more specific stories that fill out the space demarcated by these big stories is this: I've just cited two sources as relevant to my takeaway from the Conference: One, an anonymous observer, the other not a person or a document but a "subjective" impression: the upbeat, ebuillient collective tone of the conference.

While the first kind of source is standard journalistic fare, the second is not. It's the sort of affective resonance that mostly gets excluded from "factual" journalism because it is, precisely, non-factual. It concerns an affective perception -- rooted in three days of mingling, talking, listening, to be sure -- but nonetheless highly suspect from the vantage point of traditional media assumptions about what is "significant," or "relevant," information.

It's also the sort of information that has largely been missing from the prevailing ideas of digital information (viz Weinberger) and -- thanks to insights from FAST and other edgy explorers of data analysis and contextuality -- we now understand have been missing from typical approaches to search as well.

What experts at FAST and similarly forward-thinking companies are saying seems to turn much of search logic on its head. Where before a "user" would pop a question into a box and wait for the search engine to serve up a useful answer, the industry is moving toward something far more deeply interfused (the presence of the poetic is not accidental), in which the "user" (they still use this word) is who is richly known, by a probing and sensitive process that depends on intangibles like intuition and trust.

What happens then is, you the user begin to move into a realm that presciently and reliably knows what you will be looking for before you do. Search becomes a species of thinking thing -- triggered by an event that has repercussions on your life, it starts to probe and pull into a simple, useable interface a cluster of stories, graphics, comments, sources, videos, twitterings, images and what-have-you that contain the refined core of relevant but richly affective, messy stuff that it knew you were going to ask it for. The better it knows you, the more intelligent and rapid the search result. The more deeply it understands you, the more truly it can say, as you flick on your monitor in the early morning and look through still bleary eyes at the search result awaiting you, "here you are."

This portends impact - for journalism, for blogging, for commerce, for community.

More later...

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Smear in the web mines

Today I visited what might be my kid's kindergarten next year - very cool school - hope he gets in. It's not one of those Hahvahd-bound $23,000-per-year gold-plated shoelace places, it's a public school with dedicated staff working with kids. For some reason, the whole place just glows.

That and a few other tasks have slowed my efforts to assimilate and usefully write about FASTForward08 -- it's getting there. I am unable to resist this lousy photo I took. You will note that the 90-foot-wide TV screen up there is sufficiently bulky that it was last used for the 2004 Democratic Convention -- at least that's what one fellow said, who seemed to know.

But it's the statement that got me wondering if there is a Jacques Lacan School of Marketing somewhere, perhaps in Oslo, where FAST hails from?

Or even more wondrous, if those who are exploring search in the deep ways that were suggested at this conference have performed their own searches in the nether places of the psyche before taking their quest to the loomings beneath the surface of the web...

Of this I'm sure: there's a lot more to this craft of deep search* than can be found in Horatio's business plan.

*e.g., listen to how FAST ceo John Markus Lervik talks about search in this clip
with Jerry Michalski.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

now for something (in)completely different

I have been invited to blog a conference, the FastForward08 event taking place in Orlando Monday through Wednesday. I have Hylton Jolliffe of Corante to thank for the invite. So far I count 31 bloggers attending.

Years ago, back in the days of print journalism, I covered some trade shows (anybody remember COMDEX?), but in eight years of blogging, I have never attended a conference in the capacity of blogger. (I've not seen the point of bloggers going somewhere to look at other bloggers blogging the blogging of other bloggers (Gary Turner and AKMA nailed that one years ago as I recall)).* I'm looking forward to learning about Enterprise Search, multi-faceted recommending, and the monetizing of the aforesaid and more. I'll also try to discover what "blogger" means in this context.

It is probably not a good moment to discover, as I just have, that six letters on my aging laptop suddenly and mysteriously (after a mandatory XP update) and steadfastly refuse to type type: i, u, r, e, w, q. It will be challenging find ways of reporting without those letters, (paging tawny grammar).

This is a throwback -- before wireless, before a lot of so-called technology, one went armed with pen and paper, took notes, and filed stories later. Seems like old times.

*(I seem to recall Jeneane and I agreeing that bloggercon was actually about filling hotel rooms).


Saturday, February 16, 2008

what is the vertiginous chapati saying to me?

SDETs needed on the double

A robot named Steve Sanders called this morning. I have an unlisted number, but he found me. He must have one too. Caller ID offered "Blocked Call." I answered, because one never knows who's blocking their calls. I have friends with privacy penchants, so "Blocked Call" is not entirely helpful on the score of screening. I answered, Steve introduced himself and began, in true-to-bot-life form:

"Hello! Sorry I missed you!" followed by some blather about taxes and annuities. 8:30 a.m.

I was there, but I wasn't. I was supposed to be missed. I was the absentee human prescribed to be on the receiving end of an inhuman speaking.

I didn't tarry for contact info - (could the intrusivity of this mode of messaging be designed so that that you'll stay on to get the information to report it to "the authorities?").

Anyway, if I could, I'd commend {Steve} (we will need to agree on some diacritical sign to mark robots, no?) to Microsoft, which is looking ("ASAP") for developers with botic talent:
The Windows Live Agents Platform allows developer and non-developers alike to create "conversational applications" called agents that can be deployed on the web, through Live Messenger, or other venues. Users communicate with these agents in natural language, typing the queries as they would chat with friends, and the agents answer customer service questions, play games, retrieve information, or they just chat.
Can I just not wait? Within a system of infinite reduplication, this is a call that goes beyond convenience, machine servitude, etc. A whole new if not brave world teaching us, and our living children, to develop self-enhancing relationships with phantoms.

Will Search then find the Agents, and hackers fork Search, and Agents become more interesting? This doesn't seem entirely out of the bailiwick of the possible.

Does it, {Steve}?

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oldest thing ever seen when young


Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopted a policy this evening that requires faculty members to allow the university to make their scholarly articles available free online. Chron of High Ed

On the Hahvahd initiative to incentivize faculty to publish in a more open accessible way:

Robert Darnton, director of the university library: "it will help open up the world of learning to everyone who wants to learn.”

Let's hope that a fraction of the bloggers who were up in arms over the Times 2-year "paywall" show the same amount of passion for this development....But anybody who's spent anytime thinking about the future of ideas (bloggers, and others) ought to realize that making information "open" is merely the first step.

Civilities cites Andrew Odlyzko's essay: "Tragic Loss or Good Riddance? The Impending Demise of Traditional Scholarly Journals":

"Once a preprint was accepted, it would be available to anyone."

Peter Suber has several pertinent comments

See also: Harvard votes to free its research

David Weinberger:
If we were today building a system for evaluating scholarly research and for making it maximally available, we would not build anything like the current paper-based system. Well, we are building such a system. The Harvard proposal will, in my opinion, help.

Boy Bedlam Blog:
If successful, the vote would be a monumental step, and I am of two minds regarding it. On the negative side — and I say this as an editor and a publisher — this is a further nail in the coffin of those who engage in discriminatory, critical selection: the editor as judge of critical thought and its transmission. The Harvard University seal would constitute the totality of validity for a work of scholarship: and that’s a fallacy. On the positive side, it is a continual sin that the un-institutionalized seeker of knowledge is financially barred from acquiring the latest, most advanced research: you need a university pass, after all, to access JSTOR, or else pay a very high entry fee for a service you would use relatively rarely.

The Times, ventriloquizing "The Publishing Industry:"
Such a development would in turn damage the quality of research, they argue, by allowing articles that have not gone through a rigorous process of peer review to be broadcast on the Internet as easily as a video clip of Britney Spears’s latest hairdo.

Oh ho, those quiffy longhairs!

A commenter asks:

When will Harvard and other universities do the same for the TEACHING ACADEMICS? If the researchers must make their research papers open acccess, then it would be nice to see all of the professors who write books when they are paid by the univesity also make their books, lectue notes open access (dowloadable pdfs). What is good for the research faculty, is good for the teaching faculty!!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Memoria Technica. On Windows. Live.

Three promises from a Conference

Taken from blurbs for Fastforward '08 in Orlando next week:
Next-Generation Innovation in Search Technology - FAST
If the network has become the computer, search is in the process of becoming its interface. - Bjorn Olstad (CTO, FAST)
At your desk, solus/sola, you might imagine you need a virtual office. You amid your email, your fax, your folders, your explorer, etc. All those windows mirrored you to yourself. As the network interface, Google is becoming the new Windows.

Google adopted the approach of becoming the invisible servant, the thing that gets out of your way so you can find or make your way. I am the way to your way, says Google. Such a lucid pane that we forget it is there. Difficulty of separating Google from the network could be a metric of its power.

Speaking of metrics:
The Impact of The User Revolution on Your Organization
With The User Revolution upon us, it increasingly becomes critical to be able to measure the potential impact of this powerful change trend on the future of your business and its role in the industry. Unfortunately, the value of many of the intangibles that power The User Revolution – skills, information, social capital, etc. – cannot be captured and measured with traditional metrics such as Return on Investment (ROI). In this session, John Hagel, widely respected author and business strategy guru, introduces us to a new set of leading indicators that can be used to measure and predict the impact of The User Revolution on your company.
A metric that spans corporate investment, intangibles of Users, predictive indicators? The golden fleece.

Rising Expectations – New Patterns for Interacting with Information
In the rapidly changing world of online professional information services, user expectations of breadth, accuracy, and timeliness of information have gone through a radical transformation over the past several years. At the same time, the information environment itself is expanding dramatically. In this session, Clare Hart, visionary head of Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group, looks ahead to the future of information work and the intelligent workforce and shares her views on how changing expectations and online behaviors will create new kinds of interactions.

Again, the user focus. Microsoft thought it knew what the User wanted, and believed that by being very clever, it would gain market share. And so it did. An island model. Google anticipated that it could not anticipate what the User would want and do with its algorithm. It really had no product in any material sense - nothing shrink wrapped, nothing that could be fixed. That lack of fixity and product, provided mobility off the island.

Anticipating user expectations -- as opposed to giving users the tools then getting out of their way -- is the Marketing Guru Mantra. It worked for broadcast. Can it work in something that might not even qualify as an "environment?" Or is the expectation that one can adequately and profitably predict, guide and monetize expectation no longer a reasonable thing to expect?

Microsoft is the generation of Woody Allen. Google is that of Cloverfield.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Shirking the dialog, Beaming the enigma

Jon Husband emailed a pointer to this new blog seemingly by Clay Shirky (no author identified on the blog) and having something to do with his new book, Here Comes Everybody. Jon and I had mentioned the book in prior emails, but the blog was new to us.

The current post: What businesses need to know about social media... addressed the question by citing an email that Shirky had sent to Penguin books. In that, Shirky says, in part:

There is both opportunity and threat in this environment. The opportunity is getting these groups to amplify your message or help improve your product.

Something here bothered me, so I tried to post a comment. Shirky's WordPress blog refused to accept the comment, telling me to register. It might be helpful to clue people in on this requirement ahead of their spending time trying to comment. (Like, socially aware software.)

So I registered, was promised a password, which I'm still waiting for. Let's assume Clay is busy with his book appearances and he's not exactly focused on his book blog.

Anyway, what I had in mind to say, quite briefly, because I couldn't quite put my finger on what was bothering me, was this (I saved my comment because this experience with blog condoms was not my first):

I'm not yet "courant" on the new book, which of course interests me, but I'm a tad disappointed to find your reflection on biz effects to be content with "amplify your message." Hasn't it already for some time been time to stop believing that a corporation should even exist via "message?"

"Improve product," fine - tho' how? But if it's about amplification of pre-packaged media unsense, let's hear it for diminution. Or better: dialogue, enhanced articulation, the like.

A few minutes later, I happened to visit BMO's blog, where -- and this has happened before -- I found his latest post to more or less be reading not so much my mind, as the unthought thing it was stuck on:
And so, to answer the question: can corporations manage the migration to social media?


And who fucking cares really.

For about a dozen good reasons, which I’ll get into as we move along here. But number one: corporations - or more accurately, those that work for corporations - hate their customers, even when and if they acknowledge them. That’s not about to change, and it’s not about to change any time soon. And it bears repeating over and over again. HATE.

Now we're getting somewhere: The whole thing.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Great for the unwashed

very young infants are sensitive to small changes in number, and the brain organization that underlies the perception of object number and identity are established early during development.
The nice thing here is that this bit of news can now be accessed by the great unwashed, which number includes yours truly. I really must get around to washing one of these days.

The great news about this news is that this and much more of lively interest to the not incurious (incuriosity being the USian norm, almost the mandate, nay, the very bottom line of citizenly obligation in this great Nation under Bush) is available for free at Science Daily.

So for example a story that offers this about quantum drums:

Just as in the normal world, two nanostructures with different shapes can resonate in the same way, a phenomenon known as isospectrality.
was published in Science Daily on Feb. 9, citing a Feb. 8 story in Science.

For years, Science has sent teasers that pointed to inaccessible-without-paid-subscription stories.

Goodbye Science.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008


Thursday, February 07, 2008

danah boyd to Grub St. of Academe: "Wake up or get out"

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

If the medium is massage

media are lobotomy.

Thanks to Jeneane via Chris Locke for the brainblowing treatise.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Not Huckabee, Not Paul, Not Romney but ...

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Vincent O'Neill performing Ulick O'Connor's "Joyicity" yesterday at the James Joyce Birthday Party in Sarasota. Brilliant.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Middle eastern dancing tribes of the world unite!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Civilized society not ready for Prime Time

Société Générale says wayward trader Jérôme Kerviel lost the bank $7.2 billion. But that was last week. He's now on his way to cult celebrity -- and he still hasn't lost his job.

Firing has never been easy in France, where on-the-spot dismissals à l'américaine are viewed as brutal and very un-French. "This is not like America or England. We have rules that protect employees, no matter what they do wrong," says Stéphane Boudin, a Paris lawyer specializing in labor disputes. $