I think I run with too many ideas, don't focus them, and don't complete them. It's beginning to seem futile, and I need to focus on deciding what I want to accomplish and doing it.
I think I run with too many ideas, don't focus them, and don't complete them. It's beginning to seem futile, and I need to focus on deciding what I want to accomplish and doing it.
I am planning doing a series of posts recapping various perspectives of my 2008 and I thought a fun way to start would be to look back at the memorable events that shaped it – the activities and trips, etc. It’ll be nostalgic as I put it together, and possibly dig up some funny stories or pictures. This isn’t everything, but the things that really stuck out for me when they happened. So Here I go:
1/7 – I attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. I stayed in a beyond seedy motel behind a liquor store on the Vegas strip, I saw Jerry Yang give a Keynote Speech as CEO of Yahoo, and I viewed several miles worth of booths containing the world’s largest TV’s and various other new electronics, along with 150 thousand other people.
1/17 – Angela and I went to see the Editors & Hot Hot Heat at Terminal 5. The concert was great until the last song during the main set, when someone in the balcony threw up on us. We ran out into the rain along with 20 or so other unfortunate people; it was one of the grossest moments I can remember, and I am partially traumatized about concerts now.
1/21 – I got to see the Celtics, behind the big 3 Garnett Pierce and Allen, trounce the Knicks during a season that the Celtics then went on to become the NBA Champions. I sat in the 17th row.
1/26 – I ran the Idiotarod for the 3rd time, this time with Ari, Angela, Jackie, Mike, and Andrew. We wore ridiculous neon outfits, ran more 4 miles from Manhattan, over the bridge, and through Brooklyn, and got covered in all sorts of disgusting stuff.
2/21 – I went with Vito to see Linkin Park at MSG; The highlight when Jay-Z mad a surprise appearance on stage to sing Encore with them.
2/25 – “Black Magic”, a film about race issues through the history of Basketball that features my Uncle Milton as a commentator (he wrote a book on the subject), debuts at Apollo Theater. I attend with my mom and uncle; together we are easily 2 feat shorter than everyone else in the theater.
2/28 – I attend the Deep Blue Something reunion tour with Ari to witness the reprisal of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in a very empty Brooklyn bar where people ignored the band until their one hit was played. I felt really bad for them, and they looked miserable. The song was awesome.
3/1 – Angela and I head to Riviera Maya Mexico for a quick vacation on my birthday. We visit Chizen Itza, one of the 7 wonders of the world, and jump 20 feet into an underground water pool called a cenote. It’s the farthest we’ve both ever jumped and we got no good pictures!
3/18 – Angela and I stand outside in the middle of a very cold night to see the Elephants from the Circus walk through the mid-town tunnel from Queens into Manhattan. It’s quick and underwhelming after the wait.
3/22 – We attend the Union Square Pillow Fight for the 2nd year in a row. It’s much bigger this year, equally hilarious, and I do get punched in the face.
4/4 – Angela, Ari, and I learn about the hidden world of Underground Art Battles. It’s a pretty cool experience but not an every day thing, as you are mostly waiting patiently and watching.
4/23 – My dad and I go to the Phillies/Cubs game and Sixers/Cavs game on back-to-back days, a Philly sports road-trip of sorts. It’s the beginning of an amazing Baseball season where the Phillies win the World Series.
4/27 – We attend a screening of a critically acclaimed animated film at the Tribeca Film Festival, that may yet hit the theaters in ‘09 or ‘10 (it was really good but I can’t remember the name).
5/1 – Angela and I attend the Google Art Show, a projection show to music being presented on the walls of buildings in the Meatpacking District. It’s raining on us as we stand outside, which I think kind of added to the effect.
5/16 – Angela and I visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens; I’d never been there, and I still haven’t been to the Bronx Zoo – that has to be a goal of mine in 2009.
6/7 – The Big Apple Bar-Be-Que comes to town on a ridiculously hot summer day. BBQ restaurants from all over the country come and set up in Madison Square park, and you can buy samples. The lines are long, it’s worth paying for a speed pass.
6/21 – My friends and I go on a road trip to see a Nationals game in Washington D.C., a Phillies game in Philadelphia, and a Pearl Jam Concert in Camden. All of them are awesome, but the memorable moment for me is ending up at an IHOP in the middle of the night in D.C.
6/28 – Angela and I head to California to visit San Francisco, Wine Country, the Redwoods, the beach, and the famous 17 mile drive. It’s an awesome vacation, one where each day brought something totally new and fun. Everything about the trip worked out perfectly accept 1 one horrendous hotel; also its the first time I ever rented a car.
7/10- Angela, Tanayia and I check out Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, a very interesting spin on Shakespeare that is performed literally in a functioning parking lot around the cars coming in and out. It’s one of those things you are surprised and yet expect from New York City.
7/13 - I take Angela home to Cherry Hill to go blueberry picking at the farms. It's her first time; we pick 9 pounds of blueberries and later make some amazing pie.
7/14 – We head to Coney Island for a Brooklyn Cyclones game and bumper cars, my first and only visit before Coney Island gets torn down.
7/18 – Ari, Mike, and I do the Chipotle Underwear Run in Central Park; I forget I’m not wearing any pants and get out of the car to walk home infront of Macy’s.
7/25 – We head to Wildwood NJ for a weekend Beach Ultimate Frisbee tournament. We get destroyed, our worst showing in 3 entries, but we have a great time anyway, and Bruce manages not to repeat his mistake of throwing his keys away and making us get towed 100 miles. Angela and Eric have a fierce Chubby Bunny contest.
7/29 – Angela and I see Spring Awakenings on Broadway; if you haven’t seen it, you should before it leaves.
8/1 – My Brother, Dad, Friends, and I backpack the Wallowa Mountains in Oregon. It’s 45 miles, 10,000 feet vertical, 50 degree temperature swings, and 6 days of intense camping. It’s an amazing challenging week.
8/9 – The Wedding Life Stage begins; 3 weeks running of Bachelor Parties and Weddings for my old college roommates Dave and Jeff. It starts out with paint ball in Massachusetts – my first time, would definitely play again. I give a speech at Dave’s wedding.
8/23 – My whole family takes a cruise up the North East Coast to Canada for my Grandfather’s 80th Birthday. It’s the first time we’ve ever all traveled together and it’s the first cruise we’ve ever taken. It provides countless family photo ops.
9/13 – Our Zog Football season starts; my first Zog sport, a right of passage in NYC. Jackie puts together an awesome team. I don’t score any points until the last game, months later.
9/21 – I run the 5th Avenue Mile Race in just under 7 minutes, my first formal race (and 1 mile is just about my limit).
10/4 – Day of Cultural events in NYC. Angela and I do the 1.7 mile Norway run in Central Park; then we walk through the Gracie Square Art Show; then we meet Bruce at the Korean Festival for lunch. Later, I head to a disturbing film screening about nightmares at the New Yorker festival.
10/11 – Angela and I vacation to Lisbon Portugal; it becomes one of my favorite places. Portugal is Europe without the hastle. We see castles, eat delicious pastries, and drink a lot of coffee.
10/15 – We see Stephen Colbert do a reading of a short story at the Cymfony Space ‘Tales of the Office’ short stories reading event. It turns out he loves to do this; I found books on tape that he reads.
10/20 – I see Art Spiegelman, the author of MAUS, speak about the graphic novel genre; I then get to meet him, and have a copy of his book personalized. It’s incredibly emotional and I am thankful for the opportunity.
11/28 – Angela and I see Avenue Q on Broadway with my Parents; if you’ve seen it, you understand why that might not have been the best choice. Still, it was a hilarious play.
12/7 – Angela and I check out the Gizmodo Tech exhibit, get to see some early models of computers, cameras, phones, and apple prototypes that never made it into production.
12/11 – Vito and I hit up Rockwood Music Hall to see some relatively unknown groups play. We’re a few feet from the stage, it’s an amazing intimate music experience, the acoustic performance is great, and I fall in love again with live music.
Sometimes it takes an unexpected event to reawaken your love for something. Lately I’d been sick of concerts. I was tired of the crowd, the getting pushed around, the being unable to see, the people more interested than drinking than the music. I hadn’t seen many shows in months, and going when I did make it out to see Vampire Weekend a few weeks ago, I skipped the opening acts so that I could minimize my time in Terminal 5 to about 1 hour (they play a short act).
But last night reinvented my love for live music. I went with a friend over to Rockwood Music Hall, a little place as small as an apartment that is really all about the communal music experience. Maybe 40 people, all there because of the music, you don’t have to pay to get in and they just pass a hat around afterwards asking you to contribute as you see fit after each set. 5 feet away from the stage, mostly acoustic, very intimate and personal. The way music is supposed to be.I ended up seeing two bands that I’d never heard of but really loved – the first was Dan Torres; I recorded this jam session from him last night, which captures how connected you could feel to the musician right in front of you. Afterward, I purchased a CD/DVD he was selling of a previous performance at Rockwood Music Hall, and you can try out the same song, “You Don’t Even Want to Know My Name” with a little less ‘jam’ here.
The second band I saw was Dandelion Wine, another great performance. I didn’t grab the CD, but you can check out some live video over at my YouTube channel. It’s worth watching all 3 videos – I’ve replayed them several times this morning already.
Most people probably never make it over to Rockwood Music Hall; most of us will probably never recognize a name on their set list. If your sick of big concert venues, though, and you have forgotten how intimate and mesmerizing a live music performance can be, you should make your way over. And you might even discover a few musicians you never knew existed that you’ll love.
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This is a really cool video that throws very interesting statistics at you in a way that can help change your perspective and re-think the way you look at things. If you spend the 5 minutes watching it, you'll have at least 1 significant wake-up.
- Many nights I find I’m the only one still awake; I’m borrowing this (sort of related) picture to reflect on that.
- Song of the night - Mysterons, by Portishead - handling the mood perfectly
- (reblogging) iraqi man throws shoes at Bush at press conference. i suspect there’s quite a few US citizens who would like to do the same thing!
This is a pretty cool video someone mixed together of 40 inspirational speeches from iconic movies. The best part is picking out the little scenes from the cult favorite movies I loved - Newsies, Cool Runnings, Mighty Ducks... what were everyone's favorites?
Today I went out to The Annex on Orchard Street to check out the Gizmodo Tech Gallery. Gizmodo took over a show room for a weekend and filled it with gadgets old and new - everything from the world's first camera phone prototype (it's different than you think) to a 102 inch LCD TV with a 3D television demo. Very cool stuff, and very cool of them to take their collection on the road free for their audience. I didn't take pictures of everything, but you can see a some of the cool 'original tech' they had demo'd over at my Flickr gallery (I should've taken some pictures of the original Apple prototypes!).
Making the market: "By combining protein and chocolate, we've developed a new food that's both dessert and dinner" - The first thing I think of here is the Snickers Marathon bar; I'm not sure I totally believe it's invented a new market, but then again maybe I just didn't buy into it.
Taking from it - "This has a touch screen, too, but you can get it from Verizon" - Since the iPhone came out, there have been a number of these that all feel like runner ups for people that can't get out of their contract or don't want to leave Verizon for the better service. Pretty much none of them, though, have pushed the market forward (though the BlackBerry Storm might). On the other hand, the T-Mobile G1 is the cell phone version of making the market - by taking some of the best of the iPhone and the Blackberry and creating a hybrid market that appeals in a different way.
The decision to make a new market or take from it will be based on many things - how strong your product is, how appealing it is, whether it is only ready to piggyback on existing success - there are probably more brands & products that piggyback (and to success) but it's the inventors that we'll remember.
This spot is phenomenal because it does the following:
1) It shows that Nike gets LeBron.
2) It shows that Nike gets basketball.
3) It shows that Nike gets the intersection of basketball, hip hop, and street culture.
4) It shows that Nike gets music.
5) And if you're savvy enough to understand all the finer points of the spot, Nike understands you.
Sheer brilliance. Yes. TV spots can still be great at telling stories -- but the web is a great place for continuing their discussion.
This week my team has been in an interesting discussion about the different lessons we’ve taken frfrom Seth Godin’s recent piece Gravity is just a theory. The basic premise, naming something that people already believe in is very smart marketing, lives both in reframing existing ideas (such as Gravity) and answering existing wants (the iPhone as an answer to everything we already knew we wanted in a phone). On the reverse side, evolution faced an uphill battle because it required people to abandon their current school of thought, as well as because the timeframe of the message was longer than the attenion span (in the case of evolution, the lifetime) of the audience.
I originally introduced the article to my team and presented the idea that relaunching the ONDCP’s Anti-Drug message as the Above The Influence message in November 2005 was a powerful marketing tactic that repositioned the message to fit Godin’s “gravity” outline and away from his “evolution” outline. In essence, the Above The Influence framework took Anti-Drug and reframed it in a way that most people already think is a good idea - to be yourself, be the best that you can be, by being above the influences in the world.
Someone else took an alternate lesson from the article. He pointed out Godin’s principle that the timeframe of the message relevancy in fitting with the audience’s attention needs to be paid close attention to. This leads us to consider whether the campaign needs more pro-active in showing how being above the influence can benefit people in real ways, directly within the window of time that the decision is being made - either tangibly or emotionally.
Still another person reading the article took away a completely different learning. Focusing on the line Persuading someone to start a blog is evolution marketing. Lots of people have been brainwashed that they have nothing to say, or can’t say it, or aren’t allowed to say it. And you rarely see someone become an overnight blogging success, we discussed how mindsets have to change to really believe that contributing content to facebook, twitter, yelp, etc, really have value and matter to our social graph. This lead me to read up on Chris Brogan’s opinions of The Annotated World, essentially pushing us all to see the value in incremental contributions (another discussion for another time). The discussion doesn’t relate to my job as much as it relates to the evolution of communication and social interaction in general, but it is significant none-the-less.
All in all, I highlight this because Godin’s article on Gravity vs. Evolution Marketing really stood out to a variety of people in very different ways, and generated internal marketing discussion in a way that rarely happens on a higher level above our day to day work. I will look to highlight more of his thinking and the critical analysis it instigated in further posts. I invite comments.
[cross posted on my Advertising blog KBS Advertising]
Google finally built out a Google Desktop Gmail gadget to bring Gmail fully to your desktop... now all I'm waiting for is a Google Reader gadget, which I can't believe still doesn't exist. It was part of my plea to them way back in June 2007...
Ian Rogers, the former head of Yahoo! Music who left to form a startup called Topspin that helps artists promote themselves without a major label, gave a great speech on the evolution and the future of the music industry. I’ve highlighted two slides here that I thought were particularly poignant.
The first reveals some very compelling and optimistic numbers about the rise in consumption and purchase of music, in general. It’s interesting to note the key stats – CD’s of course aren’t one of them, but music playing devices are up (iPods most specifically) year over year, as are individual music purchase moments are up, concert revenue is up. Streaming music is also way up (which may be licensed) and music file sharing is up. The interesting thing about the last point is, it parallels more music purchasing – file sharing and free (or advertising subsidized) streaming are music promotion vehicles, and more and more people are spreading the word about more and more music every day.
The second slide I want to point out is discussing the “shift in power” from the label to the artist, which also I think means some portion of power shifting from the label to the consumer. The future of the music industry leaves little room for price gauging by the music industry, because consumers won’t allow it. On the other hand, it gives a more direct relationship with the consumer and the artist that enables us to reward artists that we really truly enjoy their music. Hopefully more artists step away from the major label contracts realizing they don’t need them, so we can feel like the money we spend on music really goes to the artist. I also hope within the music industry and other industries there develops a system for consumers to give money directly to just about anyone we want to support in their creative endeavors. If I haven’t bought an album from someone because I can hear it for free elsewhere, but I still want to give them money to support their creation of future music, I want to be able to do it. In the mean time, I don’t buy songs very often, but I do spend a lot of money on Concerts, and I do try to spread the word about music, while buying a few tracks along the way.
By the way, if you enjoyed this presentation and want to see more interesting presentations and talks, I’m saving links to interesting content on del.icio.us here
A Passionate Discourse by Keith Olberman (MSNBC) Pleaing for Answers From People Who Supported Proposition 8
This is a really fantastic statement by Keith Olberman, an MSNBC reporter, pleading for Californians who supported Proposition 8 to rethink why they are so intent on criticizing other people's definitions of love. It's a phenomenal piece that I hope everyone takes the time to listen to and think about, and hopefully it contributes to future open-mindedness and reform.
" !" (athttp://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=209035) is now becoming a reality for the students of Mr. Hartshorn, with the help of a Double Your Impact grant from The Wachovia Foundation. Mr. Hartshorn wrote you this note:
The DonorsChoose.org Team
* He also launched Change.gov, a website that will keep America informed on how the presidential transition period is going
* Finally, he launched a YouTube channel where he'll post videos of his weekly presidential address, starting now
3.2007.dominican republic. 081
Originally uploaded by kskobac.
Lately pictures have been popping up in my picture frame that I've forgotten about, and absolutely love - I guess it's the kind of thing that good pictures memories become better over time. I'm going to start posting the pictures that make me pause, and writing a bit about them on flickr under the picture, in another attempt to tap into my Daily Fotolog, which never really took off. You can see my reborn daily Fotolog here:
The picture here was taken on my trip to the Dominican Republic, with Angela, Bruce, Mark, and Ari. It was the first trip that Angela and I took together. I was nervous about it, but it was an incredible trip, everyone had a great time, and she held her own on a very male-driven trip with non-stop sports and little beach relaxation. Here Bruce and Angela are in the back of a bus taking us to a catamaran trip early in the morning.
“I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before”
I think for the most part this type of growth is really happening. Those of us using digg and delicious for years are now stepping it up to twitter and friendfeed. Those of us who never used any social tools are sharing links and posting status updates to facebook. Wherever you are on the growth curve, though, most of us are doubling the amount of content and information that we're sharing year over year - whether it feels like it or not. Sharing content is really the way we all socialize on the web, it's the backbone of the most basic social networking, it's what makes it addictive rather than repetitive. And it's only going to become more mainstream, more commonplace, more build into our everyday actions naturally- we might as well accept it and get used to it.
(To see an example of how much content i share on the web, look at the red mybloglog widget on the right of this site, or check out out social footprint here)
Lately I’ve been taking more pictures with my phone than with my camera. It sort of goes against what I preach, considering the photo quality, but the convenience of always having my phone with me and the ease of posting it to the web instantly has made it more and more my camera of choice. I can snap a picture with my phone and have it live on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, Tumblr, and my own blog within seconds – and that has lead me to be more and more addicted to photo blogging during my day.
As an example, last weekend I quickly posted a handful of pictures, with simple statements of what I was doing and what I wanted to say, as I spent a full day walking around the city:
Aside from the blogging aspect, it’s also a really enjoyable way to keep a journal of sorts of my life, with little effort. Now I can look back and remember the smaller life moments that may not have gotten captured if I didn’t have my camera phone. I’ll still use my camera when the picture quality really matters, but now getting a strong camera on my next phone is definitely a priority.
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Photo Booth reels are quickly becoming my favorite photos - the 6-picture series just captures so much different emotion and defines the scene
see my set of photo booth pictures here
|From k. b. skobac|
This was an amazing team to watch through the end of the season and the playoffs. Every player came through in one way or another, every player contributed to the team in a big way. Jamie Moyer’s epic effort on the eve of his 46th birthday, Cole Hamels going undefeated entering the playoffs after only his 2nd full season, the defensive plays, the big hits by just about everyone – it was amazing.
(for more pictures, see the ESPN Gallery)
If you want to help out, the tech blog fundraising effort is going on for another week. I'm embedding a widget here for you to donate to Fred Wilson's challenges (where I donated as well):Dear Kevin,
I cannot thank you enough for your generosity in donating money towards the laptop computer. The students will be using this laptop with such gratitude and appreciation. We have been sharing laptops with other clubs, saving documents on flashdrives which is very time consuming. This laptop is going to be such an asset and will make our school newspaper even better. The students were so excited when I told them and could hardly wait for it to come. It is great to know there are generous people out there and people who are willing to give money to the education of the great students here at our school. Once again, we are so appreciative of your generous gift. Thanks
Tonight I had the opportunity to meet Art Spiegelman, the author of Maus, as he took time to speak at a nearby Barnes & Noble about his new book Breakdowns (an auto-biographical graphic novel that touches on how he came to write graphic novels and how he came to write Maus).
Maus, for those not familiar, is one of the most well read books about the Holocaust, known for it’s distinct graphic novel style and it’s portrayal of the the world as animals. It’s also a story written by Art Spiegelman looking at his father, who was the survivor (rather than say Night, which Eli Weisel wrote about himself the survivor). The perspective of the son and the post-survivor generation is different, and intense in it’s own way.
I’ve read Maus (it’s actually a two part series, Maus I & II) several times, and always it has been incredibly intense and emotional; my Grandfather is a Holocaust survivor, and many many of my relatives died in the war, so thought it is not my family’s story, it is in a way their very story. Everything about the victims and the survivors is tied to every other, and the emotions of Spiegelman himself as a 2nd generation is just one more layer that survivor families can relate to.
I had not expected for tonight to impact me as it did; I knew that Maus wasn’t particularly the subject at hand, and so I expected more to hear about the graphic novel industry. He was also not who I had imagined from reading the books – he’s jovial, boisterous, comes off almost as a jolly professor (his talk is filled with literary reference) rather than the burdened tired man I envisioned. If I hadn't known what he wrote about, I probably wouldn't have expected it from him. Still, the few images he presented of Maus and his time writing it reminded me that regardless of how he carries himself out in the open, Maus the story and more importantly Maus the life of his father was the defining influence on his life. His pictures were small peaks into what's deep inside him and what lies embedded in the history of all of our families.
Standing in front of him, I was humbled and thankful – the book he wrote may have been cathartic for him, but it is also incredibly important to my family as survivors, as it is I’m sure for all of us that have ties to the Holocaust. As he signed my book, I thanked him for the difficult work he did that is so significant to all of us, and told him that as a family of survivors we are thankful for it. He asked if my grandfather was still alive, where my last name comes from (it’s modified from polish origin), and finished the inscription from above. It was a short meeting that followed a talk meant more to be humorous and informative, but I walked away from it shaking and emotionally exhausted, in ways that I can only begin to describe here.
If you haven’t read Maus, make sure you do – it will not take long.
“I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life.”I want to leave a mark on the future for people that follow me, be it family or in organizations I care about, but I think that's different - it's seperate from spending all my time trying to earn more money, or prove to people I'm better - it's about feeling like the time I have here is being spent on worthwhile endeavours, and paying forward the great things that people before me have done for me. The point stands though, don't lose site of enjoying life for what it is while we have it.
Brown Water in Restrooms
Didn't expect to see this - Eminem is apparently coming out with a new album soon, after basically disappearing for a while (Here's a single from it).
Supposedly it will be coinciding with the release of new Dr. Dre and 50-cent albums as well:
Eminem’s album forms part of a “three-headed monster,” to be released alongside his new album, ‘Before I Self Destruct,’ and Dr. Dre’s much anticipated ‘Detox.’I wonder if I'll like any of it or if it wi'll feel old and tried at this point?
Last week the New York Times slipped a social layer right onto the NYTimes.com website, with fair little fan fair. What they call TimesPeople now appears as a floating bar atop NYTimes.com as you read articles, enabling you to friend other NYTimes.com readers, see a feed of articles that your friends or the community at large has recommended, and submit articles yourself to the TimesPeople community. It’s the kind of social layer that all professional content sites can benefit from – and a key example of how “social” really is just ultimately going to be an underlying part to most of our everyday experience (rather than “social networking” requiring specific sites of their own).
This is not the first time we’ve seen a print publisher attempt a transition of their website; in March ‘07 the USA Today re-launched with a social framework. However, the USAToday.com was such a drastic overhaul that it was almost difficult to grasp for the audience; just a few months later, TechCrunch highlighted their stagnant traffic. Looking at the figures today, there’s been strong growth in the year since that review, but it may have been a difficult transition for the USAToday.com audience to make.
NYTimes.com has taken a more subtle approach that does little to change the overall user experience, but definitely enhances it considerably. You browse NYTimes.com like you always do, but now you easily submit and see the best articles from your friends. It’s a valuable social layer that personalizes the “most popular stories” module we’ve been used to seeing on news sites over the last few few years. It seems like the perfect way to introduce such social features to a traditionally older web browsing audience.
TimesPeople isn’t the only sign that the NYTimes.com designers are serious about embracing social media in a smart way. They’re also one of the first to embrace the new canvas-style layouts of iGoogle, which provides a full front page of NYTimes.com directly inside your iGoogle page, without having to leave your homepage to browse the headlines.
It’s great to see the NYTimes.com try to embrace change, develop their site for the better, and introduce a thought out, engaging social layer to the site. It needs work for sure (I can’t see the bar or share articles from David Pogue’s NYTimes.com blog), but it’s a great start. If you are a NYTimes.com reader, connect to me here, and start sharing.
In case this actually happens to someone else like it happened to me this morning, I’m going to post the notes to re-creating the “Show Desktop” icon that in your Quick Launch toolbar on a Windows computer:
Manual steps to re-create the Show Desktop icon on the Quick Launch toolbarThe Show Desktop icon is not an ordinary program shortcut. If the icon is deleted, the procedure for re-creating the icon is not obvious. To manually re-create the Show Desktop icon, follow these steps:
Click Start , click Run, type notepad, and then click OK.
In Notepad, type the following text on individual lines:
On the File menu, click Save As, and then save the file to your desktop as Show Desktop.scf.
Note Notepad might automatically append a .txt extension to the file name. Remove this extension if present. The file name should be Show Desktop.scf.
The file must now be moved to the correct folder in the user profile to appear in the Quick Launch toolbar. To manually do this, use one of the following methods.
Use the mouse to drag the Show Desktop.scf icon to the Quick Launch toolbar or another location where you want the shortcut to appear.
Click Move Here.
Use Windows Explorer to locate the following folders:
Microsoft Windows 95 and Microsoft Windows 98
Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, and Microsoft Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
Note Username refers to the account name where you want to put the icon.
Use the mouse to drag the Show Desktop.scf file to the Quick Launch folder.
Click Move Here.
Note By default, the Application Data folder for Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP is a hidden folder. You may have to unhide this folder by using the Advanced Settings in Internet Explorer. Click the Show hidden files and folders option.
You can also find this at the Microsoft support site.
I stumbled upon the most random scripted web TV show a few days ago, and even after watching the first episode, as well as a handful of teasers, I still can barely believe it’s real. “Back on Topps” is an online show that follows Leif and Leyland Topps, played by the apparently semi-famous Sklar brothers (see links below), as they learn that Topps was actually bought out from under the family by another company, and adjust to life under management (for those who don’t know, the Topps company has dealt with a similar shareholder descent in recent years). Given how niche baseball cards are, and how few people probably know any history about the industry, it’s a very surprising topic to cover in a comedic show. However, the teasers are filled with athletes (anyone from David Love to Dennis Rodman), and I think they’re actually pretty funny and attention grabbing for sports fans. The first episode is up on the show’s website BackOnTopps.com, and you can find the teasers (which are worth watching) on Fox Sports Video, which has exclusive syndication rights. I will definitely be checking in on the show over the next few weeks, and will let you know how I think it progresses – I’m excited for it.
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A Passage Read on Rosh Hashana
The day has come
to take an accounting of my life
Have I dreamed of late
of the person I want to be,
in the changes I would make,
in my daily habits,
in the way I am with others,
in the friendship I show companions.
I have remained enchained too often
to less than what I am
But the day has come
to take an accounting of my life.
I, who am my own kind of needy person,
have been afraid of vision.
I need to be loved.
Do I deserve to be?
I need to love another.
Can I commit to my love?
Perhaps its object will be less than my visions
(and then I would be less)
Perhaps I'm not brave enough to find new vision
through a real and breathing person.
So long as I have breath
I know I have the strength
to transform what I can be
to what I am.
I would like the splurge legislation to require that we not only have public disclosure, but that we have in effect a real time listing (like the Nasdaq) of all splurge related transactions. This is good for the public (so we know what's going on with our money) and it's good for the Treasury (so it is forced to behave rationally) and it's good for investors who want to profit from all of this splurge activity. It will also allow us, after the whole things is over, to analyze the splurge and learn from it, like JLM learned from the RTC.This is a great opportunity for the US at large to learn about investing - the US Government should be using this time to teach us all about risks, investing, returns, everything they can as they put a nation-wide contributed sum of money to work. I hope the US government is paying attention to people like Fred Wilson and Mark Cuban, who have been pouring out intelligent recommendations for the use and management of the funds almost daily.
The second wave swapped Jerry Seinfeld out for a series of short snippets of a broad collection of people stating "I'm a PC" - everyone from a random teacher in a 3rd world country, to Eva Longoria.
The Gates / Seinfeld commercials were a bad start - for the most part, they weren't funny (although the last line when Seinfeld asks for a sign from Gates that there's something new coming to Windows could maybe have been funny packaged differently). Worse, though, they almost made it seem like Windows was for rich people that don't get the real world. They even said that they need to spend time with regular families to understand them. It's not that they are elitist, they're just out of touch.
The new commercials, however, to be me accomplish exactly what I think they need to - they take back ownership of the now common phrases that Apple coined "I'm a PC", and they position Apple as the company that has thinks too highly of itself. And that in a subtle sort of way hits home because I desperately want a Mac, every time I see someone at Starbucks that seems to have a cooler computer and looks like they're enjoying it more.
If it really is because they are better computers, that's one thing. But if it's because I am jealous of the image, the cool factor, the elite, the step up from the regular people who use PC's, then I've bought into the "I'm a Mac" image, the Apple culture, and I'm getting ready to pay a 50% mark up on a laptop just to have it.
If the new Windows commercials can make me feel like it's not wrong to be the every day person, if they start to make me turn a more critical eye towards the elitist Mac cult, then I'll start to second guess paying a premium for Mac products (which I am as of late). Breaking down this yearning for a Mac, reminding us that it's ok to be a PC user, is exactly waht the new Microsoft ads need to achieve.