Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Copyright Counter Revolution and the Trend Towards Edge of the Network Media

The last several weeks have been very busy so I thought today would be a good day to catch up on some long overdue RSS feeds and started posts. The oldest started post from two weeks ago was in response to this Robin Good article.

There isn't much to add to what is contained there or in the Wired article referenced other than it is crucially important for us to educate ourselves about what is happening in copyright law with things like Induce, and that we create opportunities for content and media distribution that stand apart as an example of alternatives to the existing infrastructure. The best way to do that is to think through what the missing pieces are for this infrastructure to be successful such as measurement, ease of use, methods of promotion and more importantly to not let these alternatives be polluted by using them to distribute copyrighted materials which will only invite the wrath, pr and armies of lawyers controlled by large media companies.

Monday, November 29, 2004

p910 camera phone pic from 31,000 feet

Got to try out the airplane friendly mode of the P910a on this flight today from San Diego to San Jose. Pretty cool to have this mode. It didn't seem to kill the battery too bad.

Content Ecosphere - Part 2 / BitTorrent

I had a couple of comments to the last Content Ecosphere post and wanted to hit on a couple of the issues raised.

Jason mentioned that BitTorrent has great stats, which I think is very important, and its great to see it. I started down the path of experimenting with BitTorrent a bit, and bought a TShirt, and found that BitTorrent isn't very user friendly, even for someone who is fairly technical. More importantly I think some of the following as existing roadblocks for the time being:

1. BitTorrent seems best for widely distributed files. If you are Adam Curry, or you want to distribute content that has a certain critical mass in terms of audience, then this works well. If you are looking for more marginal content in terms of audience, then you throughput is really low. An example I tried was a copy of Max Headroom shows. I thought they would be plentiful but when I started the downloads the transfer rate was really slow, although it did spike up occasionally.

2. The architecture inherently puts you at risk given the current copyright litigation jihad. The key rulings so far around copyright infringement speak to those that share as guilty of violating the various copyright laws of your jurisdiction of choice. Because you have to share on BitTorrent, you are exposed. Granted sharing open source or Creative Commons material doesn't necessarily put you at risk, the concept that its ok if I download only gets hurt by the architecture, which I think will scare some people off.

3. Nothing is really free. The adware invasion inflicted on people who have used Kazaa and similar services puts a damper on the likelihood of mainstream consumers to use P2P services like BitTorrent even though I don't believe that the situation is similar. I think the lesson many people have learned recently is that opening up your firewall to these types of programs, or making the installation, can become a big drag on computer resources.

4. Barring the above, BitTorrent seems like a really strong distribution option for those who want to proliferate content at low expense. I think that the rate of the MP3 file downloads cited by Jason in his comment is more a function of the relative newness of torrent files relative to MP3 files.

There was another comment regarding how this relates to wireless that I will address separately. If you are interested, the other podcasters displaying the data around this conversation can be found here:

Radio Brothers

Jason and Ben sent theirs in email. If they post them somewhere to link to, I will update this post.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Podcast 9

Out of the holiday haze and back to life. Uploaded Show #9 featuring the following:

The Wrists
Four Letter Lie
Sputnik Monroe

Enjoy the file or from the feed.

If you like or dislike something email me at derrick@doien.com or put some music at www.acmenoise.com and drop me an email to check it out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Sony Ericsson P910 - Initial thoughts

I want to write up a formal review, but I think that's going to take a couple of days of use to get a complete feel for what the moster can do. Here are my initial experiences so far:

1. The contact management integration is great. I was able to put in all of my 1000 or so contacts but it required me to abandon ACT and move to Outlook. I am really bummed about that as I think Act and Goldmine are much better software than Outlook. I had a ton of problems with the calendar functions from Outlook to the handset.

2. Bluetooth integration with my Jabra headset is much better than with the T610.

3. Battery life seems adequate but not outstanding. I think this is going to require a car adaptor for travel and an extra battery pack charger.

4. Memory stick Duo is not the normal Memory Stick. I didn't anticipate that. That is a bummer.

5. Web browsing is really cool, although still a tad slow which is a function of my network to some extent (TMobile). That said my all you can eat data account makes me feel okay about it.

6. The thumbpad is really small as I have read elsewhere, but it is usable. Tomorrow I pair my Stowaway keyboard and get cracking.

All in all I am really excited by this device. The reason I bought a phone that made me cough at the price was to understand the constraints and possibilities of the next generation of handsets. The wireless future is truly exciting. More later.

Thanksgiving email from 2 years ago...

I sent the following to my staff two years ago. I thought it would be fun to share it:

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It's a time to take stock in things as we reach the end of a year, hang out with family and friends, and gorge ourselves on rich foods. It's also the longest stretch of time off we consistently have away from work year after year.

I like the fact that nobody partakes in any commerce, other than buying food and drink, and that it doesn't necessarily favor one religion over another like many other holidays around this time of the year.

I used to help my mom in the kitchen when I was a child and as I got older I latched onto this holiday as the one holiday a year that I placed special emphasis on.

During the first couple of years of my marriage, Jessica and I would begin preparations for dinner the night before, and we turned the evening prior into an impromptu party. Mind you, that really just involved me and one of my best friends starting out with eggnog and then escalating into scotch as the evening progressed. Some mornings me and the turkey had a real rough time as I had failed to drink enough water to offset the scotch the night before.

This night before became a ritual in our house, so we decided to invite any of you who may care to come over this Wednesday night for a little wine, cheese, snacks etc. from 7 - 9 PM.


originally uploaded by brikmaster.
The T-610 was replaced last night. I am currently setting the new moster up. This was the last pic from the old one, looking at its replacement.

Monday, November 22, 2004

User Generated Content - Content Ecosphere

Things go in phases I guess. One of the things I enjoy about blogging is keeping drafts of things that are important to you. I received an email earlier today from Jason Evangelho who does the Hardcore Insomnia Radio Podcast. He asked myself and a couple of others to provide some subscriber data about our shows as he is a fan of our shows (as we are of his I assume). It prompted me to finish this which I began in September, and the answer to Jason's question is now embedded....

I was talking with someone last spring about MP3.com and generally about the drivers for user generated content businesses. Different people will come up with different conclusions based on their experiences, but to me the formula is as follows:

Hosting + Stats + Audience = Audience + Artists(generally) + Marketable Demographic/Psychographic Data

At Mp3.com we offered the first three, free song hosting, artist stats and audience. The bands/artists drove their fans to the site increasing their stats, and growing the audience. We in turn received more general consumers, more artists, and could derive interesting things from the data for the purpose of advertising, programming etc.

An interesting idea that a good friend of mine often repeats is that people are motivated by only four things: Power, Adventure, Love and Fame. User generated content can arguably reach different aspects of each, but the one that gets tricky is fame. With the exception of the A list bloggers in the blogging world, or bands, or photo enthusiasts, most of us grapple with a measure of audience or more simply Fame. Our efforts want a feedback loop to understand if what we are saying is reaching anyone or if it has any value. We look at our site meter stats or our bloglines subscribers. These are markers but not good absolute measures of fame. They are not Nielsen, or Billboard, or a Best Sellers list or some other equivalent.

The User Generated Content Ecosphere must have some component of Hosting (free or paid), some sense of audience ( I do 'this' somewhere where people might randomly come across what I make) and a sense of Statistics (What am I doing relative to everyone else). There are clearly pieces of this, and I mean this post less as a statement of what must be, rather I mean it to be a starting point of a conversation about what does the alternative media distribution system at the edge of the network look like? Which brings me to Jason's question....

I don't know how many subscribers I have to my Podcast. I do know that instead of working out a BitTorrent or some other alternative distribution ala P2P, I have the luxury so far of using a hosted account I have for some other purposes to host the podcasts I have created. The benefit of centralized hosting is the monitoring of your statistics. As a data freak I comb the logs frequently to try to gleam meaning from what I see. I know that in addition to the many complete downloads I get, there are a large number of small sized requests that transfer very few bites. I have some half baked ideas about what they represent but will withhold commentary until I know more. So, Jason, in answer to your question, here is the detail of the requests for each of the shows I have done as of this morning Tuesday November 23:

59933: 4.44%: Nov/23/04 8:10 AM: /temp/250million05.mp3
56917: 1.56%: Nov/23/04 8:10 AM: /temp/250million04.mp3
49742: 2.12%: Nov/22/04 6:06 PM: /temp/Show 3.mp3
42735: 3.66%: Nov/23/04 8:21 AM: /temp/250million06.mp3
38363: 2.49%: Nov/22/04 6:00 PM: /temp/250million02.mp3
25698: 3.23%: Nov/22/04 6:01 PM: /temp/250million.mp3
18406: 2.24%: Nov/23/04 8:21 AM: /temp/250million07.mp3
878: 0.26%: Nov/23/04 8:31 AM: /temp/250million08.mp3

I roll off the shows at 5 per feed so currently only shows 4-8 are in my feed.

It sort of begs the question to me of what happens with podcasting if we all move to BitTorrent. We definitely defray our costs, but what mechanism do we put in place to measure our audience? How do we know that the data we transfer is ever listened to? What is the Arbitron of podcasting/blogging/moblogging, etc?

High Definition TV

I am a big early adopter of pure technology as it relates to computers. I had a Vic 20 and one of the next generation of PCs for many years. I was a little slow to get involved with BBS's and didn't really hit the Internet until 1994. Since then, I have been using whatever new comes along at all times.

The area where I have been a laggard has been home audio and video. I never bought nice televisions. I never bought a good stereo. To this day, I use a really bad desktop style stereo at home and don't own a nice receiver or speakers. Given my love for music this is really odd. Two years ago I made my first exception.

As someone who is fixated on media, I thought that understanding Hi-Definition Television was important to understanding how home entertainment will transform in the coming years. I didn't think that the transformation was limited to a better picture, rather I thought it would impact what programming looks like and what is important in that construct.

My first step was to buy a Sony HD Ready TV, a 250lb Tube monster. I didn't understand what that meant at the time, but what it means is that you have to buy more stuff, namely a converter that takes a signal and readies it for display. At the time I had Digital Cable and satellite. I looked at both of their offerings and was disappointed by the recurring cost. It seemed fairly high given what the offering was at the time, essentially a couple channels of HD programming.

My next step seemed sort of odd, but I knew that the government mandated over the air digital signals and that the networks would be broadcasting digital signal you could capture with an antenna, so I decided to buy an antenna. I had to install two because the local networks broadcast from two different points at different locations in San Diego County. It has worked great. I continue to get satellite and also get local channels in HD via the antenna.

So why all this? I decided to upgrade. I recently got an HD Plasma TV Sony KDE-42XS955. It is awesome. I am freaked out by the whole plasma thing, but I am convinced that I will be fine for a long time as this is really the home theater TV. I was a not quite early adopter of TiVo, but have now fully embraced DVRs as I added an HD DVR to go with the TV. Tomorrow it all gets set up.

The viewing experience on HD has been interesting. For football, it feels like you are at the game. For other shows, you can actually see the bad acne on some actors. It definitely adds to shows like Cold Case that look more professional that they do to me on normal signals. If you are curious, I would wait a bit for pricing to come down, and if you have satellite, know that you need an antenna for local channels, which is sort of odd.

I haven't had a chance to check out Voom or any of the Mark Cuban stuff, but plan to do so and report back later.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Podcast 8

Is here. The triplet mania, and fantasy football are killing my blogging this weekend. Later tonight. Sure. After I actually get some work done.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Birthday week

I kind of took the week off from blogging. I turned 38 this week which sounds really old to me, but was sort of a strange marker as my mother passed away before she was 38. All in all it was a great birthday, got to spend some time at the spa, caught The Motorcycle Diaries, and hung out with the family.

I have three posts I need to write and a podcast to post probably later this evening.

I also decided that even though I haven't been able to confirm the ship date for the Sony Ericsson P910A, I went ahead and pre-ordered it today. I cant wait to get it. I saw the launch promo which put me over the edge.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Change This - Bootstrappers Bible

I don't usually plug something before I read the whole thing, but the Bootstrappers Bible by Seth Godin. It's long which is why I don't think I will get to it for a couple of days, but my quick skim suggests that this is a great reference piece for my fellow entrepreneurs.

People Who Hate Los Angeles

I read this from Dave Winer. I thought his comments were lame. Then I read this by Doc Searls before I had a chance to put my thoughts down.

Los Angeles is a truly unique city unlike any other on the planet. It is a city dripping with opportunity and seedy characters trying to get ahead by any means necessary. Where Manhattan is a wonderful mass of people and buildings, LA is a city of geography. There is no 'there' there. From the snowcapped Angeles Crest Mountains to the hills of Malibu to the tip of Palos Verdes, Los Angeles is a city you experience by driving through it, in it, around it. It is a car city.

It's a city with no history and a city of dreams. People come here from all over the world to re-invent themselves, to make a new future and to sometimes fail in a really sunny place. Its a city of great wealth and poverty. Driving along Wilshire Blvd. from Downtown Los Angeles through the Central American Pico Union District, to Korea Town, to Mid - Wilshire and the La Brea tarpits, to Beverly Hills to Westwood, to Santa Monica, is truly a cultural experience.

I could go on for pages but more importantly, to me the provincial view of others towards any city is funny. I love New York, LA, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Washington DC, and of course San Diego. Each of these cities have their pluses and minuses that can really only be experienced when you pour yourself into the unique experience that they offer. If you can't take a city for all its beauty and ugly, you should stay home.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Ok, so I post about eMusic the other day and then the company that owns eMusic, Dimensional goes out and buys the Dreamworks publishing catalog.

It's an interesting strategy they are taking, picking up a variety of assets at presumably a really good price. It will be interesting to see what they do next.

Capitol records

Capitol records
Capitol records,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
10 minutes earlier while cruising through Hollywood.

Harbor freeway

Harbor freeway
Harbor freeway,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Dont Drive and Blog! T610 south 101 overpass at intersection of south 110, downtown LA.

Podcast 7

Finished show 7 on the train. Will upload it when I find some Wifi. Had some cool references this week at Podcastreviews, Podcat, and Adam Curry's PodSquad.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

eMusic re-launch

For the second time in a couple of months I have been prompted to complete a post that I had saved as a draft as a result of an email. The last time it was an email from Always On. I don't really have an update on that other than I keep forgetting to visit that site in my rapidly diminishing free time.

This time it is eMusic. eMusic relaunched about a month ago. At that time I wanted to give my two cents on what I thought of the changes. [Full disclosure - I oversaw eMusic for around a year and a half, and must say that I wasn't personally responsible for any significant changes to the service offering during that time other than to insist on consolidating it on the same platform as MP3.com. The team at eMusic has done an amazing job with the least amount of resources for a real long time. This is meant as a post from a long time subscriber and fan. That said....]

When eMusic relaunched I spent a lot of time on the site, as I have always done since they have implemented the 40 downloads a month model. I don't know why it bugs me about subscription services, but I feel like I got cheated if my counter resets to 40 and I didn't get all 40 downloaded in a month. There are a lot of good underlying IP reasons for this as well as economic, which I understand given digital music history, but as a consumer it is the same reason I cancelled my pressplay/Napster account.

I overlook this annoyance for two main reasons. 1. eMusic gives me open MP3 files. Very cool. No problems moving files around, no device compatibility problems, etc. 2. It has an amazing catalog of music for music fiends. Almost every indie label of note has a deal with eMusic. Vitcory, Epitaph, Concord, etc. It isn't the service for everyone, but if you like your catalog specialized but deep, there is nothing like it.

So the new owners of eMusic made a major overhaul to the service and moved it yet another platform. Moving from one platform to another isn't a trivial task and it is key to building the future of where you want the product to go. I applaud them on that. In the process they have added a bunch of community features that I haven't really figured out yet. They also added editors which is a great concept for people exploring deep catalog. They added the editors at the same time that they got rid of the recommendation engine. Bad. This was my primary means of finding new interesting eMusic content.

I hadn't been to the site for a couple of weeks, but knew that before my renewal day that I would have to go download something, anything to get to my 40 tracks before they ding my credit card again. Then I got the email telling me about all the cool features. I was pumped. I went immediately to the site and knowing that the recommendation engine was gone that I would see a new article from my editor of choice. Not.

For future reference. Please update ALL the features before spamming everyone. It was kind of disappointing and I still don't know what new tracks to download of the 40 I get.

The bigger question I have for eMusic involves the market opportunity. I met with an acquaintance in New York and we talked a bit about eMusic. I told him that my theory with eMusic was that its THE best service out there for certain customers but that barring the addition of significantly more content, it may have reached the majority of that audience given the growth rates I saw. I hope I am wrong. I will give it a couple of more months to see if I keep the credit card treadmill running, or call it a day.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Triplet Update

I got sick over the weekend. When I left BloggerCon I had a real bad headache that over the weekend evolved into some low grade combination illness that isn't deadly, but really has cramped my ability to get stuff done when I should be really working hard. It kind of pisses me off. So what does this have to do with triplets?

I had a big time physical last week and our perinatologist and pediatrician both recommended that everyone in the house get a flu shot. I am sure you can see where this is going. So at the conclusion of the physical I get a tetanus shot, a flu shot, and a pneumonia vaccine. Tate, our two year old had the day previously come home from pre-school with hand, foot and mouth disease or as I call it hoof and mouth disease. I think that the shots combined with my son's amazing viral powers got me in this mess.

Last week at the long ultrasound all the babies are looking good, weighing 3.1 lbs and continue to develop quickly as triplets do. I am sure the triplet updates will increase as the day of reckoning approaches. For those if you who don't know, we DIDN"T use fertility drugs and it doesn't run in the family. I guess we are just lucky.....

Sunday, November 07, 2004

$250 Million Show #6 from BloggerCon

Posted show #6 here. Nothing about BloggerCon just recorded before and after. A little more impromptu for me but given the normal quality or lack therof of the commentary its a normal show. Had an email asking about the first band. The name is Appogee. Very cool country meets electronica from a guy who has done some cool Bright Eyes remixes. All the show credits for #5 and #6 later.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

BloggerCon III Law

The best for last? Loved hearing Lessig put the issues in context and seeing as he is at the forefront of the technology and content wars, there probably are none more aware of the issues large and small. Lots of Hank Barry as well. I meant to ask him and don't recall if the contributory copyright damages claim against Hummer Winblad was ever put to bed. I assume it was. That's a scary thought, because I funded Napster I get creamed. Ouch.

Had to bone out to do the airport thing, unfortunately missing the closing session, The Fat Man Sings. Hope to catch up on it through MP3 files later. All in all a very interesting day. Recorded a podcast before and after that I will throw up on the server, hopefully before my plane leaves. More afterthoughts later. Something about what happens when the most influential bloggers number in the thousands and a gathering like this doesn't work....

BloggerCon III Mobloging

Interesting discussions around moblogging / promise/examples/etc. It felt like the 'anguish', if I could be so free to describe it as such, is largely related to how many of us grapple with how it is different and the same as web blogging, etc. It seems to me that as more tools get into the hands of people to enable this concept of mobile blogging, it will become more clear what it is. I also think and the point was made repeatedly by a few, that there are many people for who the mobile device is their only method of connecting to the "Global WAN". These people will be too busy creating and consuming mobile originated content that they wont really have the time to engage us in a conversation of what is 'is'.

BloggerCon III Post Overload

This was a highly interactive session. I didn't really have much to add. I am not sure that it changed my perspective on overload. Read the right amount of stuff for me. Groom my lists periodically. Keep the time to as small as possible to fee satisfied. The fireworks around commercial speech with David was interesting. I didn't understand the polarized opinions I had heard mentioned elsewhere. I think Dave was right, and I am not blowing him, but HOW he was right was understandably off putting to many in the room.

BloggerCon III - Post Podcasting

The National Anthem - This Land is Your Land....Nice very Jib Jab.

Adam Curry did the first session on podcasting that was lively and interesting. My favorite part was towards the end when Hank Barry raised the issue of MP3 as a format, and Larry Lessig hinted at making podcasting impervious to lawsuit. I don't think a lot of people got it, but my previous post from two days ago echos what they were saying....

It was fun to get a quick word with Hank Barry afterwards as a kindred spirit in understanding the lawsuit issues.

Next Up Overload.

BloggerCon III - Post 1

Up early, heading off to grab some Starbucks and then settle in for a fun day at BloggerCon...More here later.

OK, back on. Latte over on University avenue. Crisp fall morning in Palo Alto. Kind of reminds me of when I worked here back in 1998-1999 at Sun Microsystems.

Got to Blogger Con very early. Decided to start Podcast of show #6 in the parking lot. Realized I never posted the link to show 5 which was an electronic version. Put in some commentary and then went in to register.

Here's where it got a little more difficult. It appears I was in the large group of people who didn't have their registration cards in the stack. Of course I panicked briefly as I had flow here from San Diego and not getting in, or not getting a good seat, would really suck. I got to meet Dave and explained that I was on the list. This was right after the guy ahead of me freaked out. Not cool. Patience, reason, usually works. They pulled up the list and realized that there were a large number of people in my situation, on the list, but not with a card. It could have something to do with the way the cards were sorted...by first name. That and I saw a guy walk out with a bunch of cards a little while later....Hmmmmm.

Oh well, so here I am set up on wifi and waiting for the show to start. Should be a blast. Saw a couple of people I know already, Stowe Boyd, Andy Abramson...More later.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Podcasting, Copyright, and Lessons from Digital music

Over the last couple of days I have been listening to some of Dave and Adam's podcasts and I must admit that I cringed a bit when I heard some familiar music and caught some comments about using BitTorrent to catch the West Wing.

Specifically this morning I listened to an IT Conversations with Dave from October 27th which was very cool and gave me a lot more insight into Dave than what I have gleaned from his blogs these few short months I have been reading it. He describes podcasting in awesome terms regarding the evolution of the technology, but fails to speak to the IP issues. (Not Internet Protocol :-) )

Podcasting, which I think is not what this ultimately is labeled, has a decision to make. The leaders of this 'movement' or however you want to describe this have two paths that I see. The first path is to savor the technical elegance of what they have created with RSS and enclosures and OPML, etc. and ignore the underlying copyright wars that have been fought since the time of the passage of the DMCA. Napster's solution was elegant. MyMP3 was elegant. We all recognize and bemoan the state of content vs. Technology as articulated by Lessig and others. If people insist on using copyrighted content, and talk of embracing the technology that the media companies despise in a flagrant way, this form of distribution/new media/ edge of the network content will be demonized, litigated and made an example of by the armies of lawyers that fight these battles daily.

The second path is to make this an attractive means of distribution for traditional media. You do that by building an audience. You do that by showcasing those artists and creators of content that embrace the new paradigm. You do that by pointing to useful uses of BitTorrent like software distribution that hold the technology out as being ultimately good replacements for the broadcast or physical alternatives. You do that by approaching the media companies and offering to work with them in innovative ways with their cooperation. I think Warner Music Group is a good example of that with MP3 blogs. You learn the lessons of previous litigation and understand where you are stepping on a landmine and where you aren't. At Mp3.com we weren't found guilty of allowing people to stream from lockers content that arguably may have Fair Use merit. We were found guilty of ripping the CDs and putting the files on servers. That hurts, and it doesn't really advance the argument over Fair Use. At least today.

I heard a comment about a podcaster getting an ASCAP license, which is very cool. But that isn't all that is required. The publishers will argue that a mechanical reproduction of their content requires a license and payment.

An alternative distribution platform, that is spearheaded by well known and intelligent people who can lead the direction of this technology/movement, will ultimately succeed or fail like so many other creative and technically brilliant ideas depending on the choices they make. I hope they show the promise of this technology and get the media companies to move towards us, not move us towards the courts.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

User Generated Content: Godcasters

I read Doc Searls article about the election. It's a great piece, but as a media obsessive, I thought that this article that he references is even more interesting.

This is not unlike Rhizome Radio or other forms of low power FM and AM radio. Very cool, independent of your politics. Inexpensive cost structure, hive like coordination, navigating the edge of administrative and legal definitions.

I believe that the edge of the network media distribution systems continue to find ways around the blockages and constraints of the system to deliver the message, much as TCP/IP was designed to support messaging after a nuclear war. (Ok so I take a little license without explanation)

The bad news is that traditional media will continue to use the resources at their disposal to stop the unfettered development of distribution systems that are not respectful of their current business models. The good news, not unlike the open source movement, is that there is strength in numbers and that the collective intelligence and effort of the edge of the network is a mighty powerful force.

One Vote at a Time / One Customer at a Time

Of course I was glued to the television last night until around 10:30 PM when I threw in the towel. I was doing the math in my head and couldn't figure out how they would get the votes from the provisional ballots to add up. The commentary all night was around the late results in Ohio and how they would close the gap. They did, but not in a meaningful way.

I have scanned a number of blogs today and have seen a lot of people wonder out loud how we could all collectively be so stupid? This makes me laugh. Of course all of us who didn't vote for Bush had strong feelings about why he shouldn't be re-elected, but so did the people who voted for him, and at last count there were 4,000,000 more of them than us.

Aside from the issues and motivations on both the left and the right, to me it really comes down to the challenge we face as well in business, we have to win our customers/voters one at a time. We have to not only get them to love our product/candidate but we have to get them to actually make a purchase/cast a vote. When you boil this night down in the coming days, the side that won was the side that managed to get their people out to vote. We all knew that there was great polarization, but we also knew it was a dead heat. When that happens, those who show up win. They did a masterful job of getting their side to show up. It truly is a meaningful reminder to me.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Religion and Politics

This morning I decided to take my son Tate to the polling place to vote with me. As we drove up to the polls I recalled that all of my early impressions of politics were shaped by my great grandmother Henrietta Castillo and my step-great grandfather Abel Sanchez. She was a very short, fair skinned lady who was the daughter of a Spanish minister. Her husband, who wasn't my blood great grandfather but had been married to her for decades before I was born, was a dark skinned Mexican-American from the area that had transferred to the United States in the Gadsen purchase, an area around Nogales and Tombstone Arizona.

I spent a lot of my childhood with them as my father was stationed overseas and my mother worked. They lived in the barrio around the Santa Fe switchyards in San Bernardino. They were the quintessential Grapes of Wrath people. They didn't have much, but worked hard, and were very impactful in my youth. When I was around 7 years old or so, they would sit down with me and show me all the voter information. They would talk to me about the issues, and would tell me all about politics through the eyes of die hard Roosevelt Democrats. Elections have always made me think of them, and I know that my eternal fascination with politics can be traced back to them.

Over time my politics have migrated from their influence from my campaign work in high school for a conservative Democratic Assemblyman from my hometown, to Green Party organizing work in the early 90s, to Jerry Brown volunteer in 92, to Clintonite Centrist Democrat today. I think that if you are exposed early to politics, its hard to break away from those early influences, much like religion. That's not to say that you don't renounce or move away from either, its more that it becomes a part of the things you think about and consider throughout your life.

It wasn't until later today that this fully occurred to me and I laughed to myself when I thought about Tate at the polling place. We walked in and showed our ID and I turned to him and asked him to tell the lady what we were going to do. He looked at her sheepishly and said 'Vote for John Kerry'.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Podcast Update

Will do Show #5 before I head to Palo Alto for Blogger Con. Show 5 will be electronic, hopefully a little Thievery Corporation like if I can find enough chill out music. We sent out an Acme email tonight so for those of you looking to links of the earlier shows, you can search the blog or click on the links below:

Show 1
Show 2
Show 3

Jess overlooking Tikal

Jess overlooking Tikal
Jess overlooking Tikal,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Looking out across the canopy at Tikal - Guatemala. It was like something out of Return of the Jedi. This photo was taken from one of the ledges from the highest point in Tikal.

Caracol - Belize

originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Taking it easy after a climb to the top of the highest pyramid in Caracol.

More Flickr Meets Belize

Ok, so a little more trying out Flickr and the pics will be done. Apparently the free account resets each calendar month so I put up more pictures today. I will cross post a couple and then get back to some serious political website surfing. The end is near!!!!!