Saturday, March 21, 2009

Springtime Anew

Darkness, blue-black, embraces all I see. Everything outside wall-and-window’s bounds blurred, buried within inky thickness; familiar now mystery. Robin’s call pierces, a gentle fanfare for spring. Sunlight slowly blues the black, each moment fades mystery; familiar rediscovered. Black fades, now semi-violet blue, change imperceptible. My eyes close briefly, patiently. Light’s change now clear. Slowly, gently births this day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Week

It’s been a rather rough week to get a post in. That saddens me, as I’ve not posted much lately and felt a desire to turn that around. I’ve learned a heck-of-a-lot this week, which I’ll write more about later (perhaps this weekend???). However, there’s something I’ve been meaning to write a bit more about: the “demise” of the Seattle PI.

I’m just tired of the word “demise”. Folks, it ain’t dead. The web version is still going strong. Actually, I think it’s quite well. Only the print version has been laid to rest. So, this is more like an amputation than a death. A key piece of the institution is gone, and the entity has undergone a seismic shift. On the other side of this coin, they have unloaded a relic. By removing this element, they should be freed to innovate. And they’ve set innovation up as a must. There’s no way back; it’s innovate or die. Considering the talent onboard, they can make it work. Management’s role needs to be facilitating the innovation. As long as they don’t get in the way, I think it’ll work, and work well. Good luck, folks! Knock ‘m dead!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Seattle PI

I'll let you read the article, but the gist is that the Seattle Post Intelligencer will be shutting down print operations after tomorrow's edition, ending a 146 year tradition. In the article, one of the copy editors, a Glenn Ericksen, asks "Who needs copy editors on the Web?" Well, Glenn, quite a few sites do. For publications like the PI to really make it as a professional web publication, they will desperately need copy editors. My believe is that news sites will need to maintain the highest standards in order to justify their readership. And failings will be far more magnified for them (just look at all the snarking about basic grammar errors on any major site). Thus, copy editors, and their kin, will have a place. Well, I hope for such.

As a long time subscriber to the PI, and a one-time paperboy for the publication, this is truly a sad moment. Watching their website evolve over the past few years, and seeing some of the talent they've brought on board recently, I believe this "paper" is one of the best positioned to do well in the new media order.

*Update: The PI's Executive Producer Michelle Nicolosi wrote a good piece describing the PI's efforts to be relevant in the new media world.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ads, and other annoyances

I’m convinced that someone in Geico's marketing department is friends with Rockwell and that whole campaign is a scheme to get the guy royalty bucks. Anyway, perhaps I’m not part of their core demographic, but this eyeball stalker thing is starting to annoy me. I might consider shifting to Allstate, as their ads assume I’m intelligent. Perhaps a rash assumption...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Slightly Behind Political Thoughts

Last week, as many of you are aware, Obama gave a speech to which the Republican Governor of Louisiana gave the official reply. The statement which gives me the most consternation is his condemnation of $14 million (though he gives the amount as $140 million) for volcano monitoring. Now, perhaps if you live in a place without such, you might be inclined to view this as pork (however, if you live in a state that depends heavily on federal hurricane monitoring, you'd think you might be more sympathetic). However, as someone who lives nearby several, I'm not amused, but Krugman's response sums up my views nicely.

Why is the Republican party so hell-bent on becoming the party of knee-jerk irrational though and stupid commentary? Time and time again Bush has worked hard to ensure any shred of respect I struggled to find was eroded. Then we had Palin, and now this (there are other pieces at play, too, but I don't want to get too long-winded). Once upon a time I was a Republican, mostly out of a believe in the importance of responsibility and public accountability. Though those values are still solid, the Republican party is not the place to find this. Nor is it the place to find public discourse of rational thought (start with RNC Chair Steele). What's saddest is that I can no longer support the few remaining rational Republicans out there, as the party's descent is too intractable.

iPhone & Blackberry Thoughts

I've been wondering these past few days whether the iPhone's huge array of applications will be THE driving force for it. Or, on the other side, whether the seeming dearth of them for the Blackberry might keep folks away. Will the average user be satisfied with a few key apps, or will they be swayed by the masses available for the iPhone? I'm not sure, myself. The main things keeping me away from the iPhone are the lack of a keyboard (I'm just not convinced that the touchscreen is that grand - know too many people who hate it) and not being able to swap out the battery.

For those put off by the price, here's an option for you: the Peek. A pretty basic device, but should really help move people into the mobile email space. If they allow apps to be developed it would be a solid game changer. We'll see.