Monday, December 19, 2005

Another Post on Wikipedia

Since I have written a couple posts on the topic of Wikipedia, I read with great interest an item from Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson. This journalist nails it. However, his blog is generally smart and on point, so it was of no surprise. There is an interesting dialogue going on following his post.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Dark Side of Blogging

I was driving home yesterday and began thinking about something. Now, this may get all you blogonuts riled, so proceed with caution. In the November issue of Inc. magazine, a writer named Jory Des Jardins did a piece titled "When Blogs go Bad." Sensing how touchy this story could be, I jumped onto Technorati yesterday and typed in her name. That little search led me to a post and subsequent discussion by Vaspers the Grate and Ms. Jardins. It got ugly...leading me to my drive time thoughts.

Back in college, when e-mail and AOL had really picked up steam, I was on a distribution list for a student organization. While the list started out as a nice way to share ideas, it quickly diminished into a forum for a handful of people to rant back and forth about a few isolated topics. What happened? The rest of us went away. We were busy with everything that makes up a college experience and didn't have time to listen to all that mess.

I've heard and read bloggers who talk about wanting others to "join the conversation." They site statistics about how influential blogging has become and that people and companies that don't join in will be left behind. I don't think they are wrong. However, with examples like the one cited above, I wonder if this whole thing will turn into something like that distribution list in college. A few people screaming at each other and the rest of the world somewhere else. We all are dealing with too much stress from work, family, etc. to deal with this kind of garbage. It's pointless.

I think true blogging doesn't have to be psuedo intellectual or elitist. Blogs are people's thoughts, and that can be anything from fun stuff they found on the web, to issues they have with companies, to insights on certain industries. Sure, we can all interact on these issues, and we're not going to always agree. However, does it have to be a shouting match. If anything could slow this train down, that's it.

Britannica Vs. Wikipedia

About a month ago I posted some thoughts on the media's growing use of Wikipedia as a source. This is an intriguing topic for me, and I think shows a growing connection between the main stream media and the blogosphere. Today I read a post on Boing Boing that mentioned a recent story on the accuracy of Wikipedia compared to the Encyclopedia Britannica. This study found that there wasn't a significant difference between the two sources since both contained errors. Very interesting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Celebrating Life

This past weekend, my wife and I went up to Indiana to celebrate my grandmother's funeral. Celebrate? Yes, for some people that might be an odd word to choose, but not so in this case. My grandmother was an amazing woman. From growing up on a farm where she learned an incredible work ethic, to being one of the first women to enter the radio market in northern Indiana, to raising a family of three kids by herself after my grandfather was tragically killed in a car accident (he was in his early thirties and their kids were all under seven years old). As I sat in the church and looked at the faces around the room, I could only wish that when I come to the end of my life that I will have accomplished half as much as she did. So, as my family gathered, we celebrated the life of someone who knew how to live and is now really learning how to live in the arms of her Lord.

Monday, December 12, 2005

MindComet Blog

Just got e-mailed the following news release. Interesting approach to a "corporate" blog. You have to check out the bathroom soundcheck! It is hilarious.

MindComet Team Members Waste Perfectly Good Cake Celebrating the Launch of Corporate Culture Blog Cakeplow.com

ORLANDO -- Get inside the cake-covered faces of MindComet's outrageous creative team as they spill their frustrations about life, office pastimes, and the low-down on MindComet's leading executives. Launched to release extra creative energy, Cakeplow.com is a corporate blog like no other. They've taken off their suits and ties, and traded them in for ripped jeans and sandals, letting clients see how things really go down.

The head-turning, scratch-your-head, can't-believe-they-just-went-there website is never disappointing, often inappropriate, and always addicting.

Think you know Paul Lewis, MindComet's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing? Think again. The quiet, well-organized, always studious brain of the company turned dancing machine, cigarette stealer, and advice-giving guru after a recent company cruise after party. Even he couldn't escape the lure of the posting on Cakeplow.com.

Looking to put in a request to hear your favorite song sung from the inside of the men's bathroom? Visit Cakeplow.com and check out MindComet's Viral Marketing Specialist's "Bathroom Sound Check." It's out there. It's outrageous. It's MindComet uncensored.

A simple, conservative corporate blog just wouldn't do the innovative, Relationship Marketing firm justice. "It's a great way to build stronger relationships with our clients and potential team members. The blog gives them an inside peek into our firm's culture and the people that make this place so special.

It demonstrates our passion for creativity and desire to communicate the unexpected," commented Ted Murphy, President and CEO of MindComet. "Since launching Cakeplow.com, traffic to our main site is up 20%, and the feedback has been nothing but positive. Cakeplow
demonstrates one of the many ways a corporate blog can positively impact a company's marketing effort."

Cakeplow.com is one of many blogs developed and maintained by MindComet on a variety of subjects. In September, MindComet launched their Internet marketing thought leadership Voodoo blogs, tackling subjects from email marketing to consumer generated media. All of MindComet's blogs are indexed at http://www.blogs.mindcomet.com which serves as the central hub for MindComet.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Coolest Light Display Ever!

You may have seen this already, but if not you have to check it out. This guy put together a house light display that synched with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Wizard in Winter." It is amazing!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Orlando Entertainment & Arts Venues

Recently, Bob O'Malley of O'Blog posted some thoughts and questions regarding Orlando's plans for a Performing Arts Center and upgrades to the Orlando Arena. You can see his post and read my response here. I also wanted to point out a very good post by Sun Sports writer Whit Watson on the topic of the Arena.

However, putting aside all talk of economic impact, I have a far more simple reason that I feel strongly about these projects. Down deep I would just love to have access to more arts and entertainment venues, and I believe there are other residents who agree. It is a quality of life issue for me. With that said, I'm tired of hearing loud voices scream the word "boondoggle" and "special interest." I don't see myself as a special interest. I support these projects as a resident.

I support them because I love living in a community that offers venues such as the Downtown Media Arts Center and the Orlando Museum of Art; I love being able to attend events such as Dickens by Candelight and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; and I love knowing that I live in a city that can support a professional sports team. These things make living in Orlando fun and exciting. I know that funding restrictions are a challenge. I accept that. However, much of the money that is being considered doesn't come from residents and yet residents like me would benefit. That seems like a win/win.

For now, I guess I'll just have to be content with my little sounding board here on the web. Others will probably drown me out, but I can sleep easier because I've said my piece on this. Thanks for letting me ramble on...
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