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October 2007
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December 2007

November 2007

the future online privacy : conspiracy or reality?

Conspiracy theories THRIVE online.

But in every believable story lies a hint of truth.

And that is what terrifies me about the video below.

So you tell me?  Is this a massive conspiracy, or are we in the midst of a new and eminently trackable reality?  I think we're dealing with the latter.

And if everything we do is trackable, if we're willing to sign away our privacy rights for the ability to friend, poke, bite or zombify our friends, do we deserve any better? 

Whose job is it to look out for us when we ourselves don't care?

Fun Fridays

Please tell me you're not reading this on Black Friday.  You'd better be out shopping and consuming like a good little American.  Support the economy, buy stuff! 

But if you are home (I'm babysitting my 4 month old), check out this great Mr T spot.

I'm not sure what about this spot makes it so endearing, it may just be Mr T.  Who doesn't love that guy?

next steps : i don't want an HD YouTube

This may sound crazy, but stick with me.

YouTube is a mainstream indie.

It's fun because it works and feels like a start up.
The overall experience is like playing with somebody else's really fun contraption.

The empty design is part of the user gen centric YouTube experience.

  • I almost prefer the days before YouTube had the scrolling flashy videos at the top.
  • I don't like YouTube pages with a background, they don't feel like YouTube.
  • I like the occasional skipped frame or other hiccup in YouTube. 
  • I enjoy the occasional smudge, it makes everything feel real.

HD content would change everything.
Did you ever watch a VHS on a high def screen?  It looks like an old home video on a reel based projector.  High def streaming of video recorded on cellphones or standard def home cameras would make the content look horrible.  Today it looks grungy, grassroots, real. 

High Def is about immersion, professionals and enhanced realism, not UGC, not YouTube.

Redesigning or reconfiguring YouTube to look and feel like a professional site would be to destroy the entire YouTube culture.  I'm in favor of a YouTube successor, but not a replacement. 

If Google wants to launch ProTube, I'm all for it.  But PLEASE, don't take away my YouTube!

thanksgiving thoughts

What has your Mother done for you?

How do you say thanks for decades of care?

A basket of flowers just doesn't cut it.

My mom did EVERYTHING for me.  And I don't know how to say thanks.

When it comes to orders of infinite gratitude, word's can't express anything.  Words are limited. 

Words limit.  The Rabbis that codified the Jewish Prayer Service declared certain prayers to be "closed" to additions or emendations.  The thinking behind this "closing" is that - by adding to that which is already perfectly worded you can only subtract. 

I however, do not have the silver quill of a refined writer, nor do I have the clarity of expression of a poet.  I once expressed my feelings by writing music, but even music has it's limits.  There are some emotions, some feelings, that transcend everything.  No parent can describe their love for their child.  There are no words that can bottle that emotion.  There are some times that there is no real way to say thanks.

My uncle used to host our large family thanksgiving dinner.  The entire extended family would pile into his home every year, rain, snow, sleet or shine.  The men and the boys watched and played football.  The kids ran around messing up all my aunts beautifully laid out table arrangements.  To this day, I can still feel the rug burn we used to get butt-bump-racing down their shag carpeted stairs (ahh, the memories).  My uncle would invariably take FOREVER to carve the turkey, which in retrospect, gave us all an opportunity to enjoy our time together for a little longer. 

At the beginning of the Thanksgiving Meal,  my Uncle Al ("the kiddies pall!") would stand up (as I'm sure he will again today) and give thanks for everything he had to be thankful for. 
He spoke from the heart. 
He cried. 
We laughed. 

As a new father, I'm  beginning to appreciate everything he said.  To stand up in front of family and friends, to openly express your thanks to G-d for your wife, your family, your children, your parents, your relatives and your friends is an amazing experience.

Two years ago my parents retired and fulfilled their lifelong dream of moving to Israel.  While my father is still stateside regularly on business (he's not ready for retirement quite yet), I have not seen my mother since the birth of my son Ari this summer.  As the old saying goes - you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone.  These past two years have given me an opportunity to appreciate everything my parents put into me, everything my family has given me, everything I have been blessed with.

I don't know how to say thank you for everything.

I know that I will mess-up again in the foreseeable future; not calling often enough, not replying to emails soon enough, not being patient enough.  I will make mistakes that I will regret soon thereafter.  But for now, in the limited way that I can, I just want to say thanks. 

Thanks mom, for everything.

funny, but not something I would VOTE for

If there was ever a reason not to vote, not to take democracy or the democratic process seriously, this is it. (hey feed readers, video is after the jump)

I'm not saying this isn't funny, but there are some times that I don't want humor.  Choosing a leader in today's volatile day and age is one of those times. 

As ugly as politics may be, this just makes it all seem like a joke.  Sad, sad, sad.

part II: have you hugged a brand today?

A wise man once said "I get by with a little help from my friends."


Let's think about this:

We aren't friends with people because they help us get by.

They help us get by because they are our friends.

I am not friends with my shaver.
I am not friends with my breakfast cereal.
I am not friends with my car.
I am not friends with my mp3 player.

I will never be friends with any of the above.

I will interact with them when the interaction is fun, relevant or compelling TO ME.
I may experience emotions throughout these interactions.
These emotions may even prompt me to purchase, positively socialize, recommend or even promote a product or service.
But this doesn't make us friends.

People are friends with people.
Many people love and obsess over objects.
Nobody is friends with an object.

  • PEOPLE can be friends. 
  • SalesPEOPLE can be friends. 
  • No matter how smart or automated your system, people and objects or machines will never be friends.

How much HUMAN investment is YOUR BRAND willing to make in social media?