Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Things That Are Upcoming

First, let's see how I did with last month's Things That Are Upcoming:

* Shamrockfest: Yes. It was cold and wet. I still have to write about it.

* Transparency Camp: No. I just plain bagged on Saturday, and went to the Tidal Basin on Sunday.

* BMRC at the 9:30 Club: No. The show had sold out, plus it was on the night of the NCAA Men's Championship Final.

* Hot Lava at the Black Cat: No. I should have gone, though.

* Hirshhorn After Hours: Pending (tomorrow night). Got my ticket and everything.

Moving on...

* Saturday, April 10: 2010 MilBlog Conference [Sold out, LiveStream will be viewable here] -- I had been thinking about going; I last went in... 2007? Moot now.

* Tuesday, April 13, 5:30-10pm: A blogger Happy Hour. I thought it was all Leon, but it looks like it's not. He mentions an Adams Morgan parking secret (well, if you have to pay it's not really a secret), which I actually have passed during other fruitless searches for parking.

* FXA Kickball starts next week-ish.

* Saturday, April 17: PrivacyCampDC -- I've signed up.

* Wednesday, April 14: Fol Chen at the Rock and Roll Hotel. I almost definitely can't make it, as my Wednesdays are now booked for the next 2 months (will talk about it later).

* Sunday, April 18: Apples in Stereo at Rock and Roll Hotel. I should probably buy a ticket.

* Friday, April 23: Cowboy Junkies at The State Theatre. I bought my ticket. Haven't seen them up here in a few years.

* Saturday, May 1: The Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race: Have I mentioned I haven't done up my video from last year? Why yes, I have.

* Wednesday, May 5: OK Go at the 9:30 Club. Those darn Wednesdays again. Maybe I can schedule around it -- be surprised if they don't sell out, they're pretty popular with the crazy videos and whatnot. (I remember seeing them open for The Donnas at the 9:30.)

* Friday, May 7: Herndon Friday Night Live kicks off the season.

* Saturday, May 15 (and Sunday, too): The Joint Service Open House and Air Show at Andrews Air Force Base. It's free, but it's kind of a hassle, with the buses and the security checkpoint and the hey laaaaaady.

* Thursday, May 20 is TEDxPotomac. I've been on the mailing list since the beginning, though I haven't done nothing. I should probably go.

* Friday, May 28, Jazz in the Garden starts

* Sunday, June 6 (D-Day), the Washington Post Hunt.

There, that oughta hold you little bastards.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Things That Are Upcoming: Blog Potomac, Puppini Sisters and More

Okay, so I've been slack on any number of things this week. Here are a few things of interest coming up in the near future:

* Tomorrow, Friday, June 13: The Blog Potomac Conference at the State Theatre in Falls Church. I'm looking forward to it, even if I bagged the dinner after the Social Media Club DC event for the book Now Is Gone.

(I like blathering about social media and online community as much as the next social media and online community consultant, and there were a few folks I genuinely enjoy seeing. So why did I bag? For some reason, the thought of hearing and saying more blather about social media and online community -- even my own -- made me seriously consider throwing myself out the plate glass window on the second floor of the Clarendon Barnes and Noble.

Instead, I ended up browsing briefly through Eastern Mountain Sports, the Apple Store, and the CD Cellar -- where I, yet again, bought a CD I already own -- and had dinner at the East-West Grill before going home.)

* Sunday, June 15: The Puppini Sisters play Birchmere. As previously noted. Not sure how definite this is. (Well, for me -- I'm sure they'll be playing.)

* Wednesday, June 18: As with every third Wednesday, come to RFD in DC (right across from the Verizon Center) for the monthly Washington Blogger Meetup. Remember, there is wifi available, so bring a laptop if you're interested in starting a blog or spiffing up your existing blog (the members of the Washington Blogger Meetup cannot be held responsible for any damages incurred to your blog. Especially since alcohol may will be involved.)

(Incidentally, it appears that Meetup has redesigned. It seems a bit friendlier. Definitely more 2.0ish.)

* Friday, June 20 is another Hirshhorn After Hours. Trust me: If you're interested in going, get your tickets in advance. I keep saying I'll do an entry explaining why you want to do this -- and I may. Eventually.

* Wednesday, June 25 is the Web Content Mavens June meeting, also at RFD. This month's topic seems pretty interesting, though I have a conflict.

* Thursday, June 26 is the inaugural event for the DC Design Babes at Cafe Citron in Dupont Circle. Hey, since my (real) purpose for going to DC-area tech events is to meet girls (I'm really bad at it, which is why I just end up networking), I'm there.

After that: Independence Day. Then, onward to the sweet embrace of death.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, November 05, 2007

Monday Thus Far

* Returning to Standard Time, Effects of: Yeah, an extra hour of sleep. That'll help.

I seem to have been running on Pacific Time for the past few months, anyway.

* Robo-quotable: A source tells me that my robocall entry was quoted in the print version of the DC Express today. I was expecting this, partly because of the subject, but mostly because my referrers showed a hit from the DC Blogs live feed, originating from wpni.com (Washington Post Newsweek Interactive), which is one of the work domains for the Post.

I took a look at the PDF -- above the fold, very nice.

* Quitting unemployment is called "getting a job."

* Not Going to Vegas (Baby): The inaugural BlogWorld & New Media Expo happens this week in Vegas. Back when I was employed, I had been planning on going to this, since it was always nice when the company paid the freight for the blogging boondoggle/junket/networking opportunities.

After you go to a couple, though, you realize what a racket they are -- the same speakers; the same marketing blogging consultants pitching themselves, their blogs, and their books; the same blog backscratching and circle-jerking.

I'm not the only one to notice this

Not saying they aren't fun, or that they can't be useful or interesting. It's still a huge racket, though, and I'm not going to go on my own dime right now.

* Lastly: I just got my copy of Leopard and I need to get food and coffee. Except Blogger keeps hanging when I try to publish. Argh.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Future of News Industry Jobs Conference: Session 1

As previously threatened, I'm at the Future of News Industry Jobs Conference, at the University of Maryland. Getting to College Park was less of a hassle than I feared, so I got there just on time.

Now, I have no journalism experience, but I'm interested in online media in general and social media in particular.

There are a lot of newspaper folks here; some of them are visibly uncomfortable with the whole online thing. (This is not unfamiliar to me -- I was working with a lot of product folks who were uncomfortable with the whole social media/public communciation thing). There's a lot of anxiety evident, especially among the union folks.

The first session really demonstrated this anxiety -- "Industry Upheavals and the Effects on News Workers," where John Newhagen of the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism presented a survey of newspaper industry people (reporters, ad folks, circulation, etc) and their attitudes towards the future of the industry.

* 73% respondents were not sure or did not think they will be working for a newspaper in 5 years. It evidenced a nostalgic view of the past, pessimism towards the future.
* A slide on attitudes about the importance of software tools (Google, spellcheck, Photoshop, Video [Avid]) and hardware tools (PC, Cell, Digital Cameras, Digital Video)
* A high percentage of people responding to questions about layoffs of people doing the same jobs as them.

Panel reactions varied. Linda Foley of the Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America was mostly defensive spin (e.g. high proportion of responders with low work-related Web usage [c. 1 hr/week day -- Correction: I was quoting someone else, who was incorrect; I later spoke to John Newhagen and saw the survey slides] meant that reporters were out in the community, not deskbound

Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism gave a contrarian view, where the question isn't (or shouldn't be) "will you still be in your job at the newspaper" but "will you still be doing journalism" (in whatever form)

Liza Gross of the Miami Herald and Int'l Women's Media Foundation had the best points and anecdotes. She noted that the fears & anxieties of int'l newsroom workers were similar to those presented in the survey and that layoff/outsourcing fears were greater in older (35+) workers.

* Sound bite: "Generally speaking, we journalists are not models of time management." She gave an example of designer using a "proportion wheel" (I had to look it up -- it's basically a slide-rule for resizing images -- talk about not adapting to "new" technology)

* Some journalists simply fear losing status or voice, especially where "voice" is equated with "length"-- the sheer number of words printed (vs. integrating graphics, photos, video); the same types of folks exhibit discomfort with interactivity, citizen/public journalism -- problem of mindset and the way journalists see themselves.

* Looking at changes in newsroom piecemeal leads to lack of clarity

* Rush to hyperlocal news (local-local-local) -- won't solve all ills, may not work for everyone

* Newspeople can get lost in academic issues (she shared a story of a days-long discussion at a European paper whether editors should use the computer mouse, or if that was a role for a blue-collar worker -- I'm hoping it was an old ancecdote)

Bruce Shapiro from the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma had a few points, but they were basically irrelevant to the session.

From the QA, a few points to pull out:

* The role of technical training -- people want it, say they don't get it, then often don't take it when it's offered.
* A Reuters writer told of being asked to do video, audio, photo (typically other union roles), and brought up the question of quality and time.
* The session videographer closed it out by saying: Let the kids teach. It kind of raises an interesting question -- if there's the idea of mentorship and apprenticeship by more-experienced journalists, why not have mentorship and apprenticeship by folks who are experienced with the new technologies and tools?

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Don't Consider Myself a Web Content Maven

Went to the Web Content Mavens Meetup last night at Whitlow's. I got there late, since it took an hour to get from Reston to Arlington -- 66 was a big hassle (shocker), though the main presentation hadn't been going on that long.

The speaker was Lisa Welchman, and the topic was Web Operations Management strategies. She had a very simple handout, with four points: Strategy, Operations, Governance, and Community. Even I, a simple end-user, could follow it pretty well. And as a typical end-user, I'm usually on the "why can't we just do this now?" side of things, but it was still pretty engaging -- especially the bit about needing content policies in place. (I did think her answer to the problem of managing user-generated content didn't really cover it -- simply not giving user content an "official" stamp of authority may cover you from a common-carrier perspective, but there are just certain things you need to act on, not the least of which if you want to have a viable and useful community.)

Did a little networking -- right now I'm still x-ing out my old business cards and writing my contact info on the back, which is pretty cheesy. I'll need to get some simple ones put together soon.

Afterwards, hung out in the bar with a few folks. It was some good conversation.

Tonight (now, as a matter of fact) is the NextDC Happy Hour; I'll see what the traffic's like and head in. However, I do have to be up early tomorrow morning and over at College Park (yay, morning rush on the Beltway) for the Future of News Industry Jobs conference, so I dunno. Too soon to tell.

Labels: , ,