Posts from June 2004

Balance in the Media

Jeff Jarvis has a long and angry post on Fahrenheit 9/11. I haven’t seen it. I am going tonite. I may blog it, but i won’t know if i want to until after i see it.

But what I want to know is why Jeff doesn’t blog every show that O’Reilly, Rush, or Hannity does. They do the exact same thing that Michael Moore does. Every day. And they have been doing that for years.

I may not agree with Moore and probably won’t. But i think its about time that the left is playing hardball at the same level that the right has been for years. Rush created the audience for Moore.

#Politics

A Ghost Is Born (Continued)

A Ghost Is Born came out yesterday. If you are a Wilco fan, then you must get this album. If you aren’t or you don’t know if you are, then I suggest you go get Rhapsody and listen to it, or download a few songs from iTunes.

My favorite songs are Hummingbird, Theologians, Company In My Back, and At Least That’s What You Said.

Thanks to the Internet, I’ve been listening to this album since April.

I dowloaded the entire record over the Internet in May.

I downloaded the tour opening concert via Bit Torrents in late May.

I bought two tickets to their show at Irving Plaza on eBay in early June.

And I downloaded that show via Bit Torrents two days later.

So I’ve been listening to this record for a while now. And it’s great.

If you are wondering, I bought the CD on Amazon yesterday. Just because I own it already in digital form, I still feel like I have to pay for it at some point. I just wish the record labels would get that fact that when its out, its out, and stop this silly game of holding it back. I think they are losing money by doing that.

#My Music

Truth and Transparency

You’ve heard me on this subject. My brother, aka Jackson, takes in a different, more political, direction.

I spent my morning catching up on A V/C, Fred Wilson’s blog, and he recently posted some thoughts on honesty in the business world, and the virtues that make a good V/C (Passion, honesty, integrity, leadership, and smarts ) and I would like to add that those qualities would serve well for any one in any field. A music producer would be well served by those traits, and so would a pizza delivery person. In a perfect world we could have a President with at least two of them. In this less than perfect world, it seems we have a President who posesses none. I stress honesty above the rest simply because it simplifies one’s life. If you never lie, you don’t ever have to remember anything you’ve said. Lies create complications, and only serve to diminish yourself in others eyes as well as ones own. The truth may be difficult in the moment, but once the moment has passed, you are free.

I disagree with Jackson. Our current President does possess at least two of them, leadership skills and passion. He may be smart as well. But I can’t be sure of that.

#Politics

Nationalism

I am not into isms.

I am certainly not into nationalism. It’s why the Olympics make me uneasy. All of us Americans waiving flags and cheering ours guys and gals against the Russians, Germans, etc just doesn’t do it for me. I am not saying its wrong to be nationalist. It’s just that I am not.

Looks like Jackson, aka my brother Ted, isn’t into nationalism either.

#Politics

Stuck In The City

This time of the year, the Gotham Gal takes the kids out to the beach and I get stuck in the city. It’s getting hot here and I am eating out because I can’t cook. It’s never been fun for me to be a bachelor, but now with blogging it’s worse. Because I have to read that my family is making and eating strawberry pies and muffins they made with fresh picked strawberries. I can almost smell them.

#Random Posts

Execution Matters, Ideas Don't

Back in 1999 my friend Phil told me about his brother in law’s idea to start a retail business providing eBay listing services.

The idea was simple, if you wanted to sell something on eBay, you’d drop it off at the store and they’d take care of the rest. The store would take a fee for providing the service and you’d get the stuff sold with no hassle.

It sounded like a good idea, but i didn’t have a lot of time on my hands for a new investment and showed it to my friends Ron and Jordan. They made a seed investment. The name of the company was EZSale (i found this out from a comment to this post). The story doesn’t end happily. The management team didn’t execute as well as they could have, the company ran out of money, and the investors pulled the plug on the deal. I am not close enough to supply any details, but that’s the gist of it.

So it was with some amazemant that I read Brad’s post about AuctionDrop today. Same exact idea. Better execution. Big winner.

That’s the venture business. It’s happened to me too.

#VC & Technology

People and Blogging Tools

Will Pate says that people are more important than tools. It’s a great post. Everyone should go read it.

But the point that Matt makes in his comment to my Blogging Tools Suck post or that Brad is making in the post about his wife Amy starting to blog is that the tools are inhibiting the average person from blogging.

The Gotham Gal’s been blogging since her birthday last October. She’s a good blogger. But there is so much she doesn’t have on her blog because she doesn’t know how or care to find out how to do it. That limits the conversation as Will Pate puts it. And that’s bad.

#VC & Technology

Blogging Tools Suck

It has to be said by someone and I haven’t heard anyone saying it.

I use TypePad. For everyday posting, it’s not bad. It’s been a bit slow for the past several months, but I attribute that to growing pains and scaling issues. That’s not terribly troubling to me. I figured they’ll get that part fixed soon enough.

What really sucks is the integration between TypePad (or any other hosted blogging platform) and the other services that bloggers need. Here is a list of things I’d like to be tightly integrated with my blogging platform whether its Typepad or anything else.

Google AdSense (or some other advertising service)
Google WebSearch (or some other site search/web search service)
Bloglet (or some other email subscription service)
Technorati (or some other service to see who is linking to my blog)
SiteMeter (or some other service that tells me how many visitors and page views I get)
Feedburner (or some other service that tells me who is reading my feed)

I’ve turned on a number of people to TypePad over the past couple months. Not because TypePad is great, but because it sucks less (as Brad Feld likes to say). Every single one of these people has immediately asked me how to do all or most of the above. To my knowledge, there isn’t a hosted blogging service that comes with any of this built in. Why not? I have no idea.

Even though the last one on my list is Feedburner integration, it’s at the top of my personal priority list for the following reason. I did not switch to Feedburner until I was about 9 months into this blogging thing. There are still a lot of people using my original Typepad feed and I have no idea who they are or what they are reading. I need that fixed. Please TypePad, integrate with Feedburner and let me redirect the feed to them. Then after you do that, go intergrate the rest of this stuff.

Now that Andrew Anker has joined TypePad, maybe he can help make this stuff happen. Someone has to.

#VC & Technology

Why Blog?

Matt Blumberg tells us why he has found blogging useful.

I like his first reason – Thinking
One of the best things publishing a blog has done has been to force me to spend a few minutes here and there thinking about issues I encounter in a more structured way and crystallizing my point of view on them. Invaluable, but mostly for me.

I have never thought about it that way, but that’s a big part of the attraction for me too.

Thanks Matt

#VC & Technology