I’ve been using my Xbox 360 as a media server in our house, but there have always been a few things that made it seem inferior. Based on buzz from folks I trust I’d played with alpha-software Boxee on my Mac a bit to see if it could be an alternative. Last week, Lifehacker ran a piece on using Boxee on an Apple TV. I’d thought for a while about building my own Linux machine to run Boxee, but I found myself at the mall last weekend, and consequently in the Apple store. Having not yet contributed to the Steve Jobs medical fund, I found myself ogling the Apple TV, which I’d originally eschewed in favor of the Xbox. But dammned if Boxee didn’t make it sound more viable; and damned if we didn’t have a big TV in the bedroom that would benefit from the Xbox. Keep Reading
I’m seeing an unhappy, but perhaps necessary trend in business relationships of late, one that may well be born of our troubling economic times. I can ‘splain best with an example:
Last year, Google approached my company about becoming an “Authorized Adwords Reseller.” The courtship, ramp-up and launch process was high-touch. We had lots of conference calls with lots of people. We had regular email correspondence with the support team– all real people with real names. Our business manager went to Mountain View for live training.
This week, we were unceremoniously dumped from the program via a canned email with no human being’s signature on it. I did get a response to my reply of complaint, but it came from the nameless, faceless, phone numberless “Google AdWords Reseller Team.” Keep Reading
Note: I’ve recently become a fan of the blog Stuff Journalists Like, a different twist on the style of blog started by Stuff White People Like. I submitted the following piece to them, and after more than a week of complete radio silence (during which they posted several other items), I inquired and got a polite response that they didn’t think it fit their vibe. So, I inflict it on you here:
#66: The Chinese Wall
“The Chinese Wall” is a construct by which journalists have long convinced themselves (and only themselves) that they are immune to the vagaries of advertising and corporate management. Referring to the Great Wall of China, it gives a sense of complete separation with the added bonus of sounding vaguely culturally insensitive when uttered in the patois of a crusty Lou Grant figure. It also avoids the even more problematic and provincial “church and state” analogy also used to describe the same phenomenon. Keep Reading
The old rule: You can’t cover something in which you are personally involved.
The new rule: Tell your readers how you are involved and how that’s shaped your reporting.
The old rule: You must present all sides of a story, being fair to each.
The new rule: Report the truth and debunk the lies.
The old rule: There must be a wall between advertising and editorial.
The new rule: Sell ads into ad space and report news in editorial space. And make sure to show the reader the difference.
Not saying there’s causality here, but interesting data nonetheless: Keep Reading
From one of my attorney friends, posted from Facebook with the name changed to protect the honest:
Saving the banking industry means saving banks.
Saving the auto industry means saving car makers.
Saving the free press does not mean saving newspapers.
News came this week that the National Archive added its first ever home movie: A film made in 1956 and edited in 1995 by a family that won a Scotch Tape contest with a prize of a trip to the newly-opened Disneyland.
It’s an engaging half-hour work and it strikes me how it presages the reality TV / YouTube era. Keep Reading
As best as I can tell, this just started today. When I clicked on a link posted by one of my friends (hey Chip!), the resulting page, which was on a WordPress blog, looked like this:
A couple notable items:
- The banner at the top is unobtrusive enough not to be annoying, but gives the option of bringing the conversation back to Facebook, where you’re more likely to know people and follow along — generating more FB pageviews.
- The URL on the page is a FB URL. I wonder how much havoc this creates with the visited site’s traffic logs?
- The banner stays until you hit the x or type a new URL. I’d like to see it go away after a couple clicks.
- We’ll implement something inspired by this for Our Little Business shortly after the holidays. We do a lot of linkout stories where people return to us for conversation and I think this encourages that without being too obtrusive.