Netsquared Links

Netsquared 2007 conference prep links:

  1. Netsquared Conference Agenda
  2. Beth as always has a great round up post on Netsquared here.
  3. Daniel Ben Horin Podcast on the history of Netsquared on Tactical Philanthropy
  4. Kabissa on being chosen as a Net2 Featured Project.
    1. Nigeria – texting election observations
  5. Open Source Open Video Standards
  6. Peter Deitz Fund Raising Efforts
  7. Netsquared on Twitter
  8. Campaigning in Social Media

Typically at a conference I have to choose between a camera and my flickr profile, or blogging. We will see how this one goes. But the camera may win out by default given all of the live blogging that will already be going on. Backchannel anyone?

FH’s Next Great Thing – youth trend and marketing blog

Ya, I took the email link bait. From a Fleishman-Hillard blogger outreach email from Allison Mooney.

… the truth is, today’s media landscape is shifting too fast for even many bloggers to keep up with on their own. So NGT (Next Great Thing) is joining the fray with the launch of our youth trend and marketing blog,

I still get my daily TrendCentral Intelligence Report, but I welcome new relevant content. Just please please please be sure it is relevant.

Rebekka and Flickr on Deleted Photos

  meaningless selfportrait 
  Originally uploaded by _rebekka.

Stealing other people’s photography isn’t cool. When a UK outfit stole and sold some of Rebekka Gudleifsdóttir’s photos and sold them she asked for compensation. Being rebuffed, she then did a post on flickr explaining her frustration.

Extensive comments ensued including comments with more details on the company, Only Dreemin, that did the theft. Flickr felt these comments crossed the line and deleted the entire thread.

To have flickr delete the photo (comments on that) that discusses the issue was not a smart decision on the part of the folks running the flickr community.

I *do* understand that if Yahoo, the owners of flickr, felt that comments crossed a legal line that they had a right to remove those comments. But to delete the entire photo and thread was just poor decision making on their part.

Baby Boomer Waves Continue Through Pension Funds

I read. A lot. And one trend in economics that comes up over and over is the impact on the baby boomer generation in American society as well as the global economy. This is tough because you typically study the past to find patterns to predict the future. Well, baby boomers are unprecedented so lessons drawn are frequently one-time case studies. Case in point.

The number of companies with pensions has dropped. So I find it interesting that while companies are going bankrupt due to over zealous pension commitments and defaulting over to the tax payer, that on the other hand pension funds are being utilized for private equity buy outs. Like the private equity buyout of Chrysler by Cerberus. From the NYT article.

Private equity’s seemingly unstoppable wave has been fed in large part by the
pension funds of unionized workers. Big pension funds of public employees like
Calpers are among the biggest institutional investors in private equity firms,
and public pension money accounted for about a quarter of all new money raised
by private equity last year, according to the publication Private Equity

So if I am understanding this correctly, pension funds are being used to take public companies private and possibly reduce pension benefits. There is some irony in there I suspect. I also suspect that we don’t fully understand what is going on behind the scenes. I hope the Pension Review Board does.

The financial terms of the Daimler sale of Chrysler to Cerberus are here.

Dave Beck Article in

Self promotion alert: Dave Beck used an interview with me in his article in today’s article. From the article on web marketing:

Dave Beck: Web sites: Keep users in mind

…The Web site wasn’t the most pleasing to the eye, nor was it the most
sophisticated. But it worked. They got my business.

According to Web marketing expert Ed Schipul, owner of Houston-based Schipul
“” The Web Marketing Co
., there’s an important lesson to be learned here. Web
searchers and users functionally respond like introverts, concentrating on
themselves and what they need to buy.

"It’s not that information seekers are self-focused all the time, but rather
that while on the Web, users are on a mission," said Schipul, whose company has
designed sites for hundreds of businesses in energy, medical, industrial, arts
and entertainment, and education fields.

Emphasis added. Now, I don’t recall saying exactly that good web marketing could not be aesthetically pleasing, it is just that the aesthetics need to be secondary to functional results. Results are good.

Thanks Dave for the emails and phone calls regarding the article!

TetheredTo is Creating a New Medium like Lonelygirl15 did

Every once in a while you see an artist do something different. Stretch a medium so that it becomes a new medium. They create not only art, but a new art form that is a derivative of a prior (a priori?).

Two artists who are doing that in the world of social software right now are RoseAndOlive on flickr of Tethered To The Sun. (note – some images NSF.)

The photography is of course great. Of course, because it becomes apparent that some folks have an eye that the rest of us wish we had. But you don’t "look" at their photos. You experience them. From the photo itself. The wondering what they wrote as you wait to click through to their latest. To the ridiculously long tags on the photos that tell a whole nother story (yes "nother" is a word in Texas).

The comments quickly gather below any recent post. TetheredTo has 4536 friends on flickr. People value their time. You add Rose and Olive because you like their work. And it is NOT typical flickr. It is something else. Just like LonelyGirl15 was not typical youTube when they came out. So, what the heck is it?


Praxis … Lots of organization/association activity this week. Gave a talk for Reveille today. We have our Houston Netsquared meetup tonight. And our team just finished implementing Tendenci behind the RefreshHouston site (awesome design by Kelsey!)

Thinking about these groups at lunch yesterday the word "praxis" popped into my head which led me to type define:praxis on the trusty blackberry. The top definition of praxis result:

Praxis is a complex activity by which individuals
create culture and society
, and become critically conscious human
. Praxis comprises a cycle of action-reflection-action which is
central to liberatory education. Characteristics of praxis include
self-determination (as opposed to coercion), intentionality (as opposed
to reaction), creativity (as opposed to homogeneity), and rationality
(as opposed to chance).

Emphasis added by me. Building a social network requires praxis. As the definition states, this is a complex activity. It is tough to create an organization in a physical area like Houston, never mind watching clients like the National Pharmacy Technician Association build a virtual community of like minded pharmacy techs.

So to modify a line from The Road Less Traveled, Praxis is difficult.

Research2zero Tech Monthly on Second Life Economics

Reading this month’s Research2zero report. Page 7 had a few interesting statistics on Linden transactions in second life.

"…approximately 99% of the purchases made within the SL world are for less than $19.00. Major purchases (which we will categorize as greater than 100,000 Linden Dollars – known as L$ – or just over $375) have not picked up any momentum as of yet, making up just 0.03% of economic activity."

Which then reminded me of the book The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid.

Quote of the Day – Talent Management

“My point is not that “˜people are cool,’ “˜people are important.’ It is that “¦ “˜people’ (their talent, creativity, intellectual capital, entrepreneurial drive) is “¦ all the hell there is.“

– Tom Peters, Re-imagine! (found here)

Barack Obama Bullies Myspace Without Thinking it Through

It is almost funny when someone "thinks" they have the power to do X and it turns out that Y really controls the issue. In a fight over 50k ish, the Barack Obama campaign didn’t recognize that a guy with 160,000 politically interested friends on myspace qualifies as "major media."

The short version of the Barack Obama Bullying story is

  1. volunteer Joe Anthony creates and grows a myspace fan page for Barack Obama.
  2. when he announces for president they play along nicely.
  3. the campaign then wants control so they ask him to turn it over
  4. the volunteer says "I have been working on this for 3 years. it is worth about 50k"
  5. the campaign says "screw you" and has myspace yank the domain away from him.
  6. the campaign loses the 160k friends as part of the deal

Here is the wild card. The volunteer still "owns" his 160k friends. He can create a new domain called and restore them all there. Or a John Edwards fan page. My point is, pick your fights.

Politically this was a major misstep on the part of the Barack Obama campaign.

And it is a worrisome error, as our country is known for arrogant decisions like this. We must breed it into our politicians. At least this was a domestic political PR error and not a geopolitical act of bullying.

Security Through Obscurity is a Bad Idea

Digg, a popular social networking site where alpha geeks vote up or down stories, is having an issue today. Specifically the "users" are voting up stories that link to the codes to unlock HD-DVD videos. This code, no longer secure of course, allows people to copy the full resolution of purchased HD content. Once unlocked they can be shared across pirate bay or whatever.

So the codes are out there and digg needs to stop deleting content that mention them. What IS funny is that the top story on digg as I write this has a simple link to an image. A pretty picture. The picture at the top left. It only makes sense (to a geek) by also referencing this image which provides the translation.

Take aways? First – don’t fight a mob with censorship when they are busy copying and pasting content. You ain’t gonna win that battle. Second – rethink the whole "security through obscurity" idea. It doesn’t work long term.

For more on this particular story, try this post on Digg fights user revolt over HD-DVD ban. And a definite shout out to dsilverman for the twitter heads up!