Scratch Visual Programming Language

Just was reminded about Scratch, a visual programming language helpful to teach programming.

          Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your
        own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share
        your creations on the web.

Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills.
      As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical
      and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process
      of design.

Scratch is available free of charge, go to Download.

Download scratch here.

Communities and Technologies Conference

  Rob Malda & Jeff Bates 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul

This week I am in Michigan for the 3rd International Communities and Technologies conference. In some ways I am definitely a fish out of water as this is an almost 100% academic crowd. In other ways I am learning.a.lot!

Hopefully lots of information transformed into articles on our main site or as blog posts here in the following weeks. For now, back to the sessions.

The photo is of Rob Malda & Jeff Bates, two of the original slashdotters. They presented on meta-moderation.

iPhone. No, this post has nothing to do with it, but EVERY other blogger is posting about the iPhone today and I wanted to sort-of-imitate the cool kids. Heh.

Larry Page Landing at Foo Camp

Originally uploaded by digitalfilmmaker

Foo camp. An invite only (nope, I am not there) event hosted by Tim O’Reilly. Thanks to twitter, I know this is a photo of Larry Page landing by helicopter at foo camp.

So there, something else to aspire to. The jones have a freakin’ helicopter.

Revenue Models for Online Book Sellers We Can Learn From

Most online business models are plain simple. Keeping it simple in fact is one determinant of success. So this post from the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference is just awesome! Incentives for knowledge, better economics for the publisher and a better experience for the visitors. Just great!

Here is a portion of Sarah Milstein‘s post on TOC Day 2:

(Bob Pritchett)…presentation on two unusual pricing models he uses.

The first is pre-publication subscriptions.
When Logos is trying to decide whether to do a book that’s on the
bubble profitability-wise, they post a page about it and let their
customers help decide. If enough people commit to buying the book,
Logos will publish it (they build a profit margin into the equation).
If a reader signs up early, s/he gets the book at a lower price than
those who sign up later. Even more interesting, readers do a lot of
marketing, because they have a direct interest in a book’s gaining
enough sign-ups. Bob said the system has saved the company from a few
potentially bad decisions, and it has rewarded them with a bunch of

The second model is community pricing. Bob described this system as a sort of a reverse
auction in which readers tell them how much they’ll pay for a book,
with a minimum price based on the number of people at that price Logos
would need to publish the book. The more people sign up, the less Logos
charges. Again, readers do a lot of marketing for them. For this model,
Bob included a couple of graphs with price-demand curves that showed
exactly the price at which he would make the most money. Astonishing.
(“Wouldn’t you love to have this data?“ he asked. Um, yes!)

On this topic, I am always on the lookout for ways our clients can structure their
business models. We get a lot of startups  as prospects where you are
thinking, but rarely say, "oh man, this newco ain’t never gonna survive
if they do that!" In practice we try to direct these folks to low cost methods so they can convince themselves and test their economics in a sand box so to speak. But entrepreneurs aren’t always easy to convince, so some just drift off. And that is for the best.

One rule of web economics I find I have to explain over and over is quite simple. You can’t give stuff away, build a community around it, and then suddenly start charging for that same service to those same people. They will rebel. Duh. You can add value and charge for the extras.  But if Google started charging for basic use of their search engine their would be chaos!

Video Publishing on Windows Recommendations

Video. We are all free and the new youTube nation, right? Um… no.

Recording and creating videos is still a real pain. Especially for newbies on Vista. In one experience last week Windows Movie Maker on Vista did a great job of letting a friend create a video. But you can’t yet post the (new?) wmv file format to youTube. So create? yes. Publish? no. Or maybe we just couldn’t figure it out.

From this post by Jon Udell in response to a question by Beth Kanter he uses the following tools:

  1. Camtasia – like Windows Movie Maker but exports in various formats with less hassle. A must have.
  2. Windows Media Encoder – free and few people know about it. Hard to use but it lets you screen capture on a local PC for integration into a video.

From our experience doing help videos for Tendenci, you pretty much have to go with Camtasia on a PC.

The Best Damn Public Relations Resource Slide Ever

This is the best damn public relations resource slide ever! OK, maybe not ever, but it is nonetheless very helpful in my opinion. On the down side, as someone who studies user interface design and usability, it is not fully self explanatory. I will work to improve it. But for now let me explain with words to help.

The slide is from a panel I was on at the Bulldog Repoter’s Media Relations Summit in Washington D.C. last week. Specifically this slide is about how to allocate resources in a Web 2.0 world where you must work with bloggers and the mainstream media at the same time.

The image is a series of screen shots from the buzzmap on shows stories geographically so you can look for blog posts in your neighborhood in Brooklyn or similar. In this case the circles represent the amount of story coverage. Gray is MSM and Orange is blog coverage. The overall size of a dot is the approximate amount of coverage.

(thanks for the help HK. More after the jump…)

Continue reading “The Best Damn Public Relations Resource Slide Ever”

Link Post

  Washington Monument 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul

Link Post:

  1. Ben on why Associations should NOT be on wikipedia (although overall he is for it). I agree, the culture on wikipedia is rough. We put a ton of energy into getting this amazing man into wikpedia and the community could have been more helpful IMHO)
  2. Google slammed for privacy and Battelle’s defense of google
  3. Rubel’s attention crash – and he has cut way back on blog posts since going to Edelman. Can’t blame him.
  4. Spin and ChrisPirillo making WAY too many reference to the interminably long Charlie the Unicorn goes to Candy Mountain youTube video. (9 Million + views! = earbug warning.)

The photo of the Washington Monument? No bearing on the link post, just a photo from my walk about in DC yesterday. Here as a speaker for the Bulldog Reporter Media Summit.

Netsquared Houston with Reggie Bibbs Next Tuesday

  Originally uploaded by Reggie Bibbs

Looking forward to Netsquared Houston next Tuesday. Our speaker is Reggie Bibbs. From Reggie’s Flickr:

Reggie Bibbs is on a quest to spread awareness of neurofibromatosis by going out into the community and attending large public events to get the word out about NF.

His is a grassroots campaign based on his commitment to the cause and incredible resources like the internet, Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, Vimeo and other viral messaging systems.

Reggie Bibbs and TX Neurofibromatosis Foundation chat with NetSquared Houston on Tue 12-Jun-07 7:00 PM

And a shout out to Lou at Stan and Lou Advertising for the introduction and for all of their work for NF.

When You Think of PR, Think of Kinko’s!?

From the HBJ, a kinkosesque PR solution for the SMB market.

Kinko’s-style PR store launches first branch in state

The first Washington branch of the national PRstore
chain wants to deliver one-stop public relations services to the masses.

The PRstore’s new franchise location near Seattle’s Northgate Mall is just
the first slated for the Puget Sound area. Franchise owner Deverick Martin,
forecasting a big market for inexpensive marketing help, wants to open 12 local
stores over the next five years.

The site is . Not sure if it will work, but for the right price it might. In fact, if I were Kinko’s I’d add some consultants to help people with more than the machines. But for the rest of us, PR will remain unchanged.

Maplight Wins 25K at N2Y2, Miro and Freecycle Place

  Maplight Wins 25K at N2Y2 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul

Congratulations to the Netsquared N2Y2 Award Winning Project # 1 Maplight.

Maplight "illuminates the
connection between money and politics." This photo is of Sean Tanner
accepting the award for 25K in grants from the N2Y2 conference.
Congratulations Sean.

Second place was won by Miro Democracy Player Project. You can download and start using Miro today so this is the real deal.

Third place went to the FreeCycle project. Freecycle
literally has millions of people signed up (3.5 m if I recall
correctly) and facilitates less stuff in the land fills by enabling
folks to swap.