Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to Google Me and win.

The web is a buzz with rumors and tails of Google's newest foray into social media- rumored to be called "google me". Everyone from The Huffington Post to Gizmodo to CNET and Fox News (really??!!)and the BusinessInsider are spreading the rumor. Speculation on Quoro is rampant. Everyone is talking about how it is going to be modeled after Facebook, involving the already pretty well ignored Google Profile page.
Let's face it, if you really love Facebook- you are not leaving. But there are plenty of people who really don't want all the games and apps and money-making annoyances.. they are just there because that is where everyone else is and the only place to find out what they are up to. Unless, of course, all of your friends are on Twitter.. or Flickr... or FriendFeed... or....

The truth is, where Google could make a huge win is modeling their new application into an experiment into virtual - non walled- social networking. What if theywere not being cute, but were being literal with the use of Google Me ( like this movie by Jim Killian in 20007 )

If you Google Me, here is what you get. Notice it contains information about me on Twitter, YouTube, GetGlue, 12Seconds, AmieStreet, geeks.parillo, this Blog, a defunct LiveJournal, and uStream- just on the first page of results. But this is not ( gasp) my only internet incarnation. Use other searches and you find information about me on Facebook, LinkedIn and various professional interactions.

{Google take note: What we do NOT want is an automagic mashing of all the connections and distant hooks about all of our information smashed all together to easily share with everyone. NOT. Repeat, This WILL get you sued. Kthanx }

But what if Google actually learned a lesson from Buzz? What if the infrastructure they are building is a giant permissions/authorization system that allows me to easily create groups, and easily assign contacts to one or more groups, and then to easily assign information feeds from and about me to different groups.And let me hook up all of those incarnations of myself to one big soup.. then let the permissions sort it out when viewed. I don't care if my family sees everything (well, OK maybe not my zivity feeds...), but my work contacts do not need to see my silly family stuff on Facebook, nor my personal Twitter feed. Make this infinitely tuneable and fine- grainable ( gamer friends? semantics fans?) and I promise you a geek-gasm. Better yet, allow me to set group level permissions to certain groups, then semantically tag all that info and allow people who subscribe to me set the tags/keywords they are interested in. A colleague, but only want to see my tech reviews? A friend, but interested in both kids and drinking stories from twitter? A family member, but only want tweet and facebook feeds about family, not about tech? My mind starts to whirl and I realize the potential geek-gasm could be earth shaking. I have seen the future and I want it. ( if it turns out this is NOT what Google is doing with Google Me, could someone else build it for me, please??)

No longer would people have to join the same network I am on to see what I am doing or saying... all they have to do is subscribe to my feed and I decide which permissions they are allowed.

Now how long before all those other social media sites stop making their pages searchable??

Friday, June 18, 2010

and continued shining into the night....

We got a bit of rain..

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Funny Kind of Brotherhood

We were standing out in the back lot of RadioRadio, and Peter Rinaldi was keeping an eye on the generator repair on the oneEskimO tour bus to see if the power was going to be back on. "We have been back and forth across the country several times during this past year of being here", he explained, "and we have started to figure out places we like to be or go in each city- including where the Whole Foods stores are. We just went shopping this afternoon and got food to last us the next couple of days- and now the generator went out." This happened to them at least once before, and they lost the entire contents of the tour bus fridge, so he was relieved when their driver was able to make repairs. ( Guys, I am starting to think that you could cut a product placement deal with Whole Foods- an onstage thanks for feeding us and a link from your website... for free or reduced price groceries along the road...Heck, maybe even a record signing in a Whole Foods store?? ;-0 )

Peter returned back to my question. After reading their blog entry on the origin of encores, and knowing that in some part of their brain they thought they were silly, I wondered how and when they decided to go back on for an encore as they had tonight. "We don't often do encores, but when we do it is different every time- then you have to wonder, did we wait too long-- have they [the audience] lost interest? do they really want an encore or are they just being polite?". I for one, was glad they had done the encore tonight... I was just not ready for the dreamy trip that the concert had been to be over.

( their encore number)

Talk turned to life on the road and being away from home for a year now. "Last summer, we were touring with Tori Amos, and that was amazing. We did not want to leave that tour- we got treated very nicely. We had a bus and everything. After that, we were traveling in a series of 15 passenger vans with all of our stuff piled on the top and me driving. It is hard, you do a gig, then you have to drive for hours, get to a little hotel somewhere crash for a few hours and then get up and do interviews. We are really glad people want to have us- the opportunity is amazing. Growing up in a small town outside of Perth, I never would have dreamed that I would be here. Places like this were just places in the movies. What people don't realize is that we play for an hour or so every night, and that is the easy part- that's what we all love, that is why we are here. Then the other 23 hours you are living in really close quarters with 6 guys- who don't always have all the best habits. We are lucky that we all get on really well. It's a funny kind of brotherhood, really. We all understand each other and when you are having a bad day and just need some space the other people can read you-- you don't have to tell them to leave you alone. That makes it much easier." I asked if it was nice to be back on a bus and getting some sleep again. "The bus is great, because you have your own little space, and you have a driver so you get mo-re rest, which helps. But we are also dependent on the venue for showers. Some venues have showers, some don't. This was a no shower venue- and then we woke up this morning and had a TV interview to do. Some days are just like that."

They may not have had a shower, but they were still looking great during the concert. I streamed some of it live on my Evo via uStream and you can see the recordings.

Fans new and old will be glad to hear that they are working on new music while they tour. "It's hard, while you are touring, but we are doing as much as we can. We have been living with this music for a long time. The first single is just out, and we are glad to have that success. We are also ready to start thinking about something new." As we talked about the animation of the album ( available on iTunes), Peter commented that everyone is asking what will be next. "We don't know what we will do next, but it will be something different, not just more of the same." I am sure that whatever they do, it will be completely amazing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

OneEskimO show

In just a couple of hours, I will be at radioradio for the oneEskimO show, courtesy of One2One networks.

The show starts at 9PM EDT, and if all goes well, you can follow long here live on ustream from my evo.

See you there.

Apple's Parenting Habits Breed Incompetent Kids

There is nothing more frustrating than having some pretty good brains in a room beating around an interesting idea and then stopping a hair short of the truth and leaving it hanging in either conspiracy theory or coincidence.

It was so frustrating this morning that I found myself yelling at my radio as the podcast played ( good thing 26 was quiet and nearly empty this morning). I was listening to the most recent "Cranky Geeks" episode, and they were discussing Rob Enderle's article ( Rob was on the show, btw) about how it seemed an odd almost conspiracy that ex-Apple employees were causing the ruin of many Apple competitors. He calls it Apple's Fifth Column with a bit of tongue in cheek. He does end the column with the observation that this is most likely not true, but just a case of companies needing someone in charge to keep them from doing stupid things. In the show discussion, Rik Myslewski points out that this is generally the CEO.Although Adam Curry is pushing for conspiracy theories ( of course-- and I say that lovingly, I enjoy NoAgenda, btw) The discussion ends in chuckles and they move on before they get to the important analysis.

The truth is, in most really large companies, smart, proficient CEOs surround themselves with executives and charge those executives to fill top management positions with people who are good at making decisions. In most large companies, there are too many ( and perhaps too disparate or too complex) decisions that need to be made for a single person to have control of all of them. You need bright, independently thinking, creative, insightful execs who are good at business- even if it is a tech company- to stay at the front of the pack once you hit a certain size.

Apple does not do this. Steve surrounds himself with technically great people who will do what he tells them too without too much argument, and does not care if they understand why. It always feels ( from the outside) like he runs the company like a helicopter parent. The people following his directions are smart and from the outside appear brilliant, get hired by other companies hungry for Apple brilliance- and they fail-- often spectacularly, as Rob points out in his article- as they try to repeat some of the things they saw Steve doing, but never really understood.

A good company, like a good parent, helps its employees "grow-up" to the best of their capabilities. This sometimes means giving people the chance to make mistakes, the chance to fail and putting more energy into it than if you had just done it yourself-- much like teaching your kid how to do laundry. Companies who just do the laundry for their employees because it is easier and safer that way end up with employees like those college kids who ruin entire wardrobes their first week at college because they have no clue what they are doing.

John? Next time-- push discussions like this all the way to their natural end--- the conclusions are much more interesting than conspiracy or Occam's Razor.

Monday, June 7, 2010

HTC Evo Photo comparison

I have been playing around with the back camera ( 8 Megapixel, dual flash) on my Evo. So far, I have been pretty impressed with what it can do, considering it is a cell phone camera. Low light is a challenge, but the flash does well for objects not too far away. Shade gives a little focal issue,
From Drop Box
but it is so much better than the camera on my BB ( which got used a LOT) that I am stunned and more than pleased. Our household camera is a Kodak Z950, which is a good little all purpose point and shoot for us. the other night, we were goofing around on the deck, waiting for a storm to roll in and so I decided to do some side by side shoots for comparison. All of the pictures are untouched.

This is the shot from the Kodak, no flash at all from across the deck toward the fireplace under construction. You can see it was pretty dark out.
From DeckStormPics

The Evo with Flash manages to light up the area pretty well, but the flash causes some pretty bad washout.

From EvoDeckStormPics

Flash on the Kodak caused less washout.
From DeckStormPics

Rearranging the lantern the boys had inside the fireplace gave better clarity with the Evo,
From EvoDeckStormPics
and even gave pretty good results when zoomed all the way in as far as the Evo could:
From EvoDeckStormPics

The Zoom on the Evo still can not touch that of the Kodak ( no surprise), so it will not be completely replacing our family camera.

From DeckStormPics

I was pleasantly surprised that the Evo did not give me a complete blur when I shot the boys climbing out of the fireplace from across the deck with only the flash:

From EvoDeckStormPics

All in all, don't be surprised to see me whip out my cell phone and grab a quick pic.

[video test and review soon to follow]

One Eskimo Frenzy

I have to be honest, I had never heard of One Eskimo when I got the offer to review their album for One2One. But I clicked through the link, watched the "Kandi" video and was intrigued. Then they gave away Mother's Day Downloads of "Amazing" for free. That was the song that hooked me. I like it so much, on a whim I sent one to my mom as well. She is no spring chicken, but immediately asked for more. When the album got here, it got downloaded onto the household music center iPod, and my teenaged daughters have been grooving on it as well. A three generational crowd pleaser is always a hit in my books!. A light pop/soul blend ( 'it's kinda 70's', my mom said) this is a great pick me up, but has lyrics that are way more than bubblegum. I love this TV Guide interview ( ugh.. TV Guide,sorry) where they talk about the passion for writing music and how they mix audio and visual into an experience. if you are lucky enough to see them live this summer when they tour, please please share and let us know if it is as cool as it sounds ( besides, who can resist that gorgeous British accent?? ;-) )

You can still get a free copy of Astronauts by sharing a Tweet: Free Download of “Astronauts” via Twitter:, or just check out their YouTube channel and if you want to join us in the groove- splurge for the deluxe version of the album on iTunes.

I have to run into the city tomorrow with my daughter and this album will absolutely be on the playlist. OneEskimo will stay one of my summer fav's for 2010.