Daily Life

As a presenter at the annual conference (DreamForce ’09) I was given a $100 gift card for , an organization that uses the web to match donors with projects in schools that require funding. From the project that I chose:

“Help me teach the language to my preschoolers! I teach public preschool in an inner city. I have 30 students ranging in age from 3 to 5 years old, 33% are special education students. Eighty percent of my students are Non-English speaking and come from low income families.”

“In order for my students to enjoy and discover a variety of music and literature, it is important to have a listening center. The listening center will allow a group of children to put on head phones and hear the phonetics of the language while at the same time listen to wonderful stories. Audio books provide students an alternative way to acquire knowledge and allow interactive learning to take place.”

You can read the rest of the info on this project here.

I thought this project was a good fit considering that I make my living in communications. A few weeks later I got a full size 8.5 x 11 envelope came in the mail. It had been a long day and I grumbled about being asked for more money (as I tend to get 2 or 3 DM solicitations a week – thanks for all the return addresses guys, I’ll never use them all), but when I opened the envelope it was a wonderful surprise – a thank you letter from the teacher, letters from the students and some photographs of the kids using the listening station.

I was really impressed with the service and the program, if you are looking for a place to make a charitable donation, DonorsChoose is worth checking out. I have to thank Brian from Salesforce and the guys at Manticore for their help with DreamForce.

Here’s one of the thank you letters from the kids:

Brain Buster

QR Campaigns

I was in a discussion about QR (Quick Response – which are two dimensional barcodes), and was told about baseball cards using this data to generate 3D images. You hold the card up to your webcam, and on the screen you get an image.

Some stats here, and links to campaigns by Ford and Pepsi and more info, as usual, at wikipedia


I had seen the same thing with Mini Cooper a few months back, I think there will be a lot of interesting stuff on this front:


Brain Buster Prognostication

Social Media Lies – Like Trackbacks are Good

Clay Shirky has written a great post about newspapers and the future of journalism.

The other thing that struck me about this post was the number of worthless trackbacks. I’ve started to look at blogs along a spectrum where the degree of interactivity is inversely related to the popularity of the author/blog owner (which, for the larger ones may be corporations or the former dead tree vendors Mr. Shirky is talking about).

The blog starts with everything open, although by default now you have to have some spam protection on. If you reach critical mass you start to have comments that deride you personally, are generally crude, or caricatures of humanity, usually submitted anonymously, and so the comments get shut off in favor of trackbacks.

The acceleration continues and then the trackbacks get too spammy so they have to go too.

The underlying issue is that it doesn’t scale as well when you hit explosive growth. Something I need to think about some more…

Fanboy Geek Stuff

Playing with the Kindle

I was messing around last night trying to see what a Kindle graphic novel might look like:

This really didn’t work, I had the PDF from a DVD that Marvel used to sell, but the two page spread is too much for the small screen to take. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get a bigger, color screen, but I do worry about what it means for guys like this.

Geek Stuff Prognostication

TiVo using Bonjour

This will only be of interest to the most hardcore video geeks (perhaps only half of the readers here). I just upgraded to the latest version of TivoToGo – the program that gets TV shows off my TiVo and on to my PC, and then converts them to a format that I can watch on my PSP (or iPod, but I don’t do that anymore) and it’s all legal. Or at least, I’m using a tool I bought from TiVo not downloaded from some weird server in some Eastern Bloc country.

The interesting thing is that version 2.7 uses Bonjour, some software that is also used in iTunes to detect what media players are out on your network.

Apple and TiVo seems like a really nice fit, don’t you think?

SEO and Paid Search

Google Aligns Itself with Big Brands?

This is one of the most interesting and well written articles on SEO that I have seen in a while:

Aaron Wall on Google and Branding

Not only does it cover current events but also has some history of the game.

Daily Life

Best Served Cold

So I’ve had a couple of emails about discount codes and the like for the Web 2.0 Show, March, in San Francisco.

If I remember correctly this is the show that I wasn’t cool enough to attend a few years back.

I’ve already got another event on the calendar, but if you guys comp me a pass I’ll see what I can do.