Joho the Blog » 2004 » June

June 30, 2004

What’s wrong with accountability?

Frankly, I never felt comfortable with being held accountable, and not just because I am a cowardly slacker….

More at Worthwhile Mag

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Global PR Blog Week

The Global PR Blog Week site says it’s:

an online event that will engage PR, marketing and business bloggers from around the globe in a discussion about blogging and communications. The event is scheduled for July 12 – 16, 2004.

Here’s the program. Jay Rosen and Dan Gillmor are both being interviewed as part of it.

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Whoa! Back up!

From the AP:

Washington — The Bush administration is offering a novel reason for denying a request seeking the Justice Department’s database on foreign lobbyists: Copying the information would bring down the computer system.

“Implementing such a request risks a crash that cannot be fixed and could result in a major loss of data, which would be devastating,” wrote Thomas J. McIntyre, chief in the Justice Department’s office for information requests.

So, does this mean that the Justice Department doesn’t have a backup of that database? Talk about the potential for a devastating loss of data!

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Dinner with Doc

Doc came over for dinner a couple of nights ago. We came up with a killer plan for spam, found a way to enable file sharing while ensuring fair compensation for artists, and whiteboarded the single epithet that ensures the defeat of Bush in 2004.

Unfortunately, the dinner was off-blog, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Doc Searls in our living room.
Doc on the verge of Solving All Problems

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June 29, 2004

My bric a brac dream

I dreamt last night that I realized that “bric a brac” spelled backwards is “CARB A CRIB” (ok, so my dreams don’t go into reverse very smoothly) and then spent what felt like an hour of dream time trying to come up with situations where one could sensibly utter such a statement.

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Apparently, I joined Plaxo.

I received a surprise email from Plaxo today, updating me on the status of my account. I’d forgotten I’d once joined, in the spirit of adventure.

So, I went to the Plaxo site where they’ve prominently posted reassuring information about their privacy policy. I found where I can opt out of receiving update requests, although it results in the following almost-funny error message:

The e-mail address you are trying to opt-out from (self@evident.com) has already been claimed by another user (possibly you). You will not be able to opt-out at this time.

(A search of their knowledge base turns up this page with information about quitting.)

Plaxo is taking the bad publicity about privacy concerns seriously. There’s a whole bunch of information about it on their site, most of it written in a straightforward and reassuring way. And, I have no reason to think that Plaxo is any less trustworthy than the other folks I give sensitive information to. Nevertheless, the table of how they compare on privacy to MSN, AOL, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay gives me pause. Only one company — Plaxo — gets a checkmark for “Provides opt-out mechanism for non-members.” Try to get your brain around that concept!

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June 28, 2004

Ron Reagan for Human Being!

I like Ron Reagan (the son) more than ever after reading this.

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Licensing stuff

Joi explains the “free for commercial use” license from Creative Commons and helpfully compares the licenses used by Wikipedia and Wikitravel. (Joho’s Creative Commons license, as noted at the bottom of this page, does not allow commercial use of its contents without permission. Like that ever happens.)

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June 27, 2004

Corporate blogs and fear of the boss

Scott Rosenberg writes about the future of corporate blogging. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m sorry to be the pessimist at the party. But for large numbers of workers in America, particularly those at big companies, the dominant fact of life remains don’t piss off your boss. And, in an era of health-insurance lock-in and easy outsourcing and offshoring, many U.S. workers remain doubtful that they can simply waltz into a new job should their activities displease the current hierarchy to which they report. So the odds of them feeling at ease publishing honest Web sites about their work lives are extremely poor. The blogs you’re going to see from within most traditional companies will be either uninformative snoozes or desperate attempts at butt-covering and -kissing. Not because people don’t have great stories to tell — but because telling the truth has too high a cost.

I do agree that it’ll take a long time for corporate public blogging to spread beyond easy industries, such as high tech. But, I think it’ll happen faster than Scott does. First, internal blogging will happen relatively quickly because it’s a great way for employees to build their reputations, a motive as powerful as the urge not to piss off your boss. Those internal blogs will go onto the extranet and eventually some will make it onto the Internet.

Second, the first public blogs we’re likely to see outside of the sw industry will be more like the Dean blog than anything else: They’ll be always upbeat but still lively, full of voice, and worth reading by enthusiasts.

[Note: I have never been right with a single prediction.]

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Cleaning directions

A guy on a mailing list sent this around saying that it came from a friend of a friend of an n degree friend. It’s supposedly the clothing label from a small American company that sells its product in France.

French laundry care label

Translation:

Wash with warm water.
Use mild soap.
Dry flat.
Do not use bleach.
Do not dry in the dryer.
Do not iron.
We are sorry that
Our President is an idiot.
We did not vote for him.

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