Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Crazy Weekend

This last weekend was a pretty eventful one :) It was Saturday and I had just gotten back from Buckeye the day before (I spent 2 weeks there hanging out with my mom which was like always, tons of fun) and I was feeling really icky... I hadn't been able to keep anything down for the 2 weeks I had been in B-town... and Kyle had a DJ gig that night and I decided I was just going to stay home while he went... Well, I love to was WEtv and all day long it had been 48 hours on WE and they were all about mystery murders and all that fun stuff, and right before Kyle needed to leave the power went out. I don't know about you guys, but I HATE the dark- especially by myself, and especially after I just watched murder mysteries all day long :) So we went up to Kyle's mom house to see if her power was out too- and sure enough, it was.
So we contemplated me just going with Kyle to his gig, but I had just taken a shower and there was no power so I couldn't get ready- and I knew these people so I didn't want to go looking like a wet dog :) Anyway- so we headed off to Flagstaff, got a hotel room, and Kyle went to Camp Verde for his gig and Zeus and I stayed in the hotel room and watched ABC Family movies the rest of the night. The next morning we woke up pretty early and went to church... it was quite an adventure- Zeus isn't exactly supposed to be in the hotel room, so that was fun stuffing him in the computer back and running to the hotel room and scolding him when he wanted so bad to bark at whoever he could hear walking past our room.. but it turned out for the best I guess :)

Other than that- Nothing is happening here. I was supposed to start the pool in June, then July 4th... than maybe the 5th or 6th... and now I'm hearing somewhere toward the middle of July... so whatever.

I hope everyone is doing awesome and having a fun summer! I hear all about how hot it is in the valley and it's amazing here :) A little on the warm side during the day, but cools off to about 50 at night... it's pretty sweet :) Love you all~

Monday, June 9, 2008

I Love A Good Villan

TDK Wallpaper IIImage by Morning Magician via Flickr Good Villian, isn't that an oxymoron?

Have you seen the previews for the new Batman movie? Who do you think of first Batman (Christian Bale)? Or that dirty clown painted face of the Joker (Heath Ledger) that haunts you long after the image is gone?

I bet you like it more than you think you do. Lets put it this way would you rather see the hero take down the kid who steals a pack of gum from the corner thrift store, or Batman take down the the Evil Joker who kills without a second thought?

Me too.

In Theaters July 18, 2008

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Generation Entilement

Image by dbking via FlickrThe first time I ever hear the term "Entitlement Generation" was as a college student at MCC. I was in Dr. Glenn Bennett's A Capella Choir and we just weren't getting the results he expected out of us and it was clear that it wasn't due to a lack of talent but rather a lack of effort. Finally he reached his boiling point and proceeded to explain to the class what was wrong with our generation.

You act like everything is just owed you and that you don't have to earn anything yourself he explained. You have been spoon fed since you were babies and now you think everyone is just going to continue to pamper and baby you. He continued for some time driving home his point and to be honest I don't remember many changes in the class after that day.

I agree my generation has earned the Entitlement reputation. I will not deny it but i'm not one to let things rest that easy. I believe it goes farther than just my generation. Also, I don't believe that my genration just woke up one day and decided to feel this way. So who's fault is it?

Did you catch that? It was that easy, I assumed it wasn't my fault and there must be some external force, forcing me to be who I am.

As I have seen the Presidential Election play out I seem to see a lot of finger pointing. I don't see solutions. Is that not the essence of entitlement?

Whoever the next President is going to be is going to have a tough time making changes as long as we keep trying to live in our little bubble pretending every little thing that happens to us is someone else's fault.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Future of the Internet - Part 1

The Future of the Internet - Part 1
Disclaimer: This is just my ramblings it helped me get it straight in my own mind. Read it or don't agree or don't but either way comment I would like to see what people think.

What do Wikinomics, The Wisdom of Crowds and The Tipping Point all have in comon? Three different books by three different authors.

Today as I was reading in Time Magazine this picture grabbed my attention right off the bat with an article entitled "Who Will Rule the New Internet?".

Google, facebook and Apple three of my favorite internet platforms. All three I use daily and I am willing to bet there are many of you that do too. If you don't you should.

What I found most interesting was while the article proposed to determine who is the leader in the "Internet Revolution" it really seemed to be more a question of who is leading the "Social Internet".

This made me realize that this is what the internet is in reality fast becoming, though not even in the way I would have first thought. We are being used by companies to, as Malcom Gladwell puts it in his book, be connectors and mavens not unlike Paul Revere but as advertisers for companies.

First lets explore these three books one at a time.

Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams
The word "wiki" means "quick" in Hawaiian, and here author and think tank CEO Tapscott (The Naked Corporation), along with research director Williams, paint in vibrant colors the quickly changing world of Internet togetherness, also known as mass or global collaboration, and what those changes mean for business and technology. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia written, compiled, edited and re-edited by "ordinary people" is the most ubiquitous example, and its history makes remarkable reading. Methods for exploiting the power of collaborative production are outlined throughout, an alluring compendium of ways to throw open previously guarded intellectual property and to invite in previously unavailable ideas that hide within the populace at large. This clear and meticulously researched primer gives business leaders big leg up on mass collaboration possibilities; as such, it makes a fine next-step companion piece to James Surowiecki's 2004 bestseller The Wisdom of Crowds.

The Wisdom of Cowds by James Surowiecki
While our culture generally trusts experts and distrusts the wisdom of the masses, New Yorker business columnist Surowiecki argues that "under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them." If four basic conditions are met, a crowd's "collective intelligence" will produce better outcomes than a small group of experts, Surowiecki says, even if members of the crowd don't know all the facts or choose, individually, to act irrationally. "Wise crowds" need (1) diversity of opinion; (2) independence of members from one another; (3) decentralization; and (4) a good method for aggregating opinions. The diversity brings in different information; independence keeps people from being swayed by a single opinion leader; people's errors balance each other out; and including all opinions guarantees that the results are "smarter" than if a single expert had been in charge.

So the way I see it companies are able to harness a free workforce that is smarter and more effecient than anyone or team they could have hired even with the best resources like say... Microsoft. You see where I am going with this yet?

Look at companies like Mozzilla, which produces firefox a completely free and open sourced web browser. If you are not already using it I recommend you give it a try. Version 3 is out today and expected to break the world record for downloads in one day.

Both facebook and Google have very open sourced platforms which allow others to write applications for them and then let anyone on their network use them free of charge. And just in the last couple of weeks both have taken steps to become even more "open".

Apple is not so "open" in fact they might be the opposite of open which is one reason why it has taken them so long to become such a house hold item. When personal computers were first becoming truly personal and affordable Apple only allowed their own software to be used on their systems while the rest of the industry was built around a shared standard. Open if you will. This could prove to be their down fall once more or prove to be smart because they can better control the quality of there product or even programs that run on their products.

Yet all three are I believe are using and working to exploit even more efficiently the principal found in "The Tipping Point". Advertising

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Little changes can have big effects; when small numbers of people start behaving differently, that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or "tipping point" is reached, changing the world. Gladwell's thesis that ideas, products, messages and behaviors "spread just like viruses do" remains a metaphor as he follows the growth of "word-of-mouth epidemics" triggered with the help of three pivotal types. These are Connectors, sociable personalities who bring people together; Mavens, who like to pass along knowledge; and Salesmen, adept at persuading the unenlightened. (Paul Revere, for example, was a Maven and a Connector).

The Apple Ipod was the Tipping Point for Apple, it allowed millions of people and maybe even more importantly youth (Connectors and Mavens) and that was it they are now becoming the preferred producer of Computers, Music Players and even Cell Phones. Also why I believe they market so heavily to college age students, get em while they are young. Ask anyone who knows me and I have probably tried to sell them on Mac.

Just think how many companes out there are trying to find this tipping point.

Thats where Google and facebook come in. Both completely free products but as we have all learned there is no such thing as a free lunch. The owners of Google and facebook are both literally multi-billionaires. How did they manage that with a free product?

Captive Audience.

If they can keep us on their sites we are a captive audience ready to be bombarded with advertisements. If they can take it a step further and know what it is we are intrested in by say ready our emails ad seeing what we talk about with our friends well then they can give us more relevant advertising.

If you are a business owner would you rather play a commercial on tv to millions and have it relate to just a few. Or would you rather spend you money pointy your adds directly at those who you know are interested in your product? And maybe more importantly advertise to you in the moment you are thinking about said product.

Well lets get to the point of this thing. The next company that will rule the net will be the one who will be able to harness the power or crowds and let them advertise or sale products for them for free.

Thats what happens when you and I find something online and like it then tell our friends about it. Google and Facebook are developing ways to do that even more conveniently. You can hardly find something online that doesn't have the ability to share it with others.

So who ever can pull in the largest number of friend groups and allow them to share things (Products) easily will win the Internet. They will create tipping points by harnassing crowds with connectors mavens and salesman.

Is this good or bad? You tell me.

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For all you David Archuleta Fans

David Archuleta singing at a Fireside:
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Blogging Tool

Blog better using ZemantaImage by chucks via FlickrSo recently I have found a tool that makes blogging just a little easier and even a little more fun. Its called Zemanta and what it does is give you in browser options to easily add pictures and links that relate to your blogs topic.

It is a relatively new add on so they are still making it better but so far I am hooked and will be using it for the foreseeable future. Check it out you might just like it. And most importantly its FREE :)
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Ice Cream Man

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 5 : An ice cream cone is displayed at Swensen's Ice Cream shop on July 5, 2007 in San Francisco, California.  The California Department of Food and Agriculture has increased what dairy farmers receive for a gallon of milk to $1.98, up from $1.06 last year. The price increase comes as a result of a various shifts in supply and demand and rising costs of fuel.Image by Getty Images via DaylifeThe other day as I was dishing out Ice Cream at Mr. G's Pizza (A Pizza store owned by my brother here in town) I started to think of the many things I have done in my relatively short life. I say relatively because my wife likes to call me old :)

Here are a few of the job titles I have had:

Gas Station Attendant
Hay Bailer
Framer (Tiki Nailer)
Bus Driver
Enrollment Counselor
Baggage Handler
Music Teacher
Auditorium Coordinator
Football Coach
Ice Cream Man :)

I love trying new things and hopefully I will be able to add many more titles to this list as my life goes on.

What are some other interesting titles people have had? Maybe I'll try a few :)
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Monday, June 2, 2008

New Blog Feed

If you are a subscriber to this Blog please resubscribe due to major changes that have been made to the feed. Thanks