Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

Um, ok, here is something to look at:

Thu, 04/06/2006 - 17:25 -- rprice

Because I felt like it, I am going to post a link to somebody’s profile on this neat site called Bolt. Her name is Amy, and I guess she is doing a foreign exchange thing in Japan right now, but she is American. the point is, this site lets you share WAY more stuff than video, and in a fun rich-media sort of way… almost. This girl is experimenting with videoblogging, journal-writing, photo-sharing, and even (or especially) music, and it is music she wrote and performed herself! Good job bolt, and good job Amy!

Amy Wears Glasses

Go check out the site, but start at this page, because I SAID SO! Empower the people!

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Retro Party

Thu, 03/16/2006 - 05:25 -- rprice

April 7th, 2006
9:30 PM, or thereabouts

A party to celebrate days when communication involved stamps and wires buried in the ground. A time when music came in the form of grooves in a piece of wax.

Attendees are engouraged to wear something retro, classic, and otherwise old-school.

More details to come…

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New York Magazine's 6-page Guide to Starting a Monetized Blog

Tue, 02/14/2006 - 06:42 -- rprice

The story of starting a blogging business is not a new one: if you listen to as many podcasts and read as many blogs as I do (which is not a large amount), the formula stares you in the face. There have been covers stories in BusinessWeek that caught huge attention for blogs. Whereas a year ago I would not have been able to say so, my dad now knows what blogging is. So when I tell him I am interested in pursuing blogging for money, he didn't shoot down the idea right away.

This week, New York Magazine released a story that is a natural progression in blog reporting: now that everyone knows what blogs are and why they are good, how did the A-list bloggers gain their rank? One thing that had to be done was to establish that there was in fact a rank heirarchy, which is proved with a scientific sampling of 433 blogs: the blogs with the most links are generally higher traffic. Blogs with more links are more popular, charge more for their ads, and... people have heard of them. No joke, it's pretty simple. The thing that stinks about the whole deal is that blog popularity is a self-perpetuating system. The fat keep getting fatter, while the thin are fighting over the table scraps.

Here is the full article:
Blogs to Riches: The Haves and Have-Nots of the Blogging Boom

I am no journalist; if I ever write one of my own blogs, I will have to find something I really care about, and I'll be able to keep up with daily. I actually think there is some serious merit to building a network of media, with separate channels for different classes of consumers. There will never be a blog that caters to everyone, just like there will never be a TV show that everyone watches. With the blogosphere becoming as popular as it is, however, there may come a day when you will get your daily gossip from boing boing or another of the blogs with a high entertainment value.

Quality content won't win you an everlasting place, however. Constent vigilance, shameless self-promotion, making the sale, getting the scoop on the other guy, and of course, social bookmarking will get you everywhere. Getting noticed by the big dogs, getting to the front page of digg, getting an honorable mention on any number of A-list or even B-list blogs, will likely help you get your foot in the door.

Writing crappy posts like this one, however, will likely get me nowhere.

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Dip-taculous!

Sat, 02/11/2006 - 19:17 -- rprice

Ryan’s Black Bean Dip:
I make this dip every year for the Superbowl and many other social gatherings. The fresh basil and the green salsa are what make this dip so great. Don’t forget these ingredients at the store. Also, try this as a burrito filling, as a side dish, or even an omlette topping. Don’t think just any chips will suffice. Store brands don’t hold a candle to the excellence of Manny’s, Tostito’s and other thin crispy varieties. “Nacho” chips are not what I had in mind when I invented this dip. Grab some cerveza and enjoy!

  • 2 cups black beans (or 1 16oz. can bush’s frijoles negros)
  • 1 cup diced tomato (pref. fresh, some canned varieties come with jalapeno)
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh, canned or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup medium heat salsa verde (green/tomatillo salsa, bottled is ok, not optional)
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil (not optional)
  • 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt (to taste, fresh beans may require more)
  • Optional: 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced
  • Optional, at serving: shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional, at serving: a dollap of sour cream

Drain most of the liquid from any canned products; you may leave some from the black beans. Heat all ingredients in a 300° oven for 20 minutes in an oven-safe dish. Add cheese OR sour cream (not both) if desired, and serve with tortilla chips.

OR heat in a microwave for 4 to 6 minutes, cooking times will vary.

Feeds 4 to 6 people. Recipie works well in double batches, because tomatoes and corn are a single can.

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Dark Crystal Sequel!! Genndy Tartakovsky!

Wed, 02/01/2006 - 06:06 -- rprice

Ever heard of Samurai Jack? Dexter’s Lab? Clone Wars (animated)? Well now you will have The Power of the Dark Crystal!! Amazing!

Not only is someone bringing back a GOOD franchise (not remaking, but continuing), they are getting talented people to work on it! Brian Froud is back. Genndy is the man, and the Orphanage will do animation.

The sequel is only one of several projects exploring the world of The Dark Crystal, a fan favorite that has remained consistently strong with worldwide home video and DVD sales. Other projects include an animated television series, a manga series from Tokyo Pop, and myriad licensed products such as books, apparel and collectible sculptures.

The only other thing I can say is ROCK ON! I mean, Mirror Mask was absolutely the best. Really fantastic, and who knew that college students did all the animation? It was visually stunning (as I’m sure another Brian Froud film will be), and executed beautifully. But most importantly, it embodied the spirit of the Jim Henson Company more than 100 Muppet Wizard of Oz TV shows could. I am overjoyed that they made Mirror Mask, and spectacularly exuberant that the next big deal will be based on the best intellectual property… ever! Yay!

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Belle and Sebastian

Tue, 01/31/2006 - 10:06 -- rprice

Funny thing about bands releasing new albums, everybody has already heard it before it comes out. Bootleggers and engineering interns all over the world spread the album around as soon as a final mix is delivered, and UK sensation Belle and Sebastian is no exception.

In expectation of their new album, The Life Pursuit, the band has released a single called “Funny Little Frog”. Incedentally, I know a number of people who have heard not just the single but the entire album. They downloaded it off of some P2P site, and they have already reviewed it and told their friends its merits and misgivings. What I like is the preemptive response they posted on the front page of their official website:

IF you happen to be going to one of our UK shows, AND you happen to stumble over our lp somewhere on the net, you MAY have a listen… we wouldn’t want you to arrive COMPLETELY unprepared! You’ll want to own it when it comes out anyway. Wont you?

This is a pretty modern outlook on a potentially harmful situation. Here we have the talent, who doesn’t make much money on the record sales anyway, saying, “If it will enhance your experience seeing us live, we are ok with you SAMPLING our work, but please be first in line on release day, OK? If you’re not going to support us in concert, kindly wait your turn like a good lad or lass.” That’s a good way to put it. They make a lot more money off of concerts and merchandise than they really do off of record sales, so let them sample it while it’s not in stores, especially if it means they will share it with their friends and get more tails in the concert hall.

I think this is why lots of artists have a live taping policy. If people percieve the live shows to be entertaining, they’re more likely to shell out the cash when the band comes around. You also get to download a little souvenir of the band’s visit to your humble borough. What could be a better keepsake? (except of course a show poster)

I’m sorry that piracy is so abundant. I don’t understand why people can’t wait until the album is released. What’s the rush? If you work for the press, shouldn’t you be able to get an advance copy anyway? Seriously. I don’t want to hear any complaints. I buy my albums, especially for bands I want to see stick around, and Belle and Sebastian falls into that category. Totally.

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Jason Calacanis is my Hero

Wed, 01/25/2006 - 20:05 -- rprice

First of all, this guy has started two successful media companies. That deserves respect. Secondly, he has guts, and he speaks his mind, and he is adamant about his causes, and he likes to get into meaningful discussion and debate. A simple Google search will show dozens of stories about Jason, I'm sure, and I bet most of them give him praise.

I read Jason's blog, calacanis.com regularly and I think people can really get some good direction from this guy. I wouldn't reccomend doing exactly what he did, because he does what he does extremely well, but he has some great principles. He lets his writers keep their words, he doesn't censor the bloggers, he pays people based on effort (and other things), he never builds a company to sell it, and much much more.

In a recent blog post about Jeff Jarvis, a famous blogger from about.com and other places, he was challenged by a commenter about insulting Jarvis, and he was asked to apologize. In response, he wrote:

"I don't expect people to sugar coat it when they come after me for my statements and positions--BRING IT ON! I love it... let's debate it, let's fight it out... that's how business/society/people move forward. I'll debate any one, any time... and if I lose the debate I'm a winner because I've learned something. That's really how I think... if I'm being an idiot and someone can prove it, well, good for both of us!"

I like that way of looking at a debate. It is something I would say if I had that thought. I am a huge porponent for learning something new every day, no matter what the source. And on sugar-coating, I can say that if I feel comfortable, I will simply be blunt, to the point of being insulting, just because I feel better expressing a raw thought instead of trying to filter it. While I would like to express myself in this way more often, because I feel like I am being more honest, I know there are some situations where a small amount of tact is required.

I'm sure the future will bring many more quotes and insights from the Jason Calacanis blog, interviews with Jason and his company WIN (Weblogs, Inc.).

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Podcasting Podventure

Thu, 01/19/2006 - 18:08 -- rprice

For the past 3 weeks or so, I have been involved with a very interesting experiment into the world of podcasting. I decided I wanted to become more intimately acquainted with the local Orlando art scene, and maybe I wanted to have some intelligent discussion too. A good friend of mine, who has taken to calling herself Myla Goldberg on the show, does the show with me, and we call it "You Can't Spell Crapface Without PFA". What does PFA stand for? Well, "if you have to ask, we don't care", but it is the Pretentious Fucks Alliance. We are self-important twenty-something kids with something to say, and we want to get some creative and interesting people on the show, talk about what they do, and have some honest intelligent discussion.

If you are thinking this is your kind of show, you might be right, but you might not. One of the goals of the show is to make it exactly what we want, which could mean we alienate some people in the process. At the present time, we don't have recorded intros, theme music, skype conversations or any of the features that so many podcasts have adopted in the past 18 months. We are just ourselves.

One thing that is a bit different from the TWiTs and Pottercasts of the world is that our show is actually trying to help the positive creative and expressive curve in our community. We are trying to get people excited about local music, film, art and anything else we believe in. Has anyone else done this before? Maybe, but I was never entertained by their offerings. One thing you have to consider - will someone subscribe to it? I certainly hope so. I think we will find our audience.

For more info, and to download the shows directly, please visit pfalliance.blogspot.com. If you use an RSS reader or a podcatcher, here is our RSS feed. If you use iTunes or Yahoo! Music, you will appreciate the pcast:// RSS feed. We also have an email address for recieving comments, questions, topic or guest suggestions, or requests from you if you want to be on the show.

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