Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for August, 2004

EFF%3A Deep Links – JibJab win

Posted by shannonclark on August 25, 2004

EFF%3A Deep Links

Does this mean, if I read this right, that beside “This Land is Your Land” that the rest of the songs in the same pamphlet are also likely in the public domain?

I persononally think that public domain resources can be a very, very good thing – and a creative tool for new artists to call upon and build upon.

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A big idea

Posted by shannonclark on August 16, 2004

To big for just myself, so I’m writing up my first thoughts here and hopefully will get someone interested in working on them further. These are inspired by the August 2004 issue of Trendwatching from the UK which is one of the most useful, well written and interesting news letters I get via email (and is free which makes it even better and more astonishing).

The idea is inspired by their recent discussion of the trend of 5 star hotels partnering with developers and opening up residences (often called “The Residences”) that are attached to and serviced by the services of the hotel. Offering a new form of urban living which they point out is very different from gated communities and also well suited to the needs of duel-income families (catering from 4 star restaurants, full 5 star hotel ammenities such as large spas and health clubs, possibly even maid service).

Trendwatching then suggests “why doesn’t someone offer 3-star service on a street by street basis”?

Ah-ha goes a little light bulb in my head – indeed, why doesn’t someone offer this?

What I envision would be:

– An urban service offering, perhaps starting with high rises around Chicago, but possibly best suited for loft developments and/or low rise condo buildings – especially in areas such as the West Loop, Bucktown, Wicker Park and the South Loop. Areas that while filling up with upscale homes and condos, are lacking many of the convienances of other parts of the city (nearby dry cleaners, groceries, drug stores etc).

– The service would be a bundle of offerings – maid service, handyman/engineer on call, groundskeepers (snow removal, watering of plants indoors and out, landscaping), grocery delivery, meal delivery from a number of restaurants that might not otherwise deliver, concierge service for help with party planning, event tickets, restaurant suggestions/reservations.

– The service would be priced on a monthly minimum basis with additional services added to a monthly bill and reconciled (potentially charges over a certain amount would be secured by a credit card – but part of the point would be ease of use). Probably the marketing would be to condo associations suggesting that this be added to the association fees, perhaps offsetting some current association costs such as snow removal etc.

– It might be difficult to assemble the “right” mix of services, but my thought would be to start with “best of breed” providers currently in each area, negotiate a level of service from the, negotiate bundled pricing and then work on the details. For example the offering might allow for health club membership at an upscale, in neighborhood health club without requiring an initiation fee or yearly contract (other than the contract with this service – though “full membership” in the health club might be an add-on)

– The philosophy of the service would be service. It would be very people intensive, but if successful would have a great deal of scale to offer to help offset those costs. For example, maid service negotiated on a building by building basis would allow a small set of maids (cleaning professionals) to work very effectively setting up a schedule for an entire building instead of traveling to different locations across the city multiple times each day. Likewise if all the buildings on a given block hired the same snow removal/landscaping services snow plowing and lawn mowing could (at least for common areas such as sidewalks) be much faster as well as more effective overall in adding value to the neighborhood.

– If done well and as I envision, this would help discourage “gated communities” and enhance the value of non-gated, smaller condo/loft buildings. Potentially the service could also offer value-added services such as a common package room on each block (or very near to each block) with pre-negotiated agreements with major package delivery services to leave packages with the package service if residents are not home (instead of leaving notes attached to the door requiring running back and forth and many calls to eventually get the package)

In short this service might help transform neighborhoods of low-rise development into “virtual” 5-star (or at least 3-4 star) high rise building living, with at least some of the features also pulled from the concepts of the 5-star residences that Trendwatching is tracking.

As I am considering moving from a high rise with many ammenities to a low rise, smaller building, this is something that I am giving a lot of thougth and consideration to – how much do I value the building ammenities such as the package room and having engineers on call (though not free). Will having more space and more ammenities in my home make up for a lack of them in the overall building? (I’m looking at a place nearly 3 times as large as my current condo).

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Lawrence Lessig – pay-per-use Society

Posted by shannonclark on August 13, 2004

Lawrence Lessig

I wrote a long response to Rep. Boucher’s post on Pay-per-use society (he’s substituting for Larry Lessig this week).

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Attending Pop! Tech in Oct

Posted by shannonclark on August 10, 2004

I have just registered for Pop! Tech which is Oct 21st-23rd in Camdem Maine. This will be my first year attending and I am looking forward to it.

If you are reading this and planning on attending as well, drop me a line (or leave me a comment) would be great to meet up and connect.

Besides hearing from a great list of speakers and enjoying the networking and interactions with the other attendees, in attending Pop! Tech I have a secondary purpose, to observe an idea driven conference in action. What I learn, as well as I hope many of the people I meet, will help me considerably in organizing my own conference, MeshForum which will be in April of 2005 here in Chicago.

From the little details of how they handle online registration and promotion, to the large details of how they schedule the conference, who they get as speakers, how they structure interactions etc, I will be taking notes on everything and applying what I learn to MeshForum.

Hope to see you there!

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Updates and Anti-spam systems

Posted by shannonclark on August 5, 2004

So, this afternoon I composed an email I have been meaning to send out for a few months – a short update and summary for business contacts as to what I am doing these days, including links to the various projects, companies and organizations I am working on and with. As well the update included a short list of upcoming conferences I might be attending, as well as a link to this blog for the many business associates who might not be aware of this site in connection to me.

In the course of sending out these 500+ customized emails (including what current or not so current information I have in my address book for each contact) I am getting a wide cross section of responses.

About 10% at least of my contacts have invalid addresses, in a few cases for being over quota but in many other cases for reasons unknown.

More interestingly, many different anti-spam systems are being employed. Most amusing was one that rejected my mail as spam because it had the word “Hilton” in it (in the context of “attending Renaissance Weekend at Hilton Head”. Many others require me to follow links or reply to the message, I personally like the reply to the message format as that is trivially easy for me to do, the follow links versions then require a bunch of additional steps on my part.

In a few days I will put together more formal numbers and details about how this round of updates went – how many people bounced completely, how many used some form of anti-spam, how many replied etc.

Already at least one person has replied with her current contact details which is exactly my intention with the email.

More in a few days.

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BBC – Cult Television – Doctor Who – New TV series

Posted by shannonclark on August 4, 2004

BBC – Cult Television – Doctor Who – New TV series

In high school my friend Dwight Sora and I between us made it our goal to view every single episode of Dr. Who, this included viewing portions of otherwise lost episodes that we managed to see at local science fiction conventions. In addition between us we owned a then nearly complete collection of every single Dr. Who novelization as well as much additional memorabilia.

While traveling to England, I dragged my parents to see Jon Pertwee in a staged Dr. Who play (which had better special effects than his TV episodes did).

In short, while many of my fellow geeks here in the US were (are) Star Wars or Star Trek fans – I was (and am) a Dr. Who fan.

When this comes out, in 2005, I will find a way to see every single episode. It might involve me moving for a while to England, it might involve having English friends record it and mail the episodes to me each week on DVD, but I will find a way.

Dr. Who’s complexity is and was what attracted me to it, the capacity built into the premise to have stories anywhere and at any time opens up unlimitted (mostly) story possibilities and the writers often took advantage. For my tastes the stories and ongoing sweep of literally decades of writing (bad effects and inconsistancies and all) is vastly more compelling than a few years of shows (in the case of Classic Trek) or three movies (in the case of Star Wars). Sure, since then (late 80’s early 90’s) both of the other franchises have been expanded – Star Trek by many other movies and shows, Star Wars by a new trilogy each by countless other media, but none compelled or interested me to the extent of Dr. Who.

In college, my friends were all into Babylon 5, I didn’t watch it with them part of why I grew apart from that circle. Later, in the mid 90’s I had an office mate who introduced me to Babylon 5, between us we exchanged tapes and managed to once again (in my life) watch every episode of a series.

In short I am compulsive about many things, but rarely the first when it comes to pop culture (or perhaps better described as niche culture – trek, star wars, and Babylon 5 while all popular shows are not exactly mainstream either.

Tonight I sit at home writing this, watching bad TV and thinking about the past and the future. I now have something more to look forward to next year, something I will enjoy (and try to catch as it is broadcast). As I think about my life past and present I see as well that my future while similar to the past will not be the same as the past – a good thing I guess – but also still startling for me to realize.

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TransClick – Metcalfe’s Law

Posted by shannonclark on August 2, 2004


Look at the bottom of the page.

Probably the longest quote I know of where someone cites my writing anywhere, let alone as part of their marketing materials – very interesting to see what they cite and use, and how they do it.

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Posted by shannonclark on August 1, 2004

This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).

The original posting for this experiment is located at: Minding the Planet (Permalink: — results and commentary will appear there in the future.

Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate — the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.

The GUID for this experiment is: as098398298250swg9e98929872525389t9987898tq98wteqtgaq62010920352598gawst (this GUID enables anyone to easily search Google for all blogs that participate in this experiment). Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post at (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)


To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information where appropriate. Please do not alter the content or format of this posting in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later).
REQUIRED FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)

(1) I found this experiment at URL:

(2) I found it via “Newsreader Software” or “Browsing the Web” or “Searching the Web” or “An E-Mail Message”: Browsing the Web

(3) I posted this experiment at URL:

(4) I posted this on date (day, month, year): 01/08/04

(5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 21:58:00

(6) My posting location is (city, state, country): Chicago, IL USA

OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):

(7) My blog is hosted by:

(8) My age is: 30

(9) My gender is: Male

(10) My occupation is: Internet Entrepreneur, Writer, Consultant

(11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: none used

(12) I use the following software to post to my blog:, Moveable Type (other blogs)

(13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 05/30/02

(14) My web browser is: IE, Firefox, Netscape

(15) My operating system is: Windows XP, Windows 98, SUSE, Mac OS 9

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