Searching for the Moon

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

Archive for the ‘podcasts’ Category

Review – The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Posted by shannonclark on October 12, 2012

Reading The Impact Equation at Blue Bottle Mint Plaza in San Francisco

Do you know how to make an impact? How to get heard? How to have your ideas shared with the world and have an impact?

My friend Chris Brogan along with his co-author Julien Smith have a new book, The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise?, which will be published on Oct 25th, 2012. They sent me a preview copy and over the past couple of weeks I have been reading it at cafes and on the muni here in San Francisco. My copy is already dog eared and flagged with post-its for easy reference back to key points in the book.

TLDR review – pre-order this book and read it

First a few disclosures and admissions. One, Chris Brogan is a friend – not an old “grew up” with friend, but not just someone whom I follow on social media channels, he’s someone whom I have met in person many times and whom I knew years ago before he had books published and a speaking schedule that takes him around the world. Two, I haven’t (yet) read Trust Agents which is Chris and Julien’s earlier book. My stack of books to be read – for fun and for business including far too many by folks I know has been large and growing over the past few years and somehow I haven’t gotten to Trust Agents yet. Three, many of the people they write about in this new book (and I suspect in their previous book) are people I know friends from here in San Francisco and from the larger tech/social media/blog/podcasting world. Four, I don’t have the 1000’s of readers/followers/listeners of folks like Chris and Julien but I am as they say “a degree away” from many people who do – folks with millions of followers and a high impact on the world.

With all of that disclosed up front I have been inspired not just to write this review but to rethink a bunch of my personal projects (including this blog) and over the next few weeks and months I anticipate making many personal and professional changes inspired in no small part by the ideas of The Impact Equation. I can’t summarize their book in a few short paragraphs but I will summarize a few of their early and key points and discuss how I plan on addressing them.

To start with the equation itself (quoting from the pre-release copy but I assume this key part won’t change in the final print edition):

Impact = C x (R + E + A + T + E)

Yes, that is, not surprisingly, the simple yet key fact that to have impact now (and in the past) you have to create – frequently, often and well. The full equation defines each part and the book illustrates each aspect of the equation. Contrast – a new idea has to familiar yet different enough to be noticed. Reach – the number of people you can get connected to your ideas. Exposure – how often do you connect with the people you can reach. Articulation – being understood and clear in communicating your idea. Trust – the subject of their previous book but still not entirely figured out – but why will people listen to you? And finally Echo – the feeling of connection that great ideas and impactful people create.

Fairly simple, fairly memorable yet also complex enough to warrant a full book (and I’m sure many more talks and presentations in the future for Chris and Julien).

On a person level my biggest takeaways from the book is a reminder to get myself back into the ongoing, frequent content creation business – that if I want to grow my own personal impact I need to create more content, more often, and more thoughtfully. Furthermore I need to think about this whether I’m going to continue being an independent consultant or if I join a larger organization. That while I may have some impact in my tweets, comments, email list participation and even events that I create if I were more thoughtful about my online (and offline) activities I could have a much greater impact on the world. With more thoughtful (and literally more frequent) effort I can have a far larger impact on the world than i do today. That I can take the conversations I have one-on-one today and still have that impact but also bring it to a far wider audience.

For some of this I will have to get out of my comfort zone – write more content, experiment with new formats for myself (video? audio?) and generate this content far more frequently than I have been for the past few years.

In each of the chapters of The Impact Equation Chris and Julien cover a mix of specific tactics (and the occasional exercise to get you thinking) as well as stories that illustrate their key ideas. Some of these stories are from business people they have met others are illustrated with celebrities they admire. But in every chapter they also focus on asking you to think about how this applies to yourself – how would you evaluate yourself on this dimension of their equation. I think most of these chapters and the book over all are compelling but not every chapter is equally strong.

The initial chapters on Ideas – on Contrast and Articulation are very good and have a lot of useful exercises for everyone. In particular they have a lot of great exercises around how to evaluate your own ideas and how to communicate them clearly.

The middle chapters on Platforms – on Reach and Exposure – however are a bit weaker. In particular I think the chapter on Exposure is the weakest chapter in the book. In part this is because Exposure is in no small part outside of your direct control. They talk in this chapter about the exposure that someone like Jimmy Fallon has from his tv show but they also talk about the impact of frequency on your exposure but the links and what will work best for most people is not entirely clear from this chapter (and it is perhaps not an easy thing to answer). They have a lot of great questions and a few answers but this chapter left me a bit unsatisfied. Yes, participating in the communities you want to reach is great advice (it is what I tell my clients in fact) but it takes more than just that to get great exposure of your ideas.

The final chapters on Network – on Trust and Echo, Echo – are perhaps surprisingly among the shortest in the book. The chapter on Trust is a revisit (per what they wrote, I haven’t yet read Trust Agents) of the topic of their earlier collaboration. The chapter on Echo (Echo, Echo) is nearly the end of the book and very important but also fairly short. It is about how your ideas resonant and connect. Very important but I think if they could have gone a bit deeper here the whole book would have “echoed” for me even more strongly. But that said they make some really important points in this last chapter leading to the conclusion of the book.

Overall as I said above my recommendation is that you go out and buy this book – in fact that you go preorder it now to be among the first to read it. I hope for my friend’s sake that it is a huge hit and given the quality of the content I’m sure it will be a successful book. More importantly on a personal front it has many parts that I will be using myself to make changes in the coming weeks to my own professional habits and practices and online (and offline) content.

Posted in Entrepreneurship, geeks, networks, podcasts, reading, reviews, working | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

A few podcasts and video series I subscribed to recently…

Posted by shannonclark on May 8, 2012

I’d love to get your suggestions for other shows I should subscribe to and watch – either as podcasts or as YouTube subscriptions.

YouTube subscriptions – I’ve only added one in recent months, the fantastic Geek and Sundry  Felecia Day, The Guild, Dark Horse comics, Wil Wheaton – yup, my kinda video series and perfect for watching via my Apple TV when nothing else is on cable (i.e. most of the time)

Podcast subscriptions – I’ve added a bunch of new shows, not sure I’ll stick with all of them but I’ll give them at least a few episodes before I make that decision, but shows that I’ve added in the past few weeks which I’m really enjoying include:

  • Ze Frank’s A Show (– Ze is back and in a big awesome way. Great videos though watching them via subscription in iTunes may be less than ideal as the show notes and comments and community are probably more fun even than the just the videos…
  • Mac Power Users ( – a bit long but really interesting discussions about how a bunch of people use their Macs – a great reminder to me about how little I actually leverage the great applications and technologies of my devices – macbook, iPad and iPhone. Good inspiration to get back to using tools I really should be leveraging to get more work done, write better (and more often) and get more out of my tools.
  • 3.5 Private Sanctuary ( – okay I confess I’m a geek and in the past few months I’ve gotten back into actively playing paper RPG’s (playing Pathfinder Society games most Monday nights and at occasional gaming conventions). 3.5 Private Sanctuary is actually a bunch of different podcasts all interesting and all a reminder of how much fun playing RPG’s can be (and a reminder of just how old many of us have gotten…) It is always good to connect, even if just via listening to a podcast, with folks who share your love of a specific niche.

I still haven’t found a great tech podcast – surprising but I don’t really want to listen to a long winded discussion for many hours – I want something which is focused, engaging and interesting – which covers news I may have missed and/or offers a perspective and summary of news I’ve seen but may not have explored fully (i.e. I can only try a few of the many new applications and technologies that launch every week).

What podcasts (or videos) do you make time for every week?

Posted in digital bedouin, geeks, internet, iTunes, personal, podcasts | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

New podcast subscriptions for February 2010

Posted by shannonclark on February 10, 2010

At the beginning of the year I posted the state of my media diet in 2010 and based on that post have received a lot of great suggestions for additional podcasts and other media which I should add to my diet in 2010.  I’ve also found a bunch of new podcasts through searches of iTunes directory and via referrals from other new podcasts which I have subscribed to recently.

Here is a list of new podcasts I subscribed to in January and earlier this month. In each case I have also added the feeds to Google Reader which includes many non-podcast blog posts.

  • Dragons Landing – One of a number of gaming related podcasts which I have subscribed to recently. I’m undecided about this show which while interested and well produced does tend towards being a bit long.
  • Robertson Games podcasts – One of a few podcasts I have subscribed to which are podcasts of live play sessions of role playing games. I really like the blog these podcasts are from, but am uncertain about the live play (in part because it tends to be, so far at least, just a single one-shot game)
  • Icosahedraphilia – a long running live play podcasts of a D&D 4E campaign. Very well produced and the game is interesting, if a bit a tame language wise due to the players & DM’s personal religious beliefs. Really fascinating for the detailed descriptions of the props and resources used in the course of each game.
  • The Tome ShowA reviews and interviews show about role playing games. Very well done though I have only listened to a few shows so far.
  • NPR Planet Money ShowA show I have been meaning to subscribe to for some time now as I have really enjoyed the episodes of This American Life which have featured the team behind the Planet Money podcast.
  • Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson (blog) – One of the two most recommended shows in the comments and responses to my initial post. So far I have enjoyed this show but have found that I listen to other podcasts before catching up with this one.
  • WNYC’s RadioLabThe other most recommended show in the responses to my initial post. A show about science but presented in a very intelligent and engaged way. That said, I also find myself listening to other podcasts before I catch up with this one.
  • Huffduffer (personal feed) – not a podcast in a traditional format but rather a service for handcrafting a podcast feed from audio content available online. My friend Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read Write Web wrote up a glowing review of Huffduffer and based on his recommendation I checked out the service and signed up. I have, so far, found it to be a great way to quickly and easily create a personalized feed of various bits of audio content I find online and want to listen to on my iPod.

So still haven’t found any tech podcasts to subscribe to but I have added a great deal of new content to my podcast listening diet. I welcome suggestions for other media I should add – podcasts, video podcasts, magazines or other media forms & experiments.

Posted in digital bedouin, geeks, iTunes, mobile, personal, podcasts, reading | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

the state of my media diet in 2010

Posted by shannonclark on January 5, 2010

As 2010 begins I have been taking stock of the media I pay attention to and am looking to add to my current diet, I’m looking for new flavors and cuisines, new forms to replace stale old ones.

At the moment my media consumption looks like:

No daily newspapers, no TV news of any form, no Radio (either over the air or Internet). I catch a few TV series, mostly at my girlfriend’s house (or via various means online) but not too many (mostly SF series & a few Food Network shows)


  • The New Yorker magazine – I have been a New Yorker subscriber since college in the early 1990’s, however as I write this I am nearly two months behind and all year have found myself increasingly disappointed in the quality of the writing and the point of view of most of the writers for the New Yorker (Malcolm Gladwell excepted).
  • occasional issues of Monocle and even less often The Atlantic Monthly – I may subscribe to both magazines in 2010 even though I am currently months behind on my Monocle reading

And that is it. Years ago I had a dozen of magazine subscriptions (including free technical publications) and would supplement those with local free weekly newspapers and often one or more magazines purchased from a newstand. But that is no longer the case, even when I’m in one of San Francisco’s many excellent newstands with literally 1000’s of magazines available to me I rarely see one I have to buy. I feel there are, I hope, magazines out there I really should be reading – but I do not know what they are!

Podcasts and video podcasts

Mostly a mix of music podcasts & some niche focused podcasts. Here’s the roughly complete list:

  • Accident Hash – CC Chapman’s long running podsafe music podcast, in 2009 this was fairly irregular but usually enjoyable
  • American Public Media’s Sound Opinions – One of my favorites, I have been a listener since an earlier version of this show was on commercial radio in Chicago
  • CO-OP – a video podcast from Revision3 covering video games
  • Critical Hit – a newer audio podcast from students in the Game Design program at Columbia College in Chicago
  • Critical Hit: A Dungeons & Dragons podcast – from the website a podcast of a group of players playing D&D 4th edition – a bit of a nostalgia trip for me – but also it has been catching me up on the new rules of a game I played years ago
  • Doctor Who podshock – for my occasional Dr. Who fan discusison
  • Dungeons & Dragons podcast – an occasional podcast from Wizards of the Coast, I subscribed for a series of episodes they did with Wil Wheaton & folks from Penny Arcade playing a series of D&D games. The website archive is a bit clunky – subscribe to this podcast via iTunes.
  • Games with Garfield – an occasional podcast from Richard Garfield on game design (inventor of many great games – including Magic the Gathering)
  • The Geekbox – a group of B ay Area geeks – fun even if I’m a bit older than many of them and have slightly different tastes
  • iFanboy – I subscribe to two audio and one video podcast by the iFanboy team (the video is with Revision3) these cover the Comics industry exceptionally well
  • KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic – one of the best music radio shows anywhere – live in studio sets of great music are what they include in their podcast, but every show is available for streaming on demand.
  • Major Spoilers – another comics (mostly) but also all things geek discussion podcast from a great comics review website
  • Monocle (videos & audio podcast) – great short videos and audio podcast series from one of my favorite magazines, Monocle
  • podcast – from the folks who do iFanboy an occasional podcast on movies & TV & other things geek
  • NPR All Songs Considered podcast – amazing music podcast from NPR – almost always stuff I really enjoy
  • NPR: Live Concerts from All Songs Considered – videos and audios of amazing live concerts
  • Only A Game – NPR’s sports weekly podcast
  • Radio Free Burrito – Wil Wheaton’s personal podcast which he has recently restarted after his recent Memories of the Futurecast series
  • This American Life – another series I started listening to on radio, when it was first broadcast but now catch (occasionally) via podcast

There are a handful of other podcasts I still subscribe to but which haven’t been updated in months so are mostly archives in my iTunes.

It is worth noting that I no longer subscribe to any tech industry podcasts – I’m sure there are some which are engaging & well edited enough to be worth subscribing to? What are they?

Online Blogs & websites

I mostly use Google Reader – currently I have 211 RSS feeds I subscribe to, but looking at Google’s stats, I mostly only read a very small number of feeds – a few customized feeds (Craigslist searches and the like). They break down as follows.

for Politics:

  • The Daily Dish – Andrew Sullivan’s Atlantic Monthly blog along with a few other Atlantic Monthly political blogs
  • Jack and Jill Politics – an African American focused political blog friends of mine run

for Tech news:

  • Techcrunch – I subscribe the main, full feed but am annoyed by the partial feed elements from other TechCrunch sites
  • Mashable
  • The Next Web
  • Scobleizer – I have been reading Robert Scoble since before he joined Microsoft
  • Venturebeatfull disclosure – I wrote for Venturebeat in 2009
  • Boing Boing
  • and really that’s about it – I don’t get to or read many other blogs and of the above I average only about 25% at most of any one of them – and usually closer to 10% or less of their posts. I subscribe to many other tech industry blogs, but these are the ones I read the most frequently.

for Food

But again I have some 150+ other feeds I subscribe to yet rarely, if ever, get around to reading. If the feed isn’t a full text feed, even if from a very close personal friend, I will almost never, ever read that feed. Since I read on my iPhone over 50% of the time I’m reading RSS feeds, a non-full text feed requires a crapshoot of loading another site which is rarely well designed for an iPhone (or which breaks the links as far too many mobile site’s versions do) vs the easy navigation between stories when all full text and in Google Reader which has a great iPhone interface.

So clearly I am missing a great deal – what would people suggestion I add in 2010?

Please leave suggestions as comments below – for print publications, podcasts, video podcasts or other forms of media I should pay attention to on a regular basis  in 2010. Please include areas I am missing as well as media in fields I am already following (so suggestions for business/econ focused podcasts are welcome). Even media which is niche & seemingly not likely focused for me – but which is a great example would be welcome suggestions. I’ll listen to or read everything suggest – at least once on the web.

Posted in digital bedouin, Entrepreneurship, futureculture, geeks, internet, iTunes, music, personal, podcasts, politics, reading, San Francisco, web2.0 | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

SXSW – Music events I suggest – Wed & Thurs

Posted by shannonclark on March 15, 2009

I recieved a seriously useful list from a friend – 36+ pages of events which are happening (showcases and parties) at SXSW Music 2009 here in Austin.

It is a private document which I can’t forward or share – but reading over it I have seen a number of showcases which I will try to attend – showcases full of bands I love, or bands I know people who’s taste I trust love (and yes, these often are “buzzed” highly – so get there early and/or RSVP in advance.

I will only be in Austin until Thursday evening this year, but plan on getting as much great music in as I can possibly get to in the short time I have.

But here they are, hope these are helpful (and please leave comments with other showcases I should try to attend!)

Wednesday Mar 18th

My notes are in italics

11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Spaceland SXSW Party at Maggie Mae’s, 323 E/ 6th St., Austin, free.

STAGE ONE: (Gibson stage)

11:30 – 12:00 Black Gold
12:20 – 12:50 The Boxing Lesson
1:10 – 1:40 tbd
2:00 – 2:30 Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head
2:50 – 3:20 Yelle
3:40 – 4:10 Cut Off Your Hands
4:30 – 5:00 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
5:20 – 5:50 Other Lives

11:45 – 12:15 Lovvers
12:35 – 1:05 The Mae Shi
1:25 – 1:55 Future of the Left
2:15 – 2:45 Marnie Stern
3:05 – 3:35 Vivian Girls
3:55 – 4:25 Mapei
4:45 – 5:15 Nico Vega
5:30 – 6:00 Wavves

STAGE THREE: (Les Paul stage)
12:00 – 12:30 Local Natives
12:50 – 1:20 Gavin Castleton with Meiko
1:40 – 2:10 Bad Veins
2:30 – 3:00 We Were Promised Jet Packs
3:20 – 3:50 Harlem Shakes
4:10 – 4:40 Titus Andronicus
5:00 – 5:45 Garotas Suecas

This is an amazing lineup. Every other band is one which has been getting a ton of buzz and in most cases make some great music. I’ve heard great things about Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head; Vivian Girls (extremely great things about them); and Titus Andronicus

12 noon – 6 p.m. – Paste Magazine Day Party at Radio Room (formerly Bourbon Rocks), 507 E. 6th St., RSVP:

Indoor: 12 Greg Laswell, 2 Port O’Brien, 3 Loney Dear, 4 Wild Light, 5 M. Ward; Outdoor: 12:30 Anathello, 1:30, Amanda Palmer, 2:30 Heartless Bastards, 3:30 Black Joe Lewis, 4:30 Superdrag

Most people know M. Ward (and indeed he’s quite good) but it is Amanda Palmer whom I am particular interested in getting in and hearing (Neil Gaiman is a big fan)

12 noon – 6 p.m. – Force Field PR and Terrorbird Media Party, Red 7, Red River & 7th Sts., Austin, free, all ages, open to the public.

In particular note The Vivian Girls playing at 5:20pm


12:15 – 12:45- LAKE
1:00 – 1:30 – WAVVES
1:45 – 2:15 – LONEY DEAR
2:30 – 3:00 – THE THERMALS
3:15 – 3:35- YONI WOLF OF WHY?
3:50 – 4:20 – FOL CHEN
5:20 – 5:55 – VIVIAN GIRLS

12:30 – 1:00 – LARYTTA
2:00 – 2:30 – MAX TUNDRA
2:45- 3:15 – DMG$
3:35 – 4:05 – THEMSELVES
4:20 – 4:50 – RAINBOW ARABIA

5:05 – 5:35 – BEACH HOUSE

12:30 – 6 p.m. – Little Radio 3 Day Event, Red Eyed Fly, 715 Red River St., Austin, bloody marys and beer, free.

In particular note Amanda Palmer performing at 2:50

12:40-01:00 The Upside Down

01:20-02:00 Whispertown2000

01:50-02:20 Youngmond Grand

02:20-03:00 Evangelicals

02:50-03:20 Amanda Palmer

03:20-04:00 The Von Bondies

03:50-04:20 Dawes

04:20-05:00 Megafaun

04:50-05:20 Tallest Man on Earth

5 – 6:30 p.m. – A Tribute to Leonard Cohen at Waterloo Records, 600A N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, free/open:

I am a fan of Lenoard Cohen, so may try to stop by this as it could be a lot of fun

5PM: David Garza

5:05: Southeast Engine
5:10: Laura Gibson
5:15: Kevin Devine
5:20: Buck 65
5:30: Loney Dear

Thursday March 19th 2009

11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Taping of KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic at Buffalo Billiards, Austin.

Possibly the best music radio show now running and quite seriously an argument for living in LA (and if in LA for where to live based on if the reception is good)***** CORRECTION ******** this is NOT at Buffalo Billards but at a local Austin studio.KCRW Has a showcase WED night at Buffalo Billards (which I am at)

12 noon – 6 p.m. – Discover The Wine, Discover The Music Wine Bus, will hit the day parties. Backed by Wente Vineyards with pourings by fifth generation winemaker Karl Wente.Leaves from the Whole Foods Parking Lot at 525 N. Lamar (across from Waterloo Records) at noon, ME Television at 12 noon – 6 p.m. –Discover The Wine, Discover

This is organized by a friend of a friend and I will probably hop on it for a bit

reapandsow, Remix Magazine, Electronic Musician Magazine, Batter Blaster & DataPipe present a day of music, sun, and drinks at SXSW 2009

This is organized in part by my good friend Corey Denis, I will probably spend a lot of time here
Free. 2 Stages of music! You do not need a wristband or badge to attend.

Batter Blaster will also be there flipping free flap jacks

Outside Stage
5:15 Red Cortez
4:15 Ian Moore w/ Oranger
3:00 The Mother Hips
2:05 Royal Bangs
1:20 Brothers and Sisters
12:30 Milton

Inside Stage
5:25 Milton
4:50 Beast
4:10 Honey Claws
3:25 Rotary Downs
2:35 Loquat
1:45 Katy Mae
1:00 Pink Nasty
12:15 Kevin Seconds

Event Details:
Event: “Electronic Musician Magazine” Showcase
Date: Thursday, March 19th, 2009
Location: Habana Calle 6, 709 E 6th St, Austin, TX
Time: 12:15pm – 6:00pm
Tickets: Admission is FREE
Event Sponsors: Electronic Musician Magazine, (, Batter Blaster (, Datapipe (, Cerwin Vega (, Leighelena (, and reapandsow (

Posted in geeks, personal, podcasts | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

a business idea – radio schedules 2.0

Posted by shannonclark on December 1, 2008

I’m old enough, just barely, to recall a time when local radio schedules were printed in the local newspaper. As a kid I used this to track down “old time” radio shows and Dr. Demento. Today almost no schedules here in the US are available in any form, individual stations may publish them somewhere on their website, and a few specific shows publish a schedule of when their show may be syndicated, but there is nothing (at least that I have found – if there is please leave a comment) as good as the extremely well done The Radio Times in the UK.

So a thought for a modern 21st century twist on a very old idea – simple, location & timezone aware radio schedules – probably driven via a community powered wiki like tool (with options for “official” schedules from any station interested). Schedules which would be published in many formats – with full, open API’s to access them (as well as iCal subscription links and probably RSS feeds including search driven feeds).

I’m thinking a website and likely iPhone app (probably for other devices as well). And it should be platform neutral so have options to also display Internet radio stations, streams, satellite radio and also podcast links for shows which have them (many commercial as well as non-commercial shows do).

And ideally there could be many interfaces to this data – time & day & location being just one.

Not neglecting very basic data would be key here – call letters but also the actual dial location (or locations) & URL’s etc. Best case also some estimate of reception for a given geo location – though this is wildly hard.

And don’t neglect AM and non-English stations (heck don’t limit this to US stations).

I suspect I am far from the only person who has moved to a new city and now has no dial sense – ie I don’t know where to find radio stations which I might be interested in or specific shows on those stations.

Anyway a thought for a service which I’d love to see – and a reminder that factual data isn’t copyrightable (so while show descriptions might be the fact that a show starts at a given time on a specific station is not) plus I suspect anything which helps rebuild audiances/build them will be welcome.

Consider this idea cc-atribution licensed. Feel free to turn it into a commercial project – though if you do I’d love to be involved and even if not, would appreciate some attribution. 

Done well I think such a schedule could seriously help terrestrial, online, and satelitte radio. It could also include other “scheduled” audio (and perhaps video) content – so might also include the expected release schedules for podcasts, video series, online shows and more. 

A bit of my background, for many years I worked on and build calendaring systems and served on the IETF iCalendar working group, including a brief stint as an editor of the RFC for iCalendar. I’ve been thinking about calendaring issues for many, many years. I’ve also been a lifelong radio and audio entertainment fan. I even did audio sound effects for a college production of the entire Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Posted in digital bedouin, geeks, internet, iTunes, mobile, networks, podcasts, time, web2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Economics, live video, and The World Economic Forum at Davos

Posted by shannonclark on January 24, 2008

I am deeply interested in Economics, for many years now I have been researching and thinking about a Networked Theory of Economics, a goal of mine for 2008 is to write and publish my book on that topic (ideally selling it as well so it reaches a wide audience).

So at this time I am very interested in what is happening this week in Davos, Switzerland. This year, in a fairly radical move towards openness, The World Economic Forum has a YouTube channel where they are posting many videos from the press events as well as interviews with attendees and leaders at Davos. Davos has also given a number of leading bloggers full access (though some sessions are off the record, quite a few portions of the conference are on the record). Robert Scoble is wandering through Davos with his cameraphone, frequently streaming live to the web via Qik. Jeff Jarvis and Michael Arrington among others are also in attendance and posting about their experiences as they happen.

As I wrote this, Robert streamed live, I jumped into the live chat. Yup, we live in science fictional times.

I am up late here in San Francisco, as I go to sleep soon, the 2300+ participants at Davos will go on about their day, when I wake up they will likely be almost about to eat dinner and heading to parties (apparently tomorrow Google is having a big party). And I know that because minutes ago I watched live video from and of my friends at the forum, streamed live across the Internet. Of course that same video started by Robert observing the President of Israel recording two videos for YouTube, which are also now likely live on the web as I write this.

Truly this is amazing stuff. When I was growing up, in the 80’s and 90’s CNN and cable news was just getting started, though my family didn’t even own a TV, the impact of live news around the clock was just starting to have an impact on the globe. But the rest of the world was still fairly far away, phone calls cost money – especially overseas calls, and data rates were measured in baud (and computers showed mostly only text and very simple graphics – though that changed rapidly as I was in high school in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Now Robert’s cell phone on which he was recording and streaming live video has more computational power, I’m fairly sure, than the computers I used throughout high school and even into college. He almost certainly has multiple GB’s of storage and very rapid data connections to the web (3G I assume), a screen on his phone that is far denser than the screens we used then – and a camera that records at resolutions unheard of back then – heck nearly unheard of not all that many years ago.

And though Robert notes that not that many bloggers are at Davos this year, the impact of YouTube and bloggers is to help crack open in a fairly major way a gathering that had for years been shrouded mostly in secrecy into a far more open event. Still with a lot of secrecy and I’m sure a lot of security – but also impressively interested in engaging with the world.

In watching the video which I have embedded above, I was also struck by how interesting the group of co-chairs of the forum are – world leaders past and (near)present along side business leaders from across the globe – leaders who were not just white, anglo saxon males – but leaders of large and yes powerful companies from across the globe.

All speaking, at least in this press conference in English, and all seemingly comfortable with their roles, with each other, and for the most part with the press (though the press were for the most part mostly interested in talking to Tony Blair). Personally I was most interested in everyone else on the panel except Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger. I am encouraged by the engagement of the leaders of some of the largest companies in the world in the issues which face us as a globe.

My views on Economics, in the most simple form, is that all economics can be modeled as a network over time. What this means is that value is not fixed, not inherent but deeply and tightly embedded in the economic networks we create and participate within. I have to do more and deeper research and modeling, but in general I would thus be deeply opposed to protectionist steps – and also deeply suspicious of attempts to economically isolate countries (or other entities).

At MeshForum we talk about many types of networks and especially about interdisciplinary approaches to networks. The World Economic Forum at Davos is a prime example of the power of social networks – and the vital importance, even for the very “important and/or famous” of face-to-face interactions, of shared meals and joint experiences. But the spectacle of and around Davos also highlights that there is much more going on, there are other factors – new media old and new, political networks both within countries and globally such as the UN, economic networks both within corporations and between corporations, and newer, creative networks such as the Project(red) campaign which connects individual customers, brands, an NGO of the UN, and millions of HIV patients thoughout the world. $57 million dollars is, perhaps, a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of AIDS to Africa and the world, or to the revenues of the corporate sponsors of the project, but it is also enough to have had a very real and dramatic impact on tens of thousands of our fellow humans who were suffering and now have some measure of hope.

As I live and work here in the US, in this very expensive and deeply futuristic place called Silicon Valley, even here in San Francisco which has at least a small measure of history and culture as well, it is well worth remembering how large and diverse and complex our planet is.

And to recall how small are the links which connect us all. My friends are now there at Davos hanging out, meeting, and sharing meals with some of the people who quite literally lead this world – the leaders of large corporations, the organizers of major efforts to save lives (as well as, less fortunately some of the leaders whose decisions cost lives), and the leaders of many governments (or past leaders).

They say that we, all humans, are connected by just a few steps, but also at far too many times it seems that even in our own countries, within our own cities we exist and live in different worlds. In 2008, however, I see many signs that our common links, our common, global interests are starting to be made clearer and that technology is, in part, helping more people reach out to each other – and to engage and perhaps see the “other” as also human, also worthy of respect and engagement with – even and perhaps particularly when we do not entirely agree.

Posted in economics, futureculture, geeks, internet, meshforum, mobile, networks, personal, podcasts, politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Syncing iPod on Two Computers

Posted by shannonclark on July 9, 2007

[this is a shortened version of my original post, that post was lost while trying to post it]

I can sync my iPod to BOTH my Vista laptop and my old XP laptop (which is now a Parallel’s virtual machine on my mac desktop).

How did I do this?

Bonus Tip: If you have playlists which depend on DATE ADDED, do a select all on the tracks in that playlist, then right click, select “get info” and add label to the Grouping ID3 tag. Then rewrite those smartplaylists to work on the Grouping ID3 tag instead of date added (assuming that you are say tracking all the music you added in 2005, not something like “music I added this past week)

Step 1. Copy files from the old computer to the new system. In my case 3/4 of my 120+ GB library was already on an external drive (so it was just a matter of getting the drive letter the same on my Vista system), but the other files I had to move over. Note: Vista does not allow you to create C:Documents and Settings which was the root of the path to user folders on XP, instead you have to use C:/Users/username/Music.

Then select Export Library inside of iTunes. Save this XML file and copy it to the new computer as well (I put it on my external drive).

Step 2.  On the new computer navigate to the iTunes folder.

Rename the file “iTunes Music Library.xml” (I add the date to the file name).

Copy the .itl file (if you want to recover). [if extensions are not showing, change that view option for this folder, will make life easier for you]

Open the .itl file with wordpad (NOT Word). It is a binary file. Select all the contents (control^a) and then delete them. Save the file (you should now have a 0 byte .itl file).

Copy the exported XML file from your old computer to the iTunes directory, rename it to “iTunes Music Library.xml”.

Open it in WordPad (again NOT Word).

Now come the tricky, detail orientated bit. Look for the file paths which point to your old file locations. Search and replace them with the new path. Make sure you get this exactly right – no extra spaces, no missing /, nothing mispelled.

Note, all the above assumes your new computer’s iTunes is a fresh, unused installation – i.e. you don’t already have any content on the new machine. If you do, you will have to first export that data and instead of copying one file with the other, you will have to combine them – which is a much trickier task – not impossible, just tricky as the file has two main sections – individual track details and playlist details and you have to merge them. I have not tested this and I suspect in some cases you might also have to watch for overlapping “unique” ID’s for tracks.

Step 3.  With all external drives attached and with the correct drive letters, open up iTunes. It will complain that the .itl file is corrupt and will rebuild it. When this completes (may take some time on a large collection), you will have iTunes with all of your old playlists, play counts, and ratings in place.

Note: this does overwrite the “Date Added” field with the time you do this import. This means that as I noted above, any playlists which depended on the date added field may now be broken.  Your tracks, however, will be in the same order as before (I kept my in date added descending order usually). If you do the trick I noted, you should have the same functionality as before.

The result is you can plug in your iPod and it will sync with your new computer without a whisper of a complaint. You will, however, have to activate your new computer with the iTunes music store before syncing any protected conten (or playing it).

I have not tested this extensively. I assume that over time if the two installations of iTunes change, each time you plug in your iPod it will “sync” with the current machine’s iTunes, but will not add files it holds not present on that machine (i.e. a podcast I download on one machine) and I’m not sure how changes to play/skip counts will be tracked.

I am also working with two Windows machines – not sure if the same solution would work across Mac & PC (since the underlying file system of the iPod might be different).

Posted in digital bedouin, geeks, iPhoneDevCamp, iTunes, mac, microsoft, podcasts | 1 Comment »

Simple features missing from iTunes

Posted by shannonclark on July 6, 2007

I use itunes – abuse it is perhaps the more accurate description.

But there are some really simple features MISSING from iTunes. Features which have been missing in every version of iTunes and which I have utterly no clue as to why they have not been added and why these bugs (for I think these really are bugs) have not been corrects.

Feature One: Those helpful “!” symbols showing tracks which have problems, usually meaning iTunes can’t find the file, but iTunes DOES NOT LET YOU SORT BY THAT COLUMN. Absolutely unforgivably obnoxious and beyond annoying. Every other column allows for some type of sorting (though in many cases very poorly) but this first and vital column does not.

Feature Two: There is no way to display in the main screen WHERE YOUR FILES ARE. This means, no way to SORT BY WHERE THE FILES ACTUALLY ARE. i.e. “sort and then find all the tracks which are on your external drive”. Perhaps this is a mac vs. pc thing, but I REALLY want a way to find all the tracks which are on my f: drive (and not my main internal c: drive).

Feature Three: if iTunes loses track of your files (say that f: drive is not connected), iTunes then cannot recover if you plug in the missing drive, you have to correct the files, by hand, selecting “get info” on each track with a missing file (which is then usually found without a problem).

Note: sometimes closing iTunes and restarting it will fix this problem, but that is beyond clunky

Feature Four: There is no, at least that I have found, way to export all of your play history, playlists, and ratings so you can, for example, import that data into another installation of iTunes on, for example, your new laptop. You can, of course, move those files (see above use of external hard drive), but will have to recreate your playlists – and more vitally – your play histories, skip history, ratings, history of which podcasts you have already downloaded etc.

I really need a solution to this last missing feature. Currently I have THREE installations of iTunes. One on my mac (mostly totally unused, though I do subscribe to a few video podcasts there which I don’t much care about). One on my new, Windows Vista laptop (truly unused at the moment for the most part). And my “real” installation on a Parallels  installation of my old Windows XP laptop (the hardware for which is now dead). This real installation links to an external 120GB HD which holds most of my actual media collection, this is also where my real podcast subscriptions live (both iTunes and via an external podcatcher), and this is what I use currently to sync my iPods.

I use a variety of really complex smartplaylists to accomplish my syncing with iPods. Since my collection of media is some 15500+ tracks and nearly 130GBs in size (and actually more like 200+ GB’s, I have a lot of media that instance of iTunes doesn’t yet know about), I could never sync it fully to one iPod. Instead I have various smart playlists which I sync – almost all of which are done in a two step process. First I have a playlist which takes some cut of the whole collection (a large collection I added all on one day for example). Then I have a second playlist which selects from that first playlist all the unplayed tracks, up to some fixed size (say 3 GB’s).

My actual system is more complex – I have playlists for everything which is unplayed, for new & unplayed (limited to a manageable size), playlists for songs which have been played but not yet rated, playlists for songs over a certainly file size (for management purposes), playlists of all the tracks with a given rating, a playlist which combines all the various types of media iTunes manages (so I can, in fact, see at a glance my true “full library”).

Actually that is a my Feature Five: Why oh why did the more recent versions of iTunes remove a working view that shows you ALL of your content in one view. By working view I mean a non-playlist view, where if you delete a track it is removed from your library, not just that playlist. For that matter, I do not understand why when you delete a podcast you are prompted if you want to also delete that file, but you do not (at least I don’t) get this prompt on deleting other tracks from iTunes.

I really want to be able to have a single view where I can find all of my tracks which I have rated 1 star, select them all, and delete them – and have it REALLY HAPPEN. Not just have them deleted from some playlist.

Feature Six: while I like seeing the long descriptions of podcasts on my iPod, WHY CAN’T I RATE PODCASTS ON MY iPOD!!! It seems the assumption is that you would have no reason to want to rate podcasts. But that is emphatically not the case. I have many podcast subscriptions which I routinely want to save select tracks from, the best solution for this is to make it possible for me to rank them when I am listening, so when I resync I can easily find the tracks I really liked.

Feature Seven: Why can’t I get a full list of all of the episodes of a podcast (even I have previously downloaded them and deleted them so I can re-request them if I decide at a later date that I want them. And related to this, I have often had iTunes fail to fully download a podcast – when this happens there is NO simple solution. I have to go by hand to that website (side note – impossible to cut & paste from iTunes to make this task feasible) and find the track which failed and download it by hand – and then if I’m really lucky figure out a way to get iTunes to put it where it should be.

Feature Eight: Perhaps other people use their iPods and iTunes differently than I, but the fact that ALL PODCAST SUBSCRIPTIONS have the “DO NOT SHUFFLE” option selected for them – and that there is NO way to change this default setting is really, really really annoying. I WANT TO SHUFFLE my podcasts. But more to the point, I have in the past wanted to put podcasts on my iPod shuffle something which has not been possible with tracks with this “feature” selected.

And I could go on. I use iTunes and do like my iPod (though I really wish the battery life was better – mine sucks the battery dry far far too quickly). But I am also constantly annoyed by iTunes.

Posted in geeks, mac, mobile, podcasts | 5 Comments »

My reasons to celebrate April 1st

Posted by shannonclark on April 1, 2007

and no it is not the many great amusements posted online today

Rather it is that today, on a more serious note, is the day that Doctor Who returns for Season Three!

Okay, so it will be a while before it is available here in the US directly (I’ll buy the DVD’s when it comes out as I have previous seasons) but let’s just hint at that I will be watching it as soon as I possibly can. Yes, technically it was broadcast on March 31st 2007 in the UK, but close enough.

I spent tonight (well last night) at the SuperHappyVlogHouse where though I missed Justin.TV’s appearance (but did see the signed copy of today’s SF Chronicle they left behind) and I then had the great pleasure of making new friends, helping out with a few vlogs (and was recorded for a possible show). A truly fun way to spend the evening.

In any case my reason to celebrate April 1st is not the silliness which will take many forms all day, but rather new friends and the return of my oldest of TV friends. All in all, what more could make for a better day?

Okay, two other things – it is likely that in a very short while, possibly even later today my new company NELA will be ready for our first beta users. And on Monday (April 2nd) my new, replacement Lenovo X60 tablet should arrive having left Shanghai China just days before – UPS Ground apparently covers the ocean rather quickly!

So all in all, a really great weekend – and it’s only halfway over.

Posted in digital bedouin, geeks, internet, mobile, podcasts | Leave a Comment »