The Future of Conversation

I'm catching up with this topic and testing the quickest way to record an mp3 file for an Utterz audio. Answer: Record a podcast in Garageband and under Share menu "Export Song to Disk" in mp3 format. Small streamlinings like this advance the ability for my "conversation cloud" to follow me anywhere, anytime.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Bryron "Washy" Browne

The guy who is overseeing our new driveway.

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Tuna Oddfellow at Berkman Center

Playing with a full deck in RL card trick.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Social Breakfast

Doug Haslam and Jack Hodgson at Jeff Pulver's social breakfast in

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Thanks to Old School Master

Scott Monty did me the kindness of tagging me with a meme of giving thanks to those in our past and present. It started with Kami Huyse and Rob Lagasse and has included Kyle Flaherty and Geoff Livingston.

I took the photo above yesterday during my walk along the Charles River. It says gratitude to me, somehow. When I look out my window here, I see a bed of yellow leaves in the park, and then the still water of the river. I'm grateful to my parents for helping us establish this place in Cambridge where we can be close to my family, and still maintain our home in Denver.

The person outside my family who gave me the biggest boost forward was Sumner Scherer, my fifth grade homeroom teacher at Claypit Hill School in Wayland, Mass. He was a tall, quirky fellow with a resonant tenor voice and big brown eyes, a bit out of step with the other teachers and principal. He taught us the decimal system before we were supposed to know it, and at the end of each class he read to us the story of Jean Valjean in Hugo's Les Miserables. Mr. Scherer spotted my love of writing, and he made me think I could be a writer. Twenty years later he and I corresponded when I was living in Casper, Wyoming, and I've saved all his letters. I couldn't figure out how to address him at first. Mr. Scherer seemed too formal, and Sumner too informat. "How about Old School Master," he proposed, and he delighted in signing all his letters "OSM." They are beautifully written, playful masterpieces, full of encouragement for what I was doing in my creative endeavors. One day I received a brief note from his wife, Marilyn, saying he had passed on, a sudden and untimely loss.

My present life is largely about gratitude for my family. In Cambridge I'm within walking distance of my parents, my daughters and grandson, and my sister. That's a big difference from being two time zones away, even with video chat. I love being able to walk down the street to Harvard Square for my weekly lunch with Dad, and if Mom has Mac trouble, I can walk over to see what the matter is. We've got the Cambridge home pretty well established, with my wife's quilting studio well lit and equipped, and my podcasting/Internet/writing studio upstairs looking good with a dark blue rug and a wooden file cabinet from Staples that I assembled last night.

I'm not sure he will want to work this meme into his brilliant blog focused on his painting, but I'd like to tap my Alaska friend Kes Woodward to add to this thread, if he's game. Kes's friendship has been another bit of amazing luck for me, because of his wise and caring counsel and his inspiring model of a life well lived on so many dimensions.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ho Ho Nano!

Christmas window at the Cambridgeside Apple store the Saturday after

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Soon I'll be Out There Rowing...

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Sofa in Morning Sunlight

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Recipe for a Media Snack - the Acronym

S-short N-new A-apt C-clear K-kind

Short - Jeremiah Owyang's mega-meme-launching post featured a video asserting that the world has changed, because of how young people are creating and consuming media. Although the video doesn't mention length specifically, the word "snack" implies brevity, compared with a full meal. Here are my personal guidelines for what's short enough to make a good media snack: Audio Podcast, 18 minutes; Video Podcast, 4 minutes; Twitter post, 100 characters; Seesmic video, 1 minute; blog entry: 1 screen.

New - Not existing before, original. "Make it new," the poet Ezra Pound proclaimed. We should, too.

Apt - What's suitable on YouTube? What's appropriate to a Tweet? You know it when you see it, and the way you understand what fits is to hang out for a while, taking in the rhythms and textures of the conversation.

Clear - What are we trying to say? It takes more work to say something in a few words than in lots of them. Get to the point.

Kind - There's plenty of room for crankiness in media snacks, but you've got to be as brilliant as Dave Winer or John C. Dvorak to pull that off year in and year out. My favorite media makers are honest but speak and write with compassion and playfulness, like Jim Long, Robert Scoble, Chris Brogan, and Steve Garfield, among many others.

Thanks to Elizabeth Dunn and Jim Long for tagging me on this meme! This Grazr reading list contains a few of the many responses to Jeremiah's original post.


Friday, November 09, 2007

How the Internet Changes Everything: Exhibit A from Jelly!

What is Jelly? from Amit Gupta on Vimeo.

I'm disappointed I won't be able to join tomorrow's Cambridge incarnation of Jelly! It's "casual coworking," where people bring laptops somewhere and do their individual work in the company of others. I heard about it in a Tweet from Bryan Person, who is spreading the word. I've got grandson babysitting duty on Mondays, so I won't be able to go. Otherwise I'd be on it in a second.

What I love about the introductory video above is how it showcases the diversity and energy of people working on the Internet. The California session is a random collective portrait, with screens showing everything from scary code to funny body parts for magnetic animals. Maybe I should bring my grandson, who will be two in February... In any event, this is the world he will enter, and his Grampa is eager to see what he'll do!


Sunday, November 04, 2007

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