Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Don't send a lame Holiday eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!

Friday, November 30, 2007

At The CNN/YouTube Repug Debate

Watching Repugs beat-up on each other was the best New Media time I've had yet. Plenty of vid here. And yeah, given the circumstances YouTube seemed the place to put it all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Web 3.0

As you've noticed, I'm not blogging much. Not here at least. You can still find me on Peach Pundit for political commentary.

Personal blogging is really sooo Web 2.0. I'm moving on to Web 3.0, where you actually get paid for your efforts, and where some are busy growing new media efforts into "micro-media brands" -- such as that dynamic New Media Jim from DC.

Others such as the intriguing, always-delightful, longtime ATL blogger, Timothy Moeck and his Atlanta NetSquared, are taking their micro-media brand towards a seriously philanthropic arena.

The best places to catch up with me nowadays are Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. See you online no matter!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Want to Attend Atlanta Screening?

If you would like to attend the Atlanta, red carpet screening November 17th, tomorrow, Saturday, of the upcoming horror thriller, "Somebody Help Me," starring Omarion, Marques Houston, and Brooklyn Sudano (and blog about it maybe?) please contact: keanesli at theconversationgroup dot com. He'll set you up right.

The Alcove With Mark Molaro

How do you find compelling new news shows in the clutter of The Information Age? Well, sometimes they find you! In this case, I discovered The Alcove With Mark Molaro via Facebook.

I'd joined a Facebook group, Fans of PBS, and Mark Molaro messaged me a personal note about his interview show, which I watch on Browsing through his interviews, I was delighted to find one with one of my longtime favorite journalists, Maria Hinojosa, speaking here about her horrifying, yet hopeful PBS NOW documentary, Child Brides, Stolen Lives. Watch that interview here now.

(I'd embed the video here, but Blogger doesn't like Blip embed code, for reasons I've yet to figure out.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Things To Do At Social Media Conferences

Sit in the back and Twitter, of course. Photo courtesy of Josh's social media conference photos streams.

Executing Social Media Conference Day 1

It's not dead yet! From yesterday's presentation, hosted at Coke HQ.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Georgia's Finest Homegrown Announcements

Lots of important things to mention this week, so here goes:

1.) BlabberMash launches!!!! Yeah! BlabberMash is a video sharing site about dating, sex and relationships from Atlanta's Michael Alvear, also host of HBO's Sex Inspectors. Check out the blazingly frank BlabberMash here.

2.) Jeff Haynie and Nolan Wright, local e-entrepreneurs extraordinaire, set loose Appcelerator on to the global economy. It looks just amazing, but a little bit over my techno-smallish head I admit. I am a lot of things, but a programmer isn't one of them. I think it's all about, uh, applications and widgets and stuff. It's all open-source though, and that's a good thing.

3.) Caroline Monroe was one of the Top Picks in the Eddie's Attic MySpace voting. She'll be playing a showcase (free) of online winners Tuesday November 20th at 8pm at Eddie's Attic in Decatur. Sure hope to see you there!

4.) Chilton made yet another cool video about his band's adventure's. That's right here:

Please help spread the good Georgia news about all these cool new ventures and shows from Georgia's finest homegrown talents!

Hannah Montana - You Are So Grounded

Finally, some legal action on the Hannah Montana ticket scam front:
Fans of Walt Disney Co.'s "Hannah Montana" TV show were falsely promised access to tickets to live concerts featuring the program's star for joining a paid fan club, according to a copy of a lawsuit provided by lawyers.

Full story here. 'Bout time.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Great Georgia Citizen Journalism

And a great mashup of old/new media working together to further the (tax dollar boondoggles) story. Don't miss the jumping fish! Not that any self-respecting Mac user would ever have put those things in there, I still like 'em.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Atlanta Bloggers - Local Entrepreneur Needs Your Help

This is an interesting situation CL noted today -- a small enterprise, new business (a smoothie shoppe) that needs more customers. Hmmmm, what would you do within social media to drive more traffic to a brick and mortar store with goodies in it?

Atlanta bloggers: leave YOUR social media tips and tricks for Bridgette, the owner of the Decatur/Oakhurst shop, on the CL post here. Ones you think that could help her drive foot traffic to her store. Or blog about her. And of course, stop by the store if you're in the area. Her smoothies look wonderful!

Calling on that Diva Marketing social media guru, Toby Bloomberg, especially.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Writers' Strike Nearly Causes Severe Injury

Yeah, because I almost fell out of bed laughing so hard when I woke-up suddenly to news that Hollywood writers are indeed now striking, leaving TV industry execs to make inane statements about new media such as, "If people can't get their shows on TV, it could send people to the Web to find entertainment there." I swear I am not making that up!

Forget writers. TV execs are hilarious just by opening their mouths. Put them on the Big TV. Of course I say, bring it on. The strike. Ain't no unions on the Interwebs. Anyone deprived of just astonishing sources of pure entertainment feel free to watch TrueGritz, where our dubious creativity is always available -- to advertisers too. Or just sit around and watch YouTube. I hear people just are crazy for the thing.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Beware The Giant Halloween Tick

I later decided our Halloween door decor wasn't scary enough, so I added a Hillary In '08 button to the mix. I really should warn my dad in case he drops by.

The Power of Activia Advertising

In case you wonder just how great the impact of television advertising is on children, of any kind, to any demo, wonder no more. I bought some Dannon Activia yogurt the other day, since any mode of modern living, other than lying in my preferred vegetative state on a beach, tends to annoy my delicate innards. This new dairy product, in the TV ads, promised great things for one's GI system. As soon as my seven-year old saw something new in our refrigerator, she reached for a carton and said, 'Hey, I've seen this on TV." Then, despite an historical indifference to yogurt, she swiftly ate an entire serving, and quite seriously declared, "My stomach really does feels better now."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Georgia Political Podcast #14

Episode 14: Georgia's Drought, Genarlow Wilson, Presidential Race, Senate Race. Thanks Rusty and Amber!

Comcast Wants To Be First In Evil Empire Race

Not only is Comcast, our local cable provider and ISP to many, slowing traffic along their tubes, they're also geared to fire employees who talk about what they're up to. So of course the techno-geeks are talking! Good for them. And at least one reason to be glad you stuck with Bellsouth. From Ars Technica:
Ars has heard from multiple Comcast employees since the story broke, and they're all telling us the same thing. They're supposed to tell customers asking whether Comcast limits access to BitTorrent that the ISP doesn't block access to any application, including BitTorrent. Furthermore, tech support workers are supposed to toe the party line at all times, or they'll be fired. "Management informed anyone that discussed this issue with any customer or press associate that it would lead to termination," an internal tier 2 tech support worker told Ars on the condition of anonymity.
Full post here. And call your Atlanta Comcast office and see what BS they have to offer you: 404-266-2278. Does anyone know who handles PR for Comcast here? I'd love to blog about them too!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Working Hard To Coalesce The Georgia Blogosphere: Georgia Blog Carnival #21

With a hell of a lot of hard pro-bono work, Rusty Tanton somehow managed to wrap-up the increasingly vibrant, comprehensive Georgia blogosphere for the last two weeks. Rusty tackled the crazy job so well, he should keep at it! Take some time to browse the best of the local blogosphere with Georgia Blog Carnival #21. And thank Rusty for hosting too when you have a sec.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Slim Chance To Host Spam & Grits Friday

In what promises to be a stunning showcase of fine Atlanta music throughout the ages, James Kelly will guest host WRFG's Spam & Grits show on Friday night from 8-10pm. No one knows country, cracker-roots music better'n James, a.k.a Slim Chance of longtime Atlanta honky tonkin' band, Slim Chance and the Convicts... and of numerous other ventures and pursuits to benefit humanity. Says Slim:
This show will feature only music by alt. country, folk, bluegrass, rockabilly, and various artists from the Atlanta and surrounding region. I have dug deep in the archives of the Slim chance Music Museum, and come up with a slew of great obscure and long lost material. There are artists who you haven't heard in years, artists who have moved away but maintain their Georgia identity, artists who are probably playing this weekend, and artists who have left this mortal coil, but are still missed. We're gonna have a lot of fun with this one friends, I promise.
Also, this is pledge drive time at WRFG. Support Atlanta's best alt-radio in whatever way you can. The number is (404) 523-8989. You can also pledge online here.

ATL's Mike Alvear On NYC TV

Relationship guru, Atlantan Michael Alvear, is getting ready to go big with his video sharing advice site, soon as it's out of Beta that is. He's already hitting the morning talk show circuit with a BlabberMash tag. Watch that here to find out what not to do, and what to do, if you find yourself falling for a friend. Yikes.

If you're a gay man, you likely know all about Mike. If not, you may recognize him from HBO's Sex Inspectors. I'm looking forward to seeing him all over the media soon with BlabberMash, which is for anyone of any sexual inclination or gender who might need just a little more feedback on their relationship, uh, trajectory. And don't we all?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Great Halloween Costume

Funny comments here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Georgia's, uh, Crisis Not Sexy Enough

Just when Sonny was, finally, back from Japan and seriously on his A-game, sounding every bit the powerful crisis-management leader, then wouldn’t ya know… along comes Schwarzenegger again, with his “perfect storm” sound bite and perfect bod and way-cooler disaster. Sonny got bumped down to second tier for America’s Best Crisis Governor all over national news last night.

We were reduced to a mere VO on ABC, while over on CBS’s second block, some babbling dope kept yammering about how “panicked” we were here in Georgia, yet failed to display anything remotely resembling this ”panic” we’re having. (You in a “panic?” I’m in a “panic” because my car has to go to the damn car spa — again.)

It’s just hard for a southerner to lead a national newscast nowadays when you’ve got Suzanne Summers and Ryan O’Neal evacuating estates in only their underwear. Between Malibu fires and Malibu Barbie (Valerie Plame Wilson) raging all over the national airways, Georgia’s water emergency never stood a chance at #1. Heck, even Tyler Perry’s movie dropped in sales over the weekend.

We are soooooo B-list.

This entry cross-posted at Peach Pundit.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kanuga Weekend

All Saints' Parish weekend at Kanuga Conferences, Hendersonville, N.C. October 6-8, 2007. Music by All Saints' Youth Choir.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Citizen Journalists -- Keep Hope Alive

Yes, it is kinda tough and often discouraging talking yourself up to get out there and commit citizen journalism yet again, for no apparent rhyme nor reason nor enough of an audience or YouTube views. So let me offer up my two news icons for you to gaze upon, Lara and Mike, who never fail to inspire me and to raise my hopes to another 40 page views. Let them too be the hot wings beneath your gonzo aspiring winds.
Plus, you know you'd look hot hot hot too in all that This Is Where The Story Is semi-military/native get-up!

And if all the above ain't doing it for you, there's always AC of course.

Chilton Music Project Scheduled To Rock Columbus, GA

Chilton Music Project

Saturday, October 27th, 2007
The Loft - 8 &11 pm
1032 Broadway
Columbus, GA 31901-5257

Nappy Cracker Head Ho In The ATL

This is an odd video, one with a rambling (and not terribly timely) political agenda. For instance, there's a Stomp And Stammer shout-out at 04:22, although Jeff Clark hates people with dreads. Then again, he hates people as a rule, so WTF. Here you go, Ho:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Seeds and Stems Time

1.) Mary Gauthier tonight at the Five Spot in L5P. One of the best singer/storytellers you can experience, in such an intimate setting. Wish I could be there.

2.) They's Democrats here with guns! And smokin' cigarettes. And drinkin' shine, although that shine looks an awful lot like ice tea now don't it? Call the ATF. EPA. DEA. HHR. ICE. FBI. FDA. BLM. NPS. OSHA. And we ain't even started with State.

3.) I had the good fortune to catch cultural performer Sara Jones live about a year ago -- a master of contemporary global accents. Catch some of 'em here now.

4.) Southern Political Report gets a new site design. They're still woefully lacking in social media tools though. Hope that's next.

5.) Drought continues despite rain.

6.) Join Atlanta blogger Bernita Smith as a Friends of Nita in her fight against her breast cancer by visiting her Making Strides Against Breast Cancer team page here. Her team walks on October 27th at Atlantic Station at 8am. Nita is so many things to so many people in the South. Now's when she needs us the most, and you know it's usually the other way around!

7.) Add your own stuff for the week.

Chattering Class Rebellion

Blame it on Pledge Drive. I just stay cranky during Pledge Drive. Waking up to WABE locals yammering financial guilt into my ear at 6am does not make for a happy yupster. Not on top of having just been buffeted by confounding dreams of guilt and rage.

My karma's been all wrong lately, and I just had this overwhelming wave of despair come over me this morning with my coffee that things were just not going right at all, despite the (good?) news of Benhazir Bhutto's emotional return to Pakistan.

What with the drought and the State fighting so with The Feds (that kinda shit's just not funny to us Southerners), and this rain-tease God's working on us, and my kid having a meltdown this morning over whatever she wanted to wear to school being "too hot on her back" (I draw the line at backless halter tops and bikinis in elementary school), and this grossly dead tree in our condo yard that could fall on units and cars and cause lawsuits to the board members (me) if the board doesn't do something to get it down soon, and this guy I have a wicked-bad crush on who lives halfway around the world and doesn't even know I exist, and the fact that every woman I know my age, well almost, has The Cancer, and it's just a matter of time before it's me, and the brakes are now really squealling on the Volvo...

So what's a soccer mom to do to right things in her world? Well, I went right to The New Yorker and got myself a tattoo. I swear I feel better already.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Directions To Anderson Cooper

In what surely has to be one of the stranger emails I've ever gotten, I clicked-on the directions to the screening party for Planet In Peril I'd never been invited to in the first place (tonight at the Georgia Aquarium at 6pm) and... voila... AC360 himself!

What a total tease this non-invitation was though as even though the bizarre email also included a full alphabetical listing of invitees who had previously RSVP'd in time to get a slot at tonight's premier, AC was not on the list -- proving once again Atlanta has no celebrities worth trying to con your way into anything over.

The Family Reality Blog

Atlanta poet, Tania Rochelle, runs a family blog. At first glance, it's clearly Tania's wickedly clever, jaundiced eye on her own life -- an interactive journal she keeps on-the-run as a mother, wife, daughter, writer, provider, observer, grocery shopper, teacher, supporter, recovered something, thinker, pet-lover, runner, worrier, you-name-it.

Then you come to realize that seemingly ALL of her numerous family members are joining in the blog reindeer games with their often contradictory and hilarious comments on every post she takes. Everyone from a grandmother, Mamoo, to a teenager daughter's latest boyfriend. You'll get to know them all if you're a regular to The Stone's Colossal Dream. Seemingly everyone she's responsible for, or who's responsible for her, or whom she knows intimately chimes in daily with their personal POV about Tania's World -- and exactly how they fit into the acknowledged zoo of it all.

Coming from a family that takes interest in, let alone something as ghastly as personal involvement in, one another's lives to disconnected heights of avoidance and contact akin to contagion units at the CDC, I marvel at Tania's blog's participatory, familial nature via new media.

With frequent visits, it's easy to find yourself feeling that you're a part of Tania's wacky suburban mayhem, where reflection and chatter and banter and argument and the spiritual and the mundane and seriousness and loopy camping trip behavior all reign and vie for more more more attention throughout any given day.

Tania's passed on her participatory, literate and literary tendencies to her oldest daughter, Sadie, who's now blogging from Costa Rica, where she's happily exploring the landscape, the populace, and herself.

Enjoy! It'll make you feel good, trust me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Red For Burma

The Shelbinator has gone and done something cool. Again. He changed his blog masthead "red for Burma." Maybe he'll share the graphic for our own blogs if we're nice to him? Well, he might share with you. (I tried last week to get everyone to change their Twitter icon to that of a monk. I think 2 people did it. Social media once again fails to obey my orders. Hmmmppphhh.)

How about "red for Myanmar?" And I passed that same beer can pile on SC Hwy. 11 last weekend. Least there was one that looked just like it on 11 just to the east side (?) of Walhalla. You couldn't miss it it was so darn shiney.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Train 'Em Up Early For The Campaign Trail

Stopped by the Hillary Clinton/John Lewis-endorsement today in Atlanta with my kid in tow. I figure when she's about 10, she'll be able to pull in a real camerawoman's wages.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Green Media and CNN

If you caught JMS on AC360 last night, you may, if you are the hardcore media junkie I am, have wondered how much energy was consumed to get that two-way shot with Stipe in Athens up to AC in NYC. A lot, I can assure you, given the price of gasoline used to transport a full MSM crew around Georgia.

Let's assume that a CNN crew based out of Atlanta was sent for the day to Athens, GA to set-up the shot. That's using XXX gallons of fossil fuel, right? In the kind of oversized vehicle needed to schlep all their gear back and forth. (Let's also assume no plane fuel was involved in the making of those TV minutes though, as that would be just thousands of gallons of fossil fuel burned, as opposed to mere hundreds.) And costs involved for that Athens-to-NYC air time were at least in the medium thousands. At least.

Meanwhile, CNN could have leveraged a terrific Green Media Moment (you read it here first; so yeah, you use it, I'll sue the pants off you) to do that live shot, which BTW was not live, but merely live-to-tape as we say in the biz. Notice the nice natural light on Stipe's shot, who was in the same time zone as a 10pm EDT Cooper; that was cool though because doing the shot outdoors saved plenty by not utilizing those energy-guzzling indoor lights.

Instead of incurring the costs for the (fossil) fuel, the superfluous personnel, and the ludicrously expensive satellite feed/uplinking capability needed to get Stipe onto AC360 last night, whereby he could then assist in the pimping of the upcoming green special, Planet In Peril, CNN could have had Stipe fire-up his laptop, plug a DV camera into it, get a wi-fi signal, jump on some live streaming platform like, and voila -- live GREEN TV! Albeit via the Internets of course, but live or live-to-tape, and totally cool and totally pimp-able for being greener than the rest. A win-win for all. Even the marketeers!

Now of course there would be some energy resources expended to power the Internets-related tools that Stipe and CNN needed to employ to get the great, now-green media to everyone who was seeking such last night, but energy costs would have been drastically lower overall. And think if that laptop could have been... say... solar powered! Now we're talking Green Media, folks.

All the above said though, R.E.M.'s song put the soul into the CNN pictures we were seeing last night. There's energy and power in that kinda human resource that's immeasurable. Let's hope those kinds of energies are renewable, 'cause that's what we'll be left with when the other kinds are gone.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

R.E.M. Fans Take Note!

A previously unreleased R.E.M. song, I take it a new one, will be debuting tonight on the I Dream Of Anderson Cooper show. This song will be used in the Planet in Peril special that commences October 23rd.

CNN's got a winner in this one -- women are going to go bonkers, globally. Anderson Cooper, Sanjay Gupta and Jeff Corwin all in one do-gooder-adventure-ist televised romp! My kid, who's seven, is absolutely mad for Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin, so they can pull from not only the news junkie, eco-minded (read to advertisers: deep pockets) crowd, but the Hannah Montana tween demo too.

Like I'd let her stay up that late, but if I had TeVo, I'd tevo it for her at least.

Latest '08 Presidential Candidate Poll Results

Matt Towery of Insider Advantage’s Southern Political Report (who has yet to get the Share Your New Media memo and continues to employ un-embeddable video on his site. Heck, he’s yet to get any sharing media memo as there are ZERO sharing tools on the site from what I can tell) has the latest and greatest data on how the ‘08 Presidential candidates are playing down south… and elsewhere.

Matt’s poll results, and fabulous preacher-man hairdo, are here. Good news for Edwards and Thompson somewhere in there. Clinton and Giuliani strong, strong, stong in FL and SC.

Deeper analysis of I Know What Fred Did At The Debate Last Night is here. But I’m addicted to these gosh darn wacky webcasts. There’s something so ______________ about them. Fill in the blank with YOUR bons motes and priceless feedback.

NOTE: This post cross-posted at PP too.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Let's Pick On The AJC! Installment #853

I've heard, time and time again at various press-related functions, the good folk from Cox Media Plantations say news coverage is all going hyper-local, so thus they are too. So let's take a look at just where they've not bothered to "go local" -- on a day when the's top, above-the-fold story is about Paula Abdul's makeup. (It was there early this morning, trust me.) Or when they do go hyper-local, it's semi-pointless. Hell, they can't even do "southern."

1.) The NYT had a cover story yesterday about a very dangerous home improvement product that lingered on the shelves of Atlanta-based Home Depot. Not only was the product, Stand 'N Seal, sold in Home Depot stores long after the product was recalled, the company that manufactures the hyper-dubious ingredient in the bathroom sealer product is based in... you got it... Georgia. But we get... Paula Abdul's pimple coverage instead.

2.) When churches throughout Atlanta had their annual pet blessing services to mark the Feast of St. Francis Assisi (historic pet-lover), and a delightful, heartwarming photo-op any 'ole time and place, the AJC runs a wire-service picture of a Golden Retriever in a church in San Francisco. Who needs to get out of the house and down the road a piece for a dog sitting in any church pew along Peachtree Road? Especially when Buckhead has more Golden Retrievers per household than any other place on the planet.

3.) Possibly the most head-scratching omission though is the failure of the AJC, a paper that helped shaped American history by its coverage of all-things-civil-rights, to send one of their own to Jena, LA to cover the civil rights march that happened there on September 20, not here. Rather, they relied on wire service reports the day of the march, choosing original reporting only for... the hyper-local perspective! Too bad that in this case the hyper-local was never where the heart of that story lay. How much can a Motel 6 in Louisisana possibly impact the bottom line?

Local v-blogger Amani Channel did bother to cover Jena, LA though. On assignment for HDNews. Twice. Here's just one of his many fascinating, personal, indie packages from the scene for his blog, MyUrbanReport, proving once again that blogs are now the best place to get your local, in-depth news coverage and analysis. Need more on the Grady crisis? Forget Cox Plantations; try Grift's crib.

NOTE: Once again I find that the best way to work your way through a social media-induced funk is to blog your way out. Confounding medium, eh?

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Plague Rages On

Since Diane's death, three women I know, friends all under 45, have now been diagnosed with The Cancer. In just a few short months. This is starting to get to me. The Cancer. I'm going to go read more about Blackwater to cheer myself up.

The Great Experiment

I see no real power in social media. No burning, critical business applications either -- for the time being. Sharing media? Yes, there's power in that I suppose, but it all depends on the content. Is any of it worth sharing? I'm going to wind down this experiment. I just simply do not feel like blogging. It's starting to bore the fuck out of me.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Show The Power of Social Media

Instead of your typical, same 'ole same 'ole icons, avatars and pictures on your blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Second Life, wherever... why not change them all, for a day or so, into Buddist monks? A terribly simplistic, but necessary show of solidarity for the people of Burma who seek to be free. Be the monk that has been vanished, symbolically at least. So when Anderson Coopers asks again on CNN, "Where have all the monks gone?" they can be conjured from all over the world.

Photo from the NYT. (And NYT, please, please, please don't sue me just yet. Let's just see if we can pull this thing off, k? Take one for the team, right?!)

Thanks For The Oldie, Catherine

Cath, I'm headed back to Kanuga this weekend. I go as always with great trepidation of treading on sacred ground and ghosts. And hearts. I hope as always mine holds up. It hasn't failed me yet. God, how strong we must always, constantly be. Then again, that is what we were tasked to become, eh? Sigh... But this time, I take my daughter with me. The legacy will be required to burn strong in her too. The dubious gifts I casually give away.

Music Industry Still Stuffing Genies Back In Bottles

No offense to our fave Lady at the Bar, Sara, but what planet do lawyers come from? This record label attorney says we're "stealing" when we copy our own music, because that cuts them outta the loop one more time again. I guess record labels will be asking the government to bail them out next too. Especially given the new Radiohead business model just unleashed this week. Take a number. (Or in the Radiohead case, pick a number.)

Pariser (attorney for Sony BMG) noted that music labels make no money on touring, radio, or merchandise, which leaves the company particularly exposed to the negative effects of file-sharing. "It's my personal belief that Sony BMG is half the size now as it was in 2000," she said, thanks to piracy. In Pariser's view, "when people steal, when they take music without compensation, we are harmed."

Pariser has a very broad definition of "stealing." When questioned by Richard Gabriel, lead counsel for the record labels, Pariser suggested that what millions of music fans do is actually theft. The dirty deed? Ripping your own CDs or downloading songs you already own.
That full article here. As always, Ugly Bobby weighs in with the straight-up-and-in-yo-face analysis:

Oh, you know that Cupertino company. The one that RUINED THE BUSINESS! Yes, everybody wanted CDs and they developed this iPod contraption and now everybody wants files. Is this really Apple's fault? Or did they just seize an opportunity? More to the point, have the majors constantly SQUANDERED opportunities?

Is the Internet the end, or the beginning? Is it really true that no one can get paid online? Or do we just need a better business model? Do bands have to survive on tours? What about composers, non-touring artists...are they FUCKED? The majors would say so.
And the dead-tree news people think they've got it bad. Ha. So after reading Bobby's blog, where he writes about how great it was to hear Pete Townsend/The Who's song, Pure and Easy, again (he heard it via satellite radio I believe), the power of INTERNET-RELATED SUGGESTION works its many charms on me, again, and I'm off to download that very song. I too haven't heard it, also a fave of mine, in so many years.

Who profits from this particular action? You? Me? Us? Pete's kids? A monk in Burma? Just comment here and I'll burn you a copy too. Come to think about it, where's Pete when you need him the most? Downloading kiddie porn? And where's the Dali Lama? Hanging out at Emory? Jeez...

UPDATE: Realizing I still only have Who's Next on LP, I ended-up downloading the entire album. Let the snowballing begin. It sounds so fucking great again! Once was a note - listen...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Save The Porches!

The house/office (they're one in the same now to me) of my dreams is mostly a porch. A series of wrap-around porches really. I grew up with no A/C and have yet to really embrace it, except on the most sweltering days, such as some we had this last summer in Atlanta. A/C makes my nose drip. One reason I doubt I could ever go back to working for The Man is for the summers I've wasted shivering in sweaters in front of space heaters, trapped in ugly office buildings chilled to some environmentally insane 68 degrees.

I'd prefer my dream porches overlooking a pristine intercoastal waterway, with most of 'em also screened-in for summertime use down South. I always wonder at the lack of screened porches in high-density subdivisions and other forms of geographically-clueless architecture. Where are the folk gonna sit on a nice southern, mosquito-ridden summer night and yap and drink amongst themselves when they get claustrophobic from too much A/C-related enclosure? Or what if there was a long power outage in the middle of a sweltering summer? Where you gonna sleep if not on a porch cot?

In related matters, I was drawn to this article about post-Katrina housing build-back projects in Biloxi because it seems that whoever designed this house (in this case Brett Zamora from Architecture for Humanity) didn't immediately check all the dwelling's Southerness at the door. This house just looks "right." It looks inherently Southern. The delighted homeowner thought so too.

Ms. Parker and her children were drawn to the “Blox,” a design by Brett Zamore that reminded them of their old neighborhood, lost to the storm. “It looked cozy and comfortable, like something that would fit right into Biloxi,” Ms. Parker said. “And the porches! I’m an outside person. I love the porches.”

Full story here.

photo borrowed from The New York Times

Monday, October 01, 2007

Bowling For Democracy -- And Off The Bus

Off The Bus installment #3 is fresh from the fields to your screen, Or click here if you're having trouble seeing:

A Breath of Fresh Georgia Political MSM Air

Hope sproings eternal that there will once again be good, readable, analytical, political writing about Georgia that reflects the mood of the contemporary political scene, and not just chronic geezer-rambling about something someone felt 30-years ago. From Walter Jones at the Morris News Service, an unusual reporter in that he actually gets out of the office every now and then to place a finger to the winds (of change).

House Minority Leader DuBose Porter of Dublin admits now that the Democratic Caucus was too shocked to formulate a strategy for leveraging what remaining power it retained as a voting bloc of legislators.

"It took us a year or so to realize we weren't in the majority," Porter quipped recently at his fundraising reception in an Atlanta watering hole frequented by Democrats, Manuel's Tavern. Democrats squawked when the Republicans changed the legislative rules, underfunded the per-pupil school formula and toughened eligibility for the HOPE scholarship.

Other than a few lines in news stories as the loyal opposition, though, all their noise amounted to little. The only real horsepower they could muster on the floor of theHouse and Senate was to withhold the super majority required to pass the handful of constitutional amendments the GOP kept introducing.

Then came the 2006 election. It swept Democrats into the majority in Congress, which infused the Georgia party with a sense of possibility.

Read on here.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Georgia Blog Carnival #19

Georgia Blog Carnival is up and ready for your browsing. Here you go.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Blogging Touches Lives

And for once I'm not being snarky. Blogging really does touch our lives -- in a way that's unique and participatory and fulfilling. Of course it also often punches us in the eye. Witness my on-going little tit for tat with He Who Must Not Be Named. Or Those Little Boys Who Should Be Named, Called Out Often, And Taken Out Behind The Shed And Whipped Soundly By Their Mommas Since No One Obviously Ever Did That Before And Sometimes Folk Just Need Some Common Sense Beat Into 'Em. (Did I just say that? Man am I getting mean and cranky and showing too much southern in my old age or what.)

Witness the comment left here. Or read James' Academy Awards acceptance speech here after winning CL's Best Blogger in Atlanta award this week. And yeah, he earned that puppy. Congratulations James! Enough earnestness in one post from me. That's your annual allotment now used up. Let's all go get wasted. DBT tonight at the Variety. Yeah!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Great Whirlwind Atlanta History Interview

Rusty does the honors when he podcasts/catches up with Boyd Lewis here on The Georgia Podcast Network. Boyd, a former 70's Atlanta media-man-about-town, blew through town from his current crib in L.A. to pimp-out a happening reception for a showing of his 70's Atlanta photos. Previously blogged about on the SGR. (Wish I'd video-d the scene-making crowd of old and young hipsters of all flavors who populated the popular reception. It was really an Atlanta arts, entertainment, media, and politics Who's Who event. I caught only the very tail end of the bash, though. My bad.)

Podcast is here for listening/downloading. Don't miss this one! It's filled with verbal bon motes about Atlanta such as Grant Park when it was a "Victorian slum." Some delicious CL dissing too!

"35" In WSJ

If you create new media, they will come. In this case, the WSJ to the cool, new live online drama "35." Hope you're tuning in at 9pm every night until the 30th for "35." It's getting good and creepy!

Producer (of "35") Kathryn Jones says that, until now, live content on the Web has been limited to "some sports, some politicians, and a lot of people at desks with microphones." Ms. Jones, who also stars in "35," says the creators wanted to mix the accessibility of Web TV with the spontaneity of theater.

"35" is also meant to be a showcase for the Web site hosting it. is part of a new crop of services trying to get users interested in creating and watching live video, as opposed to sites like YouTube that show prerecorded clips.
Full article here. I wouldn't know about all that "some politicans" stuff on Ustream... or would I?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

And He Can Remember?

Hands down, the haziest years of my life were 1983-1987. And this dude, of all things a drummer for the Ramones for that time frame, claims he recalls being there. Ha! I'd toss out the lawsuit immediately on the grounds that it's impossible to verify what anyone operating in rock-n-roll from '83-'87 really did or did not do.

A punk-rock drummer who did a four-year stint with the Ramones in the 1980s filed a federal lawsuit yesterday against Wal-Mart, Apple and the estate of the band’s lead guitarist, claiming that they violated his copyrights by making and distributing digital downloads of songs he wrote while with the band.

Richard Reinhardt — professionally known, in the band’s standard practice, as Richie Ramone — was with the band the Velveteens when, according to the Ramones’ official Web site, he “kept the beat” from 1983 to 1987 while the Ramones’ regular drummer, Marky Ramone, was “on hiatus.” Mr. Reinhardt claims that the rights to his songs were taken without his permission by Ramones Production Inc. and by the estate of John Cummings, better known as Johnny Ramone, the band’s lead guitarist, who died in 2004.

Click here for a great headline to this NYTimes article.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

Live on The Internets -- "35"

Here's your groundbreaking new media! A live drama, 35, is on the Internet's tonight at 9pm. There have been two previous episodes already (go back and view those here), all presented by And live is the operative word. Imagine a TV drama show served-up live as you watch. That's what 35 is all about. The webisode show runs through September 30th, 9pm each night.

And how did I find out about this? Twitter, of course. Tune-in here on the SGR at 9pm EDT for something most entirely different.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ahmadinejad Not Welcome At Ground Zero? Try Edelman.

Poor President of Iran... he's coming to visit the States, do a little debating, raise a few nuclear weaponry funds, take in a show or two. But Little Man Ahmadinejad has been thwarted from his whacked photo-op intentions to lay a wreath at Ground Zero. Official New York surely doesn't want him to darken their doorstep downtown.

Silly dude! Didn't anyone tell him he just needed to hire Edelman? They excel at fake PR. They're the network. They Da Man.

Whatcha want to bet Edelman could get Ahmadinejad the Ground Zero wreath laying event he's craving? Edelman thing doesn't work out, try Caren West. Heck, she'll even toss in a fake column in the Sunday Paper for ya too at no extra charge. What a deal.

Come on Ahmadinejad. Think outside the Axis of Evil! This is America hon, where you can always manufacture yourself some ethics and integrity if you're running low.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Soccer Moms Outraged Over Hannah Montana Ticket Scam

And when soccer moms get pissed, watch out. Glad to see WAGA is covering this story, although they don't seem concerned enough, given this limp package of excuses, to pursue a full investigation.

Thanks for putting this on YouTube, Buzz. Now let's hope we see some follow-up from media folks with actual resources to investigate this further. And if anyone was able to purchase a ticket at face-value that day they went on sale, from Ticketmaster or Gwinnett Arena, or anywhere for that matter, please contact me at spaceygracey at bellsouth dot net. I'd like to hear your story. Thanks!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Sweetest Thing Happened To Me

This was so lovely and touching that for a moment I thought it had to have been written by Andisheh. I know he feels the same way too, bless his heart.

Hannah Montana Ticket Scam In Atlanta

If you hear howling throughout Atlanta, it's the sound of my kid being told she's not going to be seeing Hannah Montana live anytime soon, as there seems to be a blatant ticket scam going on center stage at Ticketmaster and the Gwinnett Arena. From an AJC blog today:

Tickets went on sale Saturday morning to the “Hannah Montana” show in November at the Gwinnett Arena. Not only were they sold out pretty much instantly, there are reports of people who were first in line at a Ticketmaster outlet being told there were no tickets available.
Full post here. The scalpers sure got their paws on the tickets real quick-like though. Check out the scalped ticket prices on eBay!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Writers Lost Jobs To Save This One?

This just defies every last snippet of reason and logic: the AJC loses journalists and writers the likes of Tom Baxter, Teresa Weaver, and Eleanor Ringel, but keeps on staff a jaw-dropping hack this stunningly hideous? What the bloody hell are they smoking over there on Marietta Street? Least they buried this one on the Obit Desk. Hell, she's worse than Caren West and Lisa Baron. If that's even possible.

h/t to Tania.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Atlanta's Fake Media

Cox Media Plantations deceptively faked the "public" nature of their Hour Of Grady Power (or lack thereof), the I Have A State-Funded Dream phony, staged event I whined about in Peach Pundit here. It was merely an hour of rather odd dino-anchor blather really.

John Sugg at CL complains too; not only did they not allow press from beyond the reach of the Cox Media Empire, but they only allowed in invited "town" guests.

Now we come to the public forum that wasn’t. WSB-TV Channel 2 — the television arm of the media Coxopoly — hosted a “town hall” meeting on Grady Thursday night (Sept. 13). But as reporters for the upstart Atlanta Progressive News found out, Cox had a peculiar view of who lives in its town.

The event was invitation-only. Community activists had every reason to suspect that only certain opinions would be aired. “It’s a town hall meeting, but the town isn’t invited!” Terence Courtney, director of Atlanta Jobs with Justice, told the media activists with APN. “They’re running from us. We want a [true] public process.”

Full blog post here. I bet they let in their own kind though, meaning someone from the AJC. What un-transparent jerks they are at Death Star 2. They completely manipulated our perceptions and the purpose of their TV show. Emphasis of course on their show. Sure wasn't "ours." A shameful pox on Cox. Again.

Blog Carnival 18 Now Up

And it contains THE most comprehensive list of Georgia blogs I've seen anywhere. That Sherry Heyl, who hosted this month's Georgia Blog Carnival, is one amazing lady. Thanks Sherry!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Hairdo

Not so sure about this one. Must have been channeling Anna Wintour -- again.

Metal Heads Used For Something

From today's AJC:
Brent Hinds, guitarist for Atlanta's ruling metal quartet Mastodon, is being treated in a Las Vegas hospital after he suffered what the band's management calls a "severe head injury."
Has Jeff Clark finally rained geek-vengeance down on Mastodon? Does make you wonder, since all encounters with this completely pointless band inevitably lead to, quite literally, skull cracking. From Clark, May '07:
The four Mastodonians are about as friendly, funny and easygoing as any dudes you'll meet. Even guitarist Brent Hinds, with whom I had a nasty, public brawl (a head-butt) eight years ago - in his pre-Mastodon days - has chilled out considerably. I suppose world metal domination will do that to a guy.
That full Stomp and Stammer piece here. What goes around comes around, eh?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

70's Atlanta Show

Now you know Atlanta must have been one happenin' place in the 70's! See for yourself at the opening of The Atlanta 70's Show: a Retrospective of Boyd Lewis’ Photography of Atlanta at the Mason Murer Gallery, Friday September 14th at 7pm. About Boyd Lewis, a name you may be familiar with:

Boyd Lewis remembers the Atlanta of the 1970s in a photographic tour de Force at Mason Murer Fine Art. Lewis was a journalistic fixture in Atlanta from 1969-1997. Lewis was first hired in Atlanta as a reporter for The Atlanta Voice in 1969. He also worked as a freelance photographer at that time, landing photographs in Time, Newsweek and other major publications. Mr. Lewis became news editor of The Atlanta Inquirer in 1972. Here he documented the rise of Maynard Jackson, the election of Andrew Young to Congress, and the emergence of the African American Power Structure in Atlanta politics.

Read more here.

When Big Media Met Little Media

In the Why Do They Bother, They'll Never Be Cool category (kinda like Republicans), the Atlanta Press Club will host the anchor of a MSM show called i-Caught. According to their press release...

(Bill) Weir is host of ABC’s new hit show, i-Caught, the newsmagazine for the YouTube generation. It is based on user-generated Internet video and the stories behind them. It airs Tuesday nights, 9-10 p.m."

I-Neverheardofit, but I do plan to be at the APC's newsmaker luncheon to hear more of MSM's outrageous spinning of their gluttonous success-i. Last one I went to though was, giving panel, the hideous Art Harris, of some ultra-hideous, blow-a-celeb show, this blog, and sometimes CNN.

With genuine pride and glory, mixed with this utterly contrived and feigned I'z just doin' the peoples bid-ness self-preservation shuck and jive, Harris was downtown at the Commerce Club showing-off his exclusive interviews with some jail-housed relation, in the utter stinking shit heap that was the Anna Nicole death and re-death coverage. There's turd polishing and then there's Art Harris, who just smears the reeking fecal matter all over himself and wanders around like it's Chanel N°5 he's wearing.

I'm still ashamed and furious at myself that I sat through a reeking video presentation of his glorification of scum-celebrity culture (i.e."exclusives") without standing up and yelling, "Get that disgusting celeb-stink out of my face, you shameless bald-headed Big TV freak."

APC's newsmaker luncheon with Bill i-Somethingcute, and Kate Snow, of ABC News info is here:

Thursday, September 20
11:30 a.m. – Registration
Noon – Lunch
12:25 p.m. – Remarks
12:45 p.m. – Question and Answer Session

The Commerce Club
34 Broad Street, 16th Floor Dining Room
Atlanta, GA 30303
For directions, please visit Because of limited parking at TCC, please consider using MARTA, whose Five Points station is across the street, or parking in nearby decks on Marietta Street.


This luncheon is open to the public. APC members may purchase individual tickets for $28 each or tables of 10 for $280, which includes signage. The nonmember prices are $35 for individual tickets and $350 for tables of 10 with signage. Parking is not included in the ticket price. Tickets and tables may be purchased at or by calling
404-577-7377. No tickets will be sold after noon on Wednesday, September 19. Payment must accompany reservations, and there is a 48-hour cancellation policy.

Friday, September 07, 2007

"Some Will Rob You With A Six-Gun, Some With A Fountain Pen"

Marvelous, marvelous new blog from a thoughtful, literary, lyrical country Georgia gentleman who can craft a wonderful, poignant tale steeped in pure southern culture. I'm delighted and honored to bring you Paw Paw Bill. From an August entry, I Hear Woodie Guthrie Singing:

When my Daddy first took sick, one of my sisters stayed with him for a while. Daddy’s health went rapidly downhill after the death of his wife, my stepmother. My sister prepared my stepmother’s clothes to send to the Salvation Army, and after she began to find money, folding money, including $100 bills, tucked away in the pockets of jackets and in purses, she searched through everything carefully. My Daddy and his wife were survivors of The Great Depression of the 1930’s, and they hoarded things and stashed stuff in hiding places.

Before his death, Daddy had explicitly instructed me to take responsibility for his bank safety deposit box. He admonished me about my sisters, “You do right by the girls.” The day after his funeral, I phoned the lawyer to schedule a trip to the bank to clean out the safety deposit box. “Oh, I’ve already taken care of that,” the lawyer informed me. “There wasn’t nothing in it but some insurance papers and property deeds.” Some days later we had the reading of the will, and the lawyer presented me documents to sign releasing him from bond and waiving any claim whatsoever against him for any liability ever conceived by mankind.

I heard Woody Guthrie singing.

Full post here. And here's The Byrd's rendition of the Guthrie song quoted by Paw Paw Bill, from a 1971 rode-hard performance, back when young men were dramatic and fearless and beautiful and poetic.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

French Onion Delight

I'm not much of a foodie. I'll eat a can of Chef Boy'ardee with nary a whine. But, unconsciously perhaps, I've been searching for a bowl of French Onion soup like this since my college cocktail waitress days, when the restaurant crowd would get off work at midnight, go hit the discotheques to dance to Donna Summers, the B52's (down down down), and Michael Jackson, then of course be crazy-starved for food.

The only thing open at 2am in Charleston, SC that was halfway approachable way back when was Marianne's, the best French restaurant this side of Paris; the only thing I could afford on the menu way back when was a glass of Dubonett and a bowl of soup. The French Onion there was hearty and heavenly.

The other day I found a taste of those long ago high times when I ordered the above soup at the Carroll Street Cafe. Mon Dior, it was a nostalgic mini-reunion. Sigh....

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Drive Invasion Racist?

What's all this blather about Drive Invasion being racist? Just because folk of varying stripe choose not to hang in 100-degree heat with a bunch of tattooed, ugly, obnoxious, drunken, illiterate rednecks-posing-as-hipsters who look like they're one step away from some hideous, needle-induced infectious disease while the worst music you've ever encountered blasts you across melting black asphalt, now come on, does that make an annual booze-fest event where the Confederate flag is occasionally displayed in some twisted, reverse-reverse-irony manner inherently racist? If so, I'd have a bad rash of self-loathing to go with my sunburn by now.

What about the people, and surely there were some, who chose not to go to a Michael Vick dog fight? Such as Vick's father. Were they self-loathing blacks who wanted to secretly be more white by ignoring ghetto behavior?

Damn I love a great cultural confounding with Southern implications! Exactly what this blog is all about.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

DragonCon '07

Yes, DragonCon is everything you've always heard it was. The Shelbinator has your video goodies here. I gave video blogging panel moderation there on Saturday, rather traumatized and agonized though because the panel was during the freakin' parade. (Why oh why during the parade, of all fabulous things, D*C schedule people?)

Still, I managed to shoot some video of the glorious street scene before and after the parade, just haven't packaged it yet. One sight that puzzled me was two kids walking around in matching shirts. One had a large letter "G" on, the other an "F."

My kid took one look at the footage and screamed, "It's for Fred and George!!!!" Uhhhh duh... come to think about it, they did have red hair. And were twins. And were carrying wands.

Need answers? Ask a 7-year old.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Georgia Carnival Fresh Out Of The Oven

The 17th Georgia Blog Carnival roundup is now available. Have at it. Thanks, Elementary History Teacher. You provide an excellent service to the Peach State. Surely to us bloggers. I bet you give great history too! Thanks for including the SGR.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Off The Bus #1

... in which the Atlanta blogosphere joins me on a Huffington Post-related ride. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Seeds and Stems

Somehow I've missed the terrific ATL blog, Drive A Faster Car. But it's on my radar now. Any blogger who posts Twits that rage Its Fucking Moron Day at the new Publix on Collier has got my attention. That's my 'hood after all, right smack here in traffic hell-on-earth.

Now that comments are ignited, Phil Kloer's new book blog at the AJC seems to be catching right on. Thirty five comments for the very first post! Phil's filling a phat void apparently, now that they fired all the A&E -oreinted "real" reporters over at Cox Plantation #1. Who needs 'em in a blogophied world anyway? Not when you can just click to something this good, or this, for a look at what's going on locally in, say, the very hot Atlanta music scene.

I've known the bright 'n clever Mr. Kloer for years now. Really good guy. He once interviewed me and some pals during a smallish Twin Peaks (that's how old I really am) viewing party we had at some cruddy apartment complex off of Ponce I used to pay rent to. That was way back in the seriously hazy days on Ponce, when you could look out your back window and see bums from the Clairmont taking a dump in the back parking lot. Ughhhh... But even if it's a kindasorta blog, please support his bloggin' efforts in the bubbasphere with lots of your own juicy written droppings.

Has all that much really changed on Ponce? Beats me. I beated a fast track to Buckhead shortly after Twin Peaks ended and have been here ever since. Go ask these kids for a more timely answer.

New video goodies are online now for the Bobby Saxon For Congress campaign. Courtesy (operative word is "courtesy") of WaySouth Media. Check out Bobby's announcement video here, and a shorter vid about his military background here. This guy's really one to watch; he's got a ton of charm and good horse sense and charisma that jump off the video, despite the incessant cricket 'n insect noises that got picked-up in the audio during taping.

Bobby, an Athens boy and running in the 10th, is really into spreading the word via new media, too. Look for good stuff to come over the next fifteen months of campaigning from Mr. Saxon. He's going to be around for a while. Heck, even his name just oozes a power, get'rdone vibe!

Anything else to add here, I just plain forgot. Have a great week!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

OnLineAthens The Coolest Kids In Georgia Media

OnLineAthens dot com, the online version of the Athens Banner-Herald (note how they brand print and online separately), is seriously head-and-shoulders above the rest of Georgia "traditional" media outlets in offering good, locally-grown multimedia on their pages. Scroll down on their AthFest page to click-on a video featuring the AthFest awards ceremony... still viable and good to watch even after the festival is over.

Not only is OnlineAthens wielding excellent, localized reporting, they're toting some nice DV cams while they're out and about. Too bad the AJC can't tap into a blazing Atlanta music scene right now to offer jack shit. Who even clicks on their one-dimensional site anymore, for that matter? I just go directly to The Blogs... or to Athens.

Heck, OnlineAthens even links you to a site called Talk about your one-stop shopping. Wishful thinking to feel that Atlanta musicians and artists could hope for but a crumb from Atlanta media/Cox Plantation table.

Chances are, when their paper version flutters away one day, and it will, as all papers are in the process of doing, the Athens Banner-Herald won't miss a beat; they "got it" long ago that it's all about the sharing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Backpack Network

As my kid headed back to her Atlanta public school (APS) last week, and after filling out what seemed like the hundredth paper form requesting the same contact information for our family, I put down the pen to rub my cramped, aching fingers.

I hadn’t done that much old-fashioned pen and dead-tree work since I myself was in grade school. As someone who types virtually all communications or phones them in, such tasks were a lot of manual labor, all for the purpose of creating unimaginable amounts of inputting work for whoever on the receiving end must decipher my atrocious, rarely utilized handwriting.

Then I scribbled yet another communication on some random, greasy kitchen notepad to the teacher about my child’s changing afternoon schedule. I placed that bit of scribble alongside the rest in my child’s bulging backpack and sent it off with a wing and a prayer -- through The Backpack Network. I’d have felt better if I could have sent it by Harry Potter owl.

While marginally reliable at best, the APS’s Backpack Network as chief communication device, in this time of email, the instant message, MySpace, Twitter, SMS, the YouTube debates, cell cams, webcams and iPhone, is amusingly antiquated. But it is what we are asked to use to communicate with the people in charge of our children’s school system.

While APS requires countless forms from the parent/kid end to be filled out as how best to find and contact us, they give us nothing back in return about how to contact them, unless of course you count the one email address on the (static) website for the school’s principal, and the one main phone and fax number to the chaotic school office. That’s it. There simply isn’t any more: no list of teacher email addresses; not a single cell phone number listed for a single staff member.

Why APS wants our email addresses at all is a complete mystery, as the few times I’ve tried to communicate with a staff member through email, I’ve been told to email is grossly unreliable and to “call the front office” instead.

The carpool line communication methods have even regressed, going from two-way walkie talkies to move things along last year, to written slips of paper now passed along from outside to inside. They sure could use at least a house elf or two.

So I got out the amusingly titled “Information Handbook” for my kid’s school, where I found over twelve, front and back printed, pages of paper listing schedules and rules and regs and names and places. The only communicating tool listed for APS staff was indeed -- the main phone number. The one electronic notation was for the school’s (static) website, buried way in the middle of the handbook.

I then read over the letter of welcome from the PTA President, who bravely gave out her cell phone number AND her personal email address, alongside a kindly quote that “communication is key, and the PTA offers many ways to be connected with your child’s school experience.”

And indeed, also inside the “Information Handbook” was a full list of PTA committee chairpersons’ email addresses: everything from the Gift Wrap Committee to the Family Spring Picnic! Heck, the PTA is so efficient it will include their family’s blogs and Facebook sites before long.

But parents’ regular communications needs are directly with APS school staff: the children’s teachers and the administrators, not with the 2008 Fun Run committee co-chair.

Until we need to know more about our “child’s school experience” than what time to show-up to put cones out on Field Day, we are left to the dubious efficiency of -- The Backpack Network.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lady Reporter

That’s what they used to call women in journalism: Lady Reporters. Cute, huh? And they stuck ‘em on the society desk to write about Margaret Mitchell’s little book, charity events and the Junior League. Well, Atlantan Katie Johnson wasn’t having any of that! Instead, she made the Civil Rights beat in the South during the sixties her own while working for the AP.

Johnson has had plenty of opportunities to tell her stories lately. The retired reporter, who covered the civil rights movement for the Atlanta bureau of The Associated Press, figures prominently in a new history of the wire service, “Breaking News” (Princeton Architectural Press). The book, which traces the world’s largest news organization from the Civil War to the war in Iraq, devotes a chapter to the rights struggle of the 1950s and ’60s. Johnson practically jumps off the pages.

Though she hasn’t worked for the AP in 30 years, it has given her quite a few assignments recently. She was summoned to New York for an oral history session. She appeared on a National Press Club panel that was broadcast on C-SPAN’s Book TV. She was invited to be on the program at the 50th anniversary of the Little Rock desegregation crisis next month, even though she had nothing to do with that story.

“They’re treating me like a celebrity,” she says, laughing. “They sure didn’t treat me like that when I worked for them.”

Full story here. What’s baffling and shameful is that Ms. Johnson isn’t given so much as a footnote in the “The Race Beat,” the 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning book about reporting the Civil Rights movement by Hank Klibanoff, a managing editor at the AJC. What a glaring omission.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Atlanta's Fat Ass

Jeff Haynie, a successfull web-based entreprenuer from metro Atlanta has a fascinating blog entry he's titled: How To Build A Successfull Startup Environment in Atlanta. Note his use of the critical word "environment." Jeff's really on to something here, something we need to help him grow:

I can’t even compare our environments to other major areas like the Valley or Boston - it’s just not much of a comparison. So, I won’t. Atlanta can become it’s own community and has the ability to not only do what others have done before us - but also innovate in it’s community environments. And, we need more people - “completely unknown” around town - to step up and make it happen. We need 100 Billy Payne’s passionate about making Atlanta a successful startup community, as much as the real Payne did for the Atlanta Olympic quest in the late 80s.

Full post here. I urge reading it carefully. There's just so much good stuff all through it. I've had to the good fortune to work with Jeff on media issues and making some cool new media. He's completely inspiring to be around. He gets things like, oh say, SoCon07 done. And Southern Fried Tech.

Like others who have come to get to know one another through SoCon07, PodCamp Atlanta or Atlanta Web Entrepreneurs, Jeff is anxious and willing to help build a strong e-entrepreneur community right here in the SE. Let's hope our entrenched media establishment, some of which he talks about in his blog entry, will keep the faith, the open mind and the initiative needed to help drive just this very thing -- a vibrant web-based entrepreneurial environment and community. Not only is it in our interest, their audience base and eyeballs, it would seem to be in their own self-preservation interests too.

FYI... Jeff's on to BarCamp Atlanta come October! I say... whatever was strong in Mr. Payne, is also strong in Mr. Haynie. Let's move beyond the entrenched way of doing things, the good 'ole boy network. Let's learn, create -- and above all -- share.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Making Integrated Media

Here's a fascinating conversation with Vicki Lynne of Satellite Event Enterprises about blowing-out an event and a marketing campaign in all possible social media ways you can think of! She's really nailed the strategy and the mindset; it's all about... integrating media.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Here's Your Participatory Media!

Boy, the media revolution sure looks pretty and fun!

Lip Dub - Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri and Vimeo.

Georgia's Aviation History

There's a documentary in the works about Georgia's aviation history. Take a peek here.

Creating New Media Buzz

I'm giving panel tonight. The topic: Building Buzz For Your Web-Based Business. Join the Atlanta Web Entrepreneurs group tonight at Georgia Tech for this. Starts at 6:45pm. Details are sign-up are here. Hope to see you there!

Ma AT&T Says Shut-Up And Sing

Not only will they not lay us fiber optic (least Ma Southern Bell never did), AT&T has a kindamaybesorta policy to censor “political” speech during live webcasting. So they tested every possible free speech boundary during a Pearl Jam concert this past weekend. From

AT&T’s culture of control has taken a frightening new turn. Some may remember when the company’s black rotary phone was the only device allowed on its telephone network.Today, the communications giant is banking that a world without Net Neutrality will allow them to exert similar control over another network — the free flowing Internet. Look no further than AT&T’s recent censorship of a Pearl Jam concert webcast, just as lead singer Eddie Vedder launched into a critique of President Bush.

AT&T’s slippery response to the resulting outcry is instructive. The moment the Pearl Jam news hit the Web, AT&T’s public relations division scrambled their spokespeople and shills. In a frenzy of damage control, they fired off a series of statements. One called the move “totally against our policy — of never, ever censoring political speech.” Another declared the Pearl Jam censorship “an isolated incident” — an “unfortunate” mistake by a rogue subcontractor.

Full story here. Wait ’til AT&T discovers what folks say on the blogs! Jeez. What a bunch of corrupted creeps they are. They’d sell-out their mommas for the ability to monopolize the way we pick our own noses over our own webcams.

That said, I gotta say I live-webcasted a big ‘ole rally for a bunch of Georgia Dems once, over what was surely AT&T owned and operated Internets “air.” No one batted an eyelash. Then again, we had about, oh say, 2 million or so fewer folks tuning-in for that one. No rock stars bothered to show to rock the North Georgia Dem vote, sad to say.

And maybe that’s a good thing, because if there’s one thing that annoys the crap outta me is perfectly great music interrupted by some ego-crazed musician with a brain the size of a pea wanting to shove his/her juvenile political pontifications down our throats when all we wanted to do was hear good music and get wasted. I want a political argument, I come to Peach Pundit! (Actually, PR shills and hacks for giant telco beasts annoy me even more, but that’s another post.)

Shut-up and sing, eh?