Sips from the Firehose
A blog that seeks to filter the internet into a refreshing, easily-gulped beverage


Jun 19

Obama Reaches Out on LinkedIn

Posted: under Current Affairs, Found Genius Artifacts, New Media Strategery, Online (Multi)Media, Politix, Weblogs.

Yet another quick hit – just checked to see how many more answers I’m getting from the LinkedIn question I posted earlier this week, and noticed that the Obama campaign today posted a question on what the best ideas are to “keep America competitive in the years ahead.”

What ideas do you have to keep America competitive in the years ahead?

In a recent speech, I proposed a new competiveness agenda centered
around education and energy, innovation and infrastructure, fair trade
and reform.

You can watch it, and read the full-text, here: http://my.barackobama.com/competitiveness

What ideas do you have to keep America competitive in the years ahead?

Smart. Very smart. These people “get it.” They are using Web 2.0 in a very inclusive, forward-thinking way; the mere fact that they’re posing such a question in a professional forum means that they are reaching out to business professionals in an unprecedented way.

Again, I’m going to have to get back to this in a later post, but it’s tying into what I call the “Help Line Mollification Effect.” You know – how you dial customer support, mashing the buttons on your phone with excessive force, blood pressure up around nuclear reactor containment sphere levels … and you yowl at the poor schlub on the other end … until he helps you out and gently leads you through the answer … and by the end of the call, after the problem is resolved, you feel like a total ass, and want to send him something from his Amazon wishlist. Or is that just me?

Look folks, a lot of the anger simmering under the surface of our society is because everyone feels that no one is listening. The fact that Obama & his people are actually reaching out to people – well, hell. That’s disarming. It breaks down the resistance – that whole “Obama is a dangerous socialist who’s going to destroy the country with his hippie/commie ways” meme that’s been festering on the internets. It kinda says, “Hey, if you’ve got a great idea on how to fix things, let’s hear it.”

Who knows? Maybe the answer is that all of us are indeed smarter than any of us, and that out of this question will arise some fantastic new strategy that will restore the U.S. to greatness.

Or a buncha Digg kids will all get together, rig the question-answering, and we’ll wind up with an army of giant killer robots that all look like Lara Croft.

Comments (0)



Jun 19

Mobile Video: People Will Strain to Hear in a Whisper What They Would Ignore in a Scream

Posted: under Uncategorized.

Quick hit videos delivered to mobile platforms might actually be *more* effective, despite the tiny screen size. Or perhaps because of it – but rather obliquely. Here’s the article from Mobile Insider, quoting Rhythm Media CEO Ujjal Kohli.

Unlike Web video pre-rolls, mobile video is not in a multitasking environment where someone does a quick email check in response to a video ad. He has a point, I think. Counter-intuitively, the smallest screen may require the highest level of involvement. I liken this to the hi-res principle I also see on small screens. The LG phone I use for Verizon VCast Mobile TV, my 5G iPod and the iPhone all share a common technical strength — high pixel counts that make even TV programming involving on a tiny screen.

I am surprised that mobile video on a 2-inch screen can be so involving when it is visually sharp, fluid, with good sound. In other words, tiny video with the attributes of larger experiences overcome some of the size differential. Like the guy who gets you to listen more carefully by using softer tones, the mobile screen makes you work a little harder by getting in close, but it focuses attention.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had cynics sneer that “nobody’s going to watch a movie/read a novel/browse a photo gallery on a itty-bitty 2-inch screen.” Usually followed by a long screed about how Old Media is superior and has nothing to worry about, because mobile is just too small and frustrating to pay attention to for long periods of time.

Well, folks, have you checked out how teenagers (and the rest of us) increasingly take in our media these multi-tasking days? TV on, flipping through stations in search of one without commercials in the background, phone in one ear and laptop on the, uh, lap. Not exactly an environment conducive to focusing on one channel of input, eh?

I’ve had my iPhone for almost nine months now. While I’m not choosing this over the 50-inch plasma to watch The Wire on – I did download the premiere episode of Season 5 to my phone, and watched it on various plane flights, and in hotel rooms. And when I did, I plugged in the headphones, and the rest of the world went away. I watched the hour-long episode in stages, returning to it when I wanted to check out of the rest of the world for a while, and stopping when the plane landed, room service arrived, or someone started semaphoring wildly at the corner of my vision.

I think that if the video is compelling enough, the user will clear out attention space to partake of it, and even to reply/interact by posting comments or a video response through Seesmic. Check out Rhythm’s portfolio of case studies here.

I’d like to return to this topic after I’ve cleared my attention-space decks this week, since it is counter-intuitive (at least on the surface), yet makes sense the more that you think about it.

Comments (0)



Jun 19

Obama Reaches Out on LinkedIn

Posted: under Uncategorized.

Yet another quick hit – just checked to see how many more answers I’m getting from the LinkedIn question I posted earlier this week, and noticed that the Obama campaign today posted a question on what the best ideas are to “keep America competitive in the years ahead.”

What ideas do you have to keep America competitive in the years ahead?

In a recent speech, I proposed a new competiveness agenda centered
around education and energy, innovation and infrastructure, fair trade
and reform.

You can watch it, and read the full-text, here: http://my.barackobama.com/competitiveness

What ideas do you have to keep America competitive in the years ahead?

Smart. Very smart. These people “get it.” They are using Web 2.0 in a very inclusive, forward-thinking way; the mere fact that they’re posing such a question in a professional forum means that they are reaching out to business professionals in an unprecedented way.

Again, I’m going to have to get back to this in a later post, but it’s tying into what I call the “Help Line Mollification Effect.” You know – how you dial customer support, mashing the buttons on your phone with excessive force, blood pressure up around nuclear reactor containment sphere levels … and you yowl at the poor schlub on the other end … until he helps you out and gently leads you through the answer … and by the end of the call, after the problem is resolved, you feel like a total ass, and want to send him something from his Amazon wishlist. Or is that just me?

Look folks, a lot of the anger simmering under the surface of our society is because everyone feels that no one is listening. The fact that Obama & his people are actually reaching out to people – well, hell. That’s disarming. It breaks down the resistance – that whole “Obama is a dangerous socialist who’s going to destroy the country with his hippie/commie ways” meme that’s been festering on the internets. It kinda says, “Hey, if you’ve got a great idea on how to fix things, let’s hear it.”

Who knows? Maybe the answer is that all of us are indeed smarter than any of us, and that out of this question will arise some fantastic new strategy that will restore the U.S. to greatness.

Or a buncha Digg kids will all get together, rig the question-answering, and we’ll wind up with an army of giant killer robots that all look like Lara Croft.

Comments (0)



Jun 19

Mobile Video: People Will Strain to Hear in a Whisper What They Would Ignore in a Scream

Posted: under Uncategorized.

Quick hit videos delivered to mobile platforms might actually be *more* effective, despite the tiny screen size. Or perhaps because of it – but rather obliquely. Here’s the article from Mobile Insider, quoting Rhythm Media CEO Ujjal Kohli.

Unlike Web video pre-rolls, mobile video is not in a multitasking environment where someone does a quick email check in response to a video ad. He has a point, I think. Counter-intuitively, the smallest screen may require the highest level of involvement. I liken this to the hi-res principle I also see on small screens. The LG phone I use for Verizon VCast Mobile TV, my 5G iPod and the iPhone all share a common technical strength — high pixel counts that make even TV programming involving on a tiny screen.

I am surprised that mobile video on a 2-inch screen can be so involving when it is visually sharp, fluid, with good sound. In other words, tiny video with the attributes of larger experiences overcome some of the size differential. Like the guy who gets you to listen more carefully by using softer tones, the mobile screen makes you work a little harder by getting in close, but it focuses attention.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had cynics sneer that “nobody’s going to watch a movie/read a novel/browse a photo gallery on a itty-bitty 2-inch screen.” Usually followed by a long screed about how Old Media is superior and has nothing to worry about, because mobile is just too small and frustrating to pay attention to for long periods of time.

Well, folks, have you checked out how teenagers (and the rest of us) increasingly take in our media these multi-tasking days? TV on, flipping through stations in search of one without commercials in the background, phone in one ear and laptop on the, uh, lap. Not exactly an environment conducive to focusing on one channel of input, eh?

I’ve had my iPhone for almost nine months now. While I’m not choosing this over the 50-inch plasma to watch The Wire on – I did download the premiere episode of Season 5 to my phone, and watched it on various plane flights, and in hotel rooms. And when I did, I plugged in the headphones, and the rest of the world went away. I watched the hour-long episode in stages, returning to it when I wanted to check out of the rest of the world for a while, and stopping when the plane landed, room service arrived, or someone started semaphoring wildly at the corner of my vision.

I think that if the video is compelling enough, the user will clear out attention space to partake of it, and even to reply/interact by posting comments or a video response through Seesmic. Check out Rhythm’s portfolio of case studies here.

I’d like to return to this topic after I’ve cleared my attention-space decks this week, since it is counter-intuitive (at least on the surface), yet makes sense the more that you think about it.

Comments (0)



Jun 19

Viral Video Hits You Wish You’d Never Seen

Posted: under Uncategorized.

…and no, I’m not talking about the types of things that make George Clooney scream and run out of the room. That’s a totally different subject, and besides, there’s a Federal Judge in downtown L.A. that’s in hot water over stuff like that.

I found this one through the insidious urgings of Jemima Kiss, that little Digital Judas Goat. She said it made her love the internet. Me? Well, I just felt sorry for the tall fella in the wookie costume having to cavort with a Jawa to “Footloose.” I mean, already the poor guy has gotta be sweating under all that syntho-fur; now you want him to do the chest-bump and high kicks?


If you dare, go over to the Viral Video Chart site – right now, the current fave is the “I’m Voting Republican” video, all with people staring into the camera and reciting all the f’d up reasons they have for voting for the GOP.

Comments (0)



Jun 19

Viral Video Hits You Wish You’d Never Seen

Posted: under Uncategorized.

…and no, I’m not talking about the types of things that make George Clooney scream and run out of the room. That’s a totally different subject, and besides, there’s a Federal Judge in downtown L.A. that’s in hot water over stuff like that.

I found this one through the insidious urgings of Jemima Kiss, that little Digital Judas Goat. She said it made her love the internet. Me? Well, I just felt sorry for the tall fella in the wookie costume having to cavort with a Jawa to “Footloose.” I mean, already the poor guy has gotta be sweating under all that syntho-fur; now you want him to do the chest-bump and high kicks?


If you dare, go over to the Viral Video Chart site – right now, the current fave is the “I’m Voting Republican” video, all with people staring into the camera and reciting all the f’d up reasons they have for voting for the GOP.

Comments (0)



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