Okay. I’ve been very late to the Flickr party. I did use Flickr two years ago and it was a useful place to host photos that I dropped into blogs. But I didn’t see it for much more than that. I’ve recently come back because I want to see their integration tools and so far I’m pretty impressed. This is a test of one click to blog post.
Blogs are supposed to be updated far more frequently than every six months but this has been everything but a normal period for me. First off, I had more or less cleared off enough work responsibilities to be able to train as much as I wanted/needed for Ironman China. And that is exactly what I was starting to do. The runs were getting longer as were the rides. What I didn’t count on was a knee problem derailing the entire trip. Some time in November I got a twinge in my left knee, that twinge worsened and after several visits to several doctors (plus MRI and 2 months of Physical Therapy) I was officially out of the race.
Funny how things turn out however, especially when it comes to filling a void. First, in terms of athletics I had a huge void to fill because I can no longer run or bike (at least for the present). The good news is however is that 2008 seems to be the year that open water swimming is hitting stride. It has been easy for me to find open water races to do and people to train with them. I’ve even joined an open water swimming club on Facebook. Mind you that I still miss running but having a series of swimming races to train for has really helped soften what would otherwise be driving me crazy.
The other thing that happened is that I became CEO of SportsBuy.com (formerly Naxcom Exchange). I had been consulting for them for a few months and my friends know that one of the reasons I like to consult is so that I was able to swim/bike/run more or less as much as I liked. But once I crossed over to the dark side of having real responsibilities, it was no longer just a matter of getting a job done but of being in an office more or less full time. (Link to press release).
While LifeTwo.com is certainly a full-time job in itself, I have always been able to do that on nights and weekends and that will continue. I have benefited greatly from the hands-on work that I do with LifeTwo and that is especially relevant to my new gig which involves bringing social networking/web 2.0 to the sports collectibles industry. For example, check out the SportsBuy events blog that I just pulled together to help publicize the company’s autograph signings and trade show events.
Dual announcements here. First I have signed up for Ironman China in April 2008. I now have 6 months to prepare for the 140 mile swim/bike/running race.
The other thing is that Triathlete Magazine has invited me to blog for them. I will be posting twice a week on all things relating to my Ironman preparation. Here is a link to my section.
I want to thank my friend Doug Binns who moved to Asia a few years ago for helping me do research for my Triathlete articles. Doug blogs here.
Wired Science just won my readership for life (or at least a very long time).
They did it not by being right, but how they handed a situation where I felt they could have done better. I read somewhere that businesses win over customers by how they handle things that go wrong and I very much agree. Had I just read a very good post at Wired Science it probably wouldn’t have registered all that much. However I disagreed with one of their posts enough to write to them. I receive an almost instataneous response from a human (that is not automated) telling me that they had forwarded by email to the writer of the piece and suggested that I leave a comment. The way that the email was written seemed sincere and I didn’t feel like I was being given the brush off.
The next day, I was checking Technorati links into LifeTwo and saw that the writer at Wired Science had written an entire post responding to my criticisms, agreeing with my point of view, and then linking to my site. He did this on the 3rd of July when most people were already heading out for the holiday. From his post:
Responding to our coverage of a biological tweak that prevented highly stressed, junk food-eating mice from getting fat, Wired Science reader Wesley Hein gave me a well-deserved scolding for ignoring the context of the research:
If stress + junk food = obesity, then to reduce obesity we need to reduce one or both of the contributing factors. Yet none of the major media outlets covering this story (including Wired) made any mention of this. Instead it is all about the possibility of a pill that will apparently absolve us of any need to exercise, eat properly or reduce stress. […]
People today are dying today as the result of obesity-related diseases and they shouldn’t be told to wait for the promise of a wonder drug that will effortless melt fat away. It’s hard to imagine a worse message.
Wesley is absolutely right. The research isn’t any less valid for the points he raised, but they deserved to be mentioned — and we, along with other mainstream science journalists, generally failed to do this.
I was pleased, humbled, and impressed all at the same time and hope that I can be half as responsive the next time someone emails me with some constructive criticism regarding something that I write.
This story is just bizarre and reminds me how serial killers used to tease the police by sending tapes to the media. Evidentially with the advent of Web 2.0, traditional media is an unnecessary middle man effectively being distermediated (of course this has been going on for awhile with the all-too-common beheading videos from the middle east working their way around various web sites). In case you haven’t heard, someone modified Chris Benoit’s Wikipedia page about his wife’s death before the police found the body. From Wired:
By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the double homicide and suicide of WWE pro wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife, and their seven-year old son. Well, a new twist has revealed itself, within the pages of Wikipedia.
According to FoxNews, someone updated Chris Benoit’s Wikipedia page, with an entry on his wife’s death. Problem is, it was posted 13 hours before the police found the three bodies in Atlanta.
An anonymous user operating a computer traced to Stamford, Conn. — home to World Wrestling Entertainment — posted an entry to pro wrestler Chris Benoit’s biography on Wikipedia.org announcing the death of his wife Nancy at least 13 hours before police in suburban Atlanta said they found her body along with her husband’s and that of their 7-year-old son, FOXNews.com has learned.Employees at Wikipedia.org said the posting went live on their site on Monday at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Police, however, said they found the bodies Monday at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
To make the whole situation even stranger, the entry was taken off an hour after it was posted requiring that the user site news sources. An hour later the entry was edited again, this time through an Australian wireless provider, “which according to several pro wrestling websites is attributed to the passing of Benoit’s wife, Nancy.” Again the entry was removed asking for a valid news source. This all happened hours before police even got to the house.
This brings up so many issues which I will refrain from musing on until more comes out on the story. Suffice to say if you are ever editing Wikipedia and come across something that hasn’t yet happened you should think twice before freezing it pending the source being cited. It’s possible that the “source” is the perpetrator.
Update: We’ll the simplest answer is often the correct one as it was here. The Wikipedia poster has come forward and was nothing more than a fan posting a rumor he had been hearing. Story here. We’ll have to wait for another time to see if someone creates or modifies a Wikipedia entry to ensure that their act is presented in what they consider to be the proper manner.
Fred Wilson on what beats email…
I’ve said it before on this blog. Spam has ruined email for the youth generation. They may adopt email at some point when they reach the workforce, but it will never be the messaging system of choice for them.
Site messaging (particularly in social networks) is incredibly popular among the younger crowd. The permissioning system is their social network and so they value the messages they get. They’ve been filtered. There’s no porn spam on facebook.
Instant messaging remains a popular option and at times its useful. But real time communication has its limits. It demands your attention and I think anything that demands permanent attention is suboptimal in this technology driven partial attention world we live in.
Blogging is a lot like social networking but without the permissioning filter of the social network. It’s useful and as many readers have found, one of the best ways to reach me is via a well articulated comment on this blog. Those rarely go unanswered. Funny enough the messaging system I prefer for those replies is email.
Notice the complete absence of even mentioning “voice” communications? It’s not that I disagree but instead how amazing how quickly voice communications has completely dropped off the radar so much so that it doesn’t even warrant inclusion in an article on communication. Meanwhile Twitter is referenced twice (in the full post that is).
Since you are reading this as a blog post (possibly in your RSS reader), I’ll count that as a vote for blogging as a communication tool. Also I view email combined with a Blackberry to be fundamentally different than email without. Email spam is indeed a continued issue but one that is largely under control–at least for me and at least now.