How people with no other marketable skills made money before the Internet
Jen here. Over the past 48 hours or so, I received the following three emails in my InBox, and many others like them, which I thoughtfully shared with Gilly.
First I got this:
Tue. Feb. 28th: IP TV for BUSINESS NEXT WAVE TV IS ABOUT MORE THAN ENTERTAINMENT Tue. Feb. 28, 7:30-10:00 am Marriott Marquis, Wilder Room, 46th B'way Wayne Reuvers, CEO, LiveTechnology Michael Elling, Principal, Information Velocity Partners Michael Christian Shimbo,CEO, Concert Shen Tong, CEO, VFinity
IP TV is a broad term for the next wave of TV Internet convergence. What does it mean if TV has the same interactivity as the Internet or that it uses the same pipes? The answer is a lot more than entertainment or interactive TV. It is a whole new way of doing business for everything from Advertising - think of AdSense for all mediums but with streamed and visual ads - to music and business tracking of TV assets and appearances. And more..... As IP TV ripples through the business world, it has the power to transform it in surprising ways. Advertising, communications, management, medicine, small business and end users will all experience a shift in their landscape. This event opens up a new world of possiblities for the next Internet Revolution. Networking Breakfast 7:30-8:30am Presentations: 8:30-10:00am
REGISTER: no link for you! $50 members - $60 non-members in advance NOTE NEW ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP PRICE Individual $155 (6 Free Credits) Corporate $350 (12 FREE assignable credits)
Special Offer to Attend Collaborative Communications Summit CCS 2006 Mon-Tue. Feb. 27-28 SAVE $100: SPECIAL OFFER FOR IBREAKFAST $349 You can't afford to miss this event if your company is involved in Visual Communications, Web Conferencing, VOIP, Instant Messaging, Real Time Presence-aware Collaboration Tools and Services, Knowledge Management Team Collaboration Tools, and Mobile Collaboration Tools. Network with decision makers and leaders in the industry. We will feature many social gatherings during the show where you can build revenue and customers, develop leads, and meet potential strategic partners. February 27-28, 2006 Marriot Marquis Times Square Register Now ENTER IBREAKFAST IN THE COMMENTS SECTION WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR ORDER NO ONSITE REGISTRATION PERMITTED
That very same day, I got this:
Dear Friends of Location One:
the talk scheduled for tonight, Wednesday February 22nd at 7pm has been P O S T P O N E D to
Wednesday MARCH 22nd at 7pm
Please mark your calendars
CLAY SHIRKY ** Folksonomies and the Mental Habits of Classification **
Clay Shirky writes about Economics & Culture, Media & Community, Open Source and teaches at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program. Join his mailing list at (link deleted)
******************** L O C A T I O N O N E 26 Greene Street New York NY 10013 212.334.3347 http://location1.org
******************** L O C A T I O N O N E is a not-for-profit organization devoted to convergence between visual, performing and digital arts in a time of rapidly changing technology. We invite artists from different disciplines and from different countries to work in our studios. We ask them to experiment with the new technologies of artistic creation, interaction and delivery. We urge them to collaborate in creating new works and give them virtual Internet spaces and physical gallery space to exhibit the results. Our goals are to foster the creation of new work, new forms of expression, and new capabilities in artists, and to advance new awareness in all those we reach.
Now, I really have nothing against Clay. Gilly has more to say on that particular subject, so I'll let him chop in his comments when he gets a chance. However, suffice it to say that I don't have a particularly high opinion of ITP or similar programs. Their mantra really does seem to be "you too can get a programmer's salary and throw around bullshit technical terms without ever having to learn any of that icky programming math or other scary things." I'll say more on that later. In the interim, let me share one other email that I got:
PC Forum 2006 March 12 to 14 La Costa Resort and Spa Carlsbad, CA
If you still want to meet the executives, technologists and venture capitalists that are changing the way our lives are lived and our businesses are managed - register today for PC Forum 2006, March 12 to 14
They're your peers - the thinkers and doers - and they're packing their bags for the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California. In this inspirational setting, they'll be exploring this year's conference theme,
Erosion of Power: Users in Charge.
Industry thought leader Esther Dyson moderates all the sessions, guiding a headline cast of speakers. With unrivaled breadth and depth, the discussions will focus on topics such as search and online marketing, today's security threats and the user's role in ensuring security online and offline, the role of IT and of employers in bringing informed consumer choice to health care, and the business models of a variety of start-ups that hope to empower users. Our high-level audience will be asking questions all along: Will individuals rise to the opportunities and take the control offered them? Do users really want choice, or just good advice? Can "spyware" (or behavioral targeting if you prefer) help in this regard?
So, join the conversation, meet the players and add your voice to this year's PC Forum (it's our 29th!) by registering today. We hope to see you in a few short weeks for the industry's most provocative and useful conference.
Daphne Kis Executive Producer
Leaders from companies large and small will be in attendance; among them are:
Accel Partners Accenture Adobe Ask Jeeves Amazon.com America Online Benchmark Capital BBN Technologies Brightcove Cisco Systems US Dept of Homeland Security Earthlink eBay Facebook Google Healthline Network IBM Intuit Intel Kalinda Software Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers LG Electronics Oak Technology Partners Pearson Pando Networks Primavera Systems Real Networks Ricoh Innovations Scripps Network Sony TRUSTe Visual Information Technologies Vulcan Capital Whitepages.com WPP Group WhenU Yahoo!
(I dropped this note to Gilly along with this email) FWIW: La Costa Spa is one of THE MOST EXPENSIVE SPAS ON EARTH. Literally Rock Star stuff. You would literally start having to look at stuff in private resorts in Thailand or Hawaii to get pricier. ... . I priced out a week there, and BEFORE services, it would run about 3K for the MINIMUM setup. Without treatments. Just a nice room and food.
So much for the whole "power to the people" thing--like I would spend that kind of money to listen to John Perry Barlow (old hippie) [ED NOTE: not that I have anything agains old hippies but he doesn't know shit about real technology] bloviate anyway.
Gilly replied for me to post:
We get e-mail.
If you ever wondered why there is a digital divide, look no further.
You have an industry run by people with the common sense of .......small children trying to influence a business which has largely moved past them. In an era of consildation, these folks are still selling the same bullshit that they were 10 years ago. They claim to be trend makers, but come on, they are more isolated than ever.
Back then, people told me writers simply didn't matter. Well, blogs are the revenge of the writer. We dominate the online world because we can create interesting content without any roadblocks. People still can't figure out what's going on. We're moving so fast no one can figure out what will be next. Yet these people will take the money of the clueless and try to prove they're still hip.
After all that Gilly and I have seen in the past 15 years or so in the new media industry, we are both astonished that there are still people who can sell the idea that ideas alone will sell. I have met hundreds of people who got conned into leaving potentially lucrative degrees in real industries to go pursue expensive degrees in "user interface design" (without any art, psychology, or industrial design instruction), "community forecasting" (without any background again in psychology, statistics, or similar hard fields) or (perhaps most damaging of all) "business model prediction" (without any background in economics, statistics, or business management).
An acquaintance of mine had an arts background, and suddenly finding herself approaching middle age without a firm career, she enrolled in ITP. The result? Yes, she can bullshit her way into consulting gigs. I have chains of emails that she forwards to friends asking for tips on how to ace the interview on whatever gig she's up for next. At the end of the day though, she almost always gets cut eventually--because she ADAMANTLY refuses to look in the mirror, inhale, and say to herself: I am not a programmer. We have stopped talking over this in the past. She waves around some 18-month ITP certificate like it means something, when I know she she doesn't even have basic CSS or Java skills.
In the meantime, self-proclaimed "experts in online culture" keep acting like Pied Pipers and leading the desperate, the unqualified, and those grasping at straws down various primrose paths and get others to invest in the results of their ideas. In other words, they get one group of folks to build castles in the air, and con others to rent space in them.
Let me note that for almost 10 years I was an online project manager, and I watched the title and the industry slide downhill. I know enough about programming to know that I am not one. I have friends and exes who are in fact very high quality programmers; they get paid big bucks for cleaning up the mountains of bullshit left behind by folks who think are.
Let me also note that the hucksters are never around when the shit really hits the fan. I have helped run the WWWAC List for over ten years now, on and off. Over the years it has become a sort of group therapy/safehouse/advice column/emergency tech help desk for people building online content. You never see the Idea Peddlers on our board, because like faith healers on TV, they never have any real answers about things like what to do when your company folds without paying you, or what to do when you have a medical emergency and no health insurance because you got conned into an equity-only gig. The hucksters NEVER put forth plans for anything resembling a freelancers union, basic negotiating skills, or anything like that. And, as a result, they look down on any grassroots reality-based discussion group that does.
I remember the days when I got moronic business cards from people with titles like "Chief Marketing Mantis" and "Interactive Code Ninja." Our Medicine Show Preachers still can be seen sharing the travelling show bill with folks like this, while people like my friend who has run his own online design and identity branding company since 1985 (he did CD-ROMS back then) get looked down upon for not going public, operating past their expenses, or pretending to be rock stars.
Sorry, had to get that out.
Gilly, feel free to add what you want. Everyone else, comment away.
First, let me say up front, I have nothing but disdain for Clay Shirky and here's why. He was telling me how poor his Hunter College students were, and I told them many of them just chose to spend their money in different ways. And he sneered at me with a line like "I don't trust you". From that day on, I realized he was an asshole. And conescending as all hell. A pure bullshit artist.
He didn't know those people and they were my neighbors.
I consider ITP an embarassment to my alma mater, NYU. The school has excellent programs in journalism, graphic arts, math, even computer science. ITP is a horrid joke. It teaches buzzword bullshit.
My point about writers is this: back in the 90's, people thought it would be all about video. Well, with some exceptions like Crooks and Liars, it's not. It's a written medium and needs to be seen in those terms.
The problem with people like Dyson and Barlow is that they have no useful information on how the day to day internet works. They sell dreams and bullshit.
How do you think that they all missed blogging? Because they didn't see any potential in it.
These people say people power like the communists say people's republic. They're corporate hucksters and their goal is to make money for the people who pay them.
But the most important thing to understand is that the internet has passed them by. They're hunting for new ideas after pushing a sea of bad ones in the past. They are largely responsible for creating an image of dillitants and ass clowns.
Jen and I were discussing eBay today. Now, a lot of people rely on it, but I find it way too risky for most things. And this was one of the companies these people pushed while Google swam under the radar.
The fact is that most everything these people backed failed and failed badly. But people see what they want to and hear what they want to, even if it's bullshit.
Okay, thank you Gay Vet for recommending a more multiethnic bend to our multimedia artistic Opus Magnus, the Man with a Ham Series! While I was unable to find a reasonable shot of a gentleman of color with dreads for the Ham Treatment, I was able to find this smiling young fellow, seen here working the nice hair/nice bod/nice breakfast options look.
Look to the left for my G-mail email addy, and feel free to send me any pix of men whom you, our readers, would like to see with a nice HAM-on. Needed: Reasonable frontal shot of a blonde Germanic type, preferrably in a uniform cap/leather for coverage with some nice shots of Westphalian ham that I found. I have a few candidates, but they're all a bit on the twink side as opposed to the more Blonde Tom of Finland look *grin*
PS--man, gay porn sites are such a pain in the ass! Do ALL the free sites out there refer back to the same fucking 8 pop-ups? Also, what's with all the morons who tag their het sites with "gay" tags? If I wanted to Google for emaciated crank-addict chicks getting Various Things in Various Holes, I would fucking google them myself!
I'm George Bush's Rent Boy and All I got was this Lousy Flag
Jen here. I may go out late later tonight to see a band at The Creek and the Cave later tonight, but being as my area is going to get record cold temperatures tonight (-8 degrees F with the wind), I may just stay home and play either Deer Hunter or 25 to Life . I will probably do this while drinking either crappy box wine or (on the other end of the spectrum) pricey single-malt whiskey that I got for Xmas.
Having said that...Gilly knows the drill. He posts too much cheesecake, up goes the guys sporting HAM over their privates. In keeping with our "freedom of speech" theme, though, I though I would post this patriotic teaser article while I fire up Photoshop.
Yes, we here at the News Blog are equal opportunity assholes editors, I thought that I would post this up for the ladies and the boys who like boys. Note that for those who are bothered by the butt cheeks: Ladies have shown this much moon and more in prior posts *grin*
Happy Friday! Watch this space and comment away...
Now, normally we don't do commercial plugs here. But this site has parts not just for computers and tech toys--it has parts for literally hundreds of thousands of home appliances. How did I find it?
Well, when I was grooving on my ear infection LAST weekend, I was trying to nuke some frozen soup. I wound up breaking the wave diffuser on my 1996 vintage microwave--that's the bit that basically diffuses the microwaves (hence the name) so that you don't get hotspots. Well, it cracked when I tried to pry some nuked soup bit off of it.
Now, I love my old microwave, and more to the point, I figured that this was an easily-replaceable part, as it was only held in by gravity behind slots anyway.
I went to the Sharp site, which was useless--of course, they had no resources for older out-of-production models. After some more Googling, I triangulated the exact part number that would fit my old model--it's not exactly the kind of thing that a company would change between models.
And behold, I found it at CompUSA PartSearch--for under $5. Yeah, with shipping, it's more like $11, but it's still easier and cheaper than getting off my ass on a Saturday, braving the trip out to Circuit City, and schlepping a microwave home.
Got some old semi-functional appliances? Need stuff like oven light covers, electric razor bases, fridge parts, and so on? Give this site a spin before you chuck otherwise-functional items out.
What are YOU doing instead of watching the Super Bowl
One of the many things that I would rather do than watch the Superbowl
Jen here again. Tonight, needless to say, I am not watching the Superbowl. Gilly is. He is watching it on a giant plasma screen somewhere in Hoboken, while eating various saturated fats and yelling "Fuck" a lot. I was invited to this. I politely declined. :D
Actually, we were supposed to go down to Chinatown in NYC today to have Chinese New Year food at Fulan Seafood and watch the lion dances. However, at around 5 PM last night, I got some kind of 24-hour virus--at first I thought I had a migrane, which scared the crap out of me. However, when I started to puke up to the point of dry heaves, I knew that it was probably the odd yakitori that I had eaten the night before. One Vicodan (see, wisdom teeth extraction DOES have positive health effects), some Pepto Bismol, three aspirin, and twelve hours of sleep later, I feel somewhat better.
So, today, I'm doing everything that I had to do yesterday but couldn't because I was puking and not being able to look into strong light.
I have some nice easy spiced rice in the Rice Spaceship (set up long-grain rice with a cinnamon stick, two cloves, and two bruised green cardamom pods). Later, I will make "Banging Bart"--the corruption of an Indian name for a super easy eggplant dish (yes, the tummy is 100% hungry again). Otherwise, I will either channel-surf, watch a movie, or just try to organize the paperwork/magazines all over the place in my apartment. Then, I will wait for the mob at the sports bar on my corner to start piling out and urinating near my stoop.
So....what is everyone else doing instead of watching the Superbowl? All readers encouraged to reply, even those abroad who don't know and don't want to know what the Superbowl is. (Oh, and if that pic choice above grosses you out, here's another take on Piercings Gone Bad):
Will probably post in the Luxury thread later also.
Will also nag Gilly relentlessly until he gets my Blog email up: Jenonymous at Gmail dot com