Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bob Barr Uses Twitter - Bet John McCain Never Heard Of It

Hey, do you Twitter? Twitter is the social networking system where one can send a short post of up to 150 characters on anything and post it to their Twitter profile and from a cell phone. It's a handy system and even a good Internet traffic strategy as well as a way to just call for help or send out news. You'd expect Barack Obama to Twitter, but a conservative? Enter Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr -- he does Twitter and quite frequently it seems.

I just ran accross this post on Tech President reporting that Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr uses Twitter. It reads:

I'm sitting in the Austin airport waiting to board my Southwest flight to Houston and on home to BWI after a great conference at Netroots Nation. Who sits down two rows away but Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr. I went on over to ask what anyone would ask: do you Twitter for yourself?

Indeed, Barr says that he does twitter on his own. Barr joins the growing ranks of Twittering elected officials like John Culbertson and Tim Ryan. But unlike fellow Presidential candidate Barack Obama, Barr twitters himself. No staff, no help. (And that may explain why his tweets are a, at times.

So, congratulations, Congressman Barr, on taking the dive and Twittering for yourself. Have a great flight and and keep the tweets coming.

Heck. I'll bet John McCain never heard of Twitter!

Tom Hayden Questions Obama's Afghanistan Plan As He Sees It

In The Nation, Tom Hayden questions Senator Barack Obama's strategy -- or as he understands it -- to shift troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.

Hayden's point is that the country is so unstable that we may be going from the frying pay to the fire. I agree.

But I don't think that Obama's plan is to recreate our Bush-style Iraq situation in Afghanistan.

At any rate, it's worth checking out.

John McCain "I Hate The Bloggers" - Statement Made On 12/29/07

Boy, for a guy who claims he doesn't understand or use the Internet, Senator and Presidential Candidate John McCain sure knows who bloggers are. He says he hates them. At this town hall meeting, Senator McCain goes off on bloggers. Watch this video:

Obama A Hit With U.S. Troops In Kuwait - Video

Senator Barack Obama hit basketball three-point shots as easily as he hit the mark with U.S. Troops in Kuwait, and in the process showing a different and more personable Presidential candidate than we've seen perhaps in history. The video reveals just how popular he is with the soldiers, and it's because of that I think he's going to get a lot of authentic straight talk on what's going on over there because he can relate to them.

Barack Obama With Afghan President Hamid Karzai

"Barack Obama, right, the Democratic presidential candidate, walks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai outside the presidential palace Sunday in Kabul. The two met during Obama's tour of war zones and foreign capitals."

That's what the caption read. But while it was reported that Obama has been crtical of Karsai, not today. Indeed, he was nice to him. And that was the plan.

Barack's not a cowboy like Bush, who's going to shoot his mouth off, or call Karsai a name, as Senator Clinton did to Russian President Putin when she said he was "soulless".

Barack's there to make a connection and learn from it.

Charles Krauthammer's Obama Envy

I read Charles Krauthammer's column on Senator Barack Obama visting Germany and hit the ceiling. This is what I wrote to him, or whomever answers his mail:


I'm very disappointed in you that you would pen a column which
demonstrates an inability to think outside the mental bounds this
society has formed for you because of your skin color. It does not
take a genus to determine the significance of Obama's appearance at
the Brandenburg Gate. Do I have to spell it out for you?


Name one -- just one -- other African American elected official who
has appeared at the the Brandenburg Gate? Then name one -- just one -
African American elected official who has come this close to being
President of the United States. Shall I go on?

You miss what leadership is about. Your column demonstrates that your
don't get it. And it shows that you don't know or intellectually
understand what kind of role the President of the United States
serves. That person is considered this: LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD.

Do you understand? Ok. I'll repeat it.


That means to most people, the SYMBOL of freedom. That is what
Senator Obama represents to many. To ho-hum or sigh or cringe at the
presentation of this mear fact is to show a true ignorance of the
intense desire many people in the World have to rid ourselves of the
true mentail illness that is racism.

Charles. The bell's ringing. Time to get with the program.

Zennie Abraham, Jr.

Political Bloggers Cutting Back On Profanity?

I just read this blog post which explains that NY Times reporter Katherine Q Seelye has it that Netroots Nation bloggers are reporting an attempt to cut back of profanity. So, I went to the article itself and have to really disagree.

If you take the comments over at DailyKos as an indicator, cussing is alive and well and all over the place.

See "Abbreviated Pundit Round-Up" over at Kos:

on Afghanistan, no doubt to once again give McCain cover to steal Obama's position.

Why the fuck is no one in the media calling their colleagues out? Keith, it's your goddamn channel. Saying "Bushed" doesn't make up for your cocktail pals' complicit

See what I mean? It only took me about 45 seconds to find that little gem.

PodTech: Tech Media Company That Got $7.5 Million Sold For $500,000

In what has to mark as a disappointing end to a company with a lot of promise, I learned that PodTech, the tech media company which publishes online and downloadable videos about new technology and at one point featured video bloggers like Robert Scoble and Irina Slutsky, and raised $7.5 million in 2006, sold for just $500,000.

That's right.

The main reason was a difference between the managers in determining where the company should place it's focus. Plus, it was losing the original talent. CEO John Furrier left the company last year. Robert Scoble gave this take at Friend Feed with a chime in by Furrier and others...:

I'm cool with telling the story. I just need a couple of glasses and wine and a lot of time to tell it first. Podtech was screwed up by a number of decisions. Everyone played a part, but I sure learned a lot about how a company can screw up big time. Major learnings for me? 1. Have a story. 2. Have everyone on board with that story. 3. If anyone goes off of that story, make sure they get on board immediately or fire them. PodTech did none of the three and I'm sorry for my part in not making the three happen - Robert Scoble

That's the cool thing about you,'re human and admit it too! - Sean McGee

Not all ventures succeed though. How many 'fail' for those that succeed? It pays to take a pragmatic view. I think it's a hot market, and the impetus to succeed is high, eventually some will break - Mo Kargas

Other things I learned: 1. Make sure people are judged by the revenues they bring in. Those that bring in revenues should get to run the place. People who don't bring in revenues should get fewer and fewer responsibilities, not more and more. 2. Work ONLY for a leader who will make the tough decisions (see above). 3. Build a place where excellence is expected, allowed, and is enabled. 4. Fire idiots quickly (didn't happen at PodTech -- even if you count me as one of the idiots). - Robert Scoble
We get so much coverage of companies when they launch, when they're growing, etc. I'm hoping that someone writes an in-depth piece on what went wrong at PodTech so that entrepreneurs can learn from this. There is so much that you can learn from failures. - Mike Doeff

Other things I learned: 1. if your engineering team can't give a media team good measurements, the entire company is in trouble. Only things that are measured ever get improved. 2. When your stars aren't listened to the company is in trouble. 3. When your stars start leaving (Gillmor and Owyang left before I did) the company is in trouble. 4. Getting rid of the CEO, even if it's all his fault, won't help unless you replace him/her with someone who is visionary and who can fix #1,2,3. - Robert Scoble

Mike: I'm not going to be the one who writes that. Much of the worst stuff is too personal. Failures of companies often happen around failures at the leadership level. Telling why things failed means telling off investors, executives, and others (and even me). Not likely to happen because that'd mean burning bridges and I'm just not willing to do that. These people have too many friends. :-) - Robert Scoble

My vote is for assimilation into something bigger. They bought it to "right the wrongs" and flip it to someone else. Heck, at 500k, it's a bargain right now...IF things are cleaned up. - Bradley McSpinn

Brad: almost all of the talent left. What's left now is not much that's worth much. The revenues came because of our social media leadership. That's what Furrier really had in his hands. Owyang. Me. Cunningham. Jones. Gillmor. The rest of the stuff was a pipe dream that didn't lead anywhere, which is really why the company burned through $7 million (plus several million in revenues). - Robert Scoble

I am going to write an in depth post on this story. It's huge. There are many lessons. Scoble's view is from his perspective but there is a big picture that goes way beyond Scoble's view and that has to do with building a company from a zero stage. I've moved on from a year ago after I was forced out by the board. We made some mistakes but directionally correct. Sure if I had a mulligan things might be different but a business strategy, financing strategy, and team strategy are part of the story.. - John Furrier

john: I am looking forward to your post. - Robert Scoble

There are many lessons to learn that I'll post about. PodTech had a great chance and pioneered some of the best practices in social media. One thing that I'll talk about is the difference between self financed growth strategies and venture backed growth strategies. - John Furrier

Looking forward to your posts John. - Thomas Hawk

I'm looking at this from way on the outside. The value of my perspective is that I know nothing about internal management, visions, discussions, factions, or what have you. All I can say is that from afar, I never got any brand coherence from PodTech. Was it news? paid corporate marketing videos? analysis? community? There were some powerful personal brands--I still follow them in the PodTech diaspora--but it felt they never cohered into a PodTech identity. (That doesn't mean losing personal identity.) - Michael Markman

Michael: exactly. We never played together as a team. It is why entrepreneurs need different skills after they start their companies. It is not enough to sell people on a dream. You must coach your way to it too. - Robert Scoble

What's interesting to me and the sign of a real problem is to have $7.5 million and burn through it, then wind up with a company worth just $500K.

With all this, there are some who think Podcasting is failing, but there are many signs this is not true, including the success of shows like "Ask A Ninja" which pulls in money from sponsorship.

But overall, my personal feeling is that people are lazy and don't want to download anything if they don't have to. That's why I focused on online browser-based sim games like the Oakland Baseball Simworld, rather than downloadable ones.

In the end, it's eyeballs and not downloads that matter and pay, too.