Monday, February 08, 2010

The Bachelor Drama

The Bachelor season is coming to a close! With the swift and sudden departure of Ali (the front runner, in my opinion), We are left with Vienna, Tenley, and Gia. But given the scenes from next week and this bloggers reality TV intuition, this wasn't the last time we'll be seeing Ali... Keep your eyes and remote set to The Bachelor next Monday night.

Saints Tracy Porter pick-six has missed illegal block-in-back of Manning reports that missed amid the celebration after and the speed of New Orleans Saints Defensive Back Tracy Porter's interception of Indy Colts' QB Peyton Manning's pass, and the 74 yard touchdown return was an illegal block-in-the-back committed by Saints Defensive End Will Smith on Manning.

In this video below, we can see Smith (91) running toward Manning who had a chance to catch Porter. Smith clearly hit Manning in the back, but it wasn't called.

Mike David Smith is correct. Someone needs to explain this missed call. As Smith observes:

If Smith had been flagged, it would have significantly changed the game. Instead of being ahead 31-17, the Saints would have been up just 24-17, with the ball on their own 40-yard line and the Colts having all three timeouts. If the Colts had been able to stop the Saints there, they could have gotten the ball back down just seven points with more than two minutes left in the game.

Instead, Porter's touchdown stood, and the Saints won 31-17.

Wow. I can't believe Colts Nation missed this.

It's not over. Stay tuned.

Sarah Palin gives hand job to Tea Party Movement

Former Alaska Governor and Fox News Analyst Sarah Palin appeared before the National Tea Party Movement Convention in Nashville, February 6th, and gave a speech she was paid over $100,000 for. To effectively deliver the oratory, Former Governor Palin used what were once called "crib notes" scribbled in the palm of her left hand. Thus, Sarah Palin used her hand as part of the job she was hired to do for the Tea Party Movement.

The finding, noted in several blogs, took the Internet by storm on Monday. Sarah Palin wrote the words "Energy", "Tax" and "Lift American Spirits" in that order in her left hand's palm.

It was Palin's palm-up pose that allowed the photo capture of what she scribbled. All this from a person, Sarah Palin, who criticized President Obama for using a teleprompter, yet did so in the same Tea Party speech where she was using her left hand's crib notes, and also used one at the Republican National Convention.

The use of crib notes calls Palin's core beliefs into question by some. Does she really believe what she says, or is she just reading lines? While it was claimed that Palin's teleprompter broke at the RNC, some bloggers noted that it did not, meaning the lines Palin said were scripted and not off-the-cuff.

Who is Sarah Palin? Is Palin a serious 2012 GOP Presidential Candidate, or a former politician who's still so in love with the spotlight she would take six-figures to give a speech, and write notes in her hand to make sure she scored conservative points, even if she really didn't believe in them?

Sarah Palin paints the picture of the latter. In the Tea Party speech, Palin called for better understanding and care for special needs children, of which Palin's a mother to one herself. But the same Palin rejected Economic Stimulus money for Alaska that would in part help special needs kids. Fortunately, the Alaskan Legislature overruled her decision. Many observers believed Palin was posturing for national political ambitions.

Now, Here she is, taking money for giving a speech to conservatives, and using the Alaska Economic Stimulus issue as an example of her "conservative values." If Sarah Palin needs crib notes to remind her of what her conservative values are, one can assert she doesn't believe them at all, unless she's paid $100,000 to do so.

Whatever the case, the Tea Party Movement enjoyed it.

Related searches:
sarah palin hand, sarah palin crib notes, sarah palin cheat sheet, sarah palin notes, sarah palin cheat

Jack Murtha remembered as Hawk who backed Clinton, helped Obama

Congressman John P. "Jack" Murtha (D - 12th District, PA) passed away at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA. with his family by his bedside. Congressman Murtha was one of the first fiscally conservative, yet socially liberal Democrats with a military background to endorse then-Senator Hillary Clinton for President against then-Senator Barack Obama. But when Obama won the Democratic Presidential Primary in 2008, Murtha vigorously campaigned for him.

But Murtha was also known for sharing an idea that seemed to become a campaign theme: that Western Pennsylvanians were racist. "There is no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area." The comment, controversial, was much needed at the time and arguably set the tone for Obama's now-famous speech on race "A More Perfect Union".

Murtha, the longest serving congressperson at 36 years, was known as a Hawk and became recognized as an expert on military affairs. He was a favorite of my late stepfather and military veteran Chester H. Yerger Jr., who would stop what he was doing just to hear Murtha's take on a political issue.

Murtha's legacy will be in the defense jobs he brought to Pennsylvania. “He helped provide the foundations — my company continues to build upon what he started,” said Ed Sheehan, president of Johnstown’s Concurrent Technologies Corp., hours after news of the congressman’s death went public. “I am certainly saddened by his death.”

Google, Rupert Murdoch, the SF Chronicle and Media: Phil Bronstein

In this ongoing look at the future of media, there are few in a better position to talk about it - and Google, Rupert Murdoch, and the SF Chronicle - than Phil Bronstein, the Executive Vice President in charge of Content Development and Editor-At-Large for the Newspaper Division of The Hearst Corporation.

Phil Bronstein

Phil's also known as a celebrity, but my feeling going in was that I want to focus on the more substantive issue of media's future with someone I work with, and that I wasn't interested in adding to someone's caricature of "Phil Bronstein."  

After gaining one tech point of view, that of Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark, we have a journalist and newspaper executive. We met at Phil's office at San Francisco Chronicle headquarters in San Francisco.

(The text picks up after the video introduction. The blog post breaks down the most interesting parts of the discussion with summaries in between. The video above is over 27 minutes long.

Zennie Abraham: You having fun?
Phil Bronstein: Yeah. Most days at least interesting if not fun. I get the opportunity to talk to people who are doing things that are outside the normal scope of journalism, but that may have an application for journalists. It's that intersection that interests me and probably interests everybody.
Zennie Abraham: That why I wanted to talk to you about the future of media, but also wanted to say something. A lot of people I talked to in preparation for this (interview) say you should have got the Pulitzer (Prize for his coverage of the Philippines) not the finalist. Wikipedia got it wrong.
Phil Bronstein: Well, (Wikipedia founder) even Jimmy Wales will tell you Wikepedia's not perfect. But that was a long time ago and I had a great time as a foreign correspondent. Almost 10 years. I was very happy with my experience there and had a great time doing it. I don't care at the moment; but thank you. (Laughs)
Zennie Abraham: What's the future of New Media? I kind of jumped the gun but I could not think of a better person to talk to from your perspective because you span journalism..
Phil Bronstein: I'm old.
Zennie Abraham: Nah.
Phil Bronstein: I've been around a long time.
Zennie Abraham: You're not much older than me Phil.
Phil Bronstein It's a much more complicated question than it seems. I think that everybody's grasping. There's a little panic going on; sometimes a lot of panic. I think as I told you before you started videoing, I've always been a student of insurgency. I like that.
Zennie Abraham I think I'm the insurgent.
Phil Bronstein: No. No. I mean, I think there are a lot of insurgents around. Some of them technically have nothing to do with journalism but what hey have is they have the ability to plug in what they're doing into journalism. Journalists don't necessarily have the time, even if they have the interest in figuring out how to make that happen. For instance the Twitter phenomenon.

Twitter has ways in which they can have a verification process for all of that giant pipe of information they have every second. And verify it in ways that cab be useful for a journalist.

So if you're a journalist, and you find out that 50 people are tweeting about an explosion in Lower Manhattan, Twitter has the ability or will have the ability to geocode those responses to see if those people are all part of the same social network or maybe not, which indicates that it may be a hoax, maybe not . There's a process that they can do (in) real time to analyze this data and then be able to say to journalists, out of the 50 words or so, here are the ones that are real.

Phil's working to determine what role the professional journalist can play in information technology. Bronstein sees the journalist as a fact checker of the future. A person or persons who ferret out the bad information from the good in a sea of it. Phil says that there's been a big change and that ultimately there's going to be a bigger one. The question is 'What's the future of journalism.' Not what's the future of newspaper.

Zennie Abraham What's the future of journalism?
Phil Bronstein The future of journalism is that there will always be value in someone filtering information professionally...Sort of a nose for things.

Phil says "Citizen Journalism" has been a disaster. "The idea that you go out and give everyone a flip camera", Phil says, "You can call that a journalist, I suppose. But the idea that there would be this seamless relationship between citizen journalists and journalists is not working."

Phil says social media gives citizens the chance to contribute, but the results must be verified. There was a push in the recent past to use what newspapers called "user-generated content", but it didn't work out because of the information accuracy problem.

The picture he gives is of the news organization as information shaper; "That's what professional journalists can do. That's what a lot of professional journalists do very well."

In a world dominated by opinion and issued by blogs and vlogs, and where some information consumers only go to "certain sources" that fit their political leanings, Phil Bronsteins asserts there's a need and a desire for information that's been "cleaned and verified" by pro journalists.

The nature of the interaction between the citizen journalist and the professional is where the person uses a camera to capture something happening and the news organization (like the SF Chronicle or CNN iReport) uses the video once its affirmed.

Revenue concerns in media

"How is all of this monetized" was the question that defined the next phase of our talk.

Phil Bronstein - Well, that is the big question that no one has answered yet, unless you're Google, Yahoo or MSM. In terms of news and information. You perform a service; people are going to be willing to pay for it in some fashion. That may not be true. I hope it's true. Ultimately I think we're relying on some truth to it. The more value we create the more we can collect on that value. The desktop screen or the laptop screen may have past us by already because we've made everything free.

Zennie Abraham - Are paysites the answer?

Phil Bronstein - Or maybe it's the handheld device. I don't know. I don't know. What the answer to that question is and I don't know that anyone have the definitive answer "(does). The Chronicle's now jumping to embargoed content - We'll see how that goes.

Zennie Abraham Can you explain to my viewers what that is?
Phil Bronstein Yeah. It's key stories in the Sunday paper. People are being encouraged to go out and buy the paper , the Sunday paper, where they would have seen it on SFGate for free - or get an e-subscription. They've seen some action. It's only embagoed for a few days then it appears on SFGate. Now I think what's going to happen is very news company is investigating some kind of paygate.

I asked Phil about the failed Newsday paygate, where it gained just 35 subscribers in three months. "Times Select is a disaster. The LA Times had a pay wall and that didn't work. There are theories that if you get enough media companies doing it at the same time people will have less opportunities."

He's not advocating for a cartel. "Rupert Murdoch has threatened to withhold or just kill Google. Not allow Google to use his stuff; the Wall Street Journal, for example. I asked a Google executive all the newspaper companies decided to kill Google, how much would that effect them; he said three percent (of total revenue). They've come up to talk to news people at the SFGate; I've went down there to talk with them. Everyone's willing to talk, but I don't think we have a lot of leverage with the Murdoch threats.

Warren Helman's Bay Area Project

Phil Bronstein and I talked about The Bay Area News Project. A new "non-profit" news organization that's financed by San Francisco investor Warren Hellman, that's upset some local traditional journalists who feel that it's taking the "news market" away from them since it relies on students in the Berkeley journalism school and partners with the New York Times (not the SF Chronicle). "It's a high end demographic. We'll see how it goes. KQED dropped out. We'll see how it goes."

The future of media

Bronstein thinks this change will, as I put it, shake out in some way in the future. "Things are happening. Momentum is there. What Murdoch's doing. They're all trial balloons he's testing Rupert just may have something we don't know about.."

On the matter of celebrity news site, he describes it as "a wonder" and thinks "It's experiment that's worked pretty well. "We're in an interesting time" Phil says, and offers that there will be an interesting tension between the people they cover and what they do.

The future of the San Francisco Chronicle

"The Chronicle's not closing down anytime soon. I don't say that because I make the decisions, that's just my belief and my observation. I want to make that clear. And anything I tell you could be completely wrong or change tomorrow." Bronstein says that technological change may cause the Chron to "look completely different" than it does now, but it's still and institution that's been around for a long time.

The video is uncut and has more of the details behind his comments and my reaction. But it was an enjoyable experience that I'd like to create a follow-up to, especially after the iPad's been in the market for about six months.

Meanwhile, I'll talk with more interesting people about the future of media.

Stay tuned.

R.I.P. Pennsylvania Congressman John P. Murtha

Congressman John P. Murtha (PA-12) passed away peacefully this afternoon at 1:18 p.m. at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA. At his bedside was his family.

Murtha, 77, was Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in February of 1974, Murtha dedicated his life to serving his country both in the military and in the halls of Congress. A former Marine, he became the first Vietnam War combat Veteran elected to the U.S. Congress.

This past Saturday, February 6, 2010, Murtha became Pennsylvania’s longest serving Member of Congress.

Super Bowl Commercials: SFAMA has Super Bowl Ad Review

The San Francisco Chapter of the American Marketing Association has it's annual Super Bowl Ad Review this Wednesday in San Francisco. It's a fun event that anyone who's at least interested in what marketers and ad execs think about the Super Bowl commercials should attend.

Here's a video series from the 2007 SFAMA Super Bowl Ad Review event I attended:

Part one:

Part two:

Part three:

The event will be held at the office of Bars + Tone at 1550 Bryant St Ste 1000, San Francisco, CA, this Wednesday, February 10th 2010 from 6 PM to 8 PM. Visit the website to register and for more information: SFAMA Super Bowl Ad Review.

Super Bowl Commercials: Doritos, Google win 2010 BrandBowl

The battle of Super Bowl commercials was played out online during Super Bowl XLIV. Doritos, Google, and Focus on the Family won the 2010 BrandBowl. But what's the 2010 BrandBowl?

The 2010 BrandBowl is an online competition between Super Bowl commercials from a Twitter perspective. Ad agency Mullen partnered with Social Media measuring company Radian 6, to produce the 2010 BrandBowl. Specifically, they describe it in this way:

BrandBowl was built to gauge public reaction to the brands advertising during the Super Bowl. By monitoring Twitter, we can measure people's opinions and rank the brands accordingly. The brand with the top "BrandBowl score" on Sunday night will be the winner of BrandBowl 2010, and can date the head cheerleader.

How BrandBowl Works

First we tally—using selected keywords—the total number of tweets about each brand.
Second, we look at the opinions stated in those tweets to calculate a "net sentiment" score. The purpose of this score is to measure whether the overall public reaction to a brand is positive or negative. The net sentiment score is derived by the formula:
(Positive tweets – Negative tweets) / Total brand tweets
Finally, to rank the brands, we calculate a BrandBowl score by evaluating the non-negative share of each brand relative to all brands:
(Positive tweets + Neutral tweets – Negative tweets) / Total tweets for all brands
Rolling over any brand will show all three of these figures—its BrandBowl score, its net sentiment score, and the total number of tweets about the brand. For the true ad nerds out there (it's okay, you're among friends) we also provide a link that will display even more in-depth details on any brand:
A spark line that shows the number of tweets over a timeline
A breakdown of the tweets about the brand, to show if the tweets were overwhelmingly positive, negative, or neutral
A word cloud of the most popular terms in tweets about the brand
It is important to note that we are measuring the response to brands. We are not measuring the response to any single ad.

Got that?

Doritoes' commercial won by simply having the most tweets about it (3042), both positive and negative. This is the most popular Doritoes' commercial of the four aired:

Which brand's commercial had the most positive tweets in the 2010 BrandBowl? That award went to McDonald's, Dr. Pepper and Universal, in that order. Here's McDonalds Super Bowl commercial featuring LeBron James and Dwight Howard:

The other Super Bowl commericial runners-up in the 2010 BrandBowl were Google and Focus on the Family. Here are those commercials:

Google (Impress a French Girl or "Parisian Love"):

Focus on The Family (Pam and Tim Tebow):

If you're wondering who lost the 2010 BrandBowl, it was Budweiser Select55 "Don't bring me down", which did so. Mullen's offering free creative services to Budweiser. Here's that Super Bowl commercial:

For the rest of the results, visit the Mullen and Radian 6 site for the 2010 BrandBowl.

Stay tuned.

Oakland News - Sweet Jimmie Ward dies - [Aimee Allison | OaklandSeen]

[Aimee Allison | OaklandSeen] For much of the time Sweet Jimmies was the heart of Oakland nightlife in the 90's, I would catch glimpses of nighttime boisterous dancing and singing at the spot through the grainy lens of Soul Beat TV. Now Soul Beat and Sweet Jimmies nightclub are a decade gone, and I find myself longing for that Oakland spirit. "Sweet Jimmie" Ward died Friday night at the age of 74 - a former longshorman who was one of hundreds of thousands who came from the South to work at the shipyards or on the Army base during World War II and stayed to raise families and start businesses and shape neighborhoods. Ward made Sweet Jimmies into the place to go - dressed to the nines - where old soul from Mississippi and Lousiana and Georgia was alive.

Those in Sweet Jimmie's generation brought small town manners and blues and political organizing and art. They created a legacy and culture in Oakland that defines us today. Now, Oakland's black population has plummeted under the weight of unemployment and police sweeps and shady mortgages. But you can still see the storefront of the old Sweet Jimmies at 577 18th Street in downtown Oakland. Many people don't know that for many years it was an important meeting place for African-American political and community organizations. It was a center of influence. And while many celebrate the remaking of culture and nightlife in the city, I am taking a moment to mourn what we lost. See, Sweet Jimmies wasn't just another nightclub, Jimmie Ward just another nightclub owner. He represented an era here in Oakland. And that era is over.

The public service for Jimmie Ward is this Thursday at Good Hope Church at 5717 Foothill Blvd. The event will begin with a quiet hour at 7 p.m. A public funeral will follow on Friday at noon in the same location.

Facebook can be used for identity theft, be careful

Facebook has become one of the largest, if not the largest, social networks in the World. It can bring people together to celebrate the Saints Super Bowl XLIV victory, or mourning the Colts loss, or to talk about Sarah Palin's awful use of hand-written notes for speeches. But with 350 million Facebook members, there's bound to be a crappy person or three hanging around. Some members are on Facebook just to steal your identity.

This video shows what happened when the people at Sophos Labs created a Facebook member who was a duck:

The Sophos Labs video makes sense but leaves out an important point: it's what you put in your Facebook profile, not so much who you friend. Using my profile "Zenophon Abraham" as an example, I have a lot of friends and many I do not know, but have shared business-related information, especially about events.

I use Facebook for networking; while I have information about me there, it's not my address or personal relationship status other than who my relative is (my half-sister Amanda). I don't have my instant message handle posted, I don't give details on where I am all the time, unlike some people.

And there's another strategy, too: saturation of self. My "self" - name with photo - is everywhere on the Internet because I am on so many blog and social media platforms; the idea is that so many people will see "me" that it's all but impossible for someone else to get away with saying they're me.

Me, Zennie Abraham , at the Leigh Steinberg Party 

I got the idea noticing how "out there" tech blogger Robert Scoble was - he's on a ton of networks and has thousands of contacts if not millions of them.

Identity theft is also successful when people don't know what you are supposed to look like. But, say, with Usher, it's harder to do.

Why do I mention Usher? Because there was a guy at the Leigh Steinberg Party who others claimed was Usher, including some friends of mine. I took one look at the guy and said "He's not Usher; Usher has a baby face. This guy looks like he's in his 40s." Moreover, he signed a napkin using the name "Usher". I didn't want to think the guy was impersonating Usher, but the the napkin autograph changed my mind.

But I digress. The point is, having a ready photo of Usher that we could call up on a Google Nexus Phone solved the problem. That guy, as I said, was not Usher.

Facebook is a great social network but you don't have to put everything about yourself there.