Monday, February 21, 2011

Jezebel, Gawker, etc. New Layout

Nieman Journalism Lab online reported on February 7, 2011 about the new layout that Gawker, Jezebel, Lifehacker, Deadspin (and all the other sites affiliated with Gawker Media) went through. Some readers are still having trouble accepting it and some didn't even notice it.

Nick Denton
is the entrepreneur who created Gawker Media, and he tells Nieman Journalism Lab's Megan Garber that this entire change was "inevitable." Well, most people are used to Facebook always changing its layout, but after being so used to the old Gawker Media layouts this came as a shock that was a bit confusing at first.

It was recorded that the first few days after this change the page views for all the sites, but as people get used to the layout it should improve.

Gawker Sidebar
The article on Nieman Journalism Lab is really good to reference and it would just seem terrible to copy and paste everything from there - so make sure to check out that article for information about Gawker Media possibly going on television, etc.

99ers Wanted: This is How it is Done / Twitter #99erAID Round 2 Tomorrow

99ers Wanted: This is how protesting is Done & PLEASE HELP with Twitter #99erAID Round 2 Tomorrow.

Spurred on by the success of last week’s Twitter chat, event organizer Jason Tabrys (@99erAID) has announced a second event with an eye toward weekly #99erAID events.

#99erAID seeks to allow 99ers and the long term unemployed a chance to get together and share ideas while also lending each other support. The group is not affiliated with any political party or advocacy group.

The event is scheduled to run between 8:00 PM EST and 9:30 PM EST with a 90 minute chat on the 99erAID Facebook group chat to immediately follow at 9:30 PM EST.

Any and all are welcome to participate and urged to help spread word about the event but the organizer has asked for respect, civility, and that all comments be made with an eye toward helping 99ers survive these harrowing times.

For more information please contact Jason Tabrys on Twitter @99erAID

99ers & All Unemployed - take a page from Wisconsin, Egypt, and Libya - NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE.

With more and more credible sources debunking the “official” unemployment rate announced by the US government of 9%, it is clear that the people are starting to get the truth out there. (See 15% Unemployment?

After this “inconvenient truth” gets nationwide exposure, how many are still going to be complacently content to sit on the sidelines, continuing to allow the 99er Nation to perish a slow, painful ruination?

Americans ARE NOT too lazy to get out and stand together an a vocal, undeniable demonstration of “We are MAD as HELL and are not going to take it anymore” and lest there be any doubt as to how that is done - check out the video and the continuing saga of Madison Wisconsin (see video)

OK any of you near these marches??

PLEASE spread the word for 99ers and all unemployed to show at these rallies!!!!

[UPDATE: here's a good list:

Also, I went to the link the author of this piece mentioned re. a rally in NY on Tuesday:

I'll start with our own 2nd effort here in New York City. TOMORROW--we're going to be in front of FOX NEWS at 5 p.m. For those of you who aren't sure, that's at 48th and 6th Ave. Please RSVP here . ]

If you cannot protest yourself, please donate for sign printing costs using the PayPay widget at or below THANK YOU!

Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill Protest from Matt Wisniewski on Vimeo.

On, Wisconsin!

Paul Krugman's column Sunday, Wisconsin Power Play, detailed the parallels between Cairo and Madison; he concludes that as with Mubarak the real storyline is about power. As the economy continues to struggle with the effects Wall Street deregulation induced on Main Street, the crisis of confidence in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's leadership is because his proposal would further accelerate the disturbing trend: redistribution of wealth away from the middle and lower classes.

Of course, logically the proposal flies in the face of the evidence about his spending and budget decisions, but he evidently thought he could slip that by in the current political climate. After all, as Pew research from earlier this month points out, while lots of people favor "cutting spending" when you get down to brass tacks it turns out that the vast majority like what the government is spending the money on:

So that leaves a real problem for those who campaigned on cutting the size of government: just what are people really willing to give up?

Walker's call to remove collective bargaining rights amounts to opening a new front in class warfare, and he's at the pointy end of the stick.

" has nothing to do with helping Wisconsin deal with its current fiscal crisis. Nor is it likely to help the state’s budget prospects even in the long run: contrary to what you may have heard, public-sector workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere are paid somewhat less than private-sector workers with comparable qualifications, so there’s not much room for further pay squeezes."
Paul Krugman, 20 Feb 2011

I feel for Governor Walker; new bosses that flex their muscles don't always understand the limits. Less than two months into his term he's learning that ascending to the executive branch doesn't come with absolute power. Voters who liked the sound of lower taxes in November apparently don't expect vague promises of "fiscal discipline" to reduce what's invested in our children's education or the support we guaranteed military veterans. Meanwhile certain of Walker's own spending increases smell of corporate welfare and backroom deals.

The Governor is losing the battle of public opinion. People in Egypt are ordering pizza for demonstrators in Madison, for crying out loud. If moderate Wisconsin Republicans can't mediate his position and broker a deal quickly, irate people in Wisconsin recalling that government bailed out banks and learning more about the Koch's support for their new Governor may just get beyond rumors they're talking about organizing a recall and actually do so -- which will make Walker's current concerns about losing face for reversing a strongly-stated position pale in comparison.
Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, former Congressional Campaign Manager, strategist, journalist, and photographer who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community, who incidentally stands in solidarity with the citizens and workers in Wisconsin refusing to let their Governor's self-created budget "crisis" and new spending priorities be re-cast as a reason to undermine contractual obligations and collective bargaining agreements.
You can follow him as @kabiu on twitter.

Will Launch Be Just Another White Tech Guy Event?

This is the week of "Launch," a tech event designed to introduce new startups.  And another tech event that looks like it's going to be almost devoid of blacks.

If anyone black in tech wants to get a fair hearing about their company, they're going to have to do what the Indian Tech Community is doing: forming organizations and associations that, because of the involvement of Indians, provide a better place for an Indian startup to go to be evaluated.

The reason for this is events like Launch, the latest one of its kind focused on startups, just don't provide the environment for this. And looking at the players behind it, starting with Jason Calacanis, that's not going to happen. The problem with the Tech Community as a whole is that it's racially divided, yet uses a pseudo-intellectual rationale to convince itself otherwise. That is,

"Well, we take anyone who has a good idea."

A comment I've heard again and again. That's a load of bull; a good idea is in the eye of the beholder. And the organization which makes that claim is just placing itself in the role of judge when I don't recall anyone taking a formal vote to give it such a role.

To me, it's shameful to give Jason Calacanis power - as Kalimah Priforce did in a resent blog post and Twitter challenge - by asking the founder of Engadget to have more black judges at Launch.   If Jason wants to satisfy himself with forming yet another Tech event where blacks are servants, janitors, and security guards, go right ahead.

This tweet by Jason was just terrible, but honest:

Jason Jason Calacanis 
by kapriforce@ 
seriously @kapriforce, send me names of 5 qualified black judges + i will invite! i'm all about love+diversity! i lived on the b-train
10 Feb

I have no idea what the b-train is and I'm black. It's not enough to love diversity; if Jason did, he'd know who was out there that was black and in Tech.

Hell, Jason's seen me at Tech events. He's talked to me at TechCrunch Disrupt 2010 and as part of a video-interview request that did not happen, and I even tried to reach out to him for some advice regarding my company Sports Business Simulations.

With all that, Jason never got back to me. Did not give me an interview when I was working press. And then in an email basically implied that I wasn't working press. To heck with Jason and loving diversity, because from my experience his words add up to a load of crap.

I can say I love diversity just constantly being one of the few blacks at these events. But I digress.

Kalimah Priforce is right when he blogs that "Startup America needs to look more like America." But it's sad that blacks have to say that, and not whites like Jason or for that matter Rachel Sklar, who blogs and talks about the lack of women in tech, but doesn't make noise when it comes to blacks. (And as Rachel's a friend, I'm getting after her to get into gear here.  No excuses.)

In one of his Twitter tweets, Priforce calls to "Silicon Valley" and asks "where's the diversity:"

kapriforce Kalimah Priforce
Hey Silicon Valley! Where's the diversity? @GuyKawasaki @Jason @Scobleizer @mashable @TechCrunch
10 Feb Favorite Retweet Reply

And one of the people he calls to is Robert Scoble, the "Scobleizer." Well, Robert's a good guy (and I mean that.  He's a Mench) but I issued a challenge to him, he's yet to follow up on. I asked him to help me go out and recruit blacks to tech from places in Oakland. This was a message exchange he and I had on the Yahoo! Videobloggers Network something like seven years ago. And although we've connected a lot through the years, he turned a blind eye toward my idea.

The point is, I've been down the road that Kalimah's taking. I'm tired. I'm tired of going to events where I'm one of the few blacks in the room, yet reading and hearing about all of these blacks in tech like Kalimah. I'm tired of the attitudes, as well as the idea, held by some people, that they're just "smarter" at all things, because they were lucky enough to have their start up funded.

I'm also tired of blacks writing about how not enough of us have a degree, and so on. Look, we know that. But I've got news: a lot of us do have degrees, are whipper smart, start companies, and know programming languages.  But with all of this, we're raising black and kids of color who think someone who has a tech company and is white or Asian must be smarter than themselves.   We've got to stop that.

The problem is this: a lot of blacks don't talk or team up.   I've blogged about this matter of racial exclusion from tech events, and long before Kalimah has, and yet we both live in Oakland.

You reading that?

That's the problem.

I get the impression blacks are too concerned about what someone white will think if blacks team up. I don't think such concerns are productive and they help to maintain the overall problem. Plus, there are whites who care about this, too.  We just have to find them. This also doesn't mean I'm suggesting the formation of "Black Nation," where if you're involved interracially, that's an issue. As anyone who knows me can tell you, that's not at all my concern.

This is not personal; it's business.

I'm saying that blacks in Tech must team up and this has to be a World-wide effort. There are too many blacks all of us know - and whites and others of color know too - who are in the industry, but not being reached out to. As a buddy of mine, a brilliant "Double-E", (that's electrical engineer) who's worked for places like Bell Labs, has said "Many blacks in Tech in the South talk to each other, but not to a wider audience." So we have to go and get them.

I don't care how small the event is, we need a Black Tech Expo. But I think we'll find that, once we pull together, the event itself will grow to be rather large. Then, Jason Calacanis will be knocking on our door.