Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stolen 1953 Gibson Les Paul Guitar: Man Using Facebook, Craigslist To Get It Back

This is the sad story of a man, Maurice in Vancouver, B.C., who had his 1953 Gibson Les Paul Guitar stolen on June 5th, along with other valuables. The theft has left Maurice without the ability to produce his music, let alone continue his occupation in the way he has done for so many years.

Maurice took to Craigslist and Facebook for help in recovering his 1953 Gibson Les Paul, and while it's not yet been returned, his cry has gone viral: a friend of mine urged me to make the video above to inform the public.

What Maurice writes on Craigslist will make you angry with the person who took his prized possession. He writes:

It's my most personal possession, and I have always planned for my son to have it one day. By the way, the other Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier head you took was his.

It's not of much value to you, but to me, I can't buy another Les Paul like it because another one doesn't exist.. Here's a thought:

Have some decency and redeem some karma. Bring my guitar back. You've fucked my studio up and stolen a life-time collection of my shit. You stole my guitar rig, which was MY sound that I've spent years achieving.

You haven't ripped off a money making business. You've ripped off my life and my spirit immeasurably by taking away the tools of the pursuit of my passion. I've worked extremely hard for my whole life to earn my right to do so, and you took it all away in an hour or two. You've also ripped off my son, now, and in the future. I don't have the money to replace the gear, so it's just gone.

Just give it back - NO QUESTIONS ASKED. PLEASE

So, if you see a guitar that looks like the one here, call the police and make sure it's returned to Maurice. You can reach him via the Facebook or Craiglist page links in this blog.

Stay tuned.

City Of Oakland's Social Media Strategy Is A Joke

This blogger just received an email that added up to an unfortunate joke. The email consists of a press release that starts out like this:

City of Oakland Launches Social Media Strategy with a Twist
New Oakland Facebook Page an Instant Hit

And then goes on to read: "The City of Oakland, CA has ventured into the world of social media by launching a new Facebook page ( “where people who live or work in Oakland connect with each other to discover and share all that makes our city great.” After just a few weeks, the page is already nearing 2,000 fans who are eagerly sharing commentary on topics ranging from arts, culture and family fun to expressing support for local businesses and standing up for Oakland when overlooked or maligned. The result is a robust community dialogue emanating from legions of fans passionate about Oakland.

If a "social media strategy" consists of one Facebook page, then there are millions of social media strategies, just because some Joe Blow started a Facebook page. The main problem, to cut to the chase, before I continue, is that a social media strategy is much more. I've talked about this before:

And even though the video's geared toward the individual, the rules can be easily adopted for any municipal business like The City of Oakland.

What's really sad is that my friend Samee Roberts, the City of Oakland's Marketing Director, went out and put her name on this really, really, tearfully terrible approach. Well, I guess I have to get after a friend, so be it, but Samee informs is that the City spent time and money conducting a survey to tell them they needed a Facebook page!

I'm not kidding, and I'm really disappointed in Samee here. And Karen Wertman, of the consulting firm "Indelible Branding" had the never to make this statement:

"We wanted to make sure that every decision about how to proceed with social media was informed by what matters to people who actually live and work here. We found that as a whole, Oaklanders are incredibly passionate about their city and feel bonded by that appreciation."

It took a survey to learn that?

Oakland's social media strategy is a massive sham if this is all it is.  Samee just emailed and said it was a start; that's good.

Just the other day, I looked for Oakland's Twitter page, and that photo on the left shows what I found.

That's right, the photo reveals a Twitter page with zero tweets, and no followers. An apparently someone had started the thing recently, because the page has one Twitter account followed: that of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. Other than that, the page reads:

@cityofoakland hasn't tweeted yet.

Then, when I checked Twitter Grader, I learned that the City of Oakland's Twitter page has been in existence for 2 years, 2 months, and 2 days.

So someone at the City of Oakland started this Twitter page and basically never maintained it, except for following Mayor Quan.

Wild, man.

I am not going to spend this space giving the City of Oakland free consulting work, and there are those within the City walls who think that when I give advice I'm telling them everything I know, or so other friends hace told me.

Heck, I remember Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty saying to me "thanks" for the "free" Coliseum website advice he thinks I gave the County way back in late 2001. Then, on the urging of then-Oakland City Manager Robert Bobb, I applied to be the Coliseum Executive Director, even though, given the players involved, I didn't expect to get the job.

I saw Scott at the Coliseum box during an Oakland Raiders game that year, and of course the Supervisor couldn't resist being a Smart Alec to me at the time. I didn't have the heart to tell him he got very little out of what I wrote, because he was being so nasty to me at the time.

Sorry, no love from me - I've been around too long - just the truth. We have to do better.

And that something better should be a task force. There are so many people in Oakland who already DO social media well, why hire a consulting firm? A task force is better.

And in closing, something else.

Since the World discovered Twitter and Facebook, I've seen an alarming number of old media-oriented organizations send out press releases on their "social media strategy" only to be hammered by the tech community, of which I'm a part - even have a CrunchBase Profile.">CrunchBase Profile.

The one rule is, if you're new to tech, and don't know what it means to be "disrupted," then stick your neck out to say "Look at me. what do you think?," get ready to be disrupted.

City of Oakland, you've been disrupted.

Of course, I expect the attacks from "anonymous" using whatever they can come up with; so be it.

Stay tuned.

Whitey Bulger, Subject Of The Departed, Arrested By FBI

James "Whitey" Bulger, subject of Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-winning movie The Departed, was arrested in California on Wednesday, along with his girlfriend Catherine Greig, by the FBI and after 16 years on the run.

Bulger's due to appear before a Federal judge in a Los Angeles court room on charges of of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, narcotics distribution, extortion and money laundering, according to

Here's the ABC World News Now video from YouTube (as a note, ABC thankfully allows bloggers to embed their videos, and is a YouTube Partner, which means they gain revenue from the additional views from the embeds):

The FBI went around the World in pursuit of Bulger and at one point thought they had him in Europe, only to have taken in a German couple.

Not In Good Health

When The FBI finally caught up with Bulger, he was said not to be in good health, according to the Boston Globe - he's 81 years old and his girlfriend, who faces a charge of "harboring a fugitive" is 60 years old. Bulger reportedly didn't put up a fight with the FBI and confessed on the spot.

Reads like he wanted to get caught.

Played by Jack Nicholson

James "Whitey" Bulger was played by legendary actor Jack Nicholson in the 2006 Oscar Best Picture-winning movie The Departed, with Leonardo DiCaprio. Here's a scene from that film:

Stay tuned.

Cal Baseball News: Virginia Rematch, , David Esquer Coach OF The Year, New Video

After defeating Texas A&M 7 to 3 on Tuesday in the College World Series, Cal Baseball continues its amazing storybook season today, with a rematch game against Virginia. The two teams played Sunday, with Virginia getting by Cal 4 to 1; today's game starts at 7 PM EST on ESPN 2 and ESPN 3.

Cal goes into today's revenge, er, rematch game starting right-hander Dixon Anderson (4 - 3, 3.90 ERA, 41 SO/23 BB in 67 IP), a six-six junior who was drafted by The Washington Nationals.

Cal Baseball Coach Gets Coach Of The Year

According to the California Golden Blogs, Cal Baseball Coach David Esquer was named Coach Of The Year by the National College Baseball Writers Association, and will likely get a contract extension.

Here's the video from Bear Territory:

A New Cal Baseball Video!

Finally, and as you can at the top, Cal Baseball has a new video!

You can still donate to Save Cal Baseball at their website here: Save Cal Baseball!