Friday, August 08, 2008

12 Things I Love About Dr Horrible's Singalong Blog

1) The ending.

2) Remembering how good Joss Whedon is at writing tragicomic musicals.

3) Being so long from the Whedon narrative loop that I totally didn't see the twist in the final act. I should have, I really should have, but I didn't until it was too late.

4) At which point I gasped, watched through to the end, then went "[Sigh] Yeah!"

5) Neil Patrick Harris. We knew how good a comic actor he was from "How I met Your Mother", but this just takes it to a whole new level.

6) Nathan Fillion. Nice to see him play a jerk. Well, I mean a different type of jerk. The "no redeeming features" kind.

7) The guy in the pink superhero spandex, sitting on the bed, wearing pink boxing gloves.

8) Did I mention the end?

9) The fact that it began out of the Hollywood writer's strike as an opportunity to prove that the major media companies were becoming irrelevant. If anyone has a reason to tell the networks to go stuff themselves it's Whedon.

10) The fact that Felicia Day was doing her own web series about World of Warcraft. And it rocks. And that she walked up to Joss with her card and said "watch it". And particularly that he replied "I already do. And it's great. And I'm thinking fo doing something for the internet."

11) Moist. Man, that sucks as a super-villain power.

12) And what about that ending!

Sing along at home.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Real Social | Rushkoff Blog

I have a tendency to automatically expect that I don't understand things. It seems to be my default position that other people really understand the underlying value of what's coming down the road at us, while I'm just picking up the pieces.

For instance, two Christmases ago my lovely wife gave me a copy of Douglas Rushkoff's "Get Back in the Box", a great book about the real value of being innovative around a business' core competencies, rather than just spending time trying to find ways to convince your market.

So I started to read Rushkoff's latest blog post. In the first sentence he invokes "Back in the Box" and my first reaction was "Oh God, I obviously didn't understand what he was saying. Not really, not thoroughly, not deep down."

"Instead of just buying banner ads or conducting new forms of computerized market research, many of these players are coming to understand that the Internet is a social phenomenon - not a content revolution - and that it offers the opportunity to connect to a real culture and its most competent members in a real way."

"Oh God," thinks I, "why is my initial reaction to that sentence 'what is the opportunity?' rather than 'well it's obvious what the answer is.' "

But then I read further and things started to make more sense. I thought about the kind of interaction and engagement Rushkoff has advocated for years; real, thorough engagement that isn't just a shop front for commodities, and I found myself falling into the article.

"Going “social” online means more than hiring a company to create a ‘white label’ version of Facebook for your organization to chat with customers, employees, shareholders, and others. It means understanding the real value of creating a “transparent” company; it means understanding why sharing and collaborating beat hiding and competing; it means learning to work with unfamiliar measures of success - like how many new unsolicited resumes from people looking to join you come over the transom, instead of just how many “unnecessary” jobs could be cut."

In the end the post turns out to basically be an announcement that he intends to start "practicing what he preaches" by joining a friend of his in a start up company advising businesses how to succeed in social media. The rest of the post however is a nice wake up call that reminds us that we're perhaps not as open as we like to think we are, or should be. It's also a nice reminder that I'm not as dim as I can sometimes think I am.

Monday, August 04, 2008

CCi Digital Futures Report: The Internet in Australia

Confirming the stuff we kind of already knew.

On the Internet and Media consumption;

For users the internet is now their most important source of information. Just under seven in ten users described the internet as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ compared to a third for television and less than a half for newspapers or radio.

Internet users spend less time watching television, listening to radio and reading newspapers than nonusers.

Television watching is the media-related activity most affected by internet use. Four in ten users say they watch less television since access while less than a quarter feel they read newspapers or books less.

Around six in ten users would visit an online news service if either a large international or large local story was breaking. Overall, internet users rate the internet as reliable an information source as newspapers and more reliable than television.

However, on the Internet as entertainment;

The internet is an increasingly important source of entertainment, however it is yet to really challenge television or even radio for most users. The proportion of users who describe the internet as a very important source of entertainment is just slightly less than the proportion for television which points to the potential of the internet in this realm. We would expect that as broadband improves in both speed and coverage that entertainment uses will become increasingly important.

An interesting read to get a snapshot of the state of the Internet nation.

A debate has broken out around the office...

Can you legitimately call the U.S. Olympic basketball team the world's best at this point?

I was looking at this report on the site and took umbrage at the first par.

"Team USA showed their strength as the world's top basketball team (my emphasis) powered past European champion Russia 89-68 before an energised crowd in Shanghai in an Olympic Games warm-up match."

So the question came up; can you legitimately call the current U.S.A. men's basketball team the world's top team when they haven't won a major international competition in six years? I don't think anyone assumes that this particular team isn't the gold medal favourite, but can you say they are the current top team in the world?

I'm of the opinion that at this point you have to call Spain the best team in the world. They are the current FIBA World Champions and until someone comes along and proves otherwise.

My colleague contends that this is not purely hyperbole, asking whether, in my opnion, I would realistically call Argentina or Spain the top basketball team in the world. As he put it, how do you determine this title? If you look at win/loss, or number of international tournaments it would be hard not to say the U.S. team is not a clear front runner.

I hold to my original position, that until (or, realistically "when") the U.S.A. team sweeps everyone in their path to regain the Olympic gold medal, then, and only then, should they earn the title of world's top team.


Friday, August 01, 2008

The world could end tomorrow...

Today is a special day.

Nothing can bring me down today.

There could be the promise of global calamity and economic downturn, but today I don't care.

Mountains could rise, seas could fall, and today it all means nothing.

Today my son took his first unaided steps.

He plodded, warily and shakily, a whole two steps from the safety of the toybox...

straight into my arms.

These are the moments there are no words to properly express the way you feel.

Life is good.

Enjoy your weekend, world.

I know I'll enjoy mine.