techPresident Wins $10,000 Knight-Batten Innovation in Journalism Award

Congrats to all of the excellent sites that placed in the 2007 awards (press release). I became familiar with techPresident after meeting Micah Sifry at EconSM and then examining the site further at the Knight New Media Center Tech & Politics Conference, which I blogged. My favorite parts of techPresident are the news aggregators by candidate and the charts detailing social network and Web 2.0 presence and support.

The First place, $2,000 winner is the much-deserving Council on Foreign Relations. Their Crisis guides, such as this one on Darfur, are excellent. It would appear CFR is going to take it from there in developing a more robust Web presence — I’ve noticed that they’ve been seeking Web producers throughout the summer.

Other notable sites that won awards/mentions:

The Forum, an all-volunteer online newspaper for Deerfield, N.H.

On Being, WaPo’s twist on NPR-style citizen narrated content, in video form. NOTE: The Post’s Jim Brady was among the dozen or so esteemed advisory board members judging the nominees.

Assignment Zero, the first Pro-Am Journo project to come out of Jay Rosen’s NewAssignment.Net initiative (I participated in editing a few articles and with this contribution).

Yahoo! MapMixer is Cool

Just as it was becoming clear this week that Yahoo! Co-Founder Jerry Yang’s first “100 days” as CEO isn’t setting up to be all that, a stream of new toys, deals, and partnerships have been announced. MapMixer is a product of Yahoo! Hack Day, according to TechCrunch and Reuters, and as you can see above, it enables you to overlay graphics on Yahoo! Maps (above is the USC campus, zoom out for full effect). Of course, not everything scales so nicely (see the Chicago ‘L’ map).

Yahoo is seeking more applied ingenuity and is pronouncing it’s “openness.” (NOTE: Jeremy Zawodny posted a much-better-written rebuttal/addendum to the BizWeek article on his blog.)

Is this real or a back-against-the-wall reaction to the apparent leak of a Google in-house video purporting a confluence of Google apps in a streamlined Facebook platform sort-of-way? Was Page and Brin’s $1.3 million landing at NASA’s Moffett Field near the Google HQ merely a decoy to overshadow speculation on the video? Is it true that there’s a bubble keeping the fog and cold bay air out of Silicon Valley?

The real big deal for Yahoo! this week was the announcement of a hefty deal to serve ads for Bebo, one of the most popular social networking sites in the UK (and a oft-rumored acquisition interest of Yahoo).

Also, tonight marks the launch of a partnership with Woot.com in which one item per night is featured on Yahoo! Shopping for purchase at sellout.woot.com.

Continue reading “Yahoo! MapMixer is Cool”

OBL: Still Kicking Our Ass

static on your TVI wish I could remember September 11, 2001 for the tragedy that took thousands of American lives in horrific terrorist attacks. But all I can think about is:

What if — after years of tracking and nearly capturing the man (before giving up last year) — Osama bin Laden was captured/arrested within days of the attacks he masterminded? How incredibly different our cultural, media, military and political landscape would be…. perhaps….

Certainly George W. Bush would be a genuinely proud man, not the facetious, naive, and stubborn loser he will always be remembered as. In last week’s video, bin Laden dissed the U.S. for not just losing Iraq, but making it worse. You’d expect this to inspire rage within President Bush, however, somehow the fool interpreted these remarks as vindication for his planless obsession with staying in Iraq. Instead of vowing to find bin Laden, or imploring the public to ignore him outright, our foolish leader scratched his chin and opined: “I found it interesting that on the tape Iraq was mentioned, which is a reminder that Iraq is a part of this war against extremists.” Bush’s team’s only defense was to somehow take away from the video that the healthy and in control bin Laden was “virtually impotent.” There’s no way these people possibly see themselves in the mirror each day… talk about “virtually impotent.”

It is downright shameful to see military leadership (Crocker & Petraeus) pawned as spokesman promoting the most implausible and ridiculous “strategy” of beginning to withdraw the additional 30,000 troops that were sent earlier this year by the middle of next year and trying to spin it as “progress.” Their “successes” are defined by unsourced PowerPoint‘s and hardly challenged by Congress or the lapdog media. Even George Will did the math and is left scratching his head: Send in 30,000 troops on cost-plus missions, begin redeploying them 15 months later after incurring more losses and attaining absolutely no political stability and call it “progress?”

Yes, the entire world wants to kick us today as OBL carries on with his terror and pokes fun at how America has fucked so much shit up around the world in the name of one pithy terrorist attack. Sure we haven’t been attacked since, but we also tend to forget the numerous attacks that have taken place in Europe, the UK and elsewhere, like in Algeria, where suddenly suicide bombings are the new hip thing among teenagers. Plain and simple, OBL isn’t lying when he broadcasts his disturbing propaganda. Meanwhile the Petraeuses and Crockers are only kidding themselves, and, by extension, us.

Let’s begin again.

turn off the damn tv and stop the war

What Happened to TimesSelect Podcasts?

Recently I stopped receiving New York Times Op-Ed podcasts via iTunes and today I figured I’d investigate — perhaps they changed the URL or something.

However, the icon at left goes to a new NYT page, NYTimes.com Podcasts where there are no links to subscribe to readings of the daily Friedman, Kristof, Dowd, Krugman, or Brooks, whether or not I’m logged into my TimesSelect account. Am I somehow missing something?

When I subscribe to the feed, say Krugman’s podcast feed, the latest return is the August 3 podcast although his most recent column was August 20. Additionally, I can’t seem to find links to subscribe via Audible, the company that produced and published the op-ed podcasts. Perhaps just a burp in the Times’ transition to freeing up its TimesSelect content or are these Op-Ed podcasts gone for good? Say it ain’t so.

Back to My Blogging Roots

mirror lake, yosemiteOn hiatus this weekend at Yosemite and very much recalling my travels of yesteryear. I hope to take advantage and get out some next month in between interviews for the NextBigGig in my oh-so-linear mission to save the world (at least a little (ok, microscopic) bit, every day).

The Wall Street Journal, of all publications, wished a Happy Blogiversary to all — declaring the 10th anniversary of the blog, complete with videoi and top billing in the editor’s picks sidebar. And somewhere, Rupert Murdoch is smiling, or perhaps this is just a sign that Dow Jones truly is in his back pocket. OK, it actually is a cool feature, check it out, but I don’t see where it admits to WSJ’s blogibviousness… only WSJ’s LawBlog is a regular read in my newsfeed, and it’s been around less than two years. It appears there are more here. But it seems nothing existed at blogs.wsj.com before late May of last year, according to archive.org. (Am I missing something?) Nice of them to acknowledge blog, of course — even if it’s just the Saturday paper. I always thought Justin Hall was credited as the first “blogger,” circa 1994, but whatever.

My first attempt at blogging was 8 summers ago. I was teaching English in Ecuador and documenting my experiences and travels for myself, my family and friends. It was pretty outstanding, circa 1999, being able to hit a cybercafe in virtually any city in South America on the cheap, and most served beer (a pleasure I rarely enjoyed again before I moved to San Francisco for this summer where there are places such as Bean Bag Cafe — with microbrews on tap for $1.50 and free wi-fi).

With the help of one BJ Freeman, I set up some archaic message board on this Web site (Click to see the remnants of this message board and posts — I can only find the European 2000 stuff), in hopes of spurring conversation and comments on my travels and thoughts. Of course, since many didn’t understand the “blog” concept — which was what it was in principle, but not in name — I had to simultaneously send my dispatches in the form of mass e-mails (bcc style). I continued this practice — after virtually breaking the discussion board format — kinda like this.

Click here for photos and commentary from Yosemite.