VIDEO: Obama Thanks Campaign Staff at Chicago HQ

He speaks to his staff after Hillary suspends her campaign and it’s immediately posted to YouTube. It’s a gracious, seemingly unscripted speech. “We would have been happy to latch on to the Clinton campaign had she won. But now, we have no choice. We HAVE TO WIN.” The transparent presidency, FTW!

I love when he encourages the staff — which he acknowledges may not all be of drinking age — to take the weekend to “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out, cause we’re gonna come back on Monday and work twice as hard.

Cue Mick & Keith.

via Politico

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The Added Value of Twitter is in the Little Things

Twitter - Jerry Taft
Jerry Taft, long-time Chicago TV weatherman is an avid Twitter user. Thanks to his recent tweet I got a twinge of nostalgia, imagining the news team I grew up with in the ’80s.

Twitter has not even come close to beginning to lose its edge in my world. Many of my closest friends and peers do not use this — but this was much the case with AIM and Y! Messenger in years past. Twitter (and the numerous search engines built upon its API) enable each user access to immediately strip any and all degrees of separation from one’s self and one’s interests of the moment.

When Cubs season came around, I immediately searched Cubs on Tweetscan and added about a dozen folks who were tweeting from Wrigley on opening day (Another search tool launched more recently is Summize). The majority of people I follow are in Los Angeles. I do have a habit of adding folks depending on what locale I am in — I want to hear the local noise (which I can find by searching TwitterLocal or BrightKite). There’s a Twitter wiki with an up-to-date index of all tricks and tools for enhancing the Twitter experience here.

The way Twitter works is much more dynamic than instant messaging. What Taft tweeted above — in <140 characters, an hour or so before going on air -- was only seen immediately by a handful of people (a portion of his 77 followers who happened to be following their Twitter feed at the time). However, his announcement of the Ch. 7's new team -- and the fact that it's the same team that me and my peers grew up with on Ch. 5 in the 80s -- can also be found on Google (which crawls and indexes Twitter daily) and in posts such as this one, (especially after I put the names Magers, Yu, Giangreco, and Taft in text). It may seem subtle, but Taft is promoting his newscast in a very nuanced and personalized way. There isn't such a mention of the reformation of the classic Chicago news team on the ABC7Chicago website, or elsewhere for that matter.

What’s the point of all the noise?

I find it hard to cut down on the number of people I follow (currently over 400) because each and every one of them adds value to my daily life. It may only be one in every ten tweets that does anything for me — often less, but, as with anything today, it is easy to turn on and turn off Twitter. And later, to do filtered searches. Alas, too much time on Twitter can get crazy, for example, a friend comments on a friends tweet and suddenly there’s another person you’re interested in following.

It’s not about who you know or who follows you. With Twitter, it’s about who you follow, and how you choose to use the little 140-character gems of wisdom and added value in your life.

Google Streetview South Side of Chi

This just gives the wrong impression of the South Side of Chicago — but it’s probably the best laugh I’ve had thanks to Google Maps Streetview. And to think, it’s mere blocks from Sox Park. Courtesy Good Magazine blog.

Wilco in Chicago [Testing Y! Media player]

Lucas Gonze is giving a presentation on the just-launched Yahoo! Media player today at SF Music Tech Conference. I’m not there but just glanced at his online powerpoint and remembered that I have yet to check out the player!

Let’s test it out right here, with a cut from the last set of Wilco’s historic 5-night run at the Riviera in Chicago this month.

Wilco – Muzzle of Bees w/ Andrew Bird

Check out the rest of the show at I am Fuel.

I had a tricky time getting the htrack microformat to work and eventually gave up (on second thought I think this was due to some issues with the Firefox 3 Beta I was testing it on). However, I now see that there is a WordPress Plugin that might make it even easier.

Cubs Land Fukudome; ’08 Year of the Cub

fukudome will be a chicago cub in 2008 and beyond world seriesThe Chicago Cubs had one distinct goal this off-season and Wednesday morning they will announce mission accomplished.

30-year-old left-handed outfielder Kosuke Fukudome is Chi-town bound after agreeing with the Cubs to a reported 4-year, $48 million contract.

fukudome chicago cubs babyFukudome is everything that Corey Patterson never was and further indicates the Cubs organization’s newfound understanding that top talent on the farm (see Wood, Prior, Guzman) ain’t always what it’s cracked up to be. For Japanese baseball stars who’ve come to America, the results have been awesome. Suzuki. Matsui. Dice-K. Okajima.

I went to the awesome World Baseball Classic nearly two years ago and — while I primarily remember Japan’s incredible pitchers — Fukudome stood out as well, and not just because his name is so badass.

After Japan won the WBC championship, Fukudome returned to play for the Chunichi Dragons and turned out an MVP season, batting .351 with 31 homers and 104 RBIs.

This is exciting — and Lou can make it happen. I imagine Hendry making a couple more moves — pitching-wise — someone who could stay healthy all year. I don’t want to sit through another spring watching Guzman, Prior, and Wood go through the motions only to find out that they’re arms are bunk (and Kerry, yes, you’ve regained my faith — for now).

Cubs in ’08.