Posts Tagged ‘Current Events’

What is the Side Effect of Pulling Energy from the Air using Wind Power?

April 30th, 2010 3 comments

The Massachusetts Cape Wind Project has been in the news this week, and listening to the debate has got me thinking that there is a part of the picture that seems to have been left out of the discussion.

Wind power sounds like a great deal. It is renewable. It doesn’t rely on exploiting oil, coal or other physical reserves. The on-going costs are mostly hardware maintenance.

At the same time, the engineering part of my head keeps whispering “Hey! Energy doesn’t appear from nowhere!”

Wind holds energy. The atmosphere circulates this energy in weather systems. Wind farms generate electricity by pulling energy out of the air, which removes energy from the atmosphere.

This leaves me with a question that I have not heard discussed. What will large withdrawals from the atmosphere’s energy reserves will do to the atmosphere, our weather and our climate? Maybe the effects are invisible while we still have very few wind farms. What will happen if the numbers of wind farms grow dramatically?

I am not suggesting that wind power is a bad idea. The tradeoffs may be far better than those involved with oil, coal and other non-renewable sources. At the same time, I think we should try to have an understanding of what the side effects are pulling our energy “out of the air” will be, since it doesn’t actually come from nowhere!

What do you think? Do you know anyone who has solid background in this area, or have you seen any research on the topic?

Categories: Misc Tags: , ,

2010-03-30 We Are The Network: Does Global Social Communication Cause Bad Behavior or Reveal It?

March 28th, 2010 2 comments

Does Global Social Communication Cause Bad Behavior or Reveal It?

Please join our global discussion group
every Tuesday at 12PM noon U.S. Pacific / SL time

This Tuesday, Mar 30, at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life

This Week’s Topic

Does Global Social Communication Cause Bad Behavior or Reveal It?

This week’s news of serious threats against politicians, after passage of the U.S. health care bill, got me wondering “Are the Internet, the media and video games the causes of increased bad behavior, has bad behavior actually increased, or has global instant communication revealed the reality of the human condition more clearly, in a way we were not expecting?”

Many articles (and people) proclaim that the Internet, the media and video games are the primary causes of increased bad behavior. It is easy to rationalize increased bad behavior based on exposure to the environmental messages from the Internet, media and games, however might not be the case. However, it wouldn’t be the first time that a seemingly obvious conclusion does not explain the nature of human behavior.

What is bad behavior, in the context of global social communication? Is it taught and learned? Is it different, and if so, how is it different than bad behavior in face to face and non-online settings? Do parts of our social belief systems encourage or support the on-going existence of bad behavior “by design”? Is it important to us for bad behavior to be present (just throwing out a random hypothesis here…)? Is there value in bad behavior, or can we extract value from it? Has bad behavior increased, or are we just now able to see the scope of it more clearly? What are the causes, can we determine them, and what, if anything can be done about it?

This week we’ll discuss the nature of “bad behavior” in this context, both to better understand what it is, explore the causes, and see what may lie ahead of us as global social communication continues to develop.

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon SL for an interactive discussion, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

Best regards,


Reading links below – have fun and Read more…

2010-02-23 We Are The Network: News Slam 2

February 22nd, 2010 No comments

News Slam 2!

Please join our global discussion group
every Tuesday at 12PM noon SL (US Pacific Time)

This Tuesday, Feb 23, at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life

This Week’s Topic

News Slam 2!

This week we’ll be taking another run at “News Slam”. News Slam is a mashup of a poetry slam and a current events quiz show – with a twist.

What is a News Slam, and why are we doing it?

Staying current with world events is always a challenge, given everything else we’re all trying to do in our lives. News Slam is a fun way to catch up with some things going on around the globe while maybe finding a topic we all want to dig into in a deeper way, either in this session or a future one.

I suppose we could even say that this is a serious game, enabled by a virtual world, but… that would be too serious – let’s have some fun and learn some new stuff!

News Slam How-To

Join us! You can find a news item while you’re here, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have any preparation time. If you can spend a few minutes searching, you might find a nugget that will be really interesting, so if you have a few minutes, please feel free to go hunting.

* Anyone and everyone is encouraged to participate. This is not a contest!

* When you’re up, you’ll say two things (in text or voice – either is fine)

1) One sentence that explains a news item about a country other than the one you’re currently living in

2) One sentence that gives your reaction to the news item (either about the news itself, or the way the item is written or presented)

THERE IS A TWIST – you can Read more…

2010-01-05 We Are The Network: BYOT (Bring Your Own Topic)!

January 4th, 2010 1 comment

We Are The Network logo 300BYOT (Bring Your Own Topic)!

Please join us for a discussion every Tuesday at 12PM noon SL (US Pacific Time)

This Tuesday, Jan 5th, we will be at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life

This Week’s Topic(s)

This week’s topics are… whatever we all bring in! Due to a number of external constraints, I have not been able to craft a structured topic for this week, so maybe it is time for us to “just get together and chat about whatever comes up.”  Here’s the rationalization part – hey we haven’t done this open forum style discussion for quite a while, so it’s time, right?

See you soon!

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon SL, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

Best regards,


How Can I Get Event Announcements (choose one or more)? Read more…

2009-12-22 We Are The Network – Forterra And Metaplace Go Boom: What Does This Mean?

December 21st, 2009 1 comment

We Are The Network logo 300“Forterra And Metaplace Go Boom: What Does This Mean?”

Please join us for a discussion every Tuesday at 12PM noon SL (US Pacific Time)

This Tuesday, Dec 22nd, we will be at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life

This Week’s Topic

“Forterra And Metaplace Go Boom: What Does This Mean?”

The closure of two virtual world platforms have just come to light in as many weeks. The first “not quite announcement” was Erica Driver‘s Tweet on December 18th: “It’s a sad day for the emerging immersive software sector. Forterra laid off 60% of its workforce. Remaining assets likely to be sold.” While there appears to be no public confirmation of this announcement, through various conversations I have reason to believe that we’ll be hearing something more about this turn of events, and that it is not rumor. The second announcement showed up in email directly from Metaplace, titled “ is closing on january 1, 2010.” This email was written from this Metaplace blog post. The blog post suggests that the Metaplace environment that we know will be shutting down, and that there will be some new strategic direction undertaken by the remains of the organization.

What do these announcements mean? Do they indicate something more general about the viability of virtual worlds? Do they indicate the relative viability of business, consumer and educationally focused virtual world operations? What do we think the root causes for these companies to not reach critical mass, and are future attempts (ones that we know about or others that are not yet released) more or less likely to succeed?

(We had planned to continue our virtual world ROI discussion this week. I thought it would be more timely to have this discussion and then pick up the ROI discussion again next week after the holidays. See you soon!)

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon SL, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

Best regards,


Reading links below – have fun and see you soon! Read more…

2009-12-08 We Are The Network: How Will Google’s Personalization, Real-Time and Visual Search Announcements Change the World?

December 8th, 2009 No comments

We Are The Network logo 300“How Will Google’s Personalization, Real-Time and Visual Search Announcements Change the World?”

Please join us for a discussion every Tuesday at 12PM noon SL (US Pacific Time)

This Tuesday, Dec 8th, we will be at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life

This Week’s Topic

How Will Google’s Personalization, Real-Time and Visual Search Announcements Change the World?

When I saw this cluster of announcements in the last 48 hours, I decided to write a brief thought piece about them. The three new announcements, search results that will be personalized even when you are not logged in, real-time search results and visual search, it seemed to me that these create a new ecosystem for thinking about search, potentially new search optimization automation options (read new companies or services) and potentially some changes to the way we think about advertising, marketing, person to person communication, and even how we think about ourselves.

How will these new features change the world? Will they change the way we socialize, the way we think about each other and the way we interact with each other? Where do we think these features are headed? They are early releases of capabilities – what would we guess are the next steps along each path?

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon SL, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

Best regards,


Reading links below – have fun and see you soon! Read more…

Categories: Misc Tags: ,

Three Announcements That Dispose Of Static SEO And Create A New Findability Optimization Game

December 7th, 2009 No comments

The Way Things Were Yesterday

In the land we’ve known, you could do static search engine optimization (SEO) of on-page elements on your web site or blog, consider strategy for offsite, tinker with it for a while, check the results, and have some confidence that the results you just saw reflected what your potential searchers would see 10 minutes later. Although people with personalization turned on may see different results, the issue of search consistency across users seems to not have been a strong focus for search engine optimization strategies to date.

Arrow race with new rulesThis Is Today

The world of yesterday is about to vaporize, due to the confluence of three Google announcements.

Personalized Search Without Login

First, the announcement that Google will present personalized search results even if you are not logged in to a Google account. This means that if you do not stay logged in to Google, your laptop search results will likely not match your desktop at work, and will likely not match your home computer, because their search history will all be different.

Now extend this to other people on the web. Their search history will likewise be different, and their work Google login may not match their personal login, if they log in at all.

All of a sudden the simplistic “one set of search results per search query” assumption is completely gone, even for users who are not logged in to a Google account.

Real-Time Search Results

Delivery of real-time search results changes the game in obvious and subtle ways. Real-time search results provision leads us even farther down the path of creating, and needing to create, time-sensitive SEO strategies.

Real-time search results for all leads to the possibility of “Just In Time SEO” (to use a phrase from the manufacturing industry). Just In Time SEO changes content in real-time in order to reposition search results dynamically, potentially just before some event or strategic initiative where you would want highly placed results.

Another side effect of real-time search results might be a drive the creation of more real-time search engine optimization monitoring services.

Will we see disruptive corporate marketing strategies that at the surface are similar to denial of service attacks? Perhaps a competitor would create a content strategy that would “lie in wait” for the hour before a major event and the dynamically disrupt the SEO positioning of your firm just in time to intercept your positioning for the event, and then disappear from view after the fact? How many other ways could dynamic repositioning be used, for good and worse?

Visual Search

Google also announced visual search, in particular on the Android phones, with the idea that you can take a picture of something, Google will analyze it and deliver search results. The “something” might be a store front, or text from a book, or other objects around you. While it is clear that this technology is at the very start of its development cycle, the implications are immense.

Do you now have to generate an SEO strategy for pages in books, or screen captures, or for your brick and mortar stores? Do you have to watch out for signage in your stores, or perhaps parts of your web site, that if captured by a camera might lead to search results pointing to your competitor’s products and services? Will we see print advertising with custom graphics designed to link to specific search results?

The area of visual search raises the concept of “Visual Search Engine Optimization”, leading us to choose graphics and video with an eye (pun only sort of not intended) to whether these images help or hinder visual search optimization.

The potential privacy and policy issues generated by extensions of this technology are extensive, not to mention some potentially wild changes to societal expectations. For instance, what if by pointing a cell camera at a person, and not even taking their picture, you could have their latest blog posts, public profile, Tweets, comments by others about them, all show up on your mobile – without even knowing their name a-priori? This would not be possible with the first release. However it is not a long stretch to mash up the current face-tagging technology with this sort of search to enable such a feature.

This will be interesting.

Endorsements and Ethics in Social Media – Live Virtual Event Today, Dec 4, 1 PM Pacific/4 PM Eastern

December 4th, 2009 No comments

I have been asked to be a panelist today at “Endorsements and Ethics in Social Media”, to talk about the implications of the new disclosure guidelines published by the Federal Trade Commission.

John Jainschigg, Executive Director, Internet & Technology Lab, ZiffDavisEnterprise is moderating today’s event and the panel will include Clint Boulton, Senior Writer at (ZiffDavisEnterprise) and Mitch Wagner, Senior Writer at (TechWeb).

You can watch on the web at 1pm Pacific / 4pm Eastern, or if you already have a Second Life account please feel free to join us at

Please see the announcement below for more information):

Join the editors of SmarterTechnology on Friday, December 4, 1 PM Pacific/4 PM Eastern, for a LIVE virtual event:

Endorsements and Ethics in Social Media – New FTC Guidelines

New FTC guidelines for online ‘endorsements,’ announced in October and now in effect (as of Dec. 1), aim to make more explicit sponsorship arrangements between online content providers (e.g., bloggers, Tweeters, Facebook posters, viral-video uploaders, etc.) and the companies and products they cover (opine about, retweet, call attention to, and/or “build buzz” around). What will these new guidelines mean for the commentariat, publishers, viral marketers, corporate bloggers and other stakeholders?

Joel Foner, New-Media Consultant, Blogger (ex. Sidewinder Linden)
Clint Boulton, Senior Writer, (ZiffDavisEnterprise)
Mitch Wagner, Senior Writer, (TechWeb)

Moderator: John Jainschigg, Exec. Director, Internet & Technology Lab, ZiffDavisEnterprise


1. Register on the web at
2. Confirm your registration by clicking the link in the email you receive. (Check spam filter!)
3. Return to – click the Login tab, and log in with your email address and password
4. Press the Engage tab for our web-based conference center, where you can view the live event on video and participate via text-chat.


IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A SECOND LIFE ACCOUNT, AND HAVE THE SECOND LIFE CLIENT INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER: Please register as above, and confirm registration, then click this link to teleport directly to our virtual conference center:


1. Register at
2. Scroll down (on the second page of registration) and fill out the CREATE SECOND LIFE ACCOUNT form to create a Second Life avatar.
3. Download the Second Life client for Windows, Mac or Linux and install.
4. Plug a headset into your computer.
5. Log into Second Life — You’ll appear at our virtual conference center.


Sponsored by IBM, is an online community for strategists and IT decision-makers seeking to improve sustainability, efficiency and profitability through intelligent implementation of advanced technology throughout the enterprise. Join us online at

EMail sent by: John Jainschigg, 28 East 28th Street, New York, NY 10016

This should be an interesting discussion – I hope to see you there!

An Overview of the FTC’s “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

November 30th, 2009 5 comments

iStock_000001553198XSmall-megaphone-worldThe U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a PDF document “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” that describes changes to the rules of disclosure for advertising endorsements and testimonials. These guides update existing rules regarding advertising disclosure to incorporate social media and go into effect tomorrow, Dec 1, 2009. I hope that a brief overview of the Guides will be a useful reference.


I do not work for the Federal Trade Commission, have no connection to the organization to disclose, and since this article is not an endorsement in the first place, I guess I didn’t even need to say that, but… given the topic I figured it couldn’t hurt!

Actually, my important disclaimer is I wrote this post with my understanding of the rules, from reading source documents and walking through the “Guides” PDF document linked above. I am not a lawyer. Nothing I say here should be construed as legal advice. Nothing. At all. In the least. Did I remember to mention that I am not a lawyer?

I am hoping that an overview of the new disclosure rules will be helpful. Please feel free to comment on anything I’ve gotten wrong, right or anything else important that got missed!

Is Every Product or Service Description an Endorsement?

All descriptions of products and consumer experiences in “consumer-generated media” are not considered to be endorsements by the Commission. The Guides state that the rules apply to situations where, “viewed objectively, the relationship between the advertiser and the speaker is such that the speaker’s statement can be considered “sponsored” by the advertiser and thus an “advertising message.”

Why Self-Regulation Did Not Win

Some commenters suggested that the industry should be allowed to self-regulate. The Commission clearly disagreed with this position, stating Read more…

Killing Two Birds With One Stone: Why Page Speed’s Influence On PageRank Is Strategic To Google

November 28th, 2009 4 comments


Final edit updated Nov 28, 2009 22:40

Random Connections

Some days I’ll be thinking about a topic, and suddenly an unexpected connection appears. That just happened as I was reading two posts, one about potential changes to PageRank and another about a new protocol that Google is pitching to speed up web page loads. The PageRank discussion seemed to be completely about the marketing impact of this change on search engine optimization strategies, while the protocol discussions were centered on technology and global standards issues. It seems that these two apparently separate things may be very tightly coupled indeed.

PageRank, Page Speed And Marketing Effects

PageRank is supposed to measure the authority of a page, to determine whether
it is “the best” trusted and primary resource to answer the user’s search query. It is hard to fathom how response speed has anything to do with authenticity, authority, correctness of data or trustworthiness. It seems to be much more strongly linked to the cash position of the person or organization who authored the page, and how much they have invested in having the right page design, hardware and network infrastructure (either their own or hosted) to provide fast response.

One quasi-altruistic reason for adding or emphasizing page load in the PageRank calculations may be to nudge the web community to think more about page load speed when designing sites. However Read more…