Filed under: TechnoNews
On Friday, 9/19/08, NYWICI Matrix Award-winner Arianna Huffington gave the Keynote “address” (which was really an interview) at the Web 2.0 Conference at the NYC Javits Center. To view the entire interview with Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly Media, Inc.), go to: http://blip.tv/file/1279644
The Huffington Post, which the “old boys” said could never succeed, is now the #1 blog — with 1/2 the traffic of the Washington Post — and growing by leaps and bounds. Arianna said she was attracted to the web by its “obsessive/compulsive” nature: follow your passions, and you can make a difference.
Her mission at The Huff Post is to bring together 3 things:
1) To be a news aggregator with an attitude, airing a specific point of view;
2) To provide a platform for over 2,000 bloggers, some of whom wouldn’t otherwise have their own blog;
3) To build community: her readers leave comments in a continuing dialogue with the writers. This has proved more successful for her than for other news media. For example, she might feature a headline and a couple of sentences pointing to an article in the NY Times. While the NY Times might not get any reaction on their article, The HP’s readers often provide 500 (or more!) comments on Arianna’s site.
Conservative bloggers have failed: talk radio is their medium. (Radio proved itself to be ideal for fascism in the Second World War.) Progressives thrive on the web: she calls them natural “blowhards”. The web is self-correcting: no one tolerates untruth, and commentators never hesitate to respond to apparent misinformation.
At The Huff Post, blog writers seek to publish the truth backed up by actual facts: the idea that news can be “objective” is often sadly misleading, according to Ms. Huffington. Not all issues have 2 sides: for example, she firmly believes the earth is NOT flat, global warming is man-made, and so on. As Iraq is “the greatest foreign policy disaster in the history of the United States”, she wants to keep it front and center, even as other news media have moved on. The violence is continuing and we have achieved no “victory”, as the Bush camp would have us believe. We have let the Sarah Palin soap opera distract us, even while “Rome burns”, and this keeps us from dealing with the truly important issues.
The HP’s home offices are located above Dean and DeLuca, at 560 Broadway, NYC. The Administrative and Advertising teams are on the 3rd floor; while the Editorial and Tech teams are on the 4th. Additonally, The Huffington Post has 30 human moderators working 24/7 to edit “vile attacks” and keep the discussion from being undermined. This process in no way slows down the publication process; after all, it’s only 1% of 1% of readers who are likely to cause problems.
As for the $85-billion AIG bailout, Arianna pointed out that Wall Street has always gone with the illusion that “unregulated free markets bring public good”. Obviously, that hasn’t worked. The message the Bush administration is sending America (and the world) is that “if you’re big enough, you won’t be allowed to fail”. “Small” people can go down in flames, apparently, as are the millions of home owners who are losing their property. This is NOT what America is about!
Regarding the election, Obama is a brilliant user of the web, and wouldn’t even be a candidate without it. He maintains an open platform, not just the party line: his supporters can argue his positions. (Polls are very faulty, as they typically call land lines, and cell users are left out of the debate.) On the web, the community pushes their representatives to do the right thing. Citizen journalists are creating another platform.
The next big thing we need to consider is how to “unplug and recharge”. Sleep deprivation has driven us crazy: we seriously need joy in our lives! Some conventions provide spaces for yoga, naps and relaxation, so the presenters and attendees don’t burn out. Tim O’Reilly personally splits wood to “recharge”; Arianna sleeps, does yoga, meditates or hikes.
And there you have it!
— Nancy L. Hoffmann
For the full discussion the site (again) is:
Filed under: What happened to fun??
Brenda and the Traveling Whatsis . . .
My good buddy (and former boss) Brenda Kato is pictured here in the NYC PA Bus Station, holding a painting by Bren Bataclan. He travels around the world leaving these in conspicuous places with the intention of giving them away to people who will love them. His characters are eccentric (literally!): featuring one large and one small eye.
Brenda has happily installed hers in her painting studio.
For more about this painter spreading happiness worldwide, go to: http://bataclan.com/
This is me networking with my hands . . .
at an event hosted by Jeff Pulver (not pictured), another happy world traveller. He lives in NYC and hosted a networking breakfast for fun people (mainly of a “techie” bent) on 9/10/08 at Friend of a Farmer in Gramercy. In 2008 he travelled the world, hosting over 30 breakfasts in 17 cities in 3 countries. He must really be jet-lagged by now!
Again: why not have fun when you are working? And especially when you’re not?
Keep up the good fun!
Filed under: TechnoNews, Uncategorized | Tags: The Workplace of the Future
Friday saw a group of about 15-20 freelancers wander in and out of my loft between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. We all came from different backgrounds, but we all had one thing in common: we were participating in a “jelly.” The idea of co-working isn’t new; but the peripatetic nature of this kind of sharing is. We meet at least once a month, each time in a different location. We make sure wi-fi is available, and we bring out laptops. Each of us works on a different project, but as we learn more about each other, we are also networking, as well.
The 2 bedrooms were co-opted as impromptu phone booths for conference and client calls, which worked out very well, as cell phones did not disturb the others. Some people stepped out into the hall, or strolled along 23rd Street, as an alternative method of phoning/exercising/eating.
Although San Francisco and Boston aren’t strangers to the jelly, we are the only one in Manhattan (there may be one in Brooklyn, also.) The invitation is sent in advance by e-mail (our group currently has 500+ members), and is limited to a certain number on a first-to-RSVP basis.
One of the early-birds Friday was Jessica Marquez of Crain’s “Workforce Management.” She interviewed us separately and together, and will do a feature article (with sleepy photos) for the publication. Another unusual event took place at the end of the jelly, when Nichelle Stephens returned from a client meeting uptown with a magnum of lovely brut “vin champagnois” [aka "champagne" — see below]. Needless to say, the remaining 9 people toasted each other in style!
Another of the participants, Todd Sundsted, is writing a book on the workplace of the future, and thus was both working and doing research by participating. He found a desk my father had made and happily attached himself to it for the duration: there were quite of number of original and creative seating arrangements made during the day.
There was even a large skateboard parked in the dining area. Ken Smith, a C++ programmer, was only in town for the weekend, and took advantage of the jelly to utilize the informal workspace. Apart from the fact that no one showed up in jammies, it was an altogether improvisational — yet very productive — event.
The jelly is certainly the trend of the future, as more and more people work from home or in a freelance capacity. Even some with normal full-time jobs took time to work with us, as they had tasks that could be remotely accomplished.
If you would like to get more information or to join up, contact Tony Bacigalupo at email@example.com . And come “jell out” with us!
— Nancy L. Hoffmann