Monthly Archives: November 2006

The role of a University?

Is it to teach commercial skills (like how to run Adobe InDesign) or is it to push people to explore their fields and themselves?

Steve Sloan is asking for feedback about his innovative podcasting class because the university wants to change it to be just a pure skills class.


You can learn InDesign from a book. You can’t have a small group interaction with speakers like Steve Sergeant, host of Wildebeat, David Weinberger, author of Cluetrain Manifesto, Aaron Uhrmacher, Second Life expert, Phil Wolff, SkypeJournal author, or students talking about their own podcasts. I spoke to the class as well. Notice how all those link to podcasts of the actual class sessions!

It’s a shame, because San Jose State University needs more innovative classes like these, not fewer.

Steve is hosting a meeting Thursday evening to discuss the situation and see if they can do anything.

Thomas Hawk says Google’s hype is too high

Dave Winer’s comments yesterday sure got a lot of commentary. I put some of them over on my link blog. But, I liked Thomas Hawk’s points the best.

One thing about this new world. You can certainly see when there are divergent opinions and we’re far more cautious this time around. I still remember having to lay myself off in the bust last time and that wasn’t fun at all.

I’d rather have it this way than the old way where all the “professional” hype was up, up, up.

UK Press Complaints Commissioner: “no means of redress”

Ahh, the BBC reports a UK Press Complaints Commissioner told a conference this week that there should be a voluntary code of practice for blogs. Hmm, nice thought, but never will happen. Why? Cause a large percentage of bloggers don’t type their goods in the UK. So, who is going to regulate us? And, heck, we can’t agree on anything, including the definition of the word “blog” so you think you’re going to get us all to agree to a code of practice? Yeah, right.

But, then he gets started “on the internet ‘there are no professional standards, there is no means of redress.’”

Oh, that’s poppycock. If someone throws you under the bus on the Internet YOU CAN RESPOND ON YOUR OWN BLOG! And then the readers can decide the truth for themselves.  That’s what I just did.

Libel and slander laws still apply here, if you want to go that route. But I’ll take this world over the “professional only” world anyday of the week.

Me thinks this guy senses the end of his job and is grasping at ropes trying to keep it.

PodCamp email taken out of context…

Damn, I love when something I write in email gets taken out of context and put on blogs. Here’s such a context.

The PodCamp folks asked me if I wanted to come and speak at PodCamp.

I email back and ask them if they can cover any of my expenses in getting there. That’s what I always do. Why? Because most of the time conferences WILL cover expenses to bring in outside speakers.

It’s my responsibility to make PodTech make a profit. IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO PUT AS FEW RESOURCE CONSTRAINTS ON MY BUSINESS AS POSSIBLE. And, yes, if there is money available to cover my expenses it IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO ASK FOR THEM!

I didn’t ask for hotel money. I have friends in New York that I’ll stay with. In fact, I didn’t ask for anything in particular. I just asked if there were any expense funds available.

But, I guess this group just wants to embarrass me. They could have simply said “no” and then I would have had to decide whether or not it was a good investment for PodTech to be there (it probably is).

Instead they took a private email, which hadn’t yet reached a conclusion, and took it into public. Wow.

Future speakers watch out when dealing with this group.

UPDATE: since my words, said in private, have now been taken public, here’s the email string in full. Please note that I was perfectly willing to fund the trip, but that THEY OFFERED THE EXPENSES AND ADMITTED THEY HAD SPONSORS!!! Read my thread. I said “I take it there’s no budget to cover travel expenses, right?”

And, here’s the thread that is in public view where they were talking about the issue.

UPDATE: Jason Van Orden, in my comments, says that Rob Safuto was not involved in the planning and the committee that was planning this doesn’t agree with him. My view? Unfortunately when you have negotiations in public view, these kinds of problems happen. It is unprofessional to be treated this way, but the blame for that lies mostly at Rob’s feet. He should have reported the facts, rather than just attacked. I hate it when people attack without even calling, or trying to get the point of view of the person who is being attacked. There’s a reason my email address and phone number are on my blog.