But my Commodore 64 is mobile now, like yours, and the modems are invisible, and the internet is the air all around us.

I’m constantly blown away with where we came from and where we are today. Before the C64, I was programming on a Commodore Pet.

I sure too hope that Season 4 of Community doesn’t tank. Season 3 was off the charts hilarious.



A few hours ago, I landed in Los Angeles, turned on my phone, and confirmed what you already know. Sony Pictures Television is replacing me as showrunner on Community, with two seasoned fellows that I’m sure are quite nice - actually, I have it on good authority they’re quite nice, because…

Unified Inbox and Multiple Exchange Accounts

The upcoming iPhone OS 4.0 is gonna have several new productivity improvements including a unified inbox. Having been off, on paternity leave, the last three weeks, I have to say that it was a pleasure not having to check work email on my iPhone. Insomuch that I removed my work email from my iPhone. Not sure how long it can last, but it was comforting to know that the red numeric indicator on my iPhone were only for personal emails. Instead of an unified inbox, I wish I can actually select individual accounts as either push or pull emails.

The iPad & Writing

I couldn’t agree more about the longer writing statement from Gizmodo’s Joel Johnson on “The iPad Is Such A Great Travel Computer That I’m Selling My Laptop" (via "The iPad as a writing coach’s dream" from Nieman Journalism Lab).

For long typing sessions, I found myself putting the keyboard on my lap while placing the iPad off to the side — sometimes not even in direct eyeshot.

It’s especially handy when you’re also sitting with an infant:

With that said, however, it is difficult to cite quotes from stories and posts cause the cut and paste from safari to my writing app, Simplenote, is just too cumbersome at the moment. I also wish there were better dictionary and thesaurus integration.

Entrepreneur or Scammer?

Not only is this person using my photo without my consent but also selling on eBay the $0.69 “iPad stand” from Office Depot for $6. He took it from my Flickr and Tumblr post. Wow!

And yes, these photos are protected under “Attribution-NonCommercial Creative Commons.” So not only do I expect attribution but also should only be used for non-commercial purposes.

UPDATE (4/19) - The post has since been taken down or all of the items have been sold. Which, I think ended up with 32 sold items. A part of me wished I sold this at a higher price. But then again, I like being able to sleep at night.

News Consumption Rituals (March 2010)

 I’ve had a number of different rituals of consuming news over the years: from picking up the paper on my driveway and reading during breakfast to loading up my iPod with news-related podcasts and listening to it during my Bay Area commute. I even had a shower radio on my Christmas wishlist once because listening to NPR would be a great way to be efficient in the morning. Of course, I ended up with 3 different shower radios that Christmas.

News feeds still dominate my stream of headlines to consuming news. But that too has changed over time. NetNewsWire was once my RSS reader of choice but the number of unread headlines piled up like certain sections of the newspaper. My delicious network was also an excellent resource for getting up to date. Unfortunately, a chosen network like delicious doesn’t lead to much serendipity. But I digress.

The point of this post, really, is to document my current ritual of consuming the news. March 2010 is significant for two reasons:

  1. We’re expecting our first child in late April
  2. I’m expecting my first iPad in early April

So here we go. My news consumption ritual for March 2010:

  • Wake up with or without my (iPhone) alarm: Check email (iPhone). Launch Tweetie2 (iPhone); check out DMs and @replies, if any; scan the last few hours and favorite any tweets I want to read on my computer.
  • Get out of bed and make coffee: launch NPR News (iPhone), listen to the WNYC On Air Live Stream
  • Drink coffee and have breakfast: Now on my MacMini, which also serves as my  media device (Hulu and Netflix) and thus is raised on a shelf so I’m standing while reading nytimes.com, my Gmail and go through my list of favorites on Twitter. I know, I must be using favorites on Twitter the wrong way. But oh well, there’s no other way to “mark” tweets.
  • If Laura is up with me in the morning, I make it a point to sit at the table with her and consume breakfast and The New York Times (print edition) together.
  • But eventually I find myself back on the computer, again standing, but feeling the pressure to get to work, I start marking stories for “Read Later” (via Instapaper).
  • "Taking care of business," I continue to read the Times in one form another, but I also start placing NPR News (iPhone) stories on my playlist.
  • Showering and dressing, I listen to my NPR News playlist.
  • Out the door and walking to the subway station, I update Instapaper via cloud sync.
  • During my 45-minute commute on the F line, I continue my reading with the NYTimes iPhone app and Instapaper. With both apps, I usually send notes to myself with their built-in email clients to eventually Twitter, Facebook, Delicious or generally just make some annotations for later retrieval.
  • WORK - Which is ironic, since work is actually both consuming the news and producing it. I do, however, “Read Later” (via Instapaper) a few headlines throughout the day.

So that’s my morning ritual. There’s actually a post-work ritual, also, which entails:

  • Scanning TweetDeck for things I might have missed throughout the day. I have a group in TweetDeck that I rely on for great links.
  • Out the door and walking to the subway station, I update Instapaper via cloud sync.
  • 45-minute commute back, I again catch up via Instapaper.
  • Yes, Instapaper rocks!

Once at home, Laura and I make every effort to stay offline. It’s OUR time.

UPDATE (April 1) - Thanks to Bill Couch for showing me LaterStars. It’s absolutely brilliant.

When Mixed Media Doesn’t Work

I’m a little torn about the different e-reader apps forthcoming on the iPad: iBooks, Kindle, and probably, the Nook.  I know that competition is great for improving the quality and service of the competing apps. And in most cases, it’s great for the consumer. 

But I like one stop consumption for media. I like how my Hulu desktop is my app of choice for TV content consumption. Frankly, there’s enough on Hulu to get my boob tube fix. I know I can get on respective websites to watch CBS.com shows or even ComedyCentral.com for The Daily Show. But I find that I don’t. Watching Hulu desktop with my Apple remote is the closest thing to having the typical cable TV experience… without the utility cost.

I wish I can say the same for video content on the web. But since many are scattered across several services such as YouTube, Vimeo and, of course, news sites (ie: NYTimes Video), consuming web video isn’t a seamless experience as in Hulu. Some offer pop-up windows while others don’t. And I want to be able to watch video as I do when I’m watching Hulu: on my couch with an Apple remote. Right now, I delicious tag videos I want to watch later as “2watch.” And then I watch them actively in front of my computer instead of passively on my couch. (And yes. I have explored creating an Interactive Narratives Channel awhile back. But more profitable work got in the way.)

As for my reading experience, I enjoy reading articles and blog posts on Instapaper iPhone app because of the same all-in-one convenience. I can go from one article to another within the same application. I can also archive and organize within the same app for later retrieval.

If there are several apps on the iPhone to read books, I fear we’re in the paradigm as in YouTube and Vimeo world. These choices might actually hurt the consumer. Because buying books is a financial investment, I suspect folks will probably commit to a single reader. They’ll get used to one and stick with it. Just as much as some folks have already bought into the AAC format for their music.

Knowing Apple’s attention to detail, I suspect that the iBooks store will dominate in this space. But it also hints to a frightening world where a single player owns most of the means to media distribution.

Some follow-up articles:

  • Successes (and Some Growing Pains) at Hulu - “‘Aggregation works for consumers,’ he said. ‘It makes it easier to find and discover and enjoy premium content, and it works for advertisers, because with that aggregation you get greater reach.’” - Jason Kilar, Hulu’s chief executive (Update: 4/5)
  • TiVo’s Goal With New DVR: Become The Google Of TV - “Your TiVo would find you House that’s on broadcast, House  that’s in syndication, all of the past seasons that might be on Amazon or another service.” (Update: 4/8)

This argument of trapping content is the same reason I don’t like the Facebook app on the iPhone. It doesn’t allow me to share, email or recommend something in other ecosystems (aka: the Internet). But in terms of the video…. it looks like a PDF on the iPad. Really, if Acrobat for the iPad can play video… you’ll satisfy 80% of media consumption needs for most users.

[Fill in the Blank] Journalism

In preparation for a presentation this past weekend, I did what I usually do: scour the web for inspiration. Of course, I checked out a few recent projects we produced as behind-the-scenes case studies. I also checked out recent TED Talks for inspiring presentational styles and points of view. And since many presentations and panels are also now online for time-shifted viewing, it’s extremely simple and convenient to get informed. Innovative Interactivity, for instance, had one by the always-motivational Tom Kennedy.

The Paley Center for Media gathered a number of folks and engaged the crowd with a conversation on The Future of Journalism Education. As usual for most conferences, some panels were better than others. But all of them are online.

Back to my prep work. A part of my presentational research was to figure out the current conversation… to hopefully add or, maybe even, extend to it. As I was watching one of the panels from the Paley Center conference, someone dropped the term “legacy journalism.” Confused, I had to Google that term.

Google Search from "Legacy Journalism"

The first result was to the Twitter account of Legacy Student Media, the news site for Mansfield Legacy High School. That does not sound right. So I went and did some research on a few other frequently used [Fill in the Blank] Journalism terms. Since Will Sulllivan had a SXSW panel on “process journalism,” I Googled that. Of course, the primary results point to Jarvis and Arrington.

This brings me to this: why do we need to label journalism? Will putting a label on journalism help reinvent it? Will coining a new term motivate a movement for change? But the strength of storytelling remains the same to me. It’s about connecting to our readers and viewers in what matters most. I fear that by adding labels we’re again categorizing journalism and putting us back into little constricting compartments.

I, for one, would love to drop the term multimedia in front of “multimedia journalism.” By placing multimedia in front of journalism, we already set expectations from our viewers through their lens of what multimedia means to them. In some respect, we’ve already placed a cover to the book. When multimedia journalism is excellent, it’s because of the journalism and storytelling. People will remember the story and not the format.

Let’s return to journalism. Putting a word in front of journalism is not going to engage our audience no more than it will increase value to the work. Let’s stop labeling journalism and let’s get back to content by telling great stories and informing/engaging our community.