Tech Crunch Founder Lives in Fear
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Yesterday as I was leaving the DLD Conference in Munich, Germany someone walked up to me and quite deliberately spat in my face. Before I even understood what was happening, he veered off into the crowd, just another dark head in a dark suit. People around me stared, then looked away and continued their conversation.You'll notice the assault took place in Germany, where the perp knew he had nothing to fear. I doubt it would have happened in Texas, where people have much better manners.
But the other interesting thing to note is:
The threats were, in the opinion of security experts we consulted, serious. The individual has a felony record and owns a gun. Police in three states became involved and we hired a personal security team to protect me, my family and TechCrunch employees.So how does someone with a felony record own a gun? And how could he have found out that the guy had a gun?
I guess it's nice his company had the money to afford a security team, but for the rest of us wouldn't it be nice if everyone lived somewhere where they could defend themselves?
The W Word
Thursday, October 16, 2008
You may think that Joe The Plumber will be rich if he starts pulling $250K/year out of his small business S Corp. Except that you're not taking into account that Joe worked for 20 years to get to that point. He probably ran up personal debt. He certainly didn't put aside the retirement savings that he would have if he had just become a corporate drone -- those savings are going into purchasing the business. He worked at a greatly reduced rate so that he could build himself up. And now, after working hard for his entire career and being within striking range, Obama wants to swoop in and spread his wealth around for him.
I'm sorry Senator Obama, but most of us don't have rich friends that will buy million dollar houses for us. We didn't become millionaires from those lucrative community organizer jobs like you had. We're not wealthy like you -- we've been working our entire lives to get to where we are. And we don't appreciate you taking our hard earned money and spreading it around to your constituents.
Here's what McCain should have said in the debate when Obama said "I'm going to give 95% of Americans a tax cut." :
"Senator, you keep using those words -- tax cut. In fact, under your plan 40% of the people, who don't pay taxes now, would actually receive a check from the government as a tax credit. You're going to be taking from people that will be paying higher taxes and redistributing their income to people that don't pay taxes. Let's call that what it is. You're bringing back the welfare state."
McCain needs to call Obama's plan what it is: Welfare. Obama's plan is the largest increase in welfare we've ever seen. The Democrats keep telling us that the economy will go back to what it was like under Bill Clinton once they get back in control. Except that Bill Clinton cut back welfare. Even he didn't call it something else and then expand it.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Lipstick is our word. It's one thing when Republicans talk about lipstick, pit bulls, and hockey moms among ourselves, but when a Democrat uses that word it's offensive. How dare he say lipstick to us? That really hurts. Democrats just don't understand what it means to be a Republican and hear Democrats say that word to us. Lipstick means one thing when we say it to each other, but it's an entirely different message when they say it. They need to show us a little respect.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
- Biden has sent an Amazon gift certificate to Putin as a thank you.
- Biden won't be on the Sunday talk shows because he'll be busily pouring over transcripts of Kinnock's speeches to prepare for his big speech at the Democratic Convention. His speech will include an entire paragraph about the benefits of coal.
- Biden spent most of Friday looking for the best price on gas for that giant SUV the media had pictures of him delivering coffee from. Since he's going to be out on the campaign trail, he's loaning it to Al Gore so that he can move his boat.
- Biden has sent a gift certificate from Bath and Body Works to Obama as a thank you, with a note saying "It's so nice to be running with someone so clean and articulate."
- A key element in their negotiations was that when they're eating at the Senate cafeteria, Barry still has to sit at the junior senator's table, while Joe gets to sit with the adults.
- Hillary has deleted Joe from her Christmas card list.
- Instead of champagne, they'll be toasting the VP selection at the convention with Kool-Aid.
- John Edwards offered Joe his congratulations and the name of his hair dresser, but Joe politely declined.
- When asked about the potential for Biden to keep making gaffes, Obama wasn't aware of his history. With a rhetorical flourish, he asked reporters "Why would I care if he keeps giraffes?"
- Obama was later shocked to find out that Delaware has only 3 electoral votes.
Russia Obviously Does Not Have Civilian Control of Its Military
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
- Putin was visibly shocked at the Olympics when he heard the news of the invasion of Georgia. While the invasion had obviously been planned for quite some time, why send te Czaar out of the country and then have him come right back? Answer: The civilian leadership didn't know the generals were going to pull the trigger on the invasion.
- The Russians can't seem to get a deadline together. Why would the president keep giving the international community deadlines by which Russia will withdraw and then go back on them repeatedly? Even the Russians must understand that they look foolish. Unless of course, the President isn't really calling the shots.
- A Russian general warns the Poles that they may be the target of a nuclear attack? Since when do generals make these kinds of statements? Shouldn't that sort of message be delivered by diplomats? Unless of course, it's the military now calling the shots.
- The Russian military is taking the infrastructure of the country apart. Not a good move from the standpoint of the civilian authorities. Even if the civilian authorities want to teach Georgia a lesson, it doesn't do them any good to take over the country if they can't then take advantage of their resources. But if the military is in charge, depleting the infrastructure makes good sense -- it keeps the counter attack tied down.
- The Russian military is stealing everything that isn't tied down. If the Russian President had any say in the matter, why would he risk a further confrontation with the US over 4 Humvees that get terrible gas mileage? It doesn't make any sense unless the Russian military has gone rogue and is carting away everything they can get their hands on to line their own pockets.
We're the Only Ones Suing Bloggers Enough
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin and the city of Memphis have filed a lawsuit to learn who operates a blog harshly critical of Godwin and his department.So the blog is run by cops, critical of the city officials and higher ups in the PD. And their answer is to sue to find out who is writing this stuff.
The lawsuit asks AOL to produce all information related to the identity of an e-mail address linked to MPD Enforcer 2.0, a blog popular with police officers that has been extremely critical of police leadership at 201 Poplar.
"In what could be a landmark case of privacy and the 1st Amendment," the anonymous bloggers write on the site, "Godwin has illegally used his position and the City of Memphis as a ram to ruin the Constitution of the United States.
I'm glad they've got time for that, because you know there's not any other real crime to worry about in Memphis.
Obama's Prayer on the Wailing Wall Published
Monday, July 28, 2008
Lord,It's a shame something private was published, but this tells you a lot about the man. Most people start off a prayer with "Please." This sounds more like a demand letter.
Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins and help me guard against pride and despair.
Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just.
And make me an instrument of your will.
Purty Guns and Supply Chain
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Manufactured in 1887 by serial number but shipped in 1899. Graham states that the gun is correct Sheriffs model and was not shipped until later as were other Sheriffs models.
Think about that - back in the day this gun would have cost $8, which was a months wages. And it was in the age when things were hand and machine made (thank you Eli Whitney!) - people were careful on their return on capital.
And it sat somewhere for 12 freaking years.
Sorta puts Amazon second day free shipping perspective! Supply chain has improved a bit.....
PS - It's selling for $20K, which is around 12 doubles in price in 110 years, or about one every 10 years. Using the rule of 72 you can see that the rate of return on this gun is 7.2% Year-On-Year (YOY). Nice investment.
Coordinate Your Digg Efforts at 9:02
Thursday, March 20, 2008
To get real exposure on Digg you have to hit the front page. Otherwise, you're just seen by a much smaller group of people. Digg recently changed its algorithm to weight how fast something gets votes more heavily than the number of votes. That's one of the reasons you can see an article with 94 votes ahead of one with 740 votes on the front page -- the 94 vote article was only 30 minutes old, so the Digg algorithm thinks it's hot news.
So here's my suggestion for today: Build your friend networks up. Every Ranger should friend every other ranger. Find stories that you'd like to promote to the general public, but don't promote them. Just bookmark them in your browser to come back to.
Every day, at 9:02 eastern, every Ranger should then submit the stories they found that day and shout them to all the other Rangers. And everyone should go through their shouts and vote up all the stories they see that they like.
Digg has a 4 hour window to notice that something is hot. If everybody just concentrates their activity within that window, they'll get much more bang for the buck.
And 9:02 ought to be pretty easy for everybody to remember!
Some More Quick Ideas on Jericho Social Networking
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The first thing to realize is that search engine marketing is very big business. The networks undoubtedly pay close attention to where their traffic is coming from. If the Jericho fans start flexing their muscles and impact the buzz on the web, not only will they get their word out to people outside the immediate circle of dedicate fans, but they'll be noticed by the executives that will have an impact on the decision they want.
Do you know what a Google Bomb is? The most famous was a group of bloggers that all started linking to the George Bush homepage with the anchor text of "Miserable Failure." It was enough that it changed the search ranking in Google so that if you queried on "Miserable Failure" you got GWB's page as the top result.
I'm proposing that instead of sending peanuts, the Jericho fans should start lobbing Google Bombs. Not mean spirited ones, but they should start doing things that impact the traffic to the CBS web properties in a positive way, as well as rearrange the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages). A huge explosion of web traffic over the next week may be what tips the decision we're looking for onto the positive side.
Here are a few proposals:
1) Every Ranger should download the Alexa Toolbar and the Compete Toolbar. Alexa and Compete provide sort of a "Neilsen Ratings" for the web. Like their TV counterpart, they're fatally flawed because they don't have a random sample -- it's just the people that have installed their toolbars that affect their statistics. If 50,000 Jericho Fans installed those toolbars and then went about their normal surfing, it would significantly impact the web ratings of CBS properties. I'll give you a hint: the amount of money CBS is able to charge for advertising on its web properties is very likely impacted by their Alexa/Compete Rank. Moving those numbers is very doable, and would have a big impact.
2) Every Ranger should download the StumbleUpon toolbar, if they haven't already done so. StumbleUpon is a social networking site that allows users to thumbs up or thumbs down articles they find interesting. Install the toolbar, and then thumb up every Jericho article, video, etc that you come across in your normal surfing. After enough people thumb something up, the traffic multiplies because other users start to have it suggested to them. It can be a very LARGE amount of traffic. A few thousand rangers clicking thumbs up on the CBS episode trailer for next week might cause a Stumble Storm!
3) Every Ranger should have an account on Del.icio.us, Digg, and Propeller. They should bookmark and vote every Jericho article they read. It really only takes a few seconds -- much faster than writing a letter. The impact on traffic and rankings would be gigantic, and overnight.
4) Every Ranger should pick one or two social networks outside of the big ones to promote Jericho articles. Don't pick networks that don't have a section on them where this would be topical as you'll just anger the users. But out of the 2,600 sites that I pointed at in the last article, there are easily several hundred where the Rangers could get their message out.
5) Every Ranger should friend every other Ranger they can find on the big social networking sites. Start off with the people that Digg articles about the Save Jericho movement. A post with several hundred Diggs is several hundred potential friends. Having a big friends list makes you an attractive target for other people looking for friends. And guess what? When you shout something, they'll hear it.
None of these cost anything. It's cheaper than paying for postage. You're already spending time reading articles about Jericho anyway, why not spend a few seconds and click an icon to help promote them?
The Rangers shook the entertainment world last May. There's no reason they can't shake the web now.
Helping Build the Buzz for Jericho
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Frankly, I was a little disappointed. Looking at Digg, there were only two stories on Jericho that had made the front page during March. Schumi, the leader of the Save Jericho movement, only has 30 Digg Friends. I would have thought she would have had hundreds of fans on Digg following her every move.
Jericho's penetration into the second tier of social networks is pretty slim. The top story that shows up for "Jericho" in a google site query on propeller.com only has 12 votes.
And for some reason, CBS has changed the interface on their forums, making it almost unreadable. I've been out of it long enough that I've missed wherever the Rangers are meeting, but as an interested person it's been fairly tough to find out what's going on.
I only mention all this because I've gotten interested in social media after our friends at Promote My Site have put out some tools and lists lately that I think might be of interest to the Jericho fans.
First, I used the Digg Friend Finder to research potential friends on Digg for the query "Jericho". I found 260 people that had submitted articles that matched the query. I started going through them and friending them, and I also friended some of the people that had submitted articles those people had Dugg. It's important for the Jericho fans to establish large friend networks on the big social networks -- that's how they can break into the mainstream instead of just communicating among themselves.
Second, I looked at the big list of social networks. That list is rife with social networks that the Jericho Rangers could use to spread their message. Yes, there are 2,600+ networks, but if each ranger took 5 networks they could cover it all quite quickly. There's no reason that every article written on Jericho and the move to save it shouldn't get huge play in the social networks.
The top two search results for the google query "Jericho" is the CBS show home page and the wikipedia entry. I'm willing to bet that CBS spent quite a bit of money on search engine optimization to get that top spot. If you want to get CBS's attention on the power of the fanbase, fill the first page of the google query "Jericho" with social networking references to articles of interest to the rangers.
Back when the Dems Had a Pair
Monday, March 17, 2008
In June 1961, when the late President John F. Kennedy visited with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna, Khrushchev declared that "Berlin is a bone that must come out of the Soviet throat." Khrushchev then went on to say that he was determined to settle the Berlin issue for all time and that the Allies would be out of it by the first of December. It was a bitter moment for the president, who had been elected on a platform espousing the cause of peace, and likelihood of war. He promptly sent military reinforcements to Europe. As Ambassador to France, I was called upon by many ambassadors stationed in Paris who wanted to know whether or not president Kennedy really would go to war with the Soviets over the Berlin issue. I assured them that he would.Striking, isn't it? How would Barack never-mention-his-last-name-is-H*ssein Obama react? What message would that horrible harpy Madeline Albright have given? Please try to imagine any ambassador to France under Kerry having any idea what Flippy would do.
Are you Cutting your Business in Half?
Sunday, March 16, 2008
For instance, take John Battelle's post for yesterday. Mixed right in there with articles about search marketing is some left wing political drivel about the treasonous house Democrates that didn't pass immunity for telcos cooperating with intelligence agencies. Obviously, I disagree with John. I had no idea he was such an idiot. I suspect that when the next big terrorist attack happens the Dems will be crying about how Bush didn't do enough to stop it, even though they've worked against things as reasonable as monitoring communications from known terrorists in foreign countries calling into the US. FDR was lucky that he didn't have to deal with the current House Dems.
Several other business oriented bloggers have jumped on the Obama Rama wagon and made their political beliefs known. Until they spoke up, I had given them the benefit of the doubt that they knew something about their field.
And this points out why it's a bad idea to mix politics and business. John Batelle lost at least one reader this morning. If you keep your politics to yourself, you don't run the risk of cutting your readership in half. The country is about evenly divided right now, so it just doesn't make sense to come out with a big political statement on either side in the context of a business blog. Unless of course your business model is so strong that you can live with a market that is 50% smaller than its potential.
Some business bloggers respond "Hey, that's who I am and so that's how I blog. I'm showing people that I'm real." I think that's pretty irresponsible. If you're a CEO, then you've got employees and stockholders depending upon you. Unless you're Ted Turner, you can't afford to risk their livelihoods on your political dalliances. As a business person you have a duty that goes beyond expressing your personal political beliefs. You have to protect your company. If you offend a bunch of people, even if you think their opinion isn't important and you're right, you're driving customers away from your business.
Finally, getting political drivel from a business blogger is pretty close to listening to what Hollywood stars have to say about a political candidate. I really couldn't care less. It changes or confirms my opinion of the star, but it has no impact on how I view the candidate.
If you really feel the need to promote your political views, you should start a personal blog (one separate from your business) and make sure that the two are separate. Avoid the temptation to link them together. Make sure you give thoughtful reasons for your positions. Eschew Kos Kids Komedy style stuff. People may disagree with you, but they will respect your historical and political knowledge. If you can't do that, then maybe you should just stay quiet.
How to use your Tax Rebate
Friday, March 14, 2008
W says we're supposed to spend it. Given the chances that Hillary, Obama, or McCain are all likely to put in some gun control next year, I'd think mags and ammo would be a good investment. Even at today's prices, $1200 is a lot of .308.
I Have Got To Get me One of These!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
This seems like an extremely dangerous weapon in the hands of civilians. Shouldn't we have registration of these flashlights? And trigger locks? And make people take a class in the use of flashlights so they can safely use them?
I remember one of the Tom Clancy books (the good ones, not the co-written crapola) where Clark and Chavez use a really bright light to bring down an airplane. I'll bet this thing is in that range.
I absolutely love this show
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Promoting Your Site
Monday, January 07, 2008
Some recent faves:
- Promote Your Site By Not Being K-Mart. Thoughts on quality site promotion.
- Promote My Site Above The Noise - How to get noticed in the fray.
- Does Number 1 (#1) In the SERPS Make You The Owner - What happens when you bubble to the top?
- Yahoo Stores on Cyber Monday - Thinking about outsourcing.
- Google Hates Us - A classic about what to do to get google love.
More Cool Stuff from Promote-My-Site
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Anyway, one of the guys at Promote-My-Site recently sent me a link to his public bookmarks page at myHQ. He said that I'd like this site because it could have been written back in the FidoNet days.
Well, actually, yeah, it could have. Razor sharp UI - all that was missing was a Lotus 123 backslash! Seriously, if you could have imagined dialing up into a BBS to get, I guess, a list of your BBS logins, then this would have been the UI'd you'd use.
Which sounds stupid, obviously. But you know what I mean. Check out MyHQ - totally useful and old skool.
More From Our Friends at Promote-My-Site
Thursday, November 08, 2007
So they sent me some funny stuff about a site I'd never heard of, ClaimId. Seems they've created a page in there to kind of blog about their Promote-My-Site company blog. Meta piffle, I says. I can't even quite figure out what ClaimId is supposed to do, frankly. But I'm an old fashioned blogger. :-)
Anyway, one of the stories over there, Google Hates Me, was damn funny, so give it a read. Be sure to read the comments at the bottom. I won't spoil the story for you.
New Social Networking Tool
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
And at FTB we're all about shameless SEO self promotion! If you think the future of traffic generation is in social network manipulation, then these guys will shortly release a tool you'll love.
Plus they have some smoking good blog posting going on. (Dudes, it is ugly as inbred wedding pictures over there, m'kay?)
My favorite post so far is Extend your Runway. There are some wise thoughts about time and project management. Good stuff, well worth a read.
Oh, and what does their tool do? I can't tell, because they have more guns than I do, but I will tell you that it is saving me around an hour a day in my efforts to promote our other sites.
Hot stuff over there in social network tools land!
Not on my street
From Michelle Michelle today, and article in the Miami Herald:
The rapid escalation of the U.S. anti-immigration hysteria — fueled by ratings-hungry cable-television hotheads and leading Republican presidential hopefuls — is a dangerous trend: It may lead to a Hispanic intifada that may rock this nation in the not-so-distant future.Yeah, Vaquero, I'll tell you the difference.....
Remember the Palestinian intifada of the early 1990s, when thousands of frustrated young Palestinians took to the streets and threw stones at Israeli troops? Remember the French intifada of the summer of 2005, in which disenfranchised Muslim youths burned cars and stores in the suburbs of Paris?
If we are not careful, we may see something similar coming from the estimated 13 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, most of them Hispanic, who are increasingly vilified in the media, forced further into the underground by spineless politicians and not given any chance to legalize their status by a pusillanimous U.S. Congress.
I have several thousand rounds of .308 - you come down my street with your "La Rasa" posters trying to burn cars and loot and you'd better be moving like the Japanese taking Singapore.
Also a good lesson for the Mexican gubbmit.
My country, not yours. Go home if you're not here legally.
Gaylord and Wagstaffe
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
A U.S. man was sentenced to five months in jail after he and a friend, acting on wounded pride, gunned down an ostrich that had kicked them as their female companions laughed, a newspaper reported on Saturday.It occurs to me that this is very funny
“This whole thing is about male pride,” prosecutor Steve Wagstaffe said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The powerful flightless bird, named Gaylord, kicked Timothy McKevitt, 19, and Jonathon Porter, 21, last October when they trespassed on an ostrich ranch south of San Francisco after a night of drinking, the paper cited attorneys as saying.
- Drunken coyboys shitkicked by a bird named "Gaylord."
- Plus the cop was named was "Wagstaffe".
Labels: humor birds cowboys drunks
US Goes to War with Iran This Week
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The US begins bombing targets inside Iran to retaliate for incursions across the Iraqi border and to interdict the supply of weapons. Iran responds by firing missiles at the US bases in Iraq, which are shot down by Patriots. Or perhaps there's an Aegis cruiser prowling the Gulf.
Ahmadinejad now becomes a valid command-and-control target for US military forces. A team of special forces takes him off the stage at Columbia during his speech and into custody. He gets an all expenses paid vacation in Cuba, but the hotel room sucks.
What are they going to do? Kick us out of the UN?
Fred vs MoveOn.org
Thursday, September 13, 2007
He tells it like it is.
Trees Trump Al Gore
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
As a lifelong environmentalist, I say trees can solve many of the world's sustainability challenges. Forestry is the most sustainable of all the primary industries that provide us with energy and materials. Rather than cutting fewer trees and using less wood, DiCaprio and Berman ought to promote the growth of more trees and the use of more wood.He also makes the excellent point that 500 year old furniture is still, get this, binding the carbon. Like Jane Fonda's thighs, only firmer.
Trees are the most powerful concentrators of carbon on Earth. Through photosynthesis, they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in their wood, which is nearly 50 per cent carbon by weight. Trees contain about 250 kilograms of carbon per cubic metre.
But 250KG of carbon/m3. Like Al Gore's stomach or Silky Pony Edward's Carolina manse. Amazing, really.
And while I think man-made climate change is as enduring a notion as zoom pants on straight men, this paragraph makes a lot of sense:
To address climate change, we must use more wood, not less. Using wood sends a signal to the marketplace to grow more trees and to produce more wood. That means we can then use less concrete, steel and plastic -- heavy carbon emitters through their production. Trees are the only abundant, biodegradable and renewable global resource.The reason I think it makes sense is because even very poor countries can grow trees successfully and learn from this free market solution for producing construction materials.