Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Books and content are going to zero, NOVELS FOR FREE!

Judge applies the breaks to Google Books

That's right, the notion of content going to zero seems to be a growing thought and general comment thrown around a lot of the message boards and blogs I currently frequent (as if the 99 cent novel wasn't cheap enough). A recent federal judge ruling out of the district court of Manhattan only makes this whole notion all the more questionable.

How the initial concept that all content will be free even got started is a bit of a puzzle to me, but it's out there. I have to constantly remind myself that there are still people that think the whole moon landing was faked. 

It seems that the all-powerful and "benevolent" forces of Google have been thwarted in their efforts to catalog and make available all the known books in the universe. Google will have to revise its pact, making the positive action "opt in" rather than "opt out". It's good to see that, at least for the time being, copyrighted content and material has been elevated above the level of telemarketing advances (US national Do Not Call List is "opt out" situation).

Gasp, the hive collective will have to wait for its collective intelligence upgrade. Individuals will have to continue thinking on their own and for themselves on a daily basis. Tools other than the Internet (your brain) will still have to be used for the time being.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

So, Social Media?

Since crawling out from under my rock and starting this blog (as I also try to keep my "real" writing moving forward) I've noticed a hot question regarding what all the technology, Internet and their nexus--social media, REALLY means to us. So, what does it really mean or do for the average Joe? I came across an interesting Webby Debate on Youtube regarding the question:

No doubt there is a certain level of what-does-all-this-mean going on here, hence this blog post, but it seems that even the current social media "winners" don't fully get it. Dig a bit deeper and I think a wider revelation becomes apparent. We, as users of social media, are really assessing what all the individual technologies mean to us and going with what feels most comfortable and right to us. So what? Well, sit back a moment and really think about it and the unfolding media Balkanization that is underway becomes clear. Say what? Think about this in terms of The Hoff (David Hasselhoff) and his running gag, "but I'm big in Germany". Well, that's what is in play right now. The -- "I'm big on the Internet". Mix this with a healthy dose of the reality television crowd "celebrity for celebrity's sake" and you've got yourself a paradigm in shift. Social media is a frontier that is pushing into a new direction with its own pioneers slowly answering its call. Some will be rewarded in real economic terms while a great many will remain the wanna-be's. The issue; you've still got to do something and not just be someone, even if it's just the Internet.

Full length video:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hey, It's where's the blog gone...?

Yes, yes, so I start a blog and have not been consistent. So, sue me. For now, at least, I'm the only one viewing the blasted thing, so what's it matter? Well, it does. To me at least. No doubt, blogging is a form of commitment. Yes, this new world of unlimited electronic information, communication and access has also laden its users with different forms of commitment. There's no denying this. Look at how many obsessive texters are out there these days. Hell, I'm living in Florida and seniors are more "connected" than I am. I threw my mobile phone into the ocean years ago (metaphorically of course, gotta save those sea turtles) and have prided myself on being technologically unencumbered. Am I? Is it even possible anymore if you want any quality of live?

Our household ditched cable almost a month ago and hasn't looked back since. I got sick and tired of paying over eighty clams a month for nothing but mindless surfing. Cable is nothing more than another technology time sink like Twitter or Facebook. But, has this really simplified my life? Not really. We've added another gadget, a Kindle. Hell, my Xbox360 gets more use now than ever now with Netflix (still holding off on Hulu). I use my laptop for my primary news source (have been doing this for years, just decided to finally save some cash) and have started this blog. So, you could say that even though I've ditched some technology and services, I've just replaced technology with different technology. Ah yes, creative destruction at work in my life.

There's no denying that if you choose to live to the fullest--you're going to have technology as a part of your life. And, with all this tech wizardry our commitments have only changed form, but are still there regardless. The most important thing is that now we have so much choice. And isn't that what quality of life is all about? Just look at the Middle East these days and see what those people are saying with their blood. Life isn't about embracing change. Life is about embracing choice and commitment. Deciding what to choose and which commitments to embrace. Yes, I suppose this is some sort of cathartic post regarding my embrace of the commitment I've made to myself within this blog, but at least its a commitment embraced and now, fulfilled.

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's a Brave New World out there, so where are you?

Here we are, 2011, and Internet sustainability is a reality. The realm that porn, fringe groups, kooks and conspiracy theorists pioneered is now legit. Companies now have Facebook pages and people are gaining employment and losing those gains just as fast because of their electronic communications. All this, and I'm just now getting around to rolling out a blog. And, if that weren't sad enough--it's some freebie through C'mon man--get with it. Well, one thing is for sure, better to be late than never, to have something rather than nothing.

Yes, in these days of on-the-go technology, multi-tasking and connectivity, the only thing I'm really thankful for...Mrs. Blackmon's keyboarding class back in...oh well, lets just say that print ribbons were involved and basic paper feeding technology (hands) per page was required.

So here it is, my virtual place in this virtual world that is meshing in more ways, entwining and entangling more people in more ways every day. The initial virtual land grab may have taken place waaaaay back in 1999-2002, but at least I am finally taking advantage of my equal opportunity to my electronic piece of space and freedom. Now, onto grappling with the fact that in this particular space and time with the new reality that comes with this Brave New World is the probability that these electrons will be fluttering and spinning longer than those in the fingers Mrs. Blackmon taught so many years ago.