Pilgrim Notes

Reflections along the way.

Month: November 2006 (page 1 of 4)

blip.tv rules the video sharing world!

I know all the talk over the last year has been about YouTube, and I’ve spent my fair share of time browsing and uploading. But today I tested blip.tv, and I must say: it rocks!

This video sharing service offers RSS feeds for your videos, automatic blogging and cross-posting options, multiple formats and even multiple uploading options. And this is just the start. If you are serious about videos or setting up an online channel. Use blip.tv!! I love it!!

Integrating my interests and my work

I wrote about the idea of integrity and integration earlier in the month. The divisions between our personal and public lives do not appeal to me. I want to live as a whole person whether in the workplace, the ministry, the home or even online. When working at Philips, I had the opportunity to use my interest in creativity and play to lead workshops among co-workers. This excited me because within the workforce, I found a way to integrate personal interests with work in a way the I believe benefited the company.

Another key interest in my life has been community/relationship building. That’s why I track social networks and trends in culture. I am interested in how these trends online and offline will impact the formation of relationships. I’ve had the privilege of bringing this interest in community building into several companies, but the focus has primarily been within a company not between the company and their outside stakeholders (customers, vendors, et al).

So I’ve tried to find connecting points between this interest and the company I’ve been working with most recently: Jewelry Television. We’re making some baby steps toward community/social networking. They recently gave approval for me to start a Jewelry Television blog. It’s very low radar right now. We’ve not promoted or mentioned it much at all.

This is still an ongoing experiment. While I want the blog to direct people to our site (so I post ads and videos from the site), I also want to blog to reveal the human side of the company and open the door for conversation with customers. Eventually, it is a step toward building a more socialnet based dialogue between JTV and customers as well as other folks online.

Take a look at it, if you have chance and give me any feedback. I’d appreciate it.

the advent wind is blowing

Listen. Can you hear it? Can you hear Him? The swoosh of Holy Spirit’s advent wind hovers over Mary’s formless and void womb. “Let there be light.” And there is light.

Read more 

Avoid Spam – Get A Vanishing Email

Christopher Null posted an interesting new concept in e-mails yesterday: 10-minute emails. When a site requests an email, you can use this instead of creating a new account or inviting the spam piranhas to your current account. It’s easy and fast:

There’s no registration, no verification. Just click over to the site and hit “Get my 10 Minute Mail e-mail address.” You’ll instantly be given an address that ceases to exist after 10 minutes. You can then use this address in filling out web forms or whatnot, and a very simple web-based interface gives you full access to any mail the account receives. You can reply to any messages, but you can’t send mail to an account that hasn’t already emailed you. If you can’t get the job done in 10 minutes, you can reset the timer to 10 minutes at any time. There’s no need to login, no password to remember.

Pretty whack. Sounds like disappearing ink. Just sign the contract and walk away baby. Get your evaportating e-mail here.

Advent – An Invitation

Today I started posted Advent reflections over at Floydville. When I post, I copy a sentence or two here and link for those interested.

Like a deer in the snow, Advent softly approaches. As we scurry back and forth between distractions, we are gripped, embraced, enveloped in a season of anticipation. A time for waiting.

And watching.

Read more.

Disciplining our Watchful Eye

During Advent, I am focusing on the idea of surprise. And this quote spoke to me about that in some way. Thought someone might enjoy:

“The need for discipline is the same need for watchfulness, for readiness, as in the parable. The ones who wait for the Lord must have oil in their lamps and the lamps must be trimmed. …[Monastic discipline] implies  cultivation of certain inner conditions of awareness, of openness, of readiness for the new and the unexpected.”
Thomas Merton

E-Commerce Shopping Sites

Not that I’m encouraging anyone to spend more money this season, but if you’re interested, Larry Chase sent out a list of interesting of shopping sites that you might want to check out. I think I’ve written about some of this before, but here are the highlights:

FruCall –  One quick call tells you if an online price beats the store price. “Frucall not only reads back the best online prices to you, but it also allows you to buy items directly from online merchants while you’re on the phone!”

CyberMonday – Shop.org set up this site to show all the various deals online today.

Dealcatcher – Comprehensive list of online and offline deals.

Like.com – A shopping search engine.  This is an interesting concept that captures photos of celebrities and allows you to search fashion items they are wearing and find similar items for sale.

Shop Local – Find all the deals in your neck o’ the woods.

Pronto – Named “”Best Online Price Comparison Site” in 2006 by Kiplinger’s, this site searches product reviews to create an overall product rating and then it connects you to various online merchants.

ThisNext – This a social shopping site that lets you connect with like-minded to find their recommendations on specific products.

Kaboodle – Another social shopping site that lets you organize your wish lists from various sites on the web.

Bidnearby – Find the closest ebay auctions to your zip code area and save or avoid shipping.

Google Checkout – It’s growing.

AARP Rocks the House

Move over Bill Graham, looks like latest greatest concert promoter could be the AARP! Apparantly the teen set are not the biggest market of music consumers. Instead, the RIAA suggests that the 45 and older group in the biggest, most reliable music consumer sgement. According to the NYT, “Last year fans 45 and older accounted for 25.5 percent of sales, while older teenagers (a group more prone to music piracy) represented less than 12 percent.”

Watching the growing graying trend in music appreciation, AARP promoted a Tony Bennet tour and may begin a whole series of promotions and other iniatives to target this group for potential AARP members.

This may have some interesting implications for other developments online including the future of online social networks. I still expect a hybrid to develop of online/offline networking groups that relate to the older groups. We’ll see.

What do your E-mail Sign-offs say?

NYT runs an interesting article today about the challenge of Netiquette in regards to e-mail sign-offs. It may be a bigger deal than you think:

What’s in an e-mail sign-off? A lot, apparently. Those final few words above your name are where relationships and hierarchies are established, and where what is written in the body of the message can be clarified or undermined.

Without the typical non-verbal contextualizers like tone of voice and facial/body gestures, e-mails for us to look for other signs that help contextualize and interpret the message.

“So many people are not clear communicators,” said Judith Kallos, creator of NetManners.com, a site dedicated to online etiquette, and author of “Because Netiquette Matters.” To be clear about what an e-mail message is trying to say, and about what is implied as well as what is stated, “the reader is left looking at everything from the greeting to the closing for clues,” she said.

Makes me think of I.A. Richards ideas on word meaning and word placement. According to NYT, ending an e-mail with “Best” is a clear indicator your cooling down the relationship (bordering on brush off) while “Warmest regards” is a positive move toward relationship.

Maybe we could simply stick with the cold and hot words:

Icely yours,
Frozen,
Windy but hopeful for sun,

vs.

Blazing,
Volcanicly yours,
Hunk a hunk a hunk o burning love,

I guess I better go take a look at the way I am signing off on my emails.

Your smoldering inferno,

Doug

Getting Along with People

Here’s a good quote to keep in mind when you’re mixing with way too many folks during the holidays:

“If you put up with yourself, why not put up with everybody else?”

Guigi I, Meditations 

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