Posts from May 19, 2004

Ronald McDonald gay?

Ronald McDonald gay?

: I want to get the McDonald’s Go Active! Happy Meal for adults and I came out feeling so, well, so damned metrosexual.

Do they have to put it in a frigging purse? A big purse? A big purse with Oprah advice on it: “Shopping is now an official sport!”

A Kerrey by any other name…

A Kerrey by any other name…

: Joe Territo wonders whether the frequently shameful performance of Bob Kerrey and the 9/11 Commission will cost John Kerry votes.

Arianna Huffington Day!

Arianna Huffington Day!

: Did the mayor declare Monday Arianna Huffington Day in New York?

I’m going to cross paths with her three times on Monday:

We’re both going to be on Micah Sifry’s panel at the Personal Democracy Forum.

Then she’s going to be at a panel I can’t wait to hear put on by The Week Magazine at Grand Central: Huffington, Bill Maher (who hasn’t blogged in months), FoxNews’ John Gibson (a long, long-ago pal from SanFran), and Michelle Malkin discuss with moderator Harry Evans, “Censorship or common decency? The backlash against media excess.” I’m planning on blogging it live, assuming I can fit my laptop next to the shrimp salad.

And then that night she’s going to be at the next Citizens’ Table dinner.

Can you hear me?

Can you hear me?

: I’m starting to see/hear more good audio work from audio amateurs on the web.

Jay Rosen‘s independent study student, Linda Blake, has an audio blog with stories about and from people affected by AIDS. I listened to some of it (downloaded on my iPod) and it’s very good.

It’s very much in the style of Ira Glass on NPR’s This American Life: Let people narrate their own stories but make sure it is told as a story (not a ramble). — which features Glass right now — does a good job of telling you and me how we can create such online radio ourselves. And it has some of the radio that has resulted; I listened to a report about a German rider lawnmower race, also good.

Now that I have my iPod, I was hoping to hear more Chris Lydon interviews but, unfortunately, his work is now streamed instead of downloadable. Which leads me to a minor rant:

Why can’t we download all of NPR?

: I don’t understand why NPR streams most of its programs or sells others via Audible (about whose product and customer service I’ve had a few minor rants as well).

Of course, I understand why record companies don’t want songs downloaded; they want to sell records. I understand why, say, Stern doesn’t want his shows streamed or downloaded; he doesn’t want to undercut his syndication.

But isn’t NPR’s mission to reach the largest possible audience? Why not make all shows downloadable? It’s not as if that would undercut advertising revenue; they have none. It’s not as if they’re making a fortune from Audible; I can’t imagine they are (or they’d be offering more shows there).

In fact, I’d bet that if NPR made all its shows available for download as MP3s — freely shared — it would increase not only its audience but also its donations: More grateful listeners means more bucks, no? And by making shows available for download instead of streaming and allowing them to be shared (or BitTorrented), NPR would save a fortune on bandwidth. Can’t lose.

So open the gates, NPR, and let us listen: MP3 it!

: UPDATE: I had mislinked to Linda Blake’s site. It’s here.

Has it been 15 minutes?

Has it been 15 minutes?

It’s an avalanche of Nick Denton publicity.

Wired (on sale but not yet online) has a well-written story by Newsweeks’ Steven Levy with a nice photo of Nick and Choire and Ana Marie. Cute snarks about Nick’s big head (literal, not figurative). If you already know the Denton saga, there’s nothing new here but then that’s why God invented magazines, to fill in those who don’t know it yet.

And then Business 2.0 has an odd nonprofile profile by Greg Lindsay. It sets out to be the story about not getting the story — because Nick, at first, refused to be interviewed — but then Nick does answer questions and so it’s no longer the story about not getting the story. And then it’s skeptical about Nick’s skepticism about how rich blogs can become and I’m not sure how to read that double negative: Is Business 2.0 skeptical about blogs or is it blowing up the blog bubble or is it just that it can’t decide?

And then Nick responds with an added dose of skepticism. It becomes a triple negative.

Arrrgh. It’s not that big a business story. Nick, as Nick will be the first to insist, is not yet that big a business story. It’s early; blogs as a lifeform are just getting around to crawl out of the ocean and breath. They will be a business but not yet.

By the way, I spoke with both writers about Nick but, thankfully, I wasn’t quoted saying anything that will later come back to haunt me (I reserve that for this space).