Pet Roll: Pet 2 (Clancy)

Shortly after we moved to the new house, my parents gave my sister a Scottish Terrier for her birthday. She named him Clancy. Like Pepsi before him, he also took off when he got out, but since he didn’t have an old house to run back to, he ran down the road to a neighbor’s house- ironically enough the grandmother of the ones who had earlier shot Pepsi.

She would feed him steak and other treats, and before long he stopped coming home altogether. Eventually, he officially became her dog. I guess that family was determined that we wouldn’t have any pets.

I have no idea how long Clancy lived or what happened to him. I don’t remember seeing him after he moved down the road, so he must not have lived too long.

I have never seen a photo of Clancy and as far as I know, none exist.

Later, I went to work for that same lady, cutting her yard and the field behind her house for $20 a pop. I remember riding the tractor and listening with one earpiece to a little red AM radio I’d won playing bingo at the beach. Stone Age iPod and all that.

One day I found that a cat had her kittens in a shed on that lady’s property. I told her I would find a home for them, but by the time I went back the next day, one of her other men had killed them.

I guess she ran hot and cold as far as pets go.

All of that notwithstanding, she was a generally nice lady. I liked her and was sad when she died, at a very old age.

Coming up next is Buck- the closest thing I have ever had to a brother.

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Planes, Trains and Medical Bills

While the braintrust at Google fight over their Boing 767 “party plane,” Mathew Ingram brings us news of Google’s latest vision by proxy.

Unable come up with enough “me too” applications and ad-based business ventures here in Bubble 2.0, it seems that Google has plucked a gem from Bubble 1.0 and plans to team up with WebMD (while it seems such, apparently this is not a joke) and do some sort of a healthcare medical records storage and organization service. Maybe Exodus and JDS Uniphase can get in on this deal?

I bet DrKoop.Com is really jealous.

Trying to drag myself out of the surreal haze that this news has spawned, I think Matthew hit one of the many available nails on the head when he says:

“[A]re consumers prepared to have a Web giant like Google track and maintain their entire health records? I think health information and tax data are the two hotspots for many people, and it’s a bit of a stretch to think that they would want to send all that over the Web just because Google says it’s going to add value to it somehow.”

There’s that, and the fact that this little venture is almost certainly going to generate any revenue solely from ads.

Sometimes I think my RSS feeds are controlled by the producers of The Joe Schmo Show, and I’m the new schmo. In the words of Matt Kennedy Gould (and Marvin Gaye), what’s going on?

If I Can't Have a Revenue Model, Then Neither Can You!

Here’s what I don’t understand.

People try so hard to couch the Web 2.0, blogosphere, etc. thing as a real business, but when a real business, with an actual revenue model, makes a smart and logical business decision to protect that revenue, a lot of those same people cry foul.

How in the world have we gotten to a place where eBay saying no to Google’s checkout service is lame, yet AOL giving away its services to broadband users is a good idea?

If you want to know why many real businesses don’t take the blogosphere seriously, this is Exhibit No. 1.

No right thinking business with the dominant market share eBay has would allow a competitor like Google, who is also rumored to be about to enter the auction market, to walk into its store and sell services to its customers.

The entire Web 2.0 movement and many desperate older web companies have climbed on the back of the ad dollar. Ad revenue simply cannot bear that burden for the long haul.

Sometimes I feel like the Web 2.0 groupthink is “if I can’t have a sustainable revenue model, then you can’t either!”

Pet Roll: Pet 1 (Pepsi)

As I mentioned the other day, I am really enjoying Doc’s series about his pets, so I’m going to do one too.

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When I was born in 1960 my family had a white cat named Pepsi. I don’t remember him, but I have heard stories about him sleeping with me in my crib when I was a baby (so much for the stealing your breath thing). Maybe that’s part of the reason I have always liked cats.

My sister named Pepsi. She doesn’t remember how she came up with that name, but it’s a little ironic, since the south in general and my family in particular were loyal Coke drinkers.

When I was almost one, we moved to a new house a few miles away. Pepsi made the trip, but when he got loose, he would high tail it back to the old house and mom or dad would have to go fetch him.

Pepsi was later shot and killed by one of the members of a trouble-prone family that lived not too far from us. I didn’t know that until this past weekend when I asked my sister what happened to Pepsi.

I once walked down the steets of Bellaire, Texas with my shotgun looking for a dog that had earlier attacked my dog and scared my wife during a walk, but I can’t imagine shooting a dog or cat except in such an extreme circumstance. I don’t like people who are cruel to animals.

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know about this until now.

I have vivid memories of the rest of my pets, which included dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks and a flying squirrel. More to come.

Amyloo suggests that we do an OPML directory, like this car roll. If I can figure out how to do that, I will.

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Finding the Right Water Cooler: Credibility in the Blogosphere

Stephen Baker over at Blogspotting makes a very good point about the blogosphere and its credibility, or lack thereof.

Steven Streight commented to another post on Blogspotting, saying that the blogosphere is losing credibility. He compares the expanding blogosphere to the over-expansion of radio and TV stations that led to a decline in the quality of content.

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To an extent, I agree with that analysis. I get well over a hundred stations via DirecTV, but there are close to a hundred that don’t interest me at all. I probably do 85% of my watching on 10% of the channels. While I don’t listen to traditional radio anymore because of the ads, I only listen to around 10 of the 100+ XM Radio channels. The rest of those channels and stations either don’t interest me or, in some cases, annoy me.

But just because I don’t listen to the other channels doesn’t mean they have no value. It just means that they attract a different audience. My kids barely tolerate my TV shows and have a limited tolerance for my music. They like some of those channels and stations I would never watch on my own.

I think watching people play poker on TV is about the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard of, but since there are 80-90 poker shows on at any given time, a lot of people must like it. On the other hand, I find Survivor to be compelling television, but many people look down their noses at any sort of reality TV.

Different strokes and all that.

It’s the same with blogs. While I tend to agree with Steven’s description of MySpace as the toilet of the blogosphere, I also know there are millions of young people who love MySpace but would find my blog to be the cyber equivalent of watching paint dry. Or even worse, watching golf on TV.

The blogosphere is merely an extension and expansion of the water cooler and dinner table conversations that are held all the time in all sorts of places. Some of those conversations would bore me to death. Others I would find very interesting. But my circle of interest is not the benchmark for worth- either for the water cooler or the blogosphere.

Saying that the blogosphere is losing credibility is like saying the spoken or written word is losing credibility. It’s not the medium that matters- it’s the person at the other end of it.

If somebody has opinions, mannerisms or agendas that bore me, I simply turn the channel or click away. I may doubt that person’s credibility, but I know that somewhere someone is saying, writing or blogging something that I would find more compelling.

I just have to find the right water cooler to fill my cup.