Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Myspace Virgin

Moving from Australia back to the USA was in some ways like being sucked through a time warp into a faster and more caffeinated future. People in America are on speed and maniac to be famous, wanted, adored, loved. There is no people that is more blinded by stardom and image than America.
It felt like stepping from a sidewalk onto a machinated walkway like they have at airports only these walkways are unstable and going too fast.

The way this relates to interacting with new people is that right after they ask, what do you do for a living, they ask, "are you on myspace?" If you make the first step and ask, do you want to exchange emails, or you hand over your bcard they stare at it blankly and ask, "are you on myspace?"
All I could manage to stammer out time and again was…gosh gee, you know I've been meaning to - and then they'd nod knowingly, vaguely remembering a distant past where they too were my space virgins, then give me words of advice "you should really get on."

The idea of "getting on" automatically implied that I was "off", but OFF of what? Off a wild exciting fun ride? Off and floating in some uncertain limbo? I could almost feel their words chastising me. You know, if you don't get ON now, you'll have NO chance at all. You're either ON or you don't exist. And so that's what it came down to.

And it's not like Sydney is a slow town, or behind in any way. It's just that people weren't really doing that there in the massive numbers that are doing it here, in the US. (Though that will change) Some of my friends were ON and I do actually remember saying to myself over my slowAS dial up that one day I too would have broadband (somewhere other than work) and I too would join in the revolution! I too would watch banal videos of someone's dog barking at the TV somewhere in Idaho in a very ludicrous manner because this was the beginning of something big… I just knew it. It was all like ICQ (remember that) on acid, like chat but HYPER chat, and somehow the drive to upkeep my own website in the wee hours of the night waned. It seemed comparatively empty next to the possibilities offered by friendsters myspaces and youtubes.

Still part of me rejected it. Part of me said, no - I want to LIVE in person upfront and REAL. But then the other half of me said, you can have your cake and eat it too, on this one. Besides, you were already doing it. For years I had a mytxt section going on poem-maker (which I've taken down). I didn't have the programming skills to make a blog but I sure as heck had a decent mytxt going….ok, very boring I know!!!

So very recently I got ON. I started with youtube. I posted random videos of my Uni work. Then I entered a contest and got into the feedback part with others. It was so exciting to have a complete stranger view your work and then comment on it! Wow! What a rush.

I moved on to friendster, whoopee! Then I decided to tackle myspace, the Mammoth GOD of the social networking sites. I found it to be the most user unfriendly and counterlogical internet experience I've ever had but it was none the less thrilling!!! I am now proud to announce that I've got three friends (not that I'm counting)

Then I discovered revver and that opened a can of worms. To be discussed in the next section….

And suddenly I'm ON. ON and rolling.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Power of Undo

We all remember the first time we sat down to a powerful piece of software for the first time and felt the thrill of excitement, or the dread of (do I really have to learn another program) or the ball of nerves as in (oh god, I don't know if I can do this) Then at some point it becomes normal. Learning more software is like driving. It's just something you do (especially if your income relies on your computer skills)

But there is always this nagging uncertainty as you tackle a new giant, can I do this? For me, the key to becoming comfortable with software lies in the power of one little button (or two consecutive keystrokes) which undo any mistakes you make. THE UNDO button.

Did you hit some unknown shortcut key and completely erase everything? No worries, undo!
Did you jump through a trail of hoops only to understand that you did something stupid? No worries. Undo Undo Undo Undo Undo Undo Undo Undo (note that undo's are not unlimited! See your preferences panels.)

I've had many conversations where the power of this little button is something we crave in our real life.

A cop pulls you over for going 90 in a 65 zone - no worries, undo!
You drink too much at the corporate Christmas party, it mixes badly with the unidentifiable yet tasty pastries you scarfed, and you find yourself throwing up in your bosses lap. Not a problem! UNDO.

What I have NOT yet discussed as applicable to our real lives is the power of versioning. Imagine if you could make a version of yourself. One self sits down and waits while the other self, tests out the new improvements. So, if the purple hair, cocaine snorting, rock chic life ends up in a complete disaster where you're smacked around by your pimp boyfriend you can simple limp back home, restart the old version and try again WITHOUT ACCEPTING ANY emotional or bodily damages from your mistakes. Not bad eh!!

Ok, admittedly that IS a bit creepy.

Thoughts anyone?

Friday, June 8, 2007

Viva the green revolution

m1m2 creative recently relocated back to the USA from Sydney Australia. Prior to that we lived in Germany. This has led to some interesting and comedic observations on the cultural differences which I will try to post in the future. For the moment I'm excited by all of the "green" ideas, companies, media organizations that are getting increasing press here.
I recently ran across the may/june 2006 (older but!) issue of UTNE which features "new capitalists" and discusses what's happening out there to revolutionize the way businesses think and operate. Very worth checking out.

Somewhat related to this is an interesting company with a 3D camera and editing system that stitches the images together. It looks promising. I would love to play with it.

In the meantime, resources lifted from the utne magazine:

American Clay
North Star Beds
Nubanusit Neighborhood and Farm
Perfect Organics
eGo Vehicles
Neuton Cordless Electric Mower
Spa Naturally/Creative Water Solutions
Radiant Floor Company