Sunday, December 31, 2006

Doppelganger year in review

Well, it's been a fantastic year here at the the doppelganger. With 4 posts in the bag, a dozen readers, and a poem worthy of Frost, I'd say it was a year worth remembering.

To recap, we had a slow November and a quiet beginning to December. But wow, on or about the 29th we accomplished a significant milestone in this blog...yep...we started it. Ever since then its been nothing short of two more posts. A blistering pace if ever I saw one. I probably won't keep up that kind of momentum in 2007, but I'll try to focus more on quality.

Except for the poetry

As a year end present, I'm sending out 2006 with a god awful poem and a video of a fireworks warehouse catching fire and exploding.

See ya next year

you were my girlfriend for a whole year
you stuck by me for 365 days
8760 hours
and lots of minutes and seconds that I can't count
cause my calculator broke
but I must let you go
I've found a prettier partner
I like her because she is here
and you are dead

Fireworks factory/storage in Seest, Kolding, Denmark on fire and exploding, rendering whole neighbourhood uninhabitable.

Which Candidate will become Viral?

Ahh politics. the never ending source of internet fodder. Here they go. With all the 2008 election posturing, it seems like the 2006 races were eons ago. I mean the new congress isn't even officially in session and we have several presidential candidates declaring for the '08 race. While I could care less about candidates 2 years before the election (they'll have plenty of time to lose my vote between now and then) what interests me is the techniques and tactics the campaigns will employ.

The candidate that peaked my interest so far is 'ol Johnny Boy Edwards. Trying to gain some ground in an unofficial poll between two candidates (Hilary and Obama)who haven't even declared they're running yet, he launched his campaign last week.

What was interesting aside from the painfully obvious political stunt of declaring in New Orleans in jeans and an open collar shirt (read:salt of the earth everyman) was the medium he used. He released the video of his declaration on youtube the now popular (with really rich founders) video sharing site. While this might have been just a good use of the tools available to him, I can't help but wonder what future presidential candidate campaigns will do to to "reach out" to the consumers who get their information from the web.

The term on the web when something gets a snowball effect of publicity(most of the time unintentional) is "viral." It's dubbed this because the information spreads like a virus. Corporations have been trying to manufacture positive viral content for years now after seeing the return on investment you can get with huge returns for very little money. The problems is that the internet community hates to be manipulated and can sniff out manufactured content pretty well. The strategy can backfire tremendously which can lead to some negative viral content. Ask Sony about the PS3 debacle.

So, my question is this. Which candidate do you think will become the most positively "viral" in the coming years? I think we should make some guesses now and look back in 6 months/1 year to see how our predictions held up.

Welcome to the new age of campaigning, where a candidate might not need a huge war chest to reach the public if he can manage his internet image. Let the politicians loose, this should be quite fun.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Does the Medium effect the Message?

Well, less than 1 day after "the event," the Saddam video hit the web. I had thought that we would see it quickly, but this surprised even me. Obviously, this had to come out quickly and it was sanctioned. This is psychological warfare at it basest. I also can't help but think one of the reasons this had to hit so quickly(at least in America) is that after this administration's handling of intelligence, citizens will not believe anything they are told...unless they see it. I've already had conversations with people who don't believe it's real. They think we made a deal with Saddam and faked his death.

At first. I had serious reservations about posting the video to my blog because it straddles the line of good taste. It's a little like looking at dirty pics when you were a kid. Sure if "cousin Mark" had them you'd look, but actually having them under your mattress was a whole different ballgame. You were forced to take ownership of it. It became hyper real

I decide to post because one of the topics that interest me is understanding how technology affects the human condition. I mean, a few years ago, watching this video wasn't even an option. We would have to wait and see if a TV production team would air it(and watch a censored/ sanitized version). I think I fall on the side of having the video because the medium forces it's potential viewers to do a little critical thinking. Unlike watching the evening news and having this video show up as a segment, this format forces you make a choice to watch it. You have to make an active decision for the experience and (conscious or not) implicitly agree to the consequences.

Now, the consequences are a separate post and are very real. But let me know what you think about the medium.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Naming of PD

What to name a fresh new baby blog. It would seem easier if I were going to write about a particular topic like tech toys or saltwater catfish (or new gadgets used to catch saltwater catfish). It'd be cute and synergistic somehow. Perhaps if I was in a band I could find a synonym for destruction and something that rhymes with blog name.

Unfortunately, I'm not that focused or musically gifted (save that one semester in middle school where I was the undisputed 2nd chair alto sax man...out of two of us)

This blog name is a work in progress and open to suggestions (I had meant to name it God Awful Poetry for the sheer irony and pretty accurate description of what you will find here, but alas it was taken). Ergo, the special God Awful Corner. The current name comes from my desire to tap into that alter-ego part of us all where we want to say things we are thinking but do not have the forum in our daily routine. With that being said, I don't intend to use a blog to propagate hateful speak. In fact, I want to use the modern tools of blogging to extend critical thinking memes to others outside of my immediate circle. I just hope you'll dig my doppelganger

The Beginning

I think the first post of any new random blog should be a mission statement of sorts. Kind of a raison d'etre of the coming experience. Since this is a personal blog and not really focused on a particular topic, a fair warning should be in place. Essentially, I absolutely love to learn. Something new everyday. Which in a way is the impetus for this blog. You can expect to see the following:

I am incredibly interested in tech and its effect on human communication
I love new tech gadgets and cool toys
I enjoy thoughful debate about politics and the human condition
I enjoy some snarky wit and games involving language and math
I am currently having a lifetime affair with Science (so is my partner...she and I are geeks)

Oh and please...please...feel free to post really bad poetry at any time. God I love that crap.

Here's to a few new friends in the coming years, a lot of spam and an engaging dialogue or two.