Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Naked Conversations about Blogging in College


I've been talking to my friends about how blogging in college might affect how employers later perceive them when they go to get job interviews.

I told them what Robert Scoble said on Wakki the other day when he and Shel were asked a similar question.

There are pros and cons to blogging.

Digital media is forever.

Employers can hold what you say against you when you go to apply for a job.

Still, the ability to coherantly express your ideas in a logical and inviting format and publish them to larger audiences is a skill that is also very appealing to businesses that need top-notch brainpower to sell their products.

So as long as you don't shoot your mouth out or make outrageous claims, you'll be okay.
And as far as bosses are concerned, believe it or not, they don't want to hire squares either. Read the Cluetrain Manifesto.

They're looking for well-rounded individuals - not coporate monkeys.

P.S. No, Facebook and Myspace are not your personal journals; people can see you.

Any employers out care to comment?

Blogging New Books


Here I go again.

For those of you that don't know, I'm back in my hometown of Sacramento for the summer.

So most of my posts in the coming weeks will be about the web company I'll be developing for when I get back to San Jose (details coming soon), or about cool Web 2.0 and Open Source technologies I've seen online.


I was surfing the net yesterday when I ran into Hackoff, an internet securities company.

"What's so interesting about that?" you ask. Simply put, it doesn't exist. It's part of Tom Evslin's vision of self-publication.

Evslin created a website/blog for a fictional company to accompany the book that he is publishing chapter by chapter - for free - on his blog.

Some of you may already have heard of Evslin if you're tech saavy or just plan geekish; Evslin used to work for Macintosh, doing work on BackOffice among other things.

Evslin is also the CEO of ITXC Corp, the world's leading provider of wholesale VoIP.


His online book goes to show how the Long-Tail Effect (niche marketing like that of blogs) , when combined with internet technologies such as RSS and blogs, can revolutionize business and entertainment.

The same could be done for education too - allowing students to create product and market it directly as teachers make criticism and suggestions that help students perfect their crafts.

It might even bring money back to schools in the long run. After all, productive students make lucrative alumni.

Monday, May 22, 2006


There's a good video on mashup's on CNET; it highlights ("for dummies" style) the value of Web 2.0 technologies that are up-and-coming, and their continuing importance in business and education. Check it out.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Web 2.0 Coolness

For those of you that follow Robert Scoble's Blog at all, or even those that don't, he just participated in a cool podcast by the start-up company Waxxi that shows just how education can be enhanced by horizontal production enhancements online.

Scoble and Shel Israel, co-authors of the book Naked Conversations, talked online with companies and bloggers about the importance of blogging in the changing markets.

The podcast itself was amazing from the standpoint that it was the first interactive podcast (to my knowledge) between audience members and the promoters/speakers.

This is amazing, since it basically opens up e-conferencing to the public, leaving the possibility to for schools to set up groups that invite speakers to interactive speeches.

The possibilities for this technology are way cool, as Frank Gruber blogged about today.

Scoble is right; blogging is changing the face of politics, education, business, and society as a whole.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Another story in the works


You may have noticed two more links on my page, "vox-veritatis" and "Up in San Jose". They're blogs just started by two students here at SJSU that are going to do regular postings beginning this summer.

I put them on here to highlight the growing trend of student input on the blogosphere - something to which teachers must start paying more attention.

Plus, it's student/citizen journalism at its best - Coda from "vox-veritatis" and I are digging on the story of Victoria Rue right now, the woman who claims to be a Roman Catholic priest at SJSU.

We already interviewed Rue and Fr. Rubio of SJSU Campus Ministry. We're scheduling interviews with the Bishop and Monsignor Cilia next, though depending on their schedules, it may take a while.

You can listen to the audio from each of the interviews by clicking on the links to their names.

Rue's story is quite interesting, as is that of the new blogger helping out on the interview.

I'll post a full story on the interviewing process and working with Coda after the piece is done.

Podcasting's a killer at Tony Soprano's Pizza

I Admit

First off, sorry about the bad pun... I admit, I'm a dork.

Secondly, Steve Sloan, Shaminder Dulai, Daniel Esch, Ryan Sholin, Cynthia McCune and I will be podcasting at Tony Soprano's Pizza in San Jose at 6:00 pm on May 23rd.

(That's a couple writers from the Spartan Daily, some teachers and some bloggers for those of you who don't know who they are yet.)

The topic will be J163, a new class that will be taught by Sloan next year. The course is intended to teach,"new media in Journalism (blogging, podcasting, RSS & other Web 2.0

Sweet stuff that the University should have picked up on in 1997.

Oh well.
Better late than never, huh.

Sloan has asked for some of our input on what to teach, and being the geek that I am, I'm more than willing to give my two cents.


Okay, anyone remotely tech saavy at SJSU will understand when I write that most of the faculty have no understanding about what's going on online, or how it's going to affect their particular field.

The world just got too flat too fast for everyone to fully grasp that little kicker yet.

In fact, many students I know have an understanding of this far beyond any of their teachers.

Don't feel stupid though (although you're probably not reading this anyways, since you don't read blogs yet... *sigh*), the old media and businesses haven't done their homework yet either.

An interesting post by Liz Dunn of Technorati makes this point very clearly, leaving the impression that professionals (and teachers, in this case) are missing out on a conversation that's been happening right under their noses... and it's one they literally can't afford to miss anymore.


First off, if there's any books assigned to students during the course, The World is Flat must be at the top of the list.

It's the new history book for convergence, and it's also a glimpse of the world awaiting students in the next two or three years.

Aside from that, the course should be getting students up to date with basic stuff like blogging on services such as Blogger or Wordpress, and familiarizing them with linking sites like Technorati.

And while they're at it, students should be able to set up RSS and OPML feed and tree buttons on their sites. This means giving them a basic understanding of HTML, at least to the point where students can cut and paste photos, link sites and rearrange formats.

It may be stretching it after all this if the class is computer illiterate to start with, but making them vod or podcast would go a long way to making them web 2.0-literate. Google Video offers unlimited video services, so space wouldn't be an issue.

And since books wouldn't be a big issue either for such a class, a cheap webcam or digital voice recorder wouldn't break student's piggy banks.

Besides, I'm sure a company like SONY or OLYMPUS would love to give SJSU students a discount if it could guarentee repeated business with them in the years to come.


And here's a thought - since Universities are supposed to be born out of the same concepts that OpenSource was forged from, it might not be such a bad idea to get them familiar with OpenSource Pull technologies like Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, and Craigslist.

Not to mention all the cool little AJAX programs you can mod browsers like Mozilla with... does anyone even use Opera or IE anymore? Sorry, tangent.

The point is that Pull technologies are redefining the business model in pretty much every field, and the more comfortable students become with accessing information and interacting with clients in this way, the better off they'll be after college.


Lastly, a little discussion about new business models and reference to how the internet is affecting business (especially the newspaper biz) with some advice on how to make information profitable would be nice.

There's a lot of pessimism out in the journalism community right now, and not enough people are plugging the upside of Web 2.0 technologies on journalism.

That's my rant for now.

Any comments or something I left out?

Thursday, May 11, 2006


I know I haven't posted in a while, but finals are creeping up oh so quickly.

I've got more than one 8-page paper due this week, and virtually no free time. But I thought I'd post today and at least tell you about a little something I'm going to start doing regularly - podcasting!

I just got a Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder with 27 hours of recording time. Not too shabby; not pro-but good enough for government use.

I used it yesterday for the first time when Debra Griffith, the judical affairs head hancho talked in my Jour 132 A. Our class interviewed her and discussed it after when she left.

Here's a news break from the interview - housing had a record number of incidents this year sent to Judicial Affairs, swamping Griffith with work.

Apparently, alcohol abuse is the crime of the year.

Luckily for Griffith, she requested addittional assistance, and the University responded to in the form of another judicial affairs officer for next year.

Anyways, that's the news of the hour. I'll post more regularly after finals.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Debates @ SJSU

What a Show...

Monday morning, SJSU hosted mayoral debates in the University Theatre.

The candidates smiled gently in their seats on stage, dressed to impress students and faculty (potential voters... really, let's be honest) anticipating the event, posted earlier that morning in The Spartan Daily.

John Candeias, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Michael Mulcahy, Dave Pandori, and Chuck Reed attended, lined up front and center to answer questions posed by two students, a teacher and the audience.

While the questions ranged from what the candidates would do about police profiling to how they would address homelessness in San Jose, the responses were fairly uniformed as expected. Most of the candidates agreed that assisted living (or permanent housing, as Mrs. Chavez said) was needed, as well as more homeless shelters and educational programs throughout San Jose.

Mr. Pandori distanced himself from other candidates in one regard, by incorporating his “green” ideals into his responses about how to best handle Silicon Valley’s business.

In an interview after the debates, Mr. Pandori said, “The money [to expand parks and open spaces in San Jose] is already there in the budget.”

Ruffling through a binder of notes and papers, Mr. Pandori lifted the San Jose City budget, pointing to financial areas he believed could be redirected to those ends. “You don’t have to choose between business and a green San Jose,” he said, “you can have both.”

While Chuck Reed leads in poles by the San Jose Mercury, he seemed very cautious while debating, keeping his responses simple and short.

Mr. Reed’s main focus seemed to be encouraging business growth in San Jose, while at the same time pressing that he voted against the now famous San Jose race track. Reed also said he would, “work for open government,” an apparent response to the troubles plaguing Mayor Gonzales’ term.


Ethics was by and far the main issue of the debates. Vice-Mayor Cindy Chavez tried to distance herself from the ill-dealings of Mayor Gonzales, as did Mr. Cortese and Mr. Reed.

John Candeias and Michael Mulcahy both stressed that neither of them have ever held office in San Jose before, and thus are in no way affiliated with the controversies/scandals of the Gonzales led council.

Courtesy of City of San Jose official website

We need to do top down audits of every city agency," said Mulcahy.

John Candeias later joked in an interview after the debates, “
I hardly have any money for my campaign,” shaking the hands of two audience members as they passed, "so you know I don’t have any conflicts of interest.”

All in All

The debate itself highlighted the importance of the growing SJSU community in the development and sustainability of San Jose's economy.

It also highlighted the outreach that local politicians looking to distance themselves from recent corruption must make in order to secure votes and combat what Mr. Cortese referred to as "
Done deal syndrome" - the feeling that business is really done behind closed doors.

Primary Elections will be held on June 6, 2006.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Protests in San Jose

Over a hundred thousand people marched down the streets of San Jose in protest of the proposed immigration reform, said Captain Diane Urban of the San Jose Police Department.

90 officers were assigned to cover to event, Urban reported as protesters dispersed around her. “The protest was generally peaceful,” said police, who also said several people were arrested for allegedly carrying weapons and being drunk in public. Urban reported that alleged stabbings also led to at least one arrest.

“We were originally supposed to provide traffic management,” she said of the protests, “we [ended up having] to provide enforcement as well.”

While some protesters gathered at Arena Green East between 11:30 and 12:00 this afternoon, the main protest began at around 3:40p.m., said police, with several thousand people stretching from the HP Pavilion to the 280 overpass and beyond.

“People are just walking around,” said one woman passing on the street.

The Guardian Unlimited reported today that several organizations called for a boycott on the buying and producing of all products, asking protesters to stay home from work.

Thang Le, who works at Lee’s Sandwiches, commented about the passing protesters. “We actually had an increase of people buying food and water today,” said Le, adding that no additional security was necessary. “We felt safe,” he said, “it was a peaceful [protest].”

The protest was in response to the passage of bill HR 4437 by the House of Representatives in December, which many felt was unjustly aimed at Mexican Americans. The majority of protesters today were Latinos, many of which waved American, Mexican, and South American flags.