Scripting News for 8/29/07

Remember the Social Camera? It exists! 

In June, on a trip to Italy, I wanted a copy of a picture a stranger was taking. “What if his camera, as it was taking the picture, also broadcast the bits to every other camera in range. My camera, sitting in my napsack would detect a picture being broadcast, and would capture it. (Or my cell phone, or iPod.)”

In tomorrow’s NY TImes, David Pogue reviews the Fujifilm Z10fd. “It’s one of several current Fujifilm cameras with an inconspicuous infrared lens on the side. You can hold the cameras up to eight inches apart, lenses facing. Then, with three button presses, you can beam a full-resolution photo from one into the other. Thanks to a new, high-speed infrared standard called IRSimple — the first serious update to infrared beaming technology since the old PalmPilot days — the transfer takes only three seconds.”

Help send Uncov to TechCrunch 20 

I just gave $100 to help send the kids at Uncov to the TechCrunch 20 conference later this month.

Uncov Truth at TechCrunch 20 and make a donation at !

They still need more than $2000 to pay for their ticket.

Working with reporters 

More and more reporters are accepting that a blog can be a good source of quotes. For example, today there’s an interesting piece in Salon, explaining why Blockbuster is gaining on Netflix. It showed up in my referrer log, so I was pretty sure I was quoted.

I got the closing quote in the story, and it’s a good one, an observation I’m proud of. I’m also happy with the way it was said. It was transcribed perfectly, because copy/paste is error-free, where a reporter grabbing soundbites in a phone interview is likely to make mistakes.

Here’s the quote. “It may not be obvious, but Netflix is a social network, and the more the networks open and let the user’s data be portable, the more power it gives developers to do interesting things with the data,” Winer wrote. “Netflix has always had a great attitude about customers. It would make sense for them to be the first to trust us with our own data.”

I stopped doing interviews about a year ago. As a result, I haven’t gotten quoted as often as I used to, but I’d prefer to not be quoted than to be quoted saying something stupid, dishonest or wrong. The reporter’s filters really get in the way. Their assumption that everyone they interview is selling something, or lying to them, or hiding the truth really screws up the process.

Also, I like the quote beacuse it shows that interesting stuff happened at Gnomedex that wasn’t about you-know-who. 🙂

PS: Mike at Hacking Netflix was misquoted in Salon after a phone interview. It was a big misquote (he said he waited for Netflix for 3 months, they quoted him as saying he waited for Blockbuster). And how ironic that Mike misquoted me, saying that I do interviews only email. I didn’t say that and I never do interviews by email.

We fact check your ass 

I don’t know what Scoble is up to, but he’s my friend, not just the business kind of friend. So it’s my job to help him get back on track, or find out why I’m wrong, so I can get back on track.

The title of this piece “We fact check your ass” was a synthesis from the early days of blogging. There are a few key ideas about blogging in that short phrase.

1. There are many of us.

2. We care about the truth.

3. We use colorful language. 🙂

So this leads to a bunch of good blogger behavior, stuff Scoble knows about, stuff Scoble has evangelized. A person who puts his ideas out there takes the risk of putting out incorrect ideas, but that’s not a problem if there are lots of people fact checking his or her ass.

So here’s what you should do when you say something that’s incorrect. As soon as you realize it, correct it. Maybe offer an explanation, but that seems optional. But first and foremost, fix the bug.

Everyone is telling him this, but he’s not getting the message. Simply say “I made a mistake” and every piece from this point on won’t have to guess what happened.

PS: TwitterGram explaining this in my own voice.

PPS: Wired piece posted late yesterday.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous Coward on August 29, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Dave, a TwitterGram finally makes sense to me. I was reading this post from my BlackBerry and clicked the link to open the TwitterGram. The mp3 downloaded _within seconds_ and I listened your short commentary to Scoble.

    There’s something very powerful about that experience on a mobile device that’s different from the experience on a computer. Or maybe I just get too distracted on a computer.


  2. i don’t think i want people capturing my pictures. i like young women 🙂 anyway, there was a really cool product in japan in the late 90s. Basically you’d set your preferences, type of food, type of hook-up, etc; then walk around; when it came across someone with similar preferences; it beeped. It never worked cause women really just don’t like to randomly hook up.


  3. Social Camera:
    “You can hold the cameras up to eight inches apart, lenses facing.”
    A camera with infrared-interface is not a big shot.

    wi-fi or bluetooth is the way to go, to send to all the people around you, who want to receive the message, without having to face infrared-lenses of the cameras, which is kind of cumbersome…


  4. On Twittergrams: I wonder if it’d be possible to do “computer-free micropodcasting.” I ran my Twittergram feed through Podlinez gave me a phone number; anyone who calls that number will hear my most recent audio post. Only problem is that it takes almost an hour for them to poll the feed, so it isn’t practical for Twittergrams. For those of us who can’t access web-hosted MP3s on our lousy cell phones, it’d be great to have something like this that actually worked well. Relevant blogpost is here:


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