Monday, July 31, 2006

Aboyne Games Sat 5 August

Next Saturday, the first Saturday in August is the date for Aboyne Highland Games. I am not going to be there this year, a pond of water is separating us and my swimming isn't that good.

I have a second reason for remembering the Games, it will be 10 years on Friday since I left my job to live my vision full time. I will be writing more on this later in the week.

Tony, PM is in town and he's not visiting

Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the UK is in the bay for a 4 day tour. The local news has it as the lead story every night, ahead of the war raging in the middle east. He is attending a bash hosted by Rupert Murdoch this evening and earlier in the day he was at Cisco Systems meeting with the Internet powerhouses in the bay area.

Earlier in the week Tony, lectured on lifestyle and health, and the need to empower the individual. Rating it as the no.1 challenge for the next ten years ahead, I thought he may pop in by to chat over our plans and to get a grass roots level insight into entrepreneurship happening in the bay. Or may be that is on the agenda for tomorrow?

Blogher summary: in both the 10% & 90% camps

I had researched and had decided not to attend, simply because I felt the conference was for women. However, a good friend, Sylvia, pointed out that men were not excluded from the event. I was keen to go as the session topics were all ones I had an interest in. So, I signed up for the Saturday.

OK, we had to sit through a Microsoft plug first thing but things soon improved as the food bloggers gathered at the pool. There were a whole host of reasons for blogging on food, passion for food, restaurant reviews, health/diet reasons, chefs, how to cook, story's of the food, the stories of people behind the food etc. Then all the subsequent sessions were great and informative. My rough notes from each have already been posted.

Christine Heron, today writes a post, 'making room for men at blog her' that sync's in with an issue I have on the female v male categorization. Like Christine, I span both camps, she derives her statistics from, as I have been to both the tech focused, open source etc. events and now my first blogher. But my reflection on this issue spans a much wider time period and crosses other networks I participate in e.g. the environmental movement. Here's my observation: I repeatedly hear from women that the battle is against men. They dominate the corporate world and culture and are at the heart of all it ills. I feel uncomfortable listening to such statements and personally feel I am being attacked. I am passionate to see the corporate world change as the next person, so why should I be classified on mass as part of the problem?

To explain the point a different way, the word 'institutional racism' has gained favor over the last couple of years, a broad brush categorization of an entity. It's not the entity that is racist, institutions are made up of people, individual people express the racism. I don't feel we will evolve change by talking to some mythical entity, we will make progress by talking to individual people.
We are at a stage where the female v male agenda is increasingly irrelevant I feel. It is core values that is uniting individuals to participate. United by values, we aggregate our voices for what we believe in.

One final note, the was my first non-unconference I have attended for a while. I did feel a bit constrained but overall I am glad I had participated.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Closing session

Panel Washingtonpost interactive CEO Head hudding post .com Grace davis, blogger hurricane relief Mena Trout, six apart Big them that arose was FEAR. In lots of ways, start up risk, blogging what to say, identity, children, politics etc. All supported with inspiring anecdotes from the panel and floor.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

has blogging changed your life

Last session of the day.

martha session

shangri-la diet (book) about set point and how to adjust and how to continue to eat normally but with a more balanced POV

Panel: intros knitting, arts craft, lunch.
Gaila community magazine
Andrea shera supperhero jewellry. blog personal.
Pim, food blog shapehim

blogging to monetization, community trade off's

Why does you site stand out?

Obsession with gardening, Gaila, could not relate to her experiences, non traditional, poor, renter. Mass media direct to money of gardening, middle class focused. Off line option expensive, she was a niche. She wanted to fill.

Marthy: free patterns, tutorials, some sales to pay for website costs. Find passion

Gaila, follow her passion.

Pim, 2001, 2003 food blogs, not many at start, first movers advantage. Main stream press refers to Pim. They come to her. her blog audience became her customers, for shopping website.

[note from FOOD blog session, blog urls will be on website, need to check.)

Gaila, big media, corporate world does come knowing on your door. Need to watch your back. Sign contract to own you. Against spirit of her. Need to be a real "hard ass". Paid fair but kept her rights.

German example, blogger now lead large german media network, web2.0 stuff, blogger get paid in print edition.

Pim, moving to food to tv and book to make money? Steam of work coming to her. Things just come. Then be careful how corporates use your work, e.g. what does the contract say. Find good agent, they are on your side.

buying spirit of the blog, i.e. person, not the jewellry. Create life, design your life. Also life coach, FUN AND EASY, wont do it or I won't do it.

Craft. give reason for coming back. give away, links

Pim, brand comes when you find your voice, know your self and you will find your brand.

be yourself, not authentic, people will know, so just be yourself.

book non fiction, 15k to 75k .

Paid for blogging, size of audience, <100>1000 unique, get paid at this level $3-5. SME, Larger, 70-100$ per hour.

Gardening no.1 hobby, bigger than golf. Gaila could not sell out to existing corporate model.

Monetization, must be inline with personal brand.

blogging too domestically e.g. knitting, yes, but be happy to be yourself them again.
Guy friends make fun of you, Gaila, like making things.
Andrea painting, hussleing your takes for ever, fun and easy, beading jewelry.

womens work, broad side to male driven corporate world.

24-38k internal blogging inside corporation.

Gaila, yougrowgirl blog and book, interest in idea, get info. out there, not all about the cash, sell out a little bit.
Start up all about stumbling upon, you could be martha stewart, at that stage, stage to manage??? Pim found agent that lives your vision too. live

Just finished breakfast at my first . There is a lot of buzz in the air and I look forward to participating in the sessions ahead.

Welcome from Elisa, Lisa and Derri? (need to get the name). 700 blogger attending today. The day is all about participation, the music for the introductory slides fails, so the blogger start a sing along. Set the tone for the day.

Microsoft live girls take to the stage, like a comedy double act. They can talk! Talk about buying a house, on to home improvements, challenge, here is the plug, msn content integration to bj blog on msn. Sharing home moving experience via blog helps.

Emily 'cooper' takes to the stage, Katrina hits, blogged to donate items to victims of Katrina. Miracle happened, people read and posted, they in turn, posted on their website to a full blown relief agency. Tens thousands readers in day, so "freakin cool". Now, used for local service for people moving to new towns, cities or regions. Concept of 'grass roots' New Orleans green spaces. "women bloggers can change the world"

Mary Hodder, blogging allows you to speak with out needing to shout.

Jen Professional, did mommy blog panel last year. startup with two other mums. What about risk? Took 10mins to trust co-founders.

Food, class, politics, wealth. Blogging chef. May1 immegrate post. Food industry employ lots of immigrates. Upperclass get access to chef school. eggbeater

Step mothers are blogging.

Erica, chicken -feminist blog combined both words, who she is. Take a moment of your life and capture it. A saved experience. Keep long distance friends, close. Make new friends, she never new before that share same interests. In professional life, she believes blogs make society closer to the stage to ACT. Non techies want to be part of impacting the world, as users talking and participating in the technology evolution for the planet.

OZconn. Opensource, commuity. 98% men. Kaliya, identity women. "not enough women involved'

Drupal development of website. Culture kitchen blogger. Drupal open source, but still not user driven. Used moveable type. 'bitch on wheels' for open source. Mena Trott, give female input to be user driven.

Mille Garfield, change her routine. Paper and coffee. Now go, computer and check comments. Thinking more. First read about it newpaper, bostonglobe, asked son, set up blog. thurrleymotherymille. New friends all over the world. Share life experiences.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Mountain View record heat 42.222222 degree's

I lived through the hottest recorded day in Mountain View yesterday. 108 Fahrenheit, was recorded in old money at that is 42.2222222222222222 celsius. The order of the day was survival. Had to cancel my Supper Happy Developer House attendance as it was too hot to travel, carrying myself let alone a laptop across the south bay was going to be a challenge.

Just about as hot today, so I have come to my favorite internet cafe to ride out the heat of the day in their air conditioned environment. I have now lived 2 months with out rain and no house pipe ban or water shortages to report. It is interesting to contrast that with back home when after a 2 week hot spell the water use restrictions start.

Here's to a cool sea breeze forming for the week ahead.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Colon Cancer Prevention Katie Couric, CBS Anchor

Katie Couric, CBS Anchor
Katie Couric, CBS Anchor,
originally uploaded by
Katie gave a real and full on speach on colon cancer prevention and early detection via screening. She also explored her new role as the new anchor at CBS prime time news programme. This was the first time I had heard of Katie but it clear from the audience that the US public have great admiration for her. I look forward to reading her new blog and how she uses the Internet to bring openess to her editorial decision making process. Framing the CONTEXT of news is a key challenge for her and this strikes a chord. There is a massive online trend of forming user centric context. How broad casting can apply this will be interesting to see.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Around half way

I am some where near half my time gone and half my time still remaining in Mountain View.

Entrepreneurship and life is going well. I have been blogging less here on aboynejames as my other blogs, my internal wiki blog and my lifestyle linking blogs are getting more attention. Got me thinking why is my business blog private to only my co-founders when all other a public?

Friday, July 14, 2006

SF Symphony Orchestra

SF Symphony Orchestra
SF Symphony Orchestra,
originally uploaded by

The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, put on a Lord of the Rings evening at the Davis Hall. As a fan of the films, I am a fan of the music too. Accompanying the music was animated photos of the picture taken from the book and the music was true to the book and play each section in keeping with authors original work. The highlight of the evening for me was the seamless combining of the orchestra with the choir to great effect and emotion.

San Francisco Fog

San Francisco Fog
San Francisco Fog,
originally uploaded by
The line between fog and sunshine

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 Self organizing schedule

Self Organising schedule
Self organizing schedule,
originally uploaded by

Mashupcamp II is an unconference I attended on Wednesday and Thursday. What is an unconference? It starts with a website where you register to attend or in my case a waiting list to attend. The cost is free. However, I turned up as instructed and got in early Wednesday.

What happens is that a wall is covered in white paper where an empty schedule is grided out. Then those attending are free to write up a topic for discussion in a room of their choosing. Other mashupcampers then vote with their feet to attend. The result, you get a group of between 10 and 30, some times more to turn up and participate. Within a session if it turns out it does not match your expectations you can up and leave.

However, each session is full of information and the self organization extends to the participation within each session. Often, notes a posted live the WIKI so the knowledge created is captured.

Unconferences work because of the openness and willingness of each camper to participate. Hopefully one is happening near you, you should attend.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th July, time to learn the anthem

Happy Independence Day, Untied States of America.

Swimming today was on the holiday schedule and after a few lengths warm up the coach made us tread water and sing the national anthem. Well, flower of Scotland does fit to well with the stars and strips tune so I just contributed the odd la, la la in there to feel part of the occasion. In all truth is was very entertaining.

BBQ and fireworks is the agenda for the day. So, I will report on that later.

My new house mate had prepared a tasty BBQ feast. Roast potatoes, Asparagus, Coleslaw and two juicy types of sausages. All served out side on a dry and sunny afternoon.

At night, I met up with my former house mates to watch the fireworks at Shoreline near the bay. They kept us waiting but when the fireworks arrived they were entertaining. I don't think I have seen such circular explosion before. Flickr photos