Thursday, March 30, 2006

Free service established to fight identity theft

Barton Eckert, Washington Business Journal

With financial organizations, including banks and credit card companies, looking for ways to fight the growing problem of identity theft, Intersections and the Identity Theft Assistance Corp. have inked a four-year agreement to provide operational and consumer services to a not-for-profit financial services consortium that provides free service to identity theft victims

Chantilly-based Intersections (NASDAQ:INTX) will operate the Identity Theft Assistance Center, which is owned and operated by financial services companies. It will provide free victims assistance to customers of its member companies.

At some point we are going to have to block the ubiquitous use of our social security numbers which is the driver of identity theft.

Glorious News

After being held hostage for nearly three months, Jill Carroll is free.

Could venture funding lower your company’s chance of survival?

Henry Copeland

Why? Some hypotheses:
-- considerable time/resources are sunk in meeting with VC, then jumping through their hoops. The best meetings and hoops are those held with/by customers.
-- you've got to scramble to make lots of money fast to generate eye-popping returns on a bigger nut. It's much harder to generate a 100X return on $10 million than on $1 million.
-- many VC are sheep, so you end up selling the VC a business plan that conforms to yesterday's zeitgeist, rather than tomorrow's.
-- because you are spending OPM, its easy to wreck your company's bottom-line focused ethos.
-- locked into "the plan" you've sold yourself/investors, it's nearly impossible to attend to the subtle breezes that fortell tomorrow's hurricanes.
-- most VC focuses on home-runs, not the accretive base-hits that power long-term success. So what if half a VC's portfolio companies flounder? The VC will double his portfolio's size with monster returns on just a couple of investments. (Tough luck if you or your customers are in the failing half.)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Yields touch multi-year highs

Financial Times

Government bond yields around the globe touched multi-year highs on Wednesday, amid fears of further rate rises in both the US and eurozone in the wake of Tuesday’s latest rise by the US Federal Reserve.

A bad sign. A very bad sign.

Commercial ejected


The United Church of Christ commercial created by ad agency Gotham is here. Last year if you recall, the U.C.C. did an ad with bouncers rejecting church-goers as if it was some hip nightclub - discussed here. This year they've gotten "Ejector Pews."

Stuart Elliott, The New York Times

The church will return on April 3 with a second commercial, also from Gotham, titled "Ejector Pew." The spot depicts a smug, traditional-looking family looking askance as they are joined inside a church by worshipers who are significantly different from them.

Suddenly, the worshipers who are disabled or elderly, or who appear to be gay, Hispanic or of Middle Eastern origin, are forcibly ejected from their seats. "God doesn't reject people," the commercial says. "Neither do we."

So far none of the networks will run the ad. As a UCC member I think this is unfair.

Accessible Airwaves

Debbie Weil at IPRA

IPRA Luncheon: "The Business Blog: Everything You Need to Know to Get it Right"

Embassy Suites Hotel/Tysons Corner
8517 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
Phone: 703-883-0707

PRSA-NCC joins us for a mega-lunch program with Debbie Weil, nationally recognized online new media expert and author of The Business Blog: Everything You Need to Know to Get it Right.

Confused about blogging? Nationally-recognized business blogging expert, Debbie Weil, an online marketing consultant specializing in new media strategies including blogging, RSS and podcasting will explain everything you need to know to get blogging right. Specific to our needs as PR professionals, Weil will talk about what a corporate blog is – and isn’t; how to assess whether a business blog will benefit your clients; the three biggest fears about corporate blogging; who should write a corporate blog; and how podcasting relates to blogging.

I am looking forward to this.

Testify Sister Huyse!

Fake is not “Refreshing”

Aretha Franklin on the same subject.

Trouble in Weblogistan

Iran Cracks Down on Bloggers

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Treasuries drop as rate forecasts adjust

Financial Times

US Treasuries fell and yields jumped on Tuesday after the Federal Reserve raised borrowing rates to 4.75 per cent as expected and continued to suggest further rate hikes “may be needed”.

The Federal Open Market Committee, at its first meeting under Ben Bernanke’s chairmanship, raised rates by 0.25 per cent for a fifteenth consecutive time. Although it modified the economic assessment in its statement, the FOMC left policy-related passages unchanged, leaving room for further rate rises.

A bad sign. A very bad sign.

Client relations

Next Wave Communications talks about a problem we all confront:

I have been in constant dialogue with my boss about this key bit of information - I have tried explaining that blanket messaging just isn't going to get anything done via the b-sphere - rather , if you try to send message points to numerous bloggers you wont get anything done. you have to find out what information is valuable to each individual blogger.

The most important work we do is client education; from explaining that the news goes into the first sentence of a news release (which probably does not include your company’s name), to refraining from sending said release to everyone for whom you have an email address, successful PR requires the ability to enable your client to see things from the mediasphere’s point of view.

Two sides of the same fib

"Our open-source solution means you'll get off cheap" &
"Our commercial solution is better supported than open-source alternatives"

Two sides of the same fib. Over time, licensing fees will constitute an increasingly smaller fraction of your total cost of ownership. The really big expenses lie in customization and integration, and here, some open-source tools will cost you more than their commercial equivalents.

At the same time, you'll find that support for a typical commercial CMS compares poorly against the kind of community help you can receive from from a large, global, open-source project. Key word there is "large."

Note that what is important is the size of the user community, not the size of the company.

No more excuses for big honking email attachments


Monday, March 27, 2006

Can Blogdigger scale?

Half of the time I try it the Blogdigger PR Group is down. I use it to scan the day’s posts; I prefer it to the Bloglines PR Group because the recent posts float up to the top of Blogdigger.

There never seems to be a problem with my much smaller Tech on the Potomac group, so it seems to be a question of scale.

Now here is a frog I would kiss

Using the Power of Many to Fight Spam

Congratulations Washington Technology

Washington Technology receives Neal award

NEW YORK—A May 2005 issue of Washington Technology that led with the hot topic of privacy protection won a Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award today at the annual Neal luncheon held by American Business Media.

Washington Technology’s May 23 print issue won in the Best Single Issue of a Newspaper/News Tabloid category.

Isn’t it ironic that women dominate PR but within the industry men still earn more?

That is the question Sun Ho Shim asked. My answer is that it is 99% garden variety type discrimination and 1% the Amanda Chapel’s of this world ( Here is a blog that screams don’t take me seriously, don’t entrust me with responsbility and above all, don’t pay me what you would pay a man.

I think B.L. Ochman has a perfect description of Chapel’s first post.

Robert French had a much different take on this -
Now come on people. We all know that Strumpette is more likely to be a fat, fifty-ish, fool of a guy with a gut the size of his ego than some cute PR bunny.

I confess that possibility had never presented itself.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Of all the crimes ever committed by Vladimir Putin

this has got to be the least serious.

Congratulations William Dizard and GCN

GCN takes Neal award for Best News Coverage

NEW YORK—Government Computer News’ coverage of the FBI’s failed Virtual Case File system won a Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award today at the annual Neal luncheon held by American Business Media.

Senior writer Wilson P. Dizard III won in the category of Best News Coverage for his reporting on the failure of VCF, a story first reported nationally on in December 2004. Dizard followed up his breaking news with reporting and analysis throughout 2005, as FBI officials scrapped VCF and made plans for Sentinel, its next attempt at a case management system.

What goes around comes around

We learned from Abbe Buck that someone leaked an 18-month old email from Good Morning America’s John Green which said "Bush makes me sick." "If he uses the 'mixed messages' line one more time, I'm going to puke."

Journalists look at newsmakers day-in and day-out. Of course they will develop opinions. Of course they like some more than others. It is only human. The question is, do they present the news in a way that permits viewers to make their own judgments?

Right now the staff of GMA and ABC News are wondering who leaked this to Matt Drudge. Someone is playing enforcer. Imagine the level of fear and distrust. Do you think this is going to improve quality at ABC News?

Now you have a glimpse of how your government has been working over the last thirty years. For years ABC, along with every other news organization, has been angling for leaks from self-serving anonymice. Now they have a taste of their own medicine. I wonder how they like it.

Link wars

It's getting out of hand.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tom Foremski on the idea of control

How does public relations work in the blogosphere?

And let go of the out dated attitude of control, or the idea of controlling a message. You have no control over how the world will "tag" you or your company. The only place you have control is with yourself, and that means that you are consistent in the things that you say, the things that you converse with the world.

This goes back to something I said in Global PR Blog Week 1.0:

Our single most important contribution may have been to shift our industry from the idea of controlling the message and manipulating public opinion to that of presenting the message and cultivating public opinion. This change of metaphor is crucial to successful public relations in a world of increasing transparency. Those who fail to make transparency their friend will find it a formidable enemy. We offer readers many ideas on how to make transparency their friend.

Calvin ball

Do you remember the old cartoon about Calvin and Hobbes and the game Calvin Ball which had no rules? It is important to understand that in blogosphere the roles are always in flux. For example, Jeremy Pepper is a flack, but when he writes Blogrun he is an editor for a trade publication. I am a flack, but if Jeremy links to Presto Vivace Blog, I am a newsmaker, albeit a minor one.

Or to take another example, if a Michael Barbaro of the New York Times contacts John McAdams of the Marquette Warrior blog to talk about Wal-Mart, then Barbaro is the reporter and McAdams is a source. Unless of course McAdams chooses to write about being contacted by the NYT, then McAdams is the citizen-journalist and poor Barbaro is an unwilling newsmaker and scooped on his own story to boot. The WSJ saw the post on McAdams blog and scooped the NYT.

Who is the reporter, who is the source, who is the newsmaker?
It's Calvin Ball. Doesn't matter if it isn't fair, blogosphere ain't going anywhere.

Now, what do you do if you find out a newspaper is planning a hit piece on your client? Do you preempt them on blogosphere? And if so, how?

The answers are not clear, but I think communicators should be aware that these issues are popping up.


This is a term Tom Foremski used in the audio conference for Bull Dog Reporterr. He used it to emphasize that the division between blogosphere and regular news organizations is blurring. I think he is on to something.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Consultants are flexible like that

In which Neil Chenoweth cuts McKinsey into small, manageable proportions

Why journalism matters, Latin America

Government Harassment Chilling Latin American News Media

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) Attacks by Mexican drug gangs and government harassment in several countries are having a chilling effect on the news media in Latin America, a hemisphere-wide media group said Monday.

What is meant by privacy?

What privacy policy experts might mean:

- Fair Information Practices and Data Protection Laws
- Right to be left alone
- Data shadows
- Informational self-determination
- “Lie and get away with it”
- “The Presentation of Self In Everyday Life”
- “The Unwanted Gaze”
- “No Place to Hide”
- “The Digital Person”

All I can say is that data you don't collect is data you don't have to protect.

UAE, Saudi considering to move reserves out of dollar

WASHINGTON — A number of Middle Eastern central banks said on Tuesday they would seek to switch reserves from the US greenback to euros.

The United Arab Emirates said it was considering moving one-tenth of its dollar reserves to the euro, while the governor of the Saudi Arabian central bank condemned the decision by the United States to force Dubai Ports World to transfer its ownership to a ‘US entity,’ the UK Independent reported.

A bad sign. A very bad sign.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Engineering portal

I just stumbled across GlobalSpec, an engineering search engine and portal. It is similar to RFID Switchboard. There must be plenty of portals like these.

What political debate can teach us about PR

It is not an accident that the first person to understand the power of blogs to move money and motivate supporters was a politician, Howard Dean. The nature of politics is to push participants to find new ways to communicate. This came to mind when I was looking at these flash videos:


Pizza Delivery

Whatever your political views, you can’t deny that they make their point in a compelling manner. This is an approach that can be adapted to new product announcements and other kinds of marketing. It is particularly well suited for small businesses dependent on viral marketing techniques.

I am trying to come up with an idea for flash video to promote information sharing and the GJXDM data reference model.

DigitalBridge aims to connect rural America

Ben Hammer, Washington Business Journal

Ashburn-based DigitalBridge uses a technology called WiMax, which sends radio frequencies from towers through walls as far as two miles away and to antennas as far as five miles away. WiMax lowers costs by bypassing phone networks and eliminating the need to wire every home for access.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

It was only a matter of time

The first TV sitcom about a blogger.

Accoona: A New Google Alternative?

Barbara Krasnoff, InternetWeek

Founded in February 2004, Accoona announced its official introduction on March 8, 2006. The New York City announcement took place at the United Nations, and in this case, the location was apt. Accoona has strong ties to China: The China Daily Information Company (CDIC), which describes itself as an official Chinese government agency, and its Web site,, hold a significant equity stake in Accoona Corp.

I wonder if being owned by a police state will inhibit adoption.

Friday, March 17, 2006

This is not a PR crisis

It is a moral crisis with a PR dimension.

What is the difference between ASP’s and SaaS?

Application Service Provider
An ASP deploys, hosts and manages access to a packaged application to multiple parties from a centrally managed facility. The applications are delivered over networks on a subscription basis. This delivery model speeds implementation, minimizes the expenses and risks incurred across the application life cycle, and overcomes the chronic shortage of qualified technical personnel available in-house.

Software as a Service
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a model of software delivery where a company adopts specific activities that provide customers access to software alleviating that customer from the maintenance and daily technical operation and support of business and/or consumer software. SaaS is a model of software delivery rather than a market segment; software can be delivered using this method to any market segment including home consumers, small business, medium and large business.

Seems to be a lot of overlap between the terms. Did we just invent the term SaaS because so many ASP’s went broke?

Discretion is the better part of valor

Words of wisdom from Shahid:

Fellow bloggers: if you find someone on the Internet doing something that you don’t like, please don’t take it public until you’ve tried to resolve the issue privately. Regardless of how egregious you think the offense is, it’s possible that another fellow blogger or site manager may have a different opinion and is willing to rectify your complaint quickly and quietly. Always try and resolve the problem via private e-mail first, see what the response is, and then if you need help from the community to resolve your grievance even have some fellow bloggers send email to threaten action. If Dmitriy was approached properly, I think he would have changed the policy and posted about the policy change along with the reasons (requests from the community). It would have been quick and painless for everyone.

By making all grievances public it makes us bloggers look like we are a bunch of cry babies that throw tantrums; and, it makes it more difficult to be taken seriously. I talk to many PR people who are afraid of sharing things with us sometimes because they think nothing is private. When I was at HIMSS I was wearing a “I’m a blogger” button so that everyone knew I was a blogger. Many of them would immediately stop talking or carefully choosing their words as soon as they find out they were speaking to a blogger. I assured them that before I wrote anything about anyone I ask permission because it’s the right thing to do. The blogosphere is not a different world: regular rules of etiquette do apply.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Too small for venture investment?

Your company might be right for seed level investors.

Tips on presenting to seed investors.

Reporters are not our friends

With a great deal of trepidation, I am going to dissent with something Shel Holtz wrote:

Back when the Internet was just a government-funded computing project, effective media relations was all about building relationships with reporters. Sure, organizations sent press releases, but the real work went into Lexis-Nexis searches of a reporter’s articles, analysis of the reporter’s interests, and personal contact to discuss what you might be able to do for the reporter. The reporters who gave my companies the best coverage where those I had lunch with, contacted with leads that crossed my desk but had nothing to do with my client, got to know on a personal level.

When media relations responsibility was first handed to me, I called my friend Wilma Matthews—one of the best in the business—and asked for advice. “Your job,” she said, “is to make the reporter’s life easier.”

I agree with almost all of this. Certainly you want to read a reporter’s past work. Certainly you want to send reporters tips that will interest them, whether or not such tips involve your client. And it is most certainly our job to make it easy for a reporter to cover our clients and get the story on deadline.

Where I draw the line is being friends with reporters (as distinct from having friendly relationships). The public is best served if there is a certain creative friction between flacks and hacks. We each have our role in the ecosystem of public debate and we get into trouble if we become too chummy with one another.

Why companies survive

Trevor Cook points to this most important post from Allen Jenkins on why some companies survive and why others do not. It is tremendously important for reasons that go way beyond PR.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

When good people give bad advice, Tom Foremski edition

In an email from Bull Dog Reporter (no link) Tom Foremski was quoted on tips for pitching bloggers:

Treat bloggers like journalists—with these exceptions. “While bloggers shouldn’t be treated that differently, you do have to make the rules more clear,” Foremski says. “That includes being very specific about what you mean by things like ‘off the record,’ ‘on background’ and ‘embargoed.’ Make sure the definitions are very clear on both sides first.”

It is no secret that respect for the American press is at an all time low. The use of anonymous sources played a huge role in the degradation of our press.

More importantly, I don’t think we can live in freedom if we are incapable of speaking on the record. Our profession can go a long way to ending this evil practice if we so desire; but the Tom Foremski’s of this world need to do their part. Foremski needs to say, “If you want your ideas published in Silicon Valley Watcher, you have to go on the record.”

What is a political blog?

It is a little like pornography isn’t it? You know it when you see it.

Have you ever posted about politics on your blog? Have you ever mentioned a candidate for office favorably or otherwise? What was the value of that post? Would you want to file a monthly statement with the Federal Election Commission as political action committees are required to do? Or do you think your blog should receive the same exemption that news organizations receive?

What about your clients? Have they ever posted about politics? Do you want your clients’ blogs to be subject to FEC regulation?

Is On Tap a political blog? What about Wake Up Wal-Mart? Should they be required to file financial statements with the FEC?

FEC regulation of political blogs, assuming you could define them, opens up a nasty can of worms that can only harm blogosphere, our clients, and the First Amendment.

Daily Kos on HR 1606

Red State on HR 1606

First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Good customer service is the best PR

Poor customer service can get you into more trouble than ever.

On pitching bloggers, something to bear in mind


Who made me a gatekeeper? I don’t want that job.

Don’t send me more email pitches please. Don’t beg for me to try out your software. Don’t wait for me to blog about your company or your team or your product or you. That’s what comments here are for. You have direct access to anyone who is reading this post. Pitch in the comments! If your stuff is good, someone will try it out and say so. Maybe even me.

Shel Israel is to be thanked for this post since he wrote about how to pitch him. You know this world is getting nuts when even the ex-PR guys are getting pitched!

Blogging is authentic, and has power because of that, but the marketers have definitely arrived and now my inbox is full of people saying “pick me, pick me.”

This confirms my long held theory that we are better off pitching the low traffic blogs. I have developed this approach considerably since my 2005 presentation at the New Communications Forum. You are all invited to participate in PR University's Audio Conference where I will be discussing what I have learned.

Public CIO has a new website

From Nick Mudge we learn that Public CIO has redesigned their website.

Tomorrow at the DC XML Users Group

Welcome to the Washington Area SGML/XML Users Group

The next meeting of the Washington Area SGML/XML Users Group is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) at 2000 Florida Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20009-1277. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. and usually lasts approximately 2 hours. Parking is available across the street. If attending the meeting by Metro, get off the Dupont Circle stop.

Bob DuCharme
RDF: Store Metadata About Anything, Anywhere

Argyn Kuketayev

The 2006 bloggies

New Media Sense tells us that the 2006 bloggies have been announced. Congrats to all the winners.

Local BEA discussion group

Northern Virginia BEA User Group

Goal of NOVABUG is not only to serve as a conduit to bring BEA users together but also to increase awareness and provide know how of the latest feature and developments of BEA products. Several third party vendors will be invited to present there products at the meetings which will be organized every 2nd Tuesday of the month starting May 2003. Members on the board include J2EE application architects who have been presenting and teaching J2EE technologies in and around Maryland Northern Virginia area.

This is the Yahoo group for the Northern Virginia BEA dev2dev User Group. Meeting schedules, presentations, and other items of interest to our members are posted here.

Agility With Assurance & An Introduction to JAAS

NoVA JUG Enterprise SIG meeting tonight

Tonight, 2006 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m, 11480 Commerce Park Drive, Reston , VA 20191

... Topic 1: Agility With Assurance

Agile methods such as eXtreme Programming focus on delivering tangible business value quickly, and adapting to evolving requirements. In this talk, agility will be examined from the perspective of assurance – that is, confidence that a delivered system will gracefully withstand the stresses or real-world usage, and instill confidence in those who use it, who operate it, who secure it, and who maintain it.

... Topic 2: An Introduction to Java Authentication and Authorization

There are a variety of ways in which developers can implement authentication and authorization in their applications. This session will provide a brief overview and demonstration of three such methods:

o Java 2 Security

o Tomcat Servlet Security

o Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS).

I am having car trouble and probably will not be able to go to this.

New to me local tech blog

Perspectives on Technology

Listen to Capulet

Flash and Email Do Not Mix

Monday, March 13, 2006

Government bonds hit further on rate jitters

David Turner in Tokyo, Joanna Chung in London and Richard Beales in New York, Financial Times

US Treasury prices fell, pushing yields towards last week’s highs. There was talk of “curve steepening” trades as two- and 10-year yields extended their gap.

By late trade, yields on two-year notes were off 1.3bp at 4.729 per cent and 10-year yields were up 0.4bp at 4.773 per cent.

A bad sign. A very bad sign.

Federal contracting and organizational conflicts of interest

John W. Chierichella, Washington Business Journal

Today, the burden is on the contractor to identify such conflicts and persuade the contracting officer that they can be adequately avoided and mitigated.

Dangerous corners of collision

OCI rules are designed to avoid unfair competitive advantage gained by unequal access to information or through the performance of conflicting roles in which the contractor's judgment might be biased or its objectivity impaired.

Some common OCI situations are:

- Unequal access to information. A contractor may perform services for the government that afford it access to the proprietary information of third parties, either directly or via access to source-selection sensitive information generated by the government. The recipient of such information should not be able to leverage it for its own advantage and to the disadvantage of the provider. Such OCIs are usually mitigated by way of a non-disclosure agreement between the companies that limits the uses to which the recipient may put the information.

- Biased judgment. One classic scenario is when a company is awarded a contract to develop a statement of work to be used in a future competitive acquisition; there may be an understandable tendency for that contractor to construct the statement around its products and capabilities.

Also getting attention in bid protests is when a contract calls for a systems engineering and technical assistance contractor to evaluate products developed or produced, or services provided, by itself, an affiliate or competitors. There may be a predisposition for that company to shade its evaluations to favor its products or services or its affiliates.

300 Million Americans Not Exposed

Or what private industry can learn from the feds.

Six Sigma projects and PR

PR Bytes

Among the key results from Part I of the survey – Six Sigma and Communication – was a very strong belief in the important role communication plays in Six Sigma. When asked if, "Communication is an essential element of a successful Six Sigma project," nine-tenths of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, with half of those strongly agreeing.

Respondents were also definitive when asked, "Clear, consistent communication is one of the primary keys to making sure your Six Sigma initiatives are working," 86% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, with 21% strongly agreeing. Likewise, 47% of those surveyed strongly agreed with the statement, "Interactivity, two-way
communication (dialogue, listening and feedback), is critical to the success of the Six Sigma process," with another 45% agreeing.

Responses to these questions demonstrated that the participants realized the manner in which they communicate has a direct effect upon the success of their Six Sigma projects. When asked, "What factors contribute the most to the success of a Six Sigma team?"more than two-thirds said that the "Project leader's ability to engage the team" was the number one factor. Two-thirds of respondents chose "The team's ability to work together," as another important factor and more than half valued the "team's ability to communicate".

I have attended many presentations at DC Spin. Almost all of them revolve around the human relations of process improvement, almost nothing about the technology in question. The more often I go, the more I am convinced that good technology has more to do with fostering cooperation than technical skill.

Six Sigma & Software Process Improvement


No, it's not what you are expecting

The Disco Blog

The endless complications of online PR

Who is the source? Who is the newsmaker? Who is the reporter? This just keeps getting more complicated.

Note to fellow flacks - scooping reporters on their own stories only works for amateur bloggers. You can only do that to a reporter once.

Have a sip of SODA

SODA stands for Service-Oriented Design of Applications.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

C++ Colin

Vik David points to the hugely entertaining Programmer Predilections which has dead on character, C++ Colin:

Colin is the local language bigot, whose language of preference is C++. He began programming in C, moved on to C++ when commercial forces threw the OO paradigm at him, and has been working in C++ ever since. Colin has watched the ascent of Java with a mixture of disdain and veiled jealousy. Initially, it was easy to defend C++ against criticisms from the Java camp, by pointing to C++'s superior performance. But with the growing speed of JVMs, this advantage has been lost. Now, most of the advantages that Colin claims for C++ are the same language features that Java enthusiasts see as disadvantages. Java developers (or, "Java weenies" as Colin is fond of calling them) point to automatic memory reclamation as an eliminator of a whole category of bugs that C++ developers must still contend with. Colin sees garbage collection as disempowering the programmer, referring to the random intrusion of garbage collection cycles as payback for those to lazy to free memory themselves. Java weenies consider the absence of multiple inheritence in Java an advantage because it avoids any confusion over the rules used to resolve inheritence of conflicting features; Colin sees it as an unforgivable limitation to effective and accurate domain modeling. Java weenies consider C++'s operator overloading to be an archaic syntax shortcut, rife with potential for error; Colin sees it as a concise and natural way to capture operations upon objects. Colin displays a certain bitterness, resulting from the dwindling variety of work available to him within the language domain he is comfortable with.

Reading this, do you get the feeling that Joel Spolsky might be C++ Colin?

This needed research?

Why Men Date Younger Women

Next up, why women are attracted to rich and powerful men.

Friday, March 10, 2006

From e.Republic, simply

Nick Mudge tells me that Government Technology has added a "Bookmark with" button to the top right of govtech stories.

They are on the news items on the hompage, on the GT Mag stories and Digital Communities stories.

It is marvelous what can happen when publications decide to make blogosphere their friend instead of picking a fight.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Non-Profit Blogging, Podcasting and Social Media


I was going to cover FOSE this week; but other obligations kept me away. This is why we need professional journalists. News gathering is time consuming. Doing it reliably, on deadline requires paid staff.

Links for reference:

DOD's work in health IT among projects recognized at FOSE

Technology for disaster response on display at FOSE

More from the FOSE floor: Search and storage

Financial Management Still a Challenge, Senate Employee Says

Making a federal case of open source

Lockheed's Stevens calls for culture shift

Document management hot at FOSE

HP Helps Federal Government Agencies Improve Security and IT Operations

From the FOSE floor: Streaming video and robots

DualCor Technologies to Showcase DualCor cPC at FOSE

IP addresses, operating systems, and security

Wilson P. Dizard III, Government Computer News

Terrorist organizations and other national enemies have launched bogus Web sites that mask their covert information or provide misleading information to users they identify as federal employees or agents, according to Lance Cottrell, founder and chief scientist at Anonymizer of San Diego.

The criminal and terrorist organizations also increasingly are blocking all traffic from North America or from Internet Protocol addresses that point back to users who rely on the English language, Cotrell told an educational seminar in Washington at the FOSE 2006 trade show’s Homeland Security Center yesterday. FOSE is sponsored by PostNewsweek Tech Media, the parent company of Government Computer News.

Among the risks of the terrorist cloaking practice are that the organizations can provide bogus passwords to covert meetings. By doing so they can pinpoint federal intelligence agents who attend the meetings, making them vulnerable to being kidnapped or becoming the unwitting carriers of false information, Cottrell said.

I am really sorry I missed that presentation.

Announcing Enterprise Architecture Conference Call for Papers

Enterprise Architecture 2006 Conference

September 11-13, 2006
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

Deadline for Abstract Submission is 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Wednesday, April 12, 2006.

... The FCW Media Group, producer of FCW Events and publisher of Federal Computer Week , is pleased to announce a Call for Participation for the 6th Enterprise Architecture Conference , to be held September 11-13, 2006 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. This is your opportunity to recommend session topics and speakers for consideration for this premier Enterprise Architecture event.

The Enterprise Architecture 2006 Conference and Exhibition will bring together more than 1,000 government professionals and their industry counterparts. This popular event attracts attendees who are planning, implementing, and evolving Enterprise Architectures across most federal government agencies. The EA 2006 Conference program will focus on practical, actionable, and meaningful strategies, technologies, and case studies for program managers and IT professionals. This event is recognized for offering a comprehensive program of the most pressing issues for government practitioners in this rapidly evolving field.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Anita Campbell is blogging RFID

I just stumbled across Anita Campbell's RFID Weblog. I know her from Small Business Trends, Global PR Blog Week and last year's New Communications Forum.

When does she sleep?

What's happening in RFID?

RFID Switchboard Calendar

Emergency dispatch, what went wrong?

Death Of 'NY Times' Reporter Still Inspires Questions Two Months Later

NEW YORK Exactly two months after veteran New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum was robbed and beaten in an attack that led to his death, questions remain about the care he received from emergency response workers in Washington, D.C.

But it is not just Rosenbaum's family looking for answers. At least two prominent journalists have written in the past few days about why Rosenbaum, struck in the head on the night of Jan. 6 and found bleeding and vomiting, was not given immediate medical priority, was not taken to the closest hospital, and was reportedly left on a hospital gurney for an hour before receiving attention.

Pot Kettle Black

I’m with Jim Horton, there is nothing nefarious about Wal-Mart reaching out to bloggers.

Last year, when I had the honor to present to the New Communications Forum there were several participants from Edelman. They seem to be doing exactly what I suggested, and very smoothly from the looks at it. I think the New York Times has a non-story.

John Wagner has a cautionary note.
Scoble asks, why don’t you just blog?

Monday, March 06, 2006

The new improved news release

Shel Holtz points to Todd Defren’s reformatted news release. Very promising, I would like to hear what my journalist readers think. I am using the term news release in deference to Stuart Bruce who is always reminding us that the emphasis is on news.

Congratulations Washington Post

New! PressThink's Blue Plate Special Launches. We Name the Top Blogging Newspapers in the U.S.

Number One is the Houston Chronicle, Number Two the Washington Post.

The Best Blogging Newspapers in the U.S. among the 100 largest by circulation.


From my interview with Ann McDaniel, VP of the Washington Post Corporation:

ALICE MARSHALL: How have blogs affected the news gathering process and editorial practice?

ANN L. MCDANIEL: Definitely. They are one more source of information for the public and readers. Since the sourcing on blogs is questionable at times, though, it is very important to evaluate and confirm it before reporting it.

ALICE MARSHALL: The Washington Post has begun to offer a few staff blogs. Will there be others? Can we look forward to staff blogs at your other media properties?


ALICE MARSHALL: Are you considering offering a registration-free RSS feed like The New York Times? Or offer a registration-free link generator for bloggers?

ANN L. MCDANIEL: : That’s up to the leadership at the newspaper and Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive.

ALICE MARSHALL: Does it surprise you which stories are picked up by bloggers? Or is it much as you would have predicted?

ANN L. MCDANIEL: : It seems to me there are blogs about virtually everything!

ALICE MARSHALL: Many bloggers have been harshly critical of both The Washington Post and Newsweek. Has the blogging phenomenon given you new respect for politicians and other newsmakers?

ANN L. MCDANIEL: : We’ve always respected politicians and newsmakers and we understand that being written about isn’t always fun. Like others, we hope commentary about us will be accurate and fair.

ALICE MARSHALL: Finally, what benefits do you see arising from the creative tension between bloggers and mainstream media?

ANN L. MCDANIEL: : The more information in the public arena, the better, as long as there are smart editors and reporters to confirm and assess it for readers.

Hass MS&L and blogs go to war

William M. Arkin, The Washington Post

Word comes from RL that the Army has hired PR firm Hass MS&L of Detroit to offer "exclusive editorial content" to blogs willing to run government propaganda.

The blog pitch letter seems very reasonable, not unlike ones I have sent out.

American Forces Information Service

U.S. Central Command officials here took notice and created a team to engage these writers and their electronic information forums.

"The main interest is to drive their readers to our site," Army Reserve Maj. Richard J. McNorton said. McNorton is CENTCOM's chief of engagement operations.

Anyone who wants a virtual voice can create a blog and share information with the online world. The ease with which bloggers spread information is what public affairs officials at CENTCOM saw when they created the blog team.

McNorton said the team contacts bloggers to inform the writers about any given topic that may have been posted on their site. This outreach effort enables the team to offer complete information to bloggers by inviting them to visit CENTCOM's Web site for news releases, data or imagery.

The team engages bloggers who are posting inaccurate or untrue information, as well as bloggers who are posting incomplete information. They extend a friendly invitation to all bloggers to visit the command's Web site.

I am withholding judgment; but I cannot say that I am optimistic.

More from the indispensable Jim Horton.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Darwin exhibit is in New York City

I went to see the Darwin exhibit today. The only problem is that I went to the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. It turns out that it is at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. It seems others have made the same mistake. I hope this post will save someone a trip.

Testify brother Holtz!

Shel Holtz:

In a recent interview with Eric Schwartzman, IT Conversations’ Doug Kaye referenced an old explanation of the Internet: It’s a dumb network. It just gets bits where they’re supposed to go. The telecommunications industry wants to turn it into a smart network by routing paid-for traffic through faster pipes than content that hasn’t paid for the privilege. I wrote about this last month and pointed to a must-read document by Doc Searls.

Today, Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden proposed legislation to keep the Net dumb. The goal was to ensure smaller startups couldn’t be pushed aside by larger ones (think Google or Yahoo) that could afford the access to the faster pipes.

A neutral net (Brother Holtz, neutral net is much more PR) is in the best interests of our industry. The carriers are proposing to degrade their present level of broadband service unless websites pay a premium. Our clients will have to pay extra just so their customers can access their websites easily. Does that sound like a good idea to you?

Net Neutrality vs. Net Neutering

Technology and DC Regional Emergency Response

From the FOSE conference:

The District of Columbia will detail a multifaceted series of programs designed to deliver enhanced emergency response services to the nation’s capitol. The programs include:

• The Wireless Accelerated Responder Network (WARN) is the nation’s first city-wide broadband wireless public safety network.

• The Spectrum Coalition for Public Safety is a national coalition of cities, states and public safety associations organized to secure additional spectrum in the 700 MHz range to support critical public safety wireless applications/


Robert LeGrande II
Deputy Chief Technology Officer
Office of the Chief Technology Officer
Government of the District of Columbia

Calvin Miller
Director, Citywide IT Security Program
Office of the Chief Technology Officer
Government of the District of Columbia

Barbara Childs-Pair, Director
DC Emergency Management Agency
Government of the District of Columbia

I am going to try to cover this next week.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Presto Vivace Blog, Live in Virtual Concert!

Blogger PR: The New Rules for Pitching, Tracking & Leveraging Your Relationships with Nontraditional Online Journalists

What to do when a blogger sandbags your company, news or CEO? What’s the smartest — and most fruitful — way to build long-term relationships with bloggers in your space? How can you best track what’s being said about you or your company online — and what are the “new rules” for reaching and influencing blogs read by the stakeholders you want to reach? Join Bulldog Reporter’s PR University for an exclusive panel of top media bloggers and the PR experts who successfully pitch them to earn the answers to these and many more critical questions designed to demystify the blogosphere. You’ll walk away with practical tools and tactics for successfully incorporating blog outreach into your communications strategy.
Your Presenters:

Shel Israel, Co-Author, “Naked Conversations”
Alice Marie Marshall, Owner, Presto Vivace, Inc
Tom Foremski, Editor, Publisher, founder, Silicon Valley Watcher
Jeremy Pepper, Group Manager and Online Communications Specialist, Weber Shandwick

Highly recommended for those who did not get to hang out with the cool kids this week.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Demystifying Search Engine Optimization

Herndon Dulles Chamber of Commerce

Tues., March 14, 11:45 a.m.--1:30 p.m., at Sheraton Reston. Meg Walker of NetworkSolutions will impart the eight steps to getting your business found quickly on the Web by your target audiences--in other words, Demystifying Search Engine Optimization so you can become more profitable.

Sounds intriguing.

What an out of control prosecutor looks like

Helluva job! No really!

The Hattiesburg American reports that The Feds are prosecuting Forrest County, Mississippi Sheriff Billy McGee for commandeering two FEMA ice trucks and giving their contents to locals in the midst of the Katrina disaster, when FEMA was too bolloxed up to order it themselves.

A National Guard trooper tried to stop McGee; the sheriff handcuffed him. Perhaps that was a bit of an over-reaction. But, as one fire chief told the paper, "We had diabetic people who hadn't been able to put their insulin on ice for three days."

Who would you want serving your community after its next disaster, McGee or the guardsman?

This will reelect him for the rest of his life.