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Saturday, May 30, 2009

NaBloPoMo Feed for June


If your blog has been in the NaBloPoMo Collective Feed in the past, you may notice it's no longer appearing there. Here's the list of the blogs currently on the list -- if your blog expired, your posts aren't showing up anymore.

Showname feedURL Website Update Expires
360 Degree Nepal 02/18/09 04/04/09
A Year of Pix 04/28/09 06/12/09
Carma Sez 01/30/09 03/16/09
Changeling Turkey 03/21/09 05/05/09
Curlytails and Tights 04/01/09 05/16/09
Good Buy Gal 04/22/09 06/06/09
Here's What I Don't Get 03/23/09 05/07/09
JannaBee 03/24/09 05/08/09
Left Coast Cowboys 04/28/09 06/12/09
Lucy's Life 05/30/09 07/14/09
Make a Note 04/21/09 06/05/09
Marta's 05/31/09 07/15/09
Notes from Hades 02/03/09 03/20/09
Personal Pen 03/05/09 04/19/09
Suddenly Routine 05/05/09 06/19/09
Talkin' with Teenie 01/30/09 03/16/09
The Obnoxious SAHM 02/28/09 04/14/09
this ain't livin' 05/02/09 06/16/09
writer's flow 04/01/09 05/16/09

If you're trying NaBloPoMo once again (or for the first time), let me know so I can add or update your entry.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The true meaning of Social Media

"Social Media?  Well, ya got yer Social, and, um, ya got her Media..."

In some recent conversations, I've been struck by definitions of Social Media that make misleading assumptions.  I don't accept one can determine the meaning of the term without acknowledging the sources, the etymology of this compound term.

The Social aspect of Social Media, considered alone, is not essentially different from previous social environments on the Internet and prior to the Internet's prevalence.  The conversation is the same as the conversations that even now continue in other Web forums.  It is the same as conversations that proceed in email discussion forums, some hosted on private email servers, some on semi-public, free services like Yahoo Groups or Google Groups.

It is the same as conversations that have gone on for years on Usenet, the Internet's original venue for public conversation.  It is the same as the forums on Compuserve or the original America Online, and the same as the communities we formed in BBS forums back in the day.  This is not to devalue these groups.  Quite the contrary; I spent over a decade involved with a social group first formed in a BBS network forum, then moved to Yahoo Groups when the BBS nets went dark.  I still value those old friendships.

Likewise, I don't think one can define Social Media assuming that the Media element, considered alone, is substantially different from what we've taken to calling Old Media.  Podcasting, Vidcasting, audio and video streaming, are by themselves all broadcast media.  They have been made easier to create, so there are more people -- including myself -- creating these media.  That ease of creation, and variety of creators, is what defines it as New Media.  But without the socialization and discussion, it's not so very different from the Old Media.  By itself, is still essentially the same, and the term Media in Social Media is present because it is comparable to radio, television, or any other broadcast medium.

The Medium in Social Media is only different in that, and to the extent that, it is allowed to be motivated, moderated and driven by the content of the Social conversation more or less attached to that Medium.  Likewise, the Social conversation in Social Media is only different in that, and to the extent that, it is allowed to be
motivated, moderated and driven by the content of the Media content more or less attached to that conversation.

I host and produce several New Media programs, including two podcasts, and podcast serializations of five different novels.  There is very little conversation associated with any of these Media.  I'm essentially broadcasting them -- to fair-sized audiences, granted -- but without any conversation with which to interact.  So my podcasts are to all intents and purposes New Media, but not particularly Social Media.  They could be.  They simply aren't, or aren't much.

I would wish that those who choose to discuss the nature of Social Media remember those roots, and not let that topical conversation become muddled due to forgetfulness.

What other conclusions could I take away from this?  That "talk radio," even using old-school non-Internet broadcast technologies, is still Social Media, for one.   That the "Letters to the Editor" section in a local newspaper might well be more "Social Media" than any podcast.

For another, a Social Media production does not require a conversation exclusively its own.  At least one of the podcasts I listen to is deliberately derived from a previously-existing Yahoo Group.  And a New Media production could choose to be driven by another, existing conversation, if one does not spontaneously arise from the production itself, and still be Social Media to an extent.  A Social conversation could arise, driven by an existing production (see "fan-based") but not directly influencing the content of that production, and still qualify somewhat as Social Media.  The Social is still Social, the Media is still Media.

In an ideal world, the "Social" and the "Media" are equal partners.  But that's a goal to be achieved, not a rule to live by.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The way I do stuff, and why it's changing

I've gotten into a pattern, with the podcasts at least, not with this blog.

I record a Grizzly's Growls on Sunday for release Monday morning.  I record a whole slew of Hiber-Nations at once, scheduled out in advance so they drop each Thursday.  When I record each Hiber-Nation episode, I re-engineer it at the same time to be a Podiobooks episode.  Continuing content in a consistent format.  Mostly.

This week I recorded Grizzly's Growls live on BlogTalkRadio.  It was on a topic I'd never pursued, with a whole panel of folks.  It was kinda fun.  Lots of stuff going on at once, though I missed a lot of events in the show because I was trying to juggle all the technical stuff.  Had a lady in the chatroom actually ask a question -- and since I was busy also trying to participate in the discussion, I missed her question completely.  Over all, it went well, and I think the invited panelists enjoyed it, and parhaps there'll be a bit of Buzz in the PR community from whence they came, at least.

Decided, because I can, to do a live  BTR show every other Sunday.  I really need the practice with this talk radio-style stuff.  I even need practice at talking to other people.  I don't do that much anymore.  I never was good at it, but making GG on BTR a regularly scheduled event would serve that purpose.  And makiing the BTR version every other Sunday removes the stress of BTR as a requirement till I feel equipped to handle it better.

Don't know if I could arrange panels or interviews every week.  Don't think I really know that many people who'd want to participate.  But what I can do, since I write my regular Grizzly's Growls segments in advance, is open the BTR show, and record the regular, pre-written segments while streaming them live.  I can upload the music and promos before the hour, and plug them into the stream at the appropriate time points, so listening to the stream is very like listening to the regular, recorded show.  And if there are, by some miracle, call-ins or guests or whatever, I can field them between segments.  I might have to edit the BTR version down to the usual 20 minutes for the regular feed, but that's a good problem to have.

That means, since the Zoom H2 will be running as a USB mike rather than a recorder, I'll have to work from whatever recording Callburner decides to hand me.  This could be a problem, given for show 100, Callburner decided to record nothing whatsoever.  I'll need a working and reliable backup recording option.  Last time, the BTR copy of the show, monaural and at no great bitrate, was my only workable backup.  For the Kimi Alexandre interview, the whole show was from a Callburner recording, two monaural files, one for each side of the "phone" conversation.  Much easier to edit, and significantly better quality.  So I know Callburner can do an hour-long file.  But I don't know why it didn't work last time, not for sure, anyway.

What do you think?  Does this seem like a reasonable plan?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Re: Career Step - Earn a referral bonus

Share my experiences -- like running out of money and not finishing
school, after spending a couple grand? Sure, why not. Let's share that
with the whole world.

It was 22 May 2009, when commented:

Do you have any family or friends in the military? They may be able to
receive free government funding to train with Career Step, and you can
earn $50 for referring them!
Share your Career Step experiences with your military friends and loved
ones! Career Step has just become an approved school with the Department
of Defense's MyCAA funding program, and your friends and family who are
military spouses can get a Career Step education for free if they qualify
for MyCAA funds. Your friends and family can train for a great new career
with all costs covered! Check out for
more details.
For sharing your great experiences and this fantastic opportunity, you'll
receive a $50 referral bonus for every one of your referrals who enrolls
with Career Step. That's $50 just for sharing your story and helping your
friends and loved ones get free training for a secure, portable career.
Send them to today!
Have someone in mind? Here are a few things you could tell them...
* Gain a secure career in the growing healthcare industry
* Find a real work-at-home career that's stationed wherever they are
* Earn extra income despite the economy
...and all of it can be free if they qualify for MyCAA funds; tell them to
visit today!--

grizzly at grizzlysgrowls dot com
Grizzly's Podcasts & Stories: <>
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Grizzly's Growls 100 !!!

Coming Soon, LIVE on BlogTalkRadio....

Upcoming Episodes

Date / Time: 5/24/2009 12:00 PM Central

10:00 am Pacific, 1:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm UK

Category: Podcasting

Call-in Number: (646) 716-4467

A round table of PR and non-PR podcasters, discussing how podcasters in general can benefit from PR; both techniques and knowledge, and participation in projects to benefit PR clients. Participants: Shel Holtz & Neville Hobson from the "For Immediate Release" podcast ( Terry Fallis, David Jones & Martin Waxman from the "Inside PR" podcast ( Host: David "Grizzly" Smith from the "Grizzly's Growls" family of podcasts (

Upcoming Episodes

5/31/2009 12:00 PM - Grizzly's Growls Live!

6/7/2009 12:00 PM - Grizzly's Growls Live!

6/14/2009 12:00 PM - Grizzly's Growls Live!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tax it to death?

Today, it seems the Minnesota Legislature is debating the legalization of marijuana, at least for medical use.  There are a number of arguments on both sides; I'd be leaning toward the side of legalization.

Just now it struck me, though, one option for legalization has been often brought up: legalize hemp, then tax it to death.  "But that would never work!"

Well, wait a minute, though.  We now have actual, experimental data that is, I think, entirely on point.  Essentially all 50 states have tried to do exactly that --  to tobacco.  It's legal to consume.  Sometimes it's hard to tell, but yeah, it's still not a crime to smoke a cigarette.

Is it working to keep tobacco legal, and tax it to death?  Certainly tobacco is heavily regulated.  In more and more places, cigarette smoking is treated like peeing in public; worse, since they provide public bathrooms.  And if you don't think smoking is being "taxed to death," you don't buy cigarettes in Minnesota.

Is it working?  I suspect it's working as well as deregulating any drug would work.  The casual smokers are quitting because it costs too much.  The Smokers with a capital S -- people like me, mostly older people, poorer people, military veterans and people of color -- aren't quitting, and are being steadily crushed into the dirt by the punitive taxes driven by the anti-smoking Aversion Fad.  Hating smokers is fashionable, and any abuse is acceptable, even admired.

If today's treatment of smokers is desirable, then it would be perfectly reasonable to apply the same techniques to marijuana, at least.  There are difficulties; many of the current growers are career criminals who just happen to have chosen marijuana as their specialty.  There'd be a year or two of transition -- I wonder if any of the current MJ growers might be the next Joe Kennedy...

Once it was legalized, the price would drop precipitously, and there'd likely be a boom in backyard growing, for that same couple of years.  Then, likely, some company like Archer-Daniels-Midland ("corn butcher to the world"), or one of the tobacco companies, would corner the mass-growing market, selling the fibers, and perhaps finding a way to produce ethanol from the waste.  As recently as World War II, hemp was a Vital Defense Resource or words to that effect.

And there'd be commercial producers for smoking, and Revenooers going after selling independents for tax money, nothing new there.  The market for automatic weapoons would likely fall off.  Hawaiian sugar cane fields might actually be used for growing sugar cane, of all things.

So, could it work?  Yeah, I think so?  Will anyone have the guts to try?

I doubt it.  Some folks just love Prohibition, the idiots.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Free PDF version of Nina Kimberly the Merciless

But wait, there's more!

------- Forwarded message follows -------
From: Christiana Ellis
Subject: [pbauthors] Free PDF version of Nina Kimberly the Merciless!

Hello again, everybody!

I posted about the videos, and then I posted about the audio promos, but
I've saved the best for last!

I now have available the free pdf version of the complete novel!

It feels like the run-up to all this has taken forever, but tomorrow, the
15th, is the big day!

If any of you would be willing to place the free pdf in your feeds or on
your websites, you would be doing me a huge favor, and I'm hoping that,
with all of your help, we can once again show that podcast fiction has the
power to make a difference out there in the new marketplace. :)

Thank you everyone, for your support, and I hope that I will soon have the
opportunity to return the favor for all of you!

Nina Kimberly the Merciless - Coming to print May 15th!
Available now at and!

------- End of forwarded message ---------

Promo Videos for May 15th launch of Nina Kimberly the Merciless

Just got this from Christiana Ellis. You may recall my review of "Nina
Kimberly the Merciless" back when I first discovered the Podiobooks
version. Check these out!

------- Forwarded message follows -------
From: Christiana Ellis
Subject: [pbauthors] Promo Videos for May 15th launch of Nina Kimberly the Merciless

Greetings and salutations, everyone!

You may or may not already be aware that my book, Nina Kimberly the
Merciless is coming to print on May 15th, 2009 from Dragon Moon Press.

As has become the thing to do, I´m planning an Amazon run for the 15th,
which is this Friday. To help promote this event, I have created a pair of
video promos!

Nina Kimberly Promo Video Part 1

(YouTube Page

Nina Kimberly Promo Video Part 2
(YouTube Page

Come tomorrow, I will also have an audio promo, but the videos were ready
first, so here they are.

I hope that everyone will take a look at the videos and if you feel moved
to do so, please help me to spread the word about the launch and the
videos. Feel free to talk about the videos, include them in your own
blog about them, link or embed the YouTube versions...

Anything and everything you can do to help me promote this launch is loved
and appreciated. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions,
let me know, but I can´t wait for Friday. Thank you all in advance!

Nina Kimberly the Merciless - Coming to print May 15th!
Available now at and!

------- End of forwarded message ---------

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quitting Twitter -- UPDATE!

I've decided to quit Twitter.

It's a massive timesink. And now they've taken away the fun part of Twitter -- finding new people. All the stuff I can do without what they removed, I could do via email -- sending and receiving messages from people I already know.

Buh-bye now, Twitter. Say hi to WordPerfect, dBase III and DOS when you get to the boneyard. You've made yourself obsolete.


Or maybe not. Maybe they'll actually fix this?

Twitter Blog: We Learned A Lot

Monday, May 11, 2009


Hi there. There's something I need to say to the administation of Lake Superior College in Duluth Minnesota. Just up the road from me, in fact.

I had planned to enroll in a program at your school.

I've been smoking for the past 30 years, longer than many of your students and some of your teachers have been out of diapers. I have no plans to quit.

Since I would be treated as a criminal at Lake Superior College, due to a ban on smoking anywhere on College property, indoors or outdoors -- as of August 24, the day before my 51st birthday -- it appears I won't be attending school there. Damn shame, too. There's a program I'd get some good out of.

I'm sure the administration will have no trouble imposing the rule, since most smokers are older, low-income people, and usually people of color. (I manage two out of three.) And this from a College that purports to teach adults? I think your administration must be overpopulated with former K-12 teachers & such.

I'm perfectly willing to compromise. I'll accept the ban on smoking anywhere on campus, as long as they apply the same ban to the equally dangerous operation of petroleum powered internal combustion engines anywhere on campus. Don't they still have programs wherein they -require- such operation inside the building? Doesn't that fail to provide for a safe and healthful school environment, even moreso considering the use of dangerous accelerant chemicals like gasoline?

Legislating morality never works. You just turn law-abiding people who aren't like you, into outlaws who don't like you.

As I will not let you make me an outlaw, and refuse to be treated like one, you won't be seeing me there. As I said, a damn shame, too.

But hey, you want to accept my reasonable compromise about the policy, we can talk.



grizzly at grizzlysgrowls dot com
Grizzly's Podcasts & Stories: <>
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I blame myself

My Bigtime Author friend Seth Harwood just mentioned on Twitter that there's an article about him and the big success of his novel "Jack Wakes Up" on the cover of the Boston Globe! Pretty impressive, I think. I listened to his first four books back before he was famous.

In fact, his current success is almost entirely due to my having reviewed his books on my podcast.

Of course, there's that Being A Really Good Writer business, which I suppose is important, too.

Congrats on the that whole success thing, Seth. Don't forget us little people. ;-)


Episode Zero -- A Minor Local Celebrity

With "Meditation Impromptu" by Kevin MacLeod Originally posted to Libsyn under my original setup around 02/2007.  When I ran out ...