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Archive for May, 2005


by henrycopeland
Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

The new ad for Camille Paglia’s book about poetry is one of the best blogads yet.

Great image. Fun text. Best of all, links into the blogosphere… real people who give a darn about the book and its author. Blogad author: Farah Miller at Pantheon. Here’s the image, but don’t miss the text, which is where the real fun is.


There’s some post-modern intertextual polymorphic joy (not forgetting that Paglia hates post-modernism) in the fact that Paglia’s publisher bought an ad on Anne Althouse’s blog quoting an Althouse post that quoted Paglia saying: “Once you’re ‘swept up in the blogosphere,’ you become self-referential.”

Hey, you can have fun with advertising! Let’s get out of the stiff and starched print-it-once-a-month-and-pray-that-someone-reads-it mentality. This Paglia ad is a wonderful respite from book blogads with blurry images sporting mumbling unreadable text, the bain of my existence.


by henrycopeland
Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

After driving past a church sign proclaiming “If evolution is true, Jesus is a liar,” we found nearly 100 fossil shark teeth Saturday in Aurora. We found one like this Great White that was probably 4 centimeters tall… not one of the 20 centimeter giants, but our best find yet.


Then to Topsail beach, where we built sand castles, tossed wet tennis balls, flash-light stalked sprinting crabs, found 100s of tiny pink, purple and yellow clams (?).


by henrycopeland
Friday, May 27th, 2005

Heading to the beach for the long weekend. With luck, we’ll stop here tomorrow to claw out a few shark’s teeth.


by henrycopeland
Friday, May 27th, 2005

Nice coverage of blogad mininetworks by Juan Cole in CNET. (One correction to note: the liberal network is doing a million impressions a day.) Will advertising ruin blogs?

But because with blogging the price of entry is so low, you can never have ownership consolidation. It will always be a distributed medium and therefore very difficult to control. If professional bloggers emerged who came to be unduly beholden to their advertisers and started not covering certain stories or spinning them for the sake of their sponsors, other nonprofessional bloggers would just step into the breach. If corporate media bought up a few big bloggers, they would still have to compete against literally millions of independents. And if any of the independents were providing what the audience wanted better, the traffic would shift to them. In the world of blogging, any form of censorship actually creates opportunities for those immune to it.

Technical limitations and expense make it almost impossible for anyone now to start up a new 24-hour-a-day news channel. But anyone can start a blog. I expect journalist cooperatives (both professional and amateur) to emerge over time and do podcasting, and eventually Webcasting with video, finally breaking the current semimonopoly of broadcast news.

Le Monde: Blogads est devenu ‘la’ reference

by henrycopeland
Thursday, May 26th, 2005

Eric Kuhn writes with news that Blogads was on the cover of Le Monde, France’s leading daily, yesterday in an article titled “La blogosphère contre les médias.”

Blogads est devenu “la” référence, en proposant aux internautes américains d’abriter leur blog. En contrepartie, Blogads leur reverse une part des recettes qu’il reçoit des annonceurs monnayant leur présence sur ces blogs.

Blogads ne cache pas ses intentions. Auprès de ses clients (Paramount Pictures, The Wall Street Journal, Oxford University Press), il insiste sur le fait que l’univers des blogs est le plus sûr moyen de “courtiser les activistes et les leaders d’opinion que les médias traditionnels ne touchent pas.”

Funnily enough, Blogads was born in Paris, where I was living and trying to talk French and English newspapers into publishing online. Blogads went public three years ago on Saturday.

BW blogging

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

Don’t know about you, but I’m enjoying Heather Green and Stephen Baker’s blogging at Business Week. Heather did something too few bloggers yet have the courage to do, calling up Jeff Jarvis and asking him about his leap into the moonlight. Well-timed soundings along the fault-line of change are fun. Let’s all do it more! (In a month it will be interesting to see how well Heather and Steve’s blogging maps to (or disrupts) their normal editorial schedule… maybe I’ll do that interview.)

Meanwhile, some miles back from the battle front (or ahead of it?) NYT just announced “targeted staff reductions” of 190 staff. Roughly 20 of those jobs will be in the newsroom. In editor Bill Keller’s odd phrasing, “In each of these cases, the position would disappear with the person.” Suggests a chilling trajectory for the whole industry?


by henrycopeland
Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

A fitful but amusing night of sleep. I awoke with a whole bunch of lingering procedural challenges solved, whamo, and a distinct memory of laughing hysterically throughout my last dream. Let’s have more nights like that, please!

The walk to school was wreathed by the smell of honeysuckle.

Though I enjoyed Sith, I also loved Anthony Lane’s review, best summed up in his Yoddaesque burl: “Break me a fucking give.”

Other choice slams: “The general opinion of ‘Revenge of the Sith’ seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, ‘The Phantom Menace’ and ‘Attack of the Clones.’ True, but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion.” Or “What can you say about a civilization where people zip from one solar system to the next as if they were changing their socks but where a woman fails to register for an ultrasound, and thus to realize that she is carrying twins until she is about to give birth?”

Bloomberg unblogged

by henrycopeland
Monday, May 23rd, 2005

Scott Sala gives Mayor Bloomberg a friendly poke in the ribs for ignoring, to date, blog advertising.

Jarvis jumps

by henrycopeland
Friday, May 20th, 2005

Jeff Jarvis, my go to man for news from the front line in the war between blogging and conventional publishing, quits his job today as online chief at traditional publisher Advance. He’s going to continue walking the line, working with the NYT and a start-up conceived by Upendra Shardanand, a very early buyer of blogads.

Speaking of the bloggers versus journalists, I had an interesting conversation with a traditional publisher earlier this afternoon. He’d just spent a few days around a bunch of bloggers. He told me he was fascinated by the fact that bloggers are obsessed with their traffic/readers/feedback, while most traditional journalists are obstinately oblivious to their readers.

Seems pretty obvious the folks focused on their customers would outpace those who aren’t, right?

New York recap

by henrycopeland
Friday, May 20th, 2005

New York was exhausting. I had breakfast at the soon-to-be-shuttered HoJo on 44th street, where Gene Hackman once worked as maitre’d and Lili Tomlin waitressed. When I asked about the closing next month, Hackman’s successor at the cash register said the owners were making a mistake giving up on the restaurant. “If someone can’t make the business here, they can’t make it anywhere in the world.” Unfortunately, that’s exactly the problem:

The restaurant and the land it sits on, a prime site on the northwest corner of 46th Street and Broadway, was recently sold for “more than $100 million” by longtime owner Kenneth Rubinstein to Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Acquisitions. Sutton plans to flatten the four-story edifice and replace it with a gleaming new retail outlet.

The Howard Johnson’s was built in 1955 and is the oldest, continually operated business facing directly on Times Square. Its squat dimensions once fit in nicely with the low-scale, slightly down-at-heel architecture that for a long time characterized the area. But the real estate revival of the late 1990s saw it dwarfed by glass towers and glossy stores like Toys ‘R’ Us and the Virgin Megastore. Increasingly, the venerable old institution looked like an anachronism.

My favorite line from the two conferences I attended came from Doc Searles. “The demand side supplies itself.” Which is to say that, increasingly, people solve their own problems and build their technology without recourse to the mass-market corporate Rube Goldberg machine. This can be t-shirt peddlers, musicians, authors, software entrepreneurs…

I got a real charge out of Thom Pain (based on nothing), directed by my Beatles-bootleg buddy Hal Brooks. Someone else in the front row, who had been fidgetting briefly with business cards, got the “I hate the way you breath” speech. Full in the face, I got:

What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? That’s easy. You’d be brave and true and reckless. You would love life and people with wild and new abandon’What if you only had forty years? What would you do? If you’ re like me, and, no offense, but you probably are, you wouldn’t do anything. It’s sad isn’t it?

Good questions, which I hope I’m answering well.

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