Friday, February 25, 2005

Blog Break!

I am going to be away from computers for a few days as we go off on a short getaway. Even bloggers have to stop and smell the flowers.

Flowers at SJSU

Special thanks to Alphaprof Dennis Dunleay who, after seing the photos I have been posting, said, "you can still shoot!" That really meant a lot to me.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Richard Craig, tablets and great co-workers

Richard Craig, another Journalism Prof doing great stuff!
Keep an eye on what professor Craig is doing. Professor Craig just returned from the Poynter Institute's "Convergence for College Educators." Next week he is putting on a presentation to Journalism Department faculty on the trip and will be speaking about tablet computing.

Professor Craig is the advisor to the university newspaper The Spartan Daily. Craig is working with MIS Professor Malu Roldan, they will be equipping two Spartan Daily reporters with tablet computers. Tablet computers are increasingly being seen as a killer platform for the education market.

What does Apple, the company that considers education its home turf, think of all this? According to an un-named friend who works at Apple, the company has looked at tablet computers and decided there is no market for them. I told him, in my opinion they are leaving money on the table and if Microsoft gets smart they can eat Apple's lunch. As for me, I am a reverse switcher. I am now using a tablet running XP Tablet Edition. It rocks.

Great folks to work with
Here is one of my colleagues. Jason Ferguson is a very hard working guy and he is here long into the night. I really enjoy working with Jason and the other fine folks in my department.

Jason Ferguson

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The joy of photography

Break Dancer

Break Dancer at SJSU
Henri Cartier-Bresson called it "the decisive moment." It is that moment when time, motion and objects come together. It is that moment, and only that moment, when the picture happens and the shutter has to click. The thing I hated most about my old, cheap digital camera is it had shutter lag. It was almost impossible for me to get "the picture." I was almost always missing the decisive moment. My film cameras are responsive, my old digital camera was not. This new Nikon is incredible. It has a shutter lag of 36 milliseconds. It is, for all intents, instantaneous. It is magic.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Loving it!

During my breaks today I have been taking pictures. The university is such a great place to wander with a camera. The new Nikon is great, I love using it. Working with RAW files [ What is "Camera Raw"? ] is really amazing. I really appreciate the input from Bob Bain and Dennis Dunleavy in selecting this camera. Today I made this photo of an approaching storm.

Thunderhead over SJSU

I made the leap to (serious) digital photography

New D2H Nikon
After promising to sell a body part to pay for it I have made the leap into serious digital photography by buying a Nikon D2H. This is one gorgeous camera! It came with tons of documentation and software, most of which I would have gladly let them keep for a lower price tag. I can hardly wait to start shooting with it.

Monday, February 21, 2005

One sharp communicator, Renee Blodgett

Renee Blodgett gets it! She is a great communicator and an uber marketer, she is a real nice person and is the person I would want to represent me if I was introducing a new product or service. You want to see some new great technology that may be impacting our future? Then read this write-up of hers reflecting on last week's Demo event.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Taking the leap to digital

Making the leap, this is big (for me)
When I go to the Geek Dinners I get laughs when I shoot with my film cameras. Those days may be over. I am on the edge of doing something truly life changing. I am on the edge of getting a real serious digital camera. I am on the edge of getting a Nikon D2H. I went and looked at one yesterday at Keeble and Shuccat photography yesterday and fell in instant love, also their price matched NY price. This is an amazing piece of equipment and it works with all my lenses! The "old D2H" is being cleared out for about $2,000. This is a serious camera, rugged and a fine picture taker! The next amazing thing is how little I can get for my film cameras. Good used Hasselblads are way less than a grand and I saw a fully configured used F4 with motor for $500. This is amazing, people are abandoning film in droves. As the market for film shrinks the prices for film will shrink, then explode as usable inventory disappears and it becomes a boutique item. At least, that is what happened with movie film after video took over. I can't help but feel sad when I think of all the happy memories and wonderful pictures I have taken with my film cameras, but I want this camera, I will miss going into the darkroom. Maybe I can get a digital back for my Hassie, someday.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Thursday, February 17, 2005

A personal grassroots journalism project

I guess I have started a grassroots journalism project. Years ago I served several terms as union president in the staff employees union at San Jose State. Lately I have seen some developments in the union I am very disturbed about. So, I have started this blog to voice those concerns, and to start a conversation on the subject.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Feeddemon 1.5 released, NetNewsWire 2.0 and Demo!

Please check out this post by Nick Bradbury. It is about the most recent release of FeedDemon, and it looks like a great tool for folks using PC's to deal with a lot of RSS content. For Mac users the new version of NetNewsWire looks fantastic.

On a different subject, you just gotta check out what is happening at Demo! Man, am I jealous! Renee Blodgett is blogging live and lively from down there and I am sitting here in the rain watching her have all the fun.
As my mother-in-law would say, Fooey!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Other bloggers blogging on Scoble SJSU visit

Elisa Camahort was at the Scoble dinner and the party after. In this blog, called the worker bees blog, and her personal blog, she reported on and made some interesting observations on the SJSU Robert Scoble event and the Geek dinner after. I was too busy to take such good notes, so I really appreciate hers, and her comments! She even took this photo that had me in it. I'm the dufus with the tie!

Group at geek dinner!

Meanwhile, Alpha-Prof Dennis Dunleavy has been doing some great stuff developing the conversation on his journalism specific blog. Last, if you are interested in some personal memories related to my friendship with Robert and his early days at SJSU as a Pup-Geek, those are here.

The SJSU visit was like tweeking a tuning fork, you can still feel the vibes long after.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Scoble talk in words and pictures

Robert Scoble in Spartan Daily

[ Robert at SJSU! more pictures here! ]

When Robert Scoble comes to visit, go! If you are busy, change your plans so you are not busy (if you can.) Go not just to see Robert. Go to see the people who go to see Robert! I met Buzz and Renee thanks to Robert. Dori I met at OSXCON, then she showed up at a Scoble Geek Dinner. Dori and I connected at OSXCON on cats, (we both have cats named Pixel: [ Hers ] [ Mine ].)

I have met other great people too. Tantek, Mike, Tom, Steve Gillmor and many more. Scoble visits are a great place to meet folks, network, get new ideas and learn new things.

Each time I go to a Geek Dinner it results in a leap for me of knowledge, thought and ideas.

I think one of the neatest things about this medium, (and events and the folks who do this) is not only can you have a conversation when you all blog but conversations trigger other conversations that lead to new ideas and new connections and it all happens and gets recorded and is serarchable and creates data to be manipulated, stored, rearranged and explored in ways not imagined as the information is being created. I love it.

Also, I have thought a lot about Robert's post about my post and, yes Bob is right. You have to consider there are always limits and we all have to decide what those limits are and pay the consequences if we are wrong. Yes, you have to blog smart! If I write a story revealing personal information about my own life that may be legally and ethically okay, but if I write about a person who is not a public figure and violate their privacy, it is not legally and ethically okay. Law and ethics always limit what I say. If I were to say something bad about my boss, I had better be prepared for consequences. Consequences like retribution happens! I admire those who are courageous enough to let their emotions show and be so human in an Internet that caches your content. Worse things can happen than getting fired, too. If I were a member of a corrupt union, and blogged about it, there could be even more dire consequences than blogging about my boss.

Any time you engage in a conversation with one or more person, even if you just use good old fashioned speech, you have to be smart. It is like the classic "you can't yell fire in a crowded theater," you have responsibility for what you say. If Mark Jen had said what he said to bunch of people in a bar after a bunch of beers, and one of the folks there had known his boss, the outcome may have been the same.

Never say never, but I obviously am not a corporate blogger. I work for the state at a university that I love, but if I just wanted to do an 8-hour day and collect my pay, I could. But, that just sounds so boring and I am having fun. But no, I do not have as much at stake as Robert or Mark. But then, neither will I ever have my own fan club! That's okay, perhaps my tombstone will someday say, here lay Steve Sloan, former boss.

What a hoot!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Heart, work and blogs

This post of Bob's surprised me. As anybody who has read my blog knows I have nothing but admiration for Robert Scoble. I would link to if he worked in a gas station, because he is a long time friend and he has great things to say! Last night we saw the "famous" Mark Jen, the guy who got fired from Google for what he blogged. Robert said:'s not generally accepted to talk about personal details like salary (and I can think of a whole raft of such issues like religion, sexual orientation, political persuasion, personal lifestyles, etc) in public spaces.

 I have learned a lot from Robert, but this is not something I agree with. Salary yes, that is information that is part of the confidential relationship between you and your boss. The other stuff no! Your blog is not the work break room, it is not a work site meeting room! I posted this reply to his blog:

If personal branding means I have to stop speaking about my opinions on politics, love/sex/relationships (after all that is what sexual orientation is about) and/or religion then I would rather not blog. If blogging is about creating relationships and/or having conversations, what is the point if so much is off the table?
My blog is a channel, like the TV, folks are free to turn it off.

 Is getting an audience so important that we gotta be our own censors? If we can't go to the window and yell out, "I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore." Then, we have let our bosses become Big Brother. Man, that is Google Juice I don't want to drink.

I have been worried that I may be copping out by not posting all my posts about personal topics? I have been concerned about things I feel are injustices and yet I have been holding back my opinions for fear of causing the kind of effect Buzz Bruggeman talked about when, on Thursday, he talked about a person commenting to his blog that he liked what Buzz had to say about tech, but disagreed with his political beliefs, and was going to pray for him. I think that is in Gillmor's book. If a person refuses to do business with me because of my politics or what I say about religion, etc., to heck with them!

Bruggeman is a great guy, a fantastic story teller, a communicator who has lots of professional and personal things to say. Buzz talks about his holiday depression. One of the most moving posts I have ever read is this one by Dori Smith.

Robert, I know you mentioned last night about Dori being an inspiration of yours, I agree, what Dori wrote here inspired me. It starts out with this:

Thirty years ago today, I tried to kill myself. I took what I was later told was 2-3 the number of Tuinals required. Obviously, I lived, but every November 3rd I try to take stock of my life and think about its quality, and particularly so on the five and ten year anniversaries.

I think weblogs are more than the establishment of a personal brand, more than what happens at work. When we go home and talk about religion to our friends that is a personal conversation. When we blog we are having a personal conversation with the world. Yes we may be talking about what we do for a living. I believe we need to be passionate about work, but we are also passionate about the rest of life and the people in our lives. I loved this post by Renee Blodgett.

I took a long, long walk today on the beach alone and on the way back to the house, picked a colorful batch of wild flowers. As simple as it sounds, it was the best thing I've done in a month.

That said a lot to me about how much we can miss if we don't take a break to enjoy life. I think we need to pick flowers as well as work. And if we are mad as hell and we want to blog about it, our blog is our window to yell out of.

In my opinion blogging (including videoblogging and podcasting) is this, it is all Robert talked about at SJSU and it is more. To me blogging is a giant collaborative cultural auto-biography written in real time by the subjects of the story. We all get to write and link our life stories. This is something truly and absolutely new to the human experience.

Let's do a blug at SJSU

On my own time, off the state's dime, I want to do a blogger's user group here at SJSU. I would like us to get together, provide mutual support for and invite folks to speak to the people who are members of the SJSU community who are interested in webblogging.

So, let's do a blug! We could be blug bloggers.

Please comment here, or email me at if you are interested.

Blog Full Disclosure Statement

Dear Blogosphere:

One of the topics of conversation that came up in last night's great Geek Dinner with Robert Scoble is how a person presents his or herself and establishes a virtual identity with blogs. Should a person have one weblog where all thoughts, opinions, passions and ideas are presented? Or, should a person divide their blogs into categorys that can be viewed as a whole or by category? Or, should they have separate blogs for different parts of their lives?

I went the different blog route. I do not want folks to have to sift through what to them may seem like noise to get to the content (the signal) that they want. Also, I do not want folks to be turned off on what I present on one topic because they disagree with an unrelated opinion.

The down side is I may not be presenting an honest digital identity of who I am. So, for the sake of honesty and full disclosure, here it all is:

My Family Weblog
This where I chronicle my family and personal life. This is a digital journal of the folks who are nearest and dearest to me.
My Geek Blog
This is where I write about my work and passion for emerging technology in higher education.
The Edupodder Blog
This is where is host content specific to podcasting in higher education and content related to the sessions I teach in the Center for Faculty Development and Support at SJSU. This often crosses over with my Geek Blog. I am concerned that dual posting between this and my Geek Blog may happen too often and may dilute the topic conversations on each.
The Black and Blue Blog
This is where you can read bicycle news and information related to the bike club I am active in, the Almaden Cycle Touring Club. I am the publisher of their monthly newsletter and I use this blog as a club news source and a place to coordinate production of that newsletter.
My Opinion Blog
This is where I hide my opinions of everything from movies and wine to politics, religion and relationships. If you disagree, I respect your opinion.

So, there it is Blogosphere, that is who I am. For the sake of full disclosure, I am posting this to all my blogs!


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Robert Scoble coming to SJSU on Thursday!

Thursday's at SJSU is an exciting weblogging session facilitated by Robert Scoble.

Scoble is the Microsoft, Technical Evangelist for the US .NET Platform Strategy. He is a very much in demand speaker. His coming to our campus is very special. The session is free and being offered this Thursday from 2:30 to 4:00 in Room 225/227 of the Martin Luther King Library at San Jose State University in San Jose.

Robert Scoble graduated from SJSU 14 years ago with a Journalism degree and he has gone on to great things. He is on the leading edge of what Dan Gillmor, in his book "We the media," calls new media. In his book, Gillmor speaks highly of Scoble.

Scoble is a prolific and popular weblogger and is widely credited for putting a human face on Microsoft.

He will be speaking on the same subject he discussed at the recent Blogger Business Summit
Into the blogosphere: Why blogging changes the way people communicate is the title of his presentation. Simply put, Blogs are eating the lunch of many traditionally architected Web sites. In terms of reach, influence, cost and convenience, the advantages are indisputable and significant. For those still building sites the 'old' way, this hour will reveal why the future belongs to Bloggers. Robert Scoble, who FastCompany Magazine claims "may well be one of the most powerful people in Redmond" has helped shape Microsoft's blogging strategy, and has advised Bill Gates on the market opportunities. Robert will reveal why this new architecture rules and how to take full advantage of it.

This session is co-sponsored by the SJSU Center for Faculty Development and Support and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Please RSVP to Dennis Dunleavy, Assistant Professor, Journalism and Mass Communications, (408) 924-3245 or Steve Sloan, IT Consultant, Academic Technology (408) 924-2374. Dunleavy and Sloan are the contacts for this event.

Scoble's weblog is here:

Monday, February 07, 2005

Four minutes about podcasting

Four minutes about podcasting

This cute little film is a great intro to using podcasting. It is in Real format and you can download the player here. The film is done by Lisa Williams and it is very well done.

SJSU Profs Greene and Dunleavy Rock!

Robert Scoble wrote some great words about SJSU professor Steve Greene and included a link to a Greene site.
We, at SJSU, are really looking forward to visit! Without minimizing the terrific efforts of professor Greene I would also strongly recommend looking at the work of SJSU Journalism professor Dennis Dunleavy. Professor Dunleavy is enthusiastic about emerging technology.  He not only talks the talk, he walks the walk. He has been teaching using this blog for quite some time! He has built a global conversation of students, academics and professionals that is very exciting! Also, he has worked hard at SJSU making arrangements for facilities and doing publicity and evangelizing to make the Scoble event happen.
There is a cadre of folks working to bring new media technology to our great campus. This is one recent accomplishment:
We are very lucky at SJSU to have great faculty members like Dunleavy and Greene.

Into the Blogosphere, Facilitated by Robert Scoble

Into the Blogosphere, Facilitated by Robert Scoble, Microsoft Technical Evangelist for the next generation of Windows Longhorn and the US .NET Platform Strategy

This is a very special event!

Simply put, Blogs are eating the lunch of many traditionally architected Web sites. In terms of reach, influence, cost and convenience, the advantages are indisputable and significant. For those still building sites the "old" way, this hour will reveal why the future belongs to Bloggers. Robert Scoble, who FastCompany Magazine claims "may well be one of the most powerful people in Redmond" has helped shape Microsoft's blogging strategy, and has advised Bill Gates on the market opportunities. Robert will reveal why this new architecture rules and how to take full advantage of it.

This event will be Thursday, February 10 from, 2:30p to 4:00 in Room 225/227 Martin Luther King Library. Please RSVP to either Photojournalism professor Dennis Dunleavy, CFDS Staff at 924-2303 or or that you are coming. Robert Scoble is a dynamic and highly sought after speaker and this may never happen again!