Monday, July 31, 2006

UCSC solution for web archiving rocks!

Sheryl Martin-Schultz Demo of Web Archiving Tool
I just got back from UC Santa Cruz where I saw a great demo by Sheryl Martin-Schultz, Manager of Instructional Development at U. C. Santa Cruz. She showed about 15 of us a system they have created at UCSC for automating the creation of streaming media and podcast files for faculty members at that university. I think this solution has great potential for application at SJSU. The system makes extensive use of Applescripts and lower end hardware. It really is low on cost and high on elegance. It is totally automated and the professor just has to do what he or she would normally do to present to his or her class. Henry J. Burnett, the UCSC Director of Media Services, led a spirited conversation on how we can move forward with improving the adoption of streaming and podcasting technology in the classroom. Folks from other UC campuses, Stanford, several of the area community colleges and us were in attendance. Plans were put in place to continue the conversation. I was very impressed and hope that does happen.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

BlogHer missing boat on Lesbian and other issues

Lesbian Perspectives Missing at BlogHer
The mommy bloggers were out in force, perhaps so much force that other women bloggers did not seem to me to get their just due. This was first mentioned to me by a lesbian blogger who said a friend of hers was so upset she left the conference early. I think she is right. I hope next year the contributions that lesbian as well as transgender folks have made to the blogosphere get more attention, recognition and, (hopefully) some sessions specific to them. These are voices of courage that need to be encouraged!

What about men who are "mommy" too?
I am a once widowed male who raised three minor children by myself as a single male parent (my youngest child was four.) I baked the biscuts, brought home the bacon and nurtured the sick kids. I do not understand why bloggers who blog about their children seem to me to be assumed to be heterosexual women. That is not always the case.

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Barbara Ganley from Middlebury College

Cynthia McCune on laptop

Yesterday was the big day at BlogHer
Yesterday I spent the day at BlogHer. The highlight of the day was meeting Barbara Ganley from Middlebury College in Vermont. She is a Lecturer in the Writing Program and English, and the Director of The Project for Integrated Expression at Middlebury College. She has been using blogging quite extensively in her curriculum since 2001. I first met professor Ganley when we sat next to each other in the morning session. She had two boxes of wine and we spoke quite a bit about local wineries and wine shops. Her work, and the Edublogging session she was one of the panelists on, was very inspiring. I hope to release a podcast from that session later this week. I think we will be looking very closely at her work as we prepare for this fall's journalism courses.

We also met a few other folks from SJSU there. I am happy to report Professor McCune and I were were not the only ones.

Links of attendees

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Great time at BlogHer Party

Blog Her Attendees

Cynthia McCune and I are at BlogHer
This is a huge event attracting women bloggers as well as A-lister's from all over the world. I spoke with a woman blogger who came here from Australia. I was unable to attend the day sessions yesterday due to an urgent family matter I had to attend to. But, professor McCune was there and she said she really got a lot out of the event. She even did her first podcast! I spent a lot of time speaking with the Scobles as well as Activewords founder Buzz Bruggerman. (I got some hints at the next version of Activewords and I can't wait to see it!) Bob Scoble was having a great time talking up a storm with folks. Maryam Scoble and Bob's son Patrick seemed to enjoy the event as well. I also spoke with Marc Canter, Brian Shields and Renee Blodgett among many, many others. This is such a huge event that is important not just for tech, it is important for blogging and it is important for women. We should be doing all we can to encourage women to be involved in this increasingly important communications medium. This event is going on just a few miles from SJSU and Cynthia McCune and I seem to be it from SJSU. (And, oh yea, we paid our own way) Since she attended Friday's sessions, and I did not, and she did such a great job covering them. You gotta read her blog!

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Excellent conversation with Stephanie Quilao

Okay, maybe the day before BlogHer was NOT the best day to have a meetup
Yesterday's meetup was a small gathering. Stephanie Quilao, Cynthia McCune and I had a great conversation about the future of Web. 2.0 and the J163 class that is now less than a month away from its first session. Stephanie is the magic behind Back in Skinny Jeans and is a non-geekish (but tech savvy) Web 2.0 evangelist. To get a real sense of what her blog is about, this is what it says in her Technorati profile:

A blog about love, torment, and elastic waistband. Here I hope to help other women feel less alone by discussing my own on going battle of the bulge, coping with today's unrealistic, high standards of beauty, and finding peace and humor in it all.

I really enjoy her site and subscribe to her feed. It is human, entertaining and informing. She has many stories to tell and she tells them well. She is a good writer. She has also written for Under the Radar and other blogs.

According to Stephanie the next Oprah may be starting right now with a blog in her living room. The amazing thing, Stephanie said, is the ability now to start from almost nothing.

In my opinion it is content like Stephanie's, not the geek content, that is driving this technology into the mainstream. I am constantly told, it is all about telling stories. This technology enables that telling. This technology delivers the stories and that is all, and that is everything!

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August Meetup on 24th

San Jose Weblogger Meetup Group (san jose downtown)

The San Jose Weblogger Meetup Group

Meet other local Bloggers and Podcasters from the community and San Jose State University and talk about Web 2.0 technologies. Blogger dinner / Geek Dinner at Tony Sopranos Pizzeria. Free parking, near public transit/light rail and SJSU.

Group Photo

The San Jose Weblogger August Meetup
Thursday, August 24, 2006 at 6:00PM

Blogger / Podcaster meetup.

See the full event details, including location, at

Check out what members are saying about The San Jose Weblogger Meetup Group:

"Glad I went!" - Stephanie Quilao

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Blogger Dinner in San Jose

When: Thursday, July 27, 2006, 6:00 PM
Where: Tony Soprano's Pizzeria, 87 E. San Fernando Street Near SJSU Downtown, San Jose , CA 95113 408-271-9707

San Jose Geek Dinner Description:
This will be a Meetup for The San Jose Weblogger Meetup Group!
This is on the eve of the BlogHer conference and it would be great to make that part of the conversation. We'll use the time to get to know each other, talk about blogging and podcasting. This is a blogger dinner / geek dinner. We may do a "pizzacast" podcast on Web. 2.0 technologies after the dinner if there is interest. Tony Sopranos on San Fernando Street in San Jose. The location has free parking and is close to the light rail.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

That was my dad

My father was a railroad man
Lloyd Sloan was a railroad man. He was a big man who drove big trains. To a small boy, it seemed he literally moved mountains. He became the mountain. He was my father and he had powerful magic.

Riding on the City of New Orleans,
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail.
All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out at Kankakee
Rolls along past houses, farms and fields.
Passin' trains that have no names,
Freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

My dad's train

Good morning America how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

The City of New Orleans
Arlo Guthrie made popular for my generation this song by Steve Goodman. The lines from the song that to this day cut through me like a knife, are these:

And the sons of pullman porters
And the sons of engineers
Ride their father's magic carpets made of steel.

My dad

And that was my dad
A big magic man, who had a magic carpet that seemed to me to be as big as a mountain. In 1977, on this day, he died after a disease took away all his magic powers. He was 58. I was 21. That was three years after I graduated high school, less than a year after Steve Jr., my first son, was born.

Grete Johnson Remembered

Grete Riders at top of Kennedy

Whine and Dine Remembrance Ride for Grete Johnson
In 1975 Grete graduated from Los Gatos High School. Yesterday, just over 31 years later, a group of her friends gathered just down the street from that school for a bicycle ride in her memory. Before the ride all who were there who knew Grete shared memories about what a nice person she was. A friend and fellow cyclist who knew Grete from Toastmasters rode with us. We rode together as one group. We stopped at the top of Kennedy for a group photo. There were so many of us that folks on the side of the road stopped to watch us go by. After the ride we went to Una Mas to see more people there who did not go on the ride. We had a line out the door of the restaurant and out into the parking lot, somebody noted, "this is the largest number of people we had ever had here." There was easily 55 people attending between the ride dinner.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Edupodder Podcast: Perspective of an Indian Student

Perspective of an SJSU student from India

Edupodder Podcast 25
21:17 duration, 19.4 MB MP3
Posted July 18, 2006

Conversation with Kamlesh Kudchadkar:
To listen to high quality audio, click here --> MP3 File Here
Kamlesh and I had a conversation about what it is like to be an Indian student at San Jose State University. Kamlesh Kudchadkar is a Computer Engineering graduate student in the SJSU College of Engineering. He came to SJSU from Bombay. He shares his experiences, opinions and perspectives in this podcast recorded on June 6, 2006 in downtown San Jose.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Twelve years ago we married

Susie and I at La Foret

Twelve years ago we married
We were married in a restaurant named La Foret, in New Almaden south of San Jose, on June 17, 1994. We try to go back every year. It is very elegant. We served Silver Oak cabernet at our wedding and sometimes when we go we order a bottle. The food is excellent, this year we went to Sunday brunch.

Preparing students for 2010

What computer skills will our students need when they graduate?
The Information Technology worker of 2010 won't need to be a technology guru, but rather a versatilist," according to this recent article in Computerworld's careers section.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Help Desk dinner in Sunnyvale

Great dinner with SJSU Help Desk Staff
Today the staff of the Help Desk took Susie and I out to dinner. We had great Indian food and it was very fun! Most of the staff have been on internships and it was great seeing them all together again. They have become like part of our family. It was especially great to see their lovely saris. We had a great time.

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Ten Mac Tools

Ten Mac Tools To Get Things Done
This guide is a very useful resource to Mac Users looking for efficient tools to help us work smarter, do tasks we need to complete and organize our lives better.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Rice and Scoble on Podcasting and iPods

Eric Rice (of hipcast aka audioblog) and Robert Scoble (of Podtec) on Podcasting and iPods
This is a short great podcast on the power of podcasting and how iPods can be used to extend the reach of the Internet and deliver targeted content for folks with one-time specific needs. I wish I heard this before last night's meetup. It would have been great to have been able to talk to them about this. This is great stuff and is well worth the time to hear!

Many miles together

Grete Johnson, 2003

Our bike club is like a family. When we ride together we talk and talk and talk. After the rides we socialize and talk more. Those of us who have been in the club for years share many miles together. We have been through many hills and many valleys together. We look out for each other. When we have problems we wait for and we help each other. That is what families do. There are folks in the club who are closer to me than some of my siblings. These folks, they are my family.

One Tough Cookie, a story and great memories by Grete Johnson.

Podcaster meetup surprise

Unexpected meetup with Scoble
Yesterday evening I went to the Silicon Valley Podcasting Meetup group for the first time. Most of the meetups I have been to have been very casual events. I almost didn't go to this one. I had not been feeling well yesterday. I was still stunned and in a daze after learning of my friend's unexpected death. I went expecting the meetup to be what most of the former ones were, just a bunch of folks sitting around talking tech. I was wearing a t-shirt, shorts and sandals, today being a hot day. It was very organized. The folks from Podtech being there in force. I met uber geek Eric Rice and heard him talk about podcasting, vblogging, Second Life and more. He seemed to have several threads of conversation going in parallel. The big treat for me was seeing Scoble. I heard somebody say he was coming. I said wow, it will be great seeing him again. The person who told me was John Furrier who said, "do you know him?" I said yes, "he used to work for me and Bob is a friend." Then Furrier said, "I am his new boss." Bob and Maryam had driven down from Seattle. It was good catching up.

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Sad news
I am still reeling from the news of the sudden, unexpected and possibly self inflicted death of a friend. I do not want to say more because I do not want other friends to learn of this from my blogs. I know from my conversations with this person of the darkness this person was in. It was a deep darkness but one that many of us have been through.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another long tail

Sloan Cats

I discovered Catster
Yesterday while looking at an RSS feed for a new pet related Internet startup, I saw a reference to Catster. Of course I had to follow it! Now our cats have their own Internet presence. This will be expanded upon. Talk about the long tail!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

July third campus BBQ

Before Holiday BBQ in Academic Technology
On Monday, the day before the holiday, we had a BBQ at lunch.

More on Help Desk Jobs

SJSU Help Desk Hiring Student Assistants
If anybody reading this is interested in submitting a resume for the open student assistant jobs [PDF, Job Description Here] at the San Jose State University Help Desk, you should do so by sending a resume as an attachment to my work email:

It would also help if you would fill out a job application.
Applications are available online or at the SJSU Help Desk. The San Jose State University Help Desk is located in Washington Square Hall Room 117B. It is open 9 to 3pm M-F during the summer. Your application will be attached (by me) to your resume. This will help us in making the selections for the possible 20+ positions here.

The application form is available online here:

Completed applications can be faxed to 408.924.2317, or filled out and returned to me via E-mail as an attached PDF file, or snail mailed to:

Steve Sloan, Academic Technology, San Jose State University Help Desk, Washington Square Hall Room 117B, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0242

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Apple introduces $899 Education Intel iMac

Bye, bye Emac G4
More information is here. The Emac, the last CRT all-in-one Mac, is now history.

SJSU Help Desk is hiring

We are hiring student assistants at the university help desk
The job description is here. If you are a student at SJSU and are interested please email your resume to me at

Important NECC Podcast

Educators, you gotta listen to this!
This podcast by Alan November of November Learning was recorded this morning at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) 2006. He redefines literacy, computer literacy and presents some of the biggest challenges facing educators of all types (including parents) in this information age.

This is really important for all faculty to hear. I mean it. All of them!

Attention, time and balance


Thoughts on a big busy fourth of July
Yesterday was a busy day! In the morning, I mean early in the morning, six am early! I had to be at the bike club for our annual pancake breakfast. The breakfast is at 8am and it is the board of the club that is responsible for preparing breakfast for two hundred in the wee hours of the morning. After that I went on a short 26 mile bike ride that included about 49 club members. After I got home from that Sue and I went shopping. Then, last night we went to Deb Wade's house for a party and a very impressive fireworks show. It was a very full day. I fell right to sleep after getting home.

This was not the first busy day I have had lately with friends and family lately. I have felt bad because my Internet life has fallen behind. I have not been posting or following all the blogs I like to.

Balancing these real world relationships with the kind of global relationships enabled by the Internet and Web 2.0 technology is a real challenge. The truth is that while the Internet allows us to have global conversations and engage in global collaboration, it does not give us more hours in the day. Balancing our physical lives and our second virtual lives in going to always mean some sacrafice of something somewhere. Time is a zero sum game.

When I look at the posting times of some folks I can see some sacrafice their sleeping time. Other's use time at work. Some have to take time away from families and friends. Wherever it comes from this time cannot be recovered. The most prolific bloggers may not be the best people to have as employees, friends and/or lovers unless you know how they are going to give the due attention the real world relationships require.

Monday, July 03, 2006

BBQ at son Jeff's house

Madison with dip on her face (Camera Phone Post)
Yesterday we had a very nice dinner party at Jeff's house. It was a lot of fun!

AOL Account Cancellation Story and Cluetrain

In a June 21 WNBC Today interview Vincent Ferrari was interviewed after he recorded a conversation he had with an AOL representative named "Jon" who gave him a big hassel when he tried to cancel his AOL account. It took him a total of 21 minutes to get this task accomplished. Vincent recorded and posted the conversation to his blog. It was then picked up in the blogosphere and the media. To quote the 12th thesis of the cluetrain manifesto:

There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.

I am going to play this for all the employees who work at the University Help Desk. Yes, always assume that anything you say to a customer may be posted to the Internet. But, that is not the reason you need to treat clients with respect and listen to them. The reason you need to treat clients with respect and listen to them is because they are our customers and they deserve the best we can give them!

Scoble's exit interview

Scoble is no longer an employee of Microsoft
SJSU alum (and good friend) Robert Scoble is leaving Microsoft to join as vice president of media development. Wired News caught up with Redmond's most famous blogger on his first day of unemployment. Scoble was headed into the office to clean out his desk...