Tuesday, August 29, 2006

JMC 163, Scoble to come to speak

Scoble is coming
Students in Journalism 163 have a special treat in store for them. Robert Scoble, blogger, technical evangelist, and author is coming to speak to our class on September 12. Scoble's popular blog, Scobleizer, came to prominence during his tenure as a technical evangelist at Microsoft. He and his wife, Maryam Ghaemmaghami Scoble (also a blogger) currently work at PodTech.net, a video-podcast startup. Scoble is a JMC alum and is the author of Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers.

There are still openings in the class. Interested students who are not enrolled should come to DBH226 at 6pm today to get an add code.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Journalism 163 Schedule Input Wanted

The schedule for Journalism 163 is here. Stephanie Quilao of Back in Skinny Jeans will be our first speaker tomorrow in our "jmc163" class. Any suggestions for future classes would be greatly appreciated. The topics, as listed in the schedule, are very tentative. I just had to get something up and out there for the class. Topics for presentations do not have to match the labs. For example, I really grappled with the Second Life topic. I thought it would be interesting to introduce the topic of virtual realms to the students, but I do not have a lab in mind for that. However, it is not inconceivable that this might be something they may sometime be covering or using tools available in to communicate to audiences with.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Journalism 163 Syllabus Is Here

Journalism 163 - New Media in Journalism
Fall 2006, Section 1, Tues. 6:00 - 8:45 p.m., DBH 226

Thanks principally to the work of Cynthia McCune, the course syllabus is here:

Friday, August 25, 2006

August Weblogger Meetup Recap

Yesterday's San Jose Weblogger Meetup Meeting
Yesterday was the second day of classes at SJSU for the fall term. It also was the day we had the August weblogger meetup. It was great. We had students, faculty, and staff at SJSU at the meetup as well as some very cool local bloggers. It was a real mashup of perspectives on blogging. I am excited to see this taking off. We have a great opportunity here in San Jose to have these kind of events. There seems to me to be a barrier between the campus and local blogging communities. I hope the momentum we are building here continues and we can continue to have these monthly meetups. I think they provide a unique opportunity for bloggers to network. Also, they are a lot of fun!

Folks who signed in at the meetup and the URL's for them: Julie Lockwood | Andrew Venegas | Lilly Buchwitz | Cynthia McCune | Julio Garcia | Dondi Bogusky | Dorai Thodla | Stephanie Quilao | David Kadavy Steve Sloan

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Clark Construction

Workmen drilling in clark

Construction Woes at Clark
Complaints about the ongoing construction have been so bad I had to call CalOSHA and the University Health and Safety Office to get the work stopped while we are open.

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Blogger Dinner, Geek Dinner Tonight

Blogger / Podcaster meetup.

See the full event details, including location, at http://blog.meetup.com/362/events/5047369/.

Spelling Challenged at SJSU

Camera Phone Post: Sign of the times
Faculty often complain about students who lack basic skills. Sadly, it is not just students who are spelling challenged at our university. This sign is on the entry way of the new facility at Clark Hall at SJSU. Hopefully they count better than they spell.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Your new world order

Camera Phone Post: Funny Sign
Your new world order is ready to install.

New help desk opens on first day of school

first help desk customers

The Help Desk Is Open
The first clients came in this morning as we opened in Clark Hall. We have been slammed today. The help desk opened on the first day of school. It has been a real trial by fire.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Podcast: Introduction to Journalism 163

Edupodder Podcast 27, 07:11 duration, 6.6 MB MP3 - Posted Aug. 21, 2006
Cynthia McCune and Steve Sloan discuss "JMC163".

To listen to high quality audio, click here --> MP3 File Here
An introduction to Journalism 163. This is a multi-media journalism course in The School of Journalism and Mass Communications at SJSU. We will be focusing on Web 2.0 technologies including blogging and podcasting. This podcast was recorded on Aug 21, 2006, at San Jose State. The first meeting of the class is 6pm on Tuesday, August 29, in Dwight Bentel Hall, room 224, at SJSU. If you are an SJSU student interested in taking the course, please show up!

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Thursday Meetup Coming Soon!

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 http://blog.meetup.com/362/events/5047369/.

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

"Glad I went!" - Stephanie Quilao

The clock is ticking

Camera Phone Post: Work is ongoing in Clark Hall
They are still working in Clark Hall. Will the help desk open tomorrow? The clock is ticking!

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

JMC 163 Blog is here

Journalism 163 Blog Is Here
This fall professor Cynthia McCune and I are planning on teaching Journalism 163, New Media in Journalism, in The School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) at SJSU. This is a new course focusing on the Internet and Mass Media. We plan on covering Web 2.0 technologies like rss, blogging and podcasting in the course. This blog will be the hub of the course.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

End of the WSQ Help Desk Party

Help Desk Staff

It's the End of the Help Desk As We Know It Party
Help Desk staffers and former staffers gathered on Friday to recognize the closing of the University Help Desk in WSQ117B. This help desk has been like a second home for many of the staff. While it is new and nice the new help desk will not be as homey for the staff.

Big Surprise, Clark Help Desk Fails to Open Monday
It was planned that yesterday construction would finish in Clark Hall Friday and the University Help Desk would open there at 8am Monday. That will not be happening and we will spend at least one more day in WSQ.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Count down to launch

Camera Phone Post: New Help Desk down to the wire
They're rushing to finish the new help desk by today. Will it be ready? What do you think?

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's the End of the Help Desk As We Know It

It's the End of the Help Desk As We Know It
The San Jose State University Help Desk is moving! On August 21 this Help Desk is moving to Clark Hall, first floor. Our last day in WSQ 117B is Friday the 18th. We are planning to have a pizza party to celebrate the end of the old help desk. Staff, past staff and friends of the Help Desk are invited to come. Please RSVP to Steve Sloan (who is hosting the party) so I know how many pizzas to buy.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Computers make lousy recorders for podcasting

Webcam on a computer

A computer is a lousy camera and also a lousy tape recorder
If you are planning to do field recording you should have equipment designed for the job. No serious photographer would attach a webcam to a laptop computer and take it outside expecting to do serious photography with it. Will it work? yes. But, quality will suffer and so will usability and reliability. Serious photographers use serious digital cameras to take their pictures and then upload the pictures to do post production using programs like PhotoShop.

Yet folks all the time are doing audio recording right into their computers. Folks kludge mics onto their laptops and use Garageband to grab audio. Will it work? yes. But again I believe quality will suffer and so will usability and reliability. Where computers shine is not in capturing content in the field. By this I mean the recording of good pictures, or the recording of good audio. That type of recording is best left to dedicated devices like digital cameras and digital recording devices. If you do your audio recording direct into a computer and that computer crashes you have lost your whole show!

I have found using a serious recording device has caused the audio quality of my podcasts to take a huge jump forward. Would I take a step backwards? No way! I started off recording into a mic attached to my computer, I moved to a mic attached to an iPod and have graduated to a real quality field recorder. This has worked to me and I am no audiophile.

Here is my field kit list of equipment for doing good quality audio podcasting. Some of this I have, some I am saving up to buy:

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My son Jeff's birthday

Jeff and Madison

Today is Jeff's birthday
Twenty-eight years ago today Jeff was born in a Catholic hospital near Sacramento. He was a fine healthy boy from the very beginning. He has turned into a fine healthy man.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Grete Johnson issue bike club newsletter

A salute to Grete
The final PDF version of September 2006 Almaden Cycle Touring Club newsletter is posted here. This is the entire issue. This is how it has gone to the printer. I appreciate very much all the help I have had with this issue. From beginning to end this has been a group effort. I think it is a fitting tribute to a very dear friend.

Grete Johnson bike club newsletter issue

A PDF of the September 2006 ACTC newsletter is posted here. This is the entire issue. This is posted here for editing and final review. This is for correction of any errors before it goes to the printer. Please let me know if you see errors in these pages so that I can correct them before it goes to the printer.

Special Thanks
I wish to give special thanks to all who contributed to this issue, especially to Paul Greene for the wonderful story about our dear friend. I have special thanks to Bob Thompson and Paul Greene, for all the help with the gathering the photos for me, Naomi Bloom for the wonderful editing and consultation and Jerry  Schonewille for going over the early versions of the newsletter when they were on the blog. Many more people have contributed to this issue and you help is really appreciated. If folks would take one look at this and let me know if you find any errors, that would be great!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Feeling like a mushroom

Inside working on a sunny Saturday
This is a newsletter production weekend. The ACTC newsletter is in production. So, I am spending the day inside with the blinds down so I can concentrate on the screen. Meanwhile, in the next room Susie is typing away on a pile of work she brought home. Once I get done with the newsletter, I have much work work to do as well. If you wish to follow along, help and/or see pre-release versions of the newsletter I will be posting information as production progresses to the BBBlog, which is here:

Link to bike club blog

Also on that blog is the sad story of a cyclist from Santa Cruz who died yesterday after colliding with a vehicle.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

A new union blog

I am closing down my old union Blog, and starting a new one
I am closing down this Blog and moving any new union related content over to a new union blog. For a continuation of this type of content please check out my new union blog here:


I just had too many problems with the tool I used for the old one and I like how the tool for this one works so much better!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A new blog

Sloan's Cycling Blog Banner

About my new cycling blog

About a year and a half ago, when I became the publisher of the Almaden Cycle Touring Club (ACTC) newsletter The Black and Blue Bottom, I started a cycling blog. I named the blog The Black and Blue Blog. My idea at the time was that the blog would become a place that folks in the club could get timely cycling news and information about the club and the newsletter. This blog was very closely associated with club and was branded similarly to the club newsletter even though it was my own personal blog. Over time I started using this blog to do other things, like list information about the series of Wednesday whine and dine bicycle rides.

Now I am planning to retire from my role as newsletter publisher and still want to have a place to list such ride information. I decided to start a new blog, not branded with the club, called Sloan's Cycling Blog. I will retire The Black and Blue Blog when my last issue comes out as publisher. Meanwhile, I will just double post for awhile. I am using Wordpress for this new blog so I can learn that tool. I really like it a lot!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

August Podcasting Meetup Group Cancelled

Your Organizer, Eric Rice, sent the following message to the members of The Silicon Valley Podcasting Meetup Group:

Hi folks, due to a whole lotta unavailability on my part and our location's part, we're having to cancel this meetup for
Thu, August 10 at 7:00 PM has been cancelled. Please update your plans accordingly.

Sorry for the last minute notice!

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Just be there!

Eric Rice and Robert Scoble

This event has been cancelled!

If you are serious about podcasting, be there!
The Silicon Valley Podcasting August Meetup is Thursday. This is a great group and you never know whom you are going to meet. So, bring business cards and take notes!

What: The Silicon Valley Podcasting August Meetup

If you are serious about Podcasting you should be on this like a fly on s**t!

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Edupodder Podcast: Blogher 2006

Edublogging from BlogHer 2006
Edupodder Podcast 26, 37:19 duration, 34 MB MP3 - Posted Aug. 6, 2006
Educators from all levels discus edublogging and Web 2.0 at BlogHer 2006:

To listen to high quality audio, click here --> MP3 File Here
Recorded on July 29, 2006, day two of BlogHer, educators from all levels discus edublogging and Web 2.0 technologies. This podcast includes a break out session that occured that day during a room of your own session entitled EduBlogging. Barbara Ganley from Middlebury College, Laura Blankenship from Bryn Mawr and Barbara Sawhill from Oberlin led this session.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Scobles at Blogher

Scoble Family at BlogHer

Scobles at BlogHer
Last week I was at BlogHer. I really enjoyed the conference, meeting all the wonderful women bloggers there and seeing the Scobles again. It is so very exciting to see how Robert's life has evolved in all the years since he was an SJSU student. Maryam was one of the presenters and the session she on the panel of was one of my favorites. They are really nice people and deserve all the great things that have happened in their lives.

Everybody had a great time and I am looking forward to BlogHer 2007. I recorded a podcast on Edublogging and Web 2.0 which I plan to release very soon.

Scobles at pool

I just noticed that Renee Blodgett mentioned in her blog when I talked about Grete's suicide during the "Getting Naked" Panel that Maryam was on. I still have not written that post, though I think about it often.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

SJSU's IT Tower of Babel

We are too fractured!
Why I can write this: I run the University Help Desk at San Jose State University. I have been a university employee working at SJSU for 21 years. I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees from SJSU. I have taught at SJSU. I am also a taxpayer.

One of he most frustrating things I have to deal with at the University Help Desk is the run around our clients, the students, faculty and staff at San Jose State University often receive when they seek support. To understand how the university's information technology (IT) support structure works you need to forget most of what you may know about how most enterprises and many universities function. These enterprises usually have one enterprise support group that works together under the management of a chief information officer to solve customer problems. In this type of enterprise resources can be allocated where needed and pulled from where they are not. This group is accountable for solving problems within any part of the enterprise, from start to finish.

At SJSU we do not have one information technology group supporting the network, computer resources and conduits of data at SJSU. Instead, at SJSU we have a complex aggregation of silos of support that function with almost no structure, sense or logic. Our university has at least a half-dozen help desks and several dozen independent support teams that are under disparate chains of command. Communication and sharing of resources between these silos of support is rare. Indeed, it sometimes seems as though they compete more than cooperate. At SJSU resources seldom leave their support silo no matter how acute the need for help is elsewhere. Often the folks who mange these silos know little or nothing about the technology they manage. Only a handful of these groups share a trouble ticket system. Most have their own homegrown systems or, more often, no system at all! Many different systems exist that cannot talk to each other nor share data nor accommodate the hand off of trouble tickets. Often the solution for one team is to close a ticket in one ticket system with instructions to a client to open a ticket in another system with no assurance that anybody in the other unit will take ownership of the client's problem nor way to know if the client gave up in frustration.

This is really frustrating to clients. They see their tickets closed routinely without their problems being solved. Often this happens several times for a single problem.

In my opinion
It is not acceptable for us to be telling clients to go somewhere else for service. In my opinion we can do better than this. We have created a Tower of Babel. In my opinion we are wasting resources (and the taxpayers money) in duplicate and confusing services and support systems in some areas while leaving large gaps of lack of customer service in others. I think we need to do better than this to provide better customer service and give the taxpayers (myself included) a fair return on their investment. I think we need to have a massive reorganization of IT support at SJSU and do it soon.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

SPSS Not Supported on New Macs

SPSS does not recommend or support the use of any version of SPSS for Mac OS X on the new Intel-based Mac hardware. Some of the procedures will result in incorrect numerical calculations under the Rosetta emulation software, rendering the results invalid.

Information regarding the release of a version of SPSS for Mac OS X compatible with the new Intel-based Macs will be posted to www.spss.com in the second half of 2006.

Product(s) Affected:
Product Version

Update: Info from SPSS

In a nutshell
This is worse than it not working at all. In this case it works but yeilds invalid results. This is very bad for folks doing research and depending on their findings arrived at using this software on these computers.

Web 2.0, BlogHer and friend's suicide

Recent suicide reminder of top priorities
At the recent BlogHer conference I met a lot of great people and heard a lot of great conversations about blogging, global audiences and the importance of engaging in the global conversation. This is all great and compelling stuff. This is well worth the time of folks to get involved in. I know: it is fun, seductive and important.

Like many of my geek friends I spend a lot of time doing this stuff. I blog, I podcast and I read blogs and listen to podcasts. But we have to be our own controls, we have to monitor our own time, because while we have all this exciting, important and fun new stuff in our lives we still have the same number of hours in a day. Time spent doing this means we are spending less time on something else. In my opinion it is vital that we not get so seduced by all this that we do not start to neglect giving enough attention to our family and friends. They have to be our first time priority! This message has to get to new bloggers. Keep your priorities straight!

Sometimes little danger signs can be missed when we are distracted by something exciting. Then, if something happens, sometimes it is too late to go back and make amends later. I lost a friend (and a fellow bicyclist) to suicide. I wish now I had been paying more attention to her state of mind, spent more time talking with her when I knew she was hurting and maybe spent less time on my interests. But now, it is just too late.

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