Change The Duke Boys Can Believe In

Change.

It’s a simple word. But it means different things to different people. To me, “change” sort of implies something is different.

Change” is powerful. It can alter the course of history. It could even turn a television show on its ear if given the chance.

Did you ever watch the Dukes of Hazzard? What a great show, huh? I remember one of the big discussions at school back in the day was over who was a better driver–Bo Duke or Luke Duke? If you remember, Bo drove most of the time. Every now and then Luke drove, but it was mostly Bo.

I was a big Luke Duke fan back in the day. I loved it when he drove. But was that really change?

They were still in the General Lee. It was still orange with an “01” on the side and a Confederate flag on the hood. Roscoe was still chasing them around Hazzard County. Daisy still wore short shorts. The General still couldn’t be damaged no matter how high they jumped.

Most importantly, Boss Hogg was still trying to swindle the good people of Hazzard and put the fruits of their labor into his own pocket, and the people of Hazzard kept on electing him.

You know, basically the same damn episode they showed the week before.

Change would have been Enos and Cletus patrolling the streets on Segways.

Change would have been Uncle Jessie cooking meth in the barn instead of making moonshine.

Change would have been Cooter getting elected to Congress.

Change would have been Bret Michaels singing some crappy theme song instead of the great Mr. Waylon Jennings singing a bad ass one.

Change would have been the Boar’s Nest becoming an after-hours dance club.

Change would have been something, you know…DIFFERENT.

But from where I’m sitting, it looks like Boss Hogg and his cronies still have their hands in the cookie jar.  So why do the good people of Hazzard keep electing them?

YEE-HAW!

I Think We Should See Other People

Lots of other people. In fact, I think I should see everybody but you and you should see everybody  but me. I’m proposing a mass Facebook “We Don’t Have To Be Friends” group. It’s like Whopper Sacrifice, but for keeps this time.

I’m going to fix the social networking world’s woes. I’m starting a group called “We Don’t Have To Be Friends“. Here’s how it works…

If you’re thick skinned enough to join the group, you’re basically saying to everyone that you are cool with them un-friending you. Your feelings aren’t gong to be hurt by their decision, no hard feelings, and you can continue to know each other both virtually and in the real world–you just aren’t FRIENDS.

If you are a member of the group and someone else tries to friend you but you don’t really want to accept, just check the group and see if they are members. If they are, no hard feelings as far as denying them goes.

Of course, I will not be dropping any of my friends on Facebook, all of whom I love dearly, but the rest of you may be able to use it. Sound like a good idea?

Check Out This Cool School Project

Dan over at Backroads Newsroom is hosting a cool project for some high school seniors going to the Inauguration.  They’re updating details of their trip on Twitter, Flickr, Twitpic,etc. and he’s aggregating the updates.

Very cool use of technology and journalism going on as these students document their trip to DC for their community.  I’m also following the students who have sent updates so far on Twitter…@morganesmith, @SColgrove, @tkelliott, @jwrundle, or their hastag– #wcindc.  And here’s their Flickr pool.

Blog Commenters UNITE!

The announcement of this new left-leaning blog made me wonder something…

When left-leaning blogs and websites show advertising, what happens to the money?  I mean, a blog is nothing without its readers, just like a company is nothing without its workforce, right?

Is the money left over after operational costs are paid dispersed evenly amongst the people who comment and the site owners/publishers?  Do they only accept enough advertising revenue to pay the bills for hosting?

Does it seem right that the owner of such a site would profit off the work of the people who leave comments there and provide content and community? And really, it shouldn’t matter how good your comments are or how often you comment, right?

I guess the principle dictate that whoever has been commenting the longest (seniority) should get the most money, even if they don’t leave comments that often any more.

I think people who comment on blogs should unionize.

At least it would get me to stop blogging.  The only thing my commenters are ever going to get here is berated. 😀

More Pay it Forward–Akoha

I saw Akoha‘s TechCrunch 50 presentation a while back, and I really liked the idea.  I liked it enough to part with $5 to get a set of cards, and if you know me, you know how I love a crisp $5 note backed by the full faith and credit of these United States.

The concept behind Akoha is pretty simple–do something nice for someone, and burden them with the task of doing the same for someone else. What’s cool is the little cards you give them with their “mission” have unique IDs. When they go to Akoha’s website and enter the ID of the card you’ve given them they can see who had the card before them and where in the world it has been. Sort of like Where’s George with a cool user interface.

Oh, and each mission has points associated with it. Some of the missions are really simple like “Take Someone for Coffee” or “Make Someone Smile”, and there are even “Wildcard” missions you can make up for yourself.

I’m interested to see if I’m just idealistic, or if my friends are willing to play along.

Coal Ash Spill Map

My buddy and yours @mr_schwartz has been doing some work with the Tennessee Clean Water Network integrating field data into Google Maps.  He’s done some really cool stuff with the spill in Kingston, plotting not only news, but also the results of water samples at exact lat/longs on this map.

He’s also put up a second map that shows info on the Ocoee Dam release on January 4.

Good example of mashing up information from several different sources and dispersing it to the public!

A Quick Hi and Some Thanks!

The last few days have been pretty crazy.  Last Thursday Newscoma and I launched a little project, NewsTechZilla.  We thought it was a good idea and would be a fun way to document some stuff.  Little did we know it would explode.  We’ve seen an unbelievable amount of support (and traffic) so far, and I want to take second to thank some people from this side of the State for their help.  Without you guys, we would not have seen this kind of success.

Seriously, you guys helped us get the word out, give us feedback, encouragement, and even content.  We can’t thank you enough!

Michael Silence was unbelievably generous in writing our first feature article, and he went a step further by featuring us in his Sunday deadwood column.  Jack Lail wrote a very nice intro for us on his blog last Thursday too.  These guys got us noticed by Glenn Reynolds, who gave us an unbelievably successful first day “live” when he linked to us from Instapundit. All this within the first three days!!!

Guys, I know a link from me here is worth about 1/100 of what you did for us, but it’s all I can do for now.

Since then, we’re receiving more support from people like SVD at KTownLowDown, and some local guys from Copa Creative, Abunga.com, and TUAW who were generous with their time in answering some questions about the iPhone for an article we were doing.  I can’t even begin to thank all the people who’ve talked about us on Twitter and sent their followers our way.

I’m uber-busy with work (real job) right now, but I intend to (at some point) thank all the local people I’ve forgotten in this short post and all the other folks around the country who’ve been so supportive.

I’m also going to change that poll before the eight week period (I hope).

A Content Generating Machine

NewsTechZilla!!!
NewsTechZilla!!!

Obviously, I’m not talking about me.  I’m talking about Newscoma, who normally writes more before 9 am than I get to read all day.  How lucky am I to get to work on a new project with someone like that?

There’s a lot of buzz in the blogosphere right now about the demise of newspapers and changes in the media.  This “citizen journalism” thing seems to be a little more than just a fad.  It’s leaving a lot of journalists with some choices to make, and it’s a tough row to hoe for some to learn new technology.

So we’re developing a resource to help them along the way, answer questions, and discuss the changes that are occurring in media right before our eyes.  We were even able to persuade Michael Silence to write our first featured article.

NewsTechZilla is where tech (me) and journalism (Newscoma) collide, duke it out, shake hands, exchange barbs, and hug it out for the good of all.

Actually, there’s good stuff theree for everybody, not just journalists.

We just decided to do this a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve been working like mad over the holidays to generate content, work on our site layout, get our feeds up, fix the things I break, etc. and “officially” launch today.  Go over, check it out, SUBSCRIBE (it’s free) and jump into the fray.