Latest Posts

Google goes investing

The news that Google is close to launching its own venture capital fund may raise a lot of hopes, but the history of corporate investment isn't fantastic and comes with a heavy price for portfolio companies that win a corporate sweepstakes. It also tells a lot about Google's own sense of its ability to innovate from the inside—that doesn't mean they don't think they can innovate, but that it may be more strategically advantageous to do it from the outside.

July 31, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe

3 Comments

Video messaging: Every mail a pitch for attention

EyeJot's David Geller sent me an email that grabbed my attention the other day. In it, a video image of Geller told me about the company's new attachment features and he pointed below the video frame to an attached file.

July 27, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe

4 Comments

Amanda Chapel, aka "Strumpette," needs some tough love

I had a strange Twitter back-and-forth with "Amanda Chapel," the pseudonymous authors of a PR blog called "Strumpette," about the nature of the hacker ethic. I personally don't think the hacker ethic is very effective as a counterpoint to the system of intellectual property it decries, because hackers seem intent on getting rich one way or the other.

July 14, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe

10 Comments

Check out the bionic neck

I've told you about my disc replacement surgery, but I've never shown you. Here's an X-ray from my most recent follow-up appointment with the doctor who did the surgery.

July 9, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe

4 Comments

Demographics forging a new Net market: It's not your kids' Web

It's easy and fashionable to talk about "digital natives" that have grown up online, but the demographics of the United States are shifting radically to the grey and Web services developers should heed that news and make changes in their products and plans as a result. Old coots, like me, may hold the key to your future.

July 7, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe

Comments

Seven Tech ways to make America better this July 4

Something about getting a new neck earlier this spring made me start thinking about how to change my life to make America a better place. Here a few that you can try to make the country better over the Fourth of July weekend:1.

July 2, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe

34 Comments

McCain's campaign team has no Facebook chops

You have to admire the chutzpah of the idea of convincing voters that they should vote for a candidate through an arcade game rip-off of Space Invaders, because it's simply ludicrous coming from a candidate who has declared he doesn't even know how to "use a computer." Aaron Jacobs-Smith of The New Politics Institute wrote up his encounter with John McCain's "Pork Invaders" game, which fervent McCainiacs can embed in their Facebook pages:I just blasted away close to $2.

July 1, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe

Comments

What is a company blogger good for?

I often hear from companies that want to "be social" or "hire a blogger." Usually, there hasn't been any effort put into the question of what they'd like to accomplish from the effort, so I send out the following.

June 30, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe

9 Comments

Scribes, professionals and the decline of mass media

Clay Shirky, in his Here Comes Everybody, devotes a chapter, "Everyone is a media outlet", to a comparison of the decline of scribal production to the decline of "professional" journalism. He sets up this analogy on faulty legs that leave the argument that "what was once a chasm is now a mere slope [between "professional" journalism and committing acts of journalism or journalistic-like writing or photopublication]" completely unsupported.

June 9, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe

1 Comment