Jakob Nielsen used to say that the best test of whether you’d created a useful website was this: take it down. See how many people scream.
Google, if you’re listening, I AM SCREAMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here’s a snippet from the Greenpeace Green my Apple E-zine we just sent out. I´m taking my own advice here and blogging this as part of the full-court press we’re putting on Apple now, in the run up to their Annual General Meeting on May 10th.
Want to jump on the bandwagon? Send a message to Steve Jobs now. You can subscribe to the Green my Apple Ezine here.
(Thanks to Hugo for this month’s Greenmyapple News image)
You’ve been nominated for a Webby Award!
Congratulations to all of you who have contributed material to Green my Apple. Your collective efforts have been recognised by the Webby Awards: we’re finalists in the Activism category!
Winning the campaign is, of course, much more important than winning an award. But winning a Webby would put even more pressure on Apple to do the right thing. And the “People’s Voice” awards (the one we can vote for) will be announced May 1st, one week before the Apple Annual General Meeting!
Click here to cast your vote for Green my Apple. Let’s make sure we’re on the red carpet for the “Oscars of the Internet.” After all, Gore went to the real Oscars, and look what happened to the debate on climate change!
Let your voice be heard! And tell others to use theirs. We want to see the iBuzz page covered in blog links and del.icio.us tagged encouragement to vote for the website you’ve helped build with your t-shirt designs, banners, blogs, and posters: and which is dedicated to reducing the e-waste mountains of Asia and Africa.
Put on the pressure: Apple AGM is coming up!
On May 10th, the Apple Annual General Meeting will take place at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. Two environmental resolutions filed by investors calling for Apple to improve their policies on take-back and the use of hazardous chemicals have already been nixed by the Apple board of directors. But that doesn’t preclude the great, wise, and good leadership of Apple taking their own measures to improve. Apple didn’t budge from last place in our recent Green Electronics ranking, in which Chinese manufacturer Lenova leapt into the lead.
The time is now, Apple fans! Let’s turn up the pressure by hitting the blogs, storming technorati, and getting the word out far and wide that we want to hear about a new, green Apple on May 10th.
Kurt Vonnegut is gone. And with him goes a swath of wisdom and uncompromised morality that literature probably will not see again for a generation or two. He was, I’m convinced, the reincarnation of Mark Twain: down to those puffy hangdog pockets beneath their eyes, the perpetual wreath of smoke, the curling hair, and the deep-set wrinkles of men whose eyes have looked too long at eternity, and seen eternity look back. They talked alike. They talked real witty.
“Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.”
Are those the words of a cruel man? Or the words of a brutally honest man? Because he’s the same man who famously wrote “Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’ ”
That, folks, was a statement that required courage for a man who witnessed first-hand the bombing of Dresden, whose own faith in the goodness of human nature was thin as a whistle at the best of times, but dogged him all his days.
I’ve been invited to speak at the eCampaigning forum on May 9th at Oxford. In the spirit of open source campaigning, I’m seeking input into what I’m going to talk about. Please make this a kick-ass presentation by letting me know what your idea of a kick-ass presentation would be.
This is an excellent way to ensure the audience gets what it wants and has the added benefit of allowing me to be LAZY while you come up with good ideas.
I’m considering a range of possibilities. Here’s a few scribbles you can bounce off of, or throw in your own ideas.
This was the fourth time I’ve seen Bob Dylan live, and in some ways the best. Not as rockin as when he was on the road with Tom Petty, not as historic as when I saw him with Joan Baez on Peace Sunday in 1982 (they mangled and strangled With God on Our Side and Blowin’ in the Wind, but it was Dylan and Baez together against the War Machine, and I hung on every note), thankfully not as wooden as when Eddie Brickell and the New Bohemians opened for him in Rome in 1991 (and did the better show), when he seemed to be taking evil joy in confusing his band.
Tonight he was having fun. Marth though he must have really liked his boots, as he kept doing this twist thing that got them moving, like a little kid trying out a new pair of shoes. During High Water he played with a hand gesture that was goofy, and put a sly look on his face (though steadfastly never aimed at the audience). This was not surly Bob. Alan, a friend who had never been to a Bob concert before, said at first that his Bobness sounded like a male Marianne Faithful. “For the first hour I was really wondering why I was here” he said, “then in the last hour I knew.”
I missed Will Wright’s demo of Spore when I was at SXSW, but thanks to zachinglis and his sometimes-shaky-but-who-cares hand-held video, I just got to see it on Viddler.
Wright is the guy behind Sims. Spore is a “massively single-player online game” due out 3rd quarter this year, and after seeing the demo I intend to be one of the first amoebas to crawl out of the primordial soup.
Creature creation looks like something that binds aspects of Mr. Potato Head crossed with Lego crossed with Clay modeling crossed with a Pixar studio.
The demo shows just how simple the basics are, how smart and intuitive the editor is, and what howlingly complex , bizarre, and lifelike things you can make and animate with nothing but mouseclicks. Thrillingly, Wright has been quoted as saying he doesn’t want to make players feel like Luke Skywalker or Frodo Baggins. He wants them to feel like George Lucas and J.R.R Tolkien.
Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day,something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one elsewould be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.
A fine sentiment, but if there’s one thing that Technorati teaches us, it’s that it’s pretty dang hard to read something NOBODY else is reading or to say anything SOMEBODY else isn’t saying these days. I grabbed the quote this morning from an RSS feed of quotes of the day from my Google home page, and it’s a pretty sure bet that somebody else has done the same.
And you know what? In the words of Laurie Anderson, “Oh Boy. Right. Again.” A quick technorati search shows the quote used here at the Blonde Monologues, here at Musings for grown up girls, here at Just me, here at The Watchtower of Destruction, here at , Who am I and Why am I here? and Perma Smile — all within the last eight hours, along with 900 others.
There’s a scary, Orwellian side of this, of course: the more that the web becomes our primary information resource, the more that the deep channels of popular content widen and deepen into GroupThink.
But there’s the happy hippy Age of Aquarius side as well. Collective conversations can mean collective solutions, collective priorities, and collective decisions to change the way things are. Look at Sierragate (as John Lebkowsky calls it). As regular readers know, I’m a huge fan of Kathy Sierra. (See this cap? See this feather?) But when the news first broke that she was canceling appearances out of a fear of attack, all because a clearly adolescent idiot posted a death threat and misogynist images of her, I felt sympathy, but I also thought she was being a bit naïve.
Perhaps because I see militaristic drivel and threats about Greenpeace every day (“I’m going to finish the job those French F*s started when they tried to blow up your ship”) and Beavis and Butthead content on our forums and in response to our news items, I reckoned this was simply something Kathy should recognize as the price of having an opinion, and one of the downperks of fame.
But the debate that has ensued has set off every “Where’s The Fire” alarm I’ve seen, and we, the blog/borg collective (along with viewers of CNN, apparently), are actually having a healthy discussion about whether this really IS just the way things have to be, and whether any of us should accept the abusive noise of the nose-picking fringe or if there’s something that ought to be done.
The conversation itself will have an impact, apart from any actions that arise. Simply by raising the question of how we can be more civilized, we civilize ourselves. When I read about evolutionary psychologists concluding that as a species, we’re less violent today than we have ever been in history, I can only take heart that the lesson is a hopeful one: We do learn. Bad experiences like war and misogynist attacks, when exposed and talked about openly, eventually lessen their likelihood of occurring again. We may be talking about evolutionary timescales, and for activists of all cuts this is too slow, and so we provoke society into conversations about these things as ways to speed up that process. 30 milliion people out in the streets around the world didn’t stop the Iraq war, but it was the biggest showing of anti-war resistance in history. And next time it may be 50. And next time it may work. Kathy Sierra may not stop hate comments on the internet by refusing to speak in public, but the controversy she has provoked may be one of the snowflakes that eventually becomes an avalanche. This is my morning rose-tinted hope, that Atlantis and Shambala are cities of the future, not of our past.
And while reaching into new areas of exploration does require we all split up and maintain our diversity by reading and writing eclectically, there’s also a need to jump into the unanimity of our global commons, and join the discussion. It’s good for the soul of the planet.
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