Archive - 2005

December 29th

Goals for the New Year

Well, 2005 is coming to a close, and like the end of any year, it is a good time to look at what has happened and what the goals for the coming year should be.

Clearly, the top priority is my finances. I have to make sure that there is enough bread on the table. Beyond that there are the all the political issues, how to move the political dialog to more responsibly address the needs of all people, and not just the rich and powerful. Then, there are more specific personal goals.

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December 28th

'I wish I could find a listserve where people are real.'

I’m on a lot of mailing lists and I read a lot of blogs, and that line succinctly sums up a feeling that I seem to be hearing in a lot of places. Perhaps that is some of what has driven some of the interest in ‘Reality TV’ which has turned out to be not especially real. Perhaps that is some of what has driven interest in the ‘Post Broadcast’ political campaigns that we talk about at Greater Democracy. Perhaps it is some of what is driving Citizen Journalism and on the flip side, the decline of local newspapers.

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December 27th

Managing Reputational Risk with Blogs

(Originally published at

Nick Barcia has written about the 3 Ms of Risk Management – Monitor, Measure and Manage. In financial services companies, measuring some types of risk is fairly straight forward. How many S&P equivalents are you long or short? Where is your risk on the interest rate curve, or in foreign currencies?

Other types of risk are harder to quantify. How do you quantify operational risk, or perhaps even more difficult, reputational risk?

Reputational risk can be viewed as the risk that a company’s reputation, its corporate goodwill, and so on can be diminished, or perhaps even enhanced. It falls into the area of public relations and marketing which often seems a little too murky and fuzzy for good quantitative risk managers. Yet it is an important area that is becoming even more important as laws and technology changes.

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December 26th

Stupid stuff, and the courage to be real

I remember when Luke Jackson was in prison. He’d been out drinking one night and took the tops off of a bunch of parking meters. He was doing time in a rural jail when his mom died. The prison guards, they knew that when a man’s mom dies, he’s likely to try some stupid stuff, to try and escape and make it to the funeral, so Luke just spent the time in the box.

Luke Jackson, better know to his friends and movie goers as Cool Hand Luke is fiction, but this sort of stuff takes place everyday around us, and most of us probably never notice.

Gina Coggio’s post, Brinn's Bracelets made me think of Luke. Ms. Coggio writes about her students at a school in New Haven for the New Haven Independent, and in this latest entry she writes about one of her students getting arrested.

"And so this is Christmas..."

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
A new one just begun

Every year, we get the standard holiday greetings, with the typical two page letters describing what our friends have been up to. I’ve never sent out letters like that. These days, I simply encourage people to read my blog. One of the typical two page letters did include a link to a friend’s blog.

So, I’m taking a few moments to think about the year that has passed and write about our Christmas season. One of the most popular blog entries I’ve written is about the smoking jacket that I got for Christmas last year.

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