Papa's Birthday



Papa's Birthday, originally uploaded by Aldon.

Well, it’s been a few months, but yesterday, I missed a day of blogging. I’ve been fighting a stomach bug, it was Papa’s birthday, the server crashed, and we had a power outage. More later.

In other news, Dedric Mauriac has a post up about expanding the number of groups people in Second Life can be in. Dedric points to a post by Veyron making the same call. When Veyron voted for the change, there were 386 votes. The hope was to get this up to 500 or even a thousand. Dedric's vote was 399. Mine was 613. If you are in Second Life, you can vote here.

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The Ghosts of Internet Time

This morning, I received an email from Andy Oram about a short article he wrote back in 1999. Andy is an editor at O’Reilly Press and I met him at the Reputation Economies symposium at Yale Law. Eight years ago, he wrote, The Ghosts of Internet Time.

In the email, Andy said, “I'm afraid that fewer and fewer people now will recognize my references to the Past, and I'm no longer as negative about the Future as I was, but I think the article still holds some relevance.”

So, I went and checked out the article. Near the beginning of the article, he talks about the Ghost of Internet Past. He observes that “99% of all newsgroups degenerated into philosophical spats between leftists and libertarians, and three-quarters of all the alerts circulated had been hoaxes.” Having briefly checked to see the discussions on DailyKos and Little Green Footballs, as well as deleting the spams, the scams and the phishing attempts that showed up in my email over night I was glad to be reminded of how far we’ve come.

Later on, Andy speaks with the Ghost of Internet Present. Remember this is the Internet Present of 1999 when Andy wrote his article. They listen to people debating Internet policy. The ghost observes, “I was not talking about physical bandwidth at all. I was referring to control. Who has the power to use the Internet? Will it have job postings for the underprivileged or only stock quotes for the affluent?” On Thursday, I listened to Tim Wu speak about similar things at Virtually Speaking in Second Life. We now call the debate ‘Net Neutrality’, and we’ve made incredible progress, being able to have the debate in Second Life instead of listening to RealPlayer streams the way Andy’s Ghost of Internet Present (1999) had to.

The Ghost of Internet Future talks of the Internet being gone. “The international financial institutions have a proprietary satellite-based network, imposing and impenetrable. The entertainment companies put out 6500 programs a week, all strictly metered by kilobyte and filtered to isolate controversial content.” Thank God Andy’s prediction was incorrect. The 6500 programs a week are strictly measured by the gigabyte, not the kilobyte.

Andy ends off his article with, “Finally, Ghost of Internet Future, I will always insist that the Internet is more than a means of transmitting data—it is a place for building community.” I guess it is in this light that I post this blog entries, building communities ties between myself, Andy, and anyone who reads and thinks about this post.

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Watching the numbers

For people who watch the numbers, the past several weeks have been mixed for Orient Lodge. When Google did its big page rank realignment, Orient Lodge dropped from a page rank of 5 to a page rank of 4. Not a big change, but not a change in the direction I would have liked to have seen.

Now, my Technorati ranking has been plummeting. A few months ago, I participated in some viral cross-linking which drove my Technorati authority towards 700. Now, the virus seems to have passed and I’ve dropped below 400 in my authority and out of the Technorati top 10,000. My Alexa ranking, which is another ranking which is fairly easily gamed slipped from 142,000 during the summer, and higher before that to something over 160,000 before climbing back to 154,000. On Quantcast, I slipped from 3000 visitors a month with a ranking of 474,000 to closer to 2000 visitors a month before climbing back to 2500 visitors a month with a ranking of around 552,000. The bright spot in the numbers game was climbing from 764,000 on Compete up to 391,000 with over 3000 monthly visits. However, Compete tends to lag a little bit, so it may drop soon enough.

Yet really, it isn’t the numbers that matter. Today, I received an email from one person asking if they could use the poem I wrote about the funeral home on his website. Another person wrote to say that some of my thoughts on social networks were really helpful to a company they were working with. (Now, all that is needed is for me to start getting paid more often for my sharing my thought about digital social media).

Then, this evening I found that Benny’s World had spotlighted my blog. I learned about Benny’s World through the Edwards campaign, and have enjoyed reading it. I am honored to be spotlighted there.

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Second Life Trading: Where have all the buyers gone?

Over the past few days, spreads have widened drastically on both the VSTEX and ACE exchanges. Most of this change has come as buyers have disappeared. There are still plenty of sellers and this has driven down both the bid and the last prices, but the asking prices aren’t really moving much.

VSTEX had its third busiest day of the month yesterday, but still the movement appears to be based simply on the disappearance of buyers and not on any fundamental changes, negative news or even panic buying.

Based on this, it seems like this is a good time to step in and place orders for stocks that you are interested in that seem undervalued. I’ve placed a fair amount of orders and have been picking up stocks at prices I consider way below their market value. In one case, I turned around sold some of the shares at nearly twice the price I paid for them in less than 24 hours. I will gladly buy stocks and sell them the next day at twice the price as often as I can.

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At The Funeral Home

There is something wrong with the air.
It feels heavy.
It sits awkwardly in my mouth, my throat, my lungs.
I cannot breathe.

There is something wrong with the air.
It stings my eyes.
I look around frantically for a glimmer of hope or joy.
I cannot see.

There is something wrong with the air
It clogs my ears.
I listen numbly for the sound of laughter,
But hear only crying.

It isn’t the fragrance of the flowers.
It isn’t the dim light illuming the coffin.
It is the emptiness
Knowing a friend is gone.

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