Management superpowers

Sean Michael Kerner writes about Mike Shaver, co-founder of the Mozilla project, who recently presented on the topic of how people contribute to open source projects.

Here are two quotes that could be broadly applied to management in general:

To an employee (sic): “Think about what is the thing that you do best. Whatever it is, that’s your X factor, your superpower. Think about how you can you use that.”

On being the manager: “I help people match those things up. That’s my call to action.”

Get Social Around Video

This week, Bambi Francisco wrote a wealth of information about vendors and sites working in the online video space. She interviews tool providers for connecting video users too. You have to jump back and forth between her MarketWatch column and her personal blog to put the pieces together. I’m not being critical, I realize that posting to the one probably pays more than the other! In the Marketwatch piece she states the takeaway nicely at the end of the article: “The online world is just waiting to get social around video.”

RAS heads to Denver in December

My friend Tim Rasmussen has just announced that after spending four years heading up the photography staff at the South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel, he will be heading to Denver. Starting in December, he will lead the photography and visual efforts as the AME of photography for the Denver Post. Tim is a great journalist. It won’t take Denver long to appreciate that! I know he will be happy to be out in the ‘Wild West’ again and I wish him and his family all the best.

VideoBlog software for OS X

One morning in late 2003 I walked in to the newsroom at Fredericksburg.com and said, “We need to use this iSight. Do something fun.”

Brian Baer and Alex Russell recorded and posted “The Baer Facts” videoblog within hours. They continued on somewhat regularly and invited in guests to comment on sports, features and weather reports. Volunteers from the FUG community, (“FredTalk Users Group“) were regulars on the show.

“The Baer Facts” was recorded on most mornings through early 2005. Someone decided that it was too much work and killed the idea. Today, the only remaining evidence I can find are a few videos which include a few classic outtakes.

We hacked together freeware for the recording and taped scripts to the side of the monitor. Just this week I was reminded of that show when I was pointed to a video recording program that would have been perfect.

If you are contemplating a simple videoblog, check out VideoCue 2 from Vara Software. There are two versions and prices. One comes with a full-screen teleprompter.

I’m downloading a copy now. I’ll let you know how it goes. Next week I’m going to walk into my office and say, “We need to use this software for something”.

I stumbled upon…

I was searching the web tonight for “Zope” (something) and I stumbled upon a site called StumbledUpon that records interesting pages that other users have stumbled upon and lets you sort the web accordingly using a browser plugin that works in IE and Firefox. It turns out that a whole lot of other people have also stumbled upon this site because a search result of pages tagged with the word ‘zope’ gave me back comments from at least 20 other “stumblers”.

Magic and illusions

My friend Chris Muldrow listens to Penn Jillette’s podcast regularly and today I stumbled across it (on the bottom right of that site) and decided if Chris thought it was worth 45 minutes of his time, I should give it a try too. I would give it a B+ as “pretty good”. Funny, but not too funny. Not too serious, but serious enough and to boot, he had a good guest and they both made a lot of sense.

Now that I’m not traveling and sitting on an airplane as much as I was this past summer, I just don’t seem to regularly have 45 minutes for a anything, much less a podcast that requires listening attention for that length of time.

On a somewhat related topic (at least my brain linked them together)…

Here is an illusion from Mark Levinson’s site that will waste a few minutes of your day.

How do you manage 7000 songs?

My iTunes library has over 7000 songs. Sometimes, simply due to the quantity of music and the lack of effort I’ve put into organizing it, creating a set of music to simply enjoy is a real chore.

The other day, I found a little site called MyStrands.com that has a very neat feature if you sign in and download their application. The “Playlist Builder” takes a song suggestion from you, then it looks at the network of users who are members of their service and compares your library to each of those user’s libraries and sends back a suggested playlist. It hooks up to iTunes. If you don’t mind sharing your library with the site then you’ll love it. One day, I’ll figure out what they are trying to do with the social networking part, but for now, the play list feature is enough for me.