Update: My Decade Old ‘9 Steps of Political Scandals

My decade-old list has been cited in subsequent scandals

Ten years ago I posted on this blog a chronological list of fill-in-the-blank steps called “The 9 Steps of Political Scandals.” I wrote then, “It doesn’t matter what the politician does — accept bribes, shoplifts or, well, just fill in the blank.” Since then, my list has been cited in subsequent scandals. Here is the list:

1. Politician _______s.
2. Rumors circulate that politician ________s.
3. Politician denies rumors.
4. Politician caught _____ing.
5. Politician says, “I did not _____, it was a misunderstanding.”
6. Politician blames media and bloggers.
7. Past partners, victims or witnesses show up to prove politician _______s all the time.
8. Politician admits he’s __________ed.
9. Politician apologizes to his family and to those who trusted him, blames it on alcohol and enters rehab.

I have two update observations.

(1) The list is not limited to politicians. It works for licentious VCs.

(2) I’ve discovered that at least one politician is impervious to scandals, and thus, this list.

A Surprising Role Model for Turning Content Into Knowledge


I wrote this for Hammock Inc.’s Idea Email.


Click the photo to find the Library Journal cover story about the Nashville Public Library being named U.S. Library of the Year. (Note: This photo is a thumbnail of a wonderful photo shot by my friend and photographer hero, Bob Shatz.)

Because an Idea Email is sent every other week to subscribers across the United States and globally, we try to keep our references universal, not local. But when something big happens a few blocks from the Nashville office we call Hammock HQ, we can’t help wanting to share.

And no, I’m not talking about the unprecedented way in which locals (including us) have gone nuts over the success of the Nashville Predators and their first appearance in the finals of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoff (#GoPreds).

I’m talking about the Nashville Public Library being named Library of the Year by the trade publication Library Journal. You can read all the reasons why here in the magazine’s cover story.

Because the word library is associated with the physical book (or codex), many have mistakenly placed libraries on the endangered species list. But in addition to the resources and programs great public and academic libraries have embraced in the digital age, these libraries also serve as role models for making content—the core value a company provides its customers—organized and accessible.

The professionals who run libraries are experts in gathering and organizing information critical to workers and customers (or any audience served). They are trained in creating ever-changing taxonomies of knowledge. They’re on the frontlines of finding new ways information can be there when you need it—not just when a writer clicks submit.

As we move into an era of more complex digital media, the skills of trained librarians (and the many other titles they go by) will increasingly become a model for capturing, organizing and making accessible the knowledge that gives your organization a unique and unbeatable competitive advantage.

Wait. Did I just write the word “unbeatable”? #GoPreds

The Funniest New Yorker Video Ever (That Refers to the National Magazine Award)

This video is hilarious. Or maybe it’s not.

Wow. This video produced by the New Yorker was posted on YouTube (below) a week ago and has already been viewed 850 whole times. This may not sound like it’s a lot, but it’s hipster-viral.

It’s one of those Freudian things about humor not being funny unless it’s not, or something like that.

Anywho.

For some reason, about 1/2 of the comments on the YouTube video are about how dumb it is.

Those commenters obviously don’t get the joke. They are probably the same people who don’t read poems in the New Yorker because the poems don’t rhyme or make sense.

Or perhaps they don’t understand the way that humor about Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, isn’t funny because of, well, Freudian things.

Whatever.

Me. I like this video because of its nuanced commentary on the value of winning a National Magazine Award. (Spoiler: $2).

Enjoy! (Or not.)

Pinboard Acquires Delicious (Yes, it Still Exists)

I saw a link to this via Andy Baio (http://waxy.org/). Way, way, long ago, I wrote several posts about the bookmarking service called Delicious. Just proves, if you hang around long enough, things you live through become ancient history.

Yes, way, way, long ago (as in 16 or so years ago), I blogged a lot about Delicious (or, at first, del.icio.us). (Like when Yahoo shuttered it.) For several years, I used the RSS feed of Delicious to post links like this. I have thousands of links bookmarked on two accounts at Delicious. I haven’t looked at it for years.

Delicious used to be a big deal. The Washington Post website even had a “bookmark this with delicious) attached to every article (17 years ago).

Here’s a post on the Pinboard.in Blog.

Pinboard Acquires Delicious

Quote:

Pinboard has acquired Delicious. Here’s what you need to know

If you’re a Pinboard user, nothing will change. Sad!

If you’re a Delicious user, you will have to find another place to save your bookmarks. The site will stay online. but on June 15, I will put Delicious into read-only mode. You won’t be able to save new bookmarks after that date, or use the API.

Users will have an opportunity to migrate their bookmarks to a Pinboard account, which costs $11/year. Those who prefer to bookmark elsewhere will be able to export their data once I fix the export link, which was disabled some months ago for peformance reasons.

Please note that there is no time pressure for moving off Delicious. You won’t be able to save new bookmarks after June 15, but everything else will continue to work, or break in familiar ways.

As for the ultimate fate of the site, I’ll have more to say about that soon. Delicious has over a billion bookmarks and is a fascinating piece of web history. Even Yahoo, for whom mismanagement is usually effortless, had to work hard to keep Delicious down. I bought it in part so it wouldn’t disappear from the web.

This is the fifth time Delicious has been sold. Founded in 2003, the site received funding from Union Square Ventures in 2005, and sold to Yahoo later that year for somewhere between $15-$30M.

In December of 2010, Yahoo announced it was ‘sunsetting’ Delicious, an adventure I wrote about at length. The site was sold to the YouTube founders in 2011. They subsequently sold it to Science, Inc. in 2014. Science sold it to Delicious Media in 2016, and last month Delicious Media sold it to me.

Do not attempt to compete with Pinboard.

—maciej on June 01, 2017

Non-Spoiler @R eview | The Circle (film)

When it was first published, I weighed in on Dave Eggers’ book, The Circle, as I found a lot of the reaction to the book seemed defensive by those who mainline social media Kool-Aid. (You can read the review of the book for the TL;DR version of what I’m about to say about the film.)

I’m not a fan of those who judge a film by how closely it follows the book on which it is based. But I will note there are some backstories that would have been helpful to include, like how did a company emerge that would crush and replace Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google? (Non-spoiler answer: The founder of the company developed a non-hackable, secure way for everyone to have a digital identity (called TruYou). TruYou is mentioned a lot, but the disappearance of the current incumbent players is treated merely as a suspension of disbelief — that or the fictional device used when fictional companies, say Stark Industries, or cities, say Gotham City, are used to suggest a real version.

One of the criticisms of the book was Eggers’ boasting in interviews that he didn’t spend a lot of time researching the technology. The film feels the same way (unlike, say, something written by William Gibson). However, the film is more of a satire (not the funny SNL kind, but the literary device) than a techno-thriller, sci-fi drama. Eggers gets the technology “close enough” to make the points he’s trying to make.

Moreover, the past three years of the real-life march of technology has helped prove that Eggers didn’t need to know the workings of technology to predict the outcome that occurs when we start believing that any new announcement by Google or Facebook will lead to a greater good for mankind.

Downside: Unfortunately, the movie is boring at times.

But despite that, the movie is worth seeing for two reasons: Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson. They are allowed to develop as characters and they both have the acting skills to make us believe they are those characters and not the cardboard cutouts seen in most internet-tech films.

Only one other actor rises to his task in the film: the late Bill Paxton as the father of Emma Watson’s character.

Bottomline: The movie, like the book, does point out the unintended consequences of new technology. (Would we be better off today if Twitter was never created?) But it’s not a great movie — it’s not compelling and convincing beyond the two principals.

Recommendation: For people who think Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon have taken over the world in evil ways, go see it.

Another Recommendation: Last fall (2016), I wrote a brief review of one episode of in the second season of Black Mirror called Nosedive. It, too, is a satire (the Jonathon Swift kind) of social-reputation gone amoke. While it differs in direction, it displays a lot more intensity by using sci-fi techniques that place it in the “near future” rather than the now future.