Way cool tool

Way cool tool: Creative Commons has unveiled an updated beta version of its search engine, which scours the web for text, images, audio, and video free to re-use on certain terms.

Quote from press release:

“The Creative Commons search engine helps companies, educators, and artists find content they can re-use without having to call a lawyer, and it offers authors and artists who want to share their work a competitive advantage toward having their work discovered online,” said Neeru Paharia, assistant director of Creative Commons and the search engine’s product manager. For example, a documentary filmmaker could use the Creative Commons engine to search for “images of the Eiffel Tower free for noncommercial use,” and incorporate any or all of the many photographs indexed. A DJ seeking songs free to remix or mash-up could browse listings of MP3s by their legal terms. An entrepreneur seeking illustrations for her slideshow presentation could reduce costs and liability by using a Creative Commons image-specific search. An educator building course materials could include texts and videos found by the engine. What distinguishes the Creative Commons engine from other search services is that all of the above are possible without the hassle of rights-clearance, licensing requests, or royalty payments.

The search engine was developed with the help of Nutch.org, an open-source search developer and is included in Firefox 1.0.

(via: ResourceShelf)

Picture this, no wait, don’t

Picture this, no wait, don’t: Today Doc Searls says he was photographed blogging in a, well, rather interesting pose. A couple of days ago, Jeff Jarvis explained a similar photo session: “‘Go ahead, blog,’ they say, as, oh, I don’t know, we’re going to take off our clothes and end up in our PJs cackling madly.”

Hey, I love you guys, but this imagery is making me queasy.

Update: Doc clarifies in the comments to this post that he actually wasn’t photographed in the pose he mentions (thank god), but rather, by the pool with the Pacific in the background — a setting he says he rarely blogs in but, no doubt, will look better in a photo than either of the other alternatives he jokingly (although I missed the joke, first time ’round) suggests were other options.

Custom publishing update – controversy bait

Custom publishing update – controversy department: For three years on this weblog, I have repeatedly marveled at the skills of Abercrombie & Fitch marketers to produce controversial custom publishing projects seemingly designed to generate publicity by creating protests from church groups. So it is only fitting that I blog this Editor & Publisher report on the backlash to a custom publishing project developed by the kind of church group that usually protests anything coming from A-F. Both Sides Magazine was distributed as a paid insert in 200,000 zoned issues of Sunday’s Washington Post (but not the metro edition). The magazine which, according to E&P, espsouses “a strong argument against gay marriage,” is described on its website as “an outreach ministry of Grace Christian Church” of Woodbridge, Va. According to E&P, it has generated “more than 1,000 e-mails and phone calls, according to Ombudsman Michel Getler, who said most of the comments opposed the publication as offensive.”

Quote:

“They were overwhelmingly negative about the Post distributing this thing,” Getler told E&P, noting that many of the responses were from outside the Post circulation area, indicating a formal campaign against the publication may have begun. “People were upset and they let the paper know.”…Although the publication was clearly marked as advertising in several locations, and carried a note on the second page stating it “is not a product of the Washington Post,” newspaper officials said it drew an angry reaction from many readers. “It is not something everyone agreed with,” said Publisher Boisfeuillet Jones Jr., who said the advertisers had a right to pay for placement of their viewpoint. “I’m not going to say I agree with it, but it is a case where we went through the vetting process.

It appears all sides are learning how to play this controvery marketing custom publishing game.

Custom publishing update

Custom publishing update: The anonymous vaporzine scout has outdone himself: a vaporzine and and a custom magazine find, both in one day. He just sent me a link to a Communication Arts feature on the Virgin Atlantic “mini-magazine” called, ugh, Jetrosexual.

Quote:

This small, perfect-bound, coffee-table-style, mini magazine provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of the jet setter. The result of a collaboration between Miami-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky and New York studio Graham Clifford Design, this small format lifestyle book was created to identify and reflect a new genre of air travelers—the entrepreneurs, artists and musicians who move through time zones spreading culture and commerce wherever they go.

This sounds similar to a jethrorexual, except we only move through Southwest waiting areas and instead of spreading culture, we spread the flu. And we don’t have a trendy mini-magazine yet.