Katie Couric is vlogging

Katie Couric is vlogging: Forget that TV gig. Katie Couric has a new blog called Couric & Co. at the easy to remember web address: http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/couricandco/main500803.shtml. Actually, one of the “& Co.” folks, Greg Kandra, made all the posts on the blog today, but it has lots of video clips of Katie, including a daily video post called First Look.

Because it’s probably been 25 years since I’ve watched a network “evening news” (they come on at 5:30 in Nashville — who’s watching TV at that time?), I’ll not be posting any reviews of her anchor debut. However, here’s my review of her first “vlogging”: I found it refreshing that the production values and premise of the “First Look” vlog segments are like this: Have someone grab a digital video camera and follow Katie around while she talks about tonight’s news with the producers. No edits — just whatever she says seems to get posted. Also, this seems like a one-take production with no rehearsal. (At least, that’s what it seems after seeing they left several seconds of her doing something with her sweater that would never make it onto the evening news.) Katie walks around “the fish bowl” and talks over the shoulders of the producers. They are hard at work at their flat screen monitors, never looking at the camera — just at Katie or their monitors. The executive editorial staff of the show are all dressed in clothes straight from the set of Good night and Good luck (except no one is smoking). Loosen up the ties, guys. Katie is informal, chatty and joking it up with the gang. However, at times, she seems a little nervous — a bit like Amanda Congdon used to appear.

After watching her vlog post, it’s clear she’s not nearly as funny as ZeFrank, however I’ve decided I like Katie and if I’m ever home at 5:30 when the news comes on here in Nashville — which I never am — I’ll be sure to tune in. But I doubt I’ll TiVo it.

As for the Couric & Co. blog where the videos are being posted: It has all the permalinks, comments, RSS feeds and “add to delicious” badges you’d expect. It has hundreds of comments but I read only a few because they all sounded like, “I love you, Katie…” Except for an easy-to-remember URL, Katie has all the blog bases covered. She & Co. are going to have a seat at the table when any of those blogger types stir up stuff; not like that other guy who used to be the anchor. In the most recent post on her blog, Greg Kandra introduces a new feature of the day called “Word of the Day” and about today’s word, “gravitas,” he writes this: “After hearing that word a few times too often this summer, usually describing something people thought she lacked, Katie said, in exasperation: “I’m convinced gravitas is Latin for testicles.” All of the comments on the post ignore the quote and focus, rather, on how great Katie was on tonight’s news.

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Where’s the outrage?

Where’s the outrage? Doc Searls points to an article in today’s LA Times about the possibility of (don’t read this, Laura) the Las Manitas Avenue Cafe in Austin having to close to make way for a giant hotel project (with three — not one, not two, but three — Marriott hotels). I’ve spent a total of five days in Austin and I believe I’ve eaten at the restaurant six times — I had breakfast there three days in a row in March — and would have kept the record going if I hadn’t returned home. I once described Las Manitas to some people in Nashville this way: Imagine if the Pancake Pantry was also a great Tex-Mex restaurant. By the way, the reference to Laura regards a recollection of a lunch we had there a couple of years ago that she blogged on Fixin’ Supper (before her blog moved to its current address, Fixinsupper.com). This year, Summer Huggins and I had lunch there a few tables away from Ann Richards. One thing for sure: thanks to Summer and her husband, Cole, my visits to Austin are always jammed packed with great dining memories.

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Where are the lawyers 2.0? Or, “the parody defense”

Where are the lawyers 2.0? Or, “the parody defense”: There are some giggles about whether there is actually a conference (or is it a parody website?) taking place next month in Tyson’s Corner called, “The New New Internet Web 2.0 Conference.” I assume (like Dave) there really is a conference planned, but I suggest its organizers keep the “parody” rumors alive. Why?

A few days ago, Tim O’Reilly wrote on his weblog:

“I’m also pleased to report that CMP has agreed to narrow the scope of enforcement of the Web 2.0 trademark registration. It will only seek to protect the Web 2.0 trademark if another other Web 2.0-related event has a name that is confusingly similar to the names of the actual events co-produced by CMP and O’Reilly, such as our events “The Web 2.0 Conference” and “The Web 2.0 Expo.” This is consistent with my original understanding about why the trademark filing was made. I must confess that I’ve always thought that the point was simply to protect the event names, as evidenced by the fact that we have always put the trademark notice at the end of the conference names on the website that O’Reilly produces, “The Web 2.0 Conference.”

As the Tyson’s Corner conference is calling itself The New New Internet Web 2.0 Conference*, this appears to be the type of infringement Tim describes. As the conference is prominently displaying the logos of such companies and institutions as Microsoft, Google, TechCrunch, Jobster and the Harvard Business School, I believe there is clearly the opportunity for CMP and O’Reilly to display “harm” and to claim damages.

Admittedly, I am not a lawyer and I only play one on this blog. However, from my legal Lazy Boy, here’s my advice to the Tyson’s Corner folks: Claim you are using the phrase “Web 2.0” as commentary and parody of the O’Reilly/CMP conferences — and call in Rageboy as an expert witness. You could use one of my favorite legal cases, Suntrust vs. Houghton Mifflin to defend your usage of the trademarked term, Web 2.0®.

*From the source code of the Tyson’s Corner conference website:

<title>The New New Internet - Web 2.0 Conference</title>

meta name=”keywords” content=”Web 2.0, the new new internet, web 2.0 conference, Business web 2.0, 2.0 business conference, Web 2.0 IPV6, Business 2.0, conferences”
meta name=”description” content=”Our intent for The New New Internet Web 2.0 Conference is to bring you absolutely the best speakers and presentors on the topic of Web 2.0 and how it applies to the enterprise.”

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Second Life virtual state delegates up for grab

Second Life virtual state delegates up for grab: Forget Iowa. Now potential presidential candidates are heading to Second Life to campaign. I think campaigning on Second Life is right up there with doing an interview with Steven Colbert. High risk, questionable reward and lots of accolades from people who rarely vote. Don’t get me wrong. I think appearing on Second Life is very appropriate for politicians. Many I observe live permanently in make-believe worlds.

Update: rexblog’s peephole into the world of Second Life, Eric Rice, has posted a screen shot from the “event.”

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