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18 posts from March 2011

iPad 2: Watching Streaming UStream Videos

Last night here in hotel room in Orlando, Florida, I watched a colleague of mine, Adam Kalsey, give a presentation about out in San Francisco at the East Bay Ruby group... on my iPad. Now, big deal, you say... well on one level, it IS a big deal because uses Flash, which is of course evil to the iPad. So I couldn't just go to the website. Instead I had to install the Ustream app from Apple's AppStore. With that installed I could search on the video and... Ta da ...

Now the reality is that the "app" may in fact be a packaged flash player... but it worked! Pretty cool to see...

iPad 2: Watching Streaming UStream Videos

My FIR Report for March 14, 2011 - Japan Quake, Doc Searls and Al Jazeera

fir_100x100.gifMy report into this week's For Immediate Release podcast #590 turned out to be a very focused report. Last Thursday when I was thinking about what to record on Friday, I had planned to talk about the sheer brilliance of Apple's iPad2 launch timing... about how they are "masters of creating spectacle". However, other events created a far greater spectacle which swept away any focus people may have had on the newest gadget coming out of Cupertino.

I know my attention on Friday was not focused on any reports of iPad 2 lines or online scarcity but instead focused on all the insane and surreal news coming out of Japan with the combination of the earthquake and tsunami and all the resulting devastation. Given the super-high density of mobile phones in Japan, it was perhaps too be expected that this disaster would be uploaded.... videos.... photos... tweets... updates of all sorts...

My FIR report focused on that aspect of the event... and also Doc Searls great post: "Earthquake turns TV networks into print" about how the Internet is changing coverage of events, particularly when some media like Al Jazeera are using live streaming so well while other TV networks are not (or cannot due to contracts). I have much more to say on that topic... but in the meantime I encourage you all to read Doc's post. Or... listen to my report inside of this week's FIR ;-)

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Al Jazeera Providing Excellent Live Coverage of Japan Earthquake

UPDATE: No sooner had I posted this piece than Al Jazeera switched to cover the other major story of the unrest and military strikes in Libya. They continue to be switching back and forth between the stories.

Like many of us here in North America, I had never watched Al Jazeera prior to the chaos in the Middle East over the last month or two... but when I did I was impressed with the coverage they offered. And so with the massive Japanese quake in the last hours, it is perhaps no surprise that Al Jazeera is once again providing great non-stop coverage:

Incredibly surreal footage... my thoughts are definitely with all the people affected by this massive event.


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First SNCR Fellows Conf Call - and the Digital Impact Conference in May in NY

SncrlogoToday marked the first of what will now be quarterly conference calls for the new Fellows of the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) (to which I was recently added). It was an enjoyable call hearing about the backgrounds of the various Fellows and also getting to hear from some of the other current SNCR Fellows (including friend and FIR co-host Shel Holtz). We also discussed the research we'll each be doing, the SNCR code of conduct and the calendar of activities for 2011.

One of the more interesting pieces of news was that there will not be a "New Communications Forum" event this year (a.k.a. the "New Comm Forum"), but instead SNCR is partnering with the PR Society of America (PRSA) to have a track at the PRSA "Digital Impact Conference" on May 5-6 in New York City:

Digital Impact Conference Social Media and Digital PR Marketing and Communication Strategies PRSA

Not being a PRSA member, I hadn't honestly paid attention to this conference, but upon taking a look it does indeed seem like a great event! Not sure if my schedule will allow me to get down there... but I'm definitely thinking about it.

Again, it was good to be starting to connect with the rest of the SNCR Fellows and I look forward to working with them all over the next few years!

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Who Tweeted The Most At Enterprise Connect? (Graphic)

So I knew that I tweeted a good bit when down at Enterprise Connect, but didn't quite know how much I tweeted! Analyst Dave Michels analyzed the last 1500 tweets on the #enterprisecon hashtag and produced this graphic (click for the full-size image):


Yep, my @danyork Twitter account is that big blue wedge in the upper right. :-) Dave later tweeted out that I had sent out 284 tweets in those 1500 tweets. In truth, I actually sent out a few more, since I used the @voipsa account to live-tweet the security talks on the final day (which is the 6th-highest account, the purple-ish wedge in the lower right).

Kudos to Dave for putting together this chart... fun to see!

P.S. Of course, Lawrence Byrd had to wonder about quantity vs quality... :-)

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Why Is India's Dept of Telecom Blocking All TypePad-Hosted Blogs?

typepad.jpgWhy is India's Department of Telecom blocking all blogs hosted on TypePad? What could they possibly accomplish by doing this?

Tonight Stuart Henshall contacted me on Skype IM to let me know he couldn't reach my Disruptive Telephony blog from Mumbai, India to read my recent post about Google Voice and SIP addresses. The site was very definitely up, so I asked him if he could see this Disruptive Conversations blog. Nope. Nope. All of which are hosted on TypePad. Stuart could see my site, but that's separately hosted on a standalone WordPress install.

Wondering if this was a block on all of TypePad, Stuart tried

(I just pulled those off TypePad's list of "showcase" blogs and gave them to Stuart to try.)

Given that Stuart uses "Airtel Broadband" in India, he did a quick search online and found this report in an online forum that Airtel was blocking TypePad! The forum included this response with a graphic clearly showing the problem:


The text says:

This site has been blocked as per request from Department of Telecom

And all I can say is:


I mean, yes, I know that India's Department of Telecom has been blocking VoIP calls since Feb 2009, so sure, I could maybe see an argument for blocking my DisruptiveTelephony site since I talk about Skype and other VoIP services (but would the Indian Dept. of Telecom really notice my little blog? Seems a stretch). But blocking Seth Godin? Come on!

Even better... blocking the National Geographic blogs? I mean... Hello? What has NGM ever done to India? And I guess there is the assumption that no one in India will want to read news from Marriott? Or from any of the 10s of thousands of other people writing blogs on TypePad?

Curiously, Stuart could get to the main page of, something that others mentioned in the most recent posts to this online forum, but he couldn't get to any of the actual blogs hosted on TypePad.

So what's up? Why can't people in India read any of our blogs? (And TypePad folks, are you talking to the Indian Dept of Telecom about this?) It seems crazy for a country to block an entire hosting provider!

I'd say that "if you are reading this in India, please contact your government"... but obviously that's the point, you can't read this in India. I guess if any of you reading this outside of India can somehow clue people inside of the country to this problem, perhaps they can be asking questions of the Dept. of Telecom.

Meanwhile, if you are in India and you click on one of the links in my tweets and find it doesn't work... well... it was probably a link to one of my blogs on TypePad! (Not that you'll ever know, since you can't read this post.)

UPDATE - 3/9/11: Aswath Rao reminded me on Twitter last night that in this post I am only reporting that one ISP in India is reporting that the government of India has asked to block certain sites. His contention was that you could not jump to a conclusion that all of India is blocking access to TypePad. He is correct in that, although in IM'ing with Stuart Henshall he indicated that he had heard of similar blockage by other ISPs. Regardless, the point is that for at least some number of people in India, TypePad is blocked.

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Facebook's Broken Import of RSS Feeds into Facebook Pages - Disregarding HTML Attributes

Once again, Facebook amazes me with some of the broken abilities around importing a RSS feed into a Facebook Page. Gee, what's wrong with this blog post imported into a Facebook "Note"?


If you look at the original post on Voxeo's blog, you can see that the images look fine there:

Devjamsession 201103

And in the RSS feed, viewed in a browser, the images look fine, too:

Devjamsession rssfeed

What's the issue? I'm sure some of you have figured it out by now... the image we are using for Tobias Goebel is in fact a larger image than we are showing in the blog post. The image is 302x420 pixels. We are then using the width and height attributes of the <img> tag to reduce the display of the image to the smaller size. In the IMG tag, we have these attributes:

width="89" height="123"

And sure, we can get into a philosophical discussion around whether this is the right thing to do or not. I personally do not do this in general because from a speed point-of-view you are sending a larger image file than you need for a display. I resize my images to the size I want before uploading. In this case, I grabbed a link to the image from another post without realizing it was doing this type of image resizing via attributes. My mistake.

Be that as it may, the point is that the post is out there... it is published... and...


Facebook is simply ignoring the width and height attributes.


Given that we as authors do often use those attributes to specify the size of our images, why wouldn't Facebook render them correctly?

This of course makes me wonder... what other attributes is Facebook ignoring? Do I have to be checking every single post that gets imported into Facebook to make sure it looks right?

Thinking that I could just simply go into the text of the "Note" and change this, I naively went into Facebook, used the "Use Facebook As Page" feature to switch to "Voxeo" so that I could edit the page... and promptly found a completely blank Wall:


Nice, Facebook... really nice. :-(

I tried it in both Google Chrome and Firefox. No joy.

This is for the entire Wall of the Page. I see... nothing. I'm not even looking at the specific post yet.

I can switch back to "Use Facebook as Dan", of course... but then the only option I seem to have is to delete the post. There is a "Edit" button, but that just lets me add tags to the post.

So for the moment it appears that Tobias is going to be stuck with a huge image until I can go through the process of:

  1. Deleting this "Note" out of Facebook.
  2. Changing the original post to have a smaller image of Tobias.
  3. Re-importing the post to Facebook either as a Note or as a link.

Multiple steps that could be completely avoided... if only Facebook respected the HTML attributes of the original post.

Ah, the fun, fun, fun of living in the Facebook world...

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365 Days of Blog Posts in 2011 - Missing The Goal On Day 64

2011calendar-1.jpgOuch... I was doing so well... I have been well on my way toward my goal of 365 days of blog posts in 2011. I published a blog post every single day of January and February, including the entire week I was on vacation.

And then I blew it and missed the goal instead on just a regular, mundane Saturday...

I did NOT publish a blog post on Saturday, March 5, 2011.

Not on any of my personal blogs... not on any of Voxeo's blogs... nowhere. :-(

Now, yesterday I did create my weekly audio report for the For Immediate Release podcast, but that doesn't count since it won't actually be online until Monday. I did post some photos to Facebook and post some status updates there. I did put out a few tweets, too.... but none of the longer-form content on my blogs that this goal was all about.

I could, of course, rewrite history a bit and publish a post today that was dated yesterday. None of you would know just from reading the blogs... but of course that wouldn't be honest and, besides, close examination of my Twitter stream would show that I didn't publish any posts (and... (gasp!)... I only tweeted twice yesterday). :-)

I can't claim it was any big distraction... it was just a regular Saturday. I was exhausted after a crazy week of travelling and was just enjoying my first full day back with my family. Doing some errands, taking a small road trip to see a local curling club, hanging around the house... just reveling in the normalcy of time at home. And completely spacing the fact that I didn't have a post queued up to go out.

And that's the key that has helped me achieve my goal thus far:

I have been scheduling my posts out several days in advance.

Acting on my own advice, I have been writing posts and queuing them up across my blogs. In effect I have had a blogging "buffer" that worked great for days like yesterday when I got busy and didn't think of writing (or thought about it, as I did several times, but didn't do it). For my vacation week, I had almost all the week queued up in advance for both my own blogs and the Voxeo blogs. I have had a queue of posts to go up online and then have added more posts that have been responding to breaking news or events. It's been working great.

So what happened?

Well, I unfortunately let the queue of written posts run dry. It certainly wasn't from lack of ideas... my brain continues to be constantly exploding with ideas. But I hadn't turned those ideas into actual written posts... which was exactly the discipline that this 2011 goal was all about.

So what now?

I will continue, of course. The goal will now be for 364 days of blog posts in 2011... and if I don't blow it again and continue the process into 2012 perhaps I will be back here on March 6, 2012, writing about how I wrote posts for an entire year!

I wondered if I could make it the whole 365 days... but didn't expect to miss it on day 64. Ah, well. (On the other hand, I had a truly wonderful day with my family yesterday, and at the end of the day that is what is most important! :-)

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