November 24, 2006

On Blogging Part Two: The Personal Blog

As I continue to encourage all of you to blog, I can't go further into the discussion without talking a little about the personal blog. My history tells me that this is how it all started: the weblog. I may be wrong, but the early blogs I remember in the early 00's were mainly online diaries and links. The beginnings of both blogging and social bookmarking. Just as digital cameras have made photographers out of everyone, blogs have made webmasters of us all too.

The personal blog is the easiest of my three types of blogs to involve yourself in. The subject is easy: It's all about you. MKinMotion is an example of a personal blog. Whether it's commentary on current events, movie reviews, music recommendations or just rambling and ranting, it remains a place for people to keep track of what I'm up to but maybe more clear, what I'm thinking.

Personal blogs, as mentioned in Part One, can revolve around an event or series of events. Personal blogs can also be shared by multiple friends or family members. Personal blogs rarely break a news story, but more likely react to a news story. They come in all shapes and sizes. I have several personal blogs loaded in my RSS reader of people who I've never met, but have somehow been introduced (perhaps through the "Six Degrees of Blogging") or they got featured or just mentioned somewhere else I read. Two examples:

Betsy is "Blogging the World Over" currently from Galapagos.

Will is hilariously being the boy at "Be the Boy."

I've never met either of them, but I feel a little like I know them from keeping up with their blogs. Several friends have personal blogs, you can find them in the sidebar. Professionals not blogging as professionals, teachers blogging about their schools, and friends blogging about their lives. Just another reason to get started on your blog today; while you've got something to say.

Freedom of Speech

On Tuesday, U2 released a new CD. Before you push away from your desk and bolt for the nearest record store, or fly over to the iTunes Store, know that it's a collection of their singles. There are two new songs, one a collaboration with Green Day to benefit Music Rising. and the other new song is "Window in the Skies."

Being the raving U2 fan that I am, I bought it Tuesday morning on iTunes and it came with a bonus "disc" of several live tracks from their Vertigo stop in Milano. It's great. Not just the live tracks, but hearing the singles they've released over the years. Do you remember where you were when you first heard some of these songs that have become so much a part of our lives?

I was listening to KFOG on my way to work on Tuesday morning and Matt Nathanson was on as a guest host of their morning show. He told a story about The Dixie Chicks' movie. We all know about the controversial comment that Natalie Maines made, but regardless of what side of the aisle you sit, making death threats to someone is no way to deal with an opinion you don't agree with.

Where is this coming from in a post that seemed to be about U2? Having just downloaded U218, I had U2 on the brain and so when Matt Nathanson talked about death threats, I thought of a story that I didn't hear until U2's induction to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

As Bono talks about each member of the band in a series of vignettes described as "Kodak Moments," he gets to Adam Clayton and tells this story:

"Third Kodak moment. 1987. Somewhere in the south. We'd been campaigning for Dr. King, for his birthday to become a national holiday. In Arizona, they are saying no. We're campaigning very hard for Dr. King. Some people don't like it. Some people get very annoyed. Some people want to kill us. Some people are taken very seriously by the FBI. They tell the singer that he shouldn't play the gig because tonight his life is at risk, and he must not go on stage. And the singer laughs. Of course we're playing the gig. Of course we go onstage, and I'm singing "Pride (In the Name of Love)" -- the third verse -- and I close my eyes. And you know, I'm excited about meeting my maker, but maybe not tonight. I don't really want to meet my maker tonight. I close my eyes and when I look up I see Adam Clayton standing in front of me, holding his bass as only Adam Clayton can hold his bass. There are people in this room who'd tell you they'd take a bullet for you, but Adam Clayton would have taken a bullet for me. I guess that's what its like to be in a truly great rock and roll band."

In this day and age, when The Dixie Chicks and Michael Richards can be a barometer for where we still are as a country, the synchronicity of the stories can't be overlooked. This band that I'm not along in my love for, is still not afraid to represent those who can't represent themselves. One of the themes that has followed with them through all their years is the idea of love and equality winning out. Whether it's "F*** the Revolution" or "COEXIST" or Product Red or the One Campaign, the band actively lives out the words of their sometimes idealistic songs.

And while I believe the freedom of speech this country grants us protects Natalie Maines and Michael Richards the same, and allows other people to exploit the internet to cast a poor light on a hero like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., you can make a difference by clicking the links below in an attempt to Google bomb the hatred.

Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King

Buy the CD too, if for nothing else but the amazing live performances of "Miss Sarajevo," "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own," and the song that's become my favorite live song to come off of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, "City of Blinding Lights."

And while this will be the last time I will ever compare the Dixie Chicks to U2, give "Not Ready to Make Nice" a listen, because it's pretty close to brilliant.

Apple Store

November 22, 2006

On Blogging Part One: Begin the Begin

I am not a professional blogger; nor do I consider myself very good at it for that matter. I've been at it for a little over 2 years and it has brought me neither fame nor fortune. I have, however, kept my ear to the tubes and paid a lot of attention to blogging and the more I learn the more I confirm my thought that everyone should have a blog. There are lots of different types of blogs, but I want to categorize them into three main categories: Personal, Corporate, and I'll call the third type Industrial. Over the next few days I will be publishing a series of posts on blogging as it relates to those three types of blogs.

I think there are three things that most bloggers would agree would be the hardest to do. The first is the easiest of the three and that is to get started. The second is to create content that is compelling to your audience and compelling enough to build a larger audience. The third is to continue to blog despite blogger's block and busyness.

Getting started.

1. Pick a Service. There are a number of free services out there that are as good as anything you'll find with the most professional of bloggers. One of the hottest services lately has been VOX. It's very user friendly and makes for a good way to network with your friends and family that also blog. Other free services are Blogger and Wordpress. From my experience, Blogger and Vox walk you right through the process of creating the blog without having to know any CSS or HTML code. For some of you this may be the biggest obstacle and I'm telling you to get over that fear and jump right in.

2. Pick a Motive. There are a million and one reasons for someone to blog, you just need to pick one. It could be to track a particular event in your life like tracking a pregnancy to birth, or a trip to Europe, or taking yoga classes. No one should ever tell you that you need to focus on one thing, but it does help if you want to create and keep an audience. My blog has always been a personal blog in which I share events and ideas that come along. I have another blog that focuses on the world of sports. As I get into the coming posts about types of blogs, I will go more into this, but know that whatever your motive for blogging, it's justified.

3. Pick a Name. There are three names that I suggest focusing on. The first is the name by which you will go by in your new blogging life. Most people who are blogging in category one (Personal) prefer to remain a little anonymous; usually going by a handle or alias or just a first name. Others who are doing it corporately or industrially find it more helpful to disclose who they are. The second name to pick is the name of your blog. You can be as creative as you want. I would suggest your blog title containing at least a hint of what your motive is, though. The third name to pick is the piece of the URL that is unique to your blog. If you get too fancy with the URL, it might be hard for people to find it. I remember when I used to manage the BLB website years back. It was before you could buy a domain for a couple bucks so I relied on my ISP for a domain and it was always a chore to give the address and hope people would type what you said (who even knew what a tilde was?). Down the line you might want to buy a domain and have it forwarded to your blog, or if you're even more adventurous, host the blog yourself at your domain.

Pick 2 and 3 are irrelevant if you don't take that first step and get started. Remember to send me your link when you've taken my advice...I'm always looking for new blogs to read and also to promote to people who read my blog.

November 18, 2006

Holy, Holy, Holy

I'm not an advertising professional. That should come as no shock to most of you. I'm an amateur. I have nothing to sell but myself, and you really don't want to see a 30 second spot about that. I am however a self-proclaimed Ad-Geek. I have never had any formal training in the industry, but I've had a lot of interaction with professionals and besides watching a lot of TV, I read and pay attention to a lot in the Marketing and Advertising fields. The first podcast I ever started listening to was American Copywriter (it was being released a little more consistently back then, but I'm still a big fan). Anyway, I noticed the third in a trifecta of ads where someone in the spot says "holy" but is cut off before we hear what they are deeming holy. In my experience it's usually feces that they would be glorifying, but we all know you can't glorify feces on network TV and it definitely doesn't sell products.

I looked for YouTube clips for all three spots, but just found the one for Volkswagen. To my knowledge all the latest VW spots that feature the car being mashed also feature a similar utterance of "Holy."

The second occurrence is a Comcast ad for high speed internet. I live in a Comcast market so I'm not sure they're national. The spot features a couple that just had a dinner party and lament the fact they now have to do a bunch of dishes. The woman jokingly suggests he crack open his Comcast cable internet and get it done faster. Yadda yadda yadda and the dishes are done to the woman's amazement and she says "Holy..."

The completion of the trifecta is a Best Buy commercial that I saw for the first time today. An unmanned snowblower gives us the idea that whoever should be in charge of the snowblower is very distracted. We learn he's distracted by a neighbor's HDTV being delivered by Best Buy. Another man enters the picture and sees the TV and out slips, "Holy..." but before he can say another word, one of the other guys at the truck says "I know."

I'm sure the guys over at American Copywriter could tell me who wrote, directed and produced each of these three spots; I'm just hoping it's not the same agency...otherwise I'm on to you ad wizards.

Best Album of the Year

Over the next few weeks (if you're just now realizing that there are just a few weeks left of the year, I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you), I'll be putting together a series of posts for the best albums of 2006 and then culminating with a compilation of the best of the best: The best songs from the best albums. Now's your chance to get involved. Weigh in on your favorite albums of 2006 by sending me an email with your favorites and a little bit of why they're your favorites. Who knows you might suggest something I haven't thought of. Email those suggestions to MKinMotion[at]gmail[dot]com.

November 15, 2006

Beer City

I grew up in Portland, so I took a little pride in seeing this story pass through my newsreader.  As soon as I saw the headline, I thought Portland would be on the list, though when I saw that it was worldwide I had a twinge of doubt.  Forgive me, Portland for doubting you.

Portland is ranked 8th in the world for beer friendly cities.  With such heavyweights as Dublin (Ireland, not California), Sapporo (is the beer named after the city, or the city named after the beer?), and Berlin, Portland, Oregon joined Burlington, Vermont (!) as the only U.S. cities to make this list.

With breweries like McMenamins, Widmer, and Bridgeport; and with the history of the Weinhard Brewery, it's hard not to notice the beer culture in Portland.  Add Bend and Hood River to the mix and there isn't much more you can ask for with Deschutes Brewery and Full Sail respectively.

Congratulations, P-Land, Rose City, River City, Bridgetown, Stumptown, Puddletown, and PDX; you can now chalk up a new nickname as you are now world famous for your beer. 

You can read more about the world of beer here.

November 14, 2006

New Music Tuesday: 9

For several weeks I've been reading on the internets for weeks about the new Damien Rice album 9 being streamed here and there, though other than the demo version of "9 Crimes" which has been floating around longer than that, I resisted the urge to preview the album.  So I've been anticipating this morning for a few weeks and I quickly bought and downloaded 9 from the iTunes Store (Formerly the iTunes Music Store).  I didn't know what to expect, having fallen in love with his last album O, there was the potential for a letdown.   By the way, if O isn't in your music collection, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don't add it ASAP.

What Irishman Damien Rice did with 9 was not only continue some of the sounds and themes from O, but he added another dimension...For lack of a better term, I will call it the "Rock Factor."  Don't get me wrong it still has the quiet, gentle, and almost uncomfortably honest songs that the world fell in love with on O.  As you listen, you will notice the song "Elephant" which according to one source, was originally titled "Blower's Daughter Part 2" and just as the song ends and the next song, "Rootless Tree" begins you take this journey I speak of into the "Rock Factor."  It might take you by took me by surprise. 

One of the podcasts I listen to regularly (which will remain nameless) mentioned an album from an artist that I will not share (because they have no place on and they mentioned off-handedly that they only purchased the song that was rated the highest on iTunes.  It made me realize that a lot of people probably do this.  Instead of purchasing a whole album, they might buy 1 or 2 tracks that are rated the highest.  If this is you, I recommend you grab "Elephant", "Rootless Tree", "Accidental Babies", and "9 Crimes"...and if you're feeling adventurous, yet not adventurous to throw $9.90 at a great album, throw in "Sleep Don't Weep" for good measure.

Do yourself a favor and buy 9 and O (if you haven't already).  Treat yourself to some brilliant music.


Buy Damien Rice -O

Buy Damien Rice - 9

One Word: Brilliant

ht: Jawbone Radio

*****UPDATE: YouTube is down for's not your computer or internet connection. That is all.*****

November 13, 2006

Pros, Cons and Bono: My Decision to Wait

I've been excitedly yet quietly waiting for Microsoft's mp3 player The Zune to be launched. Tomorrow is the big launch day, and I will not be buying one. As recent as last week, my plan was to be an early adopter and be one of the first to have a Zune. Those plans have changed. It's not just the poor reviews it's received, or the fact that Microsoft is preventing such reviews from being made. It's not that I'm an Apple fanboy, because I have two Windows machines and no Macs, though I do have an iPod. My iPod is starting to show it's age, though, so I do consider myself in the market for a new mp3 player. Here I will list my pros and cons of the Zune and hopefully my reasons for not standing in line to be an early adopter will ring clear.


1. Screen Size - I really like the size of the screen and the idea of turning it on it's side to gain the video perspective.

2. Microsoft - Say what you will about them (and every time I say something about them, I hear about it in the comments), they have the ability to make great products that people enjoy. I also think the potential for integration with Windows Vista should be positive.

3. FM Radio - Believe it or not, despite my addiction to podcasts, there's a time and a place for some FM, though I doubt it would help in the FM blackhole that is Dublin, California.

4. WiFi Enabled - The capabilities are limited to sharing songs amongst Zunes, but I can see updates down the road making their marketplace show up wherever you go.

5. Comes with Content - Some great songs and videos that the casual consumer might not be exposed to normally.


1. Podcasting - I know it's rumored to be something eventually integrated into the Zune, but at this point, they just haven't put any effort into it.

2. Hard Drive - For some reason, the Zune doesn't mount as a portable hard drive.

3. Size Options - Although I think 30 GB is the perfect size for me, I imagine there are plenty of consumers out there that look at the 80 GB iPod video vs. the 30 GB Zune and think bigger is better.

4. Timing - Apple launched the iPod in October of 2001, it was 5 GB and cost $400. With a five year head start, the iPod has and an insurmountable market share and a brand so recognized, any other MP3 player has been considered at best second class. Five years after the party started, I don't say that Microsoft is just late to the party, but they are late with what seems to be an incomplete product.

5. Zune Marketplace - Nothing compares to iTunes or the iTunes music store. It's smooth, easy, it makes sense, it operates in currency with real time billing: The Zune marketplace promises to be confusing and quirky and...

Saying that I will not be an early adopter of the Zune, I am not saying I will never adopt. As I did with XP and the iPod and many other products, I will wait Microsoft to adapt and evolve based on their reviews and criticisms. The positive thing is, and we've seen this from Apple, they have the ability to make updates to the not only the software that runs on the Zune, but also to the Zune Marketplace. Remember it wasn't too long ago that iTunes released a stinker of a version of iTunes. For now I will keep my eye on the 30 GB iPod if mine continues to struggle.

November 10, 2006

Job Opening

The position of "Toughest Man Alive" is open. 

"This guy, Curly, is a true cowboy. One of the last real men. He's untamed. Next to him, we're trained ponies."

                                                 -City Slickers

RIP - Jack Palance

November 4, 2006

Delayed Gratification

In the past, I've generally kept sports related posts over at my sports blog, but lately I've been leaking some here.  MLB postseason awards are a long drawn out process.  What we know so far is that the Hank Aaron awards went to Derek Jeter and Ryan Howard, the Comeback Players of the Year were Nomar Garciaparra and Jim Thome (despite my campaigning for Frank Thomas).  The Hank Aaron awards were created in 1999 and a trend of giving the award to the MVP runner up has been in place recently.  Last season David Ortiz and Andruw Jones won the award (both runners up to A-Rod and Pujols respectively).  Carlos Delgado was awarded with the Roberto Clemente award.  The Gold Glove awards were announced in both leagues this past week with little surprise.  I know of a few Red Sox fans who feel Alex Gonzalez was deserving of the AL shortstop Gold Glove, but that honor went to Jeter (his 3rd consecutive).  Is it ironic that Kenny Rogers won the AL Gold Glove for pitchers and he was about the only Tiger pitcher that didn't throw a ball away in the World Series (and the only Tiger pitcher to get a win)?  In the National League, Brad Ausmus won the Gold Glove for catching, but Yadier Molina put himself on the radar for consideration next year with his performance in the Postseason.  Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen won Gold Gloves for first and third base respectively.  Perennial Gold Glover Jim Edmonds was left out of the awards breaking his streak at 6 in a row.  We still have the Rookie of the Year (Nov. 13), Cy Young (NL Nov. 14, AL Nov. 16), Manager of the Year (Nov. 15), and the MVP award (NL Nov. 20, AL Nov. 21).  I will have further thoughts on the awards season as well as following college football, the NFL and the NBA over at the One,Two,Three Strikes Blog.

November 2, 2006

Lakers 110, Warriors 98

Can you believe that the Lakers are 2-0 despite not having Kobe and Phil? I was a little disappointed when I found out Kobe was watching the Warrior/Laker game from home. I learned a valuable lesson for any more Warrior games I go to; don't be early. I got there a little too early. I did manage to catch Jordan Farmar shooting jumpers all by himself, but other than that, it's just a lot of waiting. The Oakland crowd booed the Lakers initially and with all the optimism they've built up in the off-season, they cheered the Warriors arrival to the court like they were Oakland's last hope. In the same way that A's fans didn't catch on to the chants of "Yoooouuuuuk" when the Red Sox came to town, by joining in to what they thought were boos, the same thing happened every time Luke Walton contributed (which in this offense with this personnel, was quite a bit). The "Luuuuukes" and "Yoooouuuuks" ultimately win out. Lamar Odom looked fantastic with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Ronny Turiaf was amazing. It made me remember the excitement that surrounded him when he was drafted out of Gonzaga. After a tough rookie season in which he had heart surgery, recovered, and basically was the highest paid cheerleader ever, he established that he can be a disruption with his defense and play well within the triangle offense. Farmar looked like a rookie, a little tentative bringing the ball up the court, but as the game progressed, he looked to gain confidence with his defense against his fellow UCLA alum Baron Davis. The Warriors looked horrible and I expect they will make some changes in personnel right off the bat. Dunleavy stunk, Baron Davis kept shooting bad shots and Troy Murphy missed open lay-ins. There's a funny story I will share about the crowd and "Lost" but I have yet to watch last night's episode, so I will hold off until I catch up with the rest of the world...err the U.S.