Tuesday, February 26, 2008

To steal the name of a popular blog, Media Dragon will do. The spell of history resides fully and virtually inside Media Dragon, in the immediacy of posts and attitudes so strange so tragic so defiant so otherworldly that we have to know more ;-) How to Live the Good Life For a Few Minutes a Day, Say Hello to the story of Eat, Pray, Love ;-)

Former Telecom New Zealand chief executive Peter Troughton has been detained in Australia after losing a court bid to return overseas because most of a A$5.6 million (NZ$6.4 million) personal tax bill remains unpaid Tax case dogs ex-Telecom boss

Hungry Media Dragon Road to riches
Wolseley Road, Point Piper, is the most expensive street in the most expensive suburb in Australia. Dugald Jellie walked along it, and paddled around the peninsula, to discover its secrets.

David Williamson's play Emerald City opened on January 1, 1987, with a line of self-congratulatory bravado:
What other city in the world could offer a view like this?
The Drama Theatre at the Opera House was full, the audience dressed in diamonds and pearls to watch a satire starring John Bell, Robyn Nevin and Ruth Cracknell about a frivolous society preoccupied with material success, TV ratings and waterfront real estate.
Due east across the glittering harbour, another drama played out on the knuckle of a point that since the days of Captain John Piper - the colony's "great buck, prince of hosts, leader of the world of fashion" - has been able to boast that it is home to some of Sydney's best houses, best views, best parties and best gossip-page scandal.
This tale was about location, about unfettered wealth and all the jewels and marble it could buy. It was about how the other half lived. It was a story of privilege - part soap opera, cabaret and tragedy, and its name was Wolseley Road.

• This seems to be the beauty of Sydney. It is their water as much as anyone else's . The silver skin of the harbour divides the city but it also brings us together; [ Macquarie CEO Moss to Retire, Moore to Take Helm; Tax havens lure super-rich; When the powerful can live beyond the law, corruption is never far away]
• · Maxine McKew's win left Labor planning to run ABC presenters in every seat in 2010 ; As certain as death
• · Addicts of Scrabulous, an online word game played by millions of office workers on Facebook, may soon have to go cold turkey because of a looming copyright battle with the owners of Scrabble. Mattel in war of words over Scrabulous ; Video is finally catching on with employers in a fairly big way," says Joel Cheesman, author of Cheezhead.com, a blog on Web recruiting. ... Web Advances Change the Landscape
• · · Divorcee gets day in court to claim share of £45m fortune As certain as Susan Rossiter Sangster Peacock Renouf …; Gossip Girl' producer reveals blogger's identity
• · · · On Saturday, Tyler Cowen posted a 62-word blog entry, of which 29 words constituted a quote from Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational. It was a throwaway "fact of the day" post, comparing the cost of robberies in the United States ($525 million) to the cost of employees' theft and fraud ($600 billion) Blogonomics: Even Great Commenters Can't Generate Wall Street Salaries; The last I heard, the right was feeling quite pleased with itself because there was some evidence to suggest the traffic for the top liberal blogs was trending down, while the traffic for the top conservative blogs was trending up. How the right explains the left’s online dominance
• · · · · Norman Sims has spent three decades studying literary journalism, a genre that is generally viewed in contrast to traditional newspaper journalism. But in his new book, "True Stories: A Century of Literary Journalism," Sims argues that literary journalism could be the very thing to boost newspaper readership. He recently discussed how even the earliest examples of literary journalism share aspects of one of the newest narrative forms: the blog. The Future of News: A Case for Literary Journalism; I love Gawker. Jezebel and Wonkette, two of my favorite blogs on the web, find a home under the media conglomerate's umbrella. Another reason to love Gawker Media; The 17-gigabyte file containing half-of-million photos pillaged from MySpace accounts made the Pirate Bay's top-ten list of most popular downloads over the weekend, beating out pirated copies of No Country For Old Men, Sweeney Todd and the sci-fi flick I Am Legend. MySpace's Leaked Photos More Popular Than Sweeney Todd
• · · · · · A year ago, the top stupid internet trend was the LOLcat (take picture of cat, add amusing, badly spelt caption, repeat). In 2008, the world economy is faltering and the happy LOLcat has been replaced with one ubiquitous word: FAIL. The first fail blog was Shipment of Fail ; E e-discovery field guide

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Russian entrepreneur Alexander Mamut has bought the US blogging website LiveJournal. Its many Russian users are worried that the Kremlin loyalist will use his ownership to censor the blog. Helen Womack and Will Stewart report Russian oligarch invades the blogosphere

Can we change the heart of literature? It is the power that won't corrupt: Authors experiment with online
Musicians are experimenting with downloadable tracks and “pay what you want” business models, so why not authors? At least one popular writer, Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, says that pirated versions of his books have caused sales of physical copies to soar, and several authors are experimenting with offering chapters or even entire books online.

The latest is author Neil Gaiman, whose books include Coraline and Sandman. According to Boing Boing co-founder Cory Doctorow, Gaiman's publisher has given him the green light to offer a freely downloadable version of one of his books, and now he’s trying to decide which one to offer. He’s asked readers and fans to vote for the book they want released on his blog.

Neil Gaiman ; [The old journalistic standards still apply," Miller says. "Don't make bad decisions and you won't end up on the cover of the New York Times. Today, if a manager is a jerk, somebody will write about it on a blog. In the end, it could breed better management." [ at Dooce.com ; ]
• · When you think of blogs, you might envision musings about sports, politics, and the evening news. Taxes, assessment meetings, or local development probably seem a lot less suited to the blogosphereCity manager gets his word out on a blog; An uninhabitable world for women: the new era of mass pornography consumption.The digital age becomes a dark age for women
• · Tax Lady Roni Deutch is hoping to help taxpayers reduce their tax liabilities by blogging on five tax-free Valentine Day gifts. Ms. Deutch is also helping taxpayers stay informed on the tax difference between being single and married as thousands across the country are likely get engaged in the next few days. Tax Lady Roni Deutch Blogs ; The battle of the books has been lost; the revolution has already happened. Now we must teach teachers how to deal with the consequences. Playing catch-up with digital realities
• · · Well, we may not have the runaway double-digit inflation of the 1970s BUT … Blog Roll — If It Isn’t Stagflation, What Is It? ; Why is culture important? Is it because the cement of social cohesion, like friendship, is the bond of common experiences? Australia: a nation at risk
• · · · · It is ironic that the growth of one of the most powerful means of publication of human thought had largely remained unhyped untill "Salam Pax" appeared on the scene during the build up to the Iraq war in 2004. Salam Pax was an anonymous person who provided rather descriptive though journalistically imperfect and unconventional narratives about life on the streets of Baghdad. He published these Web logs (blog) on a rather non-descript website. Soon enough, the site hosting these blogs crashed under the stress of tremendous traffic. Then again, when the tsunamis struck in South Asia last year, a handful of blogs became rallying points for information collection, distribution and interaction. Within hours, people from around the world converged on the few blogs that were highlighted by major new channels, looking for information and providing updates to the community at large. Robert Scoble points to Fortune's article on corporate blogging -- "Why There's No Escaping the Blog." It's a pretty long piece and pretty well done, too. Some nice info on how Scoble's honesty is helping to improve Microsoft's reputation: Fortune magazine ran an article three years ago when Robert and Israel gave Cold River lots of oxygen, "Why there's no Escaping the Blog," calling out how freewheeling bloggers can boost a company's product, or destroy it. The article cites the blog search-engine and measurement firm Technorati as estimating 23,000 new blogs are created each day! The author has cited numerous cases where large corporations have been influenced or impacted by the sheer force of public opinion expressed through blogs on public domain.
Why there's no Escaping the Blog ; So, if blogs can garner attention in theaters of war, natural disasters and public opinion, they can be put to use in the world of parliament Why Congress doesn’t blog
• · · · · · Metcalf’s Law posits that value of a network grows exponentially with the addition of connections. Left unfettered, network nodes reproduce like rabbits on espresso. Think, for example, of the hyper growth of the internet, the web, MySpace, YouTube, and FaceBook. Once business networks take hold, expect them to grow like topsy, too. Moreover, the denser a network, the faster its cycle time. More connections make it quicker to get from one node to another. Blogging Teams Together: Creating Interaction Vortexes; The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes, Stephen Colbert, the Manchester Guardian, Learning Circuits, and other leading voices can’t stop talking about Web 2.0. You’ve read the stories; the web is now the read/write web. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia of 9.1 million articles in 253 languages, written entirely by volunteers. Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr are growing faster than the web in its meteoric growth phase. There are 70 million logs online, and 120,000 new logs are created every day (that’s about 1.4 new blogs per second). These phenomena are global; only 35 percent of all blogs are in English. Media Dragons on Google

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Blog cheecky photo
No Art Gallery For Old Men ;-)

Sugar and Spice for Valentine's Day at the Two Good Eggs and the KIKA Everyday Etiquette: St. Valentine's love is rooted in Slavic tradition
As Media Dragon hits Google ranking of Four – the hunger for high ranking is demystified in this alert ;-) Apparently several hundred thousand readers of this website have gotten lost online in recent days on their way to this bohemian blog and accidentally clicked instead on a long story item headlined: Orgasms,media and politics, the real choice Google Alerts Can Help You Detect Misuse or Abuse of Your Work

Second Love Breeds Books: Won't you be my Valentine? Blogging Do's and Don'ts
As a media dragon and a writer, blogging can be one of the greatest ways to connect with readers of your work and other writers. But blogging can be a tricky task if you're interested in building a great readership that lasts. To make the most of your blogging, use the following tips:
Do: Narrow down your target goal and readers for your blog.

A blog without a purpose that people can recognize as soon as they enter is a blog that probably won't hold long-term interest for any one reader. Although you might think that writing on various topics and subjects will hold everyone's interest and make them wonder what's coming up next, that's not to be said for the majority of readers.

• It strikes me that is it is our first Happy St Valentine’s – no longer living in SIN – MALCHKIN ;-) XXX; Modern Love Breeds Books Over to virtual love - Cold River and Media Dragon blogging life away; [ One Step Closer to Adapting Entire Cold Rivers of Novels on YouTube; Talking with the writer behind the new Captain America.]
• · As America argues with China about the new Cold War spying James Cumes has a good timing with his play ; The data allegedly provided to China outlined every planned US sale of weapons or other military technology to Taiwan for the next five years Several arrested in Chinese spy sweep ; Reaching - Surpassing Cold War ERA
• · Sleepless in S Irreverent writer for the young wants boys to know the joys of books; For Dr Cope: Letter-writing makes a resurgence
• · ·, Jay Cross, Learning Circuits, January 2008, 4p.
To take advantage of Web 2.0 technologies, managers need to know the opportunities and the pitfalls. Implementation 2-0; People are always looking for the most effective way to deliver training. Quite often, the answer is simply a matter of creativity. The author offers comment on five of the latest training ideas: 'laughing and learning', 'hit me with knowledge' (learning risk management via poker), 'you first' (collaboration), 'point of need learning' and virtual environments. See how they learn
• · · · Brian Wolfson & Andrew St George, 360º - the Ashridge journal, Autumn 2007, 4p. What differentiates successful from unsuccessful business is execution. This article explores the concept that business schools should not only teach students how to manage, but how to execute as well, particularly bringing in the discipline of project management. PDF version - Can’t manage / won’t change ; Managing the blogging news How news and politics plays on a popular social networking service
• · · · · President Bush's proposed budget calling for the elimination of Reading Is Fundamental's (RIF) Inexpensive Book Distribution program Reading Is Less Fundamental in Bush Budget; By utilizing pre-existing networks such as Face Book, MySpace, LinkedIn, and business forums, and even creating your own business blog, you can forge the numbers Where Does Your Local Members Go Online? Psst,
• · · · · · Niche bloggers: 7 income streams for your blog ; Being whispered from ear to ear today (well, blog to blog) is the rumour that HotOrNot.com, the eight-year old site where you rate the looks of submitted faces ;-) HotOrNot website acquired for $20 million, featured girls' looks ...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

In a morning keynote session at the Tools of Change conference, Tim O'Reilly set out to explain why "free is more complicated than you think" but, for a company like his, an excellent driver of multiple revenue streams.

First O'Reilly reprised and extended some online posts that crunched numbers to show the easy path to business from free--advertising--is illusory given standard online advertising models. A hypothetical $50 million specialty publishing company (like his) will never generate anywhere even close to that amount of revenue through advertising-supported free content.

O'Reilly told the crowd we're facing all the same challenges as the rest of you--but I still think free is a good idea. But the key is that O'Reilly is already in a lot of different businesses in addition to print book publishing that free help to drive--their online reference/library joint venture; conferences; online courses; a magazine; and even venture capital. Significantly, they can be in all of those businesses because they are all targeted at the same focused community O'Reilly serves in all of their products. That's the important and resonant example more than the fact that O'Reilly uses free online content sharing to drive a variety of revenue streams. (For further relevant reading on this point, look back at Mike Shatzkin's speech on the End of Trade Publishing:

Much of the proof, acknowledged by O'Reilly, was right in the room. "In our business, sponsoring is a big part of what we do." Attendees paid to come to this conference, while over two dozen companies paid for sponsorships and bought speaking slots to address that group. O'Reilly on Free

What Everyone Else Is Reading Public Service Website Ripers: Top 10 intranet sites
Local farmers at NSW Department of Primary Industries / ComputerWorld, January 2008, 2p. Press release from DPI and a news article featuring a list of 10 best designed intranet sites from a world wide competition. NSW DPI was the only Australian site; the New Zealand Ministry of Transport also gained a mention for the antipodes.

San Francisco-based Nielsen Norman Group, which has organised the event for the past eight years, says the priority in intranet development has flipped "from information to people".
"It’s now a given to have basic features such as an employee directory on a company’s intranet,” usability expert and principal of Nielsen Norman Group Jakob Nielsen said in a statement.
"What’s new is the polish and sophistication that companies are giving them so that they serve even more useful purposes, which in the case of the directory means providing more than an employee’s name, rank and serial number, but also his subject-matter expertise, for example.”

• An overview of the report is available at ; [HarperCollins Publishers Promotion to Make Select Books Available Online for Free Harper Tries Full Online Access; For those books not provided free by publishers, there's a new scanner from Atix (selling for about $1,600) that the company calls a book ripper. Newsweek judges it more a thud than a snap, the device—an ominous three-foot high construction draped with a thick black darkroom-style shade—looks like a Goth puppet theater and weighs 44 pounds E-Z Book Scanner Isn't, Yet--But It Will Be ]
• · This article explains how a good writing style can help lawyers persuade judges Persuading Judges in Writing: Tips for Lawyers; Terrific writers: As a senator she has learned compromise and negotiation. She has gotten to know red America as well as blue. If she could win over the rednecks in upstate New York, she can win over any American. She knows this country is full of "security" moms as well as soccer moms. From Erica Jong - a terrific writer ; and more Election pundit
• · Wealth Report finds that a typical Australian family spends $537,000 on raising two children from birth to 21 years. Ach Sasha and Gabbie … Honey, I calculated the kids... it's $537,000: Australian child costs in 2007; A bittersweet and wise month-by-month account of the year in her life during which, upon turning half a century and confronted with his own mortality, he chooses to wake himself up, embrace the passage of time, identify what matters (and what does not) -- and finally decide to live Im Alive ;-)
• · · Good Question for Media Dragons How important are author sites?; Imagine saying hello to Kate Jones who was one of the most brilliant literary agents of her generation, and leaves behind an extraordinary list of devoted authors Kate Jones: Literary agent with flawless taste One of the brightest and best in the British book world: a rare and gifted reader, a dedicated and inspiring editor, and an exceptional publisher; Deron Douglas of wider Double Dragon World
• · · · · There used to be a time when the Republicans were known for their fiscal conservatism. Commentary: The Tax Reduction and Reform Act of 2007; The purpose of this Blog is to collate information about psychological research on deception, and the applications of this research. Criminal Resources: False Confessions

Monday, February 04, 2008

Here's a story alert for former parliamentary officers, (degreed and self-styled), sociologists, fashion mavens, woman's issue supporters and anyone who enjoys snapshots of the lives of powerful people. You keep a diary and share it with friends like Jack ... Steve and Kevin ....

The Government Domain: Journalists and Government Information: SLA-DGI/GODORT Joint Meeting Scott told the crowd that librarians probably see many more documents than he does, so please feel free to send any "smoking memos" to mshane@nytimes.com. Smoking Memos

Sunday, February 03, 2008

These are the kinds of people who make a difference in the world, not just the saints.
—Joseph L. Badaracco Jr

One benefit derives from the literature itself. Through the novels, plays, short stories, and historical accounts students are brought much closer to life as it is really lived, certainly closer than in lecture learning and even closer than in a case discussion. That's because the authors lay out for us the full context of a situation: the fast friendships, bitter enmities, strong ambitions, and confused goals that the characters must navigate
Leadership is, in part, a struggle of flawed human beings, said Badaracco. And a huge amount of the struggle that the books' characters experience is with themselves. This becomes clear when students read about Jerry, the despairing salesman in "Blessed Assurance," and Okonkwo, a village leader in Nigeria in Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart, struggling against the arrival of the colonialists. It's also true in another book the students read, Robert Bolt's play A Man for All Seasons, about Sir Thomas More and his long battle with King Henry VIII. The lessons we take from the stories become part of us Teaching The Moral Leader ; Here lately, worry over this takes a percentage of my sleep right off the top. — So I'm telling you, okay? Machiavelli, Morals, and You
; Why Leaders Need Great Books like Cold River ;-) - Word Power Independent Publishers will have strong presence at the THE 12TH EDINBURGH INDEPENDENT RADICAL BOOK FAIR 2008 AD

Shedding blood for liberty The BULLY

ACP Magazines announces closure of The Bulletin magazine, ACP media release, 24 January 2008, 1p. ACP Magazines Chief Executive Officer, Scott Lorson, today announced that weekly news and current affairs title The Bulletin with Newsweek would cease publication from the current issue of the magazine which went on sale on 23 January 2008. The Bulletin is Australia’s longest running magazine and was launched in 1880

; The US is notable among major nations in how little it has suffered in foreign wars. A brawl has erupted over a statement in the stump speech of Republican candidate Fred Thompson
• · Future directions in technology-enabled crime: 2007-09 ; War criminal Suharto is dead. Look for the tears from his Western supporters. In their hypocrisy they may recognise he was a dictator, but, they will rationalise, he was "our" dictator. Suharto - war criminal
• · · It is a politicised Howard-Federal public service that has run, and continues to try to run, government. If the cap fits wear it ; Holding on to the ridiculous mythology of the Aussie larrikin as being the definition of Australian spirit IS cause for a cultural cringe. Australia Day cringe
• · · · Chris Hammer, The Bulletin, 27 November 2007, pp.70-73. Judged by Alan Fels, the article looks at the ten individuals in ‘government’ segment of the Power 100 of 2007 – Peter Shergold, Murray Gleeson, Angus Houston, Terry Moran, Mick Keelty, Heather Ridout, Sharon Burrow, Peter Cullen, Ian Watt and Robyn Kruk. Power 100: government; My workspace, Brad Howarth, AFRBoss, October 2007, pp.56-57. They’re the new places to see and be seen, and the hottest social networking sites are also places to forge business. Article looks briefly at: FaceBook, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, loop mobile, YouTube, Orkut, LinkMe, LinkedIn, Windows Live Spaces and Yahoo! 360º. Ironically, not availbale online ;-) AFR - the dinasaur

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Brilliant James Cumes Petrov affair dramatises injustices
AUSTRALIAN plays are rarely performed in Europe. But this week a new Australian play, The Lovers The Outcasts, has been advertised throughout the Viennese underground, on billboards and on the sides of buses and trams.
Beneath a picture of a handsome young man stroking the belly of an equally handsome young woman is the declaration that the play, written by James Cumes, a former Australian ambassador to Austria, is about to have its world premiere.
The Lovers The Outcasts is a historical echo: the story of the Petrov affair that transfixed Australia in the 1950s and, in an era of anti-communist hysteria, contributed to making Liberal Party hero Robert Menzies the longest serving prime minister in Australian history.

The affair had all the elements to fascinate what was then an isolated culture: Soviet spies, a beautiful woman in the shape of Evdokia (Eva) Petrov, and scandalous accusations aimed at the highest reaches of the Australian government.
It also led to one of the most famous photographs of the Cold War era: the sight of Eva Petrov being manhandled on to a plane by Soviet agents aroused sympathy and outrage around the world.
The Lovers The Outcasts begins a three-day run tonight at the elegant Schlosstheater in Schonbrunn Palace, one of Vienna's prime tourist attractions, and the curious nature of the play has already attracted attention from Vienna's main media outlets.
Key to the interest has been the remarkable 85-year-old Cumes, who is still regarded with affection and referred to as Botschafter, or ambassador, wherever he goes.
Everything about Cumes is extraordinary. His conversation is dotted with tales spanning the decades from his years as a soldier in New Guinea during World War II to his many years as a diplomat with postings in West Africa, Paris, London, Geneva, Brussels and his beloved Vienna. Since retiring he has maintained homes in Vienna, Monaco, Canberra and Brisbane.
He is hoping The Lovers The Outcasts will soon be performed at Monaco's Princess Grace Theatre. He also hopes the play will be performed in Australia.
Cumes has long been obsessed, he says, by writing: he has written 15 books in all, including four novels and a blog he maintains on his website. His latest work, written while in his 80s, is an economic polemic called America's Suicidal Statecraft: The Self-destruction of a Superpower.
Five years ago Cumes sat down and recounted the Petrov affair, keen to get out a story that had been lurking in the back of his mind since the 1950s.
"Like so many others, I have always thought the Petrov affair was a great story that deserved more dramatic treatment than it has so far received," he says.
The bare facts of his project are interesting enough; that he managed to attract investment from the cultural establishment of Vienna for a story a half century old and from half a world away is even more remarkable.
The Lovers The Outcasts is being performed in English by the well-established Vienna Theatre Company and has attracted several prominent local actors.
Andrea Kunesch, who plays Eva Petrov, is well known to Austrian television audiences. Balazs Schallenberg, who plays Vladimir Petrov, has worked in films and TV, while Australian Brian Hatfield, who plays an ASIO career officer, has worked for the Melbourne Theatre Company. Vienna-born director Roman Kollmer has worked in radio, TV and movies.

• John Stapleton | February 01, 2008 Everything about Cumes is extraordinary.; [ His conversation is dotted with tales spanning the decades from his years as a soldier in New Guinea during World War II to his many years as a diplomat with postings in West Africa, Paris, London, Geneva, Brussels and his beloved Vienna. Since retiring he has maintained homes in Vienna, Monaco, Canberra and Brisbane. James withsHeidi in Vienna ; As James notes We should all be pursuing a lasting victory over world want]