Archive for the ‘Drew Carey’ category

Web 2.D’0h! Roundup: Message Boards, Razume & Drew Carey, cont’d

8, August, 2008

The latest sweepings from the factory floor of Web 2.0. . .

The Roamin’ Forum

Not long ago I wrote about Twing, a search engine that plumbs message boards for what’s known as “deep content”–the stuff Brother Google and his ilk often miss or dismiss. Twing is a great way to find content you won’t find elsewhere. Some is valuable, some. . .not so much.

Which brings me to an excellent item this week on the Mashable blog, which surveys a group of message boards 2.0. My favorite of the bunch: Lefora, a hosted plug-and-play forum you can attach to just about any site to which you’d like to add talk-among-yourselves functionality. [I've kicked the tires on this one on behalf a client, but haven't implemented it anywhere yet.]

There’s a simplicity to Lefora that I like. Many of the 2.0 message boards tack on features designed to make the board the center of a social community–live chat, blogs, etc. I’m skeptical that’s possible or wise. Still, most of the newcomers are a major upgrade in usability compared to the old-school forums we all knew in our callow youth.

Crowdsource Your Resume?

Speaking of callow youth, a D.C.-based incubator/very-early-stage funder of promising startups called Lauchbox Digital recently previewed an upcoming demo of nine companies in its portfolio. Of the bunch, my favorite is Razume, a service that essentially lets you use the wisdom-of-the-crowds to burnish your resume.

Here’s a snap of my comment on one of the resumes posted on the beta site:

Sure, I’m being tough on the kid, but I’m just trying to help. . . Speaking of professional, though, the site is a model of excellent usability. Should all startups come out of the gate so easy-on-the-brain and friction-free.

Are you sure there are no dumb questions?

I always get a kick out of seeing what keyword searches lead people to this blog. A recent one was “what dorm did drew carey live in at kent sState?”

Alas, the blog entry Brother Google sent the searcher to–the preposterously popular “Al Gore vs. Drew Carey: Another Nail-Biter”–doesn’t answer that question. The entry compares Al Gore’s Current TV left-leaning web video operation to comedian Drew Carey’s libertarian-cranky ReasonTV. [Gore wins by a nose.] Along the way, I confess to having been Drew Carey’s dormmate at Kent State.

But I try to answer all questions on this blog. So, for posterity: Leebrick Hall, 3rd floor.

And finally, our regular sighting of the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse ™:

BigThink, a site that presents brand-name thumbsuckers responding in four-minute videos to the kind of Big Questions that briefly entertain college freshman [at least on the 3rd floor of Leebrick Hall]. What is your personal philosophy? Is the American justice system fair?

Is there a more vivid illustration of medium-message mismatch anywhere online? Pull an all-nighter with a six-pack of Pabst and discuss.

Al Gore vs. Drew Carey: Another Nail-Biter

17, October, 2007

What a curious synchronicity that the same day brings announcements about key politically motivated web moves by Nobel Prize winner Drew Carey and comedian Al Gore. No, wait, my mistake! That’s Nobel Prize winner Al Gore and comedian Drew Carey. Sorry.

Gore & Co. are relaunching their Emmy-winning cable/web operation, Current.com, to incorporate more user-generated content. Meanwhile, Carey & Co. are launching a libertarian video web channel, ReasonTV [www.reason.tv; note funky "tv" domain].

Carey is clearly positioning himself as a right-wing Michael Moore: Another fat funny guy ranting against the stupidity of government, but from the other side of the red/blue chasm. As the French say, les extremes sont meme. I hope I’m doing that college French right.

[Conflict of interest revealed: Drew Carey and I lived in the same dorm together at Kent State University in 1975. He used to mimeograph jokes and post them in the bathroom and call it "The Urinal Journal." Actually that's not a conflict of interest at all, I just like to tell people about that.]

Let’s look at the two political broadcasting efforts and see who wins this race for the hearts and minds of America.

Mission statements

Current.com: “It’s about what’s going on, but as you’ve never seen it before. Your brain doesn’t come in boxes labeled NEWS and ENTERTAINMENT. Neither does the world.”

Reason.tv: “Welcome to reason.tv, home of The Drew Carey Project and other great libertarian videos. Over the next few months we plan to bring you the latest, most compelling stories about freedom from all corners of the Internet, and we’ll be experimenting with new interactive content and features.”

Winner, in terms of clarity of mission: Drew Carey

Position on Political Spectrum

current.com: Left, but doesn’t admit it

reason.tv: Right, but admits it

Winner, in terms of intellectual honesty about political alignment: Drew Carey

Rhetorical Effectiveness

current.com: Sophisticated, ecumenical exposition

Reason.tv: Fist-pounding, insistent propaganda

Winner, in terms of ability to connect with opposing forces: Al Gore

Diversity of Offerings

current.com: Wide range of videos offering political commentary, professional mini-documentaries, personal expression and the usual goofy UGC

reason.tv: Narrow range of issue-focused explainers and professionally produced, sort-of-funny Drew Carey explorations of libertarian anti-government screeds

Winner, in terms of diversity of offerings: Al Gore

Inexplicable Programming Decision

current.com: Some UGC links lead to . . .articles, not video clips

reason.tv: Brian Doherty on Milton Friedman

Winner, in terms of inexplicably bad content: Toss-up

Negative Campaigning

current.com: “Carey That Weight”, a harshly critical video on Carey’s “weird and awkward” debut as host of The Price is Right.

reason.tv: John Stossel book-tour speech that, in questioning the competence of government to do almost anything, complains the government “couldn’t even count the votes” in Presidential elections.

Winner, in terms of effectiveness of negative campaigning: Al Gore

Reach into Mainstream

current.tv: Broadcast via Current cable TV channel into 40 million homes

reason.tv: The Price is Right, The Drew Carey Show reruns

Winner, in terms of mainstream reach: Drew Carey

Wow, wouldn’t you know it? Another race too close to call.

But if you add the votes of the Swedish Norwegian judges. . . Gore wins!

Let’s not even imagine the results if the Supreme Court were called in to break the tie.


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