Daily Diigo Public Link 02/19/2008

February 18, 2008 at 5:40 pm | In comments, links | Comments Off on Daily Diigo Public Link 02/19/2008

Place Wars – Seattle vs. Silicon Valley (Richard Florida and The Creative Class Exchange)

tags: business, creatives, richard_florida, seattle, silicon_valley, technology

Florida points to two techologists, one SV-based (Michael Arrington), the other now once again Seattle-based (Glenn Kelman), having a bit of a dust-up over whether one region/ city is better than the other. Robert Scoble also weighs in, as do several others. Of particular interest is that Crosscut today also published Margaret Pugh O’Mara’s article on the Seattle – Silicon Valley comparison. I commented here (and in Crosscut).

We are not ‘the next Silicon Valley’ by Margaret Pugh O’Mara (Crosscut Seattle) Annotated

tags: business, creatives, crosscut, margaret_o’mara, seattle, silicon_valley, technology

Really interesting article from the historian’s perspective on what it takes to “be” Silicon Valley (hint: certain historical confluences helped) and why it’s unlikely that another place will “be” just like that. On the other hand, great places can build on their core strengths, and there are lessons to be learned in this. As O’Mara writes: “In this worldwide network, the most vital innovation centers are those that know their own strengths, provide exciting and dynamic environments for people and firms, and have the resources and institutions that provide a home for new and exciting ideas.” I added a comment to this article, particularly as it jives with something Richard Florida also posted today.

“Yikes” – Richard Florida and The Creative Class Exchange

tags: american_stupidity, fame_seeking, narcissism, purposeful_ignorance, richard_florida, youtube

Florida quotes from a NYT review of Susan Jacoby’s book, “The Age of American Unreason,” which describes the spectacularly stupid Kellie Pickler, who claimed on television that she had never heard of Hungary, didn’t know what country Budapest is the capital of, and believed that Europe was “a country.” Her performance has earned her a wildly popular view rank on YouTube. But you have to wonder, as I did in my comment to Richard’s entry, whether it wasn’t a purposeful exercise on Pickler’s part. If you can’t win prizes for being smart, what better way to ensure your 15 minutes of YouTube fame than by being the absolute stupidest of the moment? I’m sure it’s a growing trend and we’ll see plenty more people competing in this …”category.”

No, no, so sorry: I don’t love it

February 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm | In advertising, facebook | 2 Comments

Quite good, this ad — via IF! from PSFK, a pointer to the Marmite campaign (“you either love it or hate it”), and that Marmite started a Facebook group. So far, it has almost 1400 fans…

Daily Diigo Public Link 02/18/2008

February 17, 2008 at 5:39 pm | In cities, comments, creativity, heritage, links | Comments Off on Daily Diigo Public Link 02/18/2008

We’re afraid of everything, for crying out loud, by Christopher Hume (Toronto Star) Annotated

tags: change, christopher_hume, fear, toronto, urbanization

Hume is on a rant against the Chicken Littles here. I can relate only too well… His description of the fear of change and how this is different from the 60s & 70s relates, I think, also to what I wrote for toward the end of last month (January) for the March issue of FOCUS Magazine. See also my blog entry, Concrete Plans.

Great cities recycle buildings, by Christopher Hume (Toronto Star) Annotated

tags: christopher_hume, cities, toronto, urban_renewal

This echoes very much what I’ve said elsewhere, eg., in response to Spacing Reads: Consolation regarding the use of natural light. Adaptability and re-use of buildings is crucial. See also my blog entry, Concrete Plans.

Victoria: turning into everywhere else? It’s creativity unleashed

February 16, 2008 at 1:19 pm | In creativity, DemoCampVictoria, democampvictoria01, local_not_global, northernvoice, scenes_victoria, victoria | 8 Comments

Perhaps Victoria is “turning into everywhere else,” and that’s a good thing? It is when it means that modern creativity is unleashed, on the streets, and in our coffee houses.

This morning I was cataloging my books on LibraryThing while my husband went out for breakfast to meet Rod O. from Magic Kite at the Cook Street Village Starbucks, which is just one of 4 coffee shops (soon to be 5) in this 2-block area.

As they’re drinking their lattes, they’re surrounded by scads of folks from the neighbourhood, who have come in to check out the people or read books or have business meetings or work wirelessly on their laptops. The crowd includes a man working on a Ruby on Rails application, using the Flock browser. Since the husband and Rod had just been talking about building a little business app on Rails, they chat with the other chap for a while. When the spouse returns home (where I’m still busily cataloging away, trying not to sneeze from all the dust), he tells me about the Flockstar fellow on Rails.

Hmm, I think, Can’t be, can it? The world’s not that small?

Was he quite distinctly hairless as regards the scalp?, I ask. Yes, came the answer. Was his name Rick?, I inquired. Yes, again.

Coincidence? Or an element of localized spikiness? I’ve never met Rick, but it so happened that I used a photo of “Rick on Rails” pulled from Flickr (and uploaded by quaelin on Jan.22/07) next to a photo of a Roland Brener work, “Sculpture” (also posted to Flickr, by striatic), for two talks I presented to local Victoria business / community groups this winter.

The slide I made, which juxtaposed “Sculpture” (above) and “Rick on Rails” (below) includes this bit of text:

The Creative City

“…creativity is revolutionizing the global economy…”

Richard Florida

The juxtaposition was part of my larger point — that creativity needs to be unleashed: it can’t be restricted to areas of fine art, it also has to permeate technology and entrepreneurship. Brener’s Sculpture represented a multi-faceted aspect of “traditional” creativity (and is located where one conventionally expects to find it – in a gallery setting). Rick represents the creativity of technology and entrepreneurship, which you can casually stumble upon at your neighbourhood coffee shop.

(With thanks to “Rick on Rails” for having his picture on Flickr and being a “shining beacon” of technological creativity in Victoria! I hope he doesn’t mind that I’ve reposted this likeness here to make a point!)

And so, let’s hope that Victoria gets spikier and more creative all the time — unleashing creativity is the best way to ensure that it will be “like everywhere else” (that is, one of those places that’s buzzing with goodness & spikiness), while also developing a distinctive, spiky edge of its own. “Becoming like everywhere else” sometimes just means that a place changes for the better and finds its creative groove.

Edit: I’ve added the tags DemoCampVictoria, democampvictoria01, and northernvoice to this entry as it relates directly to DemoCamp Victoria01’s genesis.

Daily Diigo Public Link 02/16/2008

February 15, 2008 at 5:39 pm | In cities, links | Comments Off on Daily Diigo Public Link 02/16/2008

U.S. News and World Report on Who’s Your City? (Richard Florida and The Creative Class Exchange) Annotated

tags: creative_cities, flatness, interview, richard_florida, spikiness

“Choosing a Place to Live – Why it’s as important as picking a spouse” (interview by Bret Schulte with Richard Florida, published in U.S. News and World Report); excerpts: “You have to understand that economic activity isn’t spread out. So there’s a trade-off we have to make between furthering our career and finding a lifestyle that fits us. (…) If you find a place that fits you, it gives you more energy. People have always been attracted to aesthetics. The other thing is infrastructure. Maybe you like to go outside, or ride your bike. Those things are critically important. What people are saying is they are not going to be fulfilled in a place that just has a good pipe system. They want to live in a place that gives them excitement and energy.”

Daily Diigo Public Link 02/15/2008

February 14, 2008 at 5:40 pm | In cities, links | Comments Off on Daily Diigo Public Link 02/15/2008

EcoDensity raises fears of crowding without amenities Annotated

tags: amenities, eco_density, frances_bula, urban_development, vancouver

Crosscut’s David Brewster referenced this article in his critique of 2 Seattle developments. Key aspect is that if the amenities aren’t delivered, you can’t have the density. It won’t work — the amenities HAVE to be first-class. Recall Edward T. Hall and his commentary on Calhoun.

5th-and-Columbia—South on Flickr – Photo Sharing! Annotated

tags: architecture, crosscut, flickr, seattle, urban_development

Hmmm, what do we think of this overhang? The rendering was posted by someone in the comments board to David Brewster’s article in Crosscut about this development.

Genuflecting to the high rises by David Brewster (Crosscut – Seattle) Annotated

tags: architecture, crosscut, development, downtown, eco_density, seattle, urban_design

Crosscut’s publisher, David Brewster, calls out the Seattle P-I and the Seattle Times for their gushing endorsements of two major downtown Seattle development proposals (Fifth Ave. twin condo towers by Ishmael Leyva Architects and, also on Fifth Ave., the United Methodist Church block by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca). Brewster points to the curious alliance btw developers and eco-density champions, which is wearing a bit thin in Vancouver, acc. to an article by Frances Bula, which Brewster references (see http://tinyurl.com/333ehj ). In Vancouver, there’s talk of putting density & height in formerly sacrosanct areas, like Gastown & Chinatown, too. Some interesting comments showing up in the comments board, too.

The Life Cycle of a Blog Post, From Servers to Spiders to Suits — to You

tags: blogging, lifecycles, maps, reference, virtual_ecosystems, virtual_traces

Fascinating diagram/ map by Wired of a blog post from inception (“thought”) to …you (or them). “You have a blog. You compose a new post. You click Publish and lean back to admire your work. Imperceptibly and all but instantaneously, your post slips into a vast and recursive network of software agents, where it is crawled, indexed, mined, scraped, republished, and propagated throughout the Web. Within minutes, if you’ve written about a timely and noteworthy topic, a small army of bots will get the word out to anyone remotely interested, from fellow bloggers to corporate marketers.”

Daily Diigo Public Link 02/13/2008

February 12, 2008 at 5:40 pm | In links | Comments Off on Daily Diigo Public Link 02/13/2008

Factors in Canadians’ Cultural Activities – Research for the arts – Hill Strategies Research | Recherche Inc.

tags: art_reception, arts_development, canada, reference, research

“Are the arts elitist? This report shows that cultural experiences are more important than demographic factors in four cultural activities:

* Reading a book;
* Attending live performances;
* Visiting art galleries; and
* Movie theatre attendance.”

Includes links to PDFs of relevant research and findings.

The Lawyers Weekly: From A to Z: new developments in Canadian technology law

tags: canada, copyfight, law, michael_geist, net_neutrality, technology

A fascinating A-Z compendium of new developments in Canadian technology law, by Michael Geist. Examples: “J is for the Jewish New Year cards Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent to thousands of Canadians. The cards raised uncomfortable privacy questions about the collection and use of personal information by Canada’s political parties.” Or: “Q is for QuebecTorrent, the Quebec-based “torrent tracker” that was sued by a group of cultural groups on the grounds that the site facilitates copyright infringement.” And: “S is for shaping, the controversial ISP practice that limits the bandwidth allocated to certain applications. The growing use of traffic shaping by Canadian ISPs led to mounting calls for net neutrality legislation.”

Positive psychology exhausts me: Requires so much self-discipline. » Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk

tags: brazen_careerist, happiness, humour, penelope_trunk, positive_psychology, psychology, selfdiscipline

Very true and very “LOL” column by The Brazen Careerist on “self discipline” and the “happiness” movement. Maybe I’d be have more energy if I just succumbed to my rudderless inner slob…

Articles page updated

February 12, 2008 at 12:16 pm | In FOCUS_Magazine, housekeeping | Comments Off on Articles page updated

It took a while, but I just uploaded my February 2008 FOCUS Magazine article, Ditch height restrictions; adopt “good design” prescriptions to my Articles published (etc.) page.

Might take a while to download, but it’s up.

(Update, 12/17/08: I changed the link for this article to direct readers to Scribd, which is where all my articles are uploaded to now.)

Housekeeping. Breadcrumbs.

February 11, 2008 at 7:21 pm | In housekeeping | Comments Off on Housekeeping. Breadcrumbs.

My February FOCUS Magazine article has been in print since the end of January, but I haven’t yet posted it as a PDF (above, see masthead). It’s just one of several “loops” I need to close — somehow that GTD thing doesn’t always work for me…

Another potential technical glitch is that my Harvard server hosts allow a limited amount of space for uploads. I’ve exhausted the majority of it with my articles so far, and might need to look for an alternative soon.

On another housekeeping note, I do leave comments from time to time on other blogs (example: this one) — and it didn’t occur to me until today that I should bookmark those posts (using Diigo), so that they appear in my “links”-tagged entries here. D’oh. In addition, I added the category “comments,” so that if a bunch of them eventually fill this blog, there’ll be a handy handle for finding them again. Breadcrumbs.

G. T. D.

G. T. D.

Repeat after me: getting things done. Not always easy.

Finally, I spent an hour or so looking for photos of shop windows designed by Naomi Yamamoto (for Shiseido). Couldn’t find any though, but did get lost on Flickr. Not enough breadcrumbs to find my way back… I did find this beautiful set called The Sublime Color of Northern Italy, by JMichaelSullivan. Beautiful.

I’m looking for brilliant shop window photos because I’m reading a spectacularly clever book by Mary Portas, Windows; The Art of Retail Display. Portas includes many photos of window displays by Yamamoto — I want to write a short article about this, perhaps for Vibrant Victoria‘s front page. We could really use some of Portas’s savvy insights in Victoria. A taste in closing:

Your TV show Mary, Queen of Shops is about you saving the high street, one shop at a time. Does it really need saving?

What it does need saving from is becoming the same high street, town after town after town. We have some of the best fashion high-street shopping in the world, and we have some of the worst, and my big concern is that we are becoming a nation that doesn’t know what really superb fashion shopping is about. The codes of supermarket retailing have come onto our fashion high street, as opposed to the codes of fashion retailing going into the supermarkets.


I like the idea of “the high street” as opposed to any other street, or all the same streets. Difference is good.

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