links for 2008-08-21

21 August 2008
 | Posted by | Categories: social bookmarking |

Completely off-topic but close to my heart, so forgive me the lapse:

Come join us!

This is another benefit for the scholarship fund in memory of my little sister. But this one might be a little more to your liking, seeing as how it’s a wine class.

Party Source has generously donated one of their excellent EQ sessions, including the wine, the appetizers, and the expansive knowledge of Jay Erisman. Come join us on Thurs, Sept 11, from 6-8 pm at the EQ Center at The Party Source for a night learning about Up & Coming French Winemakers and Wine Regions, with a focus on red wines.

Cost for the event is $40 per person and 100% of your donation goes to the scholarship fund. Isn’t that cool? There are only 28 seats still available for this before we have to mark it as Sold Out. It’s a great chance to learn more about French wine and help out a good cause as well. Win/win – or perhaps, win/wine!

Tickets must be purchased online and it goes without saying (but I should say it anyway), you must be 21.

If you have any questions let me know. You can learn more about my sister and the Scholarship Fund at the official website, which is also where you can register for the tasting.


 | Posted by | Categories: Current Affairs |

Beloit’s Mindset List

19 August 2008

cross-posted from

I opted to cross-post this item because it’s not only interesting for looking at your future employees, but also, your future trainees.

Every year Beloit College prepares the Mindset List,
which provides the worldview of the incoming freshmen. Most of those
freshmen were born in 1990, which rather blows my mind, and they will
graduate college (ideally) in 2012. The mindset list is almost freakish
- I can’t believe some of these references.

The list is great
at making you feel old, but it’s also fantastic for looking at those
folks who will be your employees in about 4 years or so. From that
perspective, a mindset list isn’t a bad idea.There are 60 items on the list; I thought I’d share just a couple. 

4. GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.

17. Club Med resorts have always been places to take the whole family.

18. WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.

22. Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.

28. IBM has never made typewriters.

33. The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.

34. Pee-Wee has never been in his playhouse during the day.

51. The Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.

Find Michelle Lentz here on Write Technology, on Twitter, Pownce, and FriendFeed.


Segway in the Wild

18 August 2008

I only mention this because it’s so uncommon. I saw a Segway in the wild the other day.

Today, I read that Segway has acquired $5 million more in funding, just 2 months after accepting $35 million. My hopes is that they’ll take that money and create something a bit more user-friendly. Perhaps they’ll even apply some design principles to their innovative mode of transportation that make it, well, more appealing and marketable.

With gas prices the way they are, probably never to drop back down to the pre-$3 days, the Segway might actually start making gains in the market. But have you seen one? I’ve seen Elliot Masie tooling around his conferences on one, but that’s at Disney. I’ve seen Segway Tours for everywhere from Disney World to San Antonio. But have you actually seen a regular guy, tooling down the street on a Segway?

We couldn’t believe it when we saw exactly that yesterday. This wasn’t even in downtown Cincinnati, but in the suburbs. Florence, Kentucky, to be exact. A happy guy tooling down the sidewalk between Meijer’s and Panera – on his Segway.

 | Posted by | Categories: Go Gadget Go! |

links for 2008-08-15

15 August 2008
 | Posted by | Categories: social bookmarking |

Several months back, James Buck tweeted as he was led off to an Egyptian prison. (I’m still shocked he retained his cell phone.) His quick message, "Arrested," alerted his friends and followers who knew he was in Egypt. A quick chain of events followed, resulting in Buck’s release.

Yesterday, a childless Chinese "citizen journalist," armed with a Blackberry, was taken into custody briefly as being suspected of breaking the 1-child-per-family rule in the country. He was able to tweet the entire event using Twitterberry. Upon reading his tweets, it seems almost like he wanted a record of the event as opposed to a cry for help. Regardless, arrested –> tweeted. (Who are all these cops who let the suspects retain their phones?)

Are either of these true emergency situations? Maybe not. But remember, Twitter tracked the slight Midwest earthquake, the recent California earthquake, and the devastating China earthquake. Trapped in a collapsed building, alive, will you think to tweet for help? I suspect I’d try to call folks before I’d tweet, but I suppose it’s a thought.Twitter has the power to reach hundreds, perhap thousands, of people at once.

According to The Industry Standard (6/23/08), James Buck was so impressed by his Twitter chain reaction that he has met with Biz Stone of Twitter about creating a Twitter Emergency Management System.

The interesting thing to us was that Buck found
Twitter in Egypt, not in the Bay Area," said Twitter’s co-founder, Biz
Stone, who met with James briefly last Friday to talk about how such a
network could be integrated with the Twitter service. Stone said there
are activists in Egypt who are already using Twitter in creative ways.
"Activists get wind that someone is going to be picked up, they send a
Twitter message, and 100 people show up outside the house … to
intimidate the police."

However, Buck recognizes that the system still
needs improvements in order to function in the way he envisions. “The
problem is right now you can’t send a message to a specific group of
users,” he says. Buck suggested that tags might be used to direct
messages to specific networks.

According to Stone, the reason his short message
worked so well was that there was "No subject, no body, one line, you
just do it," Stone says. "Decisions up front are potentially

Last fall, the San Diego wildfires were Twittered. Several Twitter users started tweeting evacuation plans, meetups, and other things about the fires. The LA Times established a special Twitter account (@latimesfires) just for wildfire information. Taking that one step further, the LA Fire Department continuously twitters about fires – events, their statuses, and related events such as road closings (@LAFD).

How does all this work? If you’re evacuating do you have your laptop fired up? No. But you probably have your cell phone. The ultimate briliance of Twitter is that it can be completely mobile.

Last November, my husband and I were in Arizona. We had an incident where we were lost and stranded in the desert, on the side of a mountain. I fully admit – I tried to twitter. i couldn’t place a call without dropping instantly, but I thought I might be able to get out a single tweet. My thoughts? At least someone would know what happened to us and perhaps communicate it back to those who cared. I certainly couldn’t tweet for help, not knowing exactly where we were located. I managed to get out some tweets, although they were slightly garbled.


What are your thoughts on Twitter as an emergency management system?

 | Posted by | Categories: Twitter |

links for 2008-08-14

14 August 2008
 | Posted by | Categories: social bookmarking |

DevLearn 2008

11 August 2008

Both Tony and Clark have mentioned it, so it’s probably my turn. DevLearn 2008, sponsored by the eLearning Guild, is coming up in November.


I’ve never been to a Guild event, so I’m quite excited. I’ve heard great things about this conference. I was already impressed by the speaker selection process. The eLearning Guild takes it seriously. They don’t just review your proposal; they call you to talk about it. In my case, this led to a fantastic discussion on social media tools with Brent Schlenker, and I hope to re-meet Brent in person to continue the conversation. It’s not often I get to talk face to face with folks as passionate about social media in education as I am.

The Guild event boasts an impressive roster of speakers, including some of my favorite speakers (and people) such as Clark Quinn, Tony Karrer, and Lance Dublin. I’m also eager to hear Will Thalheimer, Judy Brown, Karen Hyder, and Mark Oehlert, among many others. These are people with whom I’ve crossed paths in the past, but haven’t had the chance to meet. I hope to change that this time around.

DevLearn is a bit more technical than a lot of eLearning conferences out there. If you usually don’t attend conerences because you’re easily bored, this might be the event for you. DevLearn is in San Jose, California (heart of the Silicon Valley), from November 12-14. Pre-conference workshops are on November 11 and the Adobe Learning Summit is November 10. Content partners include CompTIA, LETSI, and technical writing group WritersUA.

Who me? I’m talking about my favorite topic – Twitter. More specifically (or vaguely), I’ll be talking on Microblogging, which covers more than just my favorite tool.

I look forward to seeing you there. You’re going to head right over and register, right?


Find Michelle Lentz here on Write Technology, on Twitter, Pownce, and FriendFeed.

 | Posted by | Categories: Conferences |
 | Posted by | Categories: social bookmarking |


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 | Posted by | Categories: social bookmarking |