In her new book, Martha Raddatz tells the story of a pinned-down US platoon in Sadr City, Iraq. The tale of the 48-hour firefight is gut wrenching and horrifying as we learn about not only the loss of life on our side, but the twisted tale of kids being used as shields for a radical Muslim militia. I typically don't read a lot of military/war books, but this book goes beyond just the simple retelling of a long-gone battle. It puts you in the middle of the fight - a place where, regardless of your opinion about the war, you gain a new found respect for the troops on the ground and a more informed perspective of the entire conflict.
Microsoft may have just upped the ante for the first time in a long time. The Surface computer looks like an amazing piece of technology that could actually make using a computer fun and easy. When can I get one of these for the living room?
Geography and location are huge on the web. With the ubiquity of mobile devices, localized information is becoming even more vital to the daily lives of individuals. Startups, investors and users are flocking to hyper-localized content. But who are the up-and-coming players, and how will the data be meaningfully sliced, diced and delivered in the next few years? Where 2.0 will be a great indicator of, uhm, where things are heading in this space.
One of my musical heroes, David "The Dawg" Grisman, doesn't get the colliding new worlds of music, video and the web. David has chosen an unfortunate path by suing You Tube for copyright violations. Yes, Grisman does have a good argument. Copyright violations are all over You Tube. But for Grisman to become immersed in this particular legal battle is a sign that he is, sadly, out-of-touch with a huge majority of his fans. People watching and embedding Grisman's videos are more likely to go buy his music, attend one of his shows, or tell a friend about Mondo Mando. Music videos on You Tube are fuel for a musician's marketing fire, not a legal liability in need of correction. In celebration of this idea, here's Grisman (a true virtuoso) doing what he does best - not meeting with his lawyers!
I recently took my 1997 Cadillac DeVille to Kachina Cadillac for servicing. The family is taking a trip to Grand Canyon this weekend, so the car has to be in perfect running condition. I had the necessary repairs done then something strange happened. When I was picking up my car and paying my bill the cashier gave me a CD along with my receipt. It had my name on it and a label stating that it contained information regarding the work I just had done to my car. Instinctively, I popped the disc into my car's stereo as I drove away and was pleasantly surprised to hear the voice of the technician that actually worked on my car. She went into detail about the issues my car was having, her assessment of those issues and the repairs that were done. I was given a complete audio tour of my car's repairs, and I was thrilled with it.
This dealer is trying to establish closer, more long-term relationships with their customers. That's smart. They've gone so far to realize this strategy that their repair techs are doing audio recordings of the work they just completed! Needless to say, the mechanics are not natural orators, but their in-your-front-seat rundown of the work they just did on your car is nothing short of brilliant. The blow-by-blow from the technician gives the impression that someone took the time to fully inspect your car, do a thorough job of diagnosing the problem, then carefully repaired the vehicle. Of course, the disc also contained a short commercial for the dealership which I was more than happy to listen to as I sat in appreciation of this newly established personal relationship with my mechanic.
The dealership made me a more loyal, dedicated fan of their business; and now I'm providing some bona fide word-of-mouth marketing for them. Great move, Kachina Cadillac - I'll be back soon.