Tweetup at Mateo’s Public

The next Nevada County Tweetup is happening this Thursday at Mateo’s Public in Nevada City. This will be the third tweetup in the area.

Here’s the invite I received from Paul and Vanessa Smith:

In this third installment of NC Tweetups, we’re putting the emphasis on the social rather then the media.

Come join us at the new Matteo’s Public, a friendly, sustainability minded brewpub to meet with friends new and old, and enjoy wine & beer tasting at w/Matt, the owner, plus live music from Kelly Flemming.

Please tweet about this to friends!

Come by to Mateo’s Public, 300 Commercial St. in Nevada City, from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday (8/27/09).

Redefining the power Twitter user

Let me first state that this is a post bred from my personal experiences as a Twitter user in which I have been a spammer (overly posted) and I have been spammed.

As you can see, I am already redefining the word “spammer.”

After going through the phases of an average Twitter user, meaning to say a level of over excitement followed by varying levels of interest and disinterest, I can speak to how much I love and hate Twitter. It really is a love / hate relationship.

In fact, it’s gotten to a point where I no longer allow Tweets to get to my phone unless they are direct messages. There’s just too much crap coming in — even from friends.

Uselessness has, and always will be, the biggest worry about Twitter. The amount of unusable content, in my mind, should not outweigh the amount of “cool” information. It’s why I can’t allow some friends to come through directly to my phone anymore. They are, what would be traditionally called, power users. But 90 percent of what they have to say is in all considerations personal conversations made public.

It’s like hanging around on Texts from Last Night, but everyone in the world gets to see it as it happens. It’s not fun. It’s just annoying after awhile.

In an effort to build up my own Twitter stature, I followed tons of people. A lot I do not know, but many of which are celebrities, journalists, news organizations and folks in the community I thought would be interested in my messages: Slice of life stuff, behind the scenes with public figures and sports content. Sports is still No. 1.

Of those people, it’s becoming harder and harder to boil it down to what’s actually worth paying attention to. An organization like, for example, the Sacramento Bee, makes it difficult for me to want to allow them to text message me in the case of an emergency when they pump out 60 tweets on a big news day. (The Bee shot out 31 in the last 24 hours.) Yes, while I find all of their content valuable, their overuse of Twitter devalues my desire for it.

In contrast, for example, the San Francisco Chronicle has multiple Twitter feeds (like the Bee), but I follow just one in particular, @SFChron_alert. To date, it has published 89 tweets in all. This Twitter feed functions as the breaking news alerts for the Chronicle and does not carry the load that @SFGate carries or any of its other feeds.

What is a power user?

This should be the new definition of a power user: Relevant (subjective to you and I), significant and timely tweets. This kind of information is the bread and butter of the clutter. It’s why I don’t tweet so much. It’s why I think twice about everything I will say, not for fear of saying something stupid — that’s inevitable — but because what I say has to have some value to somebody, somewhere. Sometimes the value is in the conjectured laugh, or it’s key information on what I do. Other times, it’s a look into my personal life, so that I am more personable to those who don’t know me. Whatever it is, I hope, it’s worth reading. I’m still working on being timely, so I don’t even think I’m a power user.

What isn’t a power user?

A power user is not posting more than 20 times a day. I’m not reading all of that, and therefore, I don’t care for all what that person has to say. I’m pretty sure, most people feel the same way about these type of users. And if anything, the average user is constantly trying to figure out how to wade his or her way through the cacophony of crap. It can be deafening and it requires tons of organization (thanks be to Seesmic Desktop for alleviating some of these burdens). But I suspect the patience of the average user is somewhat like mine: After awhile, you just don’t care for any of it and you need to either hack down your followers or limit the ways in which you use Twitter in itself; i.e. no more text messages.

No. 6 pick: Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers are as solid as they come. Photo by Flickr user rionklong.
Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers are as solid as they come. Photo by Flickr user rionklong.

It shouldn’t have took six picks, but it did because I hate to see repeats. Unfortunately, this team has a really good chance of repeating.

Ben Roethlisberger has some off-the-field troubles to worry about, namely these non-criminal accusations of rape, which are more than a year old. But the majority of the Steelers have nothing to worry about except football.
Continue reading “No. 6 pick: Pittsburgh Steelers”

How much is bypassing copy desks killing integrity?

Newspapers have worked on a set standard of how to operate for a very long time. Depending on the size of a news organization, there is a protocol on how to disseminate information timely and accurately among a certain number of people.

The simple observation is: Every newspaper is run through a copy desk to ensure the integrity of the news gathering process. These people are the second, third and sometimes fourth eyes on everything editorial in the paper. Needless to say, they’re critical to the editorial process and integrity.

So what happens when they’re taken out of the loop? That’s where we’re headed as newspapers continue to whittle down to bare bones resources and push for online content first — and most certainly without the proper vetting. This article for Voices serves well to highlight the issue.

It’s just another reminder that journalists are as much aware of the consequences of a news organization’s editorial integrity as members of the concerned public. I don’t doubt that those same members would be willing to invest more money in a high quality, localized product — wherever the market. So long as there is trust and accuracy along with its output.

In my mind, integrity should come first.

Top 20 running backs for the 2009 NFL fantasy season

This is much overdue after I pumped out the other lists. But that’s because this is a make or break position. If you don’t get it right, you’ll be screwed. Guaranteed.

I remember selecting Shaun Alexander fourth overall in 2007. His worst year ever. Add to the fact he was on the “can’t cut list” in Yahoo! and I was stuck with a dud. Don’t let that happen to you. Read this post, and pick one of these backs and you won’t have that worry. (OK, maybe a little.)

Adrian Peterson is my No. 1. I'm pretty sure it's a consensus.
Adrian Peterson is my No. 1. I'm pretty sure it's a consensus.

  1. Adrian Peterson — Out of the gates, I’m going with a guy who could very well be on his down year. That meaning, the year in which he gets injured gruesomely in some freak accident. But I’m at the point where I hate the what-if scenario, and without that to opine on, Peterson is the legitimate No. 1 going in 2009. He’s dethroning LaDainian Tomlinson who has sat on this spot for four years. A very worthy honor. Last season: 10 touchdowns, 1,760 rushing yards, 10 100-yard games.
  2. Michael Turner — At 27, we’re looking for the second most astounding season from a the former San Diego benchwarmer. This guy literally shook off the cob webs and starting sprinting to the end zone. Definitely a surprise on the fantasy landscape last year with the production he put out. And with the development of Matt Ryan, he should continue to get the carries necessary to break the 1,500-yard mark and at least 10 touchdowns. Don’t make the same mistake twice, pick him asap. Last season: 17 touchdowns, 1,699 rushing yards, two 200-yard games, six 100-yard games.
  3. DeAngelo Williams — Expect him to continue to be the boss of the Carolina offense as Jonathan Stewart has been injured twice already this offseason. That’s as simple as it gets. Just look at the numbers. Last season: 20 touchdowns, 1,515 rushing yards, eight 100-yard games.
  4. Continue reading “Top 20 running backs for the 2009 NFL fantasy season”

No. 4 pick: Philadelphia Eagles

Editor’s note: This is part 4 of a 32-part series in which Tim and Zuri draft the teams they think have the best chance of winning the Super Bowl. All teams will be picked to ensure a winner, so check back, because someone will be making a case for the Lions and the greatest one-season turnaround in NFL history.

Donovan McNabb has always been consistent and now he has the weapons. Is he ready to step up?
Donovan McNabb has always been consistent and now he has the weapons. Is he ready to step up?

This is it for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The biggest obstacles to the Eagles’ success in the Donovan McNabb era has been the lack of quality receivers on an otherwise dominant team in the NFC. Last season, that problem was somewhat remedied with the draft of DeSean Jackson.

If you recall, Jackson scorched the Earth in his debut against the St. Louis Rams last season, getting six grabs for 106 yards — but no touchdowns. He made the infamous dunderhead move where he dropped the ball before he had actually stepped into the end zone. I imagine he’s grown up since then.
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NC Film Festival opens with a tear jerker

The opening night of the Nevada City Film Festival ended with a bunch of folks scrambling for tissue boxes after its opening feature film, “Like Dandelion Dust,” shook up the crowd with its tear jerker qualities.

Needless to say, it was a good movie.

Reaction like the ones last night to the film, based on the book by Karen Kingsbury, are gold for filmmakers. And it started the 9th annual film festival on a strong note.

Just a quick synopsis of the movie: Two families play tug-of-war over a six-year old boy, whom one family had given up due its struggles. Both families do a bit of soul-searching in the process, with an unforgettable conclusion.

There were some themes that arose from the film that are particularly tough questions: How do you give up a child who has been a part of your family for six years? How do you take a child from its nurtured family, after giving it up? How, if at all, can you reconcile the two?

Tough, tough questions.

The Q&A afterward was particularly good. The producers for the film, as well as one of the lead actresses (I failed to catch her name), talked about the processes of the movie and its organic feel. In fact, according to the actress, the two mothers in the movie literally met each other for the first time on set at the end of the movie, when the movie was coming to its tissue-stained conclusion.

Ah, it’s good to have insight. Just like it’s good to have an event like the NCFF in town. These are the good times.

No. 2 pick: New England Patriots

Editor’s note: This is part 2 of a 32-part series in which Tim and Zuri draft the teams they think have the best chance of winning the Super Bowl. All teams will be picked to ensure a winner, so check back, because someone will be making a case for the Lions and the greatest one-season turnaround in NFL history.

Tom Brady will be a killer QB this year.
Tom Brady will be a killer QB this year.

This season is about revenge. If you don’t think so, you’re stupid.

Bill Belichick wants it. Randy Moss wants it. And you better believe Tom Brady wants it after a season lost to injury.

Expect this team to have a grudge on their shoulders moving into the year, taking every slight against them (their trademark) as fuel for the inevitable beatdowns that will ensue.

Chalk up these six wins right here: Weeks 1, 2, 9, 11, 13, 15. Those are against AFC East division opponents Buffalo, Miami and the New York Jets. Not one of them has a chance, lacking the talent at quarterback in every single instance to overcome an always steady Pats defense. Last season, the Patriots defense ranked No. 11 in the NFL against the pass, allowing 201.4 yards per game.

Those were a lot of 3-and-outs.

But the strength in the Patriots is the offense, so long as Tom Brady leads the offense. This is the man who threw 50 touchdown passes and led his team to a methodical — magical — and surprisingly fantastic 16-0. He is the golden boy. And there is no denying that he has a bit of fire in his belly to prove he can come back after an injury plagued season. Everything else doesn’t matter.

He’s got the weapons with my personal No. 1 overall receiver Moss and Wes Welker is a Pro Bowler in his own right. Oh, and Joey Galloway just happens to sit on the bench. Really.
Continue reading “No. 2 pick: New England Patriots”

And here I thought Tom Cable was a wussy

Tom Cable is changing Raiders culture. For better or worse.
Tom Cable is changing Raiders culture. For better or worse.

Tom Cable may be exactly what the Oakland Raiders need.

I had to think about it a moment before I realized that Cable, who allegedly punched out Raiders defensive assistant coach Randy Hanson, is going to get what he wants out of this franchise — for better or for worse. I’m leaning on better right now for a couple of reasons.

  1. Wacky Al demands not only respect, but full efffin loyalty out of his employees. You can’t sneeze without permission from this dude. It’s that serious. And with a personality like that — a demigod as Tim Kawakami notes — you need to have a strong personality in order to deal with the rest of the organizational players. Hanson, who was notedly a disturbance last year for Lane Kiffin and who Kiffin wanted to fire at one point, is a victim of the territorial warpath. Cable is the big dog in the club house. He’s marking his spot and all possible traitors are not welcome.
  2. Continue reading “And here I thought Tom Cable was a wussy”