Blog the Change You Wish to See in the World

Mashable’s Open Web Awards… Let the Voting Begin!
November 21, 2008, 5:49 pm
Filed under: APOC | Tags: , ,

The Voting Round and the top Nominees for Open Web Awards have been launched…

Click below for the voting widget. Use it to browse some new sites and offerings you may not yet be familiar with, and then reward the best in each category with your vote:

Get the full details by checking out the Rules and Timeline

Voting closes on Sunday, November 30th 11:59 pm PST, so hurry now.

Nominees, feel free to shout out your entries in the comments below.

To all, which entries and which categories captured your attention and earned your vote?


February 9, 2008, 10:22 pm
Filed under: APOC, Hip Hop | Tags: , , , , , , ,

At a session called Otaku Remixes: Anime Music Videos, featuring a collection curated by Tim Park. Otaku simply means a fan of anime content. While I’m a total nube when it comes to anime, I gotta admit the first couple videos I witnessed are pretty fly.

Watch some of the best and vote for your favorites at

Here’s one cool example of a well-known anime mashup music video mixing up some footage from Dragonball Z and a Tyler Durden-inspired Dust Brothers track.

Here’s another one called Tainted Donuts. Get through the intro to hear a dope Japanese hip hop track from Shaka Zombie. Beat and energy is reminiscent of Young Black Teenagers’ “Tap the Bottle.”

Who knew hip hop and anime got down like this? Peep “It’s Tricky to Make a Music Video,” featuring the kings Run DMC.

This is actually starting to blow me away.  I mean, g*$damn, where do you get to mash up Ninja Rap, Luda, Weird Al,  movie trailer bits, and more.  Right here, that’s where…  Seriously this is at least as funny as anything Will Ferrell and those guys are gonna give ya.

I wanna make some -ish like that! Maybe a mashup involving Digital Underground’s “FOTI.”  Who wants to help? Worth three weeks of my life? Uh, maybe I’ll just stay on YouTube.

Props to my M80 homeboy Fast Freddie for rollin’ out to the summit and inspiring me to check out something new.

Green or Die
January 29, 2008, 7:46 am
Filed under: APOC | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Green or Die.  Your Choice. Everyone’s Future.

Oooo.  Catchy, huh?

It’s the name and tagline of my recent foray into online community development. Along with four other graduate students, last term I helped develop this social network geared at promoting everyday changes for greener living.  (As in, more environmentally friendly, not like Kermit the Frog and the Jolly Green Giant. Although they’re cool too.)

It’s called Green or Die.

Some killer aspects of our community: A widget that allows folks to show off their green-ness on Facebook, MySpace, etc… A challenge to live greener, via a game/quiz which will someday change each week and ask you questions about things like how much water you waste while brushing your teeth…  A cool “Odd Couple”-type movie which is pretty damn entertaining while getting across some serious points and branding the community.

A big… uh… “challenge”:  Site isn’t done.  We ran into some delays early, which led to firing someone, which led to delays, which led to running into a developer’s vacation, which led to delays, which to led to more delays, frustration, excuses, and confusion.  (Welcome to web development!).  It’s not quite ready for primetime but it is primo cool (or can be).

So, this morning, I and two other APOC student presenters presented our final projects from last term to the Annenberg Foundation Board of Trustees.  These final projects were to be the culmination of our USC graduate studies. Yahoo!’s Cody Simms, APOC Director Karen North, and three additional APOC students were in attendance.

We presented to a rather impressive roster of Annenberg Foundation trustees.  I was impressed by their engagement and dedication to online communities as an area of future study and by their thoughtful questions and comments throughout the presentations.

I gotta admit I was pretty nervous speaking before this group of heavy hitters.  But I also gotta admit — I (and the group) rocked it!  Our hard work showed through clearly and I’m glad we were able to back up that the Foundation’s investment in us and in the future was money well invested.  The Annenberg family, including Willis Annenberg who was in attendance, have an AMAZING history of philanthropy at USC and elsewhere.

The other groups are amazing too.  Check ’em out:

  • BoomSpin, a social networking site promising legal free music
  • Grunchable, a clever consumer complaint site along the lines of Yelp! but focused on the fun, negative reviews we all love to read (and write).

What do you think of Green or Die?  Is it a concept worth taking beyond prototype and doing something with it?

APOC-alypse now
January 27, 2008, 2:25 am
Filed under: APOC

I’m team teaching a class at USC.  It’s for graduate students in USC’s Annenberg communications school. The students are part of the Annenberg Program for Online Communities, hereto referred to as APOC.

Along with Professor Karen North and Second Life Co-founder Cory Ondrejka, we’ll be exploring the world of online communities.  A unique challenges in plotting this course comes from the fact that this is a new area of study without a defined history.   We won’t know with certainty what works and what doesn’t, and what developments were more significant than others, for some time.  The opportunity in this course is to have a true group learning environment with experiential learning and real-time evaluation of a revolution in progress.

So it’ll be fun.  You can follow along by tuning in to our class wiki.

Sound good to you?  Maybe you should apply to be an APOC student