hiatus under duress

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Sep 252006

Sadness. Overwhelmed. Stupid. Overcommitted. Regrets. Tossing. Turning. Sleeplessness. Can’t shake the thoughts. Stuck. Pained. Frozen.

Blog hiatus. Prayers appreciated. Need tons of mercy and favor.

Sep 212006

People have their preferences. I like Tim Keller more than John Piper. This isn’t to say that I don’t like Piper, only that I like Keller more in an celebrity deathmatch comparison kind of way. Both are phenomenally great preachers and teachers, gifted and anointed in ways that I’m not, just as I’m gifted in some ways they’re not. Some people and pastors (Sam and Billy) really admire Piper a lot. I won’t make a point-by-point comparison; I’ll simply list my reasons.
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Sep 182006

The 3rd Asian American Emergents skypecast will be online next Sunday, September 24th, and you’re invited to skype in! The conversation begins at 9:00pm Eastern / 8:00pm Central / 6:00pm Pacific. (Skype me if you run into tech issues.)

This 1-hour monthly skypecast is a safe place to dialogue about topics related to Asian Americans and the emerging/emergent church. The consensus I’m hearing is to focus on one question rather than on three, during the skypecast. So, we’ll aim for that. Right now the only topic at play was suggested by Ben: “Social Justice and the Asian Church why are Asians so adverse to reaching out to the poor and marginalized?” Other ideas?

The 2nd skypecast was recorded for your listening pleasure. And, see the 1st skypecast notes for how it all began.

Met up with Bruce Reyes-Chow yesterday, the original inspirer for this skypecast, and I think he’ll be able to actually make it this time around (having missed the 1st two for whatever reasons). :) He even ventured over to attend my not-so-emergent church with me and we lunched over at BD’s Mongolian with my fam.

Sep 142006

While on our return leg of the Labor Day weekend trip, my friend David held his video iPod so we could watch a coupla standup comedians do their routines while we waited in stop & go traffic. (I can’t watch videos on my old 3rd-gen iPod; only music and podcasts)

Many have speculated about who’d figure out how to capitalize on growing speeds and adoption rate of broadband internet to make movie downloads convenient and easy for the everyday consumer. Seekingalpha noted:

Limited success to date by two leading movie download sites. We note that two leading movie download sites, Movielink.com and Cinemanow.com, have achieved limited success to date vis-a-vis driving consumer traffic to its websites.

Amazon.com just launched their unbox.com movie download store, which has too many limitations. Some thought Tivo would figure it out, and get movie downloads onto their DVRs. I’ve used DVD-by-mail services like NetFlix, Blockbuster, and Wal-Mart, and some thought it’d be natural for one of them to figure out how to use the broadband pipe instead of Snail Mail to deliver movies. But, no.

Now, after watching the latest Steve Jobs’ keynote announcing the latest iPod and iTunes updates, the answer’s obvious to me. The race is not just heating up, it’s coming around the final stretch and for all intents and purposes over.

Apple iPod has connected with 75.6% of the market for music downloads, and has become far more ubiquitous among consumers who’d want to be with it. As Jobs said, Apple is in the den, the living room (by Q1 2007 with their “iTV”), in the car, and in the pocket. I lost count of how many times Jobs said “cool” and “exciting” as a part of his reality distortion field. It doesn’t matter if iTunes 7 turning out to have major glitches or Apple’s new series of releases is full of limitations or Scoble is disappointed about no widescreen iPod yet. iPod is _the_ cool device and the masses (I predict) will respond to iTV and iTunes movie downloads. iTunes has already streamlined music distribution, escalating TV show distribution, and now movies are on deck. That’s the only reason I can think of for Jobs’ breaking tradition and pre-announcing a product like iTV to stave off consumer interest in the competitor’s comparable offerings. And, iPod (with comparably longer battery life) will even supplant portable DVD players. I bet my next airplane trip (late October) will have more video iPods than DVD players and laptops combined.

This is all about getting paid content to the consumer, and I think this is it. Yes, this is all content in the entertainment sector, and educational content hasn’t made the most of this (yet?). Opportunities abound, now that the pipeline and storefront is in place and open for business.

cf. Seekingalpha commentaries: Amazon’s New Movie Service No Threat to Apple, Apple’s iTV Makes Wal-Mart Nervous. TUAW commentary: 1st impression- buying a movie from the iTunes Store. AppleMatters.com commentary: How the iTV Can Replicate the iPod’s Success

[update] Business Week anticipates the same thing as me:

Obviously, Apple thinks it can do better than its predecessors. It has reason for confidence, judging from the company’s track record. Remember the MP3 players — say, the Rio — before the iPod? So do I, but just barely. The mechanics and the usage model were already established. What made the iPod a success was a heavy dose of what Apple does best: a little technical improvement, ease of use, and style.
Apple’s history has shown us that it can make seemingly complicated technical products easy to use and popular among consumers. If anyone can make bridge this great divide, Apple can.

[update 9/17] New York Times’ A Video Business Model Ready to Move Beyond Beta holds a tenuous wait-and-see attitude.

[update 9/22] According to The Wall Street Journal, Walt Disney says they’ve sold 125,000 movie downloads totaling $1 million in revenue. Not bad for just 1 week. [ht: digitallife]

Sep 132006

Wireless mobile technology is almost good enough to make internet (almost) anywhere, in the 100+ larger metropolitan areas around the USA. I might be jumping the gun here, but individuals (and not businesses only) should be able to easily get untethered access to the Internet without having to rely on WiFi hotspots and access points. But why is this so buried with the mobile carriers’ websites? And, what do you call it anyways: mobile broadband? high-speed cellular network? wireless internet? wireless broadband? EVDO? EDGE?

So I’m digging around for (what seemed like) hours, trying to find info like this:

EVDO claims to be faster than EDGE. Ed Bott laments a similar dilemma to choose between the two. This December 2005 article gives more detailed comparisons on some of the above.

Here’s what I’m looking for: lower cost, wider coverage, more reliability, faster speed, less fine print nickel & diming, no contract, in order of priority. Help?

writing vs. blogging

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Sep 122006

Andy Crouch has a blog-powered website, but dismisses the power of blogging in this excerpted sound bite that is probably taken out of context, from this L.L. Barkat article on whether anyone survives as a freelance writer:

Anyhow, Crouch added that every writer needs a website. And, I would agree–not just because I have one, but also because the marketing director at my new publisher tells me it was this site, along with a good proposal, that sold him on my first book.

“A blog is a waste of time,” Crouch also suggested. This quiet comment drew loud cries from the Riess-Winner side of the panel–which said to me that they both have blogs.

Crouch pushed back, though. “You don’t develop an audience with a blog. Your writing is at its worst. And writing for a blog doesn’t improve your skill.”

But, it doesn’t have to be that way! There’s a growing number of bloggers who are getting book deals, because their blogs are what built the audience in the first place, like Robert Scoble‘s Naked Conversations, Glenn Reynold‘s Army of Davids, Anna Broadway‘s forthcoming Sexless in the City, and more. (cf. The New Yorker: “Suddenly, books by bloggers will be a trend, a cultural phenomenon.” + InfoToday.com’s Blogs to Book Deals + The Book Standard’s Blogs and Bestsellers: One and the Same? )

Why do I blog?

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Sep 102006

Yes, ironically, I made a video to talk about blogging instead of writing or blogging about it. :)

Why do I blog?

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Sep 102006

Yes, it is ironic that I’d make a video about why I blog; I wanted to incorporate more nonverbal communication than is possible via words alone. In the segment, I lament my formerly top Google ranked post titled Comedian Wannabe.

Sidenote: Brian McLaren gets spotlighted, again, in WaPo, [ht: emergentvillage] and my friend Ken Archer of theologicalthought.com is quoted twice:

“The modern Christian formula of ‘I mentally assent to the fact that Jesus died for my sins and therefore I get to live forever in heaven’ . . . is entirely cognitive,” said Ken Archer, 33, a D.C. software entrepreneur who is studying philosophy at Catholic University. “It’s a mathematical formula [that] leaves the rest of our being unfulfilled.”
“What Brian is contributing is excellent questions that expose the modern roots of our spiritual angst,” said Archer, who has had long conversations with McLaren. “He sees the answers coming from others, and he has encouraged thousands of people, including myself, to find the answers.”

cf. best excerpted sound bites & pull quotes at Just Pastors.

Sep 082006


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Now what do I do??