atNickHodge 23rd April, “The Lost Uncles”

All Hail the New Show Name: atNickHodge.

Comments in the chat stream from Thursday 18th’s #understil 7 (Conked Out and Stoked) ended with a suggestion from @LafinBoy to change the name of the show. Not because Stilgherrian Live! nor being his understudy is a bad thing: just it is just time to graduate. Up the ante. Grow up, maybe.

After 4.2 minutes of thinking, the only name that fell into my head is “atNickHodge” (@nickhodge). That will do for the moment. At least it is consistent with my strict personal branding guidelines. And I will probably change my mind and call it something else one day.

Thanks to all my previous guests, and the future super sekrit guests. And a big thanks to @dekrazee1 for her help and support. Oh, and @mrsnickhodge and @yin_0x7f for their guidance. Doing a weekly show seems to add structure into my life; and is becoming a new hobby.

Onto way more important topics.

Nick on Gold Beach, Normandy, France
Nick at Arromanches (D-Day Gold Beach) May 2004.

The next show is scheduled for 8.30pm, Thursday 23rd April 2009.


Topic this week: “The Lost Uncles”. It is Anzac Day this Saturday. In Remembrance, I am going to reveal the histories of four individual soldiers from World War 1 and 2; each of which I have a personal connection. This show is not to glorify war; nor create false heroes. It is an episode just to remember four men.

Three from WW1, one from WW2; Two I am related to, two have other connections; Two survived the war, Two did not. Three were enlisted men, one an officer. One was married and had a child prior to enlistment; two had no children and I am directly descended from one. One I met in person; all are in my being and thoughts.

This show is for Lock, Roberts, Mason and Hodge.

Lest We Forget.

Please pop this into your diaries. See you on Thursday night.

Red Cordial Catharsis

After what I would say has been an interesting week, I spent my holiday on Thursday writing the below notes. These notes were the base script for the #understil episode broadcast on Thursday night. Sadly, due to a combination of weirdness and user error, the last half was not recorded. Therefore, please review the notes.

I use Google Docs to store the script so I can share with Dekrazee1 (the show’s Meta-Backchannel producer) and potential guests.

The bolding of text assists me in reading whilst on screen, and where the key points are. Usually, I attempt to flow the words through a river of conversation.

Thanks to Stilgherrian, Cameron Reilly, Bronwen Clune, Mark Newton, Leslie Nassar and Avril Hodge for the crafting of this show. Yes, I did mis-pronounce Anarcho-syd… whatever, and some other words too. I blame my country school english.

A shout out to Jeff Sandquist, Frank Arrigo, Mike Seyfang.

And a thanks to Mark Pesce for speaking inspiration.

Sorry there were no kittehs!

Responses  to the IRC Chat

  • People commented I was “selling” or “shilling” Microsoft. Yes, and that is the point made later. There is no avoiding it for employees involved in social media due to Maslowian pyramidical juxtapositioning.
  • Apple vs Microsoft. If you read Cluetrain, it predicts the doom of companies that “don’t get it” (albeit it in the latter points, which many people don’t read) I had framed this whole show on People Oriented Social Media; and in that context, why is Apple successful vs. Microsoft. It answer is no means simple. And really a them vs. us conversation is not correct. It is about products and perceptions of Microsoft. The problem is Microsoft’s to solve; and I am a small part of this long term change.
    • The (first part) of the Episode

  1. [at 8:40pm] Red Cordial Catharsis
    1. This show is going to more personal than the last show. This is all about me. And Social Media
      1. which launches me like a North Korean ICBM/Satellite into the same stratosphere of @stilgherrian and @cameronreilly
    2. The question for Social Media: is this about my employer? when on social media, how much of your employer’s kool aid are you shilling?
    3. Red Cordial & Lemonade.
      1. History.
      2. Link to red cordial and “hyperactivity” more by association rather than specific cause/effect
      3. Red Cordial hyperconnectivity
    4. Catharsis; from the greek to cleanse/purify/clarify
    5. tonights show is “Red Cordial Catharsis”
    6. This tweet, 7th April: NickHodge: @gedulous when I was at Apple, we had to drink Kool Aid. At Microsoft, we drink Red Cordial. They have different effects.
      1. ‘drinking the kool aide’ comes from the 1978 Jonestown massacre in Guyana where 918 people died drinking cyanide; valium; phenergan mixed in with flavor aid. Jim Jones, cult leader; Jonestown benevolent communist community. Apostolic Socialism (@cameronreilly?). Blindly following an authority to the bitter end.
      2. This is *not* a positive brand connection for a Microsoft employee to make, even based on personal experience.
      3. incorrectly found and quoted; this and many other tweets, blog comments, flickr images, vodcasts and podcasts cross the line. What line?
    7. “To a Social Media Practioner”
        1. That post may have been wrong. It is time to speak up
        2. what prompted this post?
        3. what did I mean: the professionalisation/businessification/amwayification of social media in marketing and PR
        4. I didnt and dont want to become one of the Social Media formulaic shysters
        5. I use it to connect to people. Friends, associates, family, work
    8. (quote from social media bible #1: Cluetrain Manifesto. Markets are Conversations)
      1. The first of the 95 Theses: People
        1. Defining conversational mechanism, immediacy (vod, pod & twitter)
        2. Blogging: publishing; vod+pod casting
        3. All have feedback mechanisms, different latencies
    9. I am very much a personal brand-ist social media type
      1. People Oriented Social Media
      2. Not a technologist, nor a #fister, nor viral sock puppet
      3. people, first and foremost. see, feel and touch people. Responding human face.
      4. I am a cluetrainer, with a healthy level of pragmatism
      5. Companies are centuries-old legal constructs; to change this we must change deeps parts of our existing system: beyond the scope of tonight’s show. Pragmatism
      6. first registered in Nov 2000, on the net since late 1996
        1. Personal Branding is the first and only parachute for worker-droids. Was once called your “name” or “reputation”
      7. not @mpesce MSM (TV/radio) hog, spoke to 10,000’s people per year
    10. Clarify my position statement: Microsoft is a surprisingly great employer
      1. Many years ago, I never envisaged working for Microsoft.
      2. I made a considered choice to work for Microsoft. I can see how I am a small cog of a big change.
      3. Perspective: being paid 50% of what I once earned as a sales-pointy-haired-manager-droid. I sold my soul more to be a sales droid than at Microsoft.
      4. interview loop: Frank Arrigo and Jeff Sanquist (2005 Channel 9, Robert Scoble’s boss, dealt with the fallout) “sold me on the new msft
      5. Really, really like to thank Mike Seyfang @fang really put me on the Cluetrain road
        1. Homework: Apple. Cluetrain or not? Are their products their only voice? My contention is that they fail this test: yet are highly successful.
        2. vs. Microsoft, “high cluetrain IQ mark” since 2004, high share-of-voice; the market contention not as successful. WTF?
      6. Built audience of >750K touches per year.
      7. Did some pretty non-MSFT random things (eg: interview danah boyd)
      8. Twitter: now at nearly 2500 followers.
      9. Comparing to other organisations, surprising free/liberal
    11. Compliance with the Blog Smart Policy (and other companies have similar)
      1. #1 – Be Smart
    12. For those of us in Person-orient Social Media Front, where is that line between an individual and their company? Does there need to be the question. Is there any answer?
      1. “out of hours in personal time” you would expect your employer not to sit on my shoulder when I vote, act on my personal morals, how I live my left, the choices I make, where I live, products I buy, food I eat.
      2. Works is where I choose work. They choose to employ me for my skills and experience. This is the basis of the employment contract: my time, their money; and their rules on their time.
      3. Not everything MSFT does, nor has done do I necessarily understand nor agree with.
        1. Zune. sw/service good (in US) ; but as a strategy WTF?
        2. Xbox when losing money. WTF?
        3. Why did we functionally stabilize
        4. I contend that no employee would 100% agree with everything. It is impossible
        5. I like google search, email and reader. I like my Mac.
        6. Transparency and honest expectation expects me to call it as it is.
      4. However, this is merely my perspective. I don’t know and see all. No one can. Not even a CEO.
      5. In the hiring process, you get “culturally” assessed and screened by HR and hiring manager
        1. Usually, will this person fit into team
        2. A public face, is also “can this person represent my organisation?”
        3. Aim is to obtain an employee who fits into the org.
      6. My contract says “9:00am to 5:30pm” … and compliance with the codes of conduct, confidentiality, ethics, business conduct — and laws of AU and US.
        1. and contract says “other duties as assigned”
        2. pure 9-5 in social media doesn’t work
        3. even less so than plausibly deniable proverbial weekend bbq
        4. having two personas: work name and personal name: doesn’t work. It smells of fakery
      7. “Public face” of MSFT in the social community means anything I say, is there forever and can be quoted. maliciously
        1. Paid for: media interviews, demos, presentations, dealing with customers
      8. Benefit of “working for yourself”
      10. Self-managed individual labour
      11. But, you are many times working for a larger entity. Their money, their rules.
    13. For me, today was a formal leave day. I submitted the appropriate electronic forms, memo + coversheet; had it signed off and everything is kosher.
      1. how would you know that?
      2. Am I now speaking on behalf of my employer or myself?
      3. why would you need to know that?
      4. did that stop me doing work, anyway? (ASP.NET MVC assistance twitter, 22 work emails)
        1. says more about me than anything 🙂
        2. i like to help people and I care about how people’s use msft’s products
        3. to a greater extent, I really worry about what people think of me
    14. As Social media “face” are you “on” 100%
      1. Before, this were CEOs and execs with long PR training and a cadre of PR people
      2. Through MSM, carefully crafted. Risk/reward for this representation.
      3. Company SM types minor Internet Celebs
      4. The Social media paparazzi is here: Valleywag, and others
      5. Quotes like above will come back to haunt you, like naked pictures on Facebook
      6. Even things afterhours that are legal.
      7. swearing? professing your dislike of football? does this cross the line? do people have impressions of Microsoft? do they build up?
    15. Let’s revisit point 94 of the 95 theses:
      1. To traditional corporations, networked conversations may appear confused, may sound confusing.
      2. My contention is that “to the social community, in a ‘the market is a conversation’, the conversations from a corporate may appear and sound confusing
        1. comes from 100% on, expectation of transparency, having a human voice and being real.
      3. A corporation is not, nor ever, of one mind
        1. In the Borg’d-hive mind, there are many, conflicting voices.
      4. The risk is that now the voices are amplified and radiated by @mpesce’s Hyperconnectivity

  1. [at 9:04] The People Oriented Social Media Contract
    1. Juxtaposition: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
      1. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Dunning-Kruger Effect (dumb people think they are smart) Godwin’s Law of Usenet, Dunbar Number
      2. Simple Model to understand people’s physical and emotional/mental needs
      3. The lower levels influence the higher levels.
    2. Everyone who earns money is tainted by the source of the moolah.
      1. money feeds our families, gives us shelter
      2. as I have found, it doesnt define who we are.
    3. The system is fundamentally disconnected
      1. The Social Community expects real people, real voices, transparency, human voice, calling it as it is
      2. Orgs want people to be engaged in SM (sometimes as it is cheaper, sometimes as it is hip, sometimes as it is sold to them, not necessarily because of cluetrain)
        1. following guidelines similar to msft’s
      3. All conversations from an employee will be tainted by Maslow
        1. you cannot always say what you really think (unless you have balls as big as @leslie_nassar)
      4. Companies have codes of conduct
        1. To aid employees
        2. To protect themselves
        3. compliance with the various laws, protect other employees
      5. Individuals are not permitted to be people, and are therefore breaking the cluetrain community agreement
        1. koolaid effect
        2. 100% on
        3. employee needs to retain some form of employment, personal brand
        4. ‘the organisation’ fighting the non-conformists
    4. Result: we have an unresolved conflict. We are not of common mind. There is no contract.
      1. The Cluetrain is largely correct. Maybe more and more right as time goes on. who knows? It is a journey
    5. Employees in Social Communities: My argument now is that there is no line. It has gone. If it did exist, it is disappearing as fast as MSM
      1. There is an underlying web of connection between the voices of an organisation
      2. The organisation you work for shouldn’t but does own you. Social Communities do not see a difference, either. I am not saying this is right – its sad reality.
      3. In the cacophony of voices, there will be a theme of commonality (Maslow), not singular chior. Social Audiences will need to find the signal in the noise. No one voice is the signal. Don’t hold me out as your evidence that msft doesnt get this, likes that, says that google reader is the shiz. That is my opinion.
      4. True Social Conversations involve you, the listener, to clarify. Check. Disbelieve. Research. Use the hyperconnectivity gifted by Ceiling Cat.
    6. Two case examples:
      1. @Leslie_Nassar experience in a microsoft context? (ignore mini-microsoft 🙂 )
        1. Biggest balls, courageous. He will be OK. He’s a grown up.
        2. If I became a “FakeSteveBallmer” or “FakeSteveJobs” or “FakeBillGates”, and dis’d competitors, fellow employees and management?
        3. whilst I might become a social media hero and front-page news, and may partly soften perception people have of microsoft: it actually doesnt comply with msft’s formal policy and codes of conduct
          1. Expect to be counselled and probably shafted for didling expenses later on.
        4. a strange confluence: social media crowd LOL (me included) — but implications are dire. We are dealing with bigger issues
      2. @NewtonMark (Mark Newton, Network Engineer, Internode)
        1. on Insight on SBS, clearly stated “not the statements of employer”
        2. but how much will the real Senator Conroy separate mark from internode. does it matter?
        3. Comes from cluetrain from @simonhackett
        4. Kudos to Internode
    7. I have no magical closing statement or argument.
    8. For me, the situation is clear. I am 100% on. My voice is added to the greek chorus. I will continue to be myself, my voice, my opinion.
      1. I am paid by MSFT to talk about its technology. Please be aware that I sit on the sharp Maslowian Triangle. I will do my contracted job
      2. One day I will step over the corporate line, or an unforeseen situation will appear that may result in a major FAIL.
        1. And When Red Cordial of hyperconnectivity has overtaken the hyperactivity, I will fall on not on my sword, but my keyboard.



March 24th is international “Countess Ada Lovelace” day.

In light of this special world-wide event, I have a special in-studio guest: the smart industry icon (and a female) Kate Carruthers

Broadcasting at 8:30pm AEST, Tuesday 24th March 2009. There will be themed music on the stream from 7:30pm to get into the mood.

Keep this link handy: A big thanks to another smart IT industry @dekrazee1 who has agreed to be my meta-backchannel producer.

Note: the above image is on the rear of Countess’ Lovelace’s calling card. This was left behind at a dinner party at Charles Babbage’s. From the Sydney Powerhouse Museum. Consider this video pre-work.

Thinking Thursday

In a strange confluence of the digital universe, two of Australia’s leading internet thinkers: Stilgherrian (Stilgherrian Live) and Cameron Reilly (G’Day World Live); conducted live broadcasts last night.

The round out the seriousness, I broadcast and recorded my second “Stilgherrian’s Understudy” show

Some forwarning. I do swear. I do use technical words. Great music is included, and I do dis my present employer. And I have much to learn with this broadcasting caper; including getting thoughts out clearer. Almost scripted. Thanks to @stilgherrian for the inspiration.

Things for next time:

  • Music correctly sequenced at the beginning, and thematic
  • Opening sting of some sort
  • Don’t drop words, and put thoughts into clear linear thoughts.
  • White balance at the beginning
  • Animate and vocalise more
  • Deliver jokes better
  • Determine a mechanism to make it true Q&A (maybe questions beforehand)
  • Learn switching process between videos and camera to make smoother
  • The recording does something weird at 19:34 when I played the music video

Wireless Live Streaming

At yesterday’s Matt Bai; Politics and Technology Forum in Canberra, I experimented. Without testing, nor a safety net.

Having just received a new imate Ultimate 9502 phone with NextG HSDPA from @JonoH I wired up in the following way:

  • Dell XPS1330, using Bluetooth Personal Area Connection from within Vista SP1 x64 to…
  • imate Ultimate 9502, using Internet Connection Sharing at 7.2Mb/s HSDPA on Telstra NextG running…
  • putting priority on audio quality over video quality
  • Placed laptop on the floor with camera pointing to stage. I used the inbuilt camera in the Dell, and the same inbuilt microphone.

The result is this:

EEE.TV via Bigpond NextG

As a recent fan of micro-TV stations, and live podcasting audiences; and as an owner of an ASUS EEE PC, it was time to join the dots.


After installing the Bigpond Next G software for the USB card I own (note: this is the slower NextG as well) over to and broadcast away.

This makes an ultra-small, ultra-inexpensive and ultra-mobile micro TV broadcast system in-a-box.

Below is a 6 minute sample recording from earlier today.

Bandwidth use? About 1Mb/minute upload video+audio.