Monday, April 30, 2007

La Mission (by Nick)

Part of the Place Project (describe a place you love) This movie (shot on a Nokia N90) covers the mission district, and is filmed only with local sounds and music. Without a voiceover, it is much easier to share across cultural and linguistic boundaries. This was shot & edited by Nick, one of Project VIEW's video interns at Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Doing Good by Doing Well (and being Green!)

One of the persistent memes (or perhaps I should say tropes to be be more in the storytelling idiom) in social entrepreneurship is the phrase "Doing well by doing good."

Needless to say, this is one of the things I have been avidly following, looking for examples where companies are socially responsible without sacrificing their bottom line. These take a variety of forms, but I wanted to call attention to a few I have encountered recently.

Firstly, I met some of the executive team from Discovery Mining (document processing for law firms) at a recent Stanford event. We were chatting about my program, and I started brainstorming with them about how companies can add a social benefit that will strengthen their core products by applying a bit of creativity. (for example, Discovery Mining could use their product for something similar to Benetech's Human Rights Data Analysis Group)

Anyway, I was very interested to hear that they were buying carbon credits to offset travel for all of their sales force. In addition to 'doing the right thing', I'm sure this more than pays for itself; the sales team can feel good about themselves and the company adds value to their brand by being progressive and modern.

At the same time, I noticed two other interesting things:

The San Francisco Chronicle website added a Being Green section which includes how to calculate your carbon footprint, links to ecotourism, and other related articles.


Microsoft's MSN Messenger launched an initiative similar to Working Assets, but for instant messaging. "Every time you start a conversation using i’m, Microsoft shares a portion of the program's advertising revenue with some of the world's most effective organizations dedicated to social causes."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Off topic: Best kept secrets

Some Friday fun. Here are two of the best-kept secrets that everyone should know about.

1. San Francisco parking meter prepaid cards. Save those quarters for laundry! That's right, every parking meter with one of those diagonal slots will take this thing and your prepaid money.

2. Move over, Google Earth! NASA's got something meatier! I was searching around for open source maps, and I found NASA's own 3d global satellite data flyaround thing called World Wind. But in addition to earth, it also has Moon, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

This is a picture of one of the moon landing sites.

Friday, April 13, 2007

e-Nostalgic for BackInTheDay-dot-com

I was just browsing TechCrunch (Yeah, I know.. that's my first mistake) and complaining to a fellow Fellow about web 2.0 names. I am actually a little nostalgic for when you could just add e, i or dot-com to a regular word. etoys?

There were a few predecssors of the current gibberish trend like kozmo (bike messengers, videos, and ice cream? sign me up!), but for some reason, diigo and fleck, complete with meaningless 'simple design' logos were particularly egregious.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Videoblogging Week 2007, Day 7: Sushi

A little glimpse into one of my favorite local sushi restaurants.

Starring: Spinach with peanut sauce, hamachi negi-tori, snow white roll, char, aji, and Japanese snapper.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Videoblogging Week 2007, Day 5: Brief Glimpses

A sneak peek behind the scenes of a project I'm working on, helping the Stanford Alternative Spring Break class document their experiences visiting social entrepreneurs in the bay area.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Videoblogging Week 2007: Day 4 - Third try at Second Life

Daniel Huebner, Second Life's head community honcho, spoke at Stanford today. One of the things I find challenging about SL is nothing has hooked me yet. There's still a sort of gap until you play for a certain amount of time, after which you're supposedly hooked. This video shows two of the things I checked out today in SL - outer space and drinking.

Irish Bar
International Spaceflight Museum

Videoblogging Week 2007, Day 3: Sunny Day; Sunset's Great

I went on a little walk through the Sunset this weekend, and it was actually sunny out! So I put this together, set to a nice creative commons licensed song from ccMixter.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sunday, April 01, 2007

DV Vlog 6: Mayor Newsom re-opens the sunset library

Day 1 of videoblogging week 2007, and here's my first video. My local library branch finally re-opened, so I got a bit of San Francisco's mayor giving a little speech and cutting the ribbon.

Edit: There's a picture of me making this video in the coverage on NewTeeVee. I'm top right.