June 2006 Posts

Video of Comcast Technician Sleeping

My friend Jared posted a link to this video on YouTube.

To be honest, I feel kind of bad for the technician. I mean, who’s to say what he had done earlier in the day and what his life is like? He might have got up early in the morning, been working hard and then… he got in a comfortable chair and nodded off. We’re human, this stuff happens. Acceptable? No. Understandable? I think so. He may be an otherwise hard working guy, perhaps he has a family to support. I really hope this was the straw that broke the camel’s back – a final offense in a line of many – rather than an otherwise decent employee/person being fired as a sacrificial lamb because of the YouTube/MySpace/Digg lynch mob world we live in these days.

On the other hand, as far as the person who recorded it, I wonder. If that is your first reaction, to videotape it and put it online, what does that say about you as a person? Why try to humiliate someone? Why make a scene, why try to get personal attention but doing this to another person? I would have just woke him up by making a little noise by walking around or moving something. In other words, I would have been polite and I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to be malicious. That’s a sad way to treat someone regardless of what you think of Comcast. I’d hope that if I ever happen to fall asleep doing something, the person who sees it will cut me a break because I’m only human and I work hard.

PR People: Respond to Fan Sites!

For my recent venture Bad Boy Blog, an unofficial Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group (Diddy, Bad Boy Records, Sean John, etc.) fan blog, I have attempted to contact many people at and related to Bad Boy. I have contacted Bad Boy artists, Bad Boy producers, artist management and/or promotion companies, Bad Boy PR people and Atlantic Records PR people (Bad Boy is a part of the Atlantic Records Group, which is in turn a part of Warner Music Group). Most of the initial contact was done back in April.

I didn’t expect much of a response from artists and producers, but most of them did actually respond. I tried to contact three artists and one responded (Nelson). I tried to contact three producers (one of which being an artist counted in the three above) and two responded (Ryan Leslie and Tony Dofat). These are busy people (aren’t we all, of course), but they responded and have made themselves available/said they would do what they could. I’m not going to mention the people who didn’t respond as that isn’t my style – I’m not here to trash anyone specifically or try to draw attention to myself by doing so.

The people that I expected to respond were the artist management/promotion companies and the PR people at the labels. The artist management/promotion companies didn’t really disappoint. I contacted three and heard back from two (Clockwork Entertainment (Jordan McCoy’s management) and Stompin’ Groundz Media Group (Yung Joc’s marketing)) and both of them have been kind, helpful and responsive.

However, the people I expected most to get back with me were the label PR people. And this is where I have been disappointed. Back in April, I e-mailed one person at Atlantic and one person at Bad Boy. These were both recognized PR people and I got their contact information through reputable means, such as at the bottom of label issued press releases, etc. My e-mails didn’t bounce and there was no response from either. It is worth noting that in my e-mails (an example copy of which is included at the bottom of this post, for reference), I said that if I was contacting the wrong person, I apologize and if they could please forward me onto the right person, I would appreciate it. Still, no response.

If it were not for someone at one of the companies mentioned above forwarding my e-mail to someone at Bad Boy, I wouldn’t have been in contact with any Bad Boy PR person. But, she did. She said to e-mail her again if no one got with me in a week. No one did. So, I begrudgingly (not wanting to seem like a pest) e-mailed her again and she forwarded it again. This time, it got a response. It is my understanding that the person she forwarded it to, forwarded it to someone else who was either an intern or at a similarly lower level, which is certainly fine by me. I’m after information. As long as someone has access to that information, I’m happy to be in contact with them, whoever they may be.

So, I had been in contact with this person as needed up until a little over two weeks ago. At that point, he informed me that he had left Bad Boy and he gave me the e-mail for someone who he said was the director of promotion for Bad Boy. I thanked him and wished him well. In the meantime, I was on the MySpace list for someone who supposedly distributes audio to DJs for Bad Boy (among other things), so I e-mailed him (outside of MySpace) to see if he could help me (we have a promotional audio box). That was June 10. No response. I e-mailed the contact (he said it was the “director of promotion”) that my previous contact had given me on June 13. No response on that, yet, either. Maybe he’ll get back to me eventually, but it’s been 10 days. I can’t help but get the feeling that I am simply being disregarded and that if not for that nice lady who passed my info on – that I’d not have been in contact with anyone. I cannot believe that from the 4 label PR/marketing people that I have contacted personally, myself, I have not received a response.

If Microsoft, Fox, O’Reilly, McGraw Hill, etc. feel I am worth responding to – why don’t Atlantic and Bad Boy? This troubles me from a business perspective and here is why.

PR people need to respond to fan sites like mine. They need to. PR people need to respond to press, which is what fan sites must be considered, but that’s not the point. The fact is that fan sites are better than press. Why? Because they are fan sites. They are in your corner. They are supporting you and what you do. They are spending money (the amount of money that I have personally spent on Bad Boy releases, Sean John clothing and related things is really mind boggling, up into the thousands of dollars), they are keeping your buzz going. Fan sites like mine are continual good press. They give you the benefit of the doubt, they want you to do well. Unlike some fan sites out there, my sites condemn the illegal distribution of music. We want Bad Boy releases to sell well. We respect the rights of everyone involved. We are helping them in every way, hurting them in no way. This is big. This is why they should respond to fan sites. Or, at least, to any that presents itself in a professional manner.

So, why do I want to be in contact with PR people? The biggest reason is responsible journalism. I really do not like reporting on rumor. I like going to informed sources – I like knowing the truth, reporting accurately and squashing rumors. Sometimes I have to report on rumor, but if at all possible, I do not want to. I want to contact the company and get their response. Is this rumor true/untrue? Is this happening or not? What are the official release dates for so and so? And on and on. I want the right information so that I can pass it on to my readers, who are Bad Boy fans.

Another reason is promotional materials and PR mailing lists. Press releases, promos, whatever. I want to know what’s up at the company so I can pass it on, which increases their buzz. We also have a promotional audio player at Bad Boy Blog. This is cool to me because it only features audio that is given to me by people who have the right to do so. PR people, artist management, artists and producers themselves. We don’t just accept audio from anyone. We’re all about respecting the rights of everyone involved, as I said.

I could understand not hearing back from artists and producers. Their job is producing content and that is what they spend their time doing (they need to be a part of the promotional process, as well, of course). But, I cannot understand the lack of response from PR and marketing people. Their full time job is to promote and if they are not responding to fan sites, websites, blogs – whatever it is that caused them to decide not to respond to me – they are not maximizing the potential of the internet.

Here is an example of an e-mail that I sent out:

Dear Mr. (Last Name),

My name is Patrick O’Keefe and I own the iFroggy Network (http://www.ifroggy.com), a network of websites covering various subjects. Being a big Bad Boy fan myself, I have recently launched Bad Boy Blog (http://www.badboyblog.com), an unofficial Bad Boy fan blog, as part of my network. At the blog, we cover all subjects related to Bad Boy, it’s artists and producers, including news, commentary and more.

I wanted to inquire as to if Bad Boy had a press release/promotional materials distribution list and, if so, to see if I could be placed on that list. Having dealt with the PR people for Microsoft, Fox, McGraw-Hill and others, I know how useful they can be and, as part of my blog, I am happy to spread Bad Boy news and information where appropriate.

I also wanted to open a dialog and ask if there was someone that I could ask questions in order to get the truth out my readers, who are Bad Boy fans. As an example, from time to time, various rumors make their way around the net. It would be great to have a contact that I could get in touch with to find out the truth from so that I can get that truth out to the people. Would this be possible?

If you are not the right person to contact to ask these questions, I apologize. If you could please direct me to the appropriate person, it would be much appreciated.

I appreciate your time and if you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.



Patrick O’Keefe
iFroggy Network – http://www.ifroggy.com

phpBB 3 Hits Beta

phpBB 3 hit beta a couple of days ago. Through the phpBB 3.0.0 (Beta 1) Demo at phpBBHacks.com, I have had the opportunity to take a look around. Wow. That is going to take some getting used to.

It definitely looks great, but man, am I overwhelmed. The work and time it will take to get all of my communities upgraded (including all hacks and data created by hacks) is going to be immense. I just spent 10 minutes writing up a document highlighting the key steps involved. Still, it will be really sweet once it is all done.

Professional Idiots

I’m always a little astonished when “professionals” come to my websites and disrespect my operations, violate our User Guidelines and just act like idiots in general. In the last half hour, here is a prime example.

We had a guy who left a comment on YanksBlog.com. His comment was inflammatory and vulgar and was deleted in accordance with our User Guidelines. Open and shut – a very easy call on my part. He left a comment asking why his comment was deleted. Of course, that was deleted in line with our User Guidelines (no comments relating to comment deletions, etc.). Open and shut again. I contacted him and politely informed him as to the violations in his comments as is standard procedure on my sites – and many others. His response to this was name calling. He’ll never visit my site, I’m a “Nazi pig” and “long live free speech a******.” He left another comment at YB that I am sure I do not need to describe, as well. Real men died in real wars against real Nazis to allow this guy to call me a “Nazi pig.” Ok, so this is nothing new. Just another idiot online.

But, I looked at his e-mail address and found it has a unique domain name attached to it. Went to the site and found a law firm in Alabama (Mobile and Birmingham). Turns out he’s a “partner.” He’s 38 years old. And, apparently, he likes to play a big man online by personally attacking owners of websites with actual guidelines that don’t allow him to act however he wants. I don’t understand anyone who acts like this. But, a 38 year old attorney? I mean, yes, I’ve always said that idiocy knows no age and bad people come in all shapes and sizes, but does he just assume that he can go around mistreating people and it never will catch up with him? I wonder.

Ion iTTUSB Turntable Thoughts

A while back I talked about getting an Ion iTTUSB Turntable with USB Record. Unfortunately, everywhere I looked it was backordered. I finally ordered it from zZounds.com and I waited. Months. A few days ago, it finally arrived. (Amazon.com has them for $139.95 all expenses included, which is a better deal than I got).

So, I pulled out all of the vinyl that I had purchased and in about an hour’s time, I figured out how it worked (I had never used a record player before – and the instruction manual (while not great, is alright) assumes that you have – so I’m like, do I just put the needle on it? lol. Suffice to say, I figured it out on my own) and started ripping records. Finally got in a groove. Rip, clean (run noise removal, divide the tracks, name them), export. Repeat 70 times (each side of the record). I’m really happy with how it turned out. Virtually all of the audio I ripped sounds pretty good (some background noise, but not really noticeable). There are a couple that bug me, but I think if I ran different Audacity filters (click and pop filter, perhaps), that might improve, as well. All in all, my expectations were reasonable and they were met and even exceeded a bit. I’m just happy to be listening to this audio, really.

For someone just looking to rip some records with minimal effort (there is effort, if you want them to sound good, break them into tracks, etc., but it isn’t bad), I’d definitely recommend it as it worked well for me. I’ll be buying more vinyl to rip.

Ingredients for Web 2.0 Success

Funny video.

It is clean up until when the camera turns away from him toward the guy in the back near the end of the video. Some vulgarities after that.

Via Varelse at SitePoint Forums.

Mario Live


Via the Tan man.

Featured in SitePoint Community Crier

I answered a couple of questions related to the iFroggy Network in the Ask The Staff section of the latest issue of the SitePoint Community Crier.

PhinsBlog.com Has Launched!

Today, 06/06/06, PhinsBlog.com launched.

Blogroll Additions

I’ve made a few additions to my blogroll (really a link to all of the sites I enjoy reading, watching, etc. – not just blogs) area to the left. As I like to read them all, and believe they are worth checking out, I thought that I would go ahead and highlight them:

Ask A Ninja – Ask A Ninja is a comedic video podcast that features a … ninja. It’s hard to explain, but very funny. This type of content is one of my favorite things about the internet.

Cameron Reilly – Cameron runs The Podcast Network where I host The Community Admin Show. Because of this, I have got to know him pretty well and he’s a nice, helpful guy when it comes down to it.

Homestar Runner – You probably know Homestar Runner. It’s an online cartoon, possibly best known for it’s Strong Bad e-mails. Very funny stuff. I’ve always linked to it and talked about it, but I never added it to my list of links. Done.

Ryan Leslie – Ryan Leslie runs NextSelection Lifestyle Group, “a music-focused media company.” In addition to that, he’s also a music producer, songwriter and an artist himself (R&Bish singer). I found him through me being a huge fan of Bad Boy. He’s a Bad Boy producer – one of The Hitmen – which basically means that Bad Boy represents him as far as his production work is concerned. He’s produced tracks for Britney Spears, Loon, Beyonce, B5, Cheri Dennis, etc. He works with Diddy. I’ve listened to some of his own songs, as well, and I do like them (Used 2 Be with Fabolous is a good one).

He is utilizing the internet in a good way. One thing that has bothered me about Bad Boy is the decided lack of effort that put forth online. It would really only take one person to keep their sites updated with new content, etc. Give them a reason to come back! Updates to Bad Boy’s site are treated like once in a while events, which is not how it should be. On the other hand, Mr. Leslie keeps his blog fresh with new content very regularly. This is a good thing. A lot of people know who he is and most of those people know who he is because of the internet. He built his own press. This is what the internet allows for and it is up to people to work hard and harness it to separate themselves from the pack.

I actually had the opportunity to talk to him over the phone yesterday. I wanted to find out something for a story at Bad Boy Blog, so I e-mailed him (we had traded e-mails previously, very briefly) and he sent me a phone number to call. Funny story. I call it and ask for Mr. Leslie and they act like I had the wrong number. I take it they get some crazy calls, so it was just a screening process. He was to the point, but pretty cordial. He didn’t just give me a short answers, but actually put some explanation behind them, which was nice. He’s not that old – only 5 years older than me. So, as another young entrepreneur, I look at him in an inspirational manner. He’s grinding and working hard to make his dreams a reality – I can certainly emphasize with that.