flickr stream


June 11

Photos from Santa Clara Grand Prix


Here’s the set of more than 220 photos I shot as a credentialed photographer (for seven years in a row now) of the Santa Clara Grand Prix, including a roll call of Olympians: the world’s greatest swimmer, Ryan Lochte (above), Missy Franklin, Nathan Adrian, Jessica Hardy, Elizabeth Pelton, Dana Vollmer, Caitlin Leverenz, Elizabeth Beisel, Laura Sogar, Matt Grevers, Tyler Clary, Maria Gonzalez Ramirez, Gillian Ryan, Kevin Cordes, Fernanda Gonzalez, Allison Schmidt and dozens of others.

{ Comments Off }

February 3

Photos of Macworld Expo 2013


Here’s my Flickr set of 35 photos of the just-ended Macworld Expo, including actor-comedian Fred Armisen of “Saturday Night Live” and “Portlandia.”

January 26

Telemarketing firm TCE Marketing needs to be prosecuted

Robo-calls from Carpet, Tile and Furniture Cleaning Experts just won’t stop

By J.D. Lasica

Have you ever gotten on a telemarketer’s phone list and found it absolutely impossible to get off of it? That’s what’s happened to me. For the past two months, at least five times a week — including weekends — I’ve received the following voicemail:

Continue reading »

November 3

Outtake from an Organizing for America meetup

By J.D. Lasica

Here’s a photo from the MoveOn/Organizing for America house party today held in Danville, Calif.

A dozen volunteers showed up and we called people on the MoveOn list on Colorado and Connecticut, asking if they’d be willing to do door-to-door canvasing on Sunday, Monday or Election Day (Colorado is a swing state, Connecticut has a key Senate election with candidate Chris Murphy). Probably called 500 voters — many didn’t answer, three or four were Republicans, and one was a disenchanted member of the Green Party. But we contacted enough volunteer canvassers to make it worthwhile.

In case you were wondering how these things work, I captured the shot at top — we were spread out throughout the house and back yard, running down our sheets of 16 voters per state before turning them in to me, to phone in the results to MoveOn headquarters. We had a “chatty script” (though no one called it that), or a notes outline, to induce a conversation with the supporter or voter, instead of a robotic script where we just read something to them. Studies show that getting people to knock on your door to come out to vote is a much more effective way to get out the vote than just making calls.

Looking forward to Tuesday — polls are looking good for President Obama and Democratic Senate candidates.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

{ Comments Off }

July 16

Are you a self-actualized, empowered customer?

Doc Searls
Doc still looks the same as when I photographed him at the Innovation Summit at Stanford seven years ago this week.


Review of ‘The Intention Economy’ by Doc Searls

Review by J.D. Lasica

In “The Intention Economy” (Harvard Business Review Press), Doc Searls picks up where he left off as co-author of “The Cluetrain Manifesto,” the seminal 2000 book that coined the phrase “conversations are markets” and ushered in a new understanding of how the Internet has changed the power relationship between institutions and individuals.

In his new book, Searls takes things a step further, painting a picture of what happens “when customers take charge” of this often dysfunctional relationship. Searls describes the tiny buds and sprouts of an emerging Intention Economy driven by customer demand and customer intent, an economy he believes has the potential to supplement and perhaps displace the present-day Attention Economy, where companies mine for personal data about us — sometimes with comic ineptitude — so that they can match us with products we don’t want and don’t need.

In the Attention Economy, we are consumers, calves, couch potatoes and eyeballs. Not so in the Intention Economy, where empowered customers set the agenda for releasing their own data and set the terms for engagement with “vendors” (that is, businesses).

This new movement even has a suitably geeky name, VRM, for vendor relationship management, to refer to the panoply of startups and projects that are trying to stretch capitalism in new directions

Doc, a longtime friend who wrote a positive blurb for my book “Darknet” and an alumnus fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center, fills in the blanks for those of us who didn’t know such a movement existed. It even has a suitably geeky name, VRM, for vendor relationship management, to refer to the panoply of startups and projects that are trying to stretch capitalism in new directions rather than undermine it. (Doc runs ProjectVRM at Berkmann.) In this new assertion of customer power, where we shed our skins as passive consumers, we will tell businesses how they may serve us, notify the market about our intention and decide how much information about ourselves and our transactions to disclose. While specific examples are somewhat short in supply today, one gets the feeling that Doc is more interested in rallying entrepreneurs to this new approach with the entreaty, Come and build!

Along the way, Doc lays out the big picture in a way that few other writers and big thinkers can do, knowing when to zoom in and when to pull back to the 50,000-foot view. He astutely points out the cold calculations of the marketplace’s big players, like AT&T and Verizon — which are trying to define the Internet in terms of their business interests — as well as the world’s most valuable company:

“So, like Apple, Google wants to fix slow, damaged, or broken markets. But unlike Apple, Google wants to fix those markets by making them freer and more open for everybody — and therefore much larger as well. That is, to grow markets horizontally.”

Short version: If Apple can’t own something, it has no interest in nurturing it.

Continue reading »