November 26, 2005

We The Media - Chapter 2

Chapter 2, "The Read Write Web," was of great interest to me, since I spent a few years working for Lycos, during the bubble. Granted, I was not a hardcore HTML geek, but I was an "Advertising Account Specialist," or some term that heightened the appeal of the daily 10 hour cubicle grind. Anyways, while it lasted, I was responsible for the insertion and scheduling of banner ads, search keywords and banner construction, from an incredible variety of companies, from small to large. I remember entering endless keywords into the GUI, that each advertiser had purchased. Yes, it was funny when you were working on an "adult" account. No, it was not fun, when you were working on an investment site.

The way Lycos worked, at least in regards to advertisers, was based upon keyword entry, for their banner ads. For instance, If I were to type in "bestsellers" in the search bar, a Barnes & Noble or Amazon ad would pop up, depending upon scheduling, number of alloted hits, words purchased, etc. When it worked, it worked flawlessly. When it "broke," it could be something else entirely, such as typing in "breast cancer" and having adult ads pop up.

Aside from these menial tasks, I did get a great look at the digital underground of the era. I was able to work on the "inside," and see empires come and go. Unfortunately, my department was eliminated in the late 90's.. gotta love the bubble bursting. Oh well, we had all the free Yoo-Hoo and Microwave popcorn we could handle.

Anyways, what this has to do with chapter 2, is that it took me back, to a time when things were new, fresh and risky.. P2P? We ran that through some interface, that would enable use to recieve graphic files. Webcams? I remember having web-cam conference calls with different offices, in 1997, and being absolutely amazed. Looking at people in the San Francisco offices, in real time.. it was incredible. Similarly with SMS, when notices from advertisers would pop up in our email programs, with a near spontaneity- great when you have broken .jpg's on a banner which was assigned to run live in 15 minutes.

Weblogs? We've been down that road before, soo I'll save my breath. However, the RSS Revolution is of interest, since it is a term that I was not aware of- definitely interesting, although my concern is that bloggers can pick and chose news that suits their particular viewpoint, rather than present different perspectives. It is no shocker that I am very much a progressive liberal, politically. However, I value differences in opinion. It's not sound policy to strictly adhere to one defined set of "news points," or you're going to miss out on a lot. Yes, I listen to a lot of Thom Hartmann on WPTT, 1360 AM, every afternoon, and read a lot of news from alternative sources, such as and The Guardian UK. I am also a member of Democratic Underground and a huge fan of However, I also check with conservative leaning outlets, such as Fox News and the Tribune-Review; I am not going to take just one perspective on issues, despite my personal feelings- that would be simply unfair and irresponsible.

Posted by MichaelSichok at November 26, 2005 11:45 PM
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