Today, the day began with cupcakes.
Welcome to the world, little one.
Daniel Seddiqui, whose cross-country journey to work one job in every state is documented in his book, “50 Jobs in 50 States,” made an appearance this morning on “Today’s THV This Morning.” I moderated Seddiqui’s Sunday session at the Arkansas Literary Festival (which continues through Wednesday), and since then, he’s been busy making the rounds, speaking at schools and to business groups.
Later today, he’ll speak to students at Little Rock Central High School and members of the Little Rock business community at the Downtown Little Rock Rotary Club meeting. His message, based on an intense year of travel working an array of jobs in every state, is one of perseverance, hard work, open-mindedness and hope in a tough economy.
I highly recommend his book, an entertaining assemblage of snapshots showing how people work and live in modern America. You can still meet the author himself at a book signing from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Books-A-Million in North Little Rock. And you can buy his book right now on Amazon.com: the Kindle version is here, and the good old-fashioned physical edition is here.
After the jump, watch the full interview with Tom Brannon on “Today’s THV This Morning.”
We’ve got what’s shaping up to be an unpredictable — but fun! — Tuesday morning on “Today’s THV This Morning” tomorrow, Election Day.
Hosts Alyson Courtney and Tom Brannon will be live at Community Bakery in downtown Little Rock throughout the show. I’ll be there too, and we’ll chat with some of the state’s candidates for Congressional and state offices, as well as give some final info on all the races and what to watch for on Election Night.
So who exactly’s gonna show up early? “Today’s THV This Morning” Producer Matthew Carroll says he’s called just about everybody — particularly in the U.S. House and Senate races, along with those for the state’s Constitutional offices — and most have agreed to pop in for a final informal chat over some hot coffee and pastries. Elections and eclairs! Should be hoot.
Check it out tomorrow starting at 5 a.m. on Today’s THV to see who shows.
Finally! It’s less than 90 hours until this long national nightmare of a mid-term election comes to hideous close. We can’t wait for the relative calm (maybe?) of Nov. 3, when everyone sleeps for a full day before gettin’ wound up for 2012.
Until then, we’ve got lots to do:
1) “Arkansas Week,” 8 p.m. tonight. I join KUAR-FM, 89.1′s Kelly MacNeil, the University of Arkansas’ Hoyt Purvis and host Steve Barnes for a final assessment of the state’s Congressional and constitutional officer races, such as they are. Remember that big exciting Senate race? Not so exciting heading into the final weekend. We look to the 1st District for any final fireworks. Also: Swepco’s 0-3 in court rulings. Check your local AETN station tonight or watch it online here.
2) “Today’s THV This Morning,” election day. Last week, I appeared on the noon show each day for a quick, final summary of all the Congressional races. On Tuesday’s “Morning” show, I’ll be live throughout the morning with some last-minute notes and maybe a guest or two.
3) Midterm Election Watch Party, the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock. I’ll be on a panel with a couple of other yahoos to give some final impressions of this year’s campaigns. We’ll also take questions from the audience and enjoy a warm bowl of bean soup before the returns start, er, returning. Fun!
4) Election Night Returns on Today’s THV and ArkansasBusiness.com. Pop up some popcorn, grab a Coke and settle in for a long night. You’ll be on the couch, we’ll be in at the parties, on the phone, online and in studio delivering the latest election night news as it happens. Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins will analyze the county-by-county returns live on Today’s THV and THV2.com, and I’ll be manning coverage for ArkansasBusiness.com.
5) The Morning After. Hankins and I will be on “Today’s THV This Morning” and “Today’s THV at Noon” to go over the results and, maybe, What It All Means.
And if this year’s elections weren’t scary enough: Happy Halloween!
The opening day of the South by Southwest Festival’s Interactive conference — coupled with pre-order day of the Apple iPad — make today, Friday March 12th, perhaps the geekiest day of the year! And you certainly don’t want to miss out on that, do you? Of course you don’t!
Fortunately, we’ve got Arkansas Tweeple on the ground in Austin, Texas, home of #SXSW. Among them, Emily Reeves of Stone Ward of Little Rock, who’s tweeting and Skyping from the event. This morning, live from Austin, she checked in with Today’s THV This Morning’s Charles Crowson to give us an overview of what’s happening at this year’s event.
We expect more updates via her @Reeves501 Twitter account and her personal blog, Ms. Adverthinker, where she’s already posted her insane schedule, which we kinda hope is really only for keeping up appearances. There’s not near enough time in there for boozing and partying and geeking it up with fellow geeks, which is really what SXSW is all about, right? Right.
Also in town, another friend of the blog, Bryan Jones and Wade Austin, both of CJRW of Little Rock. Both are tweeting from there as well, and Jones will be providing daily wrap-ups on his blog, Flairification.com.
Any other Arkansas Twitterers in Austin at the festival? Let me know, and I’ll list them here.
So what’s on tap for Friday? You can the full schedule here, which includes seminars on pay TV vs. the Internet, developing apps for iPhone, Internet analytics, Web typography, Gen Y entrepreneurs, social media marketing for business and much more.
You can also expect the usual complaining about AT&T’s inadequate data network as thousands of iPhone-equipped geeks jockey for bandwidth during the entire event. You’ll also hear lots about Foursquare this year, as everyone checks in at every conceivable site in Austin. And, as Emily notes in the video above, folks will be waiting to hear what Twitter co-founded Ev Williams has to say about his coming revenue model for the microblogging service.
Of course, the elephant in the room, the phantom hanging over the entire proceedings, is the Apple iPad, which won’t even hit the streets for another month. Nevertheless, it will likely dominate most chatter at the event.
So, the iPad’s out. What do we think?
Looking at our wholly unscientific surveys from yesterday, the majority of respondents think that 1) Wednesday’s keynote, when compared to other Apple keynotes in the past, simply did not live up to the months and months of hype, 2) while the iPad might indeed prove to be a significant device, it’s certainly not game-changer on an iPod or iPhone level and 3) the iPad is not a device many of us think we need to buy immediately, as soon as it’s available.
In the above video, accessible via the screenshot, I share my first impressions of the device on “Today’s THV This Morning” with Charles Crowson. Basically, while I think iPad is another beautiful, cool, amazingly well designed piece of technology, I can’t imagine who the device is for. What is the market for the iPad?
The iPod and iPhone had instant appeal to an array of users for several reasons. Among them, they each fundamentally changed the way we consume certain media and conduct everyday tasks. (The iPod changed how we listen and buy music; the iPhone brought the full Web to our handsets and created a new software ecosystem with apps.)
The iPad, while well-designed and beautiful, does neither. All it does is build on existing technologies to deliver media in a not-entirely-new form factor. If you’ve got an iPhone or iPod Touch, you’ve seen these tricks before. And if you have a laptop, you can do all the things the iPad does — and more — on a more robust machine.
So why the iPad? Apple is trying to create a device optimized solely for consuming all types of media in a quieter, less distracting operating environment. This is part of the reason why there’s no camera on the iPad, nor can it run more than on application on the device’s souped-up iPhone OS. With the laptop, you work, you create media. With the iPhone, you answer calls and e-mails, stay in touch and work on the go. The iPad is what you pick up when you get home and want to unwind.
The delineation is fine one. Many people simply won’t see it. And if they do, why plunk down at least $500 (or add to your money data bill if you invest in a 3G version) for what amounts to a mobile media device? I’m not sure Apple has made a compelling case for that.
But — is it Apple’s responsibility to make that case? I’m not entirely sure. Part of what could make the iPad a hit is what’s already made the iPhone and iPod Touch indispensible: the App Store.
*Some Innovation Required
In my mind, it’s going to be up to content providers, including newspapers and magazines, to create fully optimized, multimedia content that exploits every advantage the iPad brings to bear to make the platform work. As it stands, iPad already looks more attractive e-reader than the Kindle or the Nook. If publishers fully embrace the multimedia capabilities now at their fingerprints to create valuable interactive publications, the iPad could very become the media consumption device of choice of readers, college students, young video-gamers and more.
And while we see signs that the video game industry is excited by the new form factor their App Store games can know inhabit, newspapers and magazines’ reactions have so far seemed, well, boring. The New York Times app demoed at yesterday’s keynote was underwhelming at best, particularly compared with what NYTimes.com offers on the Web. Guess what publishers? You still need to innovate. Even on Steve Job’s magical device.
Without innovation from all content providers, the iPad — however beautiful, unique, cool, whatever — will become merely another niche device that only a few of us ever use, a far cry from the revolution it’s billed as.
David Carr – The game changed today
NY Times – Device blurs the lines
GalleyCat – Publishing experts weigh in on iPad
NY Times – Another data hog for AT&T?
LA Times – No revolution, but ‘great promise’
Wired – Where’s Verizon?
The Wrap – What Apple got right and wrong with the iPad
BusinessWeek – Apple’s effects on content partners, the good and bad
LA Weekly – Should Hollywood be afraid of iPad?
TechCrunch – How iPad will put Kindle out of business
It’s Friday, and time for another long look back at a brutal week in politics, sports and the Web. We’re going to try for a reasoned, respectful debate here, so no shouting! But feel free to call us out in comments if we start going on about death panels. Remember: There remains some significant details to work out.
Here we go:
Kim Hendren confirms — again! — that he’s running against Blanche Lincoln just like everyone else is.
In the midst of the flap over Obama’s brainwashing speech to America’s kids, Blake Rutherford says the Republican Party has resorted to silliness. And that was before Wednesday night.
Punxsutawney Pel finally rears his head to talk about ugly sexual assault allegations involving Razorbacks basketball players but leaves the local media out of it. Meanwhile, Courtney Fortson’s tweet resurfaces (teh Internets, they don’t forget!) to add insult to injury.
Bloghawgs media baron Brett Kincaid faces off against Alice “Media Consultant * Journalist” Stewart on “Today’s THV This Morning” re: aforementioned Obama school speech tomfoolery. Punditry at its finest.
The Angry Czech on the tarnishing of The Presidential™ brand.
Rex Nelson previews his Saturday Arkansas Democrat-Gazette column. Don’t let Walter catch you giving away that free content!
There was a Twestival in Little Rock, and it raised money for Reach Out and Read Arkansas.