Nov 14

Samford at Auburn

Slept in. Rode my bike around campus, which was very quiet. I watched the Minnesota at Nebraska game, which was the only early game that sounded promising. It was a good one, too.

If only I’d known about that Wake Forest-Virginia Tech game, though, right?

Got out to the tailgate in time for a late lunch. Visited with friends and then we all made our way in to see the game. It got off to a slow start, but briefly gave us an amazing stat:


As the second half began I realized that one of our Samford students was sitting behind me:


I’ve had him in class and he worked for me for two years and now there is right behind me in a stadium. What are the odds? 1:87,450.

Auburn won, of course, but Samford looked good and fought hard throughout. This is the second time I’ve been fortunate enough to see them play one another in football. It doesn’t happen all of the time, of course, but it is a special treat to see.

Nov 14

South! Alabama

You can’t get tired of these stories, I won’t let you get tired of these kinds of stories. This one has a cute addition to it. South Alabama’s football team signed a kid, Colby Sawyer, and name dropped Alabama and Auburn.

When you’re out-recruiting the Tide and Tigers, good things happen. As you’ll see in this video, the Jaguars are bowl eligible:

South Alabama is bowl eligible for the first time in just their second year in Division I. Some bowl better pick up this program.

Update: How awesome is this? They named Sawyer player of the week.

Pardon me, I have to go put on my Jags shirt.

Nov 14

No wonder my links look so old

Class today. Sore today. Friday today.

I talked about online journalism in class today. I tried to distill the history of the thing into 40 minutes. So I only covered 20 years. My favorite slides included a picture of Kenneth Starr and the text “Starr bypasses the press & distributes a major political document online first — A new relationship between politicians & the public.”

Ahh, the Starr report.

Here’s your trivia for next year. The word hypertext turns 50 next February. Fifty!

There’s another slide that says something like ““Journalism is now a smaller part of the information mix. Advertising works differently online and advertisers may not need journalism as they once did.”

There’s a lot to unpack there. I can’t get to all of that in one class.

Got home to see the in-laws, which was expected. They’ve come to visit for the weekend. This is not a bad thing. They are lovely people. He’s retired and working and she’s an RN. Their daughter took them out to a program about town this afternoon, so I was actually there when they got back in.

We set out for dinner, had barbecue and learned the local high school team found themselves with a 4th and goal from way back. Two incompletions, a 12-yard sack and three penalties for 32 yards forced a punt from their own 46-yard line with 45 seconds remaining. The home team lost by four points in the first round of the playoffs.

A kid who is a junior cried on one team and kids who are seniors on the other team are very happy. We drove by the stadium to see the crowd, but it wasn’t that big, considering. We also let the folks listen to the accents on the high school football broadcasts. We could hear at least four games — down from the regular season numbers. Some of those accents are thicker than others, probably owing to how far in the woods someone is. Sometimes, apparently, you have to be from around here to pick up what was just said. It is pretty amusing.

Things to read … because one of these things will be amusing.

And here it is now, 11 Complaints That WPEC Photog Should Have Included In His Viral Resignation Email:

Perhaps you’ve read the resignation email sent this week by a photographer at West Palm Beach CBS affiliate WPEC. Vince Norman didn’t last three months on the job, informing the bosses that “I have reached the limit of what I’m willing to put up with.” My word. What did they do to him?

Here are the inhumane conditions this poor kid was subjected to, as he described in his email.

From a now legendary videographer to a legendary photographer, Robert Frank at 90: the photographer who revealed America won’t look back:

Robert Frank is 90 years old on Sunday. The great pioneer and iconoclast has become a survivor, celebrated and revered, but still resolutely an outsider. One thing we can be sure of: he won’t be looking back.

“The kind of photography I did is gone. It’s old,” he told me without a trace of regret in 2004, when I visited him at his spartan apartment in Bleecker Street, New York, where a single bread roll and a mobile phone the size of a brick sat forlornly on the kitchen table. “There’s no point in it any more for me, and I get no satisfaction from trying to do it. There are too many pictures now. It’s overwhelming. A flood of images that passes by, and says, ‘why should we remember anything?’ There is too much to remember now, too much to take in.”

Here are some astronomically important photographs, Rosetta Spacecraft Sees the ‘Dark Side’ of a Comet . And you can expect more from Rosetta in the coming days, too.

That is the question, no? How to Win Anyone’s Attention:

The average person now consumes twelve hours of media, checks their phone close to 110 times and sees an estimated 5,000 marketing messages each day. When most of us also regularly put in 8+ hours on the job, it’s no wonder our collective attention span is more taxed than ever.


As a marketer or advertiser, all this is also a reality check and constant reminder about how precious attention has become. If you’re thinking about what this means for your marketing efforts, or you’re producing a lot of quality content but struggling to get noticed, here are four principles you can apply to win anyone’s attention.

This piece is running at a slight angle to that, For Millennials, the End of the TV Viewing Party:

To be sure, the notion that the television may go the way of the Sony Walkman may sound like hyperbole. Some 34.5 million flat-screen televisions were shipped in the United States last year alone, according to figures compiled by IHS Technology, a global market research company — a substantial number, even if sales are down 13.75 percent, from 40 million, since 2010.

Yet by another, more geek-futurist view, it seems easy to start their obituary, even as manufacturers race to keep up to speed by churning out web-enabled smart TVs. The smartphone age has been cruel to devices that perform only one function.

I’m thinking I should perhaps rename things around here “Multiple.” The other day I pointed to a story that hints at the need to consider your multiple audiences on multiple platforms with a unified theme. A week before I offered you an essay with this basic premise: In many companies, smart, connected products will force the fundamental question, “What business am I in?” The answer seemed obvious to me, you’re in multiple businesses. That is the adaptation that technology is offering you — pretty much in every field.

In local news:

Alabama’s rate of uninsured children is falling, beating national trend

Patience pays off in Magic City’s bid for Senior Games

Alabama Power Foundation gives university’s largest research gift

In different ways and for different reasons, those are all big deals.

Finally, a slideshow. I link to Mobile is eating the world because I think Benedict Evans is saying something I’m saying, only more eloquently. He’s arguing that, essentially, you don’t need to define the future of technology and the future of mobile, because they are the same. Technology, he says, is now outgrowing the tech industry.

The first inkling of that I got was when we saw the mobile data outpacing the adaptable — and amazingly fast, rapid-fire — world wide web on growth and standards. To Evans, a strategic consumer technology analyst, this comes down to the availability of tech. (If I understand him correctly, that is.) Those are issues of supply and logistics and resources and global wealth — in the macro sense. This is not, then, the technological singularity. That comes later.

I wonder if that happens on a Friday.

It might. The odds aren’t terrible — one in seven, I’d say — but it isn’t happening tonight.

Oct 14

A day in the sun, night under the lights

Just a perfectly lovely day. I spent some time in a lawn chair with the sun peering through this tree. My head tilted back, aviators on and my eyes closed. Everyone thought I was sleeping. I could have been. I’m tired enough. But I was just enjoying the barest of breezes and that tinkling dance of the sun through the thinning shade.


A perfectly lovely day.

Two private school kids, separated by 800 miles, telling the same private school jokes to one another. We public schoolers can only pretend to know:


Penguin mascots make little sense anywhere, but certainly not in October in Alabama.


Spent the afternoon with friends. Football was played this evening and we watched it. Late into the night we enjoyed the company of friends and made it home in time for pizza at around 11 p.m. and more football.

No wonder I’m still tired. Tired, but pleased.

A perfectly lovely day.

Oct 14

LSU at Auburn

The Yankee, playing cornhole at the tailgate. I don’t think she’s ever played before. Of course she won.


What follows are just fan pictures. Scroll through and enjoy. It will only take a second:


This first batch are all at the tailgate, of course:





Some people just drink too much …


The hostess of the best tailgate in town:


Her shirt stands for “What Would Bo Jackson Do?” Behind her, he was receiving the Walter Gilbert Award, sort of a lifetime achievement honor. All of this was awesome:


We’d said something to her like “We have guests here and we have to show off. You’re going to be loud, right?” She took this as a personal challenge.

This is what happens when you use one shaker for 11 seasons:


This jacket, you know you want it: