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TechFlash Founders Leave, Launch GeekWire

March 7, 2011

For years we’ve covered the adventures of entrepreneurs large and small, successful and not-so-much — living vicariously through their attempts to build meaningful technology products and businesses. We’ve learned a lot along the way. And now we’re getting ready to experience the entrepreneurial life ourselves, launching an honest-to-goodness startup of our own.

via Welcome to GeekWire, from John Cook and Todd Bishop – GeekWire.

Well, crap, this is kind of crazy. No offense to the PSBJ, but whoever’s taking over for Bishop and Cook has some huge shoes to fill.


AP: High Court Backs Washington State Man In Open Records Case

March 7, 2011

The [Supreme] [C]ourt, by an 8-1 vote, threw out an appeals court ruling that backed the Navy’s decision to withhold maps showing the extent of damage expected from an explosion at the ammunition dump near Port Townsend in Western Washington. […]

The case before the court revolved around competing ideas of public safety. The government said that releasing the maps could allow someone to identify the precise location of the munitions that are stored at its base on Indian Island.

But Glen Milner, a longtime community activist, said that the people who live near the base have valid reasons for wanting to know whether they would be endangered by an explosion. An explosion at the Navy’s Port Chicago ammunition depot during World War II killed 320 people.

via High Court Backs Washington State Man In Open Records Case – Most Popular News Story – KIRO Seattle

Dissenting: Justice Breyer. Glad the Supreme Court is finding common ground on the “duh” stuff like this.


January 7, 2011

Just testing something…don’t mind me.

What Are Your Plans For Your Blog In 2011?

December 28, 2010

Another kind of panorama of construction on Fulton Street.

Source: p0ps Harlow's Flickr page

Copyblogger’s 5 Content Steps to Take For the New Year made me think about the long-delayed moves I’ve been wanting to make to this blog that I hope to finally make in 2011. Maybe if I spell them out here, that’ll keep me motivated to follow through:

  • Migrate over to I’ve wanted to move this site to its own host and take advantage of all the customization available with hosting my own site for a long time. What’s stopped me? Time and level of difficulty. But I’m ready to just say to hell with it, throw down the money and learn, the hard way, how to customize my site. If it looks crappy for a while…oh well. I’m all about transparency and learning out in the open.
  • Come up with a new name and brand for my blog. I’ll always keep as an online business card, but I’ve wanted to move the blog over to its own identity, independent of me. For one thing, “Balcerak” isn’t an easy name to spell and for another, it’s too easy with a name like mine to own my search engine rank. I want to get out there and try to compete for SEO in a niche. (More on the name I came up with in a future post.)
  • Blog more often. I say this one all the time, but I’ve been trying it more in recent weeks. I’ve realized that the blog I want — one that’s updated constantly with always-original content — isn’t feasible and I may need to stick to just occasional fully-original posts while piggybacking on others’ posts for daily updates (like this post).

What plans do you have for your blog in 2011? Better yet: How are you planning on sticking to those plans? Let me know in the comments.

WikiLeaks Is Quite Possibly The Smoke Monster

December 23, 2010

Kathy Gill has some really great quotes from @BruceS (whose Twitter account is private) on the WikiLeaks/Julian Assange phenomenon, including:

Saints, martyrs, dissidents and freaks are always wild-cards, but sometimes they’re the only ones who can clear the general air.

@BruceS on Wikileaks, Assange & Diplomacy … “Hope” He’s What He Thinks He Is – Kathy Gill’s posterous.

That and other quotes from Bruce sort of sum up how I feel about WikiLeaks: I can’t really decide if it’s “good” or “bad;” I just know what it does and that some of what it does is good.

Which is sort of what I was saying when I said Facebook was like The Smoke Monster a little while back. (OK, now that LOST is over, we can pretty much all agree that the Smoke Monster was intended to be the bad guy, but we can also agree that it did a few good things and wasn’t entirely bad.)

Smoke Monsters aren’t ideal, but when they’re all you’ve got, sometimes you just have to make use of them as carefully as possible. Has WikiLeaks done anything bad? I haven’t seen any conclusive evidence, though I can see where Julian Assange and his organization make international actors nervous. Has WikiLeaks done anything good? I would argue yes.

At the same time, I’m still just as conflicted as Clay Shirky:

I am conflicted about the right balance between the visibility required for counter-democracy and the need for private speech among international actors. Here’s what I’m not conflicted about: When authorities can’t get what they want by working within the law, the right answer is not to work outside the law. The right answer is that they can’t get what they want.

Also, as Shirky mentions, WikiLeaks may only be “good” for a limited amount of time. In other words, if WikiLeaks is what’s needed to reset the balance of government secrecy vs. the public’s need to know, then so it is. But once we let the Smoke Monster out of the bottle, how do we get it back in? And that’s the thing: we can’t; or, at least, it’s insanely difficult to do so.

10 Things To Keep At Your Desk To Stay Productive | GenPink

December 16, 2010

I’m a busy guy (as evidenced by short posts like this one) and it’s hard sometimes for me to stay productive. What helps is having everything I need at my disposal in the place I spent most of my time: my desk.

Here’s a guest post I did for the blog GenPink (thanks to @elysa for the opportunity):

10 Things To Keep At Your Desk To Stay Productive – GenPink

The Advantage Of Tweeting Overnight (And What To Do If You Can’t)

December 14, 2010

I talked briefly with lostremote this morning about how KIRO 7 staffs its Twitter account overnight:

Tweeting news when it breaks… overnight – Lost Remote

I’m usually not the guy to Tweet during the wee hours, but I did take the reins a few weeks ago while I was trapped in the office. If you’re the social media person for your newsroom, I wouldn’t recommend staying up late on a regular basis, but as I mentioned in my comment on Cory’s site, being one of only a few Twitterers at 3 a.m. has its advantage in the sense that you’re speaking to people on a very small back-channel. It makes communication all the more personal and intimate, which is key to connecting with people through social media and forming valuable relationships.

If you can’t stay up all night, be strategic about how you do spend your time: Get up early or spend some time with your social presence during the weekend.