A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss…


But does interview Gerry Trudeau. Trudeau is not well known, but his work as creator and prime mover behind the Doonesbury cartoon strip is. Rolling Stone magazine has managed to secure a rare interview with Trudeau here. My favourite Doonesbury character is Duke, loosely based on the writer and pioneering gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson. Incidently Thompson’s Fear & Loathing on the Campaign trail is one of my favourite books.

Hair Vests & Frank Quattrone

I was inspired to write this piece after I read this article from BusinessWeekOnline. In it Timothy Mullaney argues that the world is a better and wiser place after the Internet bust and Quattrone was nothing more than colouring. We are all more learned and better people from having our pension funds raped.

I would argue that this attitude is very myopic:

  • Quattrone was a key mover in promoting successful technology IPOs, which contributed to the boom. That in itself makes him a historical agent of change a la Michael Milken
  • Wisdom is not passed from generation to generation. Fund managers got burned with the junk bond and related financial instruments boom which brought about the savings and loans scandal. Biotech in the mid to late 1980s was as hyped and slow to deliver as the dotcoms. I once read an article by a financial journalists who said that The City (what us people in the UK call our financial district in London) has a memory of eight years. By my reckoning we are mid-cycle
  • The article is almost like sack cloth and ashes for a publication that trumpeted the new economy, its heroes like Jean-Marie Messier and follies like Enron, a very Catholic confession of new economy indiscretions for a publication with the Calvinist soul of an old money industrialist

Free as in Beer

During the dot com boom free SMS was available as part of your Lycos.co.uk account. I used the facility to keep in touch with my team who were out at CeBIT (Hannover Germany) in 2000. I sent SMS messages via my PC, they got them on the phone. It worked a treat. BT experiment Genie went even further giving you an email address and the first 160 characters of the message was sent to you. My American clients loved it as they could page me, unfortunately BT Cellnet (mmo2 as its known now) eventually closed this technological showcase. It was with a sense of deja vu that I received an invite from my Finnish friend Jonna, to try out a new free service: sms.ac. For those of you who know me you can email to me an SMS via gedcarroll at sms dotac, keep it below 160 characters and in plain text format for it to get through.

Time will tell how useful it is, anything that helps cut down my phone bill from Orange is a bonus.

Oprah Product Placement Par Excellence

Pontiac teamed up with Oprah Winfrey, to give 276 people (the whole studio audience of her show) a new car in a deal worth some 7 million USD. Full details in the Chicago Tribune. Pontiac got more than its moneys worth in coverage and Oprah further enhanced her image as every American’s favourite celebrity.

Great Ideas Don’t Die, They Get Reincarnated

The Dharma Web

At one time Northernlight used to have a website that allowed you to see what payed for content was available under a given search string. It also grouped it for you. Now the company website is brochureware for enterprise search services.

I found out about the ‘new’ (well new to me) Northernlight by clicking on a advertisement on the New York Times Online (by the way please can you click on the ads on the bottom of this page, thank you).

The mantle instead has been picked up by HighBeam Research, who have an excellent website here. It even picked up some content that LexisNexis had missed. The best thing is you only pay for what you click on making it ideal for job interviews or school projects.