- Baseball with Urgency – This video, written and narrated by Tom Verducci, will give you chills. Guaransheed. I long ago fell out of love with baseball but not its playoffs. As Verducci explains, in October, “we sit on a knife’s edge between fame and infamy.” And now think of why we watch college basketball. There aren’t 162 games and when it comes to its great stage, that knife’s edge is as sharp as they come. March offers no room for error, no opportunity to ‘get ’em tomorrow.’ The baseball playoffs are no doubt fantastic, my second favorite season’s end. But if urgency is what you need, you’ve come to the right blog.
- Sights, sounds from Arizona’s Red-Blue Game – Homer linkage? Perhaps. But this was produced by friend of the blog and friend of mine, Sarah Kezele. Who is she? SK is amongst the sharpest, brightest, most driven producers out there. Currently, she’s on Arizona Central’s video team, a group bringing new media to its dated paper model. Which is to say, SK is cutting edge. Give her a follow. Also – in case you were wondering – Arizona had some 30-stars worth of talent in attendance at their sold out Red-Blue game and five of those stars, committed.
- Youtube wants you to pay for premium video content – Well so too does HBO, Netflix, and Amazon! Tube sparked the change in digital consumption, offering us unlimited video content as well as a video voice. Talents have been discovered on Youtube, careers ignited, yet their model hasn’t necessarily kept up. I think part of Youtube’s business fault has been in distinguishing our content from theirs. Is this a first step in that direction? Will “premium content producers” have the same reach or be happy with that reach? If Youtube isn’t going to fund high production programming (like Narcos, House of Cards, etc.) will people be willing to pay for ad-less access to Charlie Bit My Finger (full disclosure, I’m not sure that’s the content they’ll be charging for but damn that thing has 830 million views). But maybe it’s not Youtube’s to solve? Google has its fingers in seemingly everything (and owns Youtube). Presumably, Youtube’s direction can/will be Google’s direction through the evolution of media distribution. This ‘premium service’ is a glance at that direction.
- How Pandora’s data could help artists plan better tours and albums – This really interesting stuff but we’ve said that every time we’re confronted with a new data set. As previously noted, data is fantastic and becoming ubiquitous. We can and – almost – track everything. The question becomes what will we do with it? In this case, Pandora is suggesting that artists can improve their albums and tours, which makes this a very interesting case of data perhaps driving the creative process. Could information about Woodstock’s attendees affected Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner? No. That was just LCD. But Pop Music is most certainly formulaic. Pandora and the artists that adopt AMP could be making pop niches.
- Seat 21A – Choose happiness. I watched Game 1 of the World Series – coincidentally enough with a Medium editor – in a crowded San Francisco bar. It was comfortably crowded so I didn’t have to touch my neighbors but I was aware they were there. As the game got somewhat out of hand and the standing took a turn from the novel to the exhausting, Leah asked me, “Why isn’t anyone talking to eachother?” Sure I was talking to her and other friends were talking to one another, but why weren’t we making new connections? After all, isn’t that the reason for such a public watering hole? I chalked it up to safety, choosing not to seem weird or to not step out of our place. I could hear that group behind me discussing steroids in baseball. I had strong thoughts on the matter, agreeing with some of what I heard, disagreeing with more. But I didn’t join. I chose not to discuss. To be clear, I was content talking with Leah but I also understood her point: If sports is to bring us out and connect us, why don’t we connect? The next morning I read this piece and I think there are some parallels. Sports it a means to connect. So too is happiness. Choose it.
- Google Wants Inbox to Be Your Email System for the Next Decade – Just don’t touch my Gchat.
Three For BART is a daily (or really close to that) drop of three thought provoking articles for your commute or day. Submissions for inclusion taken at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- From Prosperity to Chaos: James Grisom leaves Cal football after losing scholarship and facing unexpected financial troubles – A cautionary tale of the unguaranteed nature of scholarships. In an off-season full of letters championing the Student-Athlete, Grisom’s story certainly doesn’t seem to align with the proposed principles.
- The Fine Art of Bullshit – For me this weekend, it was an outrageous assertion that Lance Armstrong’s doping cover ups had somehow led to Floyd Landis’ suicide. Floyd Landis did not kill himself and Google immediately dispelled that rumor. How do you smartphone?
- Online Dating Stats Reveal A ‘Dataclycsm’ Of Telling Trends – As they say, “The more you know…” But similarly, just because you have a lot of data (hi, hoop-math!), it doesn’t always mean much. Which is why I’m further fascinated in the emerging importance of data visualization. Maybe it’s not “emerging” but certainly as we collect more of all this data, there’s a need to both interpret the data (easier said than done) and then to explain the data (sometimes near impossible). In a basketball sense, the data we review helps us understand our own favorite teams and their opponents. This data has helped me to recognize parts of the game I hadn’t previously seen. It’s supplemented the experience. In an online dating sense, I’d love to poke (swipe?) through Tinder’s data. I bet we could find some hilarious trends.