Being Seen

I’d been wondering whether anyone on our company’s Board of Directors knew who I was. I know a couple but it turns out most didn’t. But just before the last board meeting I ran into a director that I’m sure I had never been introduced to. He said, “Hi Howard” as we passed.

The only thing I can think of is that he must have recognized me from my avatar. I don’t remember now what I had worn when I had briefly participated in previous meeting. It could have been a photo- or video-faced “Lego man” or it could have been a custom avatar.
<%image(20090530-howard-lego.jpg|227|261|Video-faced Simple Avatar)%><%image(20090530-howard-jake.jpg|227|261|Custom Business)%><%image(20090530-howard-john.jpg|227|261|Custom Casual)%>

I haven’t been very interested in avatar appearance, but I guess there is value in having people build some personal familiarity without physically meeting. I don’t want cold-calls via virtual worlds, but I suppose that a scheduled virtual meeting or happenstance encounter in a virtual reception builds a stronger tie than email or telephone. I wonder how that will play out for sales and relationship-building in the future.

Shameless Self Promotion

TotSF is my personal project and has no relationship to my employer, Media Access Project. All the views, etc. expressed herein are my own. At the same time, I think we do good work and hope other folks will take the time to appreciate us and support us.

So I am posting a link to MAP’s end of year update and appeal. If you like what we do, have some extra cash, and want to make all of us here at MAP feel appreciated, follow the link at the bottom to make a contribution online (or you can save time and click here).

Of necessity, a lot of the work we do is behind the scenes inside the beltway stuff. We don’t produce the independent programming or the community networks or the innovation on the internet. But we try to get rules that make it possible for that stuff to happen. When we get a donation from someone, however small, it does a lot to boost morale by showing that people care about our work and appreciate why it’s important.

Don’t get me wrong. We have very high esprit d’corp here at MAP. No one does this work and sticks with it unless you think it’s important. But it’s nice every now and then to know someone else appreciates it as well.

Stay tuned . . .


I’m informed by my contacts that the FCC has traditionally exempted colleges and universities from OTARD on the grounds that the relationship is not a standard landlord/tenant relationship. As a consequence, the OTARD declaratory ruling does not apply to UTX or other dormitory situations. The June 24, 2004 ruling did not change any existing OTARD exemptions. It merely clarified that OTARD applied to unlicensed services as well as licensed services.

Looks like the UTX policy is therefore legal. Whether it is wise or not is an entirely different question, and not for yr hmbl obdnt to judge.

Stay tuned . . . .

Legislative Wrangling Over Word Definitions

Yesterday (March 11th), the Massachusetts legislature approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage, and instead establishing “civil unions” for same-sex couples. In this heated debate, I think neither side has noticed the the arguments over the sanctity of marriage vs. the civil rights of gays and lesbians has suddenly become a movement to amend the country’s oldest constitution to legislate the definition of a word.

As a professional writer, despite all the heated debate and the heartfelt views on both sides, I have to say I find this almost amusing…

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