martes, abril 21, 2009

Blogger, America's new profession

Today I came up, via twitter, with an article on the Wall Street Journal about blogging in America: "America's Newest Profession: Bloggers for Hire". Among nearly 20 million bloggers in the US, 1.7 million out of them manage to get some income from their blog, and nearly 500.000 manage to make a living out of their blogs or blogging for others.

The article is worth reading revealing some interesting data. Within the US, Washington is the city with more bloggers, which according to the Wall Street Journal turns it into the blogging capital of the world. To be honest, I'm not sure about this, I would like to check some figures from Japan, and specially, from China where blogging is becoming very popular and has an user base higher than US. If China has not catched up US yet, it'll do it soon.

Turning back to the article, another interesting data is the amount of visits needed to earn a living. Around 100,000 unique visits per month are needed to make a US average salary or 75,000 USD$ / year.

It also gives some food for thought about other not less important issues as the growing importance of casual bloggers, generally working as freelancers, over professional journalists, the need for trusting relying sources of opinion and take responsibility for that, the overall excess of opinionated information and the lack of regulation on what has turned to be the fastest growing profession of this brand-new century.

domingo, abril 12, 2009

Easter holidays in Madrid

I just returned from Madrid, where I spent part of my Easter holidays visiting friends.

The idea was meeting Victoria in Madrid, who was coming from HK to visit Spain and Paris for two weeks. Going two Madrid just for two days sounded like a crazy idea in the beginning. I thought a flight ticket for those days, right in the middle of the holidays, would be a bit overpriced, but fortunately it was just totally the opposite. Good for me.

As usual Jano kindly hosted me at his place, which it's turning into some kind of habit whenever I go to Madrid. Happy to see him again and chat and gossip about many geeky things.

On Friday night I met Victoria and Álvaro, and we all went together to a Japanase restaurant a Japanese friend had recommended me, Donzoko, close to Puerta del Sol. Fortunately it looked less tacky than what I read on some reviews on the internet, and the food tasted like authentic Japanese food, which for me it's more than enough. It was a charming dinner, I really enjoyed it, although I felt sorry bringing Victoria to a Japanese restaurant in Spain :P, but I'm glad to know Alvaro fixed that with some tapas and red wine the days before.

Then on Saturday, we met Vera at Gran Via. While we were walking the avenue and passed by Lope de Vega theater, Victoria was curious about the show. It was Sara Baras' "Carmen", we checked for any tickets available, and went in, the show was about to start. What it seemed a hasty decision turned to be into a savvy decision, at least I was very happy with the show, and I think the others too. It was also my first time at a flamenco show, which again proofs that, as the saying goes, "No man is a prophet in his own land".

Victoria and Vera at Lope de Vega theather

Sara Baras' "Carmen"

Later at night we met Jose Carlos and Álvaro and went for dinner at Chueca but this time for a more typical Spanish dinner. There was lots of chatting and laughs, and the dishes tasted very good. After that we went for a last drink, and wave good bye till the next time.

It has been two wonderful days full of chats and catching up with old friends. I had a really good time, it was great to see you all again. Hope we can make it again.

The bear and the strawberry tree, symbol of Madrid

Dinner at Chueca

PS: As usual no photos in Facebook yet, till I devise a way for uploading pics from Linux or re-install Windows in my laptop, whatever it happens first. (I already discard Facebook fixes their upload pic plugin in the meantime, shame on them).

martes, abril 07, 2009

Dancing with the Mac

Maybe some of you have heard of or watched a TV program where a couple consisted of a dancer and a famous person or celebrity show their abilities at dancing in front of the audience. Here in Spain it's called "Mira quien baila", but it most widely known as "Dancing with the stars".

Today listening to the latest BBC podcast from Digital Planet. I had the chance of listening an interview with Steve Wozniak precisely about his experience on the American version of "Dancing with the stars" aired at ABC channel.

For those of you who are not familiar with Steve Wozniak, he is the co-founder of Apple together with Steve Jobs. Whereas Jobs has been considered the mind of Apple, Wozniak is regarded as the technician, gurú or hacker , as you prefer, behind the early products of Apple, the Apple I and Apple II.

On the interview he confess he was reluctant about taking the proposition of "Dancing with the stars" in the beginning, but he was convinced later by friends. After his experience there, he admits he likes dancing very much now, and it's one of the funniest things he have ever done in life.

I have to recognize he seems to dance certainly well on the videos, better than what I could expect from a person of his background, you know, nerds don't tend to be good at anything that implies physical effort.

Take a look at the videos and draw your own conclusions.

First program out of four

Nerds can dance!

The radio interview it's also worth. There is funny anecdote Wozniak comments during the interview. Whenever he goes to an Apple store and asks for the employee discount, if the attendant doesn't get to recognize him and asks him for his employee number, he replies "Employee number 1" (although he formally left Apple in 1997, he has kept some kind of advisor position at Apple and also his employee number position as employee number 1).