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©Copyright: 2005
Steve Kirks

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  Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Music legend Lester Chambers' album collection stolen

From Lola Chambers, wife of Lester Chambers -- music legend, rock and soul pioneer, 1/2 of the Chambers Brothers ("Time Has Come Today", etc.):

I am truly heartbroken! My complete collection of my husband's (Lester Chambers of the Chambers Brothers) albums and 45's have been stolen from my home in Tarzana, California. This collection has taken me 25 years to collect and I had intended to pass them on to our two sons. Years before Ebay, I scoured record stores and swap meets to put this collection together. There were over 60 albums and over a hundred 45's stolen. Many were Chambers Brothers' Columbia albums released by Columbia under their many foreign labels and would be needed as proof of their non-payment of years of foreign royalties. These Columbia albums were released under Direction Records out of England, First Records out of Korea, etc. One of their 45's was released in Germany with an abstract orange coloring. Many of their 45's had photo sleeve coverings all in perfect condition. I had their complete recordings from their early years with Vault Records and one of their first albums recorded with Barbara Dane on the Folkways label. I would like to put the word out to all record stores (especially in Southern California), collectors, eBay shoppers, etc in order to try and recover these extremely sentimental albums. Please contact me at (360) 895-7877 or via attorney Lawrence Feldman, leflaw@leflaw.com.
Discuss [Boing Boing Blog]

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John Robb talks about RSS, Weblogs, Business

John Robb has this to say about weblogs and customer service:


What customer activities have shifted to the Web (based on a Forrester study on the sales of complex goods):

  1. Researching product information (90%)
  2. Comparing product features and prices (58%)
  3. Contacting customer service (56%)
  4. Locating a store or distributor (42%)
  5. Checking product availability (36%)

Which of these activities could be enhanced by corporate use of weblogging?

Here are his answers (bullets) and my comments (follow each one):

  • A weblog, built and maintained by a product manager, could provide customers with an active resource on the products they are deciding to buy.
  • This could be accomplished by building a spreadsheet comparing (feature by feature) several different products, and publishing to a weblog as an additional page accessed by the navigation system. Additional comparison info could be presented in a weblog format for easy consumption.
  • Amazon is already doing some of this using their databases and technology. As a consumer, I would be leery about buying based on recommendations from the manufacturer/distributor. I'm leery about Amazon's. I would, however, take the recommendations of actually users or webloggers I know and trust.

  • Contacting customer service on most sites is painful. Additionally, the FAQs and resource databases seem put together by monkeys (albeit highly paid ones). A simple way to generate an extremely valuable and organic customer service data is to have each rep publish a weblog. The question, including keywords, is the title of the post. The answer is the response.
  • Interesting, John, but maybe needlessly complicated. In order to reap some of the benefits of the weblog environment, a company would have to boil it down to it's essence: intelligent conversations that intertwine with no central control. Web log conversations (see current RSS/Atom/SIX as example) start as a post that someone reads, then responds to. If that happens enough times in a short time frame, the company would consider it important because so many people are talking about it. What's important to remember here is that everyone is talking about it *because* everyone is talking about it. Whether or not it is actually important is secondary.

    So could you do a FAQ with RSS/weblogs? Yes, but it would have to go in stages. First, questions by users and answers by staff with knowledge. Posts go into a database and are chewed on by Google-like intelligence. FAQ updates are fed to staff by RSS and staff discuss them on their weblogs. In response to the new discussions, new questions are generated by users *in addition to* the same questions that users asked before. Once again, Google-chewing on the database yields more FAQs of better quality. Repeat this cycle until you have a top 10 FAQ list. Publish *that* with RSS that feeds straight into the help system of your software (if it's finished goods, straight to that product's home page).

    See what I mean?

  • Not really applicable, but for many companies the local outlet doesn't have an effective Web presence (not even for coupons, specials, etc.). A simple weblog with a corporate template would suffice.
  • New poducts should be hyped via a weblog. Features, improvements, etc would all factor into the weblog's posts. A simple countdown clock would track the days or hours to availability.
  • Out of mental energy to comment on these. Mostly valid. Amazon is doing the last one, but not publicized yet. See this

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    Tractor Sleds, GPS and Ideas

    I was reading this on Tim's weblog and thought about a new type of tractor. Build a sled, much like a military tank, with an engine and GPS control equipment in the center on standard connections in the back. Put tandem connectors on the fronts to allow daisy-chaining like trains do. It would use treads like a tank, but designed for use in the mud. Use proximity sensors and software to help it make the turns; treads can turn tighter than standard wheels.

    If it used standard components, it could be made cheaply enough to buy more than one for farms. The lower component cost would make up for the GPS add-ons. Also, replacement parts would be easy to install and maintain, plus switchable between units.

    Comments?

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    Category Feeds

    I've created another category, so I thought I'd remind everyone that my categories have different RSS feeds.

    Pottery: http://houseofwarwick.com/categories/myHobbies/rss.xml Idea: http://houseofwarwick.com/categories/idea/rss.xml

    On the pottery site, I post things about pottery classes I take at - comments [] - trackback []

    Adobe Photoshop Rumor

    I think Scoble put this in as a lark...

    ...Oh, I did learn one thing: Adobe is rumored to be preparing a new Photoshop that will run only on OSX and Windows XP. [The Scobleizer Weblog]

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    Running Radio on a Server

    Dann wrote this, so I posted a comment. Here's an excerpt:

    Best part: I own the domain, the connection, the server and the software. Complete control over my content. Remember John Robb.

    I'll write up a step by step and link it from the main page a little later this week.

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