the listenerd

optimized for maximum incontinence

Links for 4.7.09: Zappos’ map, Subservient birthday, Baracklava…

*Warning: These links aren’t that musicky. But here’s a list of albums that are best listened to in their entirety. To soothe the savage beast. And by that, I have no idea what I mean.

*Retail: The web object of the moment is a real-time map of what people are buying across the country from Zappos. Zappos is like the Nate Silver of shoes. Also, it looks like people are ordering really ugly shoes all the time, like forever.

*Economy: Read A Tale of Two Depressions for a comparison of the Great Depression and our current financial meltdown. Situation: Bad. Reaction (this time around): Better? [3quarksdaily]

*Birthdays: It’s the 5th anniversary of the launch of Subservient Chicken. You know you’re really getting on in years when INTERNET BULLSHIT from yesterday is turning five years old in front of your eyes.

*Dessert: A restaurant in Turkey made Barack Obama’s face in pastry – Baracklava. I find the dish too flaky for my tastes. FYI.

*Literature: Site-specific fiction – some short stories were commissioned for the Royal Parks in London. Readers are meant to walk about the scene as they read. DUDE: Maybe there’s something to be written about a guy sitting on a bus? Reading about a guy sitting on a bus? (I don’t know where it ends.)

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Boring and local: Minneapolis and St. Paul Twitter users

Local: After very little deliberation, I’ve decided to embark on a HIGHLY UNSCIENTIFIC examination of the content quality of Twin Cities Twitter users. I’ve checked out the Twitterholic lists of Minneapolis users, the Twitter Grader things, The Deets‘ F/U formula and all the commentary around them, Minneapolis’ tag on WeFollow and poked around on LocalTweeps. All kinda interesting; some drier than others.

The bottom line is: a qualitative assessment seems in order. The usual caveats apply, of course – to a painfully boring degree.

“There’s no one way to use twitter.” (There are people out there, believe it or not, who believe in “retweeting.” WHAT THE EFFING EFF??)

“There’s no one way to describe twitter.”

“Taste is subjective.”

But REALLY. There is such a thing as smart and slacking, as interesting and boring, as funny and tired. And it seems the sheer volume of the former, the former and the former can overwhelm.

Additionally: I am normally nonplussed by “the local.” The oh-so-holy local. And that’s being charitable. If there’s one “next” frontier of the internet that’s been jammed down my throat like an entire canister of taste-free Saltines, it’s the nebulous and oh-so-effing-righteous idea of the “local” and its incredible power. I swear it’s a conspiracy to get me to read much more really boring shit than I want to, or else to feel guilty when I’m not reading it. Because I should be reading it. Because it’s local.

NONETHELESS: I get, of course, that there’s some inherent value baked into listening to and exchanging ideas with those who share your space and can share your experiences. And, in fact, I follow (and usually, frankly, work with) some Twin Citizens who are brilliant, witty, wise and worth giving some small portion of my media attention to. And hence this thing.

A few ground rules:
-I am operating under the assumption that there is such a thing as good.
-Anyone who mentions Ruby on Rails goes back to start and must work very hard to become interesting again.
-I don’t like James Lileks, but I’m trying to keep an open mind here. You never know.
-I find bacon, coffee and punk to be tired. Hobos are on the edge; tread lightly.
-My opinion should mean very little to anyone.

Anyway, if I find anyone who is any good, I’ll report the results.