Archive for December, 2005

World’s First Silent Film for iPod

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

I spent a day with two friends in L.A. making the world’s first silent film created specifiaclly for the new iPod video format. We made a tribute to the world’s oldest motion picture technology — viewable on the world’s newest video tech. The short film, entitled “Playing Bridge Without A Deck!”, is shot around the canals of Venice, CA. Like any good silent film, this one has great music: don’t miss “Pig Ankle Rag” by Gerry Dempsey and Ian Jacks.

Here’s the iPod video (Don’t miss the MUSIC!)

Video by Charles Brewster and Michael Eakes
Music by Gerry Dempsey and Ian Jacks

LinkedIn Privacy Mystery Solved

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

The main benefit of keeping my LinkedIn contacts visible, as Chris Alden put it, is “showing who you know helps place you in a community and can therefore help with networking.” But I’d been curious if there was some benefit to hiding your contacts unbeknownst to me. I noticed that a small percentage of my contacts had inaccessible contact lists. Was there a secret social motivation for enabling that privacy setting?

I decided to do a little survey and see if there was any common aim. To my surprise, survey responses from each of my non-sharing contacts trickled in expressing more or less the same sentiment as Scott McMullen:

When I signed up for LinkedIn the default was “not shared” and I didn’t know you could share them… I’ve since discovered they’re [shareable] and haven’t bothered to go back and share them. Mostly laziness, combined with the unclear benefit of listing them.

Looking over the lot, I can see that all of these folks probably were LinkedIn trailblazers. At some point after my seemingly-private contacts registered, LinkedIn must have realized the utility of opening up the privacy default (and the futility of expecting users to tweak it).

So, the reality turned out to be completely unrelated to social networking practices. In the end, the whole mystery goes down as nothing more than a quirk of default-preference history.