Monday, December 31, 2007

RIAA Advances Efforts to Kill Recording Industry from Within...

Photo from courtesy FrozenMeat. All rights reserved.

After reading Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use -, you have to wonder if the recording industry will next be suing owners of Apple iPods who purchase music from iTunes and then copy it onto their iPods.

Apparently, RIAA has filed a lawsuit against an Arizona man who copied legally purchased CDs onto his computer, claiming this is illegal. Except that the US Supreme Court has ruled that video recorder owners can legally make copies of copyrighted video content (TV shows) for personal use, and it has long been accepted that if you own a copy of a CD or vinyl record, you can make copies for your personal use. This doesn't seem to matter to RIAA.

This is outrageous, anti-consumer behavior by the music industry.

If they don't realize they are going to kill their entire business by treating customers like criminals, they deserve to collapse under the weight of their own lawsuits, or see scenes like the one above outside their corporate offices.

What a stupid, ill-advised, reputation killing (as if there were any reputation left to kill) legal strategy this is.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Steve at PRSA 2007 College of Fellows Induction Dinner, Philadelphia, PA

I didn't really do anything to deserve having my photo taken. I was representing the Philadelphia Chapter at the dinner. The Chapter was one of the presenting sponsors for the Fellows Dinner, since we were the host chapter for the 2007 PRSA International Conference. So that's why I'm getting a piece of crystal from Debbie Miller. We wrote PRSA a check. W00t!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

NJ Open Racquetball 2007

In November, Steve competed in his first racquetball tournament in more than 30 years. This year's NJ Open Tournament was held in Woodbridge, NJ. This is Steve's video blog report on that competition.  

Thursday, December 20, 2007

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Getting Cooktop Installed

The employee kitchen at Professional Podcasts needed a new cooktop and when the installer came to put it in, we decided to make this quick video of how they did it.

Thanks to Ralph Prate of Pro Installs for being a willing participant in our video and for doing the little commercial pitch for his business at the end of the video.

Podsafe Music, "Sing Sing" provided by the Dave Manley Band.

Professional Podcasts is featured in Red Cross Power of Two Newsletter

Power of Two Newsletter

We're honored and flattered to be featured in the "Power of Two" newsletter. We look forward to working with the American Red Cross, and we urge everyone to keep them in mind, especially at the holiday season, when blood donations and contributions slow down and, but the need for ARC services does not.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Shabbat Shout out to the Reform Judaism Biennial

(Cross-posted to CompuSchmooze blog.

Have to give a big Shabbat Shalom to the Union for Reform Judaism, which is holding its Biennial in San Diego through Sunday. They are doing quite a respectable job of blogging, live-blogging, and podcasting from the event, so those of us who couldn't be there can get a great taste of what's going on. Here's one sample, but you can hear more and see a Flickr photo stream as well. Very nice integration of social media into a live conference event by a group with limited resources. Demonstrates how social media return power to the organizers to promote, publicize, and engage their audiences...

What does Shabbat Mean To You

As we prepare for our Shabbat here in San Diego the Biennial Blog spoke with two rabbis about their personal Shabbat routines and how they make the Sabbath Day holy. Click on the play button below to listen in.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Let me tell you how we are going to handle the ice cream, ma'am...

Last night I attended an annual networking ritual in South Jersey, the holiday party of the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey. They start the evening with a business meeting where, by unanimous ballot, they elect the board and officers for the next year. (It's unanimous because everyone is breathing a sigh of relief that they aren't being elected.)

Just as that meeting was ending, the lights flickered and went out, then came back on, flickered and went out again. And they stayed out for the better part of an hour. After a few minutes of confusion, the catering hall staff rustled up a supply of candles (see below) and the crowd shuffled in darkness to the top floor for the party.

Deb DiLorenzo, president of South Jersey Chamber, greeting guests by candlelight

Networking in the dark may not be such a bad idea. Someone observed that it was hard for people to congregate in their usual cliques because they couldn't really see each other clearly enough to identify their friends, so people were actually talking to people they didn't already know.

However, more than a few people commented that the candle-lit "ambience" was different and sort of nice. To which I say: Emperor, you have no clothes! This is just really poor business contingency planning. Let me explain.

When I travelled to the Philippines in 2006, I began my keynote address at the Public Relations Society of The Philippines National PR Congress just as Typhoon Milenyo struck Manila. The power went off for 10 million Filipinos for the better part of a week, but guess what? The hotel had a backup generator that kicked in within less than a minute, and life went on -- with power. Hotels and shopping malls in Manila all had backup power, and so even poor Filipinos had a place to go -- shopping in dimly lit but air-conditioned malls. And by the way, they didn't lock the stores and send the employees home. They actually WROTE sales receipts by hand -- yes, by hand -- and continued to do business without POS terminals. How many American teens know how to make change? (Aside: how much of a pet peeve is it for you that because they depend on the machines, they always hand you the paper currency first and then dribble the coins on top of them, instead of counting out the change first and then giving you the bills?)

If I were planning a wedding for my daughters and spending tens of thousands of dollars at this catering hall, I would have had a conniption to find out that they have no backup power of any kind.

How can you run a business where the central mission is to provide people a place to host lavish catered events, and not plan for the business contingency that the lights might go out?

He has too much hair.

Podcast Geek
Originally uploaded by ExtraLife
ExtraLife comic artist Scott Johnson has created a poster depicting the 56 species of Geeks. This is one of them, but his hair is too dark, and well, too hairy. Also, where are his glasses, huh?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lubetkin Communications' Corporate Photojournalism Division Scores Two Magazine Covers in Three Months

I have to toot our horn a bit here. I've been making photographs for news organizations and corporate clients going all the way back to my work as photo editor of the Christian Brothers Academy yearbook Pegasus in 1974. (Aside: w00t! CBA has an entry in Wikipedia!)

My dad, Murray Lubetkin, was a professional photographer. He taught it at the Central Institute of Photography in Newark, and later at the Photo Division at Fort Monmouth.

He taught me photography back when light meters were optional equipment on Minolta SLRs (I still have his Minolta SR-1 with the little bracket where the add-on light meter is supposed to sit.) For years, I thought the Rule of F-16 was the only way to figure out exposure.

We spent many happy hours photographing fall leaves together, and he was always especially proud that we used one of his autumn leaf photos in that 1974 yearbook -- with the only photo credit line in the entire book (I insisted on it.) One of his particular photographic obsessions was light reflected through displays of colored glass objects in retail stores, and I confess to trying to repeat some of his work there.

Anyway, he fueled my enthusiasm for photography. Later, I managed to irritate the photographers at the newspaper I worked at by being one of the only reporters who could take his own picture (and I got more than a few spot news photos of fires and car crashes in the paper). Later, as a corporate PR minion, many of the pictures I made for Conrail appeared in newspapers around the country, and a night photo I took of the railroad industry's first "just-in-time" train, KZLA, from Kalamazoo to Lansing for General Motors, made not only the cover of Progressive Railroading, but also was used to illustrate a William Greider article in Rolling Stone.

Well, it's been more than 20 years since that photo made the cover. During the final 10 years of my corporate PR career, I relearned photography in the digital world, and produced publishable photos of news value for Standard & Poor's and the three banks where I sat for five years.

In recent months, I've been very thrilled that our corporate photojournalism is still delivering high impact imagery for business publications.

Photographic assignments we took on for SBN Publications have landed our work on the cover of the October and December issues of Smart Business Magazine's Philadelphia edition.

October 2007 Smart Business Cover Photo of Judy Spires, President of Acme Markets

December 2007 cover photo of John Grierson, president of Delaware Valley Division of Pulte Homes

Any shooter will tell you that getting covers like this just inspires them to do more, and do better, and it definitely perks me up and reinvigorates my desire to produce great quality photojournalism that will make my clients happy.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

River Communications Group Video Pod #1: Web 2.0 with Brian Crooks, Avenue A|Razorfish

The River Communications Group presents a discussion of Web 2.0 with Brian Crooks, executive creative director in the Philadelphia office of Avenue A|Razorfish, recorded November 8, 2007 at the Merrill Lynch Conference Center in Pennington, NJ, by Professional Podcasts LLC of Cherry Hill, NJ,

The program runs about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Haven't often agreed with Charlie Gasparino, but this time he's really right, and swimming upstream...

Check out this on-air live battle on CNBC yesterday (kudos to CNBC for actually posting the clip)

Gasparino is supporting Ben Stein, whose Sunday New York Times column questioned Goldman Sachs' efforts to sell what turned out to be toxic investments in mortgage-backed bonds secured by sub-prime mortgages while at the same time hedging those securities by selling them short in their own account (short sellers hope to profit by selling securities they don't own and buying them back at a lower price later.)

Outside observers would easily see such sales as an admission that the firm was selling something that was a bad investment. People on Wall Street don't seem to see any conflict in Goldman unloading these barrels of waste on teachers' pension funds while going out the back door and shorting them. Watch how the host of the show and the guest gang up on Charlie.

Live business television at its most remarkable. Host and correspondent both lose their temper. Amazing stuff!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

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