Sunday Espresso: Consume or create? S-t-a-r-k-S-i-l-v-e-r-C-r-e-e-k, Phil Bronstein

    If ever a world existed with no espresso bean, it would be no place for me. I don’t think even a two-fer of Diet Coke could substitute. A Nespresso machine is on the way. As much as I cherish the labor-of-love that is Pasquini, some mornings I prefer efficiency in my pulls.

    Happy Valentine’s Day! To my beautiful Little Loni (aka sushiweakness). My sister for a special day. And my family. Love you all.

    Consume or create?

    Life 2.0 means making content choices, conscious or not. So it goes with StarkSilverCreek. As I’ve mentioned to you here before (do you remember? care?), over some dark Colombian bean, it’s the life of a mouse—with wi-fi—on a wheel. When will it end? Where will it end? Will it even end…

    A rhetorical Sunday morning on a long-weekend. It must be Valentine’s Day.

    My point: when I watch something, whether it’s a film, a play, an event, television show (The Office!) or surf the Web, I’m hyper-aware that I am, as us Silicon Valley types sometimes say, consuming content. Not creating it. At times that concerns me. I know that if all I ever did was consume works that others have created, I would no longer be a part, however small, of the creative process. Don’t get me wrong. I love watching performances, taking in the arts; enjoying what others bring to life. Hells-bells, I want to be there too.

    So I’ve made it my 2010 discipline.

    To create. To create. To create. Content, that is.

    Stuff.

    Of varying levels of quality, no doubt. But if I don’t pound the keyboard, chase Loni down the streets of San Francisco with the Flip, or try to make a point, however haphazard, then my day, and possibly life, can not be complete.

    S-t-a-r-k-S-i-l-v-e-r-C-r-e-e-k

    Oh, what’s in a word. Especially when it’s weird, quirky… like StarkSilverCreek.

    Or is it Stark Silver Creek.

    Maybe Starksilvercreek.

    Or Stark silvercreek.

    Heck, call it, spell it, how you want! I’m just happy for the mention. Thanks for that. I appreciate it, every time.

    Some have said it sounds like a casino (maybe Cache Creek?). Google News even has trouble, despite our attempts to fix it. We’ve even been called StarkSilverLake. Close. It’s water at least.

    It’s odd I know: StarkSilverCreek. Three words, no spaces, with shocking capitalization.

    At one point a few years back, plum out of ideas, we gave up on our creative brainstorming session and just went for it. Hence the name. Once it gained momentum and recognition, there was no turning back. I wonder sometimes if a new, simpler name would work better. Then I think about all the work, the logos, and the time we’ve invested into SSC. We will make it work. Some how, some way. Let’s just say it’s got a certain Web 2.0 and social media coolness to it.

    One last time for the record:

    StarkSilverCreek.

    Phil Bronstein and the future of media, sort of

    Last week I came across a video of Phil Bronstein (“Phil Bronstein interview on the future of media”), executive VP at the San Francisco Chronicle. It was a very Bloggy-style interview I suppose. You know, shaky Flip cam, with loosy goosy, seat-of-the-pants commentary. Nice enough guys, him and interviewer “Zennie62,” but I fear this is no march to the promised land.

    Although it’s published on sfgate.com (the online arm of the Chronicle) it is actually located on the “City Brights Blog.” It seems to be a non-holds barred place—crazy Blog!—where anything goes, but no one takes responsibility. Sure, like StarkSilverCreek I suppose. But without the cool music, video production and bloopers.

    “This is an SFGate.com City Brights Blog. These blogs are not written or edited by SFGate or the San Francisco Chronicle. The authors are solely responsible for the content.”

    Let me first say that I have to hand it to them for putting this type of raw video out there; especially since Phil Bronstein looks like a deer caught in the headlights for most of it. A tired one at that. No one would mistake this for a slick, save the universe-style Al Gore production.

    Everything else, however, reeks of disaster.

    When asked about the future of media, we get countless “I don’t knows” or mumblings about pay site experiments or the iPad.

    That’s bad enough. Although, to be fair, no one knows the future of media. As a leader, though, he needs to paint a vision, or at least offer compelling strategic alternatives, no?

    For example, why not suggest 3-5 scenarios or directions the industry might go, and how the Chronicle might respond or lead in each? Or let everyone know about pilot programs (that may or may not exist) for the iPad, new content partnerships, innovative think tank groups that have been formed in cooperation with Stanford and new financial models built for a new world of online media? All conjecture on my part.

    Should a leader not be more concise, more compelling, more charismatic in time of crisis?

    “The Chronicle’s not closing down anytime soon.”

    Reassuring.

    My biggest beef though are two things he says with slight flippant indignation:

    “Citizen Journalism has been a disaster”

    Really? If that’s the case, then why are more stories on major, trusted media outlets like CNN referring to YouTube on a regular basis? And Twitter. And Facebook.

    I agree, us regular folks are not going to replace professional journalists.

    We get that. I’m not sure that was ever the goal. At least not on StarkSilverCreek where we cover lifestyle. But we can provide an additional voice. A fresh perspective. I think that’s a wonderful thing, thanks in large part to social media and relatively new technology such as Blogging.

    Also it’s not true that Bloggers just “bitch.” His words. That’s misinformed, and perhaps a tad ignorant. He should try watching Fox News. Then again, later in the video he calls celeb-gossip site TMZ “a wonder.”

    Maybe I’m just over-caffeinated. Is it just me, or am I off-base here?

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    • Graham Zeisner

      In fairness he did say that perhaps a ‘pro-am version of journalism might be a template they could look at. But still that leaves papers like the Chronicle behind TV journalists who are already doing this very successfully…like CNN as you suggest.

      • Good point. I think some hybrid business model will emerge where blogs + traditional media co-exist within a common editorial framework and voice. The best of both worlds!

    • Graham Zeisner

      In fairness he did say that perhaps a ‘pro-am version of journalism might be a template they could look at. But still that leaves papers like the Chronicle behind TV journalists who are already doing this very successfully…like CNN as you suggest.

      • Good point. I think some hybrid business model will emerge where blogs + traditional media co-exist within a common editorial framework and voice. The best of both worlds!

    • > If ever a world existed with no espresso bean, it would be no place for me.

      I hope you aren’t contemplating suicide as a result of this fact, but there is no espresso bean in this world. It does not exist — anymore than the “omelet egg” exists.

      For example, Wikipedia:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espresso
      “Espresso is not a specific bean or roast level; it is a method of making coffee. Any bean or roasting level can be used to produce authentic espresso.”

      • Spot on. I should’ve known better and just wrote “espresso.” This sounds better anyways: “Perhaps if ever a world existed with no Diet Coke, it would be no place for me. I don’t think even a two-fer of dark roasted beans could substitute.” No espresso beans. No omelet eggs. What next, no Canadian bacon?

    • > If ever a world existed with no espresso bean, it would be no place for me.

      I hope you aren’t contemplating suicide as a result of this fact, but there is no espresso bean in this world. It does not exist — anymore than the “omelet egg” exists.

      For example, Wikipedia:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espresso
      “Espresso is not a specific bean or roast level; it is a method of making coffee. Any bean or roasting level can be used to produce authentic espresso.”

      • Spot on. I should’ve known better and just wrote “espresso.” This sounds better anyways: “Perhaps if ever a world existed with no Diet Coke, it would be no place for me. I don’t think even a two-fer of dark roasted beans could substitute.” No espresso beans. No omelet eggs. What next, no Canadian bacon?