Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

10,000,000 people doing radio taiso
picture via Kampo
One of the participants of Fat Club uploaded an mp3 of radio taiso (morning radio exercise show) and I just set it to my alarm clock sound. radio taiso was banned by the US Occupation after WWII along with shogi (Japanese chess), all martial arts and a bunch of other things that were considered militaristic. I remember hearing a story on the radio that the original radio taiso came from the US. When life insurance just started as a business in the US, there was an uproar about "betting on people's lives." As part of a PR campaign, the life insurance companies started broadcasting exercise programs on the radio to make people more healthy. This culture migrated to Japan where now every morning millions of people exercise to radio taiso...

Here is the mp3 of chorus 1 of radio taiso.

Does anyone know if this story about the US insurance companies is true or not?

The Kampo home page has little animations like the one above and a full explanation (in Japanese) on how to do these exercises properly.

As someone who was heavily involved in introducing the theory of CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) to Japanese ad agencies, I've been spending a lot of time recently thinking about what comes next after Google AdSense. Ross tried CPI (Cost Per Influence), trying to come up with an index that included the influence of the blogger or site where the ad was placed. This reminded me of the "branding value" or cluster value argument. Also, the idea would be that an influential blog would trigger a word of mouth diffusion. Anyway, inspired by Ross, John Batelle came up with a really cool idea. He writes about sell side ads where bloggers could copy ads that they saw into their blogs if they liked them. The ads would have information about what sorts of sites they could be posted on and other instructions. They would "phone home" to the advertiser who would pay the blogger for the impressions or clickthrus or whatever. The idea is that it would be viral and publisher driven, rather than advertiser driven. It would be set up so that the advertiser could track which site a blogger copied the ad from so that that they could track the diffusion pattern as well.

Anyway, awesome idea. Lets build it!

Ernest Miller @ Copyfight
Patenting Punctuation (Ernest Miller)

Well, it seems that someone has patented some new forms of punctuation: WIPO Patent Publication No. WO9219458:

Using two new punctuation marks, the question comma and the exclamation comma: and respectively, inquisitiveness and exclamation may be expressed within a written sentence structure, so that thoughts may be more easily and clearly conveyed to readers. The new punctuation marks are for use within a written sentence between words as a comma, but with more feeling or inquisitiveness.Seems that this is sort of an addition to the faddish punctuation known as the Interrobang.
via I/P Updates

This reminds me a bit of when Despair, Inc. trademarked the frowny emoticon ":-("

ecto, the blogging client developed by Adriaan at my company Kula has just released the beta of the next version which has "What You See Is Almost What You Get" (wysiawyg). This means that you can now do things like drag, drop, resize images into posts. You can also create links, change font information and lots of other stuff without looking at or dealing with html. (More info on the ecto blog.) ecto 2.0 has a bunch of other cool features. Adriaan says it should be ready for general release of the OS X version in about two weeks. Until then... gloat.. gloat...

In December, I announced that I quit drinking. I got a flurry of comments of support. Several of us who had decided to be sober, thought a group blog about quitting drinking would be interesting so we started We Quit Drinking, the blog. Soon, due to some weird Google magic, the blog became the first result for "quit drinking". A wide variety of people who were looking for support and help dropped in and commented. Jonas, who among other things works with addiction as a counselor, decided that a more private space, a message board requiring login might make sense so he created the WQD Forums. He announced today that WQD Forums has hit 100 members and have become a vibrant community of people who are in various stages of sobriety sharing and supporting. Since that day in December, I've received sooo much input and advice. Thank you. Some of it has been very useful and some, frankly, not so helpful. I have been to a few AA meetings and have really enjoyed them. On the other hand, I have not yet passed the first step, "Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable." At the meeting I said, "I think I have a problem, but I don't yet believe that I am powerless or that my life has become unmanagable." The interesting thing is, no one was upset. One AA'er later said, "In AA, we call that 'a quart short'". I think I will still drop into AA meetings because I love the stories and the comfortable atmosphere of sharing, but until I get to Step One somehow, I don't think I can really be a true member. It's been quite a journey hearing the wide variety of opinions about drinking. I've decided on the few advisors and approaches that I think work for me now in helping manage myself. My opinion may change and if I finally believe that I am powerless and my life has become unmanagable, I know I can always count on AA, which I now believe has an incredible power to save people from alcoholism. If you thinking you have a problem or know you have a problem, try dropping by WQD Forums and join us in our emerging community.