Me at The Voices Karaoke and Dance Club in Frankfurt

If there’s anything you should know about me, it’s that I love karaoke and I’ve been trying to hit up a karaoke bar in every city I visit (if I can find one). I was on the German leg of my “European karaoke tour” last Saturday and found the Voices Karaoke and Dance club in Frankfurt. The song selection is good (like most a lot of places these days, they actually have more songs in the machine than they print in the books; just look on the website for the complete list) and I like the fact that they purposely stop karaoke and go to full on dance club mode during some hours and later on at night. Apparently Voices also has a channel on Twitch for live streaming the singing and dancing. I’ve embedded the video below of me singing Bullet with Butterfly Wings by Smashing Pumpkins. Sadly the audio doesn’t come back to the video until I’m like half way through the song, but hope you enjoy those last few minutes.

Watch (GER) LIVE Karaoke & Dance Party im Mix ** Inklusive deutscher Moderation & versch. DJ’s #karaoke #musik #dj #unterhaltung from voicesclub on

Update: Looks like they cycle the videos pretty quickly. Guess the video is down. If they had the full recording, perhaps I would have recorded a copy. Oh well.

Programming People to Program

The “What most schools don’t teach” video on Youtube has gone viral fairly quickly, having amassed 8,711,609 views (as of Monday, March 4 at 12:34 AM). Anecdotally, I’ve seen it shared on Facebook by programmer and non programmer alike,and influence a few people to take up learning how to code in their spare time. Featuring a diverse cast of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Chris Bosh to name a few, it seems to make a compelling case for getting people interested in programming.

While I fully endorse the message, it however made me think of another person who asked us all to learn programming: Doug Rushkoff. He is the author of the book Program or Be Programmed, and frequent speaker on how important it is to learn coding in the 21st Century. Yet, I’ve heard of only 1 person who was inspired to program from Rushkoff’s message even though it’s been around much longer:

This got me thinking about why saying things one way resonates with us and why it saying it another does not.’s mission is more optimistic in tone, and features celebrities and people from industry espousing what is great about programming. Rushkoff, however, seems more pessimistic and anti-industry, revealing the hidden subroutines of the code we use everyday. Both methods carry the same message and yet the more optimistic video seems to be the one that is clearly winning people over to learning to program. It doesn’t mean Rushkoff’s message is any less important, but it reminds us that perhaps a hopeful message gets through better than a scary one.

I talk a little about Watchmen on NBC 4 LA

I was on the NBC 4 Los Angeles local news talking a little bit about the Watchmen film, which was pretty good, and got to show off my tickets over at Universal City Walk. I don’t know much about the original book, but it is considered the greatest graphic novel of all time.  The characters look amazing and it seems like they captured all of the best parts of the novel. That being said, some scenes go on and are often overly violent. Still, even if you aren’t a fan of superhero movies, this is still a film to see.

Monetization Models for Video on the Internet

I had a brief discussion with a friend about making money with Internet video.  We looked at a couple of business models for a nonprofit to make money online and realized there were a couple of ways anybody could make some money with Internet video.   Here are some suggestions for almost anybody to earn revenue from video on the web:

  1. Take advertising on your site and/or videos. This probably isn’t feasible as a nonprofit (Update: this is possible with a nonprofit), but online advertising revenues will give you a somewhat decent amount of money for the amateur and is the most common video revenue model.   In addition to ads on the producer’s website (generally provided by a third-party), most video hosting sites like Youtube or my personal favorite,, allow ads to be inserted before and after videos, and at designated times during the video. Continue reading “Monetization Models for Video on the Internet”

We Can Do This Video

So the Los Angeles Urban League, my employer, put together a celebratory video called “We Can Do This.” If it seems familiar, it’s probably because it resembles the Will.I.Am “Yes We Can Video“. They then showed this video at the big event called the Whitney Young Dinner last week. I was also asked to be in the video, though my part is only about a second (from the 2:36 mark). You may however recognize some of the people who have bigger parts in the video.