Brett Trout joined our show recently to talk about all things IP, intellectual property, and IT, information technology and their issues for online business. You can listen here to our conversation.
Brett’s a practicing attorney and head of an AV-Rated law firm AV-rated Midwest law firm, that offers their clients the global perspective on Intellectual Property and Information Technology issues. AV-Rated means Brett and his law firm have been rated by their peers to be considered preeminent in their field.
He’s also the author of Cyber Law, a Legal Arsenal for Online Business as well as a long-time leader in the use of social media from back in the day. He’s authored a spirited, outspoken, candid blog at BlawGit. His disclaimer for his blog is if his blog does speak to you, you must seek professional help.
Brett. Thanks for being on the show. How are you?
Fantastic! Thanks for having me on.
How long have you been practicing law?
About 20 years.
Has it all been in the IP and patents and copyrights?
Yes. I started off as an attorney to be a patent attorney. To be a patent attorney you have to have a degree in science, then you have to take a 2nd patent bar. So, I was pretty much set on being a patent attorney from the git-go. The IT end of it came a little later when I got into a large firm in 1992 and none of the other blue-haired attorneys wanted anything to do with technology or the internet. It was a natural match, so I’ve been pretty much nothing else ever since.
What are the three biggest IP and IT issues effecting online businesses today?
2 of them that most companies are at least somewhat familiar are: the copyright issue and the trademark issue.
Online some companies fell that they have the right to use copyrighted images or copyrighted material or download music or movies...Now, I won’t get into the ethics of whether that’s right or wrong that is different from most people but right now the way the law is positioned is that if you are taking other people’s materials and putting it on your website whether it’s a photograph or text from a blog that’s going to an intellectual property infringement and you can get sued for that.
The other thing is that using a trademark or logo that is associated with your company and not properly vetting that. So, 2 or 3 years down the line you find someone else has properly vetted theirs and protected it and then they’re suing you for trademark infringement and not only is it very time-consuming to get out but it’s costly and then you have to come up with a new way to invent yourself and all that good will you have gained in the past 2-3 years or so is lost.
The last one and the most important and the one people know the least about is net neutrality. Basically what that means is you should be able to visit any site that you want and your internet service provider should not be able to dictate what you can and cannot visit and they should not be able to reduce the connection speed that you would have to certain websites.
So, if net neutrality is not protected what the internet could end up being is like cable TV where you have a package of 40 websites or channels you can visit. If you want to visit additional website like ESPN or Google or Amazon you have to pay an additional fee.
So, without net neutrality it is going to be a very bad situation for everyone involved in the internet.
What’s the biggest misconception about net neutrality?
The biggest problem is people don’t understand the issues. First of all, they don’t understand what net neutrality is and then they don’t understand the downside of what could happen if net neutrality is not protected.
ISPs, telecoms, try to push it to legislators as well, what we are trying to do is to protect people from illegal downloading stuff and if we see it we try to stop it...we cut their bandwidth down, which means the transmission speed, so it makes it harder for people to download these movies...because it ends up being so much slower.
The problem is once you give them that control that they can pick and choose what websites you can visit and what websites you cannot and disrupt your communication with those websites that gives them the ultimate power and ultimately then they can charge for visiting any websites.
What I see being the problem is that they then pitch this free service where they go you know you don’t have to pay anything...for your internet service. Now, You don’t get to see any website and you’re limited to only these 500 websites, basically those websites who have paid us money to allow you to visit those, but it’s free and it’s high speed and people get used to that they only get a limited portion of the internet and then once everybody gravitates to that it will undermine sites like mine and sites like yours that aren’t paying people to put their websites in front of people’s faces; websites like mine and yours and so they don’t get the traffic. And they go away.
And all of a sudden you are ending up with much much fewer websites that you are allowed to visit.
Now, as you are talking and thank you for this crystal clear explanation, the internet is akin to our interstate highway system. Products, services and ideas are free to travel back and forth between the customer and the producer. Is that a fair comparison?
Now ...that stifles the ability of innovative startups to build a website with their message that can reach their audience. Would that also be true?
Why should businesses care about these issues? What’s in it for them?
On the net neutrality side if you’re using your analogy, and it’s a very good analogy, you have all these roads going across the US you’re thinking the government is going to put in these 4 roads 2 going north-south, 2 going east-west and pay you basically to be on those roads everybody gravitates to those 4 roads and all the other roads go into disrepair, pretty soon all you have are those 4 roads and you can’t get to 99% of the places you want to go. I think that’s what’s going to happen.
If businesses do not take an aggressive approach in protecting net neutrality contacting their representatives in Congress and getting this net neutrality protected they are going to find that not only are they going to have to pay to reach the dark excesses of the internet but the traffic is just going to dry up and they won’t have any consumers coming to their website.
The trademark issue, companies should be very concerned because If you invest years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in getting a name into a good name and goodwill so people see you offering a quality product and then 2-3 years later you have to stop using that trademark and use a new trademark the cost of that good will is very hard to calculate. But it’s a huge amount of what your business is. Most online companies the biggest their main asset is their intellectual property and if you lose that...part of their value is their intellectual property and if you lose that overnight because you didn’t vet it or protect that is going to crush your business.
The copyright issue I have seen companies who go to Flickr and they take an image where they copy to their website and they do it a few times, no ramifications and they do it a few more times, no ramifications. It’s not until they get that one letter that says you have 30 copyrighted images on your website and we want a thousand dollars per image. They realize how detrimental it can be to continue business.
Hypothetically, how would some pending legal decisions in those areas effect online businesses, at least as it’s most commonly delivered today?
The most important decisions have been net neutrality. There have been several attempts to try to legislate open internet, to legislate net neutrality, to prevent the service providers from choking off the internet. That is a war that needs to be won.
I am not aware of how failing to protect net neutrality would help any business in the state let alone any business in the country. That’s the most pressing issues, right now.
Trademark laws and copyright laws, those are changing constantly to address new uses by companies on the internet. But I think if you understand their fundamentals I think you can extrapolate to how you can use them online and how that legislation will develop over the next few years to accommodate the underlying principles.
You wrote Cyber Law, a legal arsenal for online business back in 2007.
What was your reasonable aspiration or hoped-for future when you wrote it?
I’d been writing internet-related legal text for probably 10 years. I wrote my first book in 1999. And then I wrote in one in 2003.
Basically my goal is in my business I hear people ask the same fundamental questions over and over again. I figured instead of paying $350 an hour to talk to an IP attorney a lot of these questions can be answered just with basic information. I wrote this book to provide people with a roadmap for how the law works online. I would suggest that anyone even thinking about speaking to an attorney if you have this in your arsenal it will allow you to ask more important questions, more valuable questions, and to get better answers from whomever you’re hiring.
You’re going to need an intellectual property attorney, but save that for the very specific questions related to your business. The very general answers you can find in this book.
I would endorse this as an untrained reader in the IP area. When I was reading it I found all the things you were discussing still applied today. People should go out and get that book.
What are some of the metrics that showed you had reached it?
I just go with general feedback and then I go with Amazon feedback. And it’s all been very, very, positive feedback that for a little bit of an effort they get a large return. It’s not going to be a complete legal guide but it is making them aware of the issues.
The first book I wrote back in 1999 was very specific. If this happens then do this. The court ruled in this specific situation. And I left it to the reader to extrapolate from there.
This latest book is not so much here is where the law is but more here is how the law operates in this very specific area because I think it’s very incumbent for the reader to not look at where the law is right now which is basically an artifact of legislative and court decisions that happened 3 or 4 years ago. But basically take where you are right now and extrapolate where things are 3 or 4 years from today. Because that is where you need to position yourselves and your business. Where commerce and legislation is going to be 3-4 years down the road from now.
Bruce Springsteen says he sings every song for one person in the audience. Who in the audience of online businesses did you write this book for?
The primary reader, the person I wrote this book for, is the new business that’s just hitting the online marketplace. They don’t have any idea of how online business works, they don’t have a track-record of this will get me sued or this is not going to get me sued. It’s obviously applicable to anyone operating an online business but especially for people who are new to online business. All of this information in the book would be good for them to have.
Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors that that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years.
That’s basically saying processing speeds double every two years. Somehow I see processing speeds and IP/IT issues for online businesses going hand in hand.
You touch on that in the introduction to your book. You write that internet law grows at least 10 times faster than other areas of law...new internet laws are pending every day.
I think it still grows ten times faster. It depends now the internet touches every part of our lives. There’s internet legislation and non-internet legislation. It’s certainly something if you want to be abreast of all the cutting issues in a particular area that would be a full-time job for a couple of attorneys.
Basically the way the book was written was not to follow specific legislation or to lay down a specific rule or a specific guideline but to say generally here’s how things work. That gives companies a better approach as to how to handle things. If you try to follow one certain regulation, that regulation is going to change. That book would be obsolete by the time it was published. So, here’s the principles and how you react and these general principles have stay in place since 1999.
What are three of the biggest changes in internet law since 2007 for online business?
I think one of the biggest changes is patents as they relate to use online. Basically they are business related internet patents. There were no internet patents back in the early 90’s. All of a sudden the courts said “yes, you could have internet patents” and the patent office started granting every patent they could grant related to the internet. Then they took it way back in the early 2000’s. Then they ramped it back up again. I think that’s still a new area, a very exciting area and a lot of changes coming down.
The definition of what is allowable as an internet patent and what is not is constantly changing. That’s one of the biggest issues out there, right now.
The other issue is the change to the patent laws. The patent reform legislation. It’s going to try to comport US law with international law and try to curtail patent trolls.
Basically what they are is these people buy other patents and sue people. It’s kinda like the record industry and how they handle downloaders. Their main business is litigation. They have this machine in place where they can go sue a lot of people without much effort. The new laws in patent are going to try to prevent that from happening to the extent they have in the past.
You can find a lot of potential defendants rather quickly. If you spend a half a million dollars to get the legal team in place...get them up to speed on the issues and put all the paperwork together then suing a single person is very easy.
Intellectual property litigation is extraordinarily expensive. And that’s how the get these large settlements out of people.
Why should online businesses care about patent reform and patent trolls and the state of issuing internet patents?
Any company has intellectual property, trademarks, in their company. Very few companies have patents. You have to look at where your business is an area where a lot of people have patents. Not necessarily to go after people but to use as a bargaining position in case somebody else comes down and starts suing you. And you can maybe use that as a lever to say we’ll license your technology if you’ll license our technology.
The part of the reason for this patent reform legislation is companies by the time they have a patent infringement issue it is too late and their company will inundated; it’s going to cost so much and take so long it’s going to gut the company and bring it a halt.
Copyright and trademark, the damages are smaller. The other entity doesn’t want to pursue it to the extent it’s going to bring a company to its knees.
But with patent trolls, companies who do nothing but sue people, it can certainly take the legs out from a company and leave it bankrupt.
So, really it’s a threat to innovative startup companies being able to use some of the free online resources.
Certainly. Especially when they run into one of these companies who are more interested in litigating than in working something out. If they have a competitor, the competitor is more interested in avoiding the patent and doing something else. You can work out a settlement agreement and I can pay you a sum of money for something else. And we can all go on our way.
If the company is not a competitor and they don’t make anything then basically they are going to be interested in extracting as much money as they can and they don’t want to care if you’re different or not. They just want to take as much money as they can and as quickly as they can.
One thing I really liked about your book was you start with a thorough and concise description of the internet and recommendations for how to use tools like blogs in marketing your business. You even talk about the ROI!
One recommendation you offer is Be Controversial. Personally, I love it. As an early CEO blogger, I endorse it heartily. But, I’m surprised an attorney recommends “be controversial.” Why?
I think it’s more part of my overall idea of being as transparent as possible. And I don’t think anyone should be controversial just for the sake of being controversial.
It’s sort of a slippery slope. You be controversial and it drives more people to your site. And so you be more and more controversial then the problem is you’re going to be more and more over the top and that’s going to undermine your reputation.
By controversial I mean you take a stand on an issue and you educate people on those issues. Net neutrality, I’m very adamant one way. And some telecom companies may have wanted to hire me and they see my stand on net neutrality they say that is never going to happen.
But I think that loss is much more than made up for by people who realize I am a real person and take stands on those things. If you read 90% of biographies of attorneys, they are boilerplate information. They’re just cookie-cutter; there’s no distinguishing information among them. There’s no personality. They’re not transparent. Basically they’re putting as little information out there as they can and letting you see as little as possible.
My philosophy is that the less you’re letting me know about you, the more scared you are of me finding out who you are and that’s not going to be good for you.
By controversial what I mean is be transparent at all times, remain professional, don’t pick on people who can’t defend themselves.
The best reward I have for that is I have clients come in and they feel they know me, they feel much more comfortable, they’re up to speed on the issues and they’re much better clients than I had back in the early 90’s and they didn’t know anything about me. And they were scared of attorneys in general.
So, I think it helps everyone be transparent, take stands on issues and at all times stay professional.
Later you write : The internet comes with a mercilessly effective memory. Help us reconcile these two.
Well, a lot of people say don’t write anything online that you don’t want your mother to see. My position is don’t write anything on the internet that you don’t want to look at on a 2-foot by 3-foot board in a courtroom for several days as you stand trial.
If you write 10,000 quality posts and you write 3 terrible ones that you wish you could retract those are the three you are going to see for days on end in the witness stand.
I don’t ever write when I’m mad or if I’ve had a drink or out on a Friday night. That’s not the time to post. It’s part of being aware of what you’re trying to write.
You see the ramifications of writing rashly and trying to take it back. The internet never forgets.
The hardest thing is to promote that with my children. I encourage them to be active with social networking and texting and because I want them to get used to NEVER doing anything rashly. Be aware of the use of sarcasm and irony. Those things don’t come across very well online. And people can take them the wrong way and get offended.
I think getting them used to communicating this way and having ingrained in their head. It’s not like you’re talking to a person, one on one, you accidentally say something and that person won’t memorialize it. Everything you say is carved in stone.
You write about copyrighting the blog. What is the difference between a copyright and a creative commons license? I have a creative commons license for my blog as I think a majority of bloggers choose. I don’t have either for this podcast. I think I’m in the majority here, too.
Well, basically, copyright is your protection associated with any creative work you fix in a tangible medium. By “fixing in a tangible medium”, that means you wrote it down or recorded it or stored it on your computer’s memory. If you go out and do a dance out in the street in front of although that would be something you could potentially copyright if no one recorded it then it is not subject to copyright law.
The way copyright laws work is they are very biased in favor of the author. So as soon as you fix it in a tangible medium in some way you immediately have copyright protection.
Now the crazy thing is under the US law to actually sue anyone you have to go back and file the copyright registration with the government. But everyone has copyright in their material.
So, when you write your blog you have copyright in your blog. Now if you want to file that registration or not depends on how likely it someone is going to take that and how likely it is that you are going to sue someone.
Now with my book, there’s a much greater chance that someone would copy that and I would have to go after them it’s something more likely I would file registration on.
For my blog if there was a post that I was going to hit it out of the park on I might register it. Most of the posts are not ones people are going to take so I would not need to register those.
With Creative Commons License, after you have your copyright and you have stored it, recorded it, then how other people can use it is defined by the license you lay out. If there’s no license laid out, there’s no license given and you’re not allowed to take that material.
There are a large number of different types of Creative Commons Licenses. Some say you can use it for what you want. Some say you can use it but you cannot modify the original text even if you add additional material to it. Some say that you can use it but you have to give attribution that you did. Some say you can use it but not for commercial use.
Creative Commons License are these broad licenses people give with these strings attached. You have to make sure if you use a Creative Commons License what strings are attached and what are not.
A lot of times people confuse copyright and plagiarism. Plagiarism is not illegal. Plagiarism is taking someone else’s idea without giving attribution. That’s something that can get you kicked out of school. It’s unethical. You could be reprimanded by the bar if you’re a legal professional.
Now, if you take their exact wording then in addition to plagiarism then it’s also copyright infringement which is illegal. Those are things where people take their work and give them attribution and that’s not a problem. Well, you overcame the plagiarism issue but there’s the problem of copyright infringement for which you can get sued.
Back a year or so ago there was a dustup with AP news. I remember they were a bit fussy with bloggers who excerpted more than say 6-7 words from them without prior permission. I think they’ve toned that down now. They generated a lot of negative publicity from their aggressive enforcement of their ideas on sharing excerpts.
Is their movement towards or away from their position?
The thing I’ve gained over the past 20 years and I’ve never seen an attorney address those issues is the clients come in and say how may words can I use, how can I say it. There aren’t any hard and fast rules over how many words you can use.
I think more important is I’d like to say the law is the law and you need to understand that to get you where you need to be, you need to hire me. More important than what I do is how the client evaluates situations. If you have a client who loves to sue people then more than 6 or 7 words is too much.
If you allow people to excerpt huge sections of their blog with impunity then maybe 20 or 30 words, 2 or 3 paragraphs isn’t going to be a problem.
I think more important than that is what I bring to the table is the client’s assessment of how litigious the other person is to sue you. Because really, intellectual property if you’re a small company and you get sued, you lose.
With intellectual property, the issues are so arcane and complex that the judges just don’t have the ability make an initial assessment to say this is a frivolous case, throw it out. It’s going to take years and tens of thousand if not hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. So if you’re a small company it could destroy your company; you cannot finance it.
The key to winning the game is not to play. So, if you can avoid getting sued then that’s the end game.
I ran afoul of a news organization on this issue of excerpting copyright information. It was 3-4 years ago now. At that time I regularly excerpted sections of text from their editorials or news articles. No problem. No acknowledgement from them but no request to remove the excerpts of sometimes several hundred words. Later, I shared a photo from their site, with attribution and link to the source. I had a letter from them within 5 hours asking that I take their copyrighted material down.
Now, you’re not their attorney, I don’t think. And you’re not mine either. But why would a sophisticated media organization choose to draw that line in the sand over text versus graphics?
I can’t speak for them; I don’t know why they would do it.
Some reasons why they might is that they might feel more comfortable that they might have a suit. That that’s a line they can draw in the sand.
When you’re taking parts or portions of their text and maybe addressing that, then there’s some fair use provision associated with the amount of work taken, the impact on the author in terms of the author’s work, then you have some leeway for editorializing. When you take the photograph I think they have a very strong case you have taken the totality of their work and you have undermined the complete market for that. If you show the photograph on your website then there is no reason for anyone to go to their website to see the photograph again. Whereas, if you editorialize their content then that would have a tendency to drive people back to their website.
I don’t think a lot of these things are driven by what is legal or not legal. I think it’s driven more by intra-company policies. “Here’s where we have to draw the line. Here’s where we have to have more resources in stopping this.” Other companies who may be a little more social media savvy may be a little more relaxed.
The social media aspect that what you’re doing may benefit that company really doesn’t come into play in the companies mind in terms of who they are going to pursue for copyright infringement. A lot of these larger companies just have a hard and fast policy that they are going to shut anybody down using their copyrighted information.
I think that’s a crystal clear explanation comparing the totality of a photograph to the excerpts of an article. Thank you.
What’s been the most disruptive online tool for businesses and IP and IT issues over these past 3 years? Why has it been so disruptive?
I think social media in general. I lump the entirety of social media together. It’s just a different way to communicate with people. In the past, you’ve just had one-way communication. But when you bring clients and others into the conversation then it opens up and people feel comfortable dealing with a real person. They’re not being inundated and they’re not being tricked into purchasing a product or service. They’re actually purchasing it from someone they know and trust.
The biggest disruption for IP has been social media gone crazy. The funny thing is people see how social media works. And they try to emulate that. And they fall flat on their face. They don’t understand the intricacies and they try to develop this overnight. And it’s so apparent they are trying to skip the steps. They are trying to create controversy and they don’t have that underlying respect. And, they don’t understand why some people are successful and others are not.
I like the disclaimer you share on your blog. In your book you also recommend a disclaimer be placed on your blog. What have you seen happen where a disclaimer was not placed?
The main reason that I have the disclaimer is that I am providing a lot of information related to legal issues. And sometime it might be difficult for a client or a potential client to separate legal information from legal advice. I give a lot of legal information. I don’t give any legal advice.
I want to make very clear that by reading my blog or by posting something or sending me an email, you are not my client. To be my client, we have to meet and discuss and run a conflict check to make sure I am not representing the other side of the case and then we enter into a formal engagement letter.
So, the main reason that I think a disclaimer is so important in my case is for that reason. Every other profession or every other business would have specific reasons why they would have a disclaimer. That they don’t own the material, that using this product may be problematic...the main reason people use a disclaimer is to protect the company. The main reason I use a disclaimer is to let people know that they are not clients of mine until we enter into a formal engagement letter.
I would also add the caveat that don’t do what I do. You won’t see what any other attorney site look like my site. Mine is different because I won my firm and I can do whatever I want and I’m pretty aware that I’ve been in this business for a long time and know what I can and cannot do. I would certainly not recommend to some new associate in an 800-person firm to go ahead and start being cheeky and funny on their website because it’s not going to come across well to the other attorneys well. So, pick your personality and how things work for you and work within those limits. Don’t emulate what others do because you’re going to fall flat on your face.
Does your firm have a social media policy?
No, since I’m the only one that uses social media. I know what I can and cannot do. Now, if my legal assistant starts getting crazy on Facebook I might have to put something in place.
I would recommend at least having something in place in general terms of what you can and cannot do to at least hold people accountable. If you’re having a company meeting and your having a social media committee put together then they’re going to be more social media savvy and you would want to work with that committee to put that policy into effect. If you sell burritos your social media policy is going to be one thing. If you sell financial services, your social media policy is going to be something else.
You want everyone to understand that if something has ramifications for the company it’s going to have ramifications for the employee. Companies that say don’t do anything social media-wise I think are hiding their head in the sand. I think it’s better to be proactive and tell them what you expect of them. Give people some lunch and learns about the bad things that can happen if you don’t act professional in social media. People are not out to destroy or hurt the company. The more information they have the better off they’ll be.
Are you aware of examples of a good social media policy?
I’ve seen examples of good policies. I’ve written policies for companies. But, again, it’s so unique to that company.
But, again I think having a social media policy and a terrible social media administrator or you don’t have anybody heading up the social media department I don’t care what kind of social media policy you have it’s just a bunch of words on a piece of paper.
It might help you fire somebody or sue somebody, but that’s after the fact. that’s after the problems have arisen.
I think a good social media policy is a good addendum. If you don’t have someone running point or orchestrating your social media face to the community I don’t know how much a social media policy is going to help you.
We started the show talking about how fast changes comes to this area of law.
As I was preparing for our conversation it slowly dawned on me that your area of law practice may be the most interesting area today for not only law but also for business, social change, politics, global markets.... It’s where all the disruptions in business models, technologies, freedom of speech, innovation, entrepreneurs, a bad economy, politics and everyone’s personal journey collide, daily. And that’s just the start. You also have global competition, free markets, regulatory bodies, governmental agencies...all stirring this pot.
Did I leave anything out?
I think you’ve hit them all. It’s pretty much like a living organism. It grows and mutates very quickly. It’s something you can lead and use to do your bidding.
The problem with a lot of attorneys, they don’t want to do anything that they are not sure about. This area is changing so quickly.
When you talk about how it touches every component of our lives and it’s a living organism mutating every day it sounds to be overwhelming. But I think it can be used, harnessed, by a company in a very effective way.
Are there imminent court decisions that businesses should keep their eye on?
I don’t know how closely they should keep an eye on but Microsoft and i4i and they are arguing over Microsoft Word and MS is coming out saying we have problem with MS Word from a patent standpoint. We’re going to have to make these changes. That’s going to be a very important case coming down.
What companies should do is follow blogs or resources that digest that information and put it in plain language. That was my goal with my book. Don’t write it in legalese. If you see someone kidding with you in a way you don’t understand, it’s not that you are stupid. It’s typically that they don’t want you to know that they don’t know what they are talking about. Instead of reading court opinions, read blogs that have digested court opinions and how those decisions are going to effect you and your company. Follow blogs that follows these cases and look to them for an interpretation for how these things work out.
Your blog is BlawgIt. I recommend everyone read it. As I was preparing for this show I realized that I should have been reading it more often, too. What other blogs do you recommend?
It’s such a unique situation. But basically I think the beautiful thing about the internet is there are so many resources. And you can find a resource that fits your niche.
If they’re interested in patents, then Patently O is probably the premiere site. The problem is that it can get pretty esoteric in terms of what things mean. You have to have a pretty good understanding of patent law to make sense of it.
If you’re a new company then Bit Method here in Des Moines is one of the newer blogs I have found to be useful.
Follow blogs and see what they link out to and build your own list of blogs to follow.
You’re a leader. Leaders are readers, as Jim Rohn said. What are you reading these days?
I’m reading A Struggle for Power: The American Revolution, by Theodore Draper. I hate history. But this is such a riveting book. I can’t put it down. It’s a very long book and a real eye-opener for what led up to the American Revolution and it’s not what I was taught at school.
The other book is I’m a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter. It’s a book on the origins of consciousness.
They are kind of difficult reads but they pay off quite handsomely.
What social media resources do you use?
I use all the main platforms ike Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit quite a bit. I don’t use any specific tools like Hootsuite. The reason is I have more of a visceral touch and maybe I’m a little older than the usual user. I want to know that if I post something on one place that is where it is posted. I may post something on Reddit that is way different than what I would post on Facebook.
I think this thing of collecting everything and sending it out in a blast is something I’m just not comfortable with.
Where can we see roller derby in Des Moines area?
My daughter is on the Des Moines team called the Des Moines Derby Brats. It’s a team for under-18 girls that are out there. Like her father she’s pretty tall; she’s 12 years old and she’s 5-9.
7 Flags Event Center is where they’re held. And if you go to Des Moines Derby Dames there’s a list of the events and the people.