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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Passionate defined

From Kathy Sierra writing at Creating Passionate Users comes this definition of passionate:

Remember, the definition of "passionate" we're using means that you are always learning, growing, improving in some way related to the tool/product/service OR (more likely) something that the tool lets you do. (For example, you're passionate about your Canon camera because it lets you take great photographs, and you're always trying to get better with your photos--tweaking the manual settings, etc.)


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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Quotes & Links

From Wayne Hurlburt at Blog Business World comes this insight:
Personal bloggers have found writing their posts to be powerful therapy. Putting their thoughts and ideas to keyboard, and then presenting them to the world is a courageous act. For many people, the personal blog might be their first entry into the internet community. That first step can be very frightening for many people. Once that initial hurdle is cleared, however, the blogger can continue posting with confidence.
Read the full posting here.
From John Moore at Brand Autopsy comes this interesting way of generating worthwhile new ideas from inside instead of bringing in "outside consultants".

Rite-Solutions has created an internal idea stock exchange where employees can suggest the company invest in new technology, enter into a new business channel, implement a cost-efficiency initiative ... etcetera. Submitted ideas become mock stocks and employees read an “expect-us” (not a prospectus) detailing how the idea can benefit the company. These ideas-turned-stocks are then listed in the Rite-Solutions “Mutual Fun” board where every employee is given $10K in stock market fantasy funds to buy, sell, and trade in the ideas they believe Rite-Solutions should focus on.

Pretty cool, huh?

Read the full posting here.

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

CoComment Problems

I was wondering what happened to CoComment. When I pulled up my own pages, the CoComment section did not fil in. When I tried to use CoComment, I got nothing in response. No error message, no nothing.
Now, I finally find this posting on their own blog:

We current face massive DNS problems to www.cocomment.com. We are currently hosting our DNS as joker.com and they issued the following statement

Joker.com currently experiences massive distributed denial of service attacks against nameservers.
This affects DNS resolution of Joker.com itself, and also domains which make use of Joker.com nameservers.
We are very sorry for this issue, but we are working hard for a permanent solution.
Thank you for your understanding.

Unfortunately, we are also affected by this and cocomment.com is thus often not reachable from various locations. We are currently trying to move our DNS to another hoster, but that unfortunately takes time and as joker is quite busy it’s probably even harder than usual.

We are really sorry about this and apologize for any inconvenience you encounter. We hope the situation goes back to normal soon.

They have my email address. They could have sent me and each other user an email. Email is still functioning.
Maybe next time. (Oh, and while I hope there won't be one soon in this technical world, something will happen.)
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Friday, March 24, 2006

MSM Extending into Blogging

Channel 4 in the UK is facilitating a one to one conversation on current life events featuring each voice from a different part of the world. That is, one person from the the UK and one from Iran using Blogger to enable the conversations.
This is a good extention for main stream media into blogging.
Check out 121.
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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Quotes & Links

From Malcolm Gladwell at Malcolm's blog comes the next step in the discussion between Malcom and the Freakonomicsguys:

One thing to consider, however: the theory put forth in Freakonomics examined why crime had fallen all over the country, not just in New York, and one of the many arguments against “broken windows” as a major cause was the fact that such innovative policing wasn’t being practiced elsewhere—and yet crime was falling in those places as well.

Fair enough. But that still doesn't solve the puzzle that is New York City—which is the problem I set out to try and solve in the Tipping Point.

Read the full posting here:
From Joseph Jaffe at Jaffe's Juice comes this interesting aspect of personal marketing:
Who is Kevin McCormick and why is he a better marketer than you? Well, he's an ordinary guy (a consumer, if you will) who has realized an extraordinary accomplishment in the form of a website called dresskevin, with a succint and simple tagline, "I didn't know what to wear, so I made a website." Indeed. A Website that has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America and CBS's Early Show!
Read the full posting here. Hmm, maybe I should do something like this for my running outfits...
From Ken Thompson writing at The Bumble Bee comes this classic parable of collaboration:
In today’s hyper-individualistic world we often behave as if collaboration with others is a nice ideal but not absolutely essential. We believe that as highly equipped and capable modern individuals we can get most of what we need done by ourselves - alone if we need to.
In this classic parable of cooperation I, Pencil by Leonard E. Read (1898 - 1983). the author shows that such views of individual independence don't bear close scrutiny.
Read the full posting here.
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World Water Day

From Wayne Hurlburt at Blog Business World comes the notice that world water day was March 22. I missed it this year and will need to mark it on the calendar for next year.
Water is an absolute essential to life. Water is something most of us take for granted. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world has access to safe, clean drinking water. The good news is you can help to make safe water available for many people, all over the world.
Read more about it here.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Found it!

I like to watch soccer (yes, real "football") and frequently cruise through FoxSportsNetwork to catch some of the international games. A couple of weeks ago, I was startled to see a commercial about the beautiful game. At the time, I did not catch the tagline. I was able to see it only once or twice.
Now, I find out it is part of the joint venture between Google and Nike; Joga.com
And the commercial video clip is one the home page. Watch and enjoy its message. About doing away with the ugliness of the game and returning it to skill, finesse, and beauty.
What a wonderful thing to be for!
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Guest blogging today at Time Goes By

I have the honor to be blogging today on Ronni Bennett's Time Goes By.

What you'll read is one of my longer story posts, my version of the 37Days challenge.

I hope you enjoy it.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Open 'til 12:00 or Later

Caught this sign as I was driving along Route 30 in Wayne, PA out front of a McDonald's:
Open 'til 12:00 or later
How much later?

Who makes the choice on how late they stay open?

What purpose is achieved by this wording?

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

To all the Irish and friends of the Irish on this wonderful day, a Friday no less, you have an excuse to toss a pint of Guiness down.
Drink responsibly!
Love fully!
Live joyously!
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By any other name

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (Romeo & Juliet quote Act II, Sc. II)

Would that Shakespeare have worked on the marketing for Marriott,  then the Courtyard Marriott Philadelphia Devon (yes, that is the full name) might have been located in one of those two spots instead of Wayne, PA.

What's wrong with Wayne?

Where is Devon anyway?


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Call for 100Bloggers!

Are you ready to be one of the most popular bloggers on the planet?

Join 100 Bloggers NOW!

Then add 100 Bloggers to your Technorati Favorites.

It's a numbers game. If we ALL participate, we will break into Technorati's Top 40 Favorites by the end of the week-end.

Technorati is currently tracking more than 30 million blogs. The Corner on National Review Online, No.100 on Technorati's Top 100 (by links), has more than 12,700 links from 2,400 sites. Generating these kinds numbers takes time. This is your opportunity to shortcut evolution.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

iPod Microsofted

Via Seth Godin and the iPod Observer comes this video spoof of what it would look like if Microsoft did the packaging for the iPod.
Now, the real point here is that Microsoft did this as an internal exercise to address their own packaging problems vis a vis the iPod.
Microsoft is a company made up of really smart people. Sometimes, the company gets in the way of the smartness.
The lesson for us all: don't let the company get in the way of your own smart people!
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Runner's Route Map Comparison

Over on Passionate Runner, my blog to share my writing on running, I have invited the community to participate in a comparison of 5 tools currently available to mark your route for walking, running, biking, etc. All tools are mashups based upon Google Maps.
If you would like to add your input your can check out the details here.
Thanks for considering this! I look forward to your input.
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Monday, March 13, 2006

New coffee maker

You may recall one of my annoyances was the coffee maker carafe that dripped when you poured a cup. Ugh!

We finally gave in and pitched it out. Went to buy new one and it is nice.

Does make good coffee.

Has a permanent gold-tone filter that is dishwasher safe. We can avoid buying those coffee filters now which over time may help save a tree.

Doesn't drip!

Way to go Black & Decker!

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Open later to serve you better

This is a sign over the door to the Post Office here in downtown Franklin.

What if I need them to be open earlier to serve me?

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Email without Etiquette

There is a great Op-Ed piece in the Boston Globe today from Traci Logan, the vice provost of academic affairs at Bentley College.

You perhaps have heard or maybe even seen the emails between the lawyer and the prospective law student about the job offer and the response. The offer was reconsidered and declined but instead of doing this business via the phone, it was conducted via email. And these were two lawyers. Shouldn't they have known better. Traci writes:
But this story is about more than the dangers of e-mail and committing our thoughts to the Internet. It is about etiquette and human behavior, and the growing evidence that suggests the ''one, two punch" we face daily -- a reliance on technology and the allure of virtual communication -- might be eroding our ability to effectively link the two. How many of us have intentionally substituted e-mail or voice mail for conversation, knowing full well the deficiencies in such a choice? Yet we do it, time and again, because typing into a keyboard has become routine and so much easier and efficient -- but not necessarily better -- than navigating human to human discourse.
I like this turn Traci takes. The bigger issue is here.

Technology only helps us communicate faster and won't help us do it better unless we truly do it abiding by the good rules of etiquette and human behavior. Traci continues:
In our eagerness to fund programs that provide technology and Internet access to students -- ostensibly in an effort to make them more competitive in a world transformed by technology -- let's not forget that people are fundamentally products of their social environments. Are we afraid to delve into the complex socio-technical influences that reinforce Internet behavior? Or have we decided they're not a priority?
We should not be. We need to remember the basics of human interaction. We need to be the model of good behavior. We need to devote time and effort to this in the schools.

Let's follow the path. If the future strength of our economy depends on our capacity for innovation -- business models that promote versatility, expandability, and affordability -- as well as our understanding of how context-observant technologies might fuel collaboration, then a critical stage for developing the skills that amalgamate these components is our public school system.

Just as careful reflection should precede a nasty e-mail, equal deliberation should be given to the educational programs that support the ''connected" school or community. I say forgo those computers and forget about wireless access unless you're able to combine them with complementary educational programs that address etiquette, cultural sensitivity, and responsible use in virtual environments.

Read the full article and let me know your thoughts on this.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Change This updates

ChangeThis has new manifestos ready for download.

Tom Peters. Kevin Eikenberry. Valerie Washington. Bob Allard.

I downloaded 3 of the 4.

Which one did I not download would be a good question for which the correct answer would earn the winner a pretty insignificant prize. Drop a comment or email with your guess. I reveal the answer this weekend.

And you should check out (if you have not already) the proposals.
I see my buddy Troy Worman is sitting on the top of the heap with his proposal.
If you haven't voted, it would be a good thing to do.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The lyric process - Paul Simon

From Laura Jackson's Paul Simon, The Definitive Biography:
"... Paul set himself the lengthy task of writing lyrics that were shaped by his singing aloud whatever words were subliminally suggested by repeatedly playing the music. Determined to seek a new language in rock music, he later explained that what he derives from working in this seemingly back to front way is an invitation to rely lyrically more on the abstract, because music itself is abstract."

Food for thought...
"subliminally suggested by repeatedly playing the music"
Maybe that is why I sometimes write with music in the background

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Men's Weight Loss Program

Jed Diamond has a good posting on a men's weight loss program and what it would take to succeed over at the Third Age blog.

I tried commenting there but the security is absurd and I lost my comment text.

I need to regroup, collect my thoughts, and write again what I wanted to say.

In the meantime, you can read the posting and think about it.

Updated 3/7/06: It turns out I did not "lose" the comments after all. CoComment had captured them. So even though they did not end up on the ThirdAge blog comments, CoComment had recorded them. Cool, another reason to like CoComment!

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Email tips

Maybe you have seen this before, maybe you have another system, in either case, both of these are good things.

If you have not, or do not have another system, then this article should be worthwhile reading and implementing.

It is amazing how much change you can make by doing it on your own.

Walk the talk.

Others will notice. Some will chose to follow.

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

FeedBurner issue/Resolved

You may have noticed if you visit Passionate Runner or Passion for the Good Customer Experience that the Feedburner headlines for Steve's 2 Cents is stuck.

The date keeps changing but the posting is stuck on "Watch this space for future items". I have tried to troubleshoot my feed but it seems to be beyond me at the moment.

The capability to click through to the site works fine but even though I do post almost daily, it does not seem to reflect that.

Hopefully, I'll have some resolution soon.

Thanks for your patience.

Updated- thanks to some guidance from Rick Klau, the issue appears to be resolved! Thanks Rick!

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What are you waiting for?

From Kathy Sierra at Creating Passionate Users comes this great conclusion to a good posting:
... if the neuroscientists are right, you can create new brain cells--by learning (and not being stuck in a dull cubicle)--at virtually any age. Think about it... if you're 30 today, if you take up the guitar tomorrow, you'll have been playing for TWENTY years by the time you're 50. You'll be kicking some serious guitar butt. And if you're 50 today, there's no reason you can't be kicking guitar butt at 70. What are you waiting for?
Read the full posting here.
What do you want to do?
When will you start (if you haven't already)?
As Troy says - Don't wait for permission to succeed!
What are you waiting for?
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Friday, March 03, 2006

There is a call for Hitchhikers

Will you answer?
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Lobster Story

From Ronni Bennett at Time Goes By comes this wonderful story:
"Every year, a lobster molts," the man continued. "It takes 72 hours for a new shell to form and harden, and during those three days, the lobster is the most vulnerable it can be.
Read the full story and decide when to crawl out of your shell!
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Prime Issue

From Susan Senator at Susan's Blog comes this posting on a good issue:
The primary issue, to me, is not whether to treat, although I know that this is the issue for many. The issue for me is that when some kids' issues improve and others' do not, the parents feel like they have failed. That is the piece that moves me. A good friend of mine who tried many, many things to little avail has confided in me that people have sneered at her that she has not done enough, or has not done it right, or he would be "better" by now. This is the problem with the debate.
Read the full post here.
I think today's environment is helping to foster this debate. We are so looking for the answers, now. What do you mean you don't know? The implication is that somebody does.
Why are the crime shows the rage? They detect the reason behind the travesty, they get their perpetrator. Justice is served.
Are we really served? Or are we really misled?
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