I picked up a copy of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything last night before jumping on a plane. I pretty much devoured it on my flight. While I don’t often write here about books (in fact this may be my first entry on the subject), if you liked Blink or The Tipping Point or are just curious about how the world works, I’d strongly suggest you check this one out. The basic idea of Freakonomics is to use statistical analysis to explore relationships and answer some pretty interestin questions about our world (are swimming pools more dangerous than guns; why do drug dealers live with their mothers; how can we tell if sumo wrestlers cheat;…
Archives / April, 2005
Your on-line world
Remember The Brain? It was a cool technology for people to map out linkages in their universe. Companies could use it to map out enterprise relationships; individuals could use it to keep track of who knew whom in their universe (a precursor to the social networking concept); they even had some search capabilities that allowed you to view your search results in terms of how they mapped to each other (they call this the WebBrain). Interesting stuff. In my continuing search for better ways to represent data (see my original post on the subject here), I also came across MyDensity (thanks for Brady Bohrmann for pointing it out to me). Its powerful stuff – basically a way to visually map…
What Is Love?
I’ve been asked a bunch what I’ve found most surprising about being a new dad. My wife, Greeley, and I have talked about this a lot as well. I’m thinking about it right now – on a flight and looking through some family pictures on my laptop – and the answer is actually really easy (and I think shared by a lot of parents – at least I know that both Greeley and I feel this way). The love you feel for your child is completely overwhelming – and for me the intensity of it was unexpected. Seriously – it’s totally different from anything I’ve ever experienced. I love my wife very much and in a way that is different…
Nothing like a long, trans-continental flight to give me some time to think and write. I’m having a long travel week (first part of the week in CA and now a trip to Boston for a couple of days), but it’s a productive one. Apologies for being silent for a while – there’s been quite a bit going on. Here’s a quick round-up: Newsgator closed its Series C financing round led by Masthead Venture Partners. David Beisel from Masthead wrote a great post on it here. Here’s also a link to Brad’s post on the subject, which gives a nice background of how this round came together (which I won’t repeat here). Feedburner is growing like crazy (hit the 50,000…
Becoming a verb
You’re on the right track when your company becomes a verb. Just add a “d” to your name and you’ve got an idea what I’m talking about. Google is the best example of this – as in “Have you Googled that?” A couple of the companies I work with are on their way (at least in the markets they play in). I take it as a good sign that they are becoming important enough with their customers as to actually enter their lexicon (as in “Have you Quova’d this IP address?”).
Making the RSS world a more user friendly place
I’ve been thinking about the ways that I interface with feeds that I read. Specifically, how I parse through information, how I figure out what I want to read and subscribe to and how I’d like view different types of information. I see a couple of problems with the proliferation of information brought upon by the explosion of RSS. Specifically, with so much noise, how does one cut through all the chatter to focus on what you really want to hear? The issue is not just how do I figure out what blogs or news feeds to subscribe to (that’s actually pretty easy) – it’s the broader question of how do I manage those feeds; how do I capture information…
I was talking to a friend of mine recently who was telling me about the weekly meeting that he used to have with his boss in which he was asked to talk about his top 21 priorities. 21 priorities – seriously. Talk about getting defocused. . . .
Taking 100% responsibility
I have a concept about relationships that I really like (even if I sometimes forget to follow its teachings): In any meaningful relationship (business, personal or otherwise) each person should be 100% responsible for that relationship. I used to think that a relationship involved each of the parties to be responsible for 50% (i.e., and therefore the total 100% would be taken care of). I guess that works in theory, but if you think about it, your relationships will be much more meaningful (and fulfilling) if you take 100% responsibility for them. This plays well into my recent post on communication. If each person in a relationship is taking 100% responsibility for the communication in a relationship that communication is…
Media media everywhere . . .
No question we live in a world of ever expanding media opportunities. From the AP: The Global Language Monitor, which scans the Internet for the use of specific words or phrases using Roman characters, found 35,000 new stories on the pope in the 24 hours after his death Saturday. I did a search on “Pope” at Technorati and got over 85,000 hits (over 21,000 when searching for “Pope death”). Conclusions: 1) the Pope was clearly an important (and well talked about) person 2) the proliferation of media continues
Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
I was reminded (again) today of the importance of clear, open and honest communication. There’s no substitute for it. There seems to be a 1:10 rule about communication such that it takes about 10 times the amount of energy/effort to communicate something after the fact (i.e., after a communication break-down) than doing it up front. Not to mention the potential hard feelings, bad karma, etc. With all the ways to get in touch these days (e-mail, phone, cell phone, sms, etc.) it seems like this should be pretty easy. I’m as guilty as the next guy about forgetting this lesson. Perhaps writing it down here (and on a sticky on my computer screen) will help remind me. . .