March 29, 2006

Focus

I started doing well on the web as I sharpened my focus. I am still doing well, but the focus has broadened (perhaps there isn't much at this point...or at least relatively there is not much). I find that a bit concerning after reading one of my favorite articles ever. Way back in 1945 focus was stated as an important element of success. Yet today with increasing competition and increasingly complex and quicker evolving search systems I still find myself dabbling outside of that realm quite often.

Trainspotting

When I work out a bunch (haven't in a while - need to get on the program) I am known to get more than a bit excited. It is almost like a machine or a thought process or a light bulb turning on. And then when opportunities hit me I also get a bit excited. After a couple hours of working out about 6 months ago I got an email from a Wall Street Journalist reporter.

I was pacing around the house talking to him, and my roommate described my talk like the job interview in Trainspotting, where the guy was high on speed and talking fast but making no sense on any level.

Again recently I overheard someone talking about Trainspotting, so I decided that I would buy it and watch it. I went to Best Buy and asked the lady in DVDs where it was and she said
"hmm...it is probably in action."
Before I could say thanks she continued
"that's a FUCKING great movie!"
I was like whoa! blown away...have never seen an employee do that before. Made me realize how weird I must sound in many of my rants - in person or on web pages.

Trainspotting was a movie about a bunch of heroin addicts, but I think many of the sequences and statements in the movie were made to remind us that we are all screwed up, and that perhaps a normal life really isn't all that normal anyway.

March 25, 2006

PostSecret

PostSecret rocks. Go there and check out the site...you will be glad you did.

Just came across this one:

I joined because i was patriotic. But since I joined they succeeded in convincing me my life is worthless, I'm just hoping I get shot

Don't feel it now, but a few years ago that would have been spot on w my life.

How Expensive is it to Learn? Why Must Charities Spam?

giveto.psu.edu/AnnualFund/LionLine/

So a few thoughts...

Love the words "One of the premiere calling centers in the nation"... they almost make cold calling sound prestigious.

My roommate gets cheaper in state tuition, put extra into the GI bill, and it did not cover his college costs. WTF is that? And why must the college cold call to be adequately funded?

Why must charities punish those who give to them by spamming them. Sure it is nice to hear the cause, but it is frustrating to give to charities only to get cold called frequently or direct mail pieces ever month. I know I am giving what I want to give right now, and that the frequent direct mail pieces to me are just causing money to be wasted instead of going where I wanted to.

Coachella

Up in the air about going...so many things I have to do now. And unfortunately I have been putting a few things off. Here is a short list of things I need to do

  • taxes ~ 30 hours of work
  • quick rewrite my ebook ~ 6 hours of work
  • review a friends book ~ 6 hours of work
  • client work ~ lots of hours (lots and lots here, starting very very soon. this weekend is like crunchtime on getting everything else on this list done)
  • review an SEO tool and send feedback ~ 5 hours
  • send in a form to a placed that asked me to teach ~ 4 hours
  • finish reading a book I have been reading far too long ~ 4 hours
  • fix up an old site ~ 30 hours
  • set up monetization and oversee production of another oldie ~ 15 hours
  • catch up on email ~ 100 hours

I looked at the Coachella line up this year and it did not look quite as cool as some past years. As it turns out, The Smiths turned down $5 million to reunite and play at Coachella. And Coachella recently added Madonna to a side stage...bizarre.

March 23, 2006

Learning Foreign Languages

When language is detached from the physical world it is easy to misunderstand.

Today a nearby girl sent me a message on MySpace. I politely replied. She sent me a message saying:

ha ha was this a nice way of you giving me the kiss off... ha ha Thank you though atleast you are nice about it..awwww I can't believe it.... :) You have a good night

Normally it is the girls blowing the guys off (I so did not mean that literally when I first wrote it, but it does sound funny now reading it) at online dating sites or whatever. This is a rather weird turn of events, unless I am really that hard to understand or she is setting me up for something?

How can I be good at marketing and so shitty at marketing myself? hehehe

Humility vs Self Depreciation

Was told that there is a difference and I needed to work on that.

I usually make sure I am on one side of the fence, but often end up running off in the distance like Forest Gump.

March 22, 2006

My First Burger in a Long Time

I swore off McDonalds and am sticking to that.

Being uber tired I recently tried Dairy Queen burger, and I feel gross. Like I ate some dead animal as it was frying on a cactus...with fur and all on it. The flavor in my mouth is so fake and gross. Yuck. So ick.

Think I prettymuch am just a non burger person from here on out.

March 21, 2006

Arg, Where is the Number 9?

So I like to think I do many things at random. It is not uncommon for me to make up words (or meanings), or just throw ad copy out there without much thought. It amazes me to see others use, emulate, or extend it because so little of what I do is calculated.

This wasn't the example I was thinking of that prompted me to write this post, but just a few hours after I read this thread
http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=21007&st=45
which not only mentions me, but uses a term I popularlized in the SEO community, "asshat". hehehe

March 20, 2006

Fearing Success and a Steady Boring Path

I loved my trip to Austin. My favorite parts were probably Bruce Sterling's speech, hanging out with Andy and Amy, and morning walks near the river. If I did a morning walk like that 3 times a week I think I would be at least twice as happy as I am.

I am back to the day to day grind and think one of the reasons I have not felt as good as I should, is that with the luck in market timing and resources I have been given, I have not felt like I created anything truly inspiring, original, or fundamentally market changing.

I have had some people tell me otherwise from a personal level, but I have so much more potential than what I do, and each day I don't really see myself getting closer to exploiting it. I have been chipping away doing the small boring predictable stuff. I get great customer feedback, but if you become used to getting it you can take it for granted and the excitement wears off. Then what?

In the last month I got offered to become a teacher at three different places, and one of the potential opportunities could have had me teaching masters level courses at a college. WTF is THAT for a kid that never went to school and only began learning what he is doing about 3 years ago?

Others would probably kill to be in that position, and I think that should qualify me to be happy, but for some reason (maybe I am just tired) I feel like I am just letting time pass me by. Any time I have taken a personality test I always fall under that dreamer category. While I still learn something most every day, I have not felt that I have been adequately challenging myself over the past year (physically, mentally, or socially). And frankly, I wouldn't even know where to start with being social. Maybe reading a book about it? hehehe

I have killed the sugar addiction and my weight is coming down (already lost 14 pounds in 2 months without lots of effort), so that is still fixable. But I guess I have just started to become somewhat successful and yet I fear that if I do not change something soon I will find that I am old and alone, and that I never found what I really wanted because I settled on the first thing that I was successful at.

I see other people do what I can tell they are truly inspired in (Bob Dylan, Tim Berners-Lee, Radiohead, Carl Sagan, The Pixies, Bruce Sterling, Danny Sullivan, Paul Van Dyk, Noam Chomsky, The Strokes) and wonder where my role is. How can I be both inspiring and truly inspired by what I do?

I think the social, physical, emotional, and mental isolation and boredom would be solved if I found what I really wanted to do. I just have to find it. What happens if it is not on the web? Will I find it? Or will I need to wait until everything is connected on the web?

March 18, 2006

Profound Thoughts

I sometimes wish I had profoundly useful things to say. I usually don't, but I have become more observant of when I hear them.

Via World Changing

March 15, 2006

Carl Sandburg The People Yes Excerpt

Bruce Sterling read the following poem at SXSW.

The people yes
The people will live on.
The learning and blundering people will live on.
They will be tricked and sold and again sold
And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,
The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,
You can't laugh off their capacity to take it.
The mammoth rests between his cyclonic dramas.

The people so often sleepy, weary, enigmatic,
is a vast huddle with many units saying:
"I earn my living.
I make enough to get by
and it takes all my time.
If I had more time
I could do more for myself
and maybe for others.
I could read and study
and talk things over
and find out about things.
It takes time.
I wish I had the time."

The people is a tragic and comic two-face: hero and hoodlum:
phantom and gorilla twisting to moan with a gargoyle mouth:
"They buy me and sell me...it's a game...sometime I'll
break loose..."

Once having marched
Over the margins of animal necessity,
Over the grim line of sheer subsistence
Then man came
To the deeper rituals of his bones,
To the lights lighter than any bones,
To the time for thinking things over,
To the dance, the song, the story,
Or the hours given over to dreaming,
Once having so marched.

Between the finite limitations of the five senses
and the endless yearnings of man for the beyond
the people hold to the humdrum bidding of work and food
while reaching out when it comes their way
for lights beyond the prison of the five senses,
for keepsakes lasting beyond any hunger or death.
This reaching is alive.
The panderers and liars have violated and smutted it.
Yet this reaching is alive yet
for lights and keepsakes.

The people know the salt of the sea
and the strength of the winds
lashing the corners of the earth.
The people take the earth
as a tomb of rest and a cradle of hope.
Who else speaks for the Family of Man?
They are in tune and step
with constellations of universal law.
The people is a polychrome,
a spectrum and a prism
held in a moving monolith,
a console organ of changing themes,
a clavilux of color poems
wherein the sea offers fog
and the fog moves off in rain
and the labrador sunset shortens
to a nocturne of clear stars
serene over the shot spray
of northern lights.

The steel mill sky is alive.
The fire breaks white and zigzag
shot on a gun-metal gloaming.
Man is a long time coming.
Man will yet win.
Brother may yet line up with brother:

This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.
There are men who can't be bought.
The fireborn are at home in fire.
The stars make no noise,
You can't hinder the wind from blowing.
Time is a great teacher.
Who can live without hope?

In the darkness with a great bundle of grief
the people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people
march:
"Where to? what next?"

Poem via http://glenavalon.com/peopleyes.html. Listen to Carl Sandburg read the poem here or hear Bruce Sterling's reading toward the end of this file.

March 11, 2006

Military Members Getting Screwed

Not only is personel the only area of decline in the current war spending, but companies are also screwing the soldiers.

AT&T is Ripping Off American Soldiers and AT&T Gouging U.S. Soldiers in Iraq sound familiar. While I was in the military in New England when my sister would call me it would cost me over $1.50 a minute.

I think fairly lowly of US phone companies.

Cowbells...

are not cool.

Don't tell yourself that they are.

When You Are in the Right Place

Yesterday someone pulled up in a cheesy pink Escalade...they used it to help market their website, which was something like pinkxyz.net.

I said "dot net...should have got a dot com" and people around me started laughing.

no doubt lame, but so I say I got to be me.

March 9, 2006

Letting Life Change as It May

So I am usually a bit isolated. I also see the glass as being half empty and a bit shattered. And I really have not let myself change that.

Recently it has been getting much harder to see life so pessimistically. In a non pessimistic way I can still say President Bush is a scumbag excuse for a human being...but I can be positive about it. Like how much effect does he have on my life? Not much really. Large parts of the system were already pretty broken before he took the helm. With any luck we can get 1 or 2 more idiots like him in charge so the country can be bankrupted, system burned down, and everything started anew.

But I say all that in a non negative way. As people get squeezed they become more inclined to react. No point hating human behavior or trying to change the way other humans act if I am not as happy as I should be with my own life.

Sure people are being manipulated, but other than collecting feedback about things I like and things I do not like I really am not in a position to change too many lives in a major way. Plus who is to say I know what is the right way to change things? Odds are pretty low that my answers are self sustaining if I find myself frequently driven by isolation, fear, depression and/or anger.

Like I said though...too many good things have been happening - in spite of me being too negative AND sick. I am going to consciously try to be positive...at least for a bit.

Today: Fetish Porn, Tomorrow?

I just had a guy take a while to contact me for a consult. Lots of back and forth. Finally start a chat and then boom - out of nowhere - my monitor has the words fetish porn at the top of it. I think there was poop or something on the screen...didn't stay long enough to be certain. Yet again tabbed browsing saved the day as I quickly surfed away saying doah!

So much of what I do is applicable across many industries, but I don't want my job to require me to look at porn. Not that looking at porn is inherently evil, but as long as I am young, smart, and solo I really should look at self improvement and social interactivity if I want more sex in my life.

What is even more odd here is that the person said I came highly recommended from an adult webmaster forum. How odd is it that I am getting free marketing from religious forums and pornography forums at the same time?

March 8, 2006

If I Were to Start a Blog Network Today...

what tagline would I use?

"Late to the game...
but more spam / blog guaranteed"

droves of mediocer content...legitimized only by scale

its not just lunchmeat anymore

Liars Caught on Tape

homeland security at work:

In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.

Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

Bush declared four days after the storm, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees"

A president precluded from being honest in ANY aspect of life. Well at least he didn't think it was a bird.

Leading Economic Indicators

in the news today...
It was the first decline in productivity since the first quarter of 2001, when the nation's last recession began.

Spike in insider selling alerts equities analysts

Later this month, Iran will inaugurate its much-anticipated oil bourse, whereby it will begin accepting payment for its oil in Euros, instead of in USD.

this post sponsored by The Big Buy...actually they didn't really sponsor it, but I like most of their rant flicks

March 7, 2006

Food and Framing

I talked to my sister yesterday...when I was so sick it was hard to do anything but lay down. I had the flu...bad.

She asked if I had any chicken soup. I said yes. She was like good. Make sure you sleep, drink water, and eat chicken soup.

After a bit she said that no you shouldn't eat chicken...or turkey or anything bird related. Did you see that cat that died from bird flu?

So here is a situation where something has been ingrained into my sister's brain for 30+ years and now the concept of bird flu has been marketed so hard that she entirely changed her view of chicken, and all poultry.

I guess we can die from eating stuff, but we can also die by not eating anything ;)

I don't think this pending epidemic is as large as some people would like to believe, I just think this is an effort to exploit the general populous. Of course the bigger question is what happens when something goes wrong with the food supply? Will we be able to undo the effects of factory farming?

March 6, 2006

Solving Problems vs Symptoms

Economic models seem to me to be built around greater profitability in subscription based solving of symptoms instead of solving problems. How do you create something that is financially viable that solves problems over symptoms?

Me me me...

things I have:

  • fever
  • flu
  • chronic cough

people I just saw:

  • about 50 SEO buddies
  • Paul Van Dyk
  • Collin Quinn
  • The Strokes - they were stupid good

how absurd is it that you can do someting really cool in NYC like every night of the week? would have perhaps been even cooler if I were not so sick.

things I must do:

  • catch up on web stuff
  • sleep water exercise eat decently get well etc
  • pay bills cash checks taxes etc
  • get ready to go to Texas in 4 days

March 4, 2006

Going with Small Business Partners

As some industries consolidate many major players in related industries shift from using the default provider to smaller providers, and it makes sense that they do because there are a boatload of benefits

  • A smaller business will get a brand and credibility boost by having a client list that includes other well trusted well known brands. They may be willing to sell cheaper due to gains in productivity brought on by increased volume and other secondary sales brought on by the brand boost.
  • Since the business is smaller your account will be a larger percentage of their total business, and their customer service will likely be better.
  • If you go with the industry leader you may help drive competing businesses out of the market. When a near monopoly exists the lead company can increase their prices and eat into your margins.

I never went to any business school, so this may be hosed and idealistic or otherwise a bunch of crap. Feel free to let me know if it is :)

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