Showing posts from October, 2010

Similar to me?...really?:)

I'm clearly doing something right (at least when it comes to people I'm following on Twitter.)Apparently I'm similar to a bunch of superstars at YouTube and the CEO of Google. :)

Back to a more civilized existence...

I missed you Nexus One.

Also, looking in the mirror just reminded me why I always kill my attempts to grow a beard fairly early in the process, so I'll be shaving tomorrow.

Profile surfing and anonymity: Linkedin feature change

One of the reasons I ended up visiting LinkedIn often (recent comment from an engineer looking at "My most visited " list - "LinkedIn shows up twice..really?") is their "Who's viewed My Profile" box. Clicking through on the link a few weeks ago, gave you a snippet of people that had viewed your profile. The information was deliberately vague ("Someone at Google", "Someone in the IT industry" etc. ), but interesting in the voyeuristic ways these things tend to be.
So I was intrigued when LinkedIn changed this feature a couple of weeks ago. Now, the only way you get to see this information is if you opt to make your own information completely public (i.e. clicking on the profile above would show the person's actual name; link to their profile etc.)
This change simultaneously makes the the feature more interesting, and less likely to be used. I'd love to see the internal stats on how users have reacted to this change.
This appro…

Microsoft Phone 7 ad: great but is it authentic?

Phone 7 released today in NYC , and it rained (there's a "the Gods wept", or worse, joke in there somewhere.) Sorry, too easy.
Jokes apart, the demos look pretty slick and I'm going to try to find the time to go into a store to check out some of the phones. Microsoft definitely knows how to do great launches.
However one of the best parts of the launch is the ad below: both the premise and the execution by their ad agency (CP+B).

However, something seemed vaguely familiar about the ads.
Looking back, the Bing ads follow a similar pattern - again great premise and great execution, and based on the same template: there's a problem, which is ruining everyone's life, and this product solves it. Its Marketing 101 really. Oh and also, we're smart enough to make the story funny.
However, here's why the Bing ads didn't work: they tried to position Bing as solution to a chronic problem ("Search overload") but the problem doesn't really exist for …

Quick reviews: "The Social Network" and "Hackers and Painters"

We caught "The Social Network" last weekend, and agree with everyone else. It was pretty awesome! As an aside: part of my brain kept trying to see if they got the technical details right (they did!) and part of the wife's bigger brain kept trying to catch part of the Harvard campus that she knew (quite a bit!)
Staying with the theme, I'm almost done with Hackers and Painters, and I recommend that even more; though it probably speaks much more to ...well hackers. The books is a collection of essays by Paul Graham and spans a range of topics in life/anthropology, computer science and entrepreneurship. Its hard to review it as an entire book simply because the essays are on a couple of diverse topics. I'd been reading his essays on his website for the last couple of years and really enjoyed them, but this - especially some of his earlier essays which I didn't know about, are both incredibly insightful and instantly relatable.
I particularly enjoyed "Hackers …

A tale of two emails

A couple of weeks ago, I got two emails within minutes of each other. Both had a similar purpose. The senders needed me to do something for them. I should have done both of these things by the time they'd sent these emails and I hadn't because other things had come up and I'd decided these could wait.
I get a lot of similar emails and occasionally even send a few of these, but the contrast stood out as I read these back-to-back. These aren't easy emails to send or pleasant ones to receive.
In this case, both emails had one very simple goal: get me to do what they wanted as soon as possible. Both emails were sent by folks above my pay grade, and while I would over the next couple of days get to both things, I ended up having very different opinions of the both people after the emails.
Thankfully neither used cliches I'm particularly amused by such as "friendly reminder" :), but one email made me respect the person that sent it even more; the other just annoye…