Month: May 2008

Business Cards, Personal Data and the Future

I’ve been using my left brain cells scanning business cards for one of my managers (his collection from many of his wanderings). One thing that has stuck in my mind while performing this mind-numbing task is the affects of format. A few years ago, we were going to beam our “cards” to each other (ala the Palm, et al), completely eliminating paper-based cards. Ha! I say. However, with technology such as the CardScan scanner, we’re getting closer to this sort of e-utopia. However, in an effort to stand out in a sea of business cards, some have taken to unique shapes, fonts, colors, what-have-you. Some of these are truly creative, but many are just obnoxious. The scanner hates pretty much all of them, though. So, my friends and colleagues, if you are considering a new business card format, consider a few things carefully. First, non-standard colors and fonts get garbled in these scanners. Second, save the uber-creative stuff for your website. Keep in mind that the spiffiest card design can’t make up for content. No one will keep your card, or reach out to you, unless they want or need to. Lastly, try really hard not to put a massive array of data on these things. They’re pretty darn small, and putting a book’s worth of information makes them numbing to read. My advice is to put more data on your website, and then print the link. Easy!


With all of this, I’ve been considering this sort of data. It’s not hard to envision a future where you just give out a social id, and some can grab your information on Facebook, or some future incarnation. In this setting, I picture the ability to select how much, and who, can see what. So, in this Facebook of the future, I see the ability of my friends and family to see nitty-gritty details, where co-works can see less, or more specifically relevant information, and so on the less related someone is.


An Evening With A Weary Mind

Often I have evenings where my mind is simply muddy, overheated, I guess, from the mad dash through the day. Days like today, when I’m peppered with work. Last minute stuff; urgent, weird executive requests of high priority because of the position of said requester. Strangest to me is how un-tired my body is in relation to my whipped mind. And now my weary 5-year-old (who would deny tiredness) is calling for my attention. Two cranky people, weary of mind and patience. Should be joyous…

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Statistics and Studies

I often see headlines such as this, “Travelers not too satisfied with Sea-Tac airport: study”. It seems rather damning at first glance. However, I’m left to wonder. What does this really mean? Does this mean that Seatac has a problem? I’m not too sure. As I read the study (at least the little bit reported here), one of the first things I notice is the small range of scores (top: 690, Seatac: 656, bottom: 647 range: 43 points). Being last is not that much worse than being first. Also, this seems to be, in its sum, a customer satisfaction survey. It isn’t a sample of the same group of people experiencing all 19 of the airports. There’s a huge amount of subjectivity to this.


Of course, I’m one of those folks who distrusts the “wisdom of the masses”, which (I’m sure) colors my perspective on surveys such as this. I also tend to work hard to find logical inconsistencies and other “issues”. Perhaps I’m more cynical than I thought.


Anyway, I find this sort of stuff more annoying than informative. It’s not like the airports in question really need to modify any of their offending behaviors. It’s not like there are other options. Well, not without serious aggravation.



Ok, folks, here’s a new (to me, at least) toy for the socially networked: Flock. This is a browser built on the Gecko engine (same as the framework for Firefox). It integrates such sites as Facebook, Blogger, Flickr, and the like. I’ve only had a bit of time to mess with this tonight, but it’s pretty handy so far. This post was written with a built in blog editor. If you spend much time in the social network space, and it’s hard not too any more, this looks like it’ll be a great tool.

Blogged with the Flock Browser


I’ve been messing around with Powne lately. It has some interesting elements, particularly the ability to file share. I also like how it ties different services, but Friendfeed does that way better. It seems to be a slightly expanded Twitter, and I am trying to figure out how I can use this. Anyone else using this heavily? What do you think?


I guess Scoble’s comment sums it up: “I can’t take many more social networks.”



Google and Friend Connect

From our friends at CNET: ” Google to launch Friend Connect for the social Web”

It’s good to see Facebook getting onboard this train. When Dave quotes Mike Arrington, I need to disagree. “The reason these companies are are rushing to get products out the door is because whoever is a player in this space is likely to control user data over the long run.” Not quite, or I at least hope that’s not THE reason. It needs to be about having access to data; businesses need to give up the idea of owning it. The People, or at least This Person, are saying that WE own our data, and we’re providing YOU (the business in question) access.

Another piece of this equation needs to be ensuring we have the ability to remove access to those who abuse their responsibilities. More on that latter.

Microsoft, Yahoo!, and other Tech fun

Apparently, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Microsoft is looking at Facebook now that the Microhoo deal is dead. (For the record, I thought the Microhoo concept was flawed. Different systems, different cultures…a painful M&A with the best execution) It’s probably not any better an idea, from Microsoft’s angle, though. Facebook is built on many of the same principles as Yahoo: a commitment to Open Source, Apache vs. Microsoft IIS, PHP vs. ASP, blah blah. Integrating Facebook would be just as clunky, just not as big a mouthful as Yahoo!.  Well, it’s really speculation at this point; we’ll see what comes.