Vote for Austin

Can I ask a small favor?  My internet famous brother-in-law Austin (>15,000,000 views on his Orabrush commercials) is in a competition for a job with Logitech and Google to introduce their new product, the "Logitech Revue with Google TV".

The competition ends tomorrow, so he needs your votes TODAY.  Click here to vote for him.


Pulse of the Nation

What the analysis of 300 million tweets over a 3 year period tells us about the mood of our nation.  Click here to explore.

  1. We're in the best mood early in the morning.  
  2. Our moods decline from morning until early afternoon, when it starts to pick up again.
  3. We're significantly happier on the weekends than on the weekdays.
  4. On weekdays, we're in the best mood on Fridays.
  5. The West coast is consistently in a better mood than the East coast.


Currently Reading: What the Dog Saw

I very much wish that Malcolm Gladwell wanted to be my new best friend.  I love everything he has written.


Currently Reading: The Lost Symbol

Continuing the rare departure from non-fiction:

Currently Reading: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Taking a rare break for some fiction.  Becky, Maddie, and Savanna have already read it (in fact I think the girls have each read it twice).  I figured I needed to keep up.  

I finished this yesterday.  Definitely adolescent lit.  I need to see the movie now to see how it compares.  The story seems very derivative of Harry Potter.  Percy is an awkward, famous boy about the same age as Harry who is sent to a magical school/camp, the pervasive use of the term "halfblood", he is effectively an orphan (although not really), Percy+Grover+Annabeth = Harry+Ron+Hermione, etc.


I want to be more like Bill Murray...an enigma...impossible to get a hold of

A couple of weeks ago I had an incident where I had 15 minutes to finalize a presentation before an important meeting, my office phone was ringing, my cell phone was ringing, I had email messages marked “urgent” piling up in my inbox, several instant message windows blinking at the bottom of my screen asking “Can you IM?”, and a person standing in my office doorway saying “Do you have a minute?”.  The situation was completely ridiculous.  

I want to be like Bill Murray: That same weekend I read this article while having my car’s oil changed.  Spectacular.  Read it.  Seriously.  It may infect your brain with possibilities like it has infected mine. 


Rules for Email

Seth Godin has a great list of email rules here.  I especially like rules 4, 5, & 6. 

Email checklist

Before you hit send on that next email, perhaps you should run down this list, just to be sure:
  1. Is it going to just one person? (If yes, jump to #10)
  2. Since it's going to a group, have I thought about who is on my list?
  3. Are they blind copied?
  4. Did every person on the list really and truly opt in? Not like sort of, but really ask for it?
  5. So that means that if I didn't send it to them, they'd complain about not getting it?
  6. See #5. If they wouldn't complain, take them off!
  7. That means, for example, that sending bulk email to a list of bloggers just cause they have blogs is not okay.
  8. Aside: the definition of permission marketing: Anticipated, personal and relevant messages delivered to people who actually want to get them. Nowhere does it say anything about you and your needs as a sender. Probably none of my business, but I'm just letting you know how I feel. (And how your prospects feel).
  9. Is the email from a real person? If it is, will hitting reply get a note back to that person? (if not, change it please).
  10. Have I corresponded with this person before?
  11. Really? They've written back? (if no, reconsider email).
  12. If it is a cold-call email, and I'm sure it's welcome, and I'm sure it's not spam, then don't apologize. If I need to apologize, then yes, it's spam, and I'll get the brand-hurt I deserve.
  13. Am I angry? (If so, save as draft and come back to the note in one hour).
  14. Could I do this note better with a phone call?
  15. Am I blind-ccing my boss? If so, what will happen if the recipient finds out?
  16. Is there anything in this email I don't want the attorney general, the media or my boss seeing? (If so, hit delete).
  17. Is any portion of the email in all caps? (If so, consider changing it.)
  18. Is it in black type at a normal size?
  19. Do I have my contact info at the bottom? (If not, consider adding it).
  20. Have I included the line, "Please save the planet. Don't print this email"? (If so, please delete the line and consider a job as a forest ranger or flight attendant).
  21. Could this email be shorter?
  22. Is there anyone copied on this email who could be left off the list?
  23. Have I attached any files that are very big? (If so, google something like 'send big files' and consider your options.)
  24. Have I attached any files that would work better in PDF format?
  25. Are there any :-) or other emoticons involved? (If so, reconsider).
  26. Am I forwarding someone else's mail? (If so, will they be happy when they find out?)
  27. Am I forwarding something about religion (mine or someone else's)? (If so, delete).
  28. Am I forwarding something about a virus or worldwide charity effort or other potential hoax? (If so, visit snopes and check to see if it's 'actually true).
  29. Did I hit 'reply all'? If so, am I glad I did? Does every person on the list need to see it?
  30. Am I quoting back the original text in a helpful way? (Sending an email that says, in its entirety, "yes," is not helpful).
  31. If this email is to someone like Seth, did I check to make sure I know the difference between its and it's? Just wondering.
  32. If this is a press release, am I really sure that the recipient is going to be delighted to get it? Or am I taking advantage of the asymmetrical nature of email--free to send, expensive investment of time to read or delete?
  33. Are there any little animated creatures in the footer of this email? Adorable kittens? Endangered species of any kind?
  34. Bonus: Is there a long legal disclaimer at the bottom of my email? Why?
  35. Bonus: Does the subject line make it easy to understand what's to come and likely it will get filed properly?
  36. If I had to pay 42 cents to send this email, would I?

Reply All

Reply All is a curse.  

I’m told that Ram Charam did a productivity study for GE…and the result was that they disabled the Reply All functionality from all the computers.  



The Idea Man

This guy looks funny.  This guy is really smart.