Monday, March 31, 2008

I remember Joe

Joe and the CapUntil last year, I always looked forward to April Fool's Day. I had a few doozies I'd pulled on people over the years, and got nailed by more than one prank myself.

This year, it's not going to be a fun day. This time last year, an insidious cancer called leiomyocarcoma (sucks that I don't have to spell check that) took away the closest thing I've ever had to a brother: Joe Murphy.

So it's an offline day for me and Sheila. I don't do death well. I don't do mourning well. But please don't feel bad for having fun with today. I know some of what's planned and look forward to reading all about how you fools were suckered in. I wish Sigler lots of luck on his big book launch today. Heck, I may even walk into a bookstore and take a peek. That's something Joe would do, and that's how I'll be spending the day. Doing things Joe would like.

I miss the big guy.

Comments are off on purpose. This is mine.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Getting to zero with a Bacn folder

One of the challenges of being a new media douchbag is that I (and probably you) get inundated with email. Friend requests, shouts, updates, Flicker notices, Netflix confirmations... it's out of control!

The name for all of this... stuff is now "bacn". Think of it as a form of spam, but spam that is residual, somewhat necessary and completely the result of you (read: ME) signing up for one (dozen) too many online services/cool things/time sinks. Rarely is any of it time sensitive. In fact, it's probably cluttering up your inbox and keeping you from getting to that elusive and fleeting ZERO.

So get rid of it. At least, get rid of it from showing in your inbox. Here's how.

If you use Gmail, follow these directions to the letter. If you use something else, figure out the spirit of what I'm saying and modify it to you own system's ability to "filter".

First, go to your overflowing inbox and identify your biggest source of bacn emails. Mine was Facebook, though Good Reads and Digg were coming in a close second. Click the email.

Next to the "Delete" button near the top, you'll see a pull down with the words "More Actions" displayed. Pull that down and choose "Filter messages like these". Gmail is smart enough to fill out some basic information that you may want to filter agains. Take a look to make sure it's got the correct info to recognize bacn versus legit email. You'll notice the list of "captured" mails based on your filter below.

Click Next Step to really get the magic working -- and to keep this crap from flooding your inbox. Select the following check boxes:

  • Skip the inbox (you're so going to like this)
  • Apply the label "bacn"
    • Yes, you'll have to create a new lable for this. You know how.

  • Also apply filter to ## conversations. (That'll make it work right now.)

I don't recommend marking it read, as leaving it unread allows the Bacn folder to cause a count of unread messages to display, helping you figure out when to go back and check before it asplodes.

Some people like to Star certain forms of Bacn, depending on the service. Your mileage may vary, but I'd leave it off.

Now hit Create Filter and watch your inbox shrink. Rinse and repeat as necessary to get your box in a manageable form. And don't feel compelled to clean this box out daily. I get to it about once a month. Yes, that means I often have over 400 pieces of bacn in there. So what? By definition, this stuff isn't time sensitive.

Give it a shot. Save you some time. And help with your sanity.

On zombies, praise and the Easter Chicken.

First, happy Zombie Day. Don't get offended. It's not like I'm walking around town with a clapboard. And you chose to come here, so you should be used to it by now.

Major props go out to JC Hutchins, the man, the myth, the fucker that owes me a beer for his unsolicited praise of me and my brother from another mother Chris Miller (who I get to meet for the first time ever in person in a few hours!). More snark, wit, sarcasm on the way, with a healthy dose of "thought-provoking" commentary coming. 'Cuz I've been growing more and more impatient as of late. Hell, could I be turning into Loren Feldman, a guy who is quickly becoming a personal hero of mine?

Discover some eggs for me, kids. That bunny ain't got nothin' on the Easter Chicken.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The cost of doing things right

In preparation for my post/lecture/rant "5 Reasons Why Your Podcast Sucks" (I'm working on it, promise), today's inspiration comes from Kent Nichols, one of the minds behind the wildly popular video podcast Ask A Ninja.

Ask A Ninja is one of the simplest show types to produce and just the hard costs of overhead (not paying either of us) is over $6k/episode.

Didja year that, kiddies? The costs of filming a single episode of Ask A Ninja is above six thousand dollars. That's right. A camera. Some lights. And 3 - 5 minutes of professionally produced and edited video costs over $6,000 to get out the door.

Guess which part is the most expensive? I'll give you a hint: it's the PROFESSIONAL part.

How much do you invest in the PROFESSIONAL part of your podcast -- audio or video?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Following along

Several folks called for me to clarify a tweet I made today:

I think your Following list says a lot about you and your relationship with Twitter. That's not a judgment call, just an observation.

My tweet was designed to cause you to look at your list and determine one thing: does the list of people you Follow meet with the way you want to use Twitter? The obvious question is "yes, that's why I do it that way", but I wonder. Personally, I can count at least three times that I've taken a hard look at how/why I use Twitter and made appropriate changes. And since the choice of who to follow is one of only three things1 you can change about Twitter, you should consider what your list of those you follow says about you.

To whom, you might ask? Well... to you. If you're on Twitter or some other 'social' site for another reason, then you've missed the point.

1. The other two are your "meta" data and the frequency/content of your tweets.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Markteing is for assholes

Seriously. Why bother posting anything to this website when Hugh MacLeod has all the insights?

So says a person guilty of being an asshole. But I'm trying to change. Not from being an asshole. Just from doing asshole marketing.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Maybe I'm a fanboy afterall?

Last weekend was incredibly busy. No, NJ didn't have a lot of hockey games. Yes, we finished up all the taxes stuff last week. Funny how people like me tend to fill up any available slots, huh?

The tone for the weekend was established Thursday evening, as The Lovely Wife and I shuffled off to a beer tasting event with Dale and Chris from the Oskar Blues brewery at Whole Foods in Chandler. I'm a fan of Dale's Pale Ale (always my "default" beer if nothing else strikes my fancy) and even us hop-juice fans enjoy the sweet taste of Old Chub from time to time. But I was blown-the-flock-away by Gordon. Sublime. And being one of the first people in AZ to actually drink a Ten Fidy was something special, to be sure.

The next evening, we dashed off to watch the Skirt Chaser 5K at Tempe Town Lake. Well, The Lovely Wife watched and photographed the race and the tunes afterwards. Me? I was there to drink more free beer. Yep, sponsored by Oskar Blues. And while I drank plenty of their free beer and ate some of the beer-butt chicken, I also managed to get volunteered to help out. Hey, take almost 1000 thirsty and hungry racers hot off the finish line looking for something to drink, add to the fact that these guys are letting me drink their beer for free: hell yeah I'm gonna help! (You can just see my left hand in the beer tub in the image to the left.)

After that... things got fuzzy. I'm pretty sure we went to watch NJ's hockey game. I vaguely recall dinner after that. But Saturday and Sunday were a blast, too. I'll talk about them once She's got the images up from those events. You can go about your business until that time. Move along.