Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Now This Is A Cool Zagat's Guide!

How about this for a handy pocket Zagat's Guide -- all the WIFI you can eat.

Are Geeks Chic?

Oh, come on. Everyone knows the answer to that!

CNBC is doing a piece this afternoon on it -- really hard to figure out.

Okay, here's the answer:

1. Chic is French for cool, sexy, hot, call it what you will;

2. To be chic you must be sexy;

3. The biggest sex organ is the brain;

4. Geeks got big big brains from what I've seen;

5. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, baby, ... yes ... yeah, sure, you can do it again;


All right, I'll go see if they come to the same conclusion.

HBR Case Study Synopsis -- Glove Girl

Getting ready to do a write-up about my presentation at BloggerCon at Harvard Law's Berkman Center on October 5th. Here's the brief abstract version of the piece I wrote which I'll be talking about. I'll be discussing a lot more than this, in fact.

As some of you may know, it has been posted in full text on the web elsewhere, although HBR asked that it NOT be posted. They did say I can post this executive summary below:

"It was five minutes before show time, and only 15 people had wandered into the conference room to hear Lancaster-Webb CEO Will Somerset introduce the company's latest line of surgical gloves. More important, sales prospect Samuel Taylor, medical director of the Houston Clinic, had failed to show. Will walked out of the ballroom to steady his nerves and noticed a spillover crowd down the hall. He made a "What's up?" gesture to Judy Chen, Lancaster-Webb's communications chief. She came over to him. "It's Glove Girl. You know, the blogger," Judy said, as if this explained anything. "I think she may have stolen your crowd." "Who is she?" Will asked. Glove Girl was a factory worker at Lancaster-Webb, whose always outspoken, often informative postings on her web log had developed quite a following. Will was new to the world of blogging, but he quickly learned about its power in a briefing with his staff. After Glove Girl had raved about Lancaster-Webb's older SteriTouch disposable gloves, orders had surged. More recently, though, Glove Girl had questioned the Houston Clinic's business practices, posting damaging information at her site about its rate of cesarean deliveries--to Sam Taylor's consternation. This fictional case study considers the question of whether a highly credible, but sometimes inaccurate and often indiscreet, online diarist is more of a liability than an asset to her employer. What, if anything, should Will do about Glove Girl? Four commentators--David Weinberger, author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined; Pamela Samuelson, a professor of law and information management at the University of California, Berkeley; Ray Ozzie, CEO and chairman of Groove Networks; and Erin Motameni, vice-president of human resources at EMC--offer expert advice. "

Dick And Bush!?

Wow, word comes from David Weinberger this morning ... after I characterized his blog as "solid and deeply thought-out" that there's lots of sexy stuff there, I just need to look more closely. Well, yes I guess he's right, try this -- he used the words dick and bush. Very hot.

More New Fun Please

I was thinking about blogs I read on a regular basis and why I return to visit them again and again. Many people have documented this, but weblogs that publish a lot of posts win out over those which are more modest in posting new content.

If the experience of reading a good weblog post is fun, consumers of such seem to be saying, "More new fun, please." A good blog is like the new pop song of the band who just had a monster hit. You want a new song, but you want it to be as hot and hummable and danceable as their last.

If I go back a number of times -- say 3 -- to see if there are new fun posts and there are not, I ususally move on to a blog that publishes more stuff. I want more new fun, more and more and more of it.

Even if there's not that much fun to a site but it's full of new content each time I visit, I want to go back again and again.

Blogs are developing brand experiences for sure. The best blogs deliver a predicable and familiar experience -- like Diet Coke -- you don't want to open a can and find Fresca inside. You want to have the consistency of a good brand, but new content as well.

You know when you go to Doc's blog you will be probably going on some great trip of his -- whether it be a Geek Cruise to Alaska or a trip to the roof with his son to look at the stars. You'll get into Linux, you'll learn about computers, you'll feel happy and content like Doc feels.

You know when you go to Rageboy's blog, you're likely to get some insanely funny, sexy, irreverant shit. That's why you go. He is especially disappointing when he hasn't been blogging on a regular basis, because when he's good when he's on it -- he's so damned good -- and when he's not around, it's a big drag.

With JOHO, you get a little more solid and deeply thought out stuff to engage your philosophical side, but laced with pretty amusing craziness every 4 or 5 posts.

When you go to Scripting, you expect funny anecdotes, industry goings on, a little crankiness, a little wisdom, a front row seat to the Blogosphere.

When you go to Gnome Girl, you get ... well, you know, indescribably delicious. Love you Chey!

Doc Is Having Quite An Adventure

Wow! Wish I were in Alaska with Doc to have drinks at that lovely hotel in Juneau. I'm fine, on the other hand, with missing the rough seas on the cruise ship he's on. Check out the picture of the swimming pool on board -- splish splash! Reminds me of what happens to the toilet during earthquakes when I used to live in California.

How Much Love Do We Need?

I was wandering around blogs here in my early morning fogginess -- it's like walking a wide empty silent beach of wonderful cool wet sand some mornings before dawn -- and all the questions, big and deep, can surface. Who made the ocean? Who made the sun? Why are we here? How do we give love? How do we receive it? How much love do we need? I skip a rock across the blog ocean -- it skips three pretty times across the waves, and comes to rest below the surface of a blog. Looks as if I've landed on some geek's blog who loves computers and just had a birthday, who is he anyway?

Reading a blog I've never read by a young man I'll probably never know. He describes his birthday, he's 34 and there is someone wonderful in his life named Erin who gets up early to make him waffles with strawberries and whipped cream and she gives him a shank router bit combo -- I don't know what the heck it is -- but Erin knew he really really wanted one. And I don't need to know much more than that to know this is a lucky man.

Wonderful to have people to care for -- Erin you're lucky too. And wonderful to be cared for. Wonderful to matter. Does it seem a small thing? It isn't. We build a web of context in our lives, sometimes very small with just a few people who wonder if you got in late at night, safe and sound and call to check. People to love you and miss you. We need that. If you do that for someone, don't underestimate how important that is. You've done something wonderful. You've answered my question -- how much love do we need? We all need a little and we all need a lot and we all need to give it to one another.

In his blog, this young man talks about his love of singing Latin. I love Latin too. Read what he says.
I miss singing latin in a way I don't miss German or Italian or French (especially French). Maybe it's the sonorities, or maybe it's the historical weight of knowing these words have been sung by millions for millennia, but there's a certain clarity when singing latin that calms the soul and smoothes the mind.
The only dead language that will live forever. Deservedly.

Click here for an MP3 of the song.

Ubi Caritas et Amor Deus ibi est
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus et amemus Deum vivum
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Ubi Caritas et Amor Deus ibi est.


Where charity and love are, there is God.
The love of Christ has brought us together into one.
Let us rejoice and be glad in that love itself.
Let us fear and love the living God and let us love from a pure heart.
Where charity and love are, there is God.

Happy Birthday Jason Young. Young, but not so young, and wise beyond your years.

Monday, September 15, 2003

September Honor Roll Blogger For Today -- Jean-Yves

Jean-Yves Stervinou -- who else?! He is just plain cool. Salut mon vieux! T'es chouette, JY!

And These Girls Are Very Bad Girls

Honestly, what are these girls staying up late doing prancing around in their panties at the Panty Shop. Don't they know this is the Internet?! You can't do those kinds of crazy things around here!

Remind Me Why They Call These Girls Angels

I think I've forgotten. They seem a little more devilish than angelic, if you ask me.

My Lucky Day

One of the luckiest things I ever did was decide to ditch work one day and watch Oprah. She had her book club pick on that day and I decided to read it for no good reason. In fact I was just starting my business and had every good reason to read a lot of other work-related books, not a novel. But I decided to go ahead and read Isabel Allende's Daughter of Fortune.

After I read it, I decided to write a letter to Oprah about how much I loved it -- because I really did -- and my mom always encouraged me to try everything -- my dad too. So I sat my butt down and wrote her a letter.

They got somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 letters. They invited 4 people on the show. I was one!!! I was so excited! I was working with authors, agents and publishers at the time and a number of them asked me what strings I pulled to get on the show -- NONE -- it really was sheer luck. And I've always been a good letter writer.

Here's my letter. My kid was just going into kindergarten around that time and boy was it a treat to be flown to Chicago from LA and have a two-day mom R&R break at the all-suites Omni Hotel in Chicago where Oprah puts all her guests!

And talk about someone who knows how to turn bad luck into good luck, read Isabel Allende's words here.

Lucky Bastards!

Yes, we're pretty darned lucky, ain't we?! I always feel lucky. Now there's a book to explain why. This is from Richard Wiseman's The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life, The Four Essential Principles.

1. Maximize Chance Opportunities

Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing, and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, which include building and maintaining a strong network, adopting a relaxed attitude to life, and being open to new experiences.

2. Listen to Your Lucky Hunches

Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. They also take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities -- for example, by meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.

3. Expect Good Fortune

Lucky people are certain that the future will be bright. Over time, that expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because it helps lucky people persist in the face of failure and positively shapes their interactions with other people.

4. Turn Bad Luck Into Good

Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, they don't dwell on the ill fortune, and they take control of the situation.

Just A Little Joke

Below I did a post about Dan Pink's review of Richard Wiseman's book The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life: The Four Essential Principles.

When Wiseman wasn't busy writing, he was searching for the world's funniest joke. According to Dan Pink in Fast Company, Wiseman tested 350,000 people for their reactions to 40,000 jokes. Here the winner:

"Two New Jersey hunters go hunting. After a while, one of the hunters clutches his throat and falls to the ground, his eyes roll back, and he's lying there motionless. The other one picks up a cell phone, dials 911, and says, "I think my friend is dead! I don't know what to do!" And the operator says, "Just relax. Calm down. The first thing to do is to make certain your friend is dead." There's a pause -- then a gunshot. And the hunter gets back on the phone and says, "Okay. Now what?"

Good Luck

Dan Pink wrote this fun piece about Richard Wiseman's book, The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life: The Four Essential Principles in Fast Company this July, which I never got a chance to read.

Read the quote below to give you an idea of what Wiseman came up with. BTW, I love this stuff because I'm such a lucky, upbeat, optimistic person -- I'm VERY biased on this subject.

"Wiseman's four principles turn out to be slightly more polished renditions of some of the self-help canon's greatest hits. One thing Wiseman discovered, for example, was that when things go awry, the lucky "turn bad luck into good" by seeing how they can squeeze some benefit from the misfortune. (Lemonade, anyone?) The lucky also "expect good fortune," which no doubt has Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking , grinning in his grave.

But if these insights aren't exactly groundbreaking, neither are they wrongheaded. For instance, Wiseman found that lucky people are particularly open to possibility. Why do some people always seem to find fortune? It's not dumb luck. Unlike everyone else, they see it. "Most people are just not open to what's around them," Wiseman says. "That's the key to it."

Here's the link to the whole interview with Wiseman, check it out.

I'm a terrible Pollyanna and have had bad things happen that I always seem able to put a good spin on -- it gets almost tedious for some people around me. Screw 'em! I see the good in most situations and almost always see the good in most people.

Listen to this funny experiment Richard Wiseman describes in the interview:

"We did an experiment. We asked subjects to flip through a news-paper that had photographs in it. All they had to do was count the number of photographs. That's it. Luck wasn't on their minds, just some silly task. They'd go through, and after about three pages, there'd be a massive half-page advert saying, STOP COUNTING. THERE ARE 43 PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS NEWSPAPER. It was next to a photo, so we knew they were looking at that area. A few pages later, there was another massive advert -- I mean, we're talking big -- that said, STOP COUNTING. TELL THE EXPERIMENTER YOU'VE SEEN THIS AND WIN 150 POUNDS [about $235].

For the most part, the unlucky would just flip past these things. Lucky people would flip through and laugh and say, "There are 43 photos. That's what it says. Do you want me to bother counting?" We'd say, "Yeah, carry on." They'd flip some more and say, "Do I get my 150 pounds?" Most of the unlucky people didn't notice."

What's Up With Work?

I remember reading Dan Pink's Free Agent Nation and also hearing Tom Peters speak about the evolution that was taking place with work and in particular white-collar jobs, circa 1999 and thinking they were getting a little ahead of themselves. They made you think there would be a phenomenal downturn and more and more people would be either out of work, or working on their own.

Boy were they right. And yes, the economy and 9/11 have had a lot to do with how many jobs have been lost, but now that we reconsider it, you might say they were being conservative!

So what have THEY been working on? Well, looks like both of them are about to publish new books. Tom Peters new book is almost out -- called Re-Imagine! -- and I can't wait to take a look at it, literally. Since it's published by those great VISUAL British publishers DK, it's bound to be gorgeous to look at as well as read. DK is short for Dorling Kindersley, and since they do great kids books, I always think of them as Darling Kindergarteners. But this will be a big grown-up book I'm sure.

And Dan Pink's doing a book called A Whole New Mind -- the Right Brain Revolution by Riverhead Press out in 2004.

Write, write, write, edit, edit, edit guys.

September Blogger's Honor Roll -- Today's Winner

Believe it or not this is getting tough because I've met SO MANY OF YOU GUYS. When I started this, I decided NOT to pick people I'd already met, so that meant a ton or so of bloggers were out of the race right away.

Meanwhile, I've thought of two or three I wanted to honor today and darned if they're not all away on vacation. Interesting fact, many bloggers seem to vacation in September -- a very good idea if you ask me, but it's messing me up since I try to pick bloggers who are at the ready -- at their desks or desktops -- to be honored.

All that said, today's winner is coming soon. Keep your eyes peeled.

Sorry J-Lo

Yes, it's true -- it was all Glove Girl's fault. She broke them up. Glove Girl was seen at the Ivy last night with Ben Affleck helping him drown his sorrows. You know he's a Boston boy ... it was inevitable. He likes girls from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts like Glove Girl. No contest. Come on, J-Lo, you saw Good Will Hunting, you can take the boy out of Boston, but you can't take the "Bahston" out of the boy.

Rainy Monday

Yeah, right, great idea. What genius came up with that concept?

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Blogfather Says, Leave The Guns, Take The Cannoli

Rageboy is talking about Blogfodder today, but I gotta wonder ... is he the Blogfather? Do I have to kiss his ring? He's doing cool stuff over there at his fishy weblog.

Sunday Afternoon Papers, Coffee, Tea, Movies, Rain

Nice day to do nothing and nothing much to do. Weather's funky, papers are thick, tea is good -- black and green -- also coffee in blue willowware cups, Chinese people walking about under weeping trees and rain to keep us straying too far from home.

I'll look for a movie on the 532 cable channels I have and never watch. Might even find one that's just starting, instead of watching the movie from the middle to the end and then the beginning to the middle. Later when people ask if I've seen it, my face gets wrinkly, "Well ..." I say, "yes," all the time knowing I watched it inside out.

Some days like this I feel just like a grown-up -- kindof modern, mysterious, mature -- at least for a few minutes. And then I feel like I always feel -- about age 12, ready for another adventure, not sure what's coming my way, full of spit and vinegar, tempting fate, laughing at most everything and everyone.

You know, I really sound like this in my own head. Weird, eh?

Saturday, September 13, 2003

How To Ruin A Perfectly Good Salesforce in 10 Easy Steps

You know me, I can't resist writing "How To" books. So here's my new one and I expect it to be as lively as my Alpha Male treatise. Full of laughs, full of sex, full of tears. I've been in sales and marketing for a long time -- as a salesman -- not as a sales manager -- and I've always found it fascinating that salespeople are mismanaged so expertly.

We are treated so poorly on such a consistent basis -- you have to wonder if they are consulting a manual on how to destroy a sales team. I've searched high and low for such a diabolical book -- none exists -- so I've decided to write it myself.

To be fair, I've had some terrific sales training, sales managers and worked in great sales organizations. Everything is going along just wonderfully in these hallowed halls of American business and then all of a sudden, they decide to make a few IMPROVEMENTS and that's when it all falls apart.

Appearing here soon: Step 1: Focus Group

Is There Anything You Can't Find On The Web?

I don't even know how I ended up surfing over to this site, but it reminds me again and again of how vast the Web is and how strange. Is there anything you can't find on the web? This is a tour of the Cape Cod Potato Chips factory.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Consumer Confidence Suddenly Soars

Wait a minute, I guess I read that headline a little too quickly. I'm afraid I'm a glass-and-a-half full girl. Just always been that way. I'm in a really good mood today, figure everyone else is too.

Johnny Cash Singing Tennessee Flat Top Box

So sorry to see him go. Here's one of my favorites.

In a little cabaret in a South Texas border town,
Sat a boy and his guitar, and the people came from all around.
And all the girls from there to Austin,
Were slippin' away from home and puttin' jewelery in hock.
To take the trip, to go and listen,
To the little dark-haired boy who played the Tennessee flat top box.

And he would play: (Instrumental.)

Well, he couldn't ride or wrangle, and he never cared to make a dime.
But give him his guitar, and he'd be happy all the time.
And all the girls from nine to ninety,
Were snapping fingers, tapping toes, and begging him: "Don't stop."
And hypnotized and fascinated,
By the little dark-haired boy who played the Tennessee flat top box.

And he would play: (Instrumental.)

Then one day he was gone, and no one ever saw him 'round,
He'd vanished like the breeze, they forgot him in the little town.
But all the girls still dreamed about him.
And hung around the cabaret until the doors were locked.
And then one day on the Hit Parade,
Was a little dark-haired boy who played the Tennessee flat top box.

And he would play: (Instrumental.)

Thursday, September 11, 2003

You Better Read This

Michael Wilson blogged being there that day and escaping. It's incredible to read. Even better is the aftermath, the path his life has taken, how he answered the "Get A Life" call, loud and clear.
Now, down below the 30th floor, the firemen were in the individual floors with their pokes, prying apart vending machines to get at something to drink. There were also firemen just dropping bottles of water on the way up the stairs because they were just too damn heavy. Promptly someone would pick them up and offer drinks to the others until the bottle was empty or accepted in it's entirety.

My heart began to sink and I became heavy with guilt as the "rescue workers" (as is now apparently the polite euphemism) went up the stairs to do whatever they possibly could. Not knowing what that even might be. A part of me, a big part of me, wishes I could remember more if not all of those faces. I didn't know it at the time; that they were climbing to their deaths. It was a couple days before I had another thought about that... They may have known full well.

See, I've waited too long to pen this account. But it is only now I can keep my head clear and eyes dry enough to get a significant amount of words out on paper.

In the mid-20s, the flow of firemen became fairly consistent. People stayed to the outside edge of the stairwell by default now as best they could. Descent was extremely slow, taking a couple minutes at each floor. It was here I believe a number of people switched to stairwells. Some advantage seemed apparent to them. I didn't find the going quite that slow, and frankly I wasn't that bothered.

On 22 was where they were all congregating. They were stopping on the way up for a breather, and going up in shifts of 8 or 10. All of them had radios and they were referring to each other by what company they came from. It did me some good to see them resting. They were human after all, and after what I'd seen already, I was beginning to wonder about that.

Please Try To Remember The First of Octember!

This is the Dr. Seuss book we're reading tonight. It's cool. Perfect for today.

Wesley Clark Very Close

AP has a headline tonight that comes awfully close to saying Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark is IN. I guess it needs to be official, but it sure looks like it's about to happen. Very exciting.

September Honor Roll Winner REPEAT -- Jeneane

Jeneane's right, her honor roll day got preempted with all the 9/11 sad stuff, so I'm giving her another day. She's too good to get lost in the sauce!

Jeneane -- love what you said about giving the old mainstream media this kind of day to cover -- they're best at sensation stories built on tons of old footage, you're right.

Jim Moore on False Gods

Make sure to check this out. Very interesting. And I know you've already read this, right?

It Took Us So Much Longer To Get Back

Wandering through the blogs of Fall 2001, I am struck by many things I'd forgotten. First, just as I had experienced after earthquakes when I lived in LA, it takes a long time to get back to feeling anything like "safe" -- there are so many aftershocks. Reading pages from 9/11, I want to warn the characters in the drama about that crazy autumn they were about to live through and what we all had in store.

About the anthrax craziness. About the weirdly warm, warm, beautiful East Coast weather that kept going on and on, if you remember, just a fluke, until nearly December. I remember it, because my dad fell and broke his hip on December 2 in his driveway, which was not at all cold, icy or difficult to navigate. I remember all of us in my family commenting on that -- how could he slip and fall and hurt himself so badly, when simply shuffling out to get the mail on a very warm December day with a perfectly clean driveway. This fall was the beginning of the end and he left in an ambulance that day, never to be back in his house.

I was at my son's school on September 11th with 5 other moms planning a nature program called "The Big Backyard" where parent volunteers took classes out to study the woods around the school. We were in the cafeteria and we overheard the bilingual cooks getting all crazy about something that had happened in New York. We got a really confusing report in half English and then one of the moms went to the school office to find out the real story. As Bill Seitz said below ... it really was surreal.

The weather was stellar that day. Just beautiful. About a week later there was an equally beautiful day and I remember waking up, looking at the lovely weather, feeling happy for a few nanoseconds and then a rush of fear went through me -- gorgeous September weather and danger had some how bonded in my mind. Autumn leaves and terror all mixed up in my mind.

That year, I remember feeling the fall lasted for about 5 years and then finally it was Christmas. I prayed for winter. Finally it came and you could hide under a blanket of snow and maybe feel safe for a minute. I remember thinking, "We made it to Christmas, Thank God." We really didn't know what was in store next. I felt I gasped in September and only let out my breath towards the end of December.

Some Pages

You might want to revisit this -- two years ago today -- and maybe this, and probably this ... "It's surreal ... like a a mediocre science fiction movie."

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

September Honor Roll Best Blogger -- Jeneane Sessum @ Allied

Talk about overlooking the obvious! I've known Jeneane so long, it seemed impossible, until I really thought about it, that we had NOT met. But it's true -- we haven't met and that means she's fair game for naming Best Blogger today.

I'll post a bunch of great stuff of hers tomorrow. There's so much to point to and I'm really tired.

Jeneane -- you're the best.

Yes, Chris Pirillo Does Have World's Biggest Penis

He tells us that he has "a penis that stretches from here to the middle of Nebraska, which will remain unwaveringly rigid for 218.3 years," but on further reading ... oh, I get it ... he has the world's biggest spam problem. Don't miss the post.

[Editor's Note: Gretchen, honestly, I have no factual data to support this headline. Trust me. I just could not resist posting it.]

Doc Searls Hosts J-Lo Ben Wedding

Come on Doc -- we know they're getting married at your estate in Santa Barbara -- you don't think we're falling for this Geek Cruise cover-up do you? How dumb do you think we are?!

I've even read the text for the ceremony you drafted, "Now Dearly Beloveds, join me in reminding Ben and Jennifer that marriages are conversations."

Frankfurter Buchmesse

Another fun conference going on in October. Check it out.

Harvard Training Film For BloggerCon Attendees

Okay, it's so UNCOOL to get lost in Harvard Yard. Here's a virtual training film site for you. Please start practicing in advance of BloggerCon. Especially you hicks from New Haven.

BloggerCon Blowout

Okay, let me get this straight. Nearly everyone you've ever heard of in The Blogosphere will be at BloggerCon. Imagine the scene -- Dave Winer, Adam Curry, Rageboy, Joi Ito, Gnome Girl, Mena Trott, Ben Trott, Anil Dash, AKMA (praying for all our sorry souls) and now the politico-bloggers ... whoa ... Dean's man -- Matt Gross, the others soon to fall in line and if that weren't enough ... Glenn Reynolds, Doc Searls, David Weinberger, Joshua Marshall, Scott Rosenberg, Elizabeth Spiers, Jim Moore, Susan Mernit, Brian Weatherson, Patrick Delaney, Kaye Trammell, Scott Heiferman, A.K.M. Adam, Jon Udell. And that's just the beginning of the list ...

Cory Book

Don't miss new excellent super cool A+ Cory book hot off the e-presses and regular presses. Dead-tree version, as he calls it, available for paper and metal currency. How could it be anything but great with Bruce Sterling riding up front in the passenger seat?

I Need $87 Billion For My New Urban Camo Foundation

I forgot to mention. I need $87 Billion for my new Urban Camo Foundation. Or should I say foundations? At a mere $26.99, that means I could get ... well, you do the math ... at least three or four sets. Enough to keep me warm all winter.

BTW, isn't this post pure Rageboy? I just found out he'll be in Boston for BloggerCon on Oct 4-5 so I need the money even sooner. Gotta have the right outfit.

O Big Old Moon O My

I'm still dizzy and giddy over my new eye. My cataract surgery was only two weeks ago and there are still so many amazing things to see.

Last night the moon was either full or almost full and O me O my it's a beautiful thing. It used to look like a smudgy old sugar cookie rolling around up there in the sky, nothing much to look at. But now with my new eye, it shines so bright and silvery up there -- round and pretty like shiny money, all I can say is WOW. I was politely pretending to listen to all these wonderful brilliant folks I met at Harvard last night, but I was most decidedly falling in love with that big old moon way above all their heads.

He has that funny face and now with my new peepers, he is so flirty and funny and cute -- I could have sworn he winked at me.

I Need $87 Billion For Back-To-School Shopping

Please remit. I know I spent $80 Billion in the spring for new sneakers, size 3, two fuzzy polartec jackets, boy's size medium and a new box of Crayola magic markers, but my troops need supplies. Surely another $87 Billion isn't asking too much.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Great Joi Day

It was a lovely day in Boston. Fun to meet up with Joi Ito as he made his way from Geneva to Barcelona to Menorca to Boston and off to points unknown tomorrow. Never enough time to talk or see things or tell stories or anything. I did give him a new rock though, and right in the nick of time, as I understood he LOST his other rock.

We had a nice lunch at Legal Seafoods, then he and I were off to other business to attend to, met back up at The Charles Hotel in Harvard Square with Tom Stewart, the editor of Harvard Business Review. After this it was across Harvard Yard to the law school and The Berkman Center. We ran into John Palfrey outside, who helped us dodge bullets as we arrived way too late for the meeting. Dave Winer wasn't too upset with our tardiness, thank goodness. Others were there to welcome Joi, including Jim Moore, Andrew McLaughlin, Chris Lydon, Andrew Grumet, Tracy Adams, Wendy Koslow, Andrew McLaughlin, Michael Feldman and Diane Cabell. (I'll fix this tomorrow.) Fun discussing BloggerCon -- especially the Day 2/Sunday schedule -- since that day is free and open to all comers.

Joi, as usual, blew my mind with technology -- moblogging as we spoke. There has to be a new type of blogging that you do BEFORE the fact. It's gotten way beyond realtime now.

Glove Girl Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Not sure how to think about this ... you remember the piece I wrote for Harvard Business Review about blogging starring Glove Girl? Well, since they are kinda into paid content over there, I really couldn't post the full text for free on my site ... actually they didn't really come right out and SAY that ... but I know that's the way it goes and I respect their choice.

However, another eager blogger has posted the full text of the piece for all to read today. Do I point to it? Do I point to the paid content over at HBR instead?

Well, I'll leave it all alone, but mention I'll be "Glove Girl" at BloggerCon on October 5th. Check it out.

Lucky Girls

Lucky Girls -- a collection of stories by Nell Freudenberger -- looks good. Can't wait to read it.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Don't miss these interviews by Christopher Lydon. They are better than radio, better than audio, better than TV, better than newsprint, they need a new name ... maybe Lydonatronics?

She's Not There

You've probably seen a number of interviews with Jennifer Finney Boylan who just wrote the book She's Not There: A Life In Two Genders. Jennifer used to be a man and became a woman. I haven't read it, but it looks like a terrific book.

In a recent interview ... and I can't recall where I saw it and will have to try to dig it up ... maybe ELLE Magazine, she discussed the issue of confidence. She talked about her life before as a man and how most men feel getting dressed and out the door in the morning or to a party -- essentially rather confident no matter how they look, whether fat, thin, handsome, not so handsome, they have a certain amount of entitlement and confidence that she felt women often lacked. The comment haunted me. I know as a woman how true it is. I'm a fairly confident woman, but it's only been in the last few years that I ever felt that way and I still have meltdowns of insecurity or "I look fat, I don't want to go out," or just enough self-doubt to give up on some endeavor.

She has a unique authority as someone who literally WAS a man and is NOW a woman. Honestly, when I think back to my 20's and how lacking in confidence I was ... I can't help wonder what contributions women would make to our world if they could grapple with this early on in their lives. What a waste, to lack confidence and doubt yourself into a true second-class citizenship of settling for less in life.

Monday, September 08, 2003

I Need $87 Billion To End The War Of The Sexes

No one is better prepared to end terror between men and women than me. I have a plan. I know how to execute. I only need $87 billion or so to accomplish my goals. You will all sleep better as a result of my plan. You will stop sleeping alone. You will sleep like a baby with a willing partner who knows how to make you rest at ease. It's the American thing to do. It's a small price to pay. I'm adding PayPal to my site soon to help me accomplish this. No one should sleep alone -- very unhealthy, very risky. It's time we faced this crisis head on.

End of Big PR -- Jeneane Nails It

Jeneane Sessum used to work for Ketchum PR and you better read what she has to say about the PR business. She is so right on:
Even the largest of companies are growing tired of BigPR staffing projects with fresh-out-of-college, inexperienced, lower-level people (that is the only category of PR flacks large agencies can afford to keep only partially billable, you see), yet charging as if they were staffing the project with brain surgeons--or attorneys.

It's common for BigPR to bill out an assistant account executive--which is the administrative assistant of PRville--at $120 to $140 an hour. VP's are billing out at nearly $200 an hour, and SVPs commonly around $250 or more per hour.

You tell me.... Why would anyone pay it in a tight economy when they can get smart, senior level people out on their own for around $100 an hour.

September Honor Roll Winner -- Watkins Best Blogger for Today

We were all waiting, watching, wondering if a professor from Harvard Business School might take the plunge and start a weblog. We wanted to get inside there and learn a few things about business.

Little did we expect to hit such a goldmine.

When Michael Watkins started a weblog, we got an associate professor from Harvard Business School who just happens to be a former associate professor from Harvard 's Kennedy School of Government, who also happens to have a degree in Electrical Engineering and also happens to have a Phd from Harvard in something called Decision Science. But that wasn't enough, he's also did graduate work in law and business. How does he have time to tie his crimson tie so adroitly? With all those credentials, I hope to hell he doesn't know how to cook. I'd really hate his guts then.

He writes about World Events On The Weekdays and I suspect, solves world hunger on the weekends.

He's my September Honor Roll Winner for today -- hell, he might be my winner for the week with that much cranial activity going down.

Thanks to John Palfrey for the link.

BTW, What Happens When You Die?

We've answered most of the big questions. But, btw, what happens when you die? Hasn't anybody figured that out yet? I'd really like to know. Send me a link if you find the answer. Get back to me on that.

I Just Hate That Warren Zevon Died

I wish these kindof things didn't have to happen. So sad. Thank you Instapundit for the links. When someone cool and not so old dies, especially someone creative who takes all their creativity with them, it's just the saddest thing. Makes you start to believe we might ALL go one of these days. And that can't possibly be true, can it?

Harvard Law Hosts Glove Girl

Yes, I'll be presenting Glove Girl at Harvard Law School. She's jumping off the page and into the classroom. Despite the legal issues of having a blogger in your midst, or worse, on your payroll, I still think the underlying problem of having a blogger in your company is the BIG BRAND BATTLE it can ignite. If there's one thing a company doesn't want, it's a brand war between the CEO of Acme and the slightly more cool and famous ACMEGIRL! Brand envy is a terrible thing to witness.

Joi's Rest Cure

Always glad to hear my pal is taking it easy. Hope Menorca was relaxing and restorative. Boston's booming and you'll be busy tomorrow.

Be All That You Can Be

To be or not to be Jean-Louis Gassee hardly seems to matter in the end. So someone tell me, who ends up with the $23 Million -- it's not clear? Dis donc! I think we need a Palm reader to figure out the future here.

Whoops -- Thank God For Lawyers

I stand corrected. That fish is not litigious, possibly delicious however.

"I'm assuming that the 'plaintiff cry of love lost' was actually meant to be plaintive? As in 'sad and mournful' instead of 'a person who brings a case against another in a court of law?' Or do you think that Alpha Mac will sue?

Your amused law-blogger and reader,

Anthony Rickey

Thanks Anthonny, I mean Antiny, I mean Anthony.

Alpha Mackerel

Alpha Mackerel is talking to pretty girls again over at Rageboy's blog. I know WHO he's talking to. He's talking to Donna Wentworth. He's got his fins all in a flap because she just got married. I guess the fish was trying to woo her -- told her she looked like Laura Dern (which she does) -- but the other guy won out after all.

Alpha Mac asks, in the plaintiff cry of love lost, ("what's he got that I ain't got?!") -- DOES HE HAVE SCALES, THIS GUY? CAN HE BREATHE UNDERWATER?

Sunday, September 07, 2003

There Are Places I Remember

Rageboy's Talking Fish is singing "In My LIfe" this morning. There are fish faces I remember, some have gone and some remain.

Speaking of Rageboy -- Just Ask Frank

Back to our hero, Frank Paynter. I picked him as September Honor Roll Winner because he's done some terrific interviews over at Sandhill Trek, his cool blog. In fact, he's probably got the best interviews of Rageboy around so don't miss them. Rumor has it they will both be at BloggerCon.

Glove Girl Stop Bending Over

Boy, you give a guy a plug -- yes, I mentioned in the HBR piece that the CEO of the fictional company really needed to read Rageboy's Gonzo Marketing -- and whattya get? Well, a photoshop kick in the ass, that's what you get. I can't be mad ... per usual it's funny as shit, although I don't know if I like being the butt of the joke, so to speak. The oblique reference to Dave Winer is about BloggerCon where he's asked me to lead a session on business and blogs ... but he can tell you more about that. Yes, I'll be in a pale lemon cocktail dress with green surgical gloves on, isn't that what everyone cool is wearing to BloggerCon?!?

Glove Girl Take Another Bow

Over at Combustible Boy, CB has written a synopsis of the Glove Girl case from Harvard Business Review that I wrote which was mighty kind of him as HBR Online's site does not make the full text available for free, only for fee. I tried to make the attractive blogger (but impossible employee) Glove Girl nothing but trouble and then give my four commentators lots to disagree about. I think they were rather kind to her. I would have fired her ass.

Glove Girl Take A Bow

A number of folks have read the Harvard Business Review piece I penned and have commented on it. Over at MBA Experience, you might like to read this about the "hack fiction" I wrote. :) I think there's a lot good here written by Mr. MBA Experience, aka Martin Lloyd who's getting an MBA at Oxford.

So I Found $50 Cash At Target Yesterday

And as I mentioned, it was all folded up like it had been in a kid's pocket and they had left it on the shelf while they were trying on winter boots. Yes, we're already buying winter boots here in Boston for our kids. If you're smart, you get them early. They get bought up so fast around here, if you don't get them soon, by October you won't be able to find any.

So my son and I looked at the money and he said, "What do we do Mom?"

And I said, "Well, it's not ours, that's for sure."

I could see video game titles were already flashing across his mind, as well as a million other worthwhile projects he could spent fifty bucks on.

"So," I said, "We give it to her and tell her we found it."

I pointed to the Target saleswoman down the aisle.

He looked a little deflated.

"But she'll probably just keep it," he protested.

"Maybe," I said, "But maybe some kid like you and his mom will come to her and say they lost fifty bucks in the boot aisle and then they'll get it back."

"I guess so," he said.

"How would you feel if you were that kid -- maybe it's his allowance and he saved it to spend on Legos and his mom made him stop and try on boots first and he put it down there by accident," I said.

"I guess so," he said. "I'd feel really really good if I got it back."

"Yup," I said. So we took it over to the saleswoman who looked mightily surprised to have a customer hand her fifty bucks, but also happy to know people still do such things.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

I Found $50 Cash At Target Today

I'll tell you about it in a minute. Gotta tuck my kid into bed -- I do it on the dot at 9:00pm most nights -- and sing to him. He's usually out by 9:15.

The cash was neatly folded up like it had been in a kid's pocket, not a mom's wallet. Two twenties, a five, five ones. It was on a shelf, next to a pair of little boy's size 3 snow boots in the shoe department.

Frankly, Frank -- September Honor Roll Honoree Today

For some reason or another, I thought I had already MET Frank Paynter. I think we all feel that way about Frank. And so I was quick to tell him "oh, so sorry" that I can't pick him as a September Honor Roll Winner for that reason ... until I realized I actually had NOT met him! I could hardly believe it but I really hadn't met him. I even thought I'd slept with him, you know how these things go, but I hadn't done that either. I mean, if I hadn't met him .... I couldn't have possibly ... could I have? ... well, you get the drift. [Note to self: Gotta make sure to write those names down on a little list for reference ... just kidding, just kidding.]

Anyway, I was so glad I was mistaken ... I mean ... that I hadn't MET Frank, because frankly, he's terrific and I think if you haven't been visiting Frank -- you should. More links to follow.

Friday, September 05, 2003


Heading out to do some stuff. Won't be back til later. Have fun today.

Classic Weinberger Today

David's sounding very typically David today. Don't miss: Why Bruce Springsteen should not be made the skipper of a nuclear sub.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

September Honor Roll Winner For Today

No brainer.

Andrew Sullivan.

Elect That Man

Or Woman, if you don't mind. Just turned off the radio after listening to Tom Ashbrook's program On Point talking about this wide and wild field of Democratic hopefuls and I know who I'm voting for. I'm voting for Eli.

You don't know Eli? Well, he was a guy from Ann Arbor (I think?) who called in to the radio show to set them all straight. He's a guy who gets it -- he's got my vote. He explained to all the pundits who were taken with the idea that Dean is some radical left-wing politician that first of all when he goes to a Dean event, as a dad of two kids, he doesn't see radical anti-war protesters, he sees regular folks. He sees lots of different kinds of people. He sees US. He sees US RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT ... and he sees that Dean gets that this election is about us. We -- regular people -- are going to win this election. We're making it about US.

Here's what Eli didn't say, but I'll bet he "gets" and I'd love to talk to him about. He sees the last election stolen from the people. Who stole it? Obviously if you start with HOW the President was elected the insiders stole it -- how much more inside can you get than The Supreme Court? Who else stole it -- oil millionaires -- nice work if you can get it. Who else stole it -- the delightful folks who live inside the BELTWAY -- hate that expression. Who else stole the election -- the oh-so-boring-way-too-INSIDE-political media pundits. Boring, boring, boring. Who said they are allowed to call this horse race?

I've written about it before. We all got schnookered. We all got taken. The last election was the last election run BY THEM. Why are bloggers so excited about this election? Just like everything else in Blogland -- we are finally getting to hear the voices of real people. We are finally getting heard. Bush has created a country of HAVES and HAVE-NOTS, based on an arrogant media and elite of KNOW and KNOW-NOTS. They think they KNOW everything and we know nothing. Bloggers say, "Hey wait a minute, maybe we DO know something."

We are winning this election. We are winning this country. We want it back. We may be naive but Eli and I actually think we have a right to vote ... we read something somewhere that said we were allowed to have an opinion and even a vote. We want it back. Who's the election belong to? It belongs to us. US -- us guys who have no jobs and are paying frigging $1000/month for COBRA if we can even get it, because all of us are out of work or know someone who is and it's frightening.

So who's going to take the field? The guy who understands WE want to win this election. Right now that guy is DEAN, but I don't know if he can make it all the way. We must have someone who can make it all the way. What was that political jingle you used to hear, it's gone out of fashion, but it went something like ... of the people, by the people ... I'm sure you've heard it once or twice. Who's going to take the field? We are. Us regular guys. Mothers. Divorced people. Out of work people. Union people whose unions have been almost decimated. Parents with kids -- baby boys and baby girls -- in Iraq who are sitting ducks. Our soldiers are Vietnam wannabees without the pot to ease the pain and without the rock and roll to make it through the night and with a great chance being dead before anyone casts a vote -- that's an absentee ballot George Bush does NOT want to open -- one with the box checked off in blood from a guy who didn't last as long as the postage on the front.

Alpha Male Coming To A Theatre Near You

Wait! Don't get too excited. It's not a movie ... yet! But I just finished my book proposal for the book How To Become An Alpha Male In 18 Easy Lessons and shipped it off to my agent. It's full of sex and lingerie and fancy dinners and cool cars and bacon, even a little death, just to spice things up and I think it would make the greatest movie. I hope my agent is ready to sell the thing to some publisher with a pile of money burning a hole in their pocket.

Bacon?! I know you're wondering. I have a friend who says everything's better with bacon. So I've added bacon to every chapter.

Not The Kindof High School I Remember

One reason, among others, that I picked Zach Hale as my honored blogger is I got rather hooked reading his blogged descriptions of what he does at high school. He's taking a class in Cisco Networking !! Sure wasn't the kind of thing I remember taking in high school. When he's not doing that, he's taking AP (Advanced Placement) Statistics. Wow! Are all high schools in Washington state like this? Who's the principal of the school? Bill Gates?

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

September Honor Roll -- Zach Hale @ Wayblur

Zach's a senior in high school in Lake Stevens , Washington. His blog called Wayblur is way cool. He's my September 3 Best of the Bloggers Honor Roll winner. Why? Because he told me his blog was cool and asked me to nominate him. Nominated and now officially stamped with the Halley Good Housekeeping Seal of Blog Approval. Way to go Wayblur. I love people who ASK for things.

Hey Kevin Marks

Hey Buddy, just sent you an email to your old address @mac.com -- is that correct? Wanted to do some JOB ANGEL stuff with you if you've got the time. Email me if you don't get the one I sent. Got a good idea.

Ole Points Me To Comet Halley

Thanks Ole, isn't it weird that I have this new super improved eyesight and so do the folks looking for faint transneptunian objects ... and suddenly they catch a peek of Comet Halley?! I can't help thinking the events are related. Thanks for the link. (Don't like the suggestion I have a hard icy core however, nor the idea that I'm a dirty snowball. Still, don't I look vibrant in bright light with that electric blue background?)

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Vogue Not For Light-Weights

Yes, everyone's been commenting on this new issue of Vogue Magazine which is about the size of the Boston phone book and weighs twice that. I took it off to Vermont this weekend and nearly had to pay an extra trucking tax at the state line as the car was so weighed down.

Don't miss Kottke and Gawker on the subject today:
KOTTKE: Meg's issue of Vogue arrived today and I about got a hernia carrying it up the stairs. The damn thing is more than an inch think and weighs about 5 pounds.

GAWKER: It's official. Vogue can now be measured by weight. Currently a stunning 4 pounds and 8 ounces, the magazine is now heavy enough for multi-tasking fashionistas to do little bicep curls while they treadmill.

Don't miss the Victoria's Secret ad with the lacy black boycut panties featuring a pink ribbon that zig zigs from the waistline down the girl's behind like a corset string tied demurely at the place a bunny tail might be found. What do you wear with such a pair of panties? well, you go topless, of course, but be sure to bring along your pink mink stole if it gets breezy. And don't you love their 404 girl in the black panties, black push-up bra and black laptop? This is, of course, what I always wear when debugging, downloading or playing with a hard drive.

Adam Curry -- September 2 Blogger Honor Roll Winner

Adam is a terrific blogger, and I recommend that everyone keep up with his blog. But the really important gem on his site is an essay he wrote in May of 2002. I'm STILL thinking about it.

It's called The Big Lie, and it addresses transparency, the media and blogging. I think it's worth revisiting, or if you've never read it, go read it right away. Although it takes events in Dutch politics as a jumping off point, which many Americans will find confusing (shame on our American-centric political naivete), I think it will prove prescient when it comes to our current political situation in America and the role blogs will play in the future. Listen to this:

"There Are No Secrets

This has been the tagline of my weblog for years.

Now that the internet has empowered any man or woman to have a voice, the truth can be found.


Our task here is to ensure the truth remains openly exposed.

We have the tools to do this. "

Of course the tools he's referring to, are weblogs.

I See What You Mean

This piece appeared in the Guardian last week -- the day after I had eye surgery -- about a blind man who regained his sight. It's wonderful to read. My experience doesn't even come close, but we share an appreciation for how beautiful this world can be.

Andrew Sullivan Back And Not Mincing Words

I hated Andrew Sullivan taking a blogging hiatus this summer, but you can tell the guy needed a break. He's back and "Wow!" is all I can say.
"So far, I've been manfully trying to give the administration the benefit of the doubt, especially given the media's relentlessly negative coverage of Iraq. But they're beginning to lose me, for the same reasons they're losing Dan Drezner. They don't seem to grasp the absolutely vital necessity of success in Iraq. And I can't believe I'm writing that sentence."
When Sullivan gets fed up with Bush -- well, then you know something's not quite right in this world.

Gawker So Darned Good

Another non-winner in the Best of the Blogs Honor Roll, only because I already met Elizabeth Spiers last June at the Jupiter Weblogs Conference and I'm not nominating anyone I have already met. But here's an interesting piece about shake-ups in the men's magazine arena. I like what she's got to say.

Gephardt in NH Yesterday

CSPAN just covered Dick Gephardt's speech yesterday in a New Hampshire backyard. Wish I'd been there. It was terrific. I like him.

They covered all the casual conversations AFTER the speech as well, as Gephardt got down from the porch and wandered around the yard, meeting the local New Hampshire folks and answering their questions as a cook-out was going on. That was particularly interesting. Here's his site.

September Best Bloggers Honor Roll -- Today's Winner

I won't post it until later. Make sure to check out Dervala -- yesterday's winner -- if you haven't already. I'll give you a hint in the meantime. Animal/Vegetable/Mineral -- Animal. Person/Place/Thing -- Person . Male/Female -- Male. Mono-lingual/Bi-lingual/Multi-lingual -- He's definately Bi, probably Multi. Feel free to guess. I won't post it until about 9PM EST.

Goldhaber Blog

New blog I just noticed. Cool. Hey, Michael, welcome to Blogaria! (Editor's note, sorry I can't put you in my September Honor Roll yet as I haven't really gotten a chance to read you in much depth.) Blog on, Man!

Isn't Your Face Supposed To Look Like Mount Rushmore AFTER You're President?

There's something about John Kerry's terrific chiseled good looks that suggest he's ALREADY president. Looks like he's already part of Mt. Rushmore. Looks like he's already on a dime, or maybe a quarter, or maybe a shiny new half dollar. The story is already over.

There's something about his wife looking so good. She just looks too good. She needs a Pat Nixon cloth coat make-over.

There's something about American politics that makes you want to support the underdog. You want to watch a hero story in action -- a story of the guy who's a ZERO in the beginning and fights his way to HERO by the end. You want a guy who looks like he could lose and you can help him win by cheering him on. Kerry doesn't look like he needs our help. I'm not sure why.

Listening To John Kerry On CSPAN

Kerry's announced that he'll run for president. Yesterday on vacation in Vermont on the beach at Lake Champlain, I was talking with my girlfriend -- a mom and a lawyer -- about him. We both live in Massachusetts where he's been a senator for a while. Both of us are not at all sure WHO he is ... that is, what he really represents. We want to know more about him, but find his good looks and wealthy demeanor off-putting.

Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving -- ENFP

I took the personality test below ... hmm ... not too far wrong. Listen to this:

"ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm, which can ingratiate them to more stodgy types in spite of their unconventionality. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people. As SOs/mates they are warm, affectionate (lots of PDA), and disconcertingly spontaneous. However, attention span in relationships can be short; ENFPs are easily intrigued and distracted by new friends and acquaintances, forgetting about the older ones for long stretches at a time. Less mature ENFPs may need to feel they are the center of attention all the time, to reassure them that everyone thinks they're a wonderful and fascinating person. "

Got my number, I'm afraid.

Come on, you don't REALLY need to get that report done noon. Go get another cup of coffee and take the test.

Harvard Business Review Piece Finally Out

The case study I wrote on blogging in HBR is finally live on their website -- it really IS September. It's a summary -- not full text. Big thanks and congratulations to fellow bloggers (David Weinberger, Ray Ozzie) and non-bloggers (Pamela Samuelson and Erin Motameni) for their commentary.

"It was five minutes before show time, and only 15 people had wandered into the conference room to hear Lancaster-Webb CEO Will Somerset introduce the company's latest line of surgical gloves. More important, sales prospect Samuel Taylor, medical director of the Houston Clinic, had failed to show. Will walked out of the ballroom to steady his nerves and noticed a spillover crowd down the hall. He made a "What's up?" gesture to Judy Chen, Lancaster-Webb's communications chief. She came over to him. "It's Glove Girl. You know, the blogger," Judy said, as if this explained anything. "I think she may have stolen your crowd." "Who is she?" Will asked. Glove Girl was a factory worker at Lancaster-Webb, whose always outspoken, often informative postings on her web log had developed quite a following. Will was new to the world of blogging, but he quickly learned about its power in a briefing with his staff. After Glove Girl had raved about Lancaster-Webb's older SteriTouch disposable gloves, orders had surged. More recently, though, Glove Girl had questioned the Houston Clinic's business practices, posting damaging information at her site about its rate of cesarean deliveries--to Sam Taylor's consternation. This fictional case study considers the question of whether a highly credible, but sometimes inaccurate and often indiscreet, online diarist is more of a liability than an asset to her employer. What, if anything, should Will do about Glove Girl?

Four commentators--David Weinberger, author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined; Pamela Samuelson, a professor of law and information management at the University of California, Berkeley; Ray Ozzie, CEO and chairman of Groove Networks; and Erin Motameni, vice-president of human resources at EMC--offer expert advice. "

Just Heard The Bell

I have CNBC on in the other room. Interesting interview with Forrester Research's Josh Bernoff earlier this morning about who downloads music and other entertainment of the web and where the CD and DVD market is going -- down the drain, essentially. They surveyed 12 to 22 year olds ... aka KIDS ... slightly radical but right on, if you ask me. They really will give you the inside dope on where things are going.

It must be 9:30 -- just heard the bell ring to open the market. Maria Bartiroma looks good in a post-holiday ponytail and a pretty haphazardly ironed blouse -- she just get off the Hamptons Jitney or something?

Take The Test

Dervala did a post last week about the Myers-Briggs test which helps you determine what your personality type is. She talks about how they use it in MBA programs. She puts her "type" on her resume.

Here's the free-version of the test.

Here's her post about it.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Dervala Doesn't Stay At The Hilton

Dervala kicks off my September Best Bloggers Honor Roll. She's my September 1 Blogger of the Day.

If you haven't read much of Dervala Hanley's blog and I tell you she does a lot of travelling and is one of the best travel writers I've ever read, you might think she stays where the rest of us stay. But, boy oh boy, would you be wrong.
The first buildings turned out to be abandoned villas that were once owned by King Sihanouk, part of a complex called the Black Palace. Now they were completely gutted. Everything had been stripped and sold during the famine, and only the walls and marble floor tiles were left. They were pocked with bullet holes and covered with graffiti. Even the shell, though, still looked ready for Architectural Digest—some French playboy's villa on a mountain, with a magnificent terrace that looked all the way down to the sea. The sun was sinking behind the pines and miles away we could see little boats head out into the Gulf of Thailand for the night's fishing.
Here's more of her amazing night camping in a palace.

Dervala And Spanish Online Dating

Dervala meets very interesting people in airplanes. This lady was on a mission:
She was relieved, and confided in a loud whisper that it was especially important that she look well today. She was meeting her Internet boyfriend for the first time at the airport. They'd met at an online dating site and corresponded for three months. Juan was Mexican, distinguished, very passionate. Since she'd lost her business, she'd spent up to eight hours a day talking to him online and by phone.
Dervala Hanley is my September 1 Blogger of the Day for my September Blogger Honor Roll.

Dervala In The Cloud Forest

My Blogger of the Day for September 1, Dervala Hanley, likes to take these little trips ... like down 2000 meter drops into Ecuadorian rainy cloud forests.
Clouds have a power here that lowland countries never experience. In my indoor, mostly sea-level life, I looked up occasionally and noticed an especially fluffy cumulus, or a gray bank that looked 'threatenin' ', as we say at home. In the Andes, a wall of white rolls towards you, not above you, like smoke along the floor of a burning building. You watch it swallow trees and ridges ahead of you, knowing that soon you will be walking through a cold sauna, and that taking off your glasses won't clear the pearly fog.
Read all about it here.

Man, When Dervala's Hungry, Watch Out!

More from my September Honor Roll Best of Bloggers, Dervala Hanley. Dervala did a very very long seven-day fast in Thailand and got a little scary. Check this out:
"I could have eaten a farmer's arse coming through a ditch. A baby's arm through a wicker chair. I was that hungry."

And don't miss her rather explicit and frightening encounter with her pet gecko while enjoying a high colonic ... or low colonic or something, I was a little confused.

How Long Has This Been Going On?

Do you remember the song? It's a great one, about finally understanding that your lover has been cheating on you ... finally understanding that as much as the cheating hurts, what's really distressing is that you were not in on the secret, but everyone else was. The singer poses the question, "how long ..." and I've been toying with that in my head every day since I got my eye surgery a week ago. It's a question that says, "How long have I been walking around this world with the wrong fundamental assumptions about what's going on?"

It's the best phrase I can use to describe how earth-shattering it is to find out what the world really looks like. How long has this been going on -- the way everything looks -- how long have I been missing it so totally!? It actually feels really sad sometimes. I was so wrong. I was missing so much. I thought I was seeing something. What the hell was I seeing?

I spend a good part of every day thinking, "How long?" How long has the banner on this page of BloggerPro been not just flat plain blue, as I assumed, but dark blue with faint light blue half-moon shaped semi-circles decorating it? How long has my cordless phone receiver been a little stained yellow and in need of a bit of cleaning and a wipe with a wet wash rag? How long have the words HI and LO been printed on the fan over my stove hood, instead of little squiggly designs of white against black, as I thought they were when I could not see? Talk about words ... how long have all these words been living on my appliances throughout my kitchen ? The place is blooming with little words -- PRESS -- ON/OFF -- SIMMER -- CHOP! The place won't shut up.

How long have plain cotton socks had all these little rows of knit and purl that you could actually see? How long have freshly folded lavendar bath towels had so much spikey pile to them? How long have I been a prisoner of a bad model railroad town where the phoney spongey trees are one dull green color, the rubber shrubs are the same dumb green color, the train station is a flat brown and nothing is really real? How long have white jet trails in the sky been two white stripes ... not one ... as I suddenly realized the other day when I saw that for the first time and a friend confirmed it really was that way? How long can I stare at my son's face without crying big splashy tears of joy to see the boy!?

Dervala Day -- September Honor Roll -- Best of the Bloggers

Okay, back in Boston after a great vacation in Vermont and I'm starting my September Honor Roll For My Best of the Bloggers. Can I mention one important determining factor -- I'm not picking any bloggers I've already met -- that would seem too biased.

One blogger I always love reading is Dervala Hanley and I figure you will too.

Go read her "About" page and then I'll give you some other great links. She is Irish, funny, a great writer, a world traveller and a rather amazing babe. Check this out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003


Take a peek at my post from below "Book of Hours" -- I finally had the eye strength and energy to add links to it. There are 12 links with the illuminated months of the Book of Hours known as Les Tres Riches Heures. Here's August. It shows me heading out for the Labor Day Weekend to Vermont.

Still Sad

I really am still so sad to learn via Joi Ito's blog that one of the folks we all liked on IRC -- the chat network a bunch of us belonged to thanks to Joi's generous hosting -- committed suicide last week. So sorry to lose our friend Mike Lea, aka mazeone. Mike, you taught my new eye how to cry.

We would like to believe the technologies we use to connect with one another can help all our friends lead richer lives, supported by more friends, more conversations, more of a sense of community.

When someone enters the room, make sure to say "hi!" What does it cost you anyway?

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Blogger Honor Roll For September

It's back-to-school time, fellow bloggers, and that means reading, writing and rithmetic -- and I know you'll all score high grades in ... well ... in writing at least. But let's put together an honor roll!

In September, I'm going to honor one blogger every day, since there are so many great ones and I want to make sure the world knows them all. Let me see, Thirty days hath September, April, June and November ... so with 30 days, I should be able to come up with 30 great bloggers, considering there are now about .... 870,110 bloggers being followed by Technorati.

Email Female Hemail Shemale

Thanks to everyone for all the great email. Problem is, as my eye goes in and out of long and short focus, it's not easy to read sometimes and lots of work to reply. I will reply but give me a few days. I literally don't know what to expect when I get on the computer -- yesterday it was very hard to see and I didn't even reread my post, just typed and pushed POST.

Same with email, a great deal of squinting and head tilting is required. And weirdly, hour by hour, my sight can be lots better or lots worse, it's very malleable.

Still, when I do read it, it's such a treat -- thanks very much, very encouraging and very funny.

I'm only just back at my house tonight and the two previous days was at my sister's house where they have a really SLOW connection via AOL, so it was difficult to connect at all.

Keep those cards and letters coming, but assume a bit of a delay in my replies.

When I'm not going gaga at the wonderful world of color, I'm putting drops in my eyes, and then suddenly falling sounding asleep for hours on end, much to my surprise. I suppose that's normal -- it's called healing -- but it's all very unpredictable and strange.

Doctor said yes to reading, yes to computer, but one last bit of bad news -- no swimming for 2 weeks. Ugh.

Construction Workers

There were a bunch of construction workers pausing during their morning coffee to look at me. Don't they get it? There's only one person doing the looking today -- ME.

I turn, stop and stare at them and grin. They are cute and have little bits of dust and plaster on them, I can see every inch. They have too tight shirts some of them, one has a label hanging out -- I can READ it -- HANES! Now that turns me on!

Late Afternoon

By the late afternoon, it's all too too much. My eyes are getting worn out and all the cars are so shiny, so pretty, so metallic. The Boston skyline along Storrow Drive has razor-blade sharp buildings shredding the too blue sky. The doctor's given me some really dark sunglasses that look like black safety goggles from a science lab. I have to hide behind them. Do people really live in this gorgeous world and not get exhausted by 10:30am?

I see the road signs about 10 minutes away now. Before the eye surgery, I could read highway signs just about ... well, when I was almost on top of them and then, whoosh, I was past them, past the exit, forced to turn around at the next exit.

I have drops -- three kinds that sortof sting -- which I have to put in my eye every three hours. You spent a lot of time giving yourself eye drops. One is antibiotic to get rid of the unpleasant possibility of infection. One is a beta-blocker, not actually sure what that does (has to do with my eye pressure as the wound heals). The third is ... I don't remember what it does, but they are called Voltaren, Zymar, Pred Forte.

Yesterday, I asked my sister to get me a birthday cake -- which she did god bless her -- a black and white layer cake -- to celebrate my brand new eye and this new world I've been born into. I wanted to celebrate, party, sing, dance. We had salmon and potatoes and roasted vegetables and cake for dinner. It was great.

Giddy Kid

This rapture of gorgeous sight continues. My sister accompanied me to the follow-up eye doctor appointment this morning, where they said things looked very very good -- little do they know how GOOD THINGS look from in here! I continue to open Christmas presents ... I mean ... LOOK at things completely enthralled ... asking the eye doctor if he'd like me to count the whiskers in his beard ... I'd be happy to ... I've never seen with such clarity. Actually he looks at my records and suggests I really NEVER have seen with 20/20 vision which is about what I have.

We leave the building with me still ga-ga, looking at every single shoelace in a kid's beautiful black hightop sneakers all the way across the street, I can see the gromets for goodness sakes, the bricks and mortar in the Old West Church next to Mass Generall, birds all the way up near the top of the steeple, and then we turn the corner onto Cambridge Street and come right up to a fruit stand.

A beautiful, sunny August morning and a fruit stand.

And I mean a FRUIT stand.

She keeps walking.

I'm standing there, glued in place, drop jawwed, staring rudely at the most beautiful triangular stack of peaches I've ever seen. Near these beauties are some nectarines -- glowing in a blush of vermillion, next to them plums. Good lord.

She turns to see I'm not with her.

She looks back up the street. Thank god she's an artist and a painter. She understands and excuses my multiple orgasms of visual intercourse in public.

We look at each other -- we laugh -- she does me one better than the peaches, pointing to the watermelon slices.

I wince. Exquisite.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Book of Hours

Have you ever seen these illuminated manuscripts? The most famous example is called Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. I can't do a link right now, so go look them up yourself. They are gilded and shine out with a stunning beauty.

Okay, that's what my world looks like now. Illuminated. Golden. Gorgeous. I can't even begin to describe the ecstacy of what I am now seeing --- but I'll try.

At 7:30 am I arrive for cataract surgery. At 8:15 am, they are done. The prep takes longer than the 7 minute operation where they suck out my old lens, put in a new one perfectly matched to my sight -- like a little internal contact lens -- to give me 20/20 vision.

Nothing hurts after the drugs they put into the IV in the back of my hand. Nothing hurts once they put so damned much novacaine in your head it feels like the wooden boat known as Kon-Tiki. You could wack me in the head with a canoe paddle, I'd smile.

There is a hand-holder. A nurse who just holds your hand and says it's going to be all right -- how's that for extra cool high tech -- I appreciated it. You knew you could dig your nails into their hand if you wanted and if you were scared. My hand-holder was a man, a very nice man.

Your eye is so numb and they are irrigating it with so much water you really can't "see" anything, but you are awake to see. You look up at a pretty bright light which looks like a supernova, has slightly pink and yellow edges.

They have a robot voice that announces the stages of the operation. I ask, "Who's the British babe?" She has a lovely voice, "Begin Irrigation," she commands with a nice BBC tone.

The doctor laughs at my question, explains she's computer-generated. I'm surprised any male surgeon is cool with taking orders from a British babe, robot or not.

It's faster than any dental procedure I've ever had. They wheel you out quickly and let you get clear of the drugs, slowly raising your dental chair with wheels. Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you. You are strapped into your own rolling dental chair which goes from upright to supine as you are prepped and then operated upon.

After you eat something (fig newtons) and drink something (orange juice) they make sure you know how to put the eyedrops in -- three kinds and you do them three times a day -- be sure you don't get an infection.

They give you an african violet plant. Cool, eh? You think -- a purple african violet -- like I'm going to see so much better it will look different? With your eye bandaged up with tape, you're a doubting thomas. Just wait.

Of course my brother-in-law who's accompanying me is a florist and we're going back to his house where he and my sister have so many flowers and plants this seems pretty laughable. But we take the african violet.

Everyone but me is about 75 years old. I'm shamed into being brave (also it was so painless and easy after all) since I'm such a youngster compared to everyone else.

They unhook IV and all and make me walk. I have worn my black velvet Spanish dancer high heels -- I know it was risky, but they cheer me up and make me feel like dancing the flamenco, an irreverent act worthy of a day one is getting surgery I figure. I'm feeling fine. My brother-in-law and I walk out and go down to the car.

I'm not really fine, I'm a little oozy woozy from the drugs still, but much better than I expected.

We're home by 9:30, my eye taped up, my old eye doing the heavy lifting. My sis tucks me into bed. I sleep like a stone.

I wake, it's noon, she's made me tomato soup for lunch. We look at one another. I'm supposed to take the bandage off my eye at noon. Shall we eat lunch first or not? We eat. Good choice.

We go back to the guest room which happens to be full of alll the beautiful art, flowers, paintings, sculpture my sister and brother-in-law have throughout their house.

My sister pulls the tape off my eye. It's like clear packing tape and we're totally grossed out and half laughing like fools because as she pulls the tape it nearly takes off my eyebrow -- did I REALLY need that ?-- and yanks my lid 3 inches out like a badly behaved window shade. Something like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Something he would do to Daffy Duck and Daffy would end up with his beak coming out his ass. You need sisters for moments like these. My eye is tearing a storm of crying tears and laughing tears and "What the hell are you doing to me, you crazy girls?!" tears. My sister's a braver man than me.

And -- of course -- we don't know what the hell to expect -- blood, puss, bruising, a rotten eyeball like an overcooked hardboiled egg?!

Surprise, the eye looks almost fine -- a ton of tears, but not bad at all.

Now get ready, fasten your seat belts guys. I look over at a wooden carved bird and a painting of bamboo very pretty very Japanese right behind this bird. With my old eye, they are muted and Rembrandt-like in dull browns, something dirty trying to look like gold, some soft-edged greys.

I open my new improved eye.

Okay, I am freaking out. The bird is so resplendent in color and gold leaf. The colors are so vibrant. The edges are so clear and ... I hardly know the word ... try CRUNCHY ... that I can barely believe it. The delicate detail of the bamboo leaves on the painting are exquisite. I am gasping.

I tell my sister, "You can't believe what I'm seeing."

I close the new eye -- go back to the old. By the way, the old eye has a level horizon, the new eye is off by about 15 degrees, to the left of the 90 degree right angle -- freaky, but this adjusts after a few minutes.

The old eye is pure Rembrandt, 50 coats of varnish. Lovely if you go in for Flemish painters -- not a helluva lot of help reading signs on the highway.

I open the new eye again, now I look to the right and see a vase of pink day lilies. "Oh, my, God," I say slowly.

I am in some rapturous drug trip. I don't even want to think of how much I WAS NOT SEEING.

I see a clock -- the second hand is SCREAMING at me -- hi, Halley, hi, Halley! I go into the bathroom, the chrome faucet looks like it's on silver fire, I jump back from it to avoid getting scalded by light. My sister and brother-in-law are watching me freak, suggesting I go back to bed. I'm a little scary.

I am in the kitchen, looking at plates -- blue ceramic -- a blue so stunning, I'd like to dive into them and swim away. I open the silverware drawer -- "oh shit," I mutter.

Finally, I take the acid test. I look in the mirror. I start laughing. I'm just laughing and laughing. I've seen her before, I think. Look at her. She looks okay, but what about all those wrinkles ... shit, that damned doctor must have added all those wrinkles this morning when I was all drugged up. But really, she looks good. Pretty damned good. I like her. And it's so nice to SEE her.

Surgery A-OK

Very oozy woozy and my head feels stony like Mt. Rushmore full of novacaine -- otherwise a piece of cake

Going Natural

Good day to just relax. No eye make-up this morning before eye surgery I figure. One question I forgot to ask. When can I go swimming again? And any chance my green eyes will end up another color? And what the heck do I do with my glasses? And what if ... and ... and

Oh yeah, try to relax.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

MIT's Sherry Turkle "Technology And Human Vulnerability"

I'll stop promoting myself for a few nanoseconds and give you another good reason to get Harvard Business Review's September issue -- great intevview with Sherry Turkle called "Technology and Human Vulnerability". Here's some blah-blah from the table of contents about it: "As robots become more anthropomorphic, they are engaging with us in disconcertingly emotional ways. That may be undermining what it means to be authentically human, says sociologist and psychologist Sherry Turkle."

And an interesting quote from Turkle in the HBR piece:
"For some people, cyberspace is a place to act out unresolved conflicts, to play and replay personal difficulties on a new and exotic stage. For others, it provides an opportunity to work through significant problems, to use the new materials of "cybersociality" to reach for new resolutions. These more positive identity effects follow from the fact that for some, cyberspace provides what psychologist Erik Erikson would have called a "psychosocial moratorium," a central element in how Erikson thought about identity development in adolescence. "

I don't think it's available until the last week of August -- maybe tomorrow in fact -- in a store near you.

Fact or Fiction?

Heath Row's asking provocative questions -- per usual -- over at his blog about the fictional case study I wrote. Just to clear something up, the "case studies" in Harvard Business Review every month are ALWAYS fictional. They are fun to read. Another reason to buy a copy of HBR -- or hell, really splurge and subscribe to the thing. {Pitch! Pitch! Pitch!]

Suit Yourself

Lately, people are having trouble pronoucing my last name, so I just wanted to clear it up. It's spelled with two "t's" S-U-I-T-T, but pronounced like there's only one "t" -- that is, suit like a suit of clothes., bathing suit, three-piece suit, gabardine suit. Halley rhymes with Sally.

Some are even confusing me with other esteemed establishments as "Suits You" the build-your-own-bikini folks. I'm sure they have a thriving enterprise, but we're not related.

And as for the band, Suit Yourself, I'm not the bass player.

Also, that's not me in the hard hat over at Suitt Construction. And I can't get you a job there, sorry. But click the Career Center link and they will answer the question, "Why Work For Suitt?"

One of these days I'll get around to scribbling an "ABOUT" link to tell you who I am, but I still think it's more fun just to read my blog to figure it out. Here's some clues:

Person Place or Thing -- Person

Animal, Vegetable or Mineral -- Animal

Am I bigger than a breadbox -- Yes, yes, for sure.

And a few other things -- I live in Boston. I like to write. I like to blog. I hurt my foot last month, now it's better. I lost my dad last year, now he's gone for good. I have a fun and spunky son. I love to dance. Oh, yeah, one other thing, but you probably figured that out by now. I love men.

Seeing Beautiful Things

Buy something beautiful for your house today. It's wonderful to have something lovely to look at in your house on a Sunday afternoon. Shoppng is a much maligned art -- but one must give in to the urge now and then.

It doesn't have to cost a fortune. But it might.

It doesn't have to be practical. But it might.

It doesn't even have to do anything. Just sit there and be beautiful.

Beauty In The Eye Of The Beholder

I'm actually getting kindof excited about having eye surgery tomorrow. My brother had the same operation and he was telling me that I will be stunned at how beautiful the world is and all the things I have not been seeing.

I would like to look at a bouquet of folowers like these, close up. I'll want to see this movie again which had the most delicious colors, Frida lived in a house with bright blue walls, bright red door lintels, a brick courtyard with luscious green cacti and other. wonderful colors. And just imagine what I can do in a paint store. So much to see. So much to learn So much to enjoy, like Cape Cod mornings