Sunday, December 31, 2006

Gerald R. Ford and the perpetuation of the status quo

Somehow ended up watching the Gerald Ford funeral procession yesterday, and was struck by a comment made by one of the folks. Don't even know who said it, but they explained that when Ford was looking to hire, promote or put someone in a position of trust he looked to two things: had they served in the military? And had they played team sports in college?

If one, or preferably both, of these criteria were met he was far more likely to place his trust in that person. Why? because those activities proved a person could work well in teams and was motivated and hard-working.

This anecdote was told as evidence of what a fine, upstanding rock of a guy Ford was. All it really does though is illustrate quite ably why women and minorities have trouble breaking into the ranks of the halls of power.

Now, I could go on at length about how this of course would have skewed Ford's appointments and hires to white males, but the broader point is that we all tend to seek those to whom we can relate, those with whom we share commonality, those whose experiences are relatable to our own.

And in a way we do this to validate ourselves as much as them!

For example: When I find out people have some sort of creative pursuit in their background I associate that with the likelihood that their minds are more open, that they may be more adaptable, that they'll be able to think outside the box more readily, that they are more balanced, and therefore more flexible to changing external circumstances.

I believe that because that is part of my background and part of what makes me the kind of person and the kind of worker than I am today.

Are there other ways to demonstrate creativity, flexibility etc.? I'm sure there are, but none that are as easily digested for me as knowing that someone has an artistic or creative side.

Are there other ways of exhibiting teamwork and motivation than in college team sports? Sure. (I'd say rehearsing and producing a live theatre work requires a tremendous reliance on teamwork and hard work, for instance.) But those other activities were not personally known to Gerald Ford. He wasn't going to grok that such different pursuits might indeed result in exactly the kind of attributes he was seeking in a hire.

Long ramblings cut short: the status quo used to be nearly 100% white males in power in this business, in politics, in academia etc. They, in effect, controlled who would be the next generation of those in power. Because of both conscious and unconscious reactions to people and their backgrounds, it is not surprising that we got more of the same. Gerald Ford was, by all accounts, a decent and fair-minded guy. But according to this well-meaning commenter, he was also discriminatory in his hiring practices.

Even more disturbing than those hiring practices 30 years ago, is the fact that those practices were basically being lauded today! A small clue as to why we haven't really come that long a way baby...yet.

Top 10 Best and Worst Communicators of '06...

...according to Bert Decker.

Pretty great list, brings back a lot of memories of what went down this year , and how important communications are to whether things generally go over well, or not so well.

Who's gratifying to see on the list?

Well, I'm personally happy to see Jon Stewart given his props, especially for his Oscar hosting.

I'm also happy to see Nancy Grace among the worst...she radiates so much hatred I can't imagine how she ever gets her point across to someone who doesn't already share that fierce negativity.

Decker has some great things to say about former Senator George the unwise use of a single word can start a snowball effect.

And of course, it's a no-brainer choosing George Bush to be among the list. Communicator, remember. Political thoigh I may be I think Decker does a good job of taking a look at how Bush's communications skills fail him, not at whether his policies have failed.

Who's missing?

Well, if you're going to have Mel Gibson among the worst, how do you skip Michael Richards? Frankly he could have had a group "worst" award go to those people who seemed to forget what century we're living in when it came to their intolerant utterances.
And I think one has to give Al Gore his props. He is the most unlikely of movie stars and communications stars this year. And serving a very important greater good. He belongs on the Best list.

Who's unexpected?

Well, I'm sure the Angelina Jolie choice is surprising, as is, I have to say, the Nancy Pelosi choice. I've seen Pelosi speak, and she is powerful and very succinct and precise...this is not a woman who wastes time with poetry...she gets right down to brass tacks. I like it, but if you listened only to the media what words would you associate with her communications style? My guess is that a lot of people think she's "strident" or "brassy" whether they've ever actually heard a word she says!

Who would you add, to either list?

Hat tip: Guy Kawasaki (who happens to be on the list!)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The New York Times helps bloggers everywhere

Cross-posted from my personal blog.

Apparently the New York Times has finally seen fit to provide Permalinks for their articles that do not expire after one week, ever to languish behind a firewall of pay-per-use.

This is wonderful news for bloggers, although I had been getting around the problem handily by using the NY Times Link generator site.

How to find your Permalinks:

On the article page you want to reference, find the sidebar box that says "E-mail, Print, Single Page, Reprints, Save, Share".  Click on "Share" which will open up a few more links.  Click on "Permalink" and a small window will show up with the permalink you can use for your online article.  According to the NYT, "Using this link will ensure access to the article, even after it becomes part of the NYT archive." 

Thanks to Elise Bauer for the heads up and for the succinct instructions.

To quote Elise (because I agree with her) "It's about time!"

Just out of curiosity, here are three permalinks to compare...and i plan to compare them again in a week:

Article about Saddam's hanging:

NYT-provided permalink:

NYT Link Generator Permalink:

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Another Mac user who was approached by Microsoft/Edelman

Just to do my part to perpetuate the story I just wrote about, Darren over at ProBlogger is another Mac user who was offered the laptop with Vista.

I find the difference in approach interesting. Sounds like they sent Darren a very explicit email right from word "go." Thus getting rid of the coy language I recommended eliminating. I'm not going to go all conspiracy theory on why that might be, but it is interesting. Sounds like Darren also went through a very similar thought process as I know it's not just PC users who dream of going over to the light and switching to a Mac. Sometimes we mac users do get intrigued by the dark side ;)

The current scandal du jour: laptops and Vista and Edelman, oh my

I'm a little behind on my blogging, both reading and writing, but despite the goal of taking a break this holiday season, for me part of the break is reading's sometimes pleasurable, not just work, you know?

So, today I finally read a bunch of posts about the latest blogging scandal (or tempest in a teapot...depending on your perspective.) This one is about Microsoft and their PR agency, Edelman, offering free laptops with Vista loaded on them to bloggers.

You can track the reactions at both Technorati and Google Blog Search.

My Own Story

So, I actually have my own little story about this. I got an email about 10 days ago from an Edelman rep saying he represented the Vista team, and that they had a "no strings attached" "present" to send me. Was I interested?

I found it odd because I'm a Mac user, and not a technology writer, and when I do write about technology it's mostly to complain about companies that don't support Mac or whose products for the Mac suck etc. etc.

I wrote back and said that given my Mac-only status I didn't think it was appropriate for me to be on their list, since I could never even try their product. (Because I know Apple has their app to allow you to run Windows, but I can only imagine the nightmare all of that would be!)

He replied saying he should have been more clear, that they wanted to send me a laptop with Vista on it to try. And the only "caveat" was that should I write about it I "have to" disclose I was given it. The interesting thing is that no such caveat was included in the initial email, so had I accepted the unnamed "gift" no questions asked I am not sure what parameters would have been then revealed.

Well, it sounded intriguing...I haven't used a PC in several years, so I admit I was curious. In all such matters I turn to my partner Lisa Stone, because she's the journalist, and she also manages the editorial guidelines for BlogHer contributing editors and ad network members (both of which I am a part of.) Again, I was totally intrigued, but had no experience being offered more than review copies of a $20 book.

Her guidelines were pretty simple:

If I accepted it and chose to write about it, I had to:

a) disclose where I got it no matter what and

b) either return it or pay for it if I was even going to think about running an ad on the page where such writing took place.

Now, let's say I had chosen to receive it, keep it and write about it, and evaded having BlogHer's editorial guidelines apply to such writing because I took all BlogHer Ads off any page that referenced said product (and because I don't write about technology etc. on BlogHer as an editor.) In that case, Lisa still recommended a) as a minimum requirement for ethical behavior and said that b) (that is, returning or paying for it) is what any mainstream journalist would do to act within generally accepted ethical guidelines for journalists.

I'm not sure what would be the accepted course should I have decided to accept it an not write about it...although that would certainly feel skeevy. I carry around such guilt about a couple of review books I haven't gotten around to reading and reviewing yet...but that's nothing compared to a frickin' laptop.

Anyway, because I was still inexplicably intrigued by the idea of trying it, I wrote back and said that if they were honestly interested in the review of a person who hasn't used a Windows product in over 3 years, then I'd try it, but they had to include either an airbill or other form of postage-paid return packaging with the shipment for me to accept it.

That was a week laptop for me, in fact no reply yet either.

BL Ochman has covered and provided some of the most negative response from the blogging community.

In counterpoint A P.R. Guy represents the more dismissive this-is-a-tempest-in-a-teapot perspective.

My Four Thoughts

So, given that entire saga, what do I think about the idea of this program in the first place? Well, I confess my first thought is that I wondered about their blogger targeting...given I was even on their list! And this isn't to be all coy and act like I don't know that BlogHer gets a lot of attention, but a) I don't write about tech at BlogHer, b) I don't write much about tech at all and c) my own individual blogs don't get near that much attention!

My second thought is that it is standard operating procedure for journalists to get stuff to try pre-release, so it's not the very act itself of sending preview product that is troublesome. And people who complain about that mere fact are looking for trouble where there isn't any. But I would be really curious to know what language they used with non-blogger media folks when getting them their preview copy of Vista. Edelman could probably stand to look at their language and messaging a lot closer. Language like "No strings attached" and "present"? I doubt Walt Mossberg was offered a "no strings attached present." Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

My third thought is about who owns the ethics in this situation: I have worked in "blogger relations" for clients...I have done blogger outreach. I find nothing inherently morally wrong about acknowledging that bloggers can be influential and treating them as you'd treat an influential reporter. There's nothing wrong in hoping to get influential bloggers in whatever your particular niche happens to be to write about your company, product or service. And ethics is a two-way street. It is incumbent upon the blogger to behave ethically if they want to maintain a certain kind of reputation. Just as it is incumbent upon the reporter to know what is and is not acceptable. People make mistakes...bloggers do, and reporters do too. And companies probably purposely push the envelope on acceptable offers and outreach. I don't think it's illegal in many cases . I do think it often approaches unethical.

And the fourth and final thought is that nowhere is it riskier to push this kind of envelope than in the blogosphere. Because there is no standard code of behavior for bloggers. [Nor do I think there should be...this is a totally different topic, but I think if bloggers considers themselves to be citizen journalists they should follow the journalist's code of ethics. If you're a P.R. person you should follow the code of ethics that applies to that field. And so on and so forth.] Because bloggers in fact have wildly disparate views on what is right or wrong, and also diverge over the topic of the very existence of commercial interests in the blogosphere, let alone how they should behave. So many companies simply don't seem to put enough thought into their forays into the blogosphere. And they get blowback they never expected. Often deservedly so, sometimes perhaps more than they deserved.

Ensuing Shameless Plug

That these scandals continue to erupt on a regular basis indicates that companies are here to stay in the blogosphere, and that more education about how to operate honorably in the blogosphere is probably in order. Because I firmly believe that companies aren't (and should not be) going anywhere! That's why we have a break-out track on Day Two at BlogHer Business focused on answering the question "How do I reach out?" I've been to similar kinds of sessions or talks, but often they're a lot more focused on what not to do, than on what to do. As long as you're only keeping a list of the "thou shalt nots", you'll probably be able to come up with an endless new supply of mistakes and mis-judgements to add to that list. A few "thou shalls" might just be a better way to go!

The Moral of the Story

So, what could have been the "thou shalls" in this case?

1. Thou shall target bloggers who cover a beat that includes your product or service. Thou shall even focus on bloggers who regularly publish reviews and seem to execute them professionally.

2. Thou shall eliminate all coy language about presents and strings and simply state that your product or service is launching on such and such a date, providing the same kind of supporting data you provide to the reporters at your industry rag of choice.

3. Thou shall explicitly ask the blogger if they are interested in a "review copy" of the product in question.

4. Thou shall explicitly state that you will be including return packaging, postage or shipping information with the shipment.

5. Thou shall then leave it to the blogger to do the ethical thing.

What other "thou shalls" would you add?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Carnival of the Capitalists

Welcome to this Christmas Carnival of the Capitalists.

Many many months ago when I volunteered to publish the Carnival on Christmas I think I was remembering an old Christmas TV movie about a town where all the Jewish people in town volunteered to work for all the Christians, so that the Christians could have Christmas off. I can't find any reference to the movie, and no one else I talk to can remember anything more about it either. But when it came time to actually execute on this selfless promise, I found myself altering Shakespeare's famous Shylock monologue. Not "Do we not bleed?", but rather "Do we not also have to do last-minute shopping and go visit friends and families at all of their various holiday functions?"

Well, be that as it may, I am here with the Christmas edition of Carnival of the Capitalists. I have read and included every single submission (I would not want to disappoint anyone on Christmas!) with the exception of those that came in past the deadline and those that represented 2nd submissions form a single blogger.

I'm even publishing this a little earlier than normal, so I'm cheating a bit on the whole working-on-Christmas part.


Good Little Capitalists
In the spirit of the holiday season I kick off with stories that talk about family, friends...and some even prove one can do good and do business, simultaneously even!

Since holidays are about family, let's kickoff with Yvonne DiVita's post Moms: On The Move and In Control, over at her blog Lipsticking. Who controls the holiday purse strings (and all other occasion purse strings, for that matter)? I give you one guess.

Here with some personal advice is Carmine Coyote, who suggests some last minute gifts that could change your life in the years to come over at Slow Leadership. This is advice we all should probably be following, so check it out.

Murad Ali assures us all that Diversity Brings Profits: No longer a “feel good” program over at The New Business World.

Brandon Peele provides more specific instructions on how a business can do good while doing business in The Economics of Self-Awareness at Generative Transformation. It all comes down to authentically pursuing these four trends: sustainability, leadership, authentic marketing and innovation.

In the spirit of giving, Free Money Finance advises us on how to make our children into millionaires!

Ironic, then, that Dawn Rivers Baker (aka the Journal Blogger) takes a look at some stats that seem to indicate that most of us don't really dream of being millionaires, but rather o f building a life we like and feel in control of in No really … who does want to be a millionaire?.

And since we're on a millionaire roll, check out Travis Wright's review of The Next Millionaires posted at Cultivate Greatness.

Also sharing a sort of book review Super Saver presents Has Your Cheese Moved? posted at My Wealth Builder.

David St. Lawrence from Ripples offers a post that is ostensibly about the Future of Book Publishing, but along the way he offers his own book for free "as a public service to all who are in danger of receiving a termination as a corporate Christmas present."

Rich at Queercents asked, "Is there a human being on the planet who doesn’t feel jealousy? Probably–some advanced souls who are over all this materialistic crap. But the rest of us look around, and rarely compare ourselves to those less fortunate." Rich encourages us to consider a different view during this season of year-end bonuses, and even gives us the tools in the post Oh my god I'm so jealous: the global rich list at Queercents.

I'm not sure if Jack Yoest, Your Business Blogger, is a good little capitalist or not, but he is a good movie reviewer. He talks about Rocky, the man and the new movie in Rocky Balboa: Courage, Integrity, Faith, Victory The Movie posted at Reasoned Audacity. I'm not sure liberals really hate Rocky though..I liked that movie a lot! :)

And in one final (twisted) message of compassion and charity Jon Swift presents John Derbyshire's Wonderful Life posted at Jon Swift. To quote Jon: " When we think of the neediest this Christmas, let's think of John Derbyshire."

Practical Little Capitalists
Some of our Capitalists see the end of the year as a financial and organizational milestone, not a holiday. So from these Capitalists we get year-end advice and recaps and reviews and resolutions and recordings of their strategies!

Toby Bloomberg, who is the diva of blogger relations, shares her recommendations on how to do it right in From Blogger Relations To Blogger Relations Programs posted at Diva Marketing (Blog).

Gina Gwozdz gives us very practical advice on how to Prepare for Year-End Payroll over at Gina's Tax Article.

Equally practical advice come from Wayne Hulbert of BlogBusinessWorld, who shares the basic accounting reports that every company should prepare, even when they're new and small.

Sagar Satapathy give his own prescription for bringing down your debt in Debt Consolidation Lowdown: Is Your Credit Card Debt Worrying You? posted at Debt Consolidation Lowdown.

Ashish Hanwadikar has actually gone to the trouble to record and reveal his entire Investment Strategy over at Ashish's Niti. Now, that's sharing the (anticipated) wealth!

David Daniels records his approach to working on long-term projects in Working in The Long Run posted at David Daniels. David earned a promotion based on one such successful long-term project, so his words carry some weight.

David Maister is Terrified and Needs Help over at He's looking for help from his readers, and they give him more than he bargained for, don't you know!

James Hamilton from Econbrowser describes recent academic research on the contribution that reduced volatility may have made to long-term interest rates.
This is very serious and practical indeed!

Having just received notice of my own healthcare premium rate increase for 2007, I was interested to see Bob Vineyard present Subtle (and not so subtle) Rate Increases posted at InsureBlog. Clever insurance carriers!

In another post that I found personally relevant (given I've been fantasizing about buying a new house and renting the one I currently live in) Dan Melson presents Choosing Buyer's Agents By Commission Rebate: Penny Wise, Pound Foolish posted at Searchlight Crusade.

Silicon Valley Blogger reacts to a recent holiday consumer survey in I Know What You Did This Christmas posted at The Digerati Life. The title may be creepy, but the data is interesting.

Andrea Dickson examines whether her Bourgeoisie guilt is keeping her from achieving financial success in Bourgeoisie Guilt: Can I Conquer My Vanity for the Sake of My Sanity? posted at Wise Bread.

Naughty Little Capitalists
We have some cautionary tales...and capitalists surely deserving of a little coal in their stocking this Christmas.

Joe Kristan presents one such foolish capitalist in his cautionary tale TAX TIP: Don't assume a stupid tax court judge posted at Roth & Company Tax Update.

cehweidel from One Man Band tells us how Microsoft, in an apparent effort to help consumers avoid falling for phishing scams, also manages to screw the little guy...small businesses and sole proprietorships etc. in Microsoft v. Small Business.

Big Picture Guy wonders whether it's "prudence or paranoia that drives the hiring process" in Temporizing posted at I particularly liked nother of his questions: "Do we end up attracting the best candidates or detracting from our image as a desirable employer?" Well, my observations of my own and my friends' and colleagues' experiences indicates that current HR practices have naughtly little companies treating prospective hires as though we must be naughty little employees in the making!

Stephen Karlson presents perhaps not a naughty capitalist, but one who is sacrificing a lot to run his business without having to pay any employees. Like spending any time with his three daughters. Is the trade-off worth it? Judge for yourself by reading Griping about unfair competition? posted at Cold Spring Shops.

Michael Dawson is cranky, not about naughty capitalists, but about naughty governments interfering with his capitalism! Read all about it in his post Mr. Government Will You Keep Your Cotton-Picking Hands Out of the Market: I am Trying to Make a Buck over at Breaking the Shackles.

And speaking of naughty governments, Leon Gettler from SOX First tells us that Kenneth Starr is making the case that Sarbanes-Oxley is totally unconstitutional. Personally, I left the employ of public companies shortly after SOX started making an impact on everything we did. And if there's one thing SOX accomplishes, it accomplishes making all public companies feel like they must have been very naughty to deserve such punishment!

And our government is hardly one to talk, at least if you believe the reports that BusinessPundit posts about in Is the U.S. insolvent?!

Finally, "naughty" is a frivolous word...which is not at all what John Bambenek is talking about when he posts Al Qaeda's Economic War and Online Identity Theft: A Perfect Storm at Part-Time Pundit.

The Final Word:

Let's give the final word, since this is the Carnival of the Capitalists, to The Daily Dose of Optimism, who reveals the results of a survey of Financial Bloggers and their predictions for the 2007 Stock Market.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good ROI!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Man, George Will is cranky!! And oh so wrong.

George Will is oh so very cranky about Time Magazine's decision to name You, well, Us as Person of the Year. In Will's opinion 100 million bloggers will never produce one Ben Frankly or Thomas Paine.

Cranky excerpt #1:
The most capacious modern entitlement is not to Social Security but to self-esteem. So Time's cover features a mirror-like panel. The reader -- but why bother to read the magazine when merely gazing at its cover gives immediate and intense gratification? -- can gaze at the reflection of his or her favorite person. Narcissism is news? Evidently.


Cranky excerpt #2:
Most bloggers have the private purpose of expressing themselves for their own satisfaction. There is nothing wrong with that, but there is nothing demanding or especially admirable about it, either. They do it successfully because there is nothing singular about it, and each is the judge of his or her own success.

and Cranky excerpt #3:
But authenticity is easy, and of no inherent value, if it is simply and necessarily the attribute of any bit of reality ("event'') captured on video.

OK, dude, that's really intellectually rigorous of you to talk about what most bloggers do or are and decide that's the entire story. I mean Thomas Paine was, in your own words, a "pamphleteer." how many of those are geniuses? Judging by the crap shoved in my hand walking through Times Square...not so many.

George, did you ever consider that this explosion of self-expression and the ease of distribution might make it that much easier for the next genius to be inspired, to be heard and to change the world? Shall we dismiss everything that emerges from this wild, wooly web because most of it is unlikely to have lasting impact on the world?

George states that "Stengel's Time has what 99.9 percent of the Web's content lacks: seriousness." Maybe.

But .1% of 100 million bloggers is 100,000 bloggers.

That's a lot of seriousness. And it sure is a lot easier to get access to such skill and depth and world-changing passion with today's tools than it was 200 year ago.

Signal to noise, yeah yeah, I know.

But it's Will's column, with its lazy association of "most" with "all", that seems like just noise to me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sigh. Another ManFest.

This is the next conference schedule from an organization who has said they're doing just fine with recruiting women speakers. You do the math. (And don't forget to subtract the women who are participating as part of a paid CEO Showcase opportunity.)

Regular price: $2495

Early bird pricing that they've emailed me at least 4 times about, telling me it's my "last chance" to get: $1675

Knowing that calls for feedback and suggestions on the schedule are pure lip service: Priceless

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm hosting Carnival of the Capitalists next Monday...

...yes, that's Christmas Day.

Don't ask me what inspired me to volunteer for it on that day. I guess I just wanted to be the current embodiment of that cheesy TV movie where all the Jews worked on Christmas so the Christians could have the day off. Anyone remember that? Google even let me down on that one.

Anyway, if you want to participate, here are the deets:

Description: Modeled after the Carnival of the Vanities, this carnival is intended to be a "Best Of the Blogosphere" for posts covering business, economics, stocks, accounting, taxes, business law, and related topics.
Submission deadline: Sunday, 3pm ET That would be 12PM Pacific/3PM Eastern on Christmas Eve.)

And where do you go to submit: to

So, lay 'em on me. I want those posts from folks who've got nowhere to go on Christmas Eve...apparently like I thought I'd be!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Authors monitoring blogs

If you go to me Vegan/Wedding blog you'll find a story about an author IM'ing me upon reading a comment I made about their book on my blog.

As I note in this story: perhaps the IM was not altruistic or without an agenda. But even if the real goal was to get me to blog about their book again (which I did) I think it was very smart marketing. Of course it was: it worked; I blogged about it again!

This is now part of the story of my wedding planning. It will become part of my word-of-mouth schtick. It makes this one book standout from the others. Both in my own mind, and surely in the minds of those to whom I tell the story.

All because they set up some ego-feeds, and had a 1-minute IM exchange with me.

Pretty low investment. Pretty good bang for the buck.

Five Things You Don't Know

Having been tagged by Susan Getgood, and given that she's been contributing mightily as a member of the advisory committee for BlogHer Business Conference '07, I do feel the moral obligation to now tell you five things you don't know about me:

1. I was a theatre major in college, spent two summers as an apprentice at a summer stock theatre, got my union card and headed off to NYC to pursue mostly musical theatre. I lived in NYC for four years before deciding I didn't like being poor and that there was way more to success in that field than either talent or hard work. Little did I know at 26 that every field in life is as far from a meritocracy as the theatre world is! Fact is, I still have my union card and continued to occasionally do work here in the Bay Area until about 1999...which is the last time I was in a show. Now I resist giving up that little card, even though I have no expectation of needing it any time soon.

2. I am a terrible back seat driver. In fact, I rarely, if ever, let my fiance drive if we're going any significant distance. I tell him it's not his driving I don't like, but everyone else's (which is partly a lie...I also don't like his driving that much!) My mother is the same way, and my grandmother, who lived in NYC and never did drive, nonetheless was the plague of taxi drivers everywhere as she freaked out from the back seat. This is multi-generational control-freakitude at work here.

3. I love crossword puzzles and logic problems. I tend to buy a new magazine of them every time I'm in an airport and have many half completed magazines hanging around the house. I used ot do the NY Times puzzle online every day, but I just don't seem to have the time anymore.

4. I am a terrible sleeper. I have trouble falling asleep; I have trouble staying asleep, and I wake up too early, even on the weekends. I blame some of this on my fiance who keeps me up late, and my cat who wakes me up early, but the truth is I have always been a bit of an insomniac, and have the same issues when traveling alone without fiance or cat.

5. I have never changed a diaper in my life. Not completely shocking, given I'm not a mom, but still, I think it's a streak worth keeping. I've come 42 years without changing one...why start now?

That's it.

I know I'm no fun, and the whole point is to tag people and spread this meme like wildfire, but hey, I've already seen it around apparently doesn't need my assistance. So feel free to a couple of things we don't know abut you in the comments, but no pressure to write a post :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I'm in the Chron this morning

Check it out.

Granted, it's not about BlogHer or Worker Bees or marketing of any kind...except that it is about why I got the engagement ring I got, and that's kind of about messaging and customer psychology.

Tenuous, but, hey, it's my blog, I can link if I want to :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gots to do some BlogHer bragging

OK, there is no resisting. It is, in fact, futile. I must brag on several cool BlogHer happenings:

1. We were asked to write a Manifesto for ChangeThis. And it has been published here. You can also download the PDF directly here. It is a piece about women changing theer own worlds and the world around them via blogging, and was inspired by our Opening Keynote at BlogHer '06. Please download, share, email and generally distribute to your heart's content.

The 2006 Weblog Awards2. BlogHer was nominated for a 2006 Weblog Award as a Best Online Community...which thrills us no end. Why? Because it is the community that drives what we do, because "community" is one of the prongs of BlogHer's Misson. So, please, vote, vote, vote, because our competition is stiff:

Townhall Blogatorium
Oh No They Didn't!
The Daily Kos
Street Prophets
Free Republic
Book Crossing

Gee, Fark, DailyKos, we even stand a chance? Only if you vote! Voting is supposed to start literally any time now and last until only December 15th. We appreciate anything you can do to help us avoid getting trounced.

3. Finally, a little BlogHer do-goodism has turned into a real deal. Check out the heartwarming story of how a BlogHer PSA became a big, fat donation in the latest Mommy & Family Newsletter (and please subscribe if you haven't already.) Here's the link to The Find's press release on this. So, a free PSA has turned into a deal that will garner the bloggers some revenue and will result in potentially a $10K donation to Doctors Without Borders. I think it rocks, and illustrates pretty well the whole women bloggers can change the world theme of our ChangeThis Manifesto!

So, I've shoved as much bragging as I possibly can in one post. Let's move on :)

Switching to Feedburner: Please change feed URL

OK, so I'm sorry to do this to you, but I have finally decided to use Feedburner to consolidate my feeds.

I was under the impression that with Feedburner users who subscribed via other feed URLs would be redirected to the Feedburner URL. Unfortunately that's true for some platforms, but not for Blogger.

So, much as I didn't intend for this to happen I have to ask you to change your subscription feed URL to my new Feedburner feed URL:

For Bloglines users to switch click here.

For My Yahoo subscribers to switch click here.

For NewsGator subscribers to switch click here.

For NetVibes subscribers to switch click here.

For Google Reader subscribers click here.

Of course you can all simply go to where your reader stores the feed URL and switch to, but hopefully those above links make it easier.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Interesting entrpreneurial panel, hosted by Women 2.0

I can't go (I'll be in Chicago, apparently freezing my extremities off) but Women 2.0 co-organizer Angie Chang sent me the following session info, and it looks to be interesting:

Converting Your Passion into a Real Business

Women 2.0 (a division of Entrepreneur27) and Stanford BASES are proud to present our next event focused on individuals who went against tradition and took big risks, resulting in careers that they really enjoy. In many cases, these entrepreneurs actually “created” or joined real business from their passions.

Event: Converting Your Passion into a Real Business
Date: Tuesday, December 5, 2006 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Location: Stanford University, Room 420-040 in the Quad (map)

From the vlogging/blogging community to seasoned entrepreneurs, our panelists have done everything from covering internet celebrity smut to running an adult luxury goods business!

» Nick Douglas, Valleywag Immediate-Past Editor
» Shannon McClenaghan, JimmyJane CEO
» Amy Andersen, LinxDating Founder and CEO
» Christopher Surdi, Global Educational Program (GEP) Co-Founder & President
» Michael Cerda, Jangl CEO
» Moderator: Ariel Poler, TextMarks CEO

Our panelists will share their stories with us and talk about how and why they decided to do what they did - with topics such as getting started, getting funding, and how to run a successful business.

Free with a valid student ID and $10 without (some exceptions apply). Please register here. Food and drink will be provided.

Again, full details here.

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