Archive for May, 2006
Thursday, May 25th, 2006
Monday, May 22nd, 2006
Anyone know why the Vix jumpted 20% today?
“Beyond their primary residences, 13% of boomers own vacant land, 8% own rental property, 7% own a vacation or seasonal home and 2% own commercial real estate,” says USA Today.
We spent a great couple of days in Wilmington. The water’s perfect. We found a big chunk of fossilized bone and I gashed my foot on a rock.
Wednesday, May 17th, 2006
Last year’s Audi A3 campaign included a small dose of blogads that delivered a major slice of the total site traffic. A few weeks ago, I met Jay Porter, who said he’d bought his A3 based on the blogads. I asked Jay (who sometimes blogs here ) to put it in writing.
I started shopping for a new car in Spring 2005. I was initially looking at a Prius but decided that paying such a premium was not the right way to go right now’ so I started shopping for my last non-hybrid car I was looking at Infinitis and Saabs initially, but kept seeing ads about a new Audi on my favorite blogs. I’ve always loved Audi but was not such a fan of the A4′ so I was thrilled to learn about the A3. While I thought the ‘stolen A3′ game was interesting, I didn’t actually play it. Instead I spent hours obsessively configuring an A3 on the Audi site. In June I finally went to the dealership and put a deposit down on a custom-ordered A3 Sport, pretty much fully loaded. Since taking delivery in October, I’ve been 100% happy with my choice’ and very glad I was one of the first to ‘discover’ this great new car’which incidentally gets great gas mileage!
Wednesday, May 17th, 2006
Two great days in NY, highlighted by meals at Patsy’s, Nha Trang and a bodega on Jay Street in Brookline.
Meanwhile, a French MEP moots taxing taxing SMS.
Friday, May 12th, 2006
The shaving cream bugs came out yesterday. Noticed them walking the dog in the cool morning.
Wednesday, May 10th, 2006
Monday, May 8th, 2006
Why, um, not to um.
Although we may not consciously realise it, in a two-person conversation, people speak by taking turns. When someone thinks it is their turn to talk, they do. Otherwise, they listen. A two-person conversation becomes like a tennis match. Inevitably there are short periods of silence as people pause to let the other person take over the speaking. But sometimes a speaker doesn’t want to give up their turn and instead wants a little extra time to think about what they’re going to say next. They use a ‘filler’ to signal this.
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
The ratings for SXSW panels are out. Here’s the list. I’m happy that “Cluetrain: Seven Years Later” and “Election 2008: Revenge of the Blogs” got good marks. SXSW is my favorite road-trip. The right mix of words, flesh, bustle, C2H6O, sleep deprivation, music and blue sky turn a random crowd into a SXSW swarm. By the second night, some kind of group consciousness kicks in and the conversation and fun bump up a notch into tribal joy.
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
Last fall I was spouted off in ClickZ about the elite intellect of the average blog reader.
“Influentials are skeptical, cynical, and are the biggest pain in the ass around,” [Henry] told me. “People trust them because they’re doing their due diligence. So don’t create ads with babies doing jumping jacks and expect them to respond. Create advertising that’s honest and connects with the audience.”
So my friend Beth Kirsh, who is a marketing director at LowerMyBills.com (the fountainhead of “babies doing jumping jacks” ads) asked the art department to give me the treatment. Voila.
Apparently, LMB.com has spawned its own fan blog, LowerMyBillsWatch, which keeps up with LMB’s surreal messages. So maybe the jumping babies DO appeal to cynical elites.
Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006
In today’s Times, a summary of a new paper by Thomas D. Seeley about honey bee swarming behavior:
When hives of honeybees get too big, they split up. The old queen flies off with a retinue of 10,000 bees or so ‘ a swarm.
Over the course of several days, as the swarm waits clustered together on a tree branch, scout bees search for real estate and come back to do waggle dances to promote their finds.
Scouts can be recruited from one site to a better one and start dancing for it. Eventually, agreement is reached, and by the time the swarm is ready to fly the scouts are unified in leading the swarm to a new home.
How do the bees decide? By consensus? Voting? After several experiments, the researchers concluded that the swarm does not wait for consensus. It senses when there are enough scouts concentrating on one site ‘ a “quorum” of 15 to 20 ‘ and that’s when the bees get ready to move. As they warm up their flight muscles for an hour or so, the rest of the scouts usually come around to supporting the best site, so a consensus is achieved before flight.
What’s good about this process, the authors say, is that autonomous individuals gather information and present a wide range of knowledge in the open marketplace of waggle dancing.
(Sidenote: I’m pretty sure Seeley taught my intro biology class 25 years ago.)