Monthly Archive for February, 2006

Blogroll addition: BBEdit Gems

BBEdit Gems – a blog/site about BBEdit. All your text are belong to BBEdit.

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Need a Favicon?

Favicon from picture – Upload a photo, and they’ll create a new favicon.ico file for you to download and use for your site. Too cool. Have no idea what a favicon is? Then read this introduction.

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Apple features EchoStorm

This is too cool: Apple has posted a case study about EchoStorm which just happens to be run my David Barton and Jason Barton… old friends from my Mac Web days. Congrats Jason and David. Nice feature… and nice little business you guys are building there!

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Well Designed URLs

Well Designed URLs are Beautiful! – totally agreed.

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Starting Photography… and more

Starting Photography, Digital Workflow, Orphans and Amazing Zooming Images from Donncha. Excellent Read.

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Apples-to-Apples Comparison of the “Big Four” U.S. Wireless Providers’ Calling Plans

Apples-to-Apples Comparison of the “Big Four” U.S. Wireless Providers’ Calling Plans – someone actually took time to compare the wireless plans from four carriers against each other… it’s still too confusing for me. I think the carriers like it that way.

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10 Tips for Flickr

Thomas Hawk’s Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr – and to take one of his pieces of advice… You can see some of my photos from our recent cruise in my Flickr photostream.

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The Name Game

Guy Kawasaki’s take on naming a company: “The Name Game”. Good read, as always.

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A few tech notes from the cruise

A few technical notes from the middle of nowhere on our cruise:

  • I need a new laptop for the powerbook. Seriously. 50 minutes from charge to dead is unacceptable.
  • I should carry a small firewire drive with me all the time. The 30 GB iPod doesn’t count (it’s full of shit anyways)
  • I need a faster set of CF cards for my Canon D60.
  • I need a better batter charger for the laptop and accessories.
  • Bring a power strip with you on a cruise. You’ll need it. Your room will probably only have one 3-prong 110 volt outlet.
  • Next time, take a cell phone with internet access that can talk to my powerbook via bluetooth … wireless is expensive on board

More later. We’re having fun. Should be home by Sunday.

On Vacation

Just a note to say that the wife and I are taking a much needed vacation this week. We’ll think of all of you freezing your asses off here in the States, while we’re enjoying ourselves somewhere in the Caribbean (we’ll be on a cruise). If you email me, I won’t reply for at least a week… longer if I fall off the boat.

OS X Virus

MacRumors.com: First OS X Virus – it had to happen sometime.

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Podcast Quality Matters

This morning, I got up at 5:00 a.m. to drive to Dallas to call on two clients. It’s a 3 hour drive from Austin to Dallas, so last night, I made sure the iPod was loaded up with plenty of podcasts so I wouldn’t have to deal with the contant radio station changing that’s required on a cross-country trip of more than about 50 miles.

One of the podcast series I was really interested in listening to was Scott Johnson’s Tech War Stories. Scott, you need to read this feedback. Realize I truly consider Scott one of those guys that I truly like, and none of this is meant to be a personal attack, but Scott, I’m about to quit listening to your podcasts for a few reasons, and that’s really a shame, because I think your content is excellent, but your presentation is killing it.

To be fair, I believe Content is King, and crappy presentation can be overcome with killer content usually, but podcasts have come a long way from Dave and Adam’s first Skype based chats of a year ago, and I expect more from my podcasts.

If you’re producing a podcast, realize you’re competing with NPR, ABC, and other really great professionally produced podcasts. You’re also competing with lots of really great non-professional podcasts like BabyTime, which comes off as being pretty professional.

So, here are my pocaster commandments (and no, I don’t produce my own podcast, but I’m an avid consumer):

1. Speak into the microphone. All the time. If you’re recording a ten minute segment: take the ten minutes it takes to record your content, and put the damned microphone in front of your mouth while you’re talking. If you need to take a break, take a break, then come back to the recording. You can use iMovie to do your recording, if you want. It’ll export a video-less MP3, believe it or not.

2. Don’t cough into the microphone or shuffle papers in front of the mic, or set a cup down on the desk, or suck juice through a staw, or slurp the last of your drink… DON’T DO THIS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE MICROPHONE!

In the car tonight, I was listening to podcast upon podcast and Scott, you’re going to blow my speakers… first it’s low volume from your voice a few times, because the microphone’s too far from your mouth, then, it was cough, cough, really loud, or papers being shuffled right in front of the mic… and I had the volume quite loud.

3. Check the levels on your podcast. Listen to your podcast, at least the first 15 seconds before you publish it. Do this, every time… why? Because you’ll notice the loud blip at the beginning of some of your recordings and you’ll be able to edit it out. You’ll also notice the low-voice volume, and you can fix it. You might even pick up the back ground noise, and decide the recording needs to be redone.

4. Lose the “okay… right?” This is a common public speaking pet peave of mine. Honestly, I’m really proud of you that you don’t say “ummm”, but, after 3 hours of Scott Johnson, I can qualitatively immitate his “okay” and “right?” perfectly… and oh, man, is this not the way you want to sound Scott. Scott’s vocabulary and content will show you how damned fucking smart he is, then he’ll clouds it by interjecting that “okay” every third word for 15-20 second periods at a time.

5, 6, 7, and 8. EDIT THY PODCASTS. Honestly, editing your podcasts will take care of all of these problems, and you’ll come across as soooo much more credible. I’ll go back to “Content is King” and say right now that all of the Tech War Stories podcasts have excellent content… well all of them except that News River Aggregator one (you forgot to plug inluminent Scott ;))… but I digress. I also realize you’re busy, and you’re multi-tasking, and that you’re building a company. I get it. Edit. Edit. Edit. It’ll take you twice as long to do a podcast, because you’ll have to listen to it all again, but that’ll also make them a much much better product.

9. Put some sound proofing in your office. Get something to break up the flat walls around you, and maybe your ceiling, to deaden the slight echos in some of the recording sessions. I actually enjoy the multi-task podcasts you’ve done while driving in the car, or while cooking the family lunch… that shows me your dedication. Do some of that, but then edit it down, and I think you’ll get a much better podcast.

10. Add an intro and outtro. Since you’re going to start editing your podcasts, record a standard intro and outtro for the podcasts. The Intro might include a snippet of your favorite piece of music, with a voice-over introduction. (I’m really tired of hearing how much you hate your radio voice). Get someone else to produce an introduction… it’ll sound better, then just start talking. An outtro idea could be something like a standard “thank you for listening” message with a plug for your URLs: Fuzzyblog.com, Ookles.com, Ookles.wordpress.com, etc… and maybe some other contact information, if you think it’s important for people to be able to contact you right after listening to a podcast (I wanted to call you but had the wrong number in my cell phone while I was driving).

So, don’t take this criticism harshly Scott. Take it as constructive criticism, please.

Overall: Excellent fucking content. Excellent. I’ve learned a hell of a lot from listening to your podcasts. I love the content. I love the long/short formats… you never seem to talk too much or too little, it’s always just right. Take the production up a notch, and I think you’ll really have something you can be proud of when you look back on them in the future.

Anyone else have any tips for Scott?

updated: I have to take a moment to compliment Scott after taking him to task here. It takes big brassy balls to throw your shit out into the wild, and that’s what Scott is doing with his podcast. I applaud him greatly for that… hoping to help him learn… and yes, Scott, you’re the one that said to pick a fight in one of your podcasts so I’m eating your dogfood a little here!

The Rocking Duck

A few weeks ago, I spotted a Rocking Duck from Playsam in Skandinavia (oh the wonders of the internet) and it was on sale (never mind that the shipping cost as much as the duck).

I ordered one on impulse, because it was so damned cute. It arrived today, so I put it together tonight, and the kiddo gets to try it out tomorrow:

Cool, huh? I’m totally loving it, and loving the linkblog that pointed me to it (whoever that is… sorry, I don’t remember).

BadBossology

BadBossology.com – hehe: “How to deal with bad bosses, problem supervisors and difficult managers” I think this is just too funny that it has to be linked to.

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20 Questions to Develop Your Business

20 Questions to Develop Your Business

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VCs Don’t Sign NDAs

Why Most VC’s Don’t Sign NDAs – from Brad Feld. Great read.

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S-Corp, C-Corp, LLC?

A few light links on which type of company structure to choose if you’re starting a company: What’s The Best Corporate Structure For An Early Stage Company?, and a follow up: S-Corp’s vs. LLC’s and this little gem Why the LLC is the Ruby on Rails of legal entities

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In Photos

In this post by Donncha, you’ll find a really good list of photoblogs that are worth subscribing to… great photos are my weakness.

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BlogCode.com

In my aggregator tonight, I read this post by Scoble. So, being the early adopter that I am, I coded inluminent.com.

And, BlogCode told me that these sites were similar to mine, based on the other author’s own blogcoding:

I’ll have to check my recommendations for similar blogs in a month to see how well the database has been built out, and what matches better (for example none of those sites match my own blogcode more than 75 percent today).

brrreeeport!

menubar vs. dashboard

Great little read for Mac OS X users: JeweledPlatypus on MenuBar items versus Dashboard Widgets – lots of great links to nifty little software packages.

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Google Ads in Print

This is the first example I’ve seen of Google Ads in Print – it’s pretty easy to tell that Google is making money off the phone calls for sure… those 800 numbers are specifically tied to this ad, and are calling “pay per call” ads. I wonder if they’re also making money off people that type in the URL directly to a browser? And I don’t get what the Sun-Times is thinking other than the fact that this might help them shore up ad revenue a little in the short term while the courts figure out how much money their old bosses stole from them.

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Portrait Books

Ted Leung on Portrait Books – a quick review of three books on taking portraits… great list of tips in the second mini-review.

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Paying Yourself

Paying Yourself: From Startup and Beyond – “Determining your salary is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a business owner. Here’s how to do it.”

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The Art of Schmoozing

The Art of Schmoozing — Can I just shout this out loud now: “I LOVE READING GUY KAWASAKI!!!” … ok, got that off my chest… This post from Guy is one great example of why I wish I could work for the man. In fact, if I could afford to, I’d work for Guy with no pay, just to learn from the man.

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Be an Individual

“Remember always that you have not only the right to be an individual; you have an obligation to be one.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), U.S. First Lady, U.N. diplomat, humanitarian

from JustSell.com