Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Listening to Steve Wozniak, Apple Co-Founder

My wife and I just got back from Las Vegas, where we attended the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - Committee of 100. I had the opportunity to listen to the one-and-only, Steve Wozniak.

The man speaks at an amazingly rapid pace, sharing with the crowd of C-level executives candid stories of how he and Steve Jobs founded Apple together. What amazed me the most was the man's remarkable high-level of enthusiasm when describing, in detail, the events that led to the development of the Apple I & II machines. One guest in the audience described his refreshing excitement: "that of a first-grader." Yet a grade-school level of enthusiasm suits him well, seeing that he's so involved in improving elementary education in California.

Hearing "The Woz" speak so passionately about being creative and innovative really ignited a spark inside of me to make the most out of my new engineer role at Atlas. Thanks Steve!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Google Site Optimizer is Good for Some

I'm not a Google-hater by any stretch of the imagination. I marvel and am amazed at how they develop (ahem, or buy) services for small businesses. I don't have anything bad to say about their anayltics tool or site optimizer since they're based on some reputable and sound products that have proven themselves in the industry and are perfect for small businesses. Companies like the one I'm employed by can frequently be priced out-of-reach for "mom & pop" organizations who are trying to get smarter online. Kudos to Google for getting these tools into the hands of those who otherwise would be left in the dark.

So in closing, I don't think these free services are a threat to us. The clients we work with are saavy marketers who need a robust, customizable technology with a human touch as their solution.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Now Engineering at Atlas!

I am pleased to share news that I was offered a new role as Sales Engineer & Strategist (serving on a national level) for the Site Optimization team at Atlas. My new role and responsibilities sound interesting yet challenging, and I'm excited to see where this takes me.

For starters, I will focus on integrating our consultative services into the organization's product and technology-based offerings. Additionally, I'll be supporting all client-facing teams in the field, crafting our messaging and leveraging our competitive advantages, with the help of our Product Management and Marketing teams.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I Parted With My Mini Cooper

So, my Mini lives on it's life on the west coast with it's proud new owner. I suppose that I'm a tad jealous — I always aspired to move to California. Yet the car goes without me. Sigh... the injustice!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Is Usability Testing About to Change?

In this month's User Interface Design Update Newsletter, Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D., CUA, asks "Is usability testing as we know it about to radically change?" Her debate compares and contrasts automated testing (bad guys) vs. human-operated tests by a usability engineer. Weinschenk answers 5 poignant questions in the article, and while the data was for the most part the same for both the automated and the in-person test, "the usability expert found on average 13 additional usability problems that were not identified in the automated condition". Big score for the good guys! Well worth a read for usability junkies...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Settling into our "Itty Bitty" apartment...

To answer the burning question: we chose Great Neck. There's still boxes to unpack, painter's tape to be pealed off, counter tops to be installed and furniture to be delivered (did I mention our sofa didn't fit?). Ahh, the joys of moving. I've managed to setup shop for my Powerbook upon an old console table, positioned along one of our newly painted walls (the chair rail molding we installed looks stunning). And our recent literary purchase of "The Itty Bitty Kitchen Handbook" by Justin Spring, should help us get our small kitchen in order in no time. Now, if we only had room for the dining table. Sigh.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Apartment Search: From Brooklyn to Great Neck

In an effort to get closer to civilization, Jen and I have been searching for a new apartment in neighborhoods that we've always admired: Brooklyn and Great Neck. Both communities offer a vibrant night life, great dining, short commute into Manhattan and all ammeneties within walking distance.

Our Brooklyn search began in Bay Ridge and Park Slope, with a beautiful find of a brownstone in the latter. As a matter of fact, we loved the place so much that we left a deposit... on the spot. We've got to thank Mary at Aguayo & Huebener for showing us around!

But Brooklyn poses some challenges, such as parking (for our new car), storage, a sizable monthly financial commitment and most of all, an impossible daily commute to Long Island for Jen. Great Neck just seems like a better value, a shorter leap (distance), and offers more realisitic opportunities for us to purchase in the near future.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Diggnation: entertaining video blog

I can't recall exactly how I stumbled upon these guys. Hosts Alex Albrecht and Kevin Rose broadcast a silly, campy weekly video podcast from their west coast apartments called Diggnation. The forum is actually quite simple: they read and discuss their favorite topics on— a popular web-based community news site that bloggers flock to.

Each week you're bound to learn about a new rare beer, enjoy the antics and chemistry between the two long-time friends who play host and hear about interesting stories from all over the web. You can even subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, which makes getting your weekly dose of diggnation effortless.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

SoundOrbit: Music Source

This crazy Canadian gal Alisa has got an online music formula that actually works, called SoundOrbit. What started as simply a grassroots effort to help local indie musicians, has turned into a really impressive, robust and smart-looking website (kudos to the lads at Quantum). Membership is free for a limited time, and gives you complete access to the music database, complete with indie genres spanning rock, pop and dance.

Since it's a fairly new site and run by a small team, they're still working out the kinks and populating content. But this showcase for independent artists is definitely worth keeping an eye on...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ma', can I go to Amp Camp this summer?

Amp Camp: noun; an indispensable Online Resource of Indie-Rock.

From the same folks outta Brooklyn who brought you Neighborhoodies, Amp Camp is an incredible source of indie rock catalogs, reviews, streaming tunes and the Index-A-Tron 5000 -- a searchable database of records by "ideal audience"... a great way to find music by your taste, or that of a Bear with Sunglasses. There's some really smart young chaps running this site, evident in the quality of the music reviews and smart writing throughout.

It gets even better -- stop by each day for a free download at Amp Camp's "MP3 of the day", which gives you a daily dose of free tunes from some bands that are well-known and some that are... not so much. And if you skip a day, just download what you missed from the archives. Sweeeet.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

1,300 classic, vintage, cereal boxes -- Oh my!

Click here to see what a collage of 1,300 cereal boxes looks like. Not only are the classic cereal boxes beautifully laid out by color, you can rollover each one to take a closer look! I think it's a brilliant fun way bring back memories of mornings at the breakfast table.

Hey everyone, Happy Valentines Day! And kudos to Mr. Suisman's MUG for the link.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

BG's BOOK REVIEW: A New Brand World

Author Scott Bedbury has been a part of building some of the world's most recognizable brands. As part of the marketing team at Nike during the 80's, he tells the story of how the athletic shoe manufacturer broadened their scope of products while working with little-known ad agency Wieden+Kennedy and developed the iconic slogan "Just Do It". After moving on to a small chain of coffee shops in the 90's, Bedbury illustrates how he used his past experience with Nike to help expand Starbucks into the mega-brand we know of it today.

This book is chock-full of case studies from past and present, successes and failures, to illustrate many of Bedbury's points. A New Brand World is a great read for students breaking into the field of marketing/advertising as well as seasoned industry vets.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

iRadio? "Rock with Me, Moto"

Going toe-to-toe with Satellite radio and iTunes is an awfully tall order. But Motorola plans on taking them to task with iRadio, where you can stream over 400+ uniquely programmed stations or press a key to purchase music and download your tracks right to the phone.

Are they doing this out of spite after their relationship with Apple flopped (remember the Rokr)? Is this the answer to satellite's challenge of broadcasting to handheld devices?

Reuters/Yahoo! tell the story in full, but I agree with my good friend Macfixer -- Motorola has failed to really innovate with a new product here, and limit themselves to a small market segment. They're likely to get trampled by those that appeal to the masses. But we'll just have to wait and see...