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When I read the tease for this on Twitter, I thought it was about anecdotal vs controlled experiment data in science and medicine. I was all prepared to let loose a rant about how anecdotes can never be conclusive. But I think in issues of customer sentiment and satisfaction, anecdotes are all you have and they are very valuable, esp if related indirectly. That is, when the customer doesn't think they're talking to a company rep.
1 year, 1 month ago on Anecdotal Evidence is Still Evidence
I much, much prefer working at home, too, but it's tough to make generalizations about it. It depends on the kind of work you do at least as much as what your particular temperament or home situation is. Smart management lets people work where they feel they're most productive, consistent with the nature of the work. Requiring people to be in an office when the work doesn't require it indicates to me that management is more concerned with itself than getting the work done.
2 years ago on Getting Things Done: Why Working at Home is Better
@PointA_PointB @prosperitygal Yes! A proofreading buddy system. :)
2 years, 4 months ago on Didn’t Get the Gig? Maybe It’s ‘Cause Ur Illiterate
@PointA_PointB Yes, we've certainly all been there on one-off emails or blog posts. For really important work, I'll always ask someone else to proofread. It's the only way to get it really right, in my experience.
To come back to the title line, I would never hire someone who had grammar and spelling mistakes in their resume or cover letter. They'd go directly to the trash can.
I agree with Dom here. These losses weren't the fault of bitcoin, but of exceedingly clueless people. The type of currency doesn't really matter. You have to know who you're dealing with. The problem with the financial system today is that it lets people be irresponsible, stupid, careless, greedy or even criminal, and we innocent taxpayers and consumers foot the bill. This goes for credit cards, too, which allow abuse-prone chargebacks and identity theft. Maybe if people really had to take care of their own money they wouldn't be so brainless or greedy, or at least not more than once.
Bitcoin is every bit as safe, if not more so, than using paypal, checks or even hard cash to pay or get paid by someone you know and trust already. Plus, you know no one is going to steal your credit card or bank account numbers or freeze your assets.
Bitcoin could return personal responsibility back to finance. What a concept, huh?
2 years, 5 months ago on Bitcoin: How a Virtual Currency Became Real with a $5.6M Fraud
I've built both my own blogs and static web sites for clients using the Wordpress.org download on virtual servers. It's pretty easy and getting easier and you'll never have a problem finding people that know how to work on it.
2 years, 6 months ago on Paying to Blog? 4 Free Blogging Platforms
Augusta is a private club and falls under the freedom-of-association precedents of law. Any private club (which is a legal definition) is free to restrict its membership any way it sees fit. There are female-only clubs (health clubs, especially), Christian-only clubs, Jewish-only clubs and maybe even red-head-only or tall-and-skinny-only clubs. These are not all golf clubs. And to KatrinaLaflin's point, not all country clubs are male-only.
Years ago, there were many restricted membership country clubs, mostly based on religion or ethnicity. Catholics or Jews or non-WASPs would set up their own clubs when they couldn't get into a club that already existed.
Over time, these kind of clubs have gradually disappeared as fewer and fewer people want to be associated with a club that discriminates. And this is what is happening at Augusta National right now. And this is exactly how it should happen. Eventually, they will have to yield to societal pressure.
I think people should be careful about invoking the law to force Augusta to open its doors to women. Freedom of association is an important liberty all citizens enjoy, including women.
2 years, 9 months ago on Augusta National Faces Scrutiny on “No Women” Rule
@momof3and3 It is *very* easy to make that mistake. I have to be constantly vigilant of my writing, too. Your almost error reminds me of a house I pass frequently that has a very nice, meticulously hand-painted mailbox that says "The Grey's". Arrrggh! :)
2 years, 10 months ago on 12 Most Unforgivable Writing Mistakes
I can't believe you left out using apostrophes to make plurals. That has to be the most frequently made mistake of all. And one that drives me batty, I must say.
@margieclayman The bottom line for me is that true free speech exists only outside the confines of any government or corporation. I think we are going to see some new, open source, grass roots services that don't answer to the money.
3 years ago on Is Twitter Really Censoring People?
I've gone through a couple of swings of opinion on this since I first read about Twitter's plans to allow governments to censor its citizens' tweets. At first I was outraged, then I read what I thought was a well-reasoned and persuasive blog post ( here: http://technosociology.org/?p=678 ) about why it might actually be good for free speech from a certain point of view.
The reasoning for this goes, I think, as follows. It is better to allow censorship within a country's legal definitions because,
1. It puts Twitter in control, not the government in question, at least in some sense.
2. They can choose to honor or reject the request to censor. In the meantime, I suppose, the offending tweet would be visible. (Can they cause Twitter to suspend accounts, I wonder?)
3. By only censoring the tweets within that country's borders it allows the tweets to be seen in the rest of the world. 4. By at least nominally "cooperating" with the country in question, Twitter may (and I stress may) avoid being blocked completely, which causes the rest of the world not to hear the tweets in question.
5. The blocked tweets are shown as "blocked by" outside the country in question. This raises awareness of the country's activities in the rest of the world. (By the way, won't it be interesting when the US government starts censoring people for linking to copywrite content or for allegedly "terrorist" activities?)
6. Twitter gives information about how to circumvent the policy, which would basically render it ineffective.
Honestly, I still haven't made up my mind. If I could put Twitter's profit motive completely out of the picture, it would be an easier call. As it is, though, it makes one wonder how much of this was driven by the investors' demand for return vs how much by free speech concerns.
On the plus side, I see this as an ingenious way to abide by the letter of the laws, but not the spirit. Repressive governments typically resort to stupid and ineffectual means stifle things they don't like. This is a neat dodge that actually created more negative publicity for them, if that means anything.
On the negative side, appeasing repression is never a good thing. At the very least, it causes Twitter to have to expand human and computational energy to implement these rules. And, if the governments in question find themselves looking worse and the censorship ineffective, they'll still block Twitter. But maybe some countries won't.
@w3consulting@JayBaer I'd agree that it's all about value. And to me, QR codes are NOT just about marketing. I've developed QR *applications* that do useful things like make payments that don't expose your credit card info. There are many ways to leverage QR codes to access real network functionality. Think of the TESCO subway app. Think of security ID access, or ordering food, applying for tickets, validating delivered packages against orders. And these things are not marketing, they're the actual product or service.
I use the QR codes on mobile app web pages that are a link to the Android market and let me download the app by scanning the code displayed on my laptop. That's doing something valuable.
So yes, I think I'd agree with both you and Jay that the emphasis should be on DO something, not SHOW something.
3 years ago on 3 Tips to Use QR Codes For Information, Not Destination
Hi Jay, maybe you can clarify something for me. One of the issues I hear about QR codes is that you have to download an app to read them. Since when is downloading an app an impediment? People love apps. Love to download them, play with them. They download apps for all kinds of things. Millions of apps get downloaded every day to do much more narrower things than QR codes. For instance, brands build apps that only work with their brand. Who wants a grocery app that only works with one grocery store? But people do it, and do it a lot. QR codes are a basic capability, like a browser, that are applicable across a wide variety of tasks and once you have one, you have it!
What's the difference?
@ChrisBailey Yes, people have to agree on what modes of communication they'll use, but my feeling is that this too can be overanalyzed and thrown into committee where 8 different departments have to sign off on it as is usually the case in corporations.
There are so many options for people to use nowadays, all it takes is a little bit of experimentation and people will find the path of least resistance. Again, I'd point to open-source as a model. Usually people end up using what the project initiators use and it all seems to work just fine. What's interesting is that 37signals developed their products by designing distributed working tools for themselves.
I would be very interested to hear about your experiences where lack of planning led to a disaster with remote working.
3 years ago on People Before Tools: Creating a Better Remote Working System
I commented on that very post, saying that a lot of what holds back remote workforces, at least in knowledge-based enterprises, is management insecurity and self-justification. But it's also some curious cause-effect feedback loops in organizations and offices. Offices need to be managed in large part because it's working together in the same physical space that causes a lot of the problems that need to be managed. If people aren't in the same physical space, a lot of issues just go away, reducing the need for management oversight.
Also, attempting to centrally plan and perfectly coordinate every person's contribution so that no time is wasted and no mistakes are ever made is what causes most of the wasted time and mistakes that require yet more planning and coordination to remove. (It's so ironic that free market corporations internally resemble nothing so much as a centrally-planned communist dictatorship :).
Open-source projects have always operated in a distributed, remote fashion and are successful because the people who actually control what code gets into the releases aren't concerned about "being in charge", "keeping an eye on people" or "eliminating redundancy".
So I think all the talk about tools and culture is secondary. The thing that will most encourage remote work is for managers to get over themselves and take a chance.
Apple, despite being a technological powerhouse comes from The Time Before The Internet. Its DNA, like its counterpart, Microsoft has no social chromosomes. That's not to say that they couldn't get some gene therapy on that count, but it just hasn't happened yet.
In fact, it almost seems as though Apple deigns not to consort with its lowly customers, but rather to simply anoint them with its fabulous new products when the divine moves them. As was once said about Boston, "The home of the bean and the cod, where Lowells speak only to Cabots and the Cabots speak only to God."
3 years, 5 months ago on An Unsocial Apple: How the World's Largest Company Doesn't Do Social