Daily Life

I’m Down with BS09

There’s been a lot going on lately, and of course that gets in the way of blogging here.

The good news is that Marketing Over Coffee continues to heat up, so much so that our host shut us down. The good news is that my co-host’s secret identity is CTO, so we shifted to a more able host and were back and running in less than a day.

In addition to the regular show I have some extra content coming along, including a great interview with author James Connor that I can’t wait to get posted.

Meanwhile the rest of the world found out about Facebook. Although it’s a little odd getting friended by people I’ve never seen in the tech circle before, I’m excited for them finally getting a taste of the blogging world.

On that note I’m very happy to say that I’ve signed on for Blogger Social 2009. The good news is that it’s here in my backyard in Boston this year so I’ll have an inside edge. For those who don’t know, Blogger Social ran for the first time last year in New York City, an event that makes no bones about the fact that it’s just about getting together to socialize with folks you probably have only met online. It’s a big Friday night event and then a formal dinner on Saturday, and any other social stuff you can pack in between.

I had a blast last year, including surviving an encounter with The Beast. Past attendees get first shot at tickets (there were about 80 attendees), and this year there will be 100 tickets, that will be opening up probably in the next week or so.

Great Marketing

More Live from Hubspot


Best of 2008

Year 2 of “The Ronis!”, a name that is lame! (Click to see Year 1)

There will probably be one more post of my goals for 2009 but otherwise this should be the last of the 2008 wrap-up postings. Here are the things stood out in the last 365:

Comic Book Movies (Iron Man/Hulk/Batman) completely tore things up, but

GTA IV sold more in week 1 than the biggest movie of that week.

In Entertainment

Doctor Who kept me enthralled and Dearly Devoted Dexter was a horrible book and yet impossible to put down

Flight of the Conchords – Business Time made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe

Red Hulk

Business Stuff

Manticore automation of email campaigns turned things up another level

Erik Schwartzman’s On the Record is quality listening, and thanks to Chris for turning my photos up another notch

Mahalo Answers is fun and addictive

iNetsoft’s Style Intelligence running with – I’m just scratching the surface but it’s very cool

In General

A Peaceful Transition of Power – a wonderful thing.

Please feel free to nominate others or tell me why my choices stink. Or better yet, make your own awards and give them a cool name.

Daily Life

2008 Year in Review, Part 1

Howd I do this year
How'd I do this year

Just about a year ago I was discussing my annual goals on an Oovoo call. Among the attendees were Sherman and Sean, and we were discussing what we planned to accomplish, and reporting back on it.

So here are my results. The diagram above is generated from MindManager from Mindjet (although I am a good two versions back it seems). It’s a great tool for brainstorming and organizing information that tends to run all over the place.

The Rundown:

  • Family – This tends to revolve around health and taking care of the people around me, 1 for 3 here, some room for improvement, the one I completed was critical while the other 2 were forward looking so things are actually going well enough here.
  • Personal – The 25% hit was to work on Photography, which I did by spending a long weekend at photocamp. You can check out the results there on Flickr. The other 75% was 10% weight loss, and I’ve kept 5 pounds off for almost all year, but nowhere near where I wanted to be. My workout routine went through some radical changes. I spent the first half of the year doing my normal running, which was doing next to nothing for me. I switched to Crossfit, which gave me huge strentgh gains, but the muscle gained outweighed the fat lost. Great for power but no gain for my back or knees. By Q4 with another dog I’ve been walking every day and that is working well. There’s also the tale of the negotiation with my old gym, but that’s another post. After the New Year’s rush (I give it 1 month for the resolution crowd to crumble) I’ll be at a new gym by the office.
  • Financial – The big goal here was to double charitable giving, and that was a big success. Of course many will note that any goal to spend more money is not much of a challenge and I’d have to agree. The other goals were to clean up and organize my investments – no problem there. The last goal was a savings target, and I only got to 30% of where I wanted to be. The backbreaker here was 5 weddings all over the US. I wouldn’t have traded those trips for anything, but they did make a financial impact. The interesting part is that after weddings and the cash spent on the charitable goal there’s no other category of spending alone that could have hit that traget.
  • Professional – As you can see from the results this was weighted to the day job, and it was a strong year. Like any VC backed company, an “event” is always on the list and there was none this year, but otherwise a very strong year, even with the ecomomy being unpredictable. Locking down my name as a domain was done and important, I also had networking events there because the only time to network is when you are not in the middle of a career change, but I chose to spend free time on M Show Productions (made up of Marketing Over Coffee, The M Show and the best marketing blog) rather than random networking. It seems to have paid off, I’m meeting great people and the podcast is growing quickly.

MOC on Hubspot.TV

The Marketeer

Live! From Cambridge! It’s Friday Night!

Today at 4pm I will be in Cambridge with Christopher Penn as guests on Hubspot TV. You can watch the show live on their site and I might even be able to keep the twitter stream open, so you can work the backchannel via @themshow

I’m also up for using Martinis as a defense for the sub-zero weather this evening. Tweet @karenrubin if you want to see the show at One Broadway in Cambridge, or hit me to reserve a spot at the post show cooldown.


The Curse of 100 and other Podcasting Tradgedies

So I thought I would have a decent post for you today. The M Show 200 had been recorded and I was going to include a link to the funniest thing I have ever heard, but alas, I have nothing.

Jenny has mentioned more than once that This American Life is a podcast worth checking out. I’ve heard this from a number of people but just never got around to actually listening. Around New Year’s I unsubscribed to a bunch of casts that I never listen to and was looking for some fresh stuff.

This American Life (TAL) had a cast about people who measure things with numbers that shouldn’t be measured. One of the segments had an artist who did a survey to see what people wanted in a painting.  For the most part everyone in the world wanted the classic mountain lake with big blue sky, except for the Danish who like abstract art.

Better yet they took the concept further and surveyed people about what they liked in music. From that they made what should be the world’s most likeable song, and the world’s least. Hearing a Soprano rapping with a tuba in the background is proven to be appealing to less than 1% of the population. People also hate songs about the holidays, and hate to hear children singing. When they played the clip of the kid’s choir singing about Labor Day and Yom Kippur I was laughing so hard in my car that I was crying.

The bad news is that TAL does so much traffic that they don’t leave the files up so I have no link for you.

As far as The M Show I have found the curse of the hundreds. Show 100 was a huge problem, I recorded it no less than 5 times before I was able to finish it. I’m on my 3rd attempt at show 200 now. I’ve had trouble with maybe 5 shows total, the other 195 were in one take. It’s times like these that make me think the M Show may have to be shelved forever, with Marketing Over Coffee continuing to gain momentum it’s hard to come up with a reason why I should keep spending time on The M Show, but then every once in a while it’s a whole lot of fun….

Daily Life

7 Things You Don’t Know About Me

Bob, the host of the Beancast, where I get to play 3rd rate John Dvorak, tagged me on the 7 Things Meme, so here we go:

  1. I’ve already done a “Hey! It’s me post!”, here’s a bunch of J-Funk trivia.
  2. I ran the Boston Marathon in 2002, and regret the fact that it’s far enough away that it makes me sound like a has-been. Just as important as running was getting to work with the Franciscan Hospital for Children.
  3. My 2 favorite restaurants are The Greek Corner in Cambridge by the Arlington Line, and Tlaloc in San Francisco
  4. I have only one first cousin on my Dad’s side of the family, 11 on my Mom’s side. The 11 are all out in Michigan, and when we go up north we go to the Dockside.
  5. The secret unpublished reason I created Marketing Over Coffee, the best internet marketing podcast, was to get books about marketing for free before they are published. This sinister plot has been working perfectly.
  6. I have almost no short term memory for random words or numbers, when tested I am in the bottom 5% for recall.
  7. I used to have the top corner office in the 2nd tallest building on the Seattle skyline, could see the Piers and Mt. Rainier.

One thing that I’ve found is that when I tag my friends they are about as likely to ignore tagging as anyone else, so I might as well shoot at the A-List – I’d like to see 7 things from Seth Godin, Jason Calacanis (it’s ok, you can do it via email), Adam CurryJohn Dvorak (Channel Dvorak is what the future of Journalism will look like (how about some graphic design though?), and Chris Pirillo (if he has any secrets left after years of lifecasting). I’ll even throw in a meal at a good restaurant if anyone steps up.


For Racing Gamers

If you’re into racing games at all check out the latest round of cars in Burnout Paradise….

Geek Stuff

Hard Drive Turned to 11

Ok, I know I have been MIA for a while, I have a bunch of fun stories to tell and the good news is that they are saved as drafts so they will all get out eventually.
One item with a Geek Factor 11 for today. I’ve been working on the same laptop at work for over 3 years, you’d think I’d be the type begging the IS guy to upgrade every 6 months but the truth is that I have so much software, all tweaked for my work that it takes a good 2 to 3 days to build a PC with all the stuff I need (unlike a Mac where you string two machines together with Firewire and in 30 minutes you are done, but that’s another story).
For over a year Kevin, basically my Q, has been asking when will I upgrade and my answer has been consistent – as soon as there is a good tablet or when I can get a 64GB SSD. For those under Yoda level geekdom, an SSD is a solid state disk drive. Instead of the normal spinning platters in a hard drive (or laptop hard drive), the SSD has memory chips not unlike what you’d find in a USB flash drive.
Because there are no moving parts there’s a significant boost in speed, and a decrease in power consumption because you don’t have to keep this mini record player spinning at 7200 RPM.
About 3 weeks ago Q told me that there were some machines open and when I saw how brown and burned out my old monitor screen was compared to the new ones I wanted to change right then.
I went to ebay for price comparison and ended up looking at 3 drives. Once I had a fresh image I found that my windows install lost about 4GB of flabby middle and that I could get by with 32GB at around $180. There was a 64GB that I thought I could get for under $400 and then a wild card I didn’t expect, 80GB (or some other weird number) from Intel for $500. The CEO of WallCorp would serve up a huge helping of whupass if I spent 5 bills on my hot rod project and I knew the 32 would eventually fall short so I took a shot at the 64GB. In what I thought was an incredible win I got it for only $320.
I later learned that I was sort of screwed, this drive was a Samsung and was a microSATA, not a “regular” SATA drive so it would not fit in the standard socket (the drive is even smaller than a standard one). This really sucked because it was now December 23rd and Q wanted to leave at a decent hour on the 24th.
Here I give a shout out to Diane and the folks at Advance Computer Services in Ohio who had the Lenovo adapter and were able to overnight it. So the $70 I “saved” on the drive price was eaten up in the adapter.
Of course the fun didn’t stop there. The parts made it in but know the drive enclosure wouldn’t recognize the SSD Drive, which was probably a power issue since SSDs have some different requirements (for the non-geek: I installed all the programs I use on a regular drive and then wanted to copy that image over to the new SSD drive, this happens by putting the new drive into a box that it can plug into and then attach to the laptop via USB so the info can get copied over. Only there the box didn’t like the SSD.
Thanks to Mahalo Answers, the coolest damn site on the web (and part of another future story), a guy gave me a brilliant solution. The good news is that the PC did recognize the SSD Drive with no problem so I inserted it and booted to CD instead of the new hard drive and ran Acronis to copy the image across. It worked perfectly.
So here are the speed test results:
The test was to boot up, start word, close the doc and shut down.
My old Dell 600M – 2:37
The New Dell D630 with a Western Digital 100GB HD – 2:10
(17% faster, and it is running anti-virus, which was mostly shut off on the 600M)
D630 with Samsung 64GB SSD – 1:14, 1.76x faster than the 7200rpm drive, 2.1x faster than the 600M
Now that I’ve had it running for a couple of weeks a few things that I’ve noticed and that others have asked about:
  1. The drive light still flashes as it normally does, but just not as often
  2. It’s totally silent, if it weren’t for the fan kicking in on the processor now and then there’d be no noise at all. Living without the constant hum and clanking of the drive is very cool.
  3. Battery seems to be only about 10-20% better, I’ve read that there’s no huge gains there and my results appear to track that.
  4. Speed opening apps is the biggest thing – Outlook, Photoshop and Dreamweaver start a good 4x faster or more.

Thus endeth the geek prayer, may the force be with you.