Category Archives: Culture

The Effort of Content Creation: An Evolution

Much like my previous posts about omnivores and MC Hammer this is something I’ve told many people in person but I’m only just now putting down in writing. Many people ask me why I think Twitter is popular, thinking there is some part of it they have yet to see. The ‘killer feature’ isn’t some page on twitter.com they haven’t seen yet but rather it’s the simplicity of what they already see. It’s not about something complicated but rather the sum of the uncomplicated parts … not unlike the internet itself. I’m way ahead of myself. This post is about the evolution of people’s self-expression on the internet, people’s internet-identity, and how I see Twitter in that context. This isn’t some lofty vision from a Twitter founder or executive. This is the view from a guy who just happened upon all of this and is still trying to explain it however he can – to himself most of all. Continue reading

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MC Hammer showed me the future of Twitter

If you’ve seen me talk at a conference or meet-up about Twitter you’ve likely heard about MC Hammer (@mchammer on Twitter). Well, since I don’t do that many speaking engagements I wanted to take a moment and record my story about about what MC Hammer taught me about Twitter … and I already worked there.

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My life in the start up arc

I’ve been working for a pretty early stage and popular start up for a few years now and I’ve learned some things. None of what I’ve learned is news to people who have been through the start up mania, and I bet there are better posts out there on the internet. These are my personal ramblings about my experience and might not reflect anyone else’s experience. Having said that, when I was making my decision to join a start up I wanted an informal description of this arc and all I found where venture capitalists and people yearning for the bygone ’90’s bubble. I’m neither of those. I’m just a guy who likes to play with badly formed analogies.

Start up life is complicated so no one analogy really explains it all. Instead I’ve opted to break it into three phases, all alike in dignity. It’s not like there is a day where you switch from one phase to the next … and I’m not even sure I could spot these again if I were in the middle of them. This is a hindsight look at the last two years. The craziest and possibly best years I’ve known.
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The Honest Omnivore

I have many friends who are vegetarian to one degree or another and I’m happy to accommodate that. I respect their choice in the same way they respect mine. In asking around about people’s dietary restrictions over the years I’ve found a group who annoy me: The Dishonest Omnivore.

I am an omnivore and I’m not ashamed. I’m also not squeamish about where my food comes from. I know that pork used to be a pig, beef a cow. I can’t say I love the feel of raw chicken in my hands. What I can say is that I like the taste of chicken more than I dislike dealing with it in the raw … and because of that I’m unashamed to be an omnivore.

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On Heroism – A Rocky Analogy

After reading Alex Payne’s post on heroism (Don’t Be A Hero) I have to say I was a little irked. I disagree somewhat on the details of what defines a hero in this context and that seems to be the crux of my discomfort. I don’t think hero’s have to work until four in the morning. Nor do I think a hero creates inherently lower quality software. A hero is someone so dedicated and passionate about what they are doing that they are willing to work hard and deliver when other people are not (and for some people, what they are passionate about is not low-quality “feature work”). For some “heros” this becomes late nights, for others early mornings, and for still others it’s a during the day activity with no extra time. I’ll be honest, that last case is pretty rare, because the passionate usually see time as flexible and success as a rigid goal.

I was never really sure how to some up my feelings on the post until last night. Oddly, it was the Eye of The Tiger scene in Persepolis that enlightened me. I’ve seen Rocky many times – and even once in the last few weeks – but somehow seeing that well-worn scene re-used highlighted my feelings. What’s great about Rocky is that it gives me a way to sum up not just The Hero, but also the personalities that often surround them.
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