We had some issues during a wordpress upgrade a couple months ago that was causing commenting to break, along with a bunch of other odd issues. Wordpress is now upgraded and I installed a new look for the blog to change things up a bit. Let me know if you see anything wonky!
As a part of our never-ending quest to help people find better food, I’ll be blogging about Chicago life on NBC5 Chicago’s Street Team blog (Thanks for the opporunity Marcus!). I’ll be focusing on restaurants around Chicago as I embark on my personal goal to try every restaurant in the city…budget and lifespan allowing . The blog is a team effort of about 30 volunteers:
The Street Team is a diverse group of Chicago-area residents who have at least one thing in common — they love to hang out and stay in-the-know when it comes to the myriad of entertainment choices this metro area has to offer.
So far it’s been pretty exciting to be part of this team. I got to go to the NBC building in Chicago to take a tour of the news room and shoot a video intro in one of the tv studios. They had the professional camera crew and all the lights on and each volunteer was supposed to do a quick couple sentence intro. It was intimidating to watch some of the NBC pros calmly and smoothly give their pitch. If you’re curious, here’s my profile and video intro (requires Windows Media Player).
If you want to know what’s going on in Chicago, check out the Street Team Blog.
In a previous life, one where I was actually being paid to write software, I was a hermit.Â I spent most of my time in my office, door closed, heads-down on whatever the must-fix technical problem of the moment was.Â In my naivetÃ© I figured that the rewards and recognition should come based mainly on the quality (and quantity) of my productivity.Â I’d heard that this mysterious thing called "networking" was supposed to work wonders for a career, but to me it seemed a bit dirty and fake.Â In my mind, networking was just a crutch to supplement what couldn’t be shown through productivity.
It took time, but I came to see that networking wasn’t dirty or fake.Â At a basic level it’s simply a force multiplier, amplifying the effects and opportunities that come from one’s work.Â Still, it was tough to change my habits from what the had become.Â Perhaps it was because I was still working with in the same group, or perhaps it was a function of the culture I was raised in, or maybe it was one of a myriad of other factors.Â Isn’t it always easier to blame anything and everything but yourself?
Complacency sneaks up easily in a stable corporate job, which is one of the reasons Justin and I decided to take the sink-or-swim approach of doing our own thing.Â Having been at it for a couple months now, I’m well on the road to being a convert – networking is important in a corporation but almost life-and-death for a startup.Â Even with our limited networks we’ve been able to find fantastic contacts and resources to help our business.Â One thing that’s helped my conversion has been discovering two networks of local entrepreneurs in similar positions as myself:
- Biznik is a small business networking group that was started here in Seattle, partly as a reaction to existing business networking associations that were stuffy and what I’d call "fake".Â Members host all kinds of interesting and informative events.Â I found the site through a post on Scott Berkun’s blog (highly recommended), and my first Biznik event was a website design and UI crash course hosted by him and Ario Jafarzadeh, a local user experience designer.Â I’ve been to a few events and found the members to be open, friendly and definitely not "fake".
- Seattletechstartups is a small and informal group of techies in the Seattle area who are either doing or thinking about doing their own startups.Â I went to my first meeting last week and met a number of interesting people (and ideas).Â It’s amazing how many of them are ex (or current) Microsofties.
To my surprise, I had a great time meeting new and interesting people at these groups, and it didn’t feel "forced" in any way.Â Networking also helped satisfy the need for social interaction that can be an unexpected issue when doing your own thing.Â All in all, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far, but there’s definitely room to grow.Â Here’s one small step in that direction: I’ll be attending the Seattle Mind Camp 3.0 on November 11-12.Â What could be more fun than 300 people together for 24 hours, discussing whatever comes to mind?Â Let me know if you’re going, hope to see you there.
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I recently learned about LeapFish, a site which offers estimates on the value of any given domain name. For each domain they calculate a CVS (Combined Value Score), which is composed of a number of factors, including whether it’s a .com/.org/.net, how similarly it matches a dictionary word, and the number of search results on Google, Yahoo and MSN there are for the name.
Here are the values for some domains that I tried:
- AOL.com: $981,722
- Microsoft.com: $1,644,314
- Google.com: $2,840,064
- Yahoo.com: $1,393,944
- twobitoperation.com: $14,406
Based on the value for this site, it’s obvious LeapFish has some significant errors with undervaluation. Â Still, the attributes that they use to make their valuations seem pretty reasonable – I’ll definitely use their site when choosing the next domain name to register.Â Let us know what your site’s worth!
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I was reading Guy Kawasaki’s blog today when I noticed he had a little “Powered by Qumana” tagline at the bottom of his posts. I decided to check it out because if it helped “power” Guy’s blog to the Technorati Top 50, then I wanted to use it too So here it goes – the inaugural post using Qumana.
What is Qumana? and what can it do?
- A WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) desktop blog editor
- Post to your blog without having to log into your blog site and it works on both Windows and Mac
- Manage multiple blogs from the same application
- Add Technorati tags to your posts (this helps other people find your posts easier)
- Oh, and it lets you add Q-Ads into your posts Q-Ads is their own ad system that allows you to add ads by keywords (not contextual like Google Adsense).
After I try using it a few more times, I’ll write a follow-up post with my thoughts about both Qumana and Q-Ads. It seems pretty easy to use so far.
Tags: Blog, Editor, Ads, Q-Ads, Qumana, WYSIWYG
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