How I Used Social Media to Buy a Car

Wow, my first post since moving to San Diego and it only took 52 days to do it! That’s pretty horrible, I must admit. Here I thought moving to a new city would inspire me to be more active in my photography and blogging. Nope. Turns out moving and starting a new job means you have next to no free time. When you do find yourself void of responsibilities, all you really want to do is relax with your iPad and new season of Nikita on Netflix. Perhaps I’m projecting a bit… Clearly I really love that show.

For all the years I lived in San Francisco I never owned a car. It just wasn’t necessary. I walked almost everywhere in that city, and loved it. It was a healthy way to get around and it allowed me a little time to myself. When I needed to go further than a say a mile, I’d take the Muni. And despite what many of the locals might say, we have a stellar mass transit system.

My apartment had a Walk Score of 98 and a Bike Score of 95. My office had a Walk Score of 92, a Transit Score of 100 and a Bike Score of 89. Basically I had the world, just steps away. San Diego, well it isn’t quite the same here. Continue reading

Chill Out Y’all, it’s Just Instagram “Ruining” Itself Again

All this talk today about Instagram adding video and how that is going to ruin it reminded me of all the talk about Facebook acquiring Instagram and how that was going to ruin it. It didn’t just in case you were wondering. Also it reminds me of that Instagram added Android devices and how that was going to ruin it. Hell, remember when people remarked that Instagram changed some filters and how it was going to ruin it?

Let’s go over that again.

  • Did filter changes ruined Instagram? — No
  • Did adding Android ruin Instagram? — No
  • Did Facebook’s acquisition ruin Instagram? — No
  • Will the addition of video ruin Instagram? — No

Instagram adding video is not an Instagram decision. It isn’t about expanding features within the app answering a feature request from its 100 million users. It’s simply about Facebook’s continued battle with Twitter as the dominant social network.

They battled over acquiring Instagram, Twitter lost. Twitter births Vine as a response (6 seconds long video service, no filters) so Facebook’s natural response is to add video to Instagram (3 to 15 seconds long video with filters). This just a week after Facebook added hashtags, a Twitter staple, to their network. Don’t even get me started on URL shorteners, Google+ and “firehoses.” Continue reading

David Foster Wallace Commencement Speech

Today’s inspirational and profound video was shared on Twitter by my good friend Samantha Ogborn. In a world where all we hear about is IRS scandals, Oklahomans losing everything due to massively destructive tornados and something called the Real Housewives of New Jersey, this sort of commentary is a relief. It’s inspirational, applicable to all of our lives and probably the funniest thing I’ve seen all day.

This is Water: Some Thoughts Delivered on a Significant Occasion about Living a Compassionate Life

In 2005, author David Foster Wallace was asked to give the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. However, the resulting speech didn’t become widely known until 3 years later, after his tragic death. It is, without a doubt, some of the best life advice we’ve ever come across, and perhaps the most simple and elegant explanation of the real value of education. Continue reading

Twitter Still Down

I remember when Twitter being down was a regular thing. Then for nearly two years we got used to Twitter being pretty rock solid. I’m not sure what is going on these days over at Twitter HQ but we are once again without their service. 

At least they’ve given us a good reason for being down. “<=%reason %>. In all honesty, at least they have a homepage again. Earlier today you got nothing when going to www.twitter.com. So this is a step in the right direction from what appears on the surface to be a DDoS attack.

Beyond the fact that people aren’t able to update us on the every nuance of their lives, Twitter being down can cause even more severe problems across the web. Continue reading

We’re having a Seattle Tweetup!

I arrived from Texas and Orlando into San Francisco around midnight last night. Eight and a half hours later I was back at the airport but this time headed to Seattle. And this time for the sole purpose of having a great time going on adventures in the Emerald City.

The great people from the Seattle Department of Tourism and Klout have provided Ryan and I, along with Aaron and his friend, a free, all-expense trip to Seattle to explore the city and share our experiences with everyone we know. It’s called Two Days in Seattle. Ryan and I have already arrived at the Silver Cloud Hotel and Aaron is on his way!

Tomorrow night we’re hoping to get a group of people together for a meetup. Aaron’s got the details on his blog post here, but I’ll paste them below as well. Hope to see you all there!

Saturday, July 21st 7:30pm
Grim’s, Butterfly Lounge & The Woods
1512 11th Avenue, Seattle, CA 98122

We’ll also be doing dinner ahead of the meetup. If you want to join, just shoot me or Aaron a tweet and we’ll let you know where and when! Can’t wait to meet and explore your city.

You’re welcome to RSVP to the Facebook event. Follow the hashtag #2DaysinSeattle and the @2DaysinSeattle account to keep up with what we’re doing up here. Also you can follow Aaron (what you aren’t already?!) on Twitter.

Amazon Killed the Internet

Tonight, these sites and perhaps hundreds more died. At least temporarily.

The Internet was ablaze (almost ironically) tonight when a massive storm on the East Coast caused a power outage that affected Amazon’s “Amazon Web Servicescloud server system. AWS is what power so many sites and services these days. It’s their reliability, scalability, cost and speed that have so many startups jumping to their system.

Tonight became Survivor – Startup Edition

However, tonight highlights what happens when you rely on a single fail point. What’s the adage? “You’re only as strong as your weakest link.” Well tonight it was a single Amazon server location’s power outage that has many of the most popular sites offline. Amazingly, Twitter is not one of the sites shutdown.

 

Once the power is back on, or once Amazon starts shifting bandwidth and syncing servers, all of these sites will be back up and running. What’s disappointing is that even though Amazon has tons of servers all over the country, it only took one power outage to cripple their system.  Continue reading

It’s Time to End Marriage Inequality

My Twitter friend Gabe retweeted a link tonight from @Padbury that simply read, “Please watch this, ‘It’s Time'”. I stopped what I was doing and decided to click the YouTube link. What followed was one of the best marriage equality videos I have ever seen. Zero dialog, remarkably real and absolutely magical. This is what matters.

Please share this post, this video, this message with the people in your life. Also, check out http://www.getup.org.au/marriagematters. There are half a dozen ways below this video to share this with all of your friends. Take this step for marriage equality.

That is all, thanks so much.