Category: Other

If you steal second safely the first time, don’t push your luck and do it again.

Jean Segura Stole Second Base, Then Got Caught Trying To Steal Second:

“he tried to steal third and wound up taking first instead.”

What is this… I don’t even… huh? Even watching the video makes very little sense. In short, he stole second, tried to steal third and ended up back at first, then got thrown out stealing second the second time. 

No, that doesn’t really help, does it. Just watch the video. 

Buzz, Twitter, Facebook

I see a lot of posts asking how to crosspost between all the various social networks – “How do I get Buzz posts to show up on my Facebook status?” “Can I make it so my MySpace updates when I put something on Twitter?”

You know what? I don’t want that. I have it set up so most of my stuff feeds back to here – that’s because I want one place to have everything. But think about it for a second – let’s say one of my friends has achieved this holy grail of everything gets updated simultaneously. I’m connected to them on Twitter, Facebook and Buzz. They post something… I get it three times. Moreover, I can’t necessarily stop following them on two feeds… how do I choose? Maybe the response I was interested will be from someone on a feed I opted out of.

So no, I’m not looking for a way to update everything at once. And I wish the rest of you would stop filling my inboxes with triplicate messages when you figure out how to do it.

Not Going Postal

The other day I had to ship a package – stuff my mother-in-law left here from her visit. We had it all boxed up and ready to go, so I took it with me to run some errands. At first, I thought I’d just go to the post office – but when I walked in, I changed my mind. Instead, I went to the UPS Store which was somewhat out of the way for the day’s itinerary.

First thing was that the post office wasn’t clear on whether I could just use the box I had or would I have to buy a new box? I know from previous experience, what would happen if I had to buy a new box – back to the end of the line. I also noticed there wasn’t any tape out there, although they had some to sell. So again, not sure if they would help me out or make me buy a roll. (I’ve had experiences both ways, so it was a bit of a crapshoot). Third was just the general look of the Post Office – it looked like no one actually cared. Industrial grey walls, superficially organized but not really once you actually went into depth, and employees who didn’t really seem to care. I know that not every post office is like this, but this one was on that day.

So I went off to the less convenient UPS store. Walked in, gave my unsealed box to the guy, he took the address information and gave me a price. Done. I didn’t have to worry about boxing it up, supplies, or anything. They just took care of it. Needless to say, I’m not planning to bother with trying the Post Office next time I have to send something out.

When I got home, I went to the USPS website. Turns out that it would have cost me a buck more to ship it with them.

This isn’t meant as a criticism of the Post Office specifically. Honestly, it didn’t matter to me which way I sent it – it’s all about what is going to require the least effort for me. In that light, the message is probably this:

Don’t make it harder for me to want to give your business money.

It’s no surprise to me that the post office is considering dropping a day of delivery and raising rates. Their roots are government based, and it shows – there’s no effort to be customer-service oriented. At least not that day at that location.

The Sinking of the Titanics of Newsprint

? Pay Walls:

“The fundamental problem facing the news industry is simple: As the shift from print to the web accelerates, their revenues are no longer covering the cost of their operations. It’s not that they aren’t making money online, it’s that they aren’t making enough to cover their operations.

The potential solutions are, at a fundamental level, obvious: (a) generate more revenue from the web; (b) cut operating costs; or (c) both. Small measures will not do the job. And things are getting worse as more readers shift from print to the web.”

As usual, Gruber is dead-on right [1]. At Want Ad, we took down the online pay wall too late. Once we did, web traffic took off and we needed to have a way to generate additional revenue from that traffic. We didn’t do that quick enough either. The David Simon essay he links to has one piece right – act quickly. But putting up an obstacle to getting to your product? Wrong action.

Figure out how to make ends meet with the traffic you get. Figure out how to increase your traffic. Figure out how to get more money for the traffic you get. Whatever you do, don’t make it more difficult for people to get to your content.

[1] Well, except for being a New York fan.

Update: More discussion of the same subject at MetaFilter, which is interesting as they are actually a closer model to what I believe the papers need – pay-to-contribute, small staff, open access to content. They don’t have ads for people who paid for an account.