Saturday, October 31, 2009

The W Flag

The W Flag
Originally uploaded by ChiMoose
For the last 20 years, I have wanted to own one of the "W" flags that are flown over the old scoreboard at Wrigley Field. Now, thanks to my wonderful wife, I do.

Go Cubs!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

TPS goes to Sweden

I had to post this tweet from Stefan Ronge of Stockholm ... it's the first foreign-language reference to our new TweetPositioningSystem that I am aware of.  And yes, I did check first to make sure it doesn't say, "Yet another crappy piece of twitter-dreck."  Can you guess, without using an online translator, what it does say?

Posted via email from chimoose is (pre)posterous

Monday, October 19, 2009

Greg's on the radio!

Webw Chicago Greg Interview by Innovation Center  
Download now or listen on posterous
WBEW Chicago Greg Interview.mp3 (15508 KB)

Had a great time this morning on this (all too brief) interview for public radio station WBEW (a sister to Chicago's mighty WBEZ).  Thanks to Adam and Steve from for pulling it all together.  In case the file doesn't play here, you can link to the WBEW site to listen.

Greg Matthews 

Posted via email from chimoose's posterous

When it's nice to come to work in the morning

There are times - and I think that we've all been there - when it can be pretty tough to come to work in the morning. Times when you wonder if all of the hard work is really making a difference. Times when you question the value of what you're doing.

That's why seeing a note like this is such a ray of sunshine. It's a notice that somebody, somewhere, is seeing that value and changing the way they think. That little piece of encouragement can go a long way.

So Megan Enloe, thank you. Chris Hall (aka hallicious), thank you. I'm at work on Monday morning and I feel great. Let's slay some dragons!

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Saturday, October 17, 2009

why backups are a good idea

Cable fire
Originally uploaded by f650biker
Note: This post refers to a commercially available service that's owned by some friends of mine: Rob May and Jason Falls.

I've always been kind of a computer geek (my wife would probably remove the "kind of.") I was the first kid on the block with a Macintosh back in the 80's, and was among the early adopters of something called "Chicago Online" (a piece of a fledgling service called "America Online") in the early 90s.

I've also been trying for years to digitize everything - and that includes photos. I've been storing photos digitally for years, but have been positively militant about it since my eldest daughter was born in 2000. But one thing I was never very good about was backup. Part of the blame goes to Windows, which always made backing up a lot harder than it ought to be (I'm back to Mac now, BTW). But mostly, I was just lazy.

When the hard drive on my Dell Dimension blew, I knew I was in trouble. I sent it in to one of those mail-order recovery places to see if they could help. I was willing to spend $2,000 to get my data back, but the only stuff I cared about was the pictures.

It didn't work - I lost everything, and only had about half of the pictures backed up. My mom was able to fill in some of the gaps from CDs I'd sent her over the years, but it was still pretty devastating.

Now most of my pictures are taken on my iPhone and uploaded directly to flickr - which means that I don't have to worry so much about my hard drive any more. But what about flickr? What if they go down - or out of business? And for that matter, what about all the work I've put in to building effective social networks on facebook and twitter? And even this humble blog contains some stuff that I wouldn't particularly want to lose.

I've finally gotten smart. I'm now using a service called Backupify to back up all of my online accounts. At $29 per year, it's a lot more economical than the $2,000 I was willing to pay to recover my hard drive. I'm using it to back up my accounts at:
google docs
gmail; and

I'm hoping that, as the service grows, they'll also start offering backups for my accounts at:
google reader; and

The best part about it is that - for today only - backupify is FREE for one year.

Disclosure Alert a la Hallicious.comBackupify is giving away three Amazon Gift Cards, in a random drawing, to individuals who blog about it and list a service that they would like Backupify to backupify. This post is my entry into that contest. You can participate by following the instructions here

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The wrong side of the velvet rope

I've been hearing a lot lately about the value of the "velvet rope social network*." As a business person, this sounds pretty interesting. It conjures up images of inviting just the right customers or suppliers into a snug, fancy little room to talk shop and share witty repartee. Or a social club where you can feel totally safe and at home because you know exactly who the other members are.

One of my new favorite bloggers, Julia Roy, blogged here about luxury brands who use velvet-rope social networks to connect with their customers.

But there's a downside. Exclusive sounds cool until you're the one being excluded.

One of the brands that Julia highlighted was Mercedes-Benz and their velvet rope social network, Generation Benz. I happen to be a Benz enthusiast, so I figured that I'd go check this bad boy out. I linked to the site, and had my first interaction with their "doorman" (played by this innocuous questionnaire; I imagine him as a huge, HGH-swilling beast):
I'm pretty suave, so I casually hit the "continue" button. He came right back with:

Yeah. You know that Benz wants to know what cool guys in their late 30s and older 40s are thinking.

DOH! Denied! Now I REALLY want to know what's going on behind that rope.

There's a moral to this story, right? It could be this one:
Be sure to hire the right bouncer, because he might keep out the very folks you want to have in your club.

But more likely it's this one:
Exclusivity feels nice for a while, but it's mostly just lousy to keep people out. That's what I teach my kids; why should the social web be different?

Since velvet ropes seem to be the coming thing, I'd love to know what you think!

*BIZARRE SIDE NOTE: I linked above to a video of Chris Brogan talking about velvet rope social networks, because I know that he's been interested in them. I didn't realize until after I'd posted the link that this video was filmed at my company, and that I am sitting stage right, looking up admiringly at Chris. Irony; you've got to love it.

Bouncer photo by Tawny Rockerazzi