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'Personal' Archive

Events, happenings, and places around the area.

The Deal with My Blog

So in the years this blog has existed it’s been a number of things. All of them inspired, none of them that well executed. To be honest, if I didn’t like the design so much, I’d probably take the whole thing down right now. But I do like the design, so up the blog shall stay. It’s not that I don’t want to write, or even that I don’t have anything to write about. It’s just that I’m changing and growing up and so is the web. People don’t want a personal blog shoved on them. Blogs should be focused, so that they may be sought out. So here’s the plan:

For now, I will create a single portal page that will serve as my “homepage” on the web: basic, with links to all the places I can be found and things I’m working on. From there I’ll link here, since I’m sure I’ll still write occasional gems of wisdom and who knows, might even become more prolific (there I go getting inspired again.) In a perfect world I’d run my blog the way Jason Santa Maria (who lives in Brooklyn. Who knew?) runs his, art directing everything. But then I’d have to change the design. And actually do more designs all the time. That’s a little ambitious, even for me. At least right now. Mostly I’m just loving what he’s doing and find myself jealous as fuck that I can’t/am not doing the same.

Why don’t I use this blog to link to everything? Because I don’t expect everyone who looks for me on the web to care about anything I have to say here. It seems presumptuous all of a sudden. People will most likely be looking for me to a) hire me b) see what I’m all about or c) check out what I’ve been working on lately. For those who want to read what I write about here, subscription’s on the sidebar.

I’m going to keep the Tumblr going because I really like it and think it’s a great service. This will be another link from my portal page. That way the people who want to see all the weird shit I look at online can do so and those that don’t care aren’t deluged with it.

I’ll have a portfolio linked off my personal domain. That way I can showcase my work outside the blog and can channel traffic to that directly when I’m looking for a job or whatever.

Rounding out the list will be links to any projects I’m currently a part of (I’ve got a few things cooking) as well as links to all the social networks in which I participate.

It’s really Twitter that’s done this to me. I can better share my feelings 140 characters at a time than in random blog posts now and then.

I feel good about this change. Let’s see how it goes.

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I don’t like to talk on the phone

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I dislike phone calls. I don’t mind a quick call here or there (though I prefer a text message,) but any long call that involves important decision making or conversation I dread. I wasn’t sure if it was just me, or even why I felt that way. It seems like I’m not alone as D. Keith Robinson recently discussed a similar dislike and got a resounding response in the comments. Here’s what I’ve figured out:

  1. I love email and even text messaging.
  2. I love talking face to face.

For a long time, I dismissed my dislike of the phone as an affectation of my shyness. Why then do I like talking to people face to face? It would seem that that would make a shy person even shyer. The more I think about it, the more I realize there are two other factors that make me hate the phone.

Turn Based Communication

I think one of the biggest issues that arise when two humans communicate is the understanding and respect of whose turn it is to talk. It’s easy to talk with someone when it’s clear when they’re done speaking and it’s my turn. Then there aren’t interruptions, and the conversation goes back and forth, like a game of pong, without error.

With email, this concept of turn based conversation is taken to the extreme. Your turn isn’t up until you’ve finished a thought and hit send. When you get an email, you know it’s your turn to respond when you’re done reading. There’s no interrupting each other. Maybe this is why I love long email chains.

In a face to face conversation, you can use body language to signify you would like to add to the conversation. This lets the other person know they should pause, that you would like it to be your turn. It’s also much easier to graciously interrupt if you have something pressing to say or the other person is getting long winded.

On the phone there’s no way to tell if you or the other person wants to take their turn. Anyone who’s been on the phone with a salesman knows this. Salesmen love the phone because they can just ramble on and on and on (see Boiler Room.) As someone who was raised not to interrupt, this adds to the stress level since I don’t want to be rude but would like to put in my two cents.

Ramble On

Many people are verbose. I’m as guilty as the next guy for often going on, and on, and on. If someone sends you a long email, you can skim through it, omitting entire sections, to get to the heart of the matter. When you’re in person it’s much easier to be interested in what someone is saying—you can make eye contact, laugh, and more easily offer witty asides and quips. On the phone, I feel trapped. If the person I’m talking to launches into a long diatribe, I’m stuck, locked into my seat until the ride is over. This feeling leads to stress and anxiety, especially if I see a call coming in for a notorious rambler.

So it seems that my dislike for the phone isn’t based in some deep-seated social phobia, but rather in my need for structure in a conversation and a love of efficiency.

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Live the FiLife

FiLife.com, a personal finance site for people who don’t like personal finance, had its public launch today. It’s already being written about as its status as a partnership between Dow Jones and IAC gives it a lot of visibility.

This is where all my time has gone over the past few months. We’ve all worked very hard to get the site up and running (it’s a small staff) and I’m quite proud of what we’ve accomplished.

So go check it out, sign up and take some stackers, rate your bank and credit cards, and ask some questions. I’d love to know what everyone thinks. If you’re shy and don’t want to send feedback directly through the site, feel free to drop me a note with your thoughts and I’ll make sure it goes where it needs to.

Now that it’s launched, maybe I’ll have more time to write. There’s a couple of site features I’m quite excited about and I’d like to feature them here.

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The thing you’ve been putting off takes less time than you think

I have a lot of ideas for new projects. I find that I only execute a small number of these ideas however. The past month that I haven’t blogged? It hasn’t been writer’s block. I have a lot of ideas for drafts, I just never write them.

I always think that I don’t have time to start something new. The idea of a brand new project, a clean slate, a blank canvas—it makes me think I need substantial time to dedicate to it at first. If I have a project already started, I can spend an hour on it and quit without worry. So what is it about starting something new that is so hard to get past?

I’ve found that things I thought would take a long time often resolve quite quickly. Then it’s done, out of my brain, I stop worrying, and my eye doesn’t start to twitch (a sure sign I’ve got too many ideas in limbo.)

This blog post is a perfect example. This is, in reality, a response to something ze Frank said today about self-motivation. That reminded me of the episode of The Show that I use for personal motivation. It was 6pm and I wanted to go home. “I don’t have time now,” I told myself, “I’ll write it later.” But my iPod was syncing and I thought “I’ll just start it.” Turns out I’m already done, and it didn’t take that long. One less idea in my head, waiting to be acted on.

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I am now a Brooklyn Resident

google-map.jpg

Ink hit paper Friday and now I finally have an apartment in New York City. I’ve been here for a few months and have looked, and looked for an apartment. It’s not an easy task. There were trials and tribulations along the way, but I finally found a place I really like. It’s in Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, which was my first choice due to the proximity to a) the Subway b) my friends c) the great neighborhood near by.

It’s a one bedroom, not huge but not tiny either, and I have a small office where I can keep my computer. I move in May 1st (after it gets new paint, doors, windows, etc) at which point I’ll post up some pictures. After I’m in, expect blog posts to become much more frequent.

Here’s an animated 360° Google Maps street view of my block:

google-map-street-level-bk.gif

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