If I had to pick one day in California to make others jealous of the weather, it’d be this morning.  (Taken with instagram)

If I had to pick one day in California to make others jealous of the weather, it’d be this morning. (Taken with instagram)

Friday Management Therapy

At a recent workshop, I walked the group through an exercise where we listed the characteristics of a bad manager.

Here’s the list. I’m wondering what’s missing.

The First Three Bookmarks

It struck me that you could learn a lot from how folks prioritize and organize their bookmarks, so I asked Twitter about their first three bookmarks or bookmark groups. I graphed the responses with two or more results until an hour or so ago… Brief thoughts:

Questions for Designers from Engineers

Regarding: http://twitter.com/rands/status/6123537976:

“ To postulate the existence of ideas apart from things is merely to complicate the problem ”


I’ve been trying on URL shortening services for the past year.  The usual story has been: looks good, tell a friend, gets popular, and doesn’t scale. The end.

Bit.ly has just been getting better.

There’s an obfuscation argument to be made about URL shorteners. Yes, they’re hiding information behind their tiny URLs. Yes, meaning is lost, but there’s also fascinating data to be grabbed.

What you’re looking at URLs I shortened and published via Twitter for a two and a half week period in May/June.  The yellow line represents the number of followers I have, the blue line represents how many folks clicked on my specific shortened link, and the green bar is total clicks on that link regardless of who shortened it.

While 2.5 weeks of data is statistically miniscule, what you’re seeing is roughly a 14% click-thru rate for the URLs that I shortened. You can argue that is artificially high because the shortened URL is obfuscated — you don’t actually know what content is behind the URL is until you’ve clicked on it — but in a world where 2% click-thru rates are pretty sweet, this is intriguing number.

I’m wondering what other folks are seeing…

Being Geek

The title of the next book is “Being Geek”. This title provides a continuity problem with other Rands writings. Many years ago I wrote an article called Nerd Attention Deficiency Disorder. I went back and forth on the title: nerd or geek? It came down to the inevitable acronym: N.A.D.D. or G.A.D.D? Neither are great, but N.A.D.D. wasn’t horrific, so I picked nerd as my term to describe my species and stuck with it.

As titles were debated for the new book, “Being Geek” showed up out of no where and I loved it. Again, the problem is, I kind’a picked nerd as the term, but “Being Nerd” just… doesn’t work.

This topic needs to be addressed early in the book. Am I going to stick with one label or jump back and forth? As research, I asked Twitter which was more derogatory: nerd or geek? And why?

The response was fascinating. A collection is listed below along with some of my thoughts. Statistically, almost 50% said nerd was more derogatory. 15% nominated geek. 33% picked neither or abstained. 5% nominated dork.

This is good news for the title, but does little to settle issue regarding picking a name and sticking with it. You be the judge:

The Scrub List

While I valiantly attempt to regularly use RSS readers, my standard means of mass information consumption remains the bookmark group. I have three: News, Mac, and Scrub.

Scrub is an ever evolving set of news aggregators that hit three to five times a day. They are:

The Rules of Men When They Are Angry (Incomplete)

(Contradictions forthcoming)

1. We believe we have it all figured out and when data arrives that reminds us that we do not, we get angry.

2. During this angry period, we are jerks.

3. We are never wrong.

4. Don’t get in the way. We’ll take it out on you. Doesn’t matter who you are.

5. There is likely no conversation you can have with us which is going to make us feel better.  We need to move from boiling over to simmer to gone.

6. Gone will show up when you’re not looking.

7. You need to understand the basic reason we’re pissed, but even if you get us to talk, we’re not telling you the basic reason.

In a comfort food battle between mashed potatoes and mac’n’cheese, I’m not sure who would win.