Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
My main gig for nearly 8 years has been a group of radio stations in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
I also do some work for a Hispanic newspaper, (and I don't speak Spanish!), plus I have my own advertising and marketing firm, ScLoHo Marketing Solutions.
But where do I work?
Where ever I want.
My laptop is my virtual office. 6 years ago I gave up my desktop computer at the radio stations because I didn't need it.
Yesterday we brought on a new salesperson who doesn't want a desktop computer either. She'll use her laptop.
So, for the price of a cup of coffee, I can "rent" an internet connection at any local coffee shop, McDonalds, and coming next month, Starbucks will be offering free wifi.
Read more about this from Seth Godin:
Factories used to be arranged in a straight line. That's because there was one steam engine, and it turned a shaft. All the machines were set up along the shaft, with a belt giving each of them power. The office needed to be right next to this building, so management could monitor what was going on.
150 years later, why go to work in an office/plant/factory?
- That's where the machines are.
- That's where the items I need to work on are.
- The boss needs to keep tabs on my productivity.
- There are important meetings to go to.
- It's a source of energy.
- The people I collaborate with all day are there.
- I need someplace to go.
- If you have a laptop, you probably have the machine already, in your house.
- If you do work with a keyboard and a mouse, the items you need to work on are on your laptop, not in the office.
- The boss can easily keep tabs on productivity digitally.
- How many meetings are important? If you didn't go, what would happen?
- You can get energy from people other than those in the same company.
- Of the 100 people in your office, how many do you collaborate with daily?
- So go someplace. But it doesn't have to be to your office.
If we were starting this whole office thing today, it's inconceivable we'd pay the rent/time/commuting cost to get what we get. I think in ten years the TV show 'the Office' will be seen as a quaint antique.
When you need to have a meeting, have a meeting. When you need to collaborate, collaborate. The rest of the time, do the work, wherever you like.
The gain in speed, productivity and happiness is massive. What's missing is #7... someplace to go. Once someone figures that part out, the office is dead.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The source is Windows Secrets:
Little-known beta apps enhance Gmail's usability
By Lincoln Spector
While there's much to like about Gmail, there's also much that's missing — such as multiple signatures, hierarchical tags, and the ability to embed pictures as part of your mail.
You might be surprised to learn that Gmail actually does support those features, and about 50 more, in a beta program called Gmail Labs.
Each lab adds something to Gmail, and some are truly worthwhile. Installing preproduction software is usually a bit dicey, but using Web-based beta products doesn't carry much risk. A Gmail lab might break, but it won't damage your PC.
The labs are browser-neutral; I've used the same ones in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome without any problems. Start Labs by going to your Gmail settings and clicking the Labs tab. On the Labs Settings page, enable the individual apps you want to try. Once you have saved the changes, a small green beaker will appear in the upper-right bar on your Gmail screen. (See Figure 1.) Click it from any Gmail window to add or disable Labs.
Figure 1. The Gmail Labs page, accessed by clicking the little green beaker (circled in yellow), is where you enable and disable Gmail's new beta e-mail tools.
Here are my five favorite labs, add-ons I now consider as essential parts of my Gmail experience. I'll finish with a wished-for sixth lab — it doesn't exist, but it should.
Avoid repetitive typing with Canned Responses
We all have strings of text that we enter into e-mails over and over again. They might include your mailing address, a common introductory paragraph, and two or three signatures. Enable Canned Responses, and you'll have to type each of these strings only one more time.
First, type something you'll want to use again; highlight the text; then select the Canned responses link below the subject field. Select New canned response and give your new response a name. (See Figure 2.)
Figure 2. With Gmail's Canned Response lab, you can enter frequently used text and quickly insert it into future mail.
The next time you want to insert those words into an outgoing message, select it from the same Canned responses pull-down menu.
I do have one complaint about Canned Responses: You can't organize your responses or even sort them. It would, for example, be nice to pull several signatures together, collect them into one group, and arrange them in a convenient order. However, they remain listed in the order in which you created them.
Embed photos and illustrations in your e-mail
It's almost pathetic that Inserting Images has to exist as a Lab. It should have been part of Gmail's default features from the beginning. After all, photos and illustrations have been a standard part of e-mail for a very long time. I'm not talking about attached images — I'm referring to images, such as a company logo, that are embedded in the body text.
Before Inserting Images was added to Labs, people had to resort to all sorts of tricks to place a photo inside a Gmail message. A method I used was to create a Google Docs document with text and an embedded image, then copy and paste it into a message.
Once you've enabled the Inserting Images lab, that problem is over. You'll find an image icon in the Gmail editing toolbar. Click that, and you can insert a picture from a local file or from the Internet.
Organize Gmail labels with the Nested Labels lab
The creators of Gmail had a brilliant idea when they replaced the folders metaphor used in most other e-mail programs with labels. But you need the Nested Labels lab to turn those labels into a real organizing tool.
Labels behave much like folders — they are a convenient way to group related e-mails. Click on a label, and you'll see a list of all the messages you assigned to that label, just as you would with a folder in most other e-mail programs.
Labels have one big advantage over folders: you can assign multiple labels to any single message. In most e-mail clients, a message discussing two different projects can be placed into only one folder. In Gmail, you can give it both labels.
As originally conceived, labels also have a big disadvantage. You can't, for example, put a label inside another label, as you can with folders. Think how unruly your hard drive would become if every single folder — My Documents, Windows, System32, Microsoft Office, and thousands of others — all sat directly in the root directory.
This is where Nested Labels becomes essential. With this lab, labels can live inside other labels. (See Figure 3.) If you name one label Projects and another Projects/Conquer World, your Conquer World label will appear nested inside Projects in Gmail's left panel. (It's the slash that tells Gmail what goes in what.)
Figure 3. Use Nested Labels to place one label inside another, as you would folders.
It's not a perfect solution. You can't put one label inside another with a simple drag-and-drop. And the Move to and Labels pull-down menus don't show the nesting. But it's a big step in the right direction.
Mouse around more quickly within Gmail
The Mouse Gestures lab gives you yet another way to navigate around Gmail. It's not a full navigation system, but it nicely augments the basic technique of clicking the appropriate links and icons as well as the keyboard shortcuts.
Finished reading one message and want to go to the next one? With Mouse Gestures enabled, simply hold down the right mouse button and move the mouse slightly to the left. (Moving it to the right brings you to the previous message.) Move it up, and you leave the message and get back to the inbox, where mouse gestures no longer work.
That's it — just those three gestures. But hey, it's free and you don't even have to install anything. And once you're used to them, you won't want to give them up.
Organize e-mail priority with colorful stars
The Superstars lab is an easy way to organize your top-priority messages.
Normally, Gmail displays a little white star outline next to every e-mail. Click it, and it turns bright yellow — a convenient way to make high-priority items stand out. You can even click the Starred link near the top of the left panel to see all your starred items.
With the Superstars lab enabled, clicking that white star will still turn it yellow. But click it again, and it turns blue; click a third time, and you get a green circle with a check mark; a fourth click produces a red circle with an exclamation point. The fifth click starts the cycle over again. (See Figure 4.)
Figure 4. Superstars lets you add both color and organization to your Gmail inbox.
The different icons don't actually change any Gmail behavior — you can't, for example, filter your messages to show only those with a red circle. But they do help you categorize and prioritize e-mail conversations. For instance, you could use the green icon for financial issues, and the red one for top priorities. The result not only gives you more information at a glance, it also makes your screen more colorful.
A lab is needed for managing Gmail conversations
Gmail Labs offers a whole lot more than the five I've described. You can customize keyboard shortcuts, display appointments from Google Calendar, and stop a message seconds after you sent it. You can even put the old Beta notice back into the Gmail icon.
I really like Gmail's conversation metaphor (an enhanced type of e-mail thread); it's one major reason I switched to Gmail in the first place. By keeping each original message and all its replies together as a single unit, Gmail shortened the inbox list and logically connected your various mail discussions. The result made managing e-mail much, much easier.
But you can't separate a message from a Gmail conversation, nor can you put one in. Gmail is only a program, after all, and occasionally it links a message to the wrong conversation. Gmail doesn't offer any way to correct these errors. When a message lands in the wrong conversation, there's nothing you can do about it.
So this is the lab I want to see: Remove from/Add to Conversation. I hope someone at Google is reading this.
Monday, June 14, 2010
She likes Dancing with the Stars and the Bachelor series, and I prefer House or something more manly.
Which brings me to this from the AOM Blog:
12 Classic and Manly Cop and Detective Shows
For over a century, cops and detectives have been icons of American masculinity. Combining brain power and brute force, these gumshoes represent the myth of the lone hero who is forever faced with new challenges and puzzles, a man who must rub shoulders with the criminal element but maintain his integrity, a prototype of the old pioneer, courageously facing down fear to make the world safe for women and children. The cop/detective icon has such a powerful grasp on the American imagination that many of the most popular TV shows in U.S. history feature cops or private investigators as the main characters.
Although TV today abounds with plenty of cop and detective shows, I always find myself going back to watch the genre’s classics. A big reason is straight up nostalgia. I remember watching these shows with my dad on our huge wood encased TV with rabbit ears. I guess it’s a way to relive my childhood a bit.
But another reason I like the oldies is because of their simple rawness. Cop and detective shows today are too slick and glossy. There’s no heart to them. Shows like CSI and Bones like to wow audiences with fancy technology and buxom lab techs, but at the end of the show, I just don’t feel connected to the characters. The classics have a grit and straightforward simplicity that I find appealing.
Below, I put together a short list of my favorite classic cop and detective shows. I think all of them showcase men who encapsulate that rugged and edgy manliness that we often admire. (Oh, and you can watch many of these shows for free on Hulu.com. If the show’s available on Hulu, I provided a link to it so you can watch it when you need a dose of crime-fighting manliness.)
Mannix is a damn manly name. And Joe Mannix lived up to it. He started his sleuthing career working at a high-tech detective firm called Intertect, but decided that he could do a better job than a bunch of crappy computers with just his wits and a gun. So he left and started his own detective agency. Mannix worked hard and played hard. He drove convertibles with awesome 1967 car phones. He told the hot L.A. sun to go to hell by wearing heavily patterned tweed sports coats. Yeah, Mannix was all man.
Tom Selleck plays Thomas Magnum (apparently having an uber-manly name is a prerequisite in this business), a private investigator that lived and worked in Hawaii. Magnum solved cases while sporting his signature manly mustache, Detroit Tigers ballcap, Rolex GMT Master wristwatch, and Hawaiian shirts strategically unbuttoned to let his manly chest hair peek out. Magnum was so damned manly that after the writers killed him off in the seventh season, he came back to life just so he could make an eighth season. You can’t keep a good man down. Or dead.
You can watch full episodes of Magnum, P.I. for free on Hulu.
Kojak was the man. Just look at him. His big bald Grecian head struck fear in the hearts of criminals prowling the South Manhattan streets. Theo Kojak (played by Telly Savalas) was a tough and tenacious NYPD cop who dressed well and liked to suck on his trademark lollipop. He had a gravely voice with a tough New York accent that made the ladies melt, especially when he dropped his foolproof line, “Who loves ya, baby?”
You can watch full episodes of Kojak for free on Hulu.com.
The Rockford Files
Ex-con turned private investigator, Jim Rockford (played by James Garner) wasn’t your typical TV private dick. He’d just as soon avoid a fight and go fishing than bust down a door with pistols a-blazing. Rockford rarely carried a gun and instead relied on his wits, smooth talking, and patented Rockford Turn, executed in his gold Pontiac Firebird Esprit. Rockford didn’t make much money as a private eye, mainly because his clients weaseled out of his “$200 a day plus expenses” fee. So Rockford lived in a trailer by the beach and bought off the rack clothing. But he did it with the kind of charm and style that richer men could only aspire to.
You can watch full episodes of The Rockford Files for free on Hulu.com.
In the Heat of the Night
Based on the awesome movie of the same name, In the Heat of the Night follows small town police chief Bill Gillespie (played by Caroll O’Conner) and detective Virgil Tibbs (played by Howard Rollins). The show takes place in a small town in Alabama where as a black man, Detective Tibbs must solve crimes while contending with the locals’ deep-seated racism. It doesn’t help that you got Archie Bunker as your boss. I’ve got a lot of memories of watching this show. It was one of my dad’s favorites.
Sgt. Rick Hunter (played by Fred Dryer) was a rule breaking L.A. homicide detective who couldn’t hold onto a partner. On top of that, he had family in the mob. Needless to say, Hunter’s leaders weren’t too happy to have him around and tried to give him the boot. Eventually Hunter partnered up with Sgt. Dee Dee ‘The Brass Cupcake” McCall (played by Stepfanie Kramer), a tough and sexy female crime detective. I guess having a broad around helped smooth out Hunter’s rough edges. He ends up staying with McCall for 8 ass kicking years.
You can watch full episodes of Hunter for free on Hulu.com.
This was a quintessential 80s show filled with white suits, New Wave music, and of course, crime fighting. Don Johnson played Sonny Crockett and Phillip Michael Thomas played Rico Tubbs. The two team up as undercover detectives to fight drug trafficking and prostitution rings in Miami. Filled with epic car and boat chases, Miami Vice had plenty of action to go around. And, for better or for worse, Miami Vice had a big impact on men’s style. Come on, admit it. If you were a 20-something in the the 80s, you wore black t-shirts under a white blazer. Oh yeah….
You can watch full episodes of Miami Vice for free on Hulu.com.
Hill Street Blues
Hill Street Blues changed American TV dramas. Before Hill Street Blues, most TV dramas had very simple plots. Hill Street Blues was the first show to introduce multiple story lines and incorporate elements of the characters’ personal lives into their professional work. The show takes place in an un-named American city (it was Chicago) where the cops and detectives fight gang violence and other crimes. It’s a pretty straightforward, day-in-the-life-of-a-cop show. A memorable catch phrase from the show that other cop shows and movies have endlessly recycled came from Michael Conrad’s character, Sgt. Phil Esterhaus. He ended every briefing by lifting his finger and telling his officers, “Let’s be careful out there.”
You can watch full episodes of Hill Street Blues for free on Hulu.com.
Adam-12 spun off from the wildly successful 60s cop show, Dragnet. The show follows two LAPD patrol officers, veteran Peter Malloy and rookie cop Jim Reed. The stories in Adam-12 were pulled right from LAPD case files. One episode might feature an exciting chase with the help of a helicopter pilot while another episode would show mundane police procedures like bookings or debriefings. The plots are simple, but highly entertaining.
You can watch full episodes of Adam-12 for free on Hulu.com.
Dragnet is the Great Granddaddy of pretty much every cop/detective show in television history. Jack Webb created, produced, and starred as the iconic Joe Friday in Dragnet. The show began as a radio program, but made its way to television in 1951. Webb wanted to create a cop show that portrayed police work as realistically as possible. To do that, Webb attended police academies, went on night patrols with LAPD officers, and frequently visited police headquarters to research for his episodes. During its run, the main detective, Joe Friday, went through a few partners, but his most memorable partner was Officer Bill Gannon played by Harry Morgan. Gannon played the funny man role, while Friday played the straight man in this double act. An interesting fact about Dragnet is that while Joe Friday is often quoted as saying “Just the facts, ma’am,” he never actually uses that line during the series. The closest he came was uttering, “All we want are the facts, ma’am.”
You can watch full episodes of Dragnet for free on Hulu.com.
Five-0 is a special police force that takes orders only from Hawaii’s governor. Ex-Navy intelligence officer Steve McGarrett leads the squad. He battles murders, terrorists, and kidnappers on Hawaii with his guns, brains, and awesome hair. The show featured a bevy of bikini clad babes and awesome car chase scenes with Hawaii’s beauty in the background. At the end of every episode, we could count on McGarrett telling his subordinate to “Book ‘em Danno!”
Broderick Crawford plays a gruff state police commander named Chief Dan Matthews. Every episode you’ll find Chief Matthews barking orders into a two way radio while wearing his signature fedora. In the show’s early days, the California Highway Patrol actually provided technical assistance to help make the show as realistic as possible. Nothing fancy here. Just good old fashioned storytelling.
You can watch full episodes of Highway Patrol on Hulu.com.
What are your favorite classic cop and detective shows? Share them with us in the comments!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Because it's not really time that you manage, it's your use of your time. Seth Godin explains:
One way to do indispensable work is to show up more hours than everyone else. Excessive face time and candle-burning effort is sort of rare, and it's possible to leverage it into a kind of success.
But if you're winning by cheating the clock, you're still cheating.
The problem with using time as your lever for success is that it doesn't scale very well. 20 hours a day at work is not twice as good as 18, and you certainly can't go much beyond 24...
What would happen if you were prohibited from working more than five hours a day. What would you do? How would you use those five hours to become indispensable in a different way?
Go ahead, try it. Just for a week. See what happens. Even if you go back to ten, you'll discover you've changed the way you compete.