poelog: Commentary, thoughts and opinions on the web, ebusiness and marketing -- a web log by Rob Poel
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Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Had an hour to kill at Barnes & Nobles last night as I waited for my one hour photos to be developed at Meijer. While sipping my $1.48 cup of Starbucks decaf (I would have preferred a grande vanilla latte but I was too dutch to throw down the $3.50 it would have cost me) I read the Wired cover story The Ultimate Running Machine. I don't have any particularly insightful comments on the article, just that as a runner (I should say "former" runner who occasionally trains for a race) and someone that is intrigued by technology, I found the article quite fascinating. The lead in paragraph: Inside a Soviet-style training camp, corporate scientists are reengineering neuro-mechanics, blood chemistry, and brain waves. Welcome to the Oregon Project, where Nike is rebuilding the US marathon team one high tech step at a time. Very cool.

Another blog about blogging: Radio Free Blogistan

Monday, July 29, 2002

The coverstory for the July 22 edition of Information Week is titled: Are You Blogging Yet? - The article provides a basic introduction to blogs but also introduces them as a tool for adding business value:

Give individual employees within a company their own weblogs, encourage them to document their best ideas and personal experiences, link them, add search capabilities, and it's easy to imagine that at least some innovation will arise from the ordinary.

Examples of corporate bloggers:
  • Andy Chen, chief technology officer at Quovix, a company that develops software and processes for building electronic communities, writes a blog on technology and collaboration called Kumquat's musings.
  • Omar Javaid, chief technology officer and founder of mobile-computing consulting firm Mobilocity, says blogging has cut down E-mail chatter at his company. A prolific Web surfer, Javaid used to regularly E-mail the URLs for items of interest to colleagues and clients. Now he accomplishes the same thing through a weblog that he updates frequently (radio.weblogs.com/0101123).

  • Friday, July 26, 2002

    In addition to suing the fast food chains for his obesity perhaps this guy should also sue his school and parents for allowing him to grow up to be a pathetic victim that won't take any personal responsibility for his actions.

    Wednesday, July 24, 2002

    Business Week: A Web Outfit with Socks Appeal - Blacksocks.com's formula is simple: It sends "sockscribers" regular shipments of the boring necessity -- and makes money doing it.I love simple business models like this. If you're in the US, check out their site for American Customers.

    Friday, July 19, 2002

    CNET.com: Are Mac users smarter?

    Thursday, July 18, 2002

    Business Week: Chewing the Sashimi with Jeff Bezos - "We're still at the very beginning," says Amazon.com's founder in a wide-ranging interview over lunch. "There's so much more to come." (via Webvoice).

    As I mentioned before, I'm a big fan of HTMLminimalism. Here's a comprehensive list of minimalist web sites (via Daypop Top 40).

    My wife is an active "lurker" on the message boards at a scrapbooking site called Two Peas in a Bucket. If you thought bloggers were an active, passionate "community" you haven't seen anything until you observe those in the scrapbooking community. Anyway ... my wife spends a fair amount of time at Two Peas gathering ideas on techniques, themes, styles and approaches to scrapbooking. A topic that has recently drawn an active disscussion is around the development of a scrapbook "spread" called 100 things I like. My wife, of course, eagerly set about writing out her list of 100. In fact, her mind got so wrapped around coming up with the list that I heard her tiptoe out of bed that night, around midnight, to go scribble down a few more items on her list.

    By now you can see where this is going. My wife wanted me to come up with my list. At first I dragged my feet but I eventually gave in. And you know what I found - it's a really valuable exercise. It's amazing how much you learn about someone by reading their personal list of 100 things they like. Now if you've read my blog for any length of time you've noticed that my posts are typically fairly brief commentary on articles, news items, or other blogs. For the most part I've stayed away from the personal diary-type entries. For this post, however, I'll break out of my mold and give you a bit more of a glimpse into who I am. So ... without further ado, here's my list:

    100 Things I Like
    01. An air-conditioned house on a hot, humid day
    02. My son's sparkling, alive, big blue eyes
    03. Grape juice - Grape pop
    04. blogging
    05. Amazon.com
    06. The Triune God
    07. Innovative business models
    08. Pepperoni and Bacon pizza
    09. eBay
    10. My wife's candid, honest, tell-it-like it is personality
    11. Braveheart
    12. The Mac OS
    13. The Book "A Prayer for Owen Meany"
    14. Basketball
    15. Steak on the grill
    16. The feeling AFTER a run
    17. Minimalist design
    18. Jeffrey Archer books
    19. Business 2.0 magazine
    20. Starbucks
    21. MyYahoo!
    22. Old Navy
    23. White boards
    24. Black and white photos
    25. Google
    26. Friends around a campfire
    27. Entrepreneurship
    28. My son's belly laugh
    29. My Palm Pilot
    30. NCAA March Madness Tournament
    31. University of Michigan sports teams
    32. Calvin College
    33. PayPal
    34. Mike's Hard Lemonade
    35. A beautifully executed pass
    36. Winning
    37. Fall in the Midwest
    38. Sleeping in on Saturday morning
    39. Grande Vanilla Latte
    40. Quicken
    41. NetBank
    42. Liberal Arts education
    43. Napping on Sunday afternoon
    44. World Cup Soccer
    45. Books on tape on long car rides
    46. Online stock trading
    47. Shawshank Redemption
    48. The Practice (tv show)
    49. Golf .. the 4-5 times per year I play
    50. A warm car on a cold, winter morning
    51. New technology
    52. Intuitive web design
    53. Reading the Sunday paper
    54. Early morning at the coffee shop
    55. Coffee ice cream
    56. Sarah McLachlan music
    57. Those who take initiative
    58. People who speak their mind
    59. Competence
    60. The number 3
    61. Vancouver's snow capped mountains
    62. USA vs Canada debates
    63. Toast with chunky peanut butter
    64. Business start-ups
    65. Hackey-sack
    66. Strong leaders
    67. People who are punctual
    68. Raspberry
    69. Nike shoes
    70. Applebees
    71. Playing at the park with my son
    72. Yahoo! Maps
    73. Pizza and a video on a Friday night
    74. Thinking puzzles and games
    75. A hammock and a cool breeze
    76. Neighborhood walks with my wife and son
    77. Eighties music
    78. Apple crisp and vanilla ice cream
    79. White noise while sleeping
    80. Annual football game with highschool buddies
    81. The anticipation of a vacation
    82. Coming home from work and seeing my son, waiting in the window
    83. Rose's Restaurant (East Grand Rapids, MI)
    84. Hugs from my wife
    85. Sticky notes
    86. ESPN
    87. A bargain
    88. Thunderstorms
    89. My Swiss Army Knife key chain
    90. The after work/before dinner day's recap with my wife
    91. My leather moccasin slippers
    92. Excellent customer service
    93. Marketing strategy
    94. Holding hands with my son in a busy parking lot
    95. Digital video
    96. Airport reunions
    97. Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies
    98. Cool Ranch Doritos
    99. A freshly mowed lawn
    100. Those who aren't afraid to take risks

    Tuesday, July 16, 2002

    Amazon.com Launches Web Services. Very cool.

    Thursday, July 11, 2002

    Tired of checking every day to see if I've posted anything new to POELog? If so, now you can subscribe (see subscription box in left column) to POELog thanks to Bloglet and receive a daily email with a summary of my posts for that day. I currently have the settings set to send my subscribers the "Full Post" so you may never have to come back to POELog again - there goes my banner advertising revenue stream :-). I was going to set the setting to "Limited Post" and make subscribers come back to POELog to read the full post but I've always been a believer of pushing content via email rather than making someone pay a site a visit. If someone subscribes I'm assuming they are doing so to make viewing my content more convenient and what can be more convenient than reading all the information from within your InBox.

    Wednesday, July 10, 2002

    Another blog to follow: Microcontent News (a Corante.com Microblog)

    Looks like the theme of the day is connecting with others in your area ...

    Unlike anything before, the web has allowed people of common interests, no matter how narrow the topic, to get together online and meet, discuss, chat, share information, etc. MEETUP is a great concept to bring this full circle, out of the virtual world, and into the real world. MEETUP helps groups of people with shared interests to meetup in local cafes (and other places) around the world. As of this post there are 15766 members, 363 topics and 548 cities represented. One of the topics is Webloggers. As of now I'm the only Grand Rapids webbloger that has signed up but I imagine that will change. The top topic is Slashdot which has 4313 members, 31 of which live near Grand Rapids. In addition to viewing by topic you can view MEETUPs by location, such as Grand Rapids. Great idea. (link via Blogger).

    As you can see from the post below, I jumped on the bandwagon and chalked my blog. What is blogChalking you ask? blogChalking is a movement attempting to create a region-sensible blog-search system - descentralized, improvised (influencing existing Internet search engines) and world-wide. Truly cool and simple. I'm eager to see how many other bloggers there are in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    Google! DayPop! This is my blogchalk: English, United States, Grand Rapids, Michigan, South East GR, Rob, Male, 31-35!

    Monday, July 08, 2002

    Business 2.0: Top the Heap - Laura Goldberg pointed me to this Business 2.0 article about an obsession to be the #1 search result on Google. Since there are no famous Rob Poel's in the world, it didn't take long for POELog to make it to the top of Google when searching for "Rob Poel". The article lists a number of "tips and tricks" to get to the top of Google but I think the best advice is offered by Google itself: Google insists that the best way to generate a good ranking is to create a good site that other people want to use. Yes, easier said than done but it's still the best way by far to acquire the most relevant, targeted traffic.

    If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em. eBay announced it will acquire PayPal. eBay's current payment service, eBay Payments by Billpoint, will be phased out after the close of the transaction.