Monthly Archives: December 2015

2015 in review


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

How “corrupt” is Microsoft?


Answer by Joel Oleson:

I've had the opportunity to sit in a small room while working at Slate Magazine a property of Microsoft at the time) sitting face to face in a small round table interview with Bill Gates in 1998.  In the heat of the DOJ activity here we were in a room of Microsoft employees, plus a couple of political pundits writers in the room.  One of them threw a hard ball at Bill, and not only did he stand up and swear and possibly even stamp his feet he defended his integrity and you could feel it in his response. 
Bill believes in his heart he was right.  He didn't feel like he stole ideas from Apple.  He was making a difference and innovating. 
While at Microsoft I spent time in Marketing and IT.  While in IT at Microsoft I spent time in the boardroom with both Bill and Steve, and you could see how they ran the business.  Business was a very personal.
Microsoft is it's employees, and integrity and legal review is part of the culture.  Microsoft is focused on being first and best.  If they can't be first and best, they want to be coolest.  They aren't afraid to compete and outlast the rest.  There is required internal training for all departments around trustworthiness, legality and ethics. 
In my years in the industry I haven't seen a company more focused on ethics than Microsoft. That doesn't dismiss the energy, passion and ability and focus to beat the competition.

How "corrupt" is Microsoft?

This Year’s Death


Everything I Never Told You


The year’s death is approaching
and my soul is in migration.

The breath of frost lingers
longer with each passing winter.

I sit looking out at the night,
coming down like calendar
pages falling to the floor.

The moon looks like a clock.
The wind whispers “tick tock”

The ghosts of 2015 stumble around in my backyard.
and sanity unbalanced sits on
the fence.

Unfulfilled dreams appear like
oracles at my front door.

I measure my loses.
I count my gains.
I write my life in blue.

Praying for the luminous dawn
of fresh beginning.

Hope diamonds the sky.
I long to dance with starlight
in a tango I’ve never danced

Hipswaying my way across
the galaxy.

Peeling off the last twelve months
like sheets.

The flakes of auld lang syne.
no longer glazing my bowl.

The skeletons of the past
under my feet.

Knowing biography is not fate.

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How do you make an unknown brand compelling in social media?


Answer by Andrew Krebs-Smith:

You can make an unknown brand compelling in social media by engaging with users who self-identify as members of your target audience, showing them where they can get what they’re looking for. With a limited budget, a large-scale campaign may not be feasible. In this case, focusing on reaching out to individual people, or groups of people, is a more cost-efficient way to position your brand as compelling to the people who matter most. Twitter is an effective tool for doing this because you can access the billions of conversations occurring all over the world. Think of keywords your target audience might be tweeting about. If it’s a local business, as you mentioned, you can narrow down the search results by location on

An example of how this can be put into practice is in regards to a client we worked on not too long ago. The brand was a local women’s gym, one that had a unique offering: a stiletto workout class. Using to unearth all of the people in the NYC area who were tweeting about stiletto workouts, we were able to reach out and let them know where they can find exactly what they’re looking for.

How do you make an unknown brand compelling in social media?

Cozy Christmas Readings

Cozy Christmas Readings

Cafe Book Bean

I love snuggling up with a book at Christmas time. Gathering by a warm fire and/or twinkling lights, sipping something hot and getting lost in a cozy wintery story.

Her are some books I really enjoy reading at Christmas time:
 (Click the pictures and/or titles for more info.)
Miracle on 34th Street
You have probably all seen the movie, but it does not compare to the book (as usual.) I like the movie and actually the book is a nice extension of it. I was fortunate enough to have read it after the movie, which I think helps. It is a delightful book. The character of Kris Kringle is so enjoyable and jolly, you can’t help but love it. The story is wholesome and teaches us so many important lessons. If you have not read it, I urge you to do so, I think you will be happy you did.

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What is the best way to get traffic on your blog? SEO, SMM, PR, etc?


Answer by Stephen Jeske:

Ask 49 people the best way to generate traffic and you'll probably get 49 different answers. Instead of offering up yet another opinion, I suggest you research your competition to see how they are getting traffic.
One tool you can use is – Competitive Intelligence Tool which has both paid and free versions. Personally, I find that the free version contains a wealth information. Here's a screen shot to give you an idea:
So if you see that you competitor(s) are getting most of their traffic from Search, then it's probably a good idea to focus your efforts on SEO. On the other hand, if Social is generating a boat load of traffic, then SMM is most likely where you'll want to spend your time. (The SimilarWeb report even shows you what social media platforms are generating the traffic.)
You'll need to dig deeper than this in order to make an informed decision.  But at least this is a good start in the right direction.
Base your decisions on data as opposed to opinion and you'll get better results.
Every situation is unique and what may work in one case might totally flop in another. So let the data guide you.

What is the best way to get traffic on your blog? SEO, SMM, PR, etc?

Open Summit 2015: L’Italia delle start up si mette in moto.


Social media blonde

In Italia si investe poco nelle start up: dopo il primo Open Summit delle Start Up Italiane organizzato da StartUp Italia! la questione appare chiara. Tristemente vero è che gli investimenti per le start up in Italia solo 2,8 miliardi di euro.

La giornata, presentata da Riccardo Luna, digital champion italiano,  ha interessato l’intero ecosistema nazionale e internazionale di giovani imprenditori che con le loro imprese e idee offrono soluzioni, strumenti, e  tecnologie innovative su più livelli. Le Start Up italiane sono un cosmo variegato e multiforme (circa 5.044), raccolgono risorse, creano lavoro e strumenti in tantissimi campi: food, data science, medicina, biomedica, hi-tech, internet of things, ricerche di mercato, cloud, e-commerce, app, pianificazione investimenti per enti pubblici e per privati.

Le 100 migliori start up italiane censite sono state al centro dell’evento e tra queste, dopo una votazione effettuata da 50 giurati,  è stata premiata miglior start up…

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Ode to Grass Stains and Wildberries


Everything I Never Told You

unnamed (8)

We create our own joy.
Come roll around with me
in the grass til our
clothes are stained.
Til the clouds turn violet.

Let’s eat ice cream under
the stars and hold each other
until the restlessness dissipates.
Tonight let’s not battle the hardwood floors,
the laundry chute, or the dishes.

Let’s defy gravity, monotony,
the drudgery of life.
Throw away the map.
Let’s find another way.
Eat the wild berries.
Live on the breeze.
Amp up the brightness of
the moon.
Who cares if the universe

Let create a language
that fits us, in a land
of pine cones and sage.
Red dress on the ground
where desire stays.

Nouns infused with passion
tongue, earlobes, necks..
Shuttering hands, quivering bodies.
The sentence of ourselves.
Infinitives, unearthing new verbs
and their allure.

Upgrading our love
to a window seat in first

Rethinking how.
Reordering now.

-Tosha Michelle

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Does Ruby on Rails scale?


Answer by Aaron Batalion:

Having scaled multiple rails sites, a couple to millions and another to billions of PV/month, the runtime performance of the interpreter is never the slowest.  Scaling a site is about architecture, databases, caching, event queues, disk IO, CDNs, etc.  With a few exceptions, the runtime or framework doesn't crack the top 5. 

Most important of all, Rails is the most efficient framework right now to build you app quickly and effectively.  Stop worrying and start building. 

Less than 1% of sites on the internet get to enough traffic to even care about performance…. but if you have performance problems, rejoice! 

That means you built something people use!

Does Ruby on Rails scale?