A real person, a lot like you – Derek Sivers blogs a bit about how computers, email, and social networking make us forget that the people on the other side of the screen are people, too. Thanks to @kirshen on Twitter for sharing this timely link.
Congress: Trading stock on inside information? – "Washington, D.C. is a town that runs on inside information – but should our elected officials be able to use that information to pad their own pockets? As Steve Kroft reports, members of Congress and their aides have regular access to powerful political intelligence, and many have made well-timed stock market trades in the very industries they regulate." How is this legal? Thanks to @BWJones for sharing this link.
DeKloutifying – John Scalzi's take on Klout. My favorite line: "At which point I decided that Klout was actually being run by dicks…" I dropped my Klout account a few weeks ago, sick of being nagged via email by them, despite turning off notifications a variety of ways. Seriously: do we really need this kind of crap? Popularity contests are for insecure idiots who are missing the point of life.
A friend of mine in Washington owns a small winery. It’s open two days a week for tastings. He charges $6/person and waives the fee with the purchase of two bottles of wine. For the $6, you get a 1-ounce taste of every wine he makes that hasn’t sold out. He had eight varieties; two were sold out as of mid August.
A while back, a hotel in nearby Wenatchee called him. They wanted to do a Groupon wine-tasting deal. Would he allow the people who bought their Groupon to have a free tasting? Other local wineries had signed on.
My friend didn’t know much about Groupon. But he’s a nice guy who wanted to help the hotel folks and he liked the idea of having more people come to his winery. He figured he’d reach new people and sell some wine. This was before three of his wines won awards at a blind tasting of area wines; before his wines started selling out.
They started coming without warning on a Saturday afternoon. Dozens of them. They soon took up all the seating in his tasting area. He called me for help. I put on some clean clothes and rushed over to help him pour.
We poured, they drank. They didn’t seem to have much interest in the wine. The seemed more interested in the list of wineries included in their Groupon. The more wineries they visited, the more free wine they’d drink. My friend sold one bottle for every three or four people who tasted.
One table of eight young women were there for more than two hours. I guess they figured that their Groupon had entitled them to a shady place to spend their entire afternoon. Collectively, they bought two bottles of wine. They left chewing gum stuck to the table.
Some people without Groupons didn’t stick around. There wasn’t enough seating for them. They didn’t feel like waiting.
This was repeated on the following two weekends. My friend had to pay someone to help him pour to keep up with the crowd. He lost money on every Groupon tasting. And he doubts the Groupon users will be back.
My friend learned a valuable lesson. As you might guess, he won’t be offering his own Groupon deal anytime soon.
The Macintosh Way – PDF FILE. This is a direct link to Guy Kawasaki’s excellent book, “The Macintosh Way.” I read it when it was first published back in 1990. The rights have reverted to Guy and he’s released it as a free download for those who haven’t read it. Interesting insight into Apple, the Macintosh Division, and Steve Jobs. Highly recommended.
The Art Of Google+ Comments – Ah, if only everyone would read this and follow its advice. Like the author, Guy Kawasaki, I’m already fed up with the increase in worthless content on Google+. Sure wish people would grow up.