Wednesday
Nov092011

Support Movember. Buy My Embarrassing Story!

It's another November, which means I am once again growing a moustache (okay, a goatee for now) in support of Movember. In case you're not aware, Movember is the social media movement, which has men growing out their lip fur in support of prostate cancer.

This is my third year participating in Movember, and this year, I was looking for a way to boost the donations to such a worthy cause. That said, I'm offering up a tale for sale.

The offer: If I raise $1,000 for Movember, I will publicly recount my rather embarrassing story of when I had my prostate checked. Only my immediate family knows this funny and embarrassing story, and now I'm willing to sell it for a good cause.

If I've piqued your interest, and you have $5 or $10 to spare for a good cause, you can donate here to buy my story! Just click "Donate to me."

Tuesday
Sep202011

Facebook Lists and Google Plus Circles

This week Facebook unveiled an improved version of their "Friend Lists." In Google parlance, this is the same as "Circles." Facebook obviously felt they needed to respond to the warm reception Google Plus received with their Circles.

While Facebook did make significant improvements to how you manage your Lists, it's still not as visual or elegant as Google Plus's Circles. With Circles, you can drag-and-drop your friends right into various categories. And while hovering over the icon of any Google Plus friend, you can assign them to Circles right away -- a very elegant management system.

Facebook does, however, hold the edge in automating the way friend management works. Facebook makes use of the way you interact with Facebook to suggest various friends into different categories (close friends, acquaintances, etc.). They call this method "Smart Lists." It's great in theory, but the people I interact with most on Facebook aren't always my friends, per se. With Circles, assigning friends is still a manual process. I'm not saying that one is better the other -- it will come down to a personal choice. If you're the type of person who wants total control over your friend management, then Circles is for you. If you want help with the process, then go with Lists.

A downside to using the new version of Lists, however, is that most Facebook users will be doing this after the fact. You'll need to spend a few hours going through your hundreds of Facebook friends to add them to one List or another. At least with Circles, the platform was new, so it was easier to add friends to Circles as you were adding then to Google Plus.

I'll continue to use both, but I'd like to see Facebook eventually get more of a visual or drag-and-drop interface.

Wednesday
Jul272011

More "Enhancements" to Hulu

Yes, "enhancements" was intended to be sarcastic. The New York Times reported today that the Fox network will begin limiting next-day availability of their shows on Hulu to subscribers of cable and satellite providers. That means, for those thousands of Americans who have "cut the cord" of cable because of alternatives to paid television, they will have to wait eight days -- yep, you heard right -- EIGHT days to watch a new episode of a Fox show on Hulu.

Fox, a partner in the Hulu venture, is attempting to appease cable and satellite providers who fear alternative delivery methods of network television (Hulu, Netflix, AppleTV, Vudu, et al) will continue to eat away at their subscriber base. The quote I love is from a Fox marketing executive who said that this is meant to “enhance the value of pay television to subscribers.” By handcuffing people to their cable provider?

It is clear that Fox -- and ABC network (another Hulu partner) is considering this too -- is following the money. They would rather satisfy the larger, yet declining, income source of cable and satellite providers than the smaller, yet increasing, income source of on-demand streaming television.

Hulu was an early success. Consumers caught on and loved it. However, the continued tinkering of Hulu will turn off consumers who value Hulu because of its simplicity and content availability. Mess with either of those, and it will fail. I urge the TV networks to remember the old axiom, "The customer is always right."

Sunday
Jun262011

ADA & Technology

Here at the American Diabetes Association's 71st Scientific Sessions conference in San Diego, I'm amazed at the level of technology embraced by the diabetes community. And that is in two forms.

First, the technology behind the medicine was impressive. The glucose level meters and delivery methods of insulin seem to be moving ever-faster to that of high-tech. I was impressed to learn last night at Miriam Tucker's tweetup that industry is moving closer to developing a system whereby the continuous glucose sensors would "talk" to the insulin pumps, thereby acting like an artificial pancreas of sorts.

Second, the level of social media (Twitter in particular) activity at the conference has been impressive. Some of the more prolific Tweeters make it seem like you're sitting in the sessions. And some, like @iam_spartacus, add a good dose of humor into an otherwise dry subject.

It was also a pleasure to meet some of the social media folks in the diabetes community at that tweetup last night. Such passion and camaraderie among them. Folks like Paul BoidyElizabeth Georgescu, Allison BlassDavid EdelmanSunnie Southern, and Dan Hurley.

[Disclosure: I work for an agency that works for a pharma company that makes insulin. My opinions are my own.]

Friday
Jun242011

ADA Conference

As I sit here in the lounge of the American Diabetes Association's conference in San Diego, I'm amazed at the sheer number of other people's Mac laptops I can "see" from my Mac's Finder.

But that's not why I'm here. I must say I am excited to learn more about diabetes, especially now that three of my friends have Type-2 (due to their eating habits). I hope to get some pointers on how to approach my "dude guy friends" with some sound advice that may save their lives. I'll also be helping out with some social media work for a client in the space.