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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Yes, I worked at iXL

Originally uploaded by msirkin.

You know you remember iXL... yea you do... we bought every company with a pulse, went public and went bust.

I've worked in a bunch of places including a Burger King (the manager told me I can take this job ANYWHERE I wanted - I quit after 2 weeks on Fry duty). I also delivered Domino's Pizza, did 2 ad agency internships and worked at a college bookstore.

See more of my bizcards...

When Did "Starbucks" Turn into a Noun?

I flew from NY to San Diego this week and in between charging me for a crappy sandwich, the stewdaress came around serving coffee. What she said was interesting. She said "Starbucks... would anyone like Starbucks?"

Then she said...

"Coffee... would anyone like a Coffee?"

It was odd was how she alternated between "Starbucks" and "Coffee" - like she was conducting some bizzare Pavlovian experiment.

She litererally rotated back and forth between "Starbucks" and "Coffee" the entire way down the plane (or at least as far as I could hear). It made me wonder if she was actually scripted. Could Starbucks be trying to subliminally condition us or has it already happened?

On the other hand.. here's Tivo's take.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

My Turn on the Actor's Studio

I was watching Keifer Sutherland on "The Actor's Studio" and thought it would be fun to try to answer those silly questions that The Lipton asks at the end of the show... I found a link and haven't read them that closely and will answer them as honestly as possible... like you care (like anyone is really reading this... I think I'm alone now - never mind).

01. What is your favorite word?

02. What is your least favorite word?

03. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Great Design

04. What turns you off?

05. What is your favorite curse word?

06. What sound or noise do you love?
My kids giggles

07. What sound or noise do you hate?
My own voice yelling at me (again) for being an idiot

08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

09. What profession would you not like to do?

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Yes, I do exist

Be Fearless - A new 43 things entry

When I am afraid of something, I want to force myself to do itů stand up comedy for example.. acting in a play for another example..

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Close Up Ariel

Ariel Close Up
Originally uploaded by msirkin.

Inspired by some random browsing on Flickr, I busted out the macro lens and had a little fun with some toys around the house.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Google Maps - trumbull, ct

Wow.. Google Maps rocks... the slider the fast search, the entire presentation. Schaweetness. This link takes you to Trumbull, CT... very possibly my next "hometown."

Google Maps - trumbull, ct

Monday, February 14, 2005

Small Things Are Important Things

When I leave for work each day, my kids run to the window and look out at me, waving and yelling and having a great time. For me, it's like leaving on a cruise every morning. For a while, they would hide under the window holding up these horses, the heads banging together - then jump up just as I was driving away.

While it drove my wife crazy (they were supposed to be eating breakfast), it's the single moment of the day that makes me truly happy. Lately, the waving has started to wane. But I always look back as I drive off - and wave, even if no one is there. I went out early this past weekend, both kids were asleep - and I paused the car, looked toward the windows and waved... I started to think about the future - when my kids might not even talk to me, let alone wave with horses, yelling for their dad. I don't want that day to come.

Small things always turn out to be the important things for some reason.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Yes Honey, I bought an Xbox...

You have to see it to believe it... Xbox to 1979 toy Millennium Falcon mod is absolutely, completely out of control - yet somehow... I want one!


American Idol - you suck

Last nights American Idol really sunk to new lows. They showed a clip of that girl who sold her wedding rings THREE times during the show itself before actually getting to her audition. By the 3rd time, I was really annoyed and felt like they were hyping up something special. Instead. the woman gets sent home and we're left wondering why the f**k they bothered showing her crying clip 3 times in less than an hour of programming.


In a related story, Ryan Seacrest said that Simon is pompous. That Ryan - he's sharp as a tack.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Don't Look Now.. the Web's Mission Critical

I started building Web strategies and sites back around 1993. Back then, a large site might have been 10 pages or so, and cost about $5k. Usually, the client was a rogue marketing guy, or an IT guy (aka the webmaster!) who thought this would be a neat toy to play with.

I spent years with a vision of how the Web would/should/could tranform businesses productivity, profitability and image but because of where I worked, or my role, never really found my footing. I helped to build a web site building tool for one company, and we sold it to a few businesses who were close, but not quite there in thinking about the web as a business process tool, and not just a web site.

Fast forward to my new gig at a very large non-profit and I'm faced with a dream situation. Not only am I in a senior role, the entire organization is primed and ready to be completely "made-over" (this is a real extreme makeover!) by utilizing the web in ways that I've only been able to dream about.

Some examples - we have 10+ folks doing travel arrangements with a non-web based application. None of it is self-service, it's hard for us to keep track of who is where, and what their travel preferences might be... none of it integrates into our main CRM database. It's a mess. A new self-service web interface, connected directly into our CRM could save 5-6 jobs, improve the service we provide and dramatically cut our costs. Whoo!

Another example, we have a very outdated content management system, that was homegrown and has gotten completely unstabilized over the years. Our Web site doesn't use our central CRM, nor does it effectively connect to 3rd party apps, and it goes without saying that very little of our content is reusable. Imagine being able to cross pollinate brand assets, train our affiliates on one centralized content interface, connect it to an e-mail service etc... and on and on. The implications are game-changing.

Amazing. I love it. What an opportunity, what a challenge!

U2 Gets It...

I signed up and paid $40 to become a U2.com member so I could get tickets for their upcoming tour. I haven't seen them live since Joshua Tree, and my wife and I wanted tix bad to celebrate our 12th anniversary.

Fast forward to the day that tickets went on "pre-sale" exclusively for u2.com members. Wouldn't you know it - we went online only to find out that there were no tix available. It appeared as if Madison Square Garden was sold out within 2 hours.

I was pretty dismayed, but ended up getting tickets via ticketmaster online when they went onsale to the general public. That said, my wife stood outside a local Coconuts and I matched her online, clicking and refreshing as fast as I could to be able to snatch some tix. We ended up with behind the stage tix (hey, we're in!), but I had a pretty bad taste in my mouth.

Lo and behold.. I get an open letter email from Larry Mullen, apologizing for treating their fans so badly, and basically taking the heat.

"The idea that our long-time U2 fans and scalpers competed for U2
tickets through our own website is appalling to me. I want to apologise
to you who have suffered that."

That's a class act in my book. I'm left with a greater respect for these guys in the end. Thanks Larry, for not letting me get U2 Vertigo.

Friday, February 04, 2005


An ESPN interview w/Malcolm Gladwell talking about his new book "Blink" and how it relates to football. Fascinating article - especially about the Iraq wargames.