Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Sites about [not] spending money...

I stumbled across the above mentioned post this evening, and decided I would look into them and give everyone a quick link or two.

The first is FrugalGirl.

I like the conversational tone of the site, it really makes you feel like you're listening to a friendly discussion on spending, not the over the top "this is how to do it" approach.

Second is MyMoneyBlog.

This site is more oriented towards someone with a certain level of financial success (not one that is still stumbling out of school debt) that is looking to really make the commitment to take their saving and investing to the next level. In fact just looking over the first few posts I recognize many of the tips from my future (3 months and 7 days) mother-in-law.

Last we have Spending Wisely.

This seems to be the most philosophical of the group, with both some reflection and some tips. What struck a nerve with me is the post on the conflict between living simply and watching television. I think this is a great article that should be read by anyone who has a TV, it may seem like common sense but I encourage everyone to attempt all the tips listed at the bottom of the post.

I'm off to add the sites to my Bloglines account.

BusinessWeek about how much PC customer service sucks

This quick blurb on the BuinessWeek Tech Beat Blog talks about how messed up all the automated support is for PC companies.

I have been saying this to my clients (both insurance and tech) for awhile now and some of them are starting to figure it out. While I use a PC at work I really struggle to understand why more people don't use Apple products at home for their simplicity and ease of use. That said I think there is room in the marketplace for a PC company to use an Apple service approach. Gateway only failed because the service in their stores was as bad as calling their customer support line.

Tech Beat: Technology Blog on BusinessWeek Online

Monday, February 21, 2005

Paul Andrews: "Shortsighted Amazon blind to problems"

Paul Andrews has a pretty interesting article in the Seattle Times today about some concern over Amazon's customer service as well as the entire e-retail industry's service level. While I haven't used Amazon much I have never had a problem. Anyone out there want to share their stories, good or bad?

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Shortsighted Amazon blind to problems

Press release about survey

Chris Busch: City Approves $10,000 for Frog Branding

From my area of the world comes this news: "Agency OKs up to $10,000 for frog branding". Growing up near Milton-Freewater (MF) I am amazed by the progress this city has made in the last 10 years. While Chris is correct that you should concentrate on the underlying experience before you spend on the branding, MF has done so over the last few years and it's time they raise awareness of the changes that have taken place.

Friday, February 18, 2005

NY Times discovers Podcasting

Watch out, the Times has discovered Podcasting, and of course assumes no one has ever heard of it before. I suppose it works well to introduce it to the masses.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

University BookStore

This is hands down one of the greatest stores in Seattle. Kinda like going to an Art Supply store without feeling like you know nothing (at least for those of us like me that Don't know anything about art). I just picked up one of the Moleskine Memo Pockets and a couple of new pens this afternoon. I've always been such a sucker for pens.

Why Seth knows more than just Internet companies

Seth Godin's blog has some of my favorite commentary on the net. What I really appreciate is how easily his ideas can be ported over to brick and mortar, service industry jobs. One idea I'm working on will probably have nothing to do with the net for the first year and yet almost everyone of Seth's points here applies to my ideas. Finance and healthcare industries that have continued to operate offline should follow his principals if they want to remain competitive. His blog should be one to watch if you are involved in any type of entrepreneurial endeavor, online or off.

Wake up call for Napster

Here's what I don't get, everyone is getting so worked up about the whole Napster To Go roll out by simply jumping on the Apple vs. the World. What most people seem to miss is that people have had these types of subscription services available to them for quite some time and have still made their choice for Apple. Think about the book business, a medium that should lend itself much more to the subscription model then music and yet is dominated by a couple of large book SELLERS not renters. Why is this? because people enjoy owning things. As the writer in this The Register article points out, people see their media collections as part of their identity, not something they simply borrow. If the market was as ripe as Napster thinks it is Libraries would rule the book business, rather than simply serving the population that can't afford to purchase books.

I think the only real market for Napster could be the tween market that has limited cash flow and an ever changing music taste. If Napster could convince parents of this market that their kids will end up stealing music if they don't get them the Napster To Go service, they might have a hit on their hands.

I welcome any thoughts on this subject, feel free to coment below.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A patch to patch the patch

Nevermind the obvious conflict of interest, do we really want Microsoft to be handling our anti-spyware efforts? I can't believe this is even news anymore, let alone that people are just rolling over and taking it!

Via elo.journal

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Which company has changed your life?

There is a great article over at The interesting quote:
Now, for the first time in almost two decades, there's a good -- great -- feeling attached to the Apple brand, a haze of optimism that is unlike the sensation we feel for all but the most cherished of consumer tech products. (There's Google, there's TiVo, and there's Apple: Can you think of any other company that has recently changed your life as you know it?)

I'm interested to see if there are any other companies out there that have changed your life like these? I don't have a Tivo because I don't have a phone line (how hard is it to figure out that the people who drop their traditional phone line are Tivo's target customer!), but the other two (Goggle & Apple) have definitely impacted my life. The only other technology that has had as great an impact is Blogging, and everything associated with it.

Day pass required for the full article.

Google Maps

Go to Google Maps and contemplate how Google changes every market it enters, and what that means for the online map providers! I was in a conversation just yesterday about how long it would be before Goggle stopped using Mapquest and Yahoo!Maps. Start the comparisons!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

iPod Shuffle a lead in for the Mini?

As soon as the iPod shuffle was released my fiancé was interested because of the lower cost. She has never wanted an iPod simply because she felt they were "too expensive", but now she is intrigued. The funny thing is that this led her to find that she would actually much rather have the iPod mini because of the capacity and look/feel. Interesting that as soon as she considered one of the iPods affordable she found that the useability of the others is something she really wants. I can see this happening with the Mac mini as well, where people will come into the store looking for a mini and walking out with an iMac.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Blockbuster gets nasty

Blockbuster has decided that since they are getting so much negative press about their "No More Late Fees" campaign(lies) that they are going to take the opportunity to shed all decency in their quest to have even more stores when Netflix and similar services finally takes them down. The sad fact is that if anything Hollywood stands the best chance of surviving the online and mail order services simply because it has the most knowledgeable staff. Now I know that isn't true of every store but I have never been to a Hollywood Video that I didn't have good interactions with the staff. Blockbuster, well that's another story.