The Logical Philosopher

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Logical Philosopher Secrets

Like having a birthday in a room full of strangers, it passed without notice. In fact, I didn't almost notice. One year, 118 posts later, Logical Philosopher tuned one.

Coke, Culture and Crazy People - my weekly topics were sure to hit at least one of those categories. Writing inspirations came from my yearnings to reenter academia, to contemplative thoughts on life that came to mind during a bike ride, to humorous conversations heard in passing on my bus rides. After overhearing the three goths on the bus discussing that kissing isn't cheating when your boyfriend is in jail, who would have ever thought I would get 3 or 4 google hits a week on "what is considered cheating?".

Of course, having good friends such as Sandritia also provided great posting material. Again, who would have thought Sandritia's insights on the gay hanky code would also bring people to the blog via google hits on a daily basis.

Along the way I have (hopefully) improved my writing through osmosis while being entertained by blogs such as Opinionistas, Dooce and Laid Off Dad. At the very least the last two make me want to redesign my masthead every month.

I have used blogging as a reason to do research on Roger Martin's Integrative Thinking, the amount of calories in a Cinnamon Bun (and where best to buy them), and Social Networking and its technology adoption curve. With the Logical Philosopher nom de plume I have been able to write on topics I wouldn't normally get away with in the unwired world. Like all good writers I do claim artistic liberty, because we all know that the occasional shameless decontextualization is what brings the readers back!

And as for my secrets, apart from the 'elephant in the room' of anonymity, some have made it into a posting or two, and some still sit in draft mode. But does it really matter? To those who are reading in between the lines to find them I leave you with a quote from René Magritte, who said about his painting "The Son of Man"

Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see, but it is impossible. Humans hide their secrets too well...

Here's hoping my second year of posting is as much fun, and secretive, as the first.

Monday, October 23, 2006

One drink is one too many

To get a feeling of my trip so far, here's a recap of this evenings events. For bonus points, try to guess the following 3 sentences in the correct order:

"I need my lemon soap to make this smell better."

"Excuse me while I change my pants!"

"I shouldn't drink and go into the pantry..."

And no, it wasn't me that said any of them. Oh what a trip. The story of "low on homeless, high on service" is bound to be a great post...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Big Smoke

I'm off to Toronto for awhile to get some more blogging material. Being in a place where everyone thinks they are the center of the country should give me a few gems to work with. If I can find an Internet connection, you'll see a posting, otherwise I'll be back in a week.

After my last experience flying, I have decided not to be as polite in the gate area to the other passengers, or else I may get asked the infamous security guard question “Would you like this done in a private room, or is this public space ok?”

I will also ensure my iPod doesn't fall into the toilet, thus diverting the flight to Ottawa.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Overheard in Passing

"When you cook and follow the recipe, things actually turn out good!"
She was honestly surprised by the outcome.

"Hey, why isn't he calling me? Does this cell phone have to be on for it to ring?"
I got a dirty look for doubling over with laughter at that one.

"I don't like cheese, but I'll have some of that fromage instead."
I guess he is an undercover Frenchman.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Four Blonds and a Playboy

Following up on my last post, another blond story, but this time it actually happened in front of me.

After picking up little LP from school today we decided, given the sunny weather, that there was time for a coke slurpee before heading home. As we walked into the 7-11 I asked him what he learned at preschool today. "You know, numbers and letters and stuff. The usual." he said nonchantly, waving his hand into the air as if he knew it all. Oh to be four...

His amusing comment, combined with the fact I was looking through my pockets to find some change for our drinks, had me momentarily distracted. Once inside little LP bolted to the left, hoping to get a head start towards what he thought was the candy section. Instead he headed down the row full of magazines, stopping directly behind four 18 year old blonds that were looking through the pages of a few adult magazines - Hustler, Swank and Playboy magazines to be exact.

"Oh, I think he'll like this one!" I heard the first one say.

"No way, not busty enough - check out the Hustler instead!" another retorted.

A third, not to be left out, chimed in on the pricing. "Man, these are expensive! I could get, like, three Homes & Gardens for one of these!"

The fourth one just stood and flipped the pages. By the look in her eyes I got the impression she was learning a few things. Yes, at that exact moment, I think she realized that she wasn't hanging with the Apple Dumpling Gang after all.

I steered him away from the (ahem) ladies, because given the options I was sure the right parental thing to do was to give my child candy, not a full view 7-11's available porn selection. I was waiting for the "what's that daddy?" line to come, but fortunately I didn't have to go there.

We collected our slurpees, paid and left, the four still arguing over which girly magazine to get for one of their guy friends.

As we got outside two things went through my mind:

1) When I was 18, what did my girl friends argue over getting me? I hope I was worthy of at least one Playboy argument. I'm no Tucker Max, but I can hope.

2) Given the choice between three Homes & Gardens, and one Playboy magazine, I hope they eventually went for quality, not quantity. Because sometimes it's nicer to see one quality bush than three overgrown ones.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Three blonds and a puppy

No matter how hard I try, there is no way I could make this stuff up.

Over lunch last week I told a blond joke to one of my blond friends, because I thought she'd like it. The result was not what I expected.

"Hey D," I said. "I've got a blond joke for you - do you want to hear it?"

"Sure! I'm always up for a joke on my own!" she said, leaning forward in anticipation.

Here's the joke I told:

Three newly pregnant blonds were sitting and having coffee one day. The first blond, excited to share her new news with the other two, exclaimed "I'm going to have a baby boy!".
The other two, glanced at each other and then asked "how do you know?".
"Well, I was on top."
"Ohh," says the second blond. "Then I'm going to have a baby girl because I was on the bottom!".
At hearing this the third blond bursts into tears. "What is it?" the other two asked in unison.
"Then I'm going to have a puppy!" she wailed.

A quizzical look crossed D's face, followed by a moment of silence. I closed my eyes, hoping this wasn't really happening, but it was. "A puppy?" I heard her ask in wonderment. "I don't get it."

With my eyes still closed my head sunk to my chest in defeat. The only reply I could think of was to say, "Go ask your husband, he'll fill you in."

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Brain candy for inquiring minds

Last week I had an academic epiphany - free knowledge for the masses, all thanks to Google and YouTube. Google Video has a vast list of videos to expand your knowledge base - academic lectures, Google Authors and Google Tech Talks. Some are great talks: Ron Avitzur's story of how he snuck into Apple for 6 months and worked for free on a then cancelled secret project that was later released into 20 million computers. Or Warren Buffett's talk to MBA graduates at the University of Florida.

My favorite Buffett quote "[when you graduate] work in a job that you like, not that looks good on your resume. Because isn't that like waiting for sex until your old age?"
My goal is to post the links to expand ones knowledge base. It's like going back to school, but from the comfort of your computer chair! And, if you don't like the professor, they won't notice if you skip ahead with the forward button.

I hope to post something you all will enjoy. Check it out:

Like I said, brain candy for inquiring minds.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Something exciting is coming...

... and it's going to be a knowledge revolution!

I'm working on another exciting blog idea - LP posts may be light this week as I working to get it ready to launch next week!

In the mean time check out Freewill Tastes Like Chicken! It's pretty funny stuff, like Grumpy Teacher meets a philosopher.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Social Neworking: Digg and Blogger Beta Users Are Still Early Adopters

Social Networkers Beware: Anecdotal proof that Diggers and Beta Bloggers are still the geeky Innovators and Early Adopters that we think we aren't.

If you Digg, Reddit, Furl, Delicious, Blog, or generally do more online social networking than offline, you probably think everyone else does it. You are vaguely aware of people that don't know what Social Networking is, and wonder where those people have been living. It's mainstream, you think. However we really are still in the Early Adopter phase of the internet's social networking boom.

Microsoft claims they own over 80% of the global browser market share - but that takes into account the market as a whole. This view is skewed because when you dig deeper you find all technology marketing managers actually split the market up using Diffusion of Innovation Theory. This split is seen as five technology adopter categories - innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. If you look at each market individually, the claimed 80% market share is probably split very differently; my guess the IE market share being weighted greater than 90% for the Early/Late Majority, and less than 40% to the Innovators/Early Adopters.

I recently deviated from my usual posts and went technical, posting a piece entitled Getting Haloscan to work in Beta Blogger. After switching to Beta Blogger and spending many hours of struggling with this specific technology issue before getting it working, I thought it would be nice to give back to others. Almost immediately my web hit counter went up by about 200, most of them directly going to this post either from a search engine (mainly Google), digg link or another blogger referral. Considering the combination of Blogger Beta and Haloscan users is probably not that large, I found it interesting that over the next 2 weeks I had at least two thousand more hits on this single post. What I found even more interesting was about the browser usage, which I pulled from my Google Analytics account:

  • 64% Firefox
  • 27% Explorer
  • 9% Other (Netscape, Opera, etc.)
Ironically this also lined up remarkably well with AUInteractive's recent post 64% of You Use Firefox. Regardless of where they came from - Digg, external blogger link or a search engine, the numbers still were overwhelming leaning towards Firefox.
Doesn't this data fly in the face of Microsoft's claim of dominat market share? Firefox even agrees they only have a small portion, 10-15%. If so, why?
Look at Firefox's initial market when the launched their first browser: they started by luring the Innovators and Early Adopters away from IE. Are they still doing that? If not explicitly I would suggest they are at least building on their base of Innovators/Early Adopters. Now considering my Google Analytics results I would think there probably is some statistical correlation between browser usage and Digg/Blogger users. This means that there is also a correlation between Digg/Blogger users and the adopter categories of Innovators & Early Adopters.

While the connection is loose, it still gives some general observations:

  • If you are reading this with Firefox you probably are a geek: Social Networking is still in it's infancy. Innovators and Early Adopters still rule, and they rule loudly with Firefox. (Remember, being a geek isn't a bad thing - look how Bill Gates turned out, even if he doesn't use Firefox)
  • Marketing folks take note: Blog & market your technology accordingly! Even this informal data helps define the target market for Diggers, Reddit and Blogger Beta folks.
  • Internet CEO's beware: There is an upcoming "chasm" Social Networking companies need to worry about.

What can we do with these observations? I've been thinking about starting some focused social networking sites, but always had the feeling that the market was getting too crowded. The Paradigm Shift posted a blog last week entitled 300+ social network startups in less than 2 years. Historically, technology companies have had a difficult time "Crossing the Chasm" from wooing customers in the Early Adopters market to getting new ones in the Early Majority market.

Just for the record, I use Blogger Beta, post items, Digg things, all while surfing with Firefox. I am also an Early Adopter.

Current and future CEO's of the Social Networking sites need to take note - there is probably a virtual Chasm for your technology as well and only time will tell how many of those 300+ will actually make the leap. As for me it will mean more market research and technology development before you see the launch of my next site.

Now if you use Firefox, prove me right and go digg me.