iWork Smarter, not Harder (Part II)


In iWork Smarter, not Harder I mainly talked about Pages, but the iWork suite also consists of Keynote and Numbers.

Keynote is for giving presentations, and if you’ve ever used PowerPoint, well, it’s like that, except you don’t want to kill yourself while you are using it. I mean, I’m sure there are people who enjoy using PowerPoint. I think they are called masochists. (I kid, I kid!)

PowerPoint, you’re fine for the Windows-wielding corporate drones of the world. Make your charts & graphs showing projections for the 4th fiscal quarter… someone has to do it. Is it my background as a designer that makes me feel like Keynote “gets it” where PowerPoint does not? I don’t know… but I actually like using Keynote for building presentations. In the olden days (2006) I’d probably be all hellbent on using S5 or some (web-)standards based presentation thingy, to avoid using a PDF, or a PowerPoint file, or some other thing I deemed “evil” or such… but I guess I’ve mellowed a bit… and, I like Keynote.

As for Numbers, I have less use for it, but appreciate the fact that I have a spreadsheet application that runs on my own computer instead of the cloud, and feels cleaner and functions better than the offerings of NeoOffice or OpenOffice. I tend to use spreadsheets as spreadsheets and not databases, as many people do, so I don’t use it a lot. I did find that making charts & graphs was pretty damn easy. I never knew how to make a damn chart in Excel, but Numbers was intuitive. In the olden days (2004) I’d probably be all hellbent on writing some Perl code to generate an SVG file if I needed a graph. It is nice to have Numbers around as an option though.

So while I’m thankful for these useful tools, I’m still a fan of writing HTML for presentations, and (being able to) write code to generate charts & graphs. I mean, choice is a good thing… right?

See Also: iWork Smarter, not Harder (Part I)


Users vs. Accounts vs. Signer-Uppers

I’m a signer-upper. I admit it. I have a problem. Most of my friends are too. (Well, my nerdy online friends, but then, that’s most of my friends.)

Space Available

“Hey look, Froblunet launched today!?”

“What is it?”

“I don’t know, but I should probably sign up, create a profile, and check it out!”

And so it goes…

Scattered across the web are pieces of me… Accounts I’ve signed up for, wanting to check out some new site, just to see how they do it. How do they handle importing friends? How do they do uploads? How? How? How? It’s a question web people tend to ask. We’re either convinced there’s something interesting to see, or something to learn, so we sign up, give it a try, and maybe use it. Or maybe not. I should probably sign up… this might be the next big thing!

And then sites get to brag that they have 1 million users. Or that in their first day they had 100,000 people sign up. (75,000 of which never return.) But the media likes those numbers, and the news sites, and blogs, and investors like those numbers. They make everyone feel good. Except me.

Here’s an idea… Now that I’ve signed up for Froblunet, which is the hottest new thing since yesterday, I’d be totally fine with them emailing me months later if I never log in again and saying:

Hey, we noticed you haven’t logged in for 3 months, are you still interested in using Froblunet? If not, would you prefer to:
1. Delete your account (We’ll delete your data, and your email, and never bother you again.)
2. Inactivate your account (You can reactivate any time… we’ll reserve your username, and keep your email on file in case you ever want to try it out again, but we won’t email you again.)

I’d probably pick option 2 in many cases. Yes, inactivate my account! (Maybe it’s just my fear of deleting accounts. Please tell me I’m not the only one.)

But it’ll never happen.

I mean, I’d like to see this happen… but I think it’s unlikely. Sure, some engineer at Froblunet might think it makes sense, and would probably prefer to know that the people using the system are actually using the system. More accurate numbers are things engineers tend to like. Capacity planning and all that. But the sales and marketing guys would never go for it. Why say “We have 200,000 (active) users” when they can say “We have 500,000 users!”

By the way, I’m launching this new site next week that I’d love to have you sign up for…


The Power Of Math

In The Power of Sync, Seth says:

100 people doing something at the same time has far more power than 300 people doing it over time.

I can see how this could make sense… but I can also see how it makes no sense. I’m no math expert but…

If 100 people buy your product at $100 at the same time, you’ve got $10,000. (You know, if your servers/systems/staff, can handle that load.)

If 300 people buy your product at $100 over the course of 3 days, you’ve got $30,000. (You’ve also got 3 times the number of customers now, which could come in handy in the future.)

Like I said, I’m no math expert… so maybe someone can explain to me why this is wrong.


Milwaukee Sequential Numbers

People do all sorts of wacky things on Flickr, like taking photos in a certain area of numbers in sequential order…

Local Flickr user Czeltic Girl started a group called Milwaukee Sequential Numbers, which attempts to do just that (within Milwaukee County.) Taking a cue from the NYC Sequential Numbers gang, we plan to replicate that here in our own fair city.

I was lucky enough to get the number 2 spot, because, you know, I’m the sort of weirdo who already had photos of numbers in my stream.

Hmmm, maybe I should start a set containing sequential numbers of my own… :)