February 6th, 2014:
The Adventure Continues

I started my new job 3 months ago and it’s been everything I wanted (and needed). We’ve been building a new application from the ground up with no integrated legacy dependencies with the latest Javascript frameworks. Node.js and Angular.js are absolutely wonderful to work with… which only makes me regret taking so much time off of dedicated coding even more. I feel like I’m about 2 years behind where I should have been if I stayed more hands-on with code, even if it was just at home. Pro tip from Uncle D: if you love to code, don’t stop… even if it’s not your job any more.

Glorious PC Gaming Master Race

Glorious PC Gaming Master Race

Frankly, I’ve found myself with more free time that I’ve had for about 5 years. Working from home allows me to take care of a few chores a couple of days per week during lunch. Even when I work until 7:00 or 8:00 at night, I just walk out of my office and I’m home! With the extra free time and no home improvement projects underway, I’ve needed to keep myself busy. After finally cleaning out that extra room that was used for storage during the last 2 years, I really wanted to get started on my race car prep… but with single (or negative) digit temps, working in an non-insulated, non-heated metal pole barn isn’t exactly smart. So, I’ve found that playing online PC games with my friends is a great way to stay in touch. We don’t see each other as much since I started working from home. Brad has hosted his famous Atomic JanLAN which got a few of the Peasants to experience the glory of gaming above 30 frames per second at resolutions above 720p.

Since then, we’ve enjoyed playing Battlefield 4 late into the night, despite the unforgivable amount of bugs still present in the game 4 months after launch. To keep my hands busy when not on a keyboard, I’ve made some significant upgrades to my PC, including a new case, additional graphics card for SLI, water cooling, and new keyboard and mouse (thanks to Gina for the Christmas presents).

Outside of the house, a few friends and I have been visiting the Howell Gun Club during public range times to deal with our cabin fever by putting holes in targets. We’ve all done well despite our lack of practice. I really haven’t fired a pistol in 20 years, but a new S&W M&P .40 sure makes it easy to get back in the groove. We’re considering membership since the folks at the club are so welcoming and helpful. They’re full of great advice and always have a smile to welcome you.

Once we’re thawed out, I fully expect the repairs due to the record winter to consume my time. On top of that, I still haven’t pulled the engine from my race car and replaced the transmission. For now, I’ll keep cleaning the house and gaming at night… hoping for some sunshine and double digit temperatures to free us from our frozen prison!

- Duane

February 3rd, 2009:
Your Company’s Blog Is Crap

Blogging is not a marketing strategy. Twitter is not a way to spread the word about your product or site. Facebook and MySpace pages about companies are as useful as a nipple on one’s backside. Sure it’s there, but nobody wants to go near it. If you’re trying to exploit the social media and networking features of the internet, you’re an idiot and it will only hurt you in the long run.

You should have to wear this shirt, all day, every day.

Marketing with blogs and twitter is contrary
to the nature of these systems.

You can’t game the system. Period. This is a world where people filter out crap and decide what’s actually useful. Are you wondering why you only have a few followers on Twitter? Perhaps it’s because you provide no useful information at all! In fact, I would guess that the only followers you have are your employees and their parents. The same goes for your blog. If you write about how great your company is and how useful your products are, people will figure out that you’re trying to sell them something. There are a lot of stupid people out there, but even the lowliest mouth-breather out there knows when they’re getting sold something. We’re not buying it and you’re only hurting your reputation.

People write blogs about real things: what their passions are, how they spent their vacation, how the economy is affecting them, and what their family is doing. They vent (like I am now), they explain, they share. It’s real. Blogging about your benefit package or how great your corporate cafeteria’s food tastes doesn’t really matter, especially if you’re not hiring anyone!

I follow people who twitter about things that interest me, that I benefit from by either sharing information or consuming information. I don’t want to hear about what you’re working on today (especially if it’s the same 2 or 3 things every day), I don’t want to see you invite one of your tweets to lunch (that’s what instant messenger is for, you twit… it’s different if you’re sending an open invitation that you want to broadcast!), and I don’t want to know what new and exciting product your company is launching tomorrow… usually…

The only exception that comes to mind is when your company has a livestyle brand: something that I’m passionate about or invested in: Apple, Woot, Subaru, and Maker’s Mark might be a few examples. They are companies that make products that integrate with my life. I don’t want to hear from my insurance company, bank, mortgage company, or utilities. Period.

Just because Google has a blog that talks about what they’re working on… and it’s immensely popular… doesn’t mean that first global bank’s blog will be the same. Google is buzzworthy. They are an industry changer: the stuff they broadcast has wide-reaching implications and most of all, it’s freakin’ interesting!

Here’s a suggestion: do something better than everyone else. You’ve just created an instant audience. Then, write stuff that your audience cares about. They’ll read it, I promise.

- Duane