Archive for June 2009
I started a little firestorm at lunch this week when I called someone a geek while sitting at a table full of co-workers.
This led to an intense philosophical discussion about who is and is not a geek, prompting a few skittish people to ask “Am I a geek?” in quivering, fearful tones.
This column has turned me into a kind of “Geek Whisperer.” After my first World of Warcraft column, a co-worker came up to my desk and whispered, “I have a level-62 Paladin on Twisting Nether.”
That sounded like the beginning of a longer speech but she just looked at me like she was waiting for something. We sat in silence for a moment, then I realized what she was asking for. She wanted forgiveness. She wanted me to absolve her somehow and assure her that she was not a geek.
I squeezed her hand and said, “Don’t worry. A lot of normal people play Warcraft.”
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You know what they say. If you can’t be funny in 2009, recycle crap from 1996. I originally posted this to the Usenet group alt.religion.kibology on July 3, 1996. I think it’s still funny today, perhaps for different reasons. And yes, for some reason, I felt the need to capitalize Online.
First, let me congratulate you on your excellent product, Business Week Online on AOL. Your service delivers exactly as promised — every article, every week, Online.
I have a suggestion on a way you could improve your service that would mean a lot to me personally.
Every week, I go through your Online publication and I’m continually frustrated. Your articles are so good, that I feel the need to print them out for posterity — to show them to friends, file away for future reference, or perhaps just to capture those excellent photographs.
I don’t have disk space to store everything, but I’m willing to spare a little space in my paper files for these printouts.
That brings me to my idea.
Why don’t you guys offer some kind of “Business Week Printout Service” where you can print out the full content of your Business Week Online section and mail the results to people who request it? Perhaps for a reasonable fee.
I think I would be willing to pay up to $50 a year for quality printouts of your publication. If you need to bring the cost down, I would even be willing to look through pages of commercial advertisements.
I would be happy to pay for these “transcripts” just to have a permanent record of Business Week that I can pass on to my children.
It’s a shame to have such a quality product vanish each week into some computer. I think this Printout Service would bring your publication to the cutting edge of Online technology.
Perhaps you can start a trend?
Thank you for your time,
Michael B. Duff
My favorite moment comes toward the end of the interview when Michael asks them if they’re building “a Twitter-killer.”
He pitches it like a joke, but the question is dead serious, and the reaction is priceless.
When I tell you Google is about to change our most fundamental assumptions about living, working and communicating online, I expect most of you to roll your eyes and dismiss me.
But this time is different. The product is called Google Wave and it really could change everything. Wave was unveiled last Thursday at the Google I/O convention in San Francisco. Google gurus Stephanie Hannon and Lars Rasmussen hosted an hour-plus demo of Wave that has developers scrambling to build extensions for it, even as half the Internet prepares to have their business models destroyed.
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