First things first: we are expanding the Design Studio at Twitter! A few days ago, I opened 8 new positions, which can be viewed here. If you have fantastic design, production, or research chops and you love Twitter, we’d love to talk to you.
Secondly, below is a not-so-brief update on how things have gone in my first month here.
Working at Twitter is a lot like using Twitter. You have to get comfortable with how much information you miss every day.
— Mike Davidson (@mikeindustries) November 29, 2012
So far, San Francisco has outperformed my already high expectations. It’s an even more enjoyable city to live in than I imagined. The only thing that’s been a bummer is housing selection and pricing. For a 1300 square foot place, I am paying about 2.5-3x what the same place would go for in a nice neighborhood in Seattle; and Seattle isn’t exactly cheap either. I thought I would just have to overpay a little down here in order to get into a decent place, but the reality is that the city is littered with apartments as expensive as $6000 a month that you wouldn’t even want to live in. Thankfully, we got a place on a great block in Noe Valley so at least the neighborhood is perfect for us, but man is it pricey for what it is.
The food in San Francisco has been predictably terrific, and I will just come out and say it: the coffee is better than it is in Seattle. Between Ritual, Philz, Martha’s, and Blue Bottle, just about the only place in Seattle which can compete is Uptown Espresso. That has surprised me a bit. It’s also nice being this close to In-N-Out Burger, which helps (almost) make up for the lack of Skillet down here.
People keep telling me the weather is supposed to turn to shit any day now, but it’s the middle of December and it’s been sunny and mid 60s for most of my time here. I could really get used to this, although I’m sure the summers won’t be nearly as nice as they are in Seattle. I still plan to fly up every couple of weeks during the summer and throughout Husky football season.
Today marks the launch of my second blog, and first new one in over four years: A House By The Park. Please head over and have a look-see!
Why a second blog when I only post to Mike Industries a few times a month? Well, I’m building a house, together with Build LLC.
The first thing I noticed after deciding to build a house is that there aren’t any well-written, well-designed, detail-oriented blogs about building a house from the perspective of someone who has never done it before. There are a number of books on the subject, several of which I’ve purchased and zero of which I’ve opened, as well as random articles and photos from people at various points in their construction, but nowhere could I find a start-to-finish, real-time chronology of the entire process. That ends today.
Ahousebythepark.com will cover searching for the right property, dealing with real estate agents, interviewing and choosing an architect, making your way through the design and build process, and probably a thousand other things… all with the goal of helping future custom home builders better prepare for their own projects. I’ve backdated a bunch of entries before pushing the site live so there are already 26 posts to thumb through.
Somebody told me once that every human being should go through the home building process once in their lifetime. I don’t know if I agree with that, but if you feel you may ever decide to build a home for yourself, I invite you to subscribe to A House By The Park’s RSS feed and follow passively until something strikes your interest. I can’t guarantee the same highly intellectual nuggets of thought that fill the pages of Mike Industries, but I will try to write with the same level of detail and accuracy. For instance, I’m making my entire spreadsheet of expenses available online and within the blog posts themselves so readers can get a specific idea of what everything costs (Yay EditGrid! Separate post on this coming soon).
Finally, please feel free to link to or write about A House By The Park on your own site or other places of interest. Every little link helps. I estimate there are somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 subscribers to Mike Industries so there are always great comments here, but on launch day, A House By The Park will have zero. Writing stuff is no fun until intelligent discussion and/or controversy ensues.
So that’s the pitch. Head on over, the water’s warm. I’ve even published a top-to-bottom complete chronology page to get you all caught up from the beginning without having to jump from page to page.
Just a quick note that I’ll be appearing live on G4TV’s “Attack of the Show” today at 7pm EDT. The subject is “bloggers as journalists” and I’ll be appearing on behalf of Newsvine — via satellite — with a couple of guests, including Peter Blackshaw, chief marketing officer at Intelliseek who was recently quoted in Forbes magazine as saying:
“Bloggers are more of a threat than people realize, and they are only going to get more toxic. This is the new reality.”
Anybody have anything they want me to say on the air? Feel free to post your thoughts on this subject so I can present them as my own. :)
I don’t post too often about upcoming speaking gigs because I assume most readers don’t care, but since I have a few coming up, here’s a quick combined rundown. If you’re in town for any of these and want to talk a little shop, let me know:
Keynote Panel: Grokking the Big Picture: An interview about how syndication is altering the worlds of media, publishing, and marketing.
Speaking with Eric Elia of Brightcove, David Geller of WhatCounts, and Dave Sifry of Technorati.
Panel: If You Could Build Your Website from Scratch… What Would You Do Differently?
Speaking with Roger Black of Roger Black Studio (OMFG!), Darin Brown of Avenue A/Razorfish, and Lincoln Millstein of Hearst.
Session: Designing for Community Interaction.
Panel: Design panel.
Speaking with D. Keith Robinson of BlueFlavor, Dan Cederholm of SimpleBits, and Bryan Veloso of FaceBook/Avalonstar.
Many apologies for the self-promotion, but I’m going to be on the KCTS show “Serious Money” tonight talking about Newsvine and the changing landscape of the journalism world. If you have access to KCTS, it’s going to be on at 8pm Pacific Time. Serious Money is in its 17th season and has hosted such CEOs as Jack Welch of GE, Howard Schultz of Starbucks, and Jonathan Klein of Getty. Economist extraordinaire and Colonial era dead-ringer Louis Rukeyser has also appeared. After the airing, the show should also be available on KCTS’ Streaming Video page, I believe.
I wore make-up too, so let the jokes begin…
March is the greatest month of the year for basketball fans. Not only are there a ton of great NCAA Tournament games to watch, but there are a ton of bracket games to enter as well.
Bracket games, as most college hoops fans know, are designed to test your ability to predict the outcome of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. From a field of 64 teams, you pick the winners of each game, collecting points along the way in each round, and the person with the most points at the end wins. ESPN’s Tournament Challenge is one of the best such bracket games out there and having worked on it for several years at ESPN, I can attest to how popular it is.
So now that we’re building a world-class sports section on Newsvine, we figured we should do an NCAA Tournament game as well. But brackets are a little played out.
We wanted to do something new.
Presenting Newsvine Tournament Pick ‘Em. Newsvine Tournament Pick ‘Em has no bracket. Instead, each entrant is given a budget of 300 “doubloons” with which they can purchase however many teams they’d like. The rub is that each team costs a different amount, with the higher seeds being the most expensive. You can buy three teams or 15 teams… it’s up to you.
Each win is worth one point and the person with the most points wins a 60GB Video iPod from Newsvine.
Entering can take anywhere from 10 seconds to an hour depending on how long you stew over your picks.
So here’s the best part though: You can also invite up to 50 of your friends to enter your Tournament Pick ‘Em “group”.
If anyone you invite ends up winning the Video iPod, you will win one as well.
How’s that for teamwork?
So head on over to Newsvine Tournament Pick ‘Em and fill out your entry today.
… and you thought the iPod Contests were going away. :)
6 months. 64 posts. 2011 comments. One million page views. Mike Industries hit seven digits today, and to celebrate I’m giving away an Apple Bluetooth keyboard and Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse to the person (or people) who submit the best comments, in haiku form, as to why they want either device. An example is as follows:
Oh Bluetooth Keyboard
I Yearn For Your Wireless Touch
Untether Me Now
The best haikus posted by EOD Wednesday, will be shipped the products. Multiple entries are fine.
I want to thank everyone who has been reading and/or participating in this site over the last several months since inception. I feel like this blog is 99% troll-free, and the quality of discussion is top shelf. Never would I have learned that the McLean Deluxe burger is part sea-kelp without the vast pool of savants who visit these pages.
I also want to give a shout out to Dreamhost, my hosting company of choice. I’ve hosted sites with many different ISPs in my life, but Dreamhost just continues to completely blow me away. I have zero complaints and a thousand compliments. In fact, I’m so satisfied that I just gave them placement on my sidebar, which is about the closest thing to an ad you’ll find on this site. If your hosting company doesn’t make you want to run over and hug them, you should check out Dreamhost.
Anyway, I’m off for a vacation in the Mayan Riviera now. The diving is supposed to be great. Will post close-up pictures of sharks when I return.
UPDATE: We have two winners! Thanks to everyone for participating. There were more than a handful of really great haikus, but these two stood out as the greatest:
Pale azure molar
Blinking vermillion rodent
Freely I would roam
— Isaac Lin
— Jay Robinson
Congrats to Isaac and Jay. I’ll ship you your stuff as soon as I get back from vacay.
Well it’s been a good first week here at Mike Industries. Over 50,000 page views, plenty of scathing editorial and healthy discussion in the comment threads, and not a single piece of hate mail! Not that readers might be interested in such things, but I thought I’d share some of the nuggets gleaned from ShortStat during the first week:
Anyway, more ramblings are on the way this weekend. Thanks to everyone who has put up with them so far. Expect updates to this site once or twice a week as excess mental energy allows.
* In case there was any doubt, yes, the Invalidator Badge is clearly hyperbole.
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