Monica and I are going to be doing the March of Dimes WalkAmerica here in Washington on April 30. Most know that our son, Alijah, was born about three months early on January 9, 2004. At 1 lb 13 oz, he was a sight to behold - very frightening as a new parent. Through the help of the March of Dimes, we have facilities where babies that are born at this size/weight can survive. It is just amazing to me that we have a perfectly healthy 15 month old little guy, when even a few years ago his birth circumstances would have meant certain death.
If you would like to sponsor us on our walk to help give babies a fighting chance, you can visit our March of Dimes WalkAmerica site and pledge any amount you are willing to give to this cause. You can also read the story of Alijah’s birth and journey through everything that led up to where he is today at our sponsor site as well, written by my wife Monica. Here is an excerpt:
Our son was in the NICU for 8 weeks on the respirator, had abdominal surgery when he was just 2 weeks old, not even 2 lbs yet, that was the first time we were able to hold him, only for a moment, while he was being transferred to the incubator for surgery. He fought through many blood infections and transfusions, through the miracle of God he came through all of it with flying colors. It was a rollercoaster ride that no parent should have to go through, sitting by your childs bed feeling so helpless, while they fight for just a breath.
As I have been blogging over the past 10 months or so, I have come to “know” and respect those who I feel have great minds for blogging, and technology on the Internet as a whole. There are quite a few people who I would love to meet and network with, and a few I would love to just make friends with as well. Being in the Seattle area, a hotbed for geek bloggers, I shouldn’t have too hard a time crossing people off this list, and moving them to the “People I am Glad to Have Met” list. Here is my list, in no particular order. Some are fairly well known, while others you may not know - but you will soon:
- Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome
- Jason Calacanis of Weblogs, Inc.
- Robert Scoble of Microsoft
- Henry Copeland of Blogads
- Luigi Lugmayr of I4U
- Joel Johnson of Gizmodo
- David Shappelle
- Marc Canter
- Steve Rubel of MicroPersuasion
- Adam Curry
- Dave Winer
- Philip Torrone
- Alan Jeric
- Steven Holmes of OfferCentric
If you are in the Seattle area, drop me a line at andru (at) amedwards.com if you want to hook up. I will also be at E3 in May, as well as New York City.
I hate being sick - but I guess so does everyone else, right? Actually, I don’t mind so much the sniffles, coughing, stuffy noses, and the like. What I can’t stand is being in constant, non-stop pain. Unfortunately, that is what I have to put up with right now since it looks like I have strep throat. It’s funny how pain in one small part of the body can be so debilitating. I just want to lay down and rest - no desire to watch TV, fire up a video game, or even surf the net or blog (gasp!). Seriously though, this needs to go away quick. I have a meeting with Tom Bihn in Seattle this Tuesday to take a look at some of their awesome gadget/laptop bags. I would love to be somewhat alert while I am there!
RSS is taking over - in fact, chances are you are probably reading this in some sort of RSS reader. I love RSS. The ability to download content from all your favorite sites, and view it an a format that is as simple as email is such a joy. On the flipside, if your readers are exclusively accessing your content via syndication, then you are losing out on ad dollars. I have started seeing different sites inserting ads into their feeds. Some seem to be totally against this, saying the whole reason they subscribe to RSS feed is so they can avoid the ads altogether. Others are open to it if they aren’t overly intrusive. Gear Live is getting to the point where there is a large percentage of readers accessing the content through RSS. I was thinking of a way we could incorporate ads into the RSS feed. Any thoughts and/or opinions on this? Also, how would you go about putting ads into the new posts themselves (as opposed to creating ads that are their own posts entirely) without “breaking” the feed? Drop me a line at andru (at) gearlive.com, or let me know in the comments.
Buzztracker keeps track of all the news under the Google World News area, and shows where different stories are being reported. The image above is updated in real time, and allows you to see how news travels. From their site:
Buzztracker is software that visualizes frequencies and relationships between locations in the Google world news directory. Buzztracker tries to show you how interconnected the world is: big events in one area ripple to other areas across the globe. Connections between cities thousands of miles apart become apparent at a glance.
I love technologies that build upon things that are already out there.
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If you are a small business owner without a website, Yahoo is offering a simple solution if you are in their local small business index. It costs nothing to become listed, and now they are offering a free basic website as well. I am not sure what kind of domains Yahoo will be using for the sites, so they may be long and unsightly - but regardless of the domains Yahoo chooses to affix, they are still a great free resource to local small business owners. The websites can have up to five different pages of information, and can be customized with a business logo, contact information, etc. Very cool.
You know, I love broadband - that’s a given. However, I think I hate when broadband doesn’t work more than I love it when it does. How frustrating is it not being able to work because Comcast can’t seem to get their stuff together? They have had two DNS outages that were virtually nationwide twice over the past four days. This is inexcusable. Luckily, I heard that I could simply change the DNS setting in my router to 126.96.36.199 and everything was up and running again. If you are on Comcast, I suggest you do the same.
On another note - I have been intrigued by EV-DO after reading about it from people who I respect. Checking Verizon’s coverage page, it seems that Seattle hasn’t yet been given the EV-DO treatment - but I hear that it does work out here. Anyone in Seattle have an EV-DO device? I would love to tether the Audiovox VX6600 to my PowerBook on the go.
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A big thank you to Chris for introducing me to AdSenseLog. I love Google AdSense, and I try to check up on my stats at least a few times a day. AdSenseLog is software that does this for you, along with so much more. You can get information on just about anything related to your AdSense account - including nicely compiled comparisons, charts, graphs, etc. all by using this wonderful piece of software. What I like most about it is the advanced channel comparison data that it offers. You can give it a download and try it out yourself for 30 days. After that, it will cost $50 for a license unless you have a coupon.
Speaking of AdSense, Google just gave us a few more reasons to love the product. One thing I didn’t like was having to wait two days before I could see my channel data - they have fixed this. Now channel data is updated constantly, right alongside aggregate data. Very nice to be able to see trends related to changes made in specific channels right away. There are a few other improvements as well, but they do not affect me nearly as much.
Here I sit at Mudd Bay Coffee sipping on a Thai Latte and hooked up to complimentary WiFi, at a crossroad. Running Gear Live has been an absolute pleasure over the past ten months or so, and each month it grows in readership as well as financial gain. In fact, it has grown so much that I now rely on the income from this site to support me and my family financially. No more working for someone else and following their orders, instead I make my own hours and do something that I absolutely love - all through the power of blogging. I have read so many articles on both sides of the fence of the blogging phenomenon. Some swear by it, and others aren’t as enthusiastic. Speaking from experience, though, I can tell you that if you put up quality content on a blog that promotes a community atmosphere, people will read it and participate. People love an honest approach, and for the most part that is what they get when they visit a blog.
That being the case, I am going to be involved in a couple of new and exciting ventures in the blogging world. First, we will be starting a blog totally dedicated to the world of gaming. We have been covering this area on Gear Live, but the video game industry is so vast that it deserves its own blog. We will be at E3 2005 to bring you all the latest from the showroom floor. Secondly, I will be a part of a site which will be completely devoted to online business ventures. You don’t really see too many sites dedicated to this area, but it is one of the most searched topics on sites like Google. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for themselves? If you have a passion for something, why not make money with it? At 24 years old, I am able to call my own shots, and it feels great. I will have more info on both of these new projects in the coming weeks.
Okay, so you know how some people call you by your first name, others by your last (Mr. So and So), and still others by a nickname or tagname? My visit to New York included an interesting conversation with my mom about this subject. It never even crossed my mind that different people would feel differenly about this, as its not something you really ever think about.
Basically, she was talking about her father and how his doctor refers to him using the name Ed. His name is Edmond, and he has gone by his middle name Jim basically all his life. He never told the doctor to call him Edmond, let alone Ed. My moms problem was that the doctor even had the gall to call him by his first name at all, as opposed to Mr. McQuown. She believed that it was rude of the doctor to just assume it was okay to refer to her father by his first name, without him first granting the doctor permission. She figured the doctor would call him Mr. McQuown, and he would say “You can call me Jim.”
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