yonihamagid: (Default)

Checking balances on Mint, found I'd spent $1,500 on clothing at International Male. No, no I didn't. I did just pay the International Association of Facilitators $1,500 for certification fees. Mint needs to work on getting longer names before they go into the guessing algorithm.

yonihamagid: (Wrigley Headshot)
#NerdsNamesForTheirGenitals is trending, and I can't post "Zod, as in kneel before".
yonihamagid: (Wrigley Headshot)
I can't reply on Twitter to this tweet because I'm supposed to be professional over there. But I needed an outlet to point out that the last thing a strip club probably wants is a soft opening.
yonihamagid: (Wrigley Headshot)
That moment when you realize you just posted the word "clusterfuck" online someplace that rhymes with "Race Cook" and much of the elder generation of your family has access to it.
yonihamagid: (Default)
If my only contact with you is here, you may not know that the inestimable Skippy of list fame is running a Kickstarter for his game Redshirts. He's calling this the Deluxe Edition, and it is indeed.

To quote the game description, "Redshirts is a fast paced screw-your-buddies style card game for 2 to 7 players.

Redshirts is a card game set in a universe similar to, but legally distinct from, a certain sci-fi franchise that rhymes with Car Smek. The goal is to be the first player to run out of crewmen because everyone knows the captains of boring voyages don't get promotions. You do this by sending them on missions they are not trained for, taking away vital equipment at the last second, and occasionally, just shooting them in the back and shoving them out an airlock."

If you haven't already, go there. Give Skippy money. We're less than $1,000 from the most important stretch goal of the campaign and I want the custom cards without having to pony up $160.

While we're on the topic of Kickstarters, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who thinks "personal lubricant" rather than "foodstuff" when "Mannaise" is mentioned.
yonihamagid: (Default)
Wil Wheaton (@wilw) has asked that today July 29 be recognized as Don't Be a Dick Day in honor of his 40th birthday and in reference to what has come to be known as Wheaton's Law, which states in full, "Don't be a dick."

I'm on board with this.

But (and you knew there was going to be a "but") I have a little problem with Wil's handy dandy flow chart on how not to be a dick.

"Are you being a dick?" is not always an easy question to answer.

Sometimes it is. You don't need an advanced degree in dick recognition to know that walking up to a random woman and asking if she's pregnant is a dick move.

But sometimes context has a lot to do with whether what you're doing is being a dick or just having a conversation. And you can't always tell right off.

I was going to illustrate with a personal story, but after writing it all down, I realized it was self serving, and kind of a dick move.

In summary, someone at the grocery store behaved like a dick to me. If I weren't currently dealing with a father very slowly recovering from open heart surgery, it wouldn't have been dick like behavior. If she'd known my personal situation, she never would have behaved that way.

I think the flow chart needs another block. If the answer to "are you being a dick?" is "no" there should be another check "are you sure?" If "Yes", "Awesome." If "No", then "Don't be a dick!"

It's not enough to ask yourself if you're being a dick. Particularly when dealing with people or situation with which you are not familiar, it is very important to be absolutely sure you're not being a dick. You have to be sensitive to the cues and hints you're being provided to make sure your behavior hasn't crossed the line making you a dick.
yonihamagid: (Default)
I've been researching Kickstarter 'cause, you know, it's a free way of getting money, right?

Which, of course, I know isn't true. I see the work and research that goes into successful Kickstarter campaigns. The fortuitous serendipity that is the result of months of work and dedication before the campaign ever launches.

Which leads to some thoughts about how there's nothing quite so pathetic as a Kickstarter campaign that obviously will never be funded.

For instance, Crystal Clean: A memoir about meth addiction and recovery could be a very moving book that takes a unique look at a problem that haunts America (though I don't think I'd be so bold as to say "There are no other memoirs about meth addiction written by a mother."). But it will never make the $5,000 the author is looking for to complete the electronic layout of the book. I would also point out that a top pledge of $400 is perhaps a little too modest, particularly when it gets you a lecture, but only if you're in Idaho... excuse me a small corner of Idaho (granted it includes Boise, all 200,000 of them).

All that said, I'd like to see her succeed, but not enough to put my money behind it. And that's the big problem with Kickstarter. 66% of Kickstarter campaigns never make it. Nearly 12% never get a single pledge. I realize there are lots of people who have no idea what they're doing and are just trying to get some free money out of this, but a 66% failure rate is certainly something to pay attention to.

Another one I have no hope of it actually financing is Too Cute To Cut Bakery is opening our first store!. In this case I think there are two insurmountable problems, intense locality and lack of any well known champion. And while she's got some very pretty pictures, most successful campaigns have video at their core. This gives the funders a chance to feel like they've personally connected with the people behind the project (which is why despite living half a country away from this brick and mortar retail project I've pledged a few dollars in support).

So what I've learned so far:
You have to know exactly what you're doing with the money. You can have a vague plan in case of going over limit, but to start with you must know where every penny of the stated limit is going.
Rewards that capture the imagination of or solve a problem for the funders are the hallmark of the most successful campaigns.
Successful campaigns tend to have celebrity champions or capture the imagination of a fairly widely distributed online news source.
Low turn around time is not high on the list of must haves for a project.
The funding limit should be as low as possible while still allowing for the successful delivery of promised rewards - don't get greedy.
Video works.
Be pretty far along on the project. Kickstarter is for the finishing touches.
[edit to add:]Update early and often. Since every backer will get notice of the updates, don't spam them, certainly no more than one a day, but there should be at least two updates a week.

Of this list, the one thing out of the control of the person starting the project is getting a champion or coverage. I suspect some of the more successful projects had those things in line before ever getting started on the Kickstarter process.

Of course The Order of the Stick Reprint Drive started with what can only be considered an unfair advantage on the front. Amanda Palmer, on the other hand, not only had her fan base, but her husband Neil Gaiman's as well. That's just cheating.
yonihamagid: (Shabbos)
After many years of sitting and thinking about it, I've sat down to write (what I assume will be) the novella based on the experiences I wish I'd had in high school. Tried to get some inspiration from Pandora. Unfortunately my current channels just don't cut it for Yeshivish inspiration. We'll see what a Matisyahu seeded channel can do for me.

Help!

Jan. 9th, 2012 11:57 am
yonihamagid: (Default)
I have been tasked by an organization I belong to with getting something onto Wikipedia. As I'm involved, I can't just create the page. I'm hoping someone around here might be willing to do some third party work and get us up there. I'm looking at you Zachary Kessin, but anyone familiar with Wikipedia wanting to help a guy out, I'll be happy to provide more information if needed. The organization is the ToP Network which is the professional organization of the Technology of Participation practitioners. ToP is a series of facilitation methodologies created by the Institute of Cultural Affairs which does have a Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Institute_of_Cultural_Affairs_International

To be clear, the Network wants to get a Wikipedia page up for the methods themselves. A page for the Network would be nice, but we're really interested in getting the methods recognized more widely in the online world.
yonihamagid: (He chose poorly)
Because I get to use this user pic so rarely, go Google Paul Christofolo if you haven't been inundated already. I just can't muster the energy to post all the links he's spawned here.

However, I do think it's the responsibility of everyone who passes this info along to point out that Avenger Controllers has severed all ties with Ocean Marketing and Paul Christofolo. If I were a gamer, I'd buy an Avenger just for that. http://www.natesnetwork.com/Poor-customer-service
yonihamagid: (Default)
I bought a $10 bar of soap. Actually, I bought two. With the rather high cost of shipping, they came more to $15/bar.

I was having difficulty with this purchase. On the one hand, I was justifying it by saying that it was more a contribution to a cause (whatever that cause might be: gentleman farming, the Community, a couple of guys I want to help) than a purchase. But those kinds of purchases do not make for sustainable businesses, and that's really the cause I would want to get behind. It doesn't matter how cute the baby goat (or the goat's minders) is (are), if the product isn't worth the price paid for it, people won't return to buy more. And people returning to buy more is the only way small businesses selling small products can survive.

So now that I have my $30 worth of soap, will I buy more?

Maybe.

On the plus side, the shipping became more reasonable when I experienced just how dense the package was. The soaps are quite heavy for what I expected. They were also quite large. I had noticed the website suggested cutting off a piece to keep the rest from drying out. I didn't realize I would be able to get three or four (maybe five, we'll see) reasonably sized bars out of one "bar."

So the value is greater than I expected.

What about the product itself? you inevitably ask.

Well, it's soap. It's very lathery. It smells nice, though not quite as strong as I expected, which is probably a good thing. The scent stayed with me for a while, but was not overpowering. My skin feels pretty good, but I think it'll take a few more applications to decide if there's any additional benefit to regular application.

There are a few other products of theirs I'm interested in. The goat milk caramel looks very good. While the habanero goat milk caramel looks terrifying. However, I know I have an audience for that sort of thing. I'd be interested in onion jam, but I'm not sure interested enough to invest $10 (plus shipping) for 9 oz.

I am, unfortunately, a candle person. I see one of these in my future.

While I might be tempted to pick up a "Basics" gift set, that's more about my fondness for signed books than any need for more soap at this time. However, I'm unmoved by tchotckes, even those that aren't clothing that doesn't come in my size.

So, in short, I think this is a vendor worth supporting and will probably buy a few more things. However, I do not believe I will ever indulge in 100 bars of custom made soap, not even at less than $5 a bar.
yonihamagid: (Default)
Someone on FaceBook posted a link to an article about $200 million worth of Ansel Adams negatives being purchased for $45 at a garage sale with the thought that he needs to go to more garage sales.

My response was he would probably have better odds at the lottery.

I figure there are people around here with more intellectual curiosity and more statistical knowledge than I who might want to actually test the validity of that assertion.
yonihamagid: (Friend of Dorothy)
I believe we've discussed in the past that I occasionally peruse websites dedicated to bringing together gentleman with common interests for romantic purposes.

And I believe I have, in the past, made observations about various people who also visit these websites.

Some further observations.

Posting a picture of you licking your cats face is off putting.

I suppose if you're the sort of person who licks your cat's face, you might want to be up front about it so that you know the people who might get romantically involved with you either don't mind, also enjoy licking the faces of cats or get turned on by people who lick cat's faces.

So I guess it is an appropriate picture to post in such a place, but you've got to know you've just massively reduced what in our situation is already a maddeningly small pool of potential mates.

And more seriously, I don't get phrases like "no drama," "no drugs," etc. in online personals. Because drama queens, drug addicts, etc. are so self aware and honest that they read that and say, "Oh, well. That leaves me off."

All you're doing is telling the normal people you're so out of touch with what the internet is you think you're doing something useful, which, being as close to a normal person as any of you lot, I can say turns us normal people off, and you're getting all the drug addicted drama queens in a tizzy so they have to prove to you that what you really need in your life is more of what they've got to offer.

Ok, it wasn't really more seriously.
yonihamagid: (toaster)
Today it's a Towleroad double play.

First California family values state lawmaker Michael Duvall gets caught on an open mike saying things he shouldn't have been thinking, much less saying.

Then in an out of the frying pan into the fire kind of story a Florida Church chucks Pepsi in favor of Coca Cola, or as I prefer to think of it, jettisons one Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index 100 percenter for another. I'm sure the Coca Cola Gay and Lesbian Forum is just crowing about the business they've wooed away from EQUAL@PepsiCo. I hear they're two very competitive Employee Resource Groups.

Edit: More in depth examination of the Duvall episode.
yonihamagid: (Default)
Ok, a five and a half hour layover is officially too much time on my hands.
yonihamagid: (rainbow warrior)
I'm disappointed by the ruling of the California Supreme Court today, but I would be more disappointed in the Court itself if they'd ruled the other way. California has a badly written constitution that is too easily amended. This is yet another demonstration of that fact. However, it is the state constitution and changing the rules because on this one issue we're not happy with it is a bad idea.

On the plus side, I fully expect the correct side of the issue to be on the November ballot next year precisely because this tissue paper constitution is so very easy to amend. We'll probably see another initiative to amend it back to the Prop 8 status in 2012.

If everyone is very lucky, we're going to get a California constitutional convention out of the deal. Maybe Texas, with it's similarly poorly written constitution, will follow suit.

Now, there is a reason I'd like to see the gay rush to the altar slowed just a little. At the Memorial Day party at the Fab4 house, the Captain shared TackyWeddings.com. We all know the horrible crimes against fashion, decency and common sense that gay weddings could represent. Hell, this guy is halfway to gay wedding hell as it is. To be fair, the theme of the actual wedding appears to have been pimps & hos.

And while I'm pontificating (I know, ironic), straight people, please stop using your weddings or lack there of as statements "in support" of same sex marriage. What this society needs is more committed couples affording themselves the full rights and responsibilities marriage as a social and civil institution offers, not less. Waiting for universal suffrage on this subject does nothing but make your lives and the lives of your children just a little less flexible by taking this unnecessary stand. Rather, have your wedding, invite your gay friends and family, ignore the fact that we're the gay guests. If you really want to promote equality, try getting your 13 year old cousin to stop snickering when your gay male friends and/or relatives take to the dance floor.

It begins

Mar. 31st, 2009 11:55 pm
yonihamagid: (Friend of Dorothy)
And so begins the annual bamboozle.

Bring it on.

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