Monday, March 30, 2009
Humane Society of Indianapolis
John Wesley Hardrick, artist
If you have some info - referenced facts, I should say - on either topic please stop by and make a contribution.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I'm also interested to see how energy savings for earthhour compare to daylight saving time - and I'd easily be willing to swap the one for the other. I hate daylight saving time.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Here's how to draw a Venn Diagram with Visio:
- Draw ovals
- Select ovals, then format --> fill, and change Transparency to 50% (adjust according to taste)
- Select Shape --> Operations --> Fragment
- Shade each fragment to indicate designation
- Add a legend if necessary and use format painter to repeat shading.
Friday, March 20, 2009
- Open your hosting Control Center
- Scroll down, and open the "content" section
- Click "Site Redirects"
- Click "New redirect"
- Complete the Domain and Path for the location you wish people to use to get to your content. For example, you can set up http://mysite.com/resume to redirect people from that url to the hosted location of your resume at another address.
- Complete the Domain and Path for the destination address.
I set up http://ejly.info/linkedin to redirect to my Linkedin profile at
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Shelter workers usually don't have a particular breed of dog they're interested in promoting ahead of others, and they hate returns more than anything, since that shows that a match between the dog and its owner wasn't successful. A good shelter will always be ready to take back an animal if it doesn't work out. Because of their aversion to returns and independence of recommending any particular breed, they can often recommend a breed or type of dog that you should consider based on your lifestyle and preferences. I also like the dog breed selector by Animal Planet.
If you do already have a specific breed in mind, then contact a breed rescue group. There are rescues for every kind of breed out there, and most are findable by Google.
Some people find that shelter dogs show a lot more gratitude for their home, too.
Training an older dog can be a concern. I've personally had no trouble, and so long as the dog's motivation can be found any dog is trainable. I've trained 10 year old Chihuahuas to dance, a 3 year old Coonhound to sit at attention, and a 2 year old beagle to sneeze. All of these were dogs from the Humane Society of Indianapolis.
Shelter dogs often come with a pet health insurance policy at adoption, which is a wise way to limit your risk in adopting a pet. I do know of one person who rescued an abandoned puppy and spent a lot of money on vet care. Going through a shelter to adopt makes financial sense, again because they have screened the dog for health issues and provided initial vet care. They sometimes miss things, that's true, but many shelters provide a pet care insurance policy free for the first 30 days to cover anything they have missed which your vet finds. We use it for our dogs, and if you mention us as a referral we'd be happy to donate the $25 referral bonus they pay us to an animal shelter of your choice.
For some, a shelter can be an overwhelming place. If that is true for you, contact your shelter and see if they have any foster dogs available. Often a foster parent can work with you to adopt the dog from a home, and you still get the benefits of having the dog's initial screening and vet care completed. Plus, to get along in a foster home most dogs will learn a few house-manners and even some training.
I've included some photos of dogs we've fostered to show what great variety of dogs are available. For more info about our foster dog's experiences, check out the former fosters blog.
Monday, March 16, 2009
A related project of theirs is My Twitter Weighs a ton which is a list of terms most often found in people's first tweets. Do you see that none of the top 100 terms are negative? The terms frustrated and confused don't make the list. Perhaps twitter attracts people to use it who are less change-averse than average. Or perhaps twitter manages new user sign up with such ease that those reactions aren't prevalent.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I have family in Chicago and live in Indianapolis, so I head back and forth down I-65 on visits. A few years back, I started stopping regularly at the Logan's in Lafayette, because they do customer service right. A road trip for us is no meager affair; today, for example, there were 6 of us in transit - 2 adults, 2 energetic boys and 2 bouncing beagles. We pushed through to LaFayette in good time, and walked in a bit frazzled, happy to be back in 3G territory after the digital wastes of Northern Indiana, needing sustenance. The staff greeted us, seated us promptly, were courteous throughout. The restrooms are clean, the food is good.
Oh, yea, that's *every* restaurant's policy, what's the big deal? I can regularly walk into a speedy-eats restaurant nowadays and tell them "I feel welcome to your restaurant, would you take my order please?" and nonplus even the most doughty clerk. But here's the difference.
They know me at Logan's. In a restaurant 60 miles from anywhere I usually go, they know me. The manager made a point to learn the boy's names. For some reason, the boys think it is really neat to sweep with the staff, and the manager lets them help out. This is a big deal to boys who have been cooped up in a car and need a chance to move around. The staff makes a fuss over them, and they're just delighted with it. Once or twice, the manager spotted us a free dessert. We've talked about his wife's degree program, our holiday plans, nicknames for the kids. If the game's on, we get the score report when we walk in. We've swapped wii codes, and can battle in guitar hero. I can wear my Indiana University hoodie in the restaurant - in the university town of LaFayette, Indiana, home of Purdue University - and walk out unscathed. 'Nuff said.
So what happens from this level of customer service? I got served the wrong order once, but decided to try it instead of being a pain and sending it back. They apologized, and I learned about a new menu item that was pretty good. Once, the manager stopped by and saw that one kid's meal was overdone, so he had the dish remade. When family comes down from Chicago, I tell them to stop there. Over the course of a few years, I've probably spent or referred $1,000 of business there. All without a club card. That level of authentic, purposeful customer service has some pretty tangible benefits - I'm less likely to be a pain as a customer, I'm getting better service, and I'm spending more of my money there. And I'm not alone - the reviews on Google are good too. It benefits me as the customer *and* the restaurant as a business.
So look around for yourself at the businesses you patronize and figure out what not only serves you as a customer, but delights you. In an online business model, it is far easier to know your customer - they tell you who they are with each login. Are you using what you know to delight your customer?
Monday, March 9, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I find it terribly ironic that only after I moved to Indiana did the state start following DST. And a new study, by Matthew Kotchen and Laura Grant of University of California at Santa Barbara reports that DST increases residential energy use. The article is available at “Does Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Indiana”
Friday, March 6, 2009
Granted, the applicability of this to a blog like mine is a mere exercise in usability. But the extensibility of the idea is great - a performance group like Indyprov can post the code at events to let people in the know use it to easily get to their site to find out about future events. Animal rescue organizations can use these outside each kennel to provide details on each animal. What use could you put it to?
You can make your own barcode with Google Charts.
Thanks Rick Klau for the basic info on how to get started.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I'll look for you on twitter.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Why I Twitter
Image by Mykl Roventine via Flickr
by Eva Lyford
Despite all the talk about it, most people, even most savvy Web types, don't use Twitter. That's not a problem--it's just true. That means that even among the dress-in-black blog-writing, Facebook-using folks "in the know," Twitter people like me are still in the minority. It also means that I often get asked why I Twitter, so I decided to sit down and make a list.
Twitter, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
- Twitter makes me a better writer. In 140 characters, a person has to be concise. As an example: there was a time I would have said "pretty concise" in that sentence, but now I'm over it. The term "pretty" adds no value to the thought, so I downsized it. I credit Twitter with forcing me to reexamine my writing style and improve it so that each word adds value to a sentence.
- Twitter networks me with interesting people. On the one hand, there are the celebrity thinkers like Neil Gaiman, Stephen Fry, and Guy Kawasaki who would be interesting in any venue; they happen to be on Twitter. Next, there are everyday people who I'm getting to know; Carma, Kristin, Michelle, Chuck and so many friendly others.
- Twitter is functional. Indyprov, the improv comedy troupe I'm in, uses Twitter to promote local shows. The Humane Society of Indianapolis, who I volunteer with, uses Twitter to promote adoptable pets. Local Indianapolis businesses, such as The Bean Cup and Yats practice micro-marketing and make offers which I've taken advantage of and recommended to others via retweets--that's good business for both of us.
- Twitter is local. Twitter facilitates connections on a local level; as an example, I noticed a few of my local followers often mention hanging at The Bean Cup, an independent coffee house in southside Indianapolis. I live only 2 miles away, but have never heard of them because their location is hidden from view of the nearby thoroughfare. I checked them out by taking them up on a Twitter promotion offering free coffee for Twitterers who stopped in. I liked the place so well, I've been back often. And from the business perspective, that's an effective promotion.
- Twitter is global. When something happens in the world--the Mumbai attacks or the Miracle on the Hudson--Twitterers are talking about it. Sure, I didn't need to know that a Flat Stanley survived Flight 1549's landing, but I found out through Twitter and that personalized the event for me. The news is no longer remote to me when I get these details.
- Twitter interlinks my social networks. I have networks on plaxo, on friendfeed, facebook and on linkedin. They operate differently, and through the magic of RSS I can keep them updated and current--I can be with my network contacts wherever they chose to be. Some people get heavily invested in their network and don't want to leave to join you on another site; with Twitter, I can update their preferred networking site at will and stay in touch.
- Twitter is an instant expert aggregator. Post a question, and hear back from your group with their thoughts and ideas. Even when the question isn't answered, often direction is given which can lead you to an answer.
- Finally, Twitter still has that new-website-smell. Almost 2 years since I joined, it hardly feels broken in, and I'm enjoying being part of the community who is defining the utility of the site. Daily I find new uses for Twitter and I enjoy sharing them on my blog. In this way, I've created a niche for myself where others come to me to find out about Twitter tools and tips.
What do you like about Twitter? Post to let me know--or tweet me @ejly.
also published at http://www.mikemoran.com/biznology/archives/2009/03/why_i_twitter.html
- Set up an account with Twitterfeed
- Find out your Digg bookmarks RSS feed. Go to your digg history page (as an example, here's my digg history and look for the RSS icon on the page. It looks like a dot with 3 lines:
- Copy the RSS link by right clicking (or control clicking, my dear Mac friends) on the link by the rss icon. Note that the link should end with "history.rss."
- Go back to Twitterfeed, and click the link to "Create New Feed." Fill out the easy form, and you're set.
Yes, this works for any service which is rss-able. You can set up Flickr updates to twitter or even Facebook updates to twitter.
- Update twitter with flickr photostream
- Update twitter with facebook status via twitterfeed
- Twitter grader
- Tweetstat's Twitter Cloud
- Twitter Counter
- Mr. Tweet
- Twitter widget
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Thanks Carma. I take back what I said about you being cheesy. You're not cheesy; you're the cheesiest! Carma has awarded me a 'friends award' -
“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”
I would like to share this award with some of the friends I have, and have made through blogging and twittering and whatnot. Especially whatnot. If you didn't make the list, don't pout as it will give you wrinkles: