Thursday, December 28, 2006 Makes the Wall Street Journal

I was thrilled to wake up yesterday to see Laura Landro's article in the Wall Street Journal titled, Social Networking Comes to Health Care (subscription required but this link should work for 7 days).
There are several important web communities featured in the article and is listed in the following break out box as one of the new health sites adopting social-networking, custom search and new interactive technology.

Landro's article is a major trend piece about what's going on with online health care, and the validation and coverage from such an important news source is a great way for our company to enter 2007.

Since you may not have access to the WSJ, here are a few highlights:

The social-networking revolution is coming to health care, at the same time that new Internet technologies and software programs are making it easier than ever for consumers to find timely, personalized health information online. Patients who once connected mainly through email discussion groups and chat rooms are building more sophisticated virtual communities that enable them to share information about treatment and coping and build a personal network of friends. At the same time, traditional Web sites that once offered cumbersome pages of static data are developing blogs, podcasts, and customized search engines to deliver the most relevant and timely information on health topics.

The same technologies are making it possible for advocacy groups, government agencies and health-care providers to update consumers on relevant health news and deliver personalized health-awareness messages, reminders and alerts to email accounts, wireless devices and mobile phones. Online collaborations known as wikis, which let different users jointly work on Web-based information such as photo albums and contact lists, are developing to help communities plan for public-health emergencies, such as, a flu-pandemic planning site. Mainstream advocacy groups and government agencies are offering their own specialized health-information "feeds" to consumers, and even experimenting with three-dimensional online computer worlds that use surrogates known as avatars to let visitors interact.

Landro continues...
While some sites don't offer all the bells and whistles of full-blown social networking sites, they are taking advantage of the phenomenon to reach out to special audiences. The Wellness Community, a nonprofit group that provides free support and education to cancer patients and families, launched a Web site, earlier this year to help teens with cancer connect in a private, safe environment. The group says it has reached more than 15% of the approximately 50,000 teen cancer survivors in the U.S., and is also connecting teens in nine other countries. In addition to weekly scheduled support groups moderated by a professional, teens can log in at any time of day to post or read messages in a password-protected site. A comprehensive search engine allows users to search for other teens with cancer on such criteria as age, location, or diagnosis.

We have big plans and many exciting new developments for in 2007. Thank you all for your support helping us launch the company this year. Your contributions, feedback, and suggestions have been invaluable. Please keep checking in and sharing your personal health wisdom to help others!

Friday, December 22, 2006


Three More of Mark Cuban's Invaluable Business Rules

Mark Cuban's Blog Mavrick is always one of the first blogs I click to in my news reader. That's because he's always sharing such useful advice and wisdom that as an entrepreneur I find invaluable.

Like these 3 Lessons he details in his recent post about Success and Motivation:

1. Everyone is a genius in a bull market

2. Win the Battles you are in before you take on new battles.
Its a huge lesson for entrepreneurs. Win the battles you are in first, then worry about expansion internationally or into new businesses. You do not have unlimited time and/or attention. You may work 24 hours a day, but those 24 hours spent winning your core business will pay offer far more. It might cost you some longer term upside, but it will allow you to be the best business you can be. To use a sports metaphor, get the fundamentals right and then add to your fundamental skills before you try to take on the trick shots.

3. Few businesses only have one opportunity.
Every entrepreneur's mind goes crazy with the new and exciting things they can do beyond the new and exciting things they are already doing. The risk is that you can drown in all these opportunities. Far too often when an entrepreneur hits a rough patch or competitive challenge, the temptation is too "turn on the thinking cap" and find something new for the company to do. Don't fall to the temptation. As an entrepreneur you have to know what the core competencies of your business are and make sure that your company focuses on being the absolutely best it can be at executing them. Bottom line is this. If you are adding new things when your core businesses are struggling rather than facing the challenge, you are either running away or giving up. Rarely is either good for a business. In fact, by chasing these opportunities, you may be assuring that you drown in them.

These rules may seem like common sense to many business pros, but the reality is, it's useful to rethink/relearn/remember great lessons like this as frequently as possible and to ask yourself frequently: am I following these rules?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Joe Apology Gets Some Press

My good friend Andy DiSimone launched a very interesting blog last March called It's a simple concept that packs a punch and is starting to get noticed. Take a look at what The Standard Report had to say about the site last week here in its article titled: Shh...I'm Sorry. Give him a hand by Digging the article by clicking here.

Congrats Andy!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Is Web 3.0 Really About Technology?

I was a bit surprised by John Markoff's Nov. 11 piece on Web 3.0, or the "semantic Web" based on artificial intelligence (AI).

Surprised because Markoff, and those quoted in the article, are still talking about the Web in terms of technology, rather than human behavior. That is, is the Web really still about technology? To me that's like us talking about television, radio, or print in terms of black and white vs. color, frequency and watts, and types of printing presses. So I ask, is Web 3.0 really only about technology?

Since Markoff writes the technology column I guess I shouldn't be that surprised, but from what I am seeing take shape online, the emerging "Web 3.0" is something much more fundamental than the tools and platform running on the back end.

If Web 1.0 was millions of linked online brochures ("web sites"), Web 2.0 a more sophisticated version of applications mashed together ("mashups"), then I guess it makes sense that Web 3.0 could be about AI. But to me, I think what's more interesting is to define the innovation that is occurring online in terms of how this change is impacting human behavior. So in a Web 1.0 world, ordinary people got access to a networked world that was interactive, visual, and affordable. With Web 2.0, the impact of scale, collaboration, participation continues to impact pricing, information access, the job market, relationships, social interaction, our news media and so forth. So how will Web 3.0 change human behavior? How will people be impacted by the next wave of innovation and progress?

It seems to me that a Web 3.0 world, is about people/companies/organizations leveraging all of the great tools and infrastructure created from Web 1.0/2.0 and using it to develop things/products/services that actually make a difference in their lives and those in their community (where ever that community exists - online or off).

I believe Web 3.0 is about "nichification" and specialization. It is about harnessing all of this great innovation to develop things that people are actually interested in or that they actually need. Of course, this has been going on for many years already, but now it will go on in virtually every industry and for every idea imaginable. It's not about a cool new calendar application that features AJAX. It will be about a calendar that has meaning to my life and changes my behavior. What does that look like? I don't know...

Because people not only have the tools, capability and infrastructure to take control, they will do so in ways relevant to their lives, and not just because a computer told them so. But because nichification and specialization are now possible in a Web 3.0 world. While the technology may be getting better, what is really changing is how people are leveraging these new tools for change and progress. The question to me is not about the types of technologies running behind the Web, or how they are working, but rather what they are doing to help real people. And that is an exciting thing to be a part of...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lapa: Rio's Symbol of Samba (And My Favorite Neighborhood in Rio)

Finally, the mainstream media (see below) is starting to cover Lapa, an area in Rio de Janiero. For years I've been telling everyone I know in Rio, if I could buy a building anywhere in that magnificent city, it would be in Lapa. And for years, people from Rio have said that I'm crazy. It's too dangerous. And all sorts of other fear-filled exaggerations.

So when the The New York Times published a great article in the Travel section this week: In Lapa, Rio de Janiero, the Samba Never Stopped, I was both pleased and annoyed. Pleased because of the validation factor, but annoyed because I don't yet own a building in Lapa and I don't want to see too many people crowding such a great place before I get there!

With its magnificent and classic architecture, great musician and art scene, street characters, night life, and non-stop samba, don't listen to the guides who tell you to avoid this place. Go there straight away...

Why Not Give A Goat This Christmas?

Tired of giving people the same old stuff for Christmas? Want to share something meaningful and give back a little more this year? Here's an idea: give the gift of Kiva.

Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world in small amounts (like $25). By choosing a business on, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.

There are all sorts of interesting entrepreneurs you can sponsor from helping farmers in Africa buy more chickens to helping a village raise enough money to buy more goats.

They even have gift certificates here.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Help Orny Beat K-Fed

The race is on...Click this link to watch the race between Orny Adams and K-Fed. Who's CD/DVD will sell more copies? K-Fed is already taking a nose dive in week four. Orny's making traction in his first week, which is great to see since he is doing 100% of the distribution himself and his marketing is all word of mouth.

Go Orny go.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My Podcast Interview with The HealthCare Blog And Recent Speech to Pharma Marketers

Matthew Holt from The Health Care blog just posted his podcast interview with me and Daniel Palestrant, founder and CEO of I really enjoyed the discussion, which was focused mainly on Health 2.0 issues and how our respective communities are growing. The transcript will also be posted soon, but for now you can take a listen to the interview.

In other OrganizedWisdom news, my partner Steven Krein and I just returned from a great two days at the eyeforpharma eCOmmunications and online marketing conference in Philadelphia. You can download the PDF of our speech here. We'll try to get the audio up soon as well...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Path of Most Resistance

Orny Adams, my great friend (and former roommate over at Studio 95 on Horatio St.) has just released his first comedy CD/DVD: Path of Most Resistance. Once I get a few extra moments I'll be posting a podcast interview with Orny about what Path means to him. I'll blog more about this in the near future, but in the meantime I hope you will all buy a copy of Path and tell your friends to do the same...

Here's his site:

Set List:

1. My Wife
2. Fat, My belt
3. Snuggles
4. Calvin Klein, Buddha
5. Eye Muscle
6. Vi-Quila, Chamomile Tea
7. Old People
8. Aspirin a Day, Bee Duck
9. My Hair
10. Propecia
11. Fat Kids
12. Sleeping
13. Phone Sex
14. Oversexualize
15. DVD Players in Car
16. Kids and Guns
17. News, Teacher/Student Sex
18. Bombs, 72 Virgins, DNA Evidence
19. Violent Adults, Shot Attorney, Galileo
20. Car Seats, Skidmark
21. “The Future”, Customer Service, Outsourcing
22. Staples, Seeing Eye Dog, Scale
23. We’re So Lazy, Socks
24. Chaplin, Projection, Agree to Disagree
25. Woman too Powerful
26. Checks and Woman
27. Female Vote
28. Cuban Girlfriend

Thursday, November 09, 2006

One needs to know but three words to play poker: call, raise or fold

I was intrigued by a reference Bill Maher made last night on Larry King Live to a compelling article (first published in an old edition of LA times - 9/17/05) from Glengarry Glen Ross author David Mamet.

You'll have to get the full article from the LA Times archives, but I have paraphrased some of the best parts below. While the article is about John Kerry and the democrats circa 2005, I consider the same concepts and ideas to be applicable to entrepreneurs, or how one goes about life in general.

Poker Party

By David Mamet

ONE NEEDS TO know but three words to play poker: call, raise or fold.
"In poker, one must have courage: the courage to bet, to back one's convictions, one's intuitions, one's understanding. There can be no victory without courage. The successful player must be willing to wager on likelihoods. Should he wait for absolutely risk-free certainty, he will win nothing, regardless of the cards he is dealt"

"The Democrats, similarly, in their quest for a strategy that would alienate no voters, have given away the store, and they have given away the country.

"Committed Democrats watched while Al Gore frittered away the sure-thing election of 2000. They watched, passively, while the Bush administration concocted a phony war; they, in the main, voted for the war knowing it was purposeless, out of fear of being thought weak. They then ran a candidate who refused to stand up to accusations of lack of patriotism.

The Republicans, like the perpetual raiser at the poker table, became increasingly bold as the Democrats signaled their absolute reluctance to seize the initiative."

"The American public chose Bush over Kerry in 2004. How, the undecided electorate rightly wondered, could one believe that Kerry would stand up for America when he could not stand up to Bush? A possible response to the Swift boat veterans would have been: "I served. He didn't. I didn't bring up the subject, but, if all George Bush has to show for his time in the Guard is a scrap of paper with some doodling on it, I say the man was a deserter."

This would have been a raise. Here the initiative has been seized, and the opponent must now fume and bluster and scream unfair. In combat, in politics, in poker, there is no certainty; there is only likelihood, and the likelihood is that aggression will prevail."

"One may sit at the poker table all night and never bet and still go home broke, having anted away one's stake.

The Democrats are anteing away their time at the table. They may be bold and risk defeat, or be passive and ensure it."

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Rest Of The World Is Great Place For Entrepreneurs

I couldn't agree more with Fred Wilson's response to last week's New York Times' article, It’s Not the People You Know. It’s Where You Are.

Even though 1/3 of the venture money is flowing to Silicon Valley start-ups, where is the real innovation happening? Silicon Alley is booming with interesting new start ups and I have friends in Texas, Canada, all over Europe, Australia and Brazil who are doing the same. And I am seeing real practical products and services being developed -- things people in the real world actually need and would use.

I don't mean to make this a West Coast vs. the Rest Coast sort of thing, but most of the start-ups I see coming out of Silicon Valley are tech-centric plays. The next wave of innovation is going to be technologies, services, platforms, networks, products, sites, communities, etc. that help "real people", not just tech geek insiders.

Don't believe me? Take a road trip across America and ask how many people along the way know what Web 2.0 is...ask them how they use the Internet...ask them what a Podcast is...ask them what RSS is.

We've got a long way to go in making new technologies and the Internet more accessible to the rest of us. And my bet is, it's just as likely to be someone from Iowa as it is Sand Hill Road.

This American Life Finally Offers Free Podcasts

TAL has let you listen to their archive online for a while and they have sold the show via, but at last they have set it free! You can now subscribe to the best weekly radio show there is on your mp3 player.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

One Man Moves 22,000 lbs.

Looks like Wally figured out how Stonehenge was created. Pretty incredible to see how elegant, imaginative and ingenius his solution is. [link: SVN]

The "Free Online" Publishing Trend Continues: Clue Train Manifesto Now Online

You can now get the complete version of The Clue Train Manifesto Online here:

As I mentioned in my last post, Getting Real is doing the same thing. Both sites, wisely link to ways you can buy the print version for those who don't want to read online.

These are great examples for the publishing world. You can give your content away in one medium, and make money off the same content in another.

Looks like smart marketing to me. Especially when you consider that Clue Train Manifesto was published in late nineties and this opens up the same content to a whole new audience.

Getting Real Now FREE Online

The good folks over at have made their amazing e-book, Getting Real, available for free oneline:

You can also buy the PDF version or order a print version from

I've been recommending this book since it was published to friends, family, and colleagues. It is particularly useful to entrepreneurs, but it also pertains to any job and life in general.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Read My Interview In Today's HealthCareVox

HealthCareVOX has been one of the leaders talking extensively about the benefits and drawbacks of health-focused user-generated content.

Today, Fard Johnmar from HealthCareVOX, posted a recent email interview he conducted with me that covers these issues in-depth.

Read the full interview by clicking here:

The conversation covers a lot of important ground about the credibility of user-generated content and how OrganizedWisdom is different from vertical search engines like Healthline and Healia. Here's a list of the questions I answered:

Q1: Please tell me a little bit about why you decided to develop

Q2: What are the major differences between OrganizedWisdom and other health search engines like Healia and Healthline?

Q3: OrganizedWisdom relies on users to develop health content. What are the benefits and drawbacks of this strategy?

Q4: How do you ensure that users contribute high-quality content?

Q5: What do you think it will take for people to view OrganizedWisdom as a trusted source of health information?

Q6: How can marketers ensure that they are engaging people using and resources like it appropriately?

Q7: In recent months, some marketers have posted content on Wikipedia without disclosing that they are doing so for commercial reasons. What is your opinion of this practice and do you think it could occur on

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


The nation's population officially hit 300 million at 7:46 a.m. EDT today. How they figured that out makes no sense to me.

It takes six days to determine if North Korea launched a nuke or not, economists can't agree on whether or not the job numbers are accurate, and no one's quite sure how many "mole" people live in the underground tunnels of New York City.

But we do know, that at 7:46 a.m. EDT today, the U.S. population officially hit 300 million.

NYT article here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

All sorts of OrganizedWisdom Updates

We had a great week with OrganizedWisdom. Here's a quick list of some of the happenings going on:

We sent out our official launch press release. reviewed our site, gave some great feedback, and helped drive lots of traffic to OrganizedWisdom.

The HealthCare IT Guy, published my guest article on 10 Ways Social Computing is Transforming the Healthcare Industry.

HealthCareVOX featured OrganizedWisdom this week, and is publishing an interview with me in the coming days.

We've been working on lots of new features, fixes, and improvements based on your feedback. Click here for a complete list.

And best of all, check out some of these inspiring WisdomCards people have published:

Shared WisdomCard on - Hodgkin's Lymphoma Disease
Shared WisdomCard on - Epilepsy
Shared WisdomCard on - Alzheimer's Disease
Shared WisdomCard on - Bipolar Manic Depression
Shared WisdomCard on - Lyme Disease

Thursday, October 12, 2006

You Tube Co-Founder Comments on The Acquisition Price of $1.6 Billion

You've gotta love this quote:

Asked what he thought of the acquisition price (which was $1.65 Billion), Mr. Karim said: “It sounded good to me.”

Read the facinating article on Jawed Karim in today's New York Times.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Stephen King Wisdom: Everything you need to know about writing successfully (summary)

Another great post from CoppyBlogger (link).

In 1988, The Writer’s Handbook reprinted an article by novelist Stephen King entitled Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully – in Ten Minutes. In it, King told the story of the fateful 10 minutes to which he credits his success as a writer.

Here's the summary:

Omit unnecessary words.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

News Release From OrganizedWisdom

We distributed our official launch press release today for OrganizedWisdom.

Health Seekers Get Their Own Social Networking Site

Former iVillage and Privacy Council Executives Launch to Help Families, Groups, and Health Care Professionals Collaborate and Share Health Knowledge

New York, NY – October 3, 2006 -- OrganizedWisdom, LLC today announced that it has launched the first health-focused social networking site, where consumers, health care professionals, and health organizations can collaborate and share knowledge on more than 6,500 health topics. was founded by Internet industry veterans Steven Krein and Unity Stoakes to improve how people find and share health information by linking trusted, evidence-based information with practical user-generated health advice, ratings and recommendations.

Read the entire press release on the OrganizedWisdom Blog here or on PrimeZone News Wire here.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Top 43 Internet Services That Have Changed My Life (or Internet Tools I Use Everyday).

This weekend I was at my computer doing some work. I was also listening to a podcast, Skypecasting with family, and using no less than 10 different Web programs open in Firefox.

I thought it would be fun to put together a quick list of all the different Web programs and services that have really changed my life. Now it's up for discussion if all of these tools/sites/services have changed my life for the better, but it is certain that they are all seem to be open at least once a day on one of my computers.

So, whether for business or fun, I hope you'll get a lot of value out of this list; I know I sure do!

(This list is NOT ranked in any particular order)

- Getting rid of my land line was liberating! I've been a customer/evangelist from the beginning and for good reason: just like my cell phone, my Internet business phone travels with me everywhere in the world. Call me on my New York number and I might be in Brazil, Iowa or Cape Cod. And it's inexpensive, easy to use, and it gets better all the time.

Skype - Web calls and Skypcasts connect me to colleagues and friends all over the world - FREE!

AOL IM - All day, everyday...Can't live or work without IM and video chats now make meetings so much better and virtual work possible. - New York City used to have the worst program and timing line up from NPR. Now I simply get my news when I want online or via podcast everyday. - I do miss the print edition on the weekends sometimes, but not THAT much...I haven't read the times in print in probably two or three years.

Newshutch - confused by RSS? Not anymore. This is best/easiest news reader I have used so far. It makes it easy for me to keep up to date on over 50 blogs and news sources everyday and proves to me that RSS is only going to become more and more mainstream.

Google - This one is self-explanatory. You probably use it as much as me.

Wikipedia - Usually my first research destination.

OrganizedWisdom - As you would expect (since I co-founded the company and this is how I spend most of my waking hours working on) this is my resource for all things health related.

Basecamp - Less is more when it comes to project management. Basecamp (from 37Signals) gives you more time to focus on getting stuff done, rather than managing stuff to do. Cost-effective too!

TaDa Lists (from 37Signals) - Easy free way for me to track all my personal to do lists...and as a Capricorn, there's not much better than lots of cool lists!

Campfire - Workgroup chat, also from, makes it easy for teams to keep ongoing conversations going.

Getting Real - The elegant e-book (again from 37Signals) I now recommend to matter for work or your personal life, this short read offers tremendous wisdom.

Blogger and TypePad - One I use mainly for personal blogs, the other mainly for work related blogs. Like them both for different reasons.

Feedburner and Technorati - More free tools help me track my blogs, blog links, and relevant postings from others.

Picasa and Flickr - On and offline photo management. Simply awesome!

iTunes and iPod - to listen/watch my various podcasts.

YouTube and Google Video - There's a million of these services now, but these are my faves because they are fairly easy to use. In addition to access to lots of great content, I can now put up promotional material, marketing videos, and videos for friends and family without having to bog down my own servers.

MySpace - Not on it everyday like many, but it is a great way to market new services. I see it as a marketing channel rather than a network for friends.

Facebook - I like that Facebook is more focused and less available. Now that they are going to let anyone join, we'll see if I stick around.

LinkedIn - Business networking. I don't use it too much, but last time I logged in I realized how much it has improved over the past year.

Meet-Up - Great way to connect off-line to people with similar interests or goals.

Craigslist - Great for selling stuff and marketing things for FREE. Although, people never want to pay much for the things you are selling from Craig's List. I guess you get what you pay for right. I normally do better on Ebay.

Plaxo - I wish everyone used this service. Contact management keeps my address book up to date.

Google Analytics - Great free tool tells me most of what I need/want to know about my various Web sites' performance.

AdSense and my Amazon Affiliate Program - Generates some passive income I use to buy more books.

Fresh Direct - Where I buy all groceries and household goods the easy way.

- Where I sell my stuff when I don't need it anymore. As I mentioned, usually better than Craig's List. and My Wishlist - Where I buy almost everything online and how I remember what I want/need to buy later. I love the Wishlist, because you can avoid from impulse purchases.

Birthday Alarm - My birthday and anniversary reminder!

iWeb - My business partner, Steven Krein, is becoming an iWeb Master. It's how we quickly mock-up, design and prototype everything.

Campaign Monitor - Easy email newsletter distribution. So far so great.

Delicious - Helps me store important blog posts and web pages.

Netflix - If this list was in order, this would be near the top. Brings me 5 - 10 DVDs a month.

Gmail, Yahoo! Mail (and Outlook) - And who could live without email?

Well, I'm sure I am forgetting one or two big ones so I will add them later. Feel free to comment and share your own...

Who drew this painting? Pre-schooler, Elephant or Artist?

Pretty interesting to guess which paintings were created by children, artists, or Kamala the Elephant from the Calgary Zoo.

Click here to take the test:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Take the OrganizedWisdom Tour

We just posted a new site tour for OrganizedWisdom here:

Imagine if everyone shared just one piece of helpful health wisdom with the world...

The collective wisdom of crowds is a powerful thing when organized and focused. Help us get started on our mission to build the world's most helpful health knowledgebase - with practical wisdom from people with real experience.

Begin by sharing your health widsom here.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Be The First To Try OrganizedWisdom

We have just launched OrganizedWisdom, the first health-focused social networking site.

While the site has been in private beta for a while, we have quietly released to the public today. We are still working through a few bugs and tweaks so forgive us if something isn't working just right yet. It would be a huge help if you would try out the site and send me your feedback so we can keep making improvements. Also, please create at least one WisdomCard today (or more!) and link to our site if you have a blog. Thanks for your help!

Visit the site tour here.

Visit MyWisdom:

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sadly, The Crocodile Hunter Is Dead at 44

Steve Irwin was an amazing advocate for conservation and wildlife. His legacy continues.

To lighten things up, here is a tribute my brother made to the Crocodile Hunter a few years ago. He popped it on YouTube today in his memory.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

How to Run A Meeting and Other Things To Learn

Guy Kawasaki has a great post today on his blog:

Two particularly useful snipets:

Number 3: How to run a meeting.
Hopefully, you’ll be running meetings soon. Then you need to undestand that the primary purpose of a business meeting is to make a decision. It is not to share experiences or feel warm and fuzzy. With that in mind, here are five key points to learn about running a meeting: (1) Start on time even if everyone isn’t there because they will be next time; (2) Invite the fewest people possible to the meeting; (3) Set an agenda for exactly what’s going to happen at the meeting; (4) End on time so that everyone focuses on the pertinent issues; (5) Send an email to all participants that confirms decisions reviews action items. There are more power tips for running good meetings, but if you do these five, you’re ahead of 90% of the world.

Number 9: How to write a five-sentence email. Young people have an advantage over older people in this area because older people (like me) were taught to write letters that were printed on paper, signed, stuck in an envelope, and mailed. Writing a short email was a new experience for them. Young people, by contrast are used to IMing and chatting. If anything, they’re too skilled on brevity, but it’s easier to teach someone how to write a long message than a short one. Whether UR young or old, the point is that the optimal length of an email message is five sentences. All you should do is explain who you are, what you want, why you should get it, and when you need it by.

SABADABADA: Devoted to BRAZILIAN RECORDS of the 1960's and 1970's

More than 10,000 images of Album art from Brasil.

Bob Dylan Says Technology Sucks

Bob Dylan says the quality of modern recordings is "atrocious," and even the songs on his new album sounded much better in the studio than on disc.

"I don't know anybody who's made a record that sounds decent in the past 20 years, really," the 65-year-old rocker said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Another Useful Invention: The Popularity Dialer

Everyday I seem to stumble across a great new invention or innovation. The Popularity Dialer is one I learned about today. They are still working on some of the bugs, but it's worth a try...

Click here to try:

Are You Experienced?

"Good judgement comes from experience...Experience comes from good judgement."

I saw this quote this past weekend on St. Marks Street in NYC and it got me I thought I would pass it along to you. Enjoy.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Fuzzy Math 2.0

Read some of the buzz going on around BusinessWeek's hyped up article about Web 2.0 companies:

Signals vs. Noise blog from the folks at here.

Scott Rosenberg from here.

And a hilarious blog post by 9Rules here.

I don't have much to add to what these folks have already said except that for those of us who were around for the last bubble we definately learned that good old fashioned business sense is how to build real value: stay focused on building a company with useful products, real customers, and a solid business model.

More about how we are doing just that over at our corporate blog: The OrganizedWisdom Experience here.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Notes to Mark Cuban on How to Get More People to the Movies...

Mark Cuban just launched The Movie Busiess Challengee on his blog. He's asking help figuring out how to get more people to the movies without spending $60 million on marketing...

My solution: launch a subscription service for the movies!

Here are the comments I posted on Mark's blog:

Here's my 2 cents for how you get people to leave their homes and go to the movies every week (at least) and make more money for everyone involved (including indie film makers).

1) Launch a monthly subscribtion fee model so people pay say $24.95 a month and they can go to as many movies as they want. (Use technology and photo IDs so people can't pass their sub along for free). Netflix figured it out: people are incentivised to watch as many DVD's as possible in a month or they feel like they are getting screwed. Thus they have incentive to watch more movies and explore new content...

2) The theatres make most of their profit off of the concessions anyway so they'll be happy to have more people in the seats.

3) Theatres should show more movies more frequently which will create a demand for more content. Have the theatre open 24 hours a day with all types of movies running continusously. Again, the theatre can make more money if the seats are full, and there will be a demand for new types of content (i.e. The Long Tail for film...).

4) Theatres can offer additional premium services such as preferred seating, drinks, etc. to increase profits even more.

5) Level the playing field the way (YouTube is doing and digital cameras are doing) by making it easier for individual filmmakers to get their films into a theatre for the public to view. There are tons of ways to do this: let subscribers vote online for what movies come to the theatre and when for example. The best content wins. (Digg/Delicious model).

6) The big studios will be incentivised to focus on developing more projects rather than big block-busters. It will simply be more profitable to spend money on content rather than marketing because having more of the better content will make them more money. If they change their model to investing less in many more projects, film makers will be forced to do more with less. The studios will be incentivised to spend that same $60 million on 60 $1 million films, becase the data (I suspect) will likely show they can be much more profitable making a rev share from subscriber fees, % of advertising rev and perhaps % of cencession and premium services fees x number of seats their set of movies fill.

7) Finally, cut the filmmakers and actors in on the success of the film. And not just the A stars. Put the incentive back on those involved with the film so they are incentivised to do their own marketing...

Let's figure this one out. I'm sick of the current system that's for sure...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Adam Brenneman's Current TV Piece on Hezbolah

My long-time friend Silas Starr sent me this Current TV piece his cousin did recently. Interesting indie journalism on the current conflict...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Acting, Directing , Writing

"Anyone can act, a few people can direct, and no one can write."

--Great quote I heard Robert Downy Jr. mention on a recent interview with Terry Gross.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

RSS On The Rise...

RSS feeds have not yet entered the mainstream -- yet! But as I've been saying for a few years now, they will. RSS is simply a more convenient way to get the information that matters to you.

Wikipedia has launched RSS feeds for all of its posts; Now you can subscribe to find out how the subjects you care about have been changed by other Wikipedia users. We are launching the same functionality at OrganizedWisdom for over 6,000 health topics. Interested in staying up to date on Celiac Disease, Migraines, Weight Loss or Pregnancy? Subscribe to the RSS feed for topics you care about and you will get the most recent health wisdom at all times delivered right to you...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Love Getting Real

If you are not in the software development game, chances are you have not heard of the e-book Getting Real by the folks over at

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Even though Getting Real details the business, design, programming, and marketing principles of 37signals, the book is really about simplicity, contrarian points of view, and unconventional approaches to [software design/your topic here]. This is not a technical book or a design tutorial, it's a book of ideas.

The book is a quick read and can easily be devoured in under two hours, but that's the point, because the entire theme of the book is: Less can be More.

What I love most about the book is that the hundreds of insights from Getting Real can help anyone because the same advice could easily translate to your own business, relationships, and to life in general.

In fact, as my partner Steven Krein and I build out our new consumer health company OrganizedWisdom, that is exactly what we are doing. Our business, our site, our infrastructure, our technology, our teams, our communications, and the way we work are all focused on the elegance and power of simplicity. (You can check out our beta launch at at the end of this month to see how we are implementing Getting Real...)

Finally, another thing I love about this book is that it is only available online as an e-book download. No paper, no fulfillment, no waiting, no extra expense, no middlemen. Just a great product direct to you for download. And so far they have sold about 20,000 digital copies ($200,000 in profits). Brilliant.

Read the 37Signals blog at

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Make Your Own Jackson Pollock

Let your inner Pollock out with this Pollock flash "game".

Cool Web Site Graphs!

Use this fun too to visually see how your web site is doing.

See the graph for Unity Stoakes blog here.

Which Number Should I Buy?

Check out this new Art + Mathematics + Viral Craze mosh-up at The hardest part is deciding what number to buy...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

 Too bad we can't be with you in Iowa this week to celebrate in person. But we'll be sending good vibes from New York City to you all day long...Happy Birthday! Posted by Picasa

Pop It Is!

My brother just sent this me map which empirically shows that the more popular term for softdrinks is: POP! I knew it!

Click here to see the full map:

The Google Trends charts show a similar trend:

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mothers Day!

What's better than getting flowers from 1-800-Flowers? How bout a picture of flowers that will never spoil! Mom, we thought you would like these flowers so we took a picture of them for you. This is one of the first pictures from my new digital camera...Happy Mothers Day one day early. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Like To Read?

Check out Project Gutenberg where you can download over 18,000 books for free. Many of the Classics are available. Happy summer reading...

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Tree House Falls

Goodbye dear tree house. Thanks for hanging on for so long, through lightning and hail, wind and rain -- and even Iowa's deadly tornados.

My bros and I will miss you, but mom assures us that you'll be memorialized and then reincarnated into a bigger, more youthful tree house when there are grand kids around to enjoy it...Until then, thanks for the memories!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Art or Vandalism: The Graffiti Scene Steps it Up a Notch with Acid

Yesterday's article in the NYTimes about a new type of graffiti cropping up on the subways. Bloomberg recently passed a strict new law making it illegal for anyone under 21 to carry graffiti writing instruments. Opponents the citywide ban on the possession of "graffiti instruments," including etching acid, call it an infringement on freedom of speech.

Read the NYTimes article below and you decide: Is Graffiti Art or Vandalism:

Of all the images from the 1970's and 1980's of a city out of control, perhaps none is etched more deeply into the public consciousness than that of the graffiti-covered subway train screeching into a station, every inch of its surface covered with a rich patina of spray-painted slashes and scrawls.

It took decades of work and millions of dollars to clean up the trains. But now officials are seeing a fresh surge of subway graffiti, in which windows are irreparably damaged with acid. Raising the specter of the bad old days, transit officials are vowing to fight a problem they say is even more menacing than the graffiti of decades past.

Click here for the full article.

See if your web site is Web 2.0 compliant:

In case you're wondering what Web 2.0 means, you can test your own Web site to see if it is "Web 2.0" compliant at this witty new site:

Chances are if your site has these features it is:

Big fonts
Oversized input fields
Silly or misspelled name
Community content
Bright colors and/or pink
Rounded corners
Use of Google maps
Founder has a blog
Creative commons
Podcast/video/mobile content

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

First We Take Manhattan! Then We Take....

It's Official...We own a little piece of New York City. Wish this day happened 2 years ago, or better yet 8. Regardless, a little piece of Manhattan is now ours!

Pictures to come soon. After the move. Ugh!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Trouble picking color combos?

Try this nifty web tool that selects color combinations for you.

Spin the Color Wheel here:

Friday, April 14, 2006

Tornado Hits University of Iowa, Kills 1

My folks are fine, but that is more than can be said for many homes and buildings on the University of Iowa campus. Check out the for pictures of the storm.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Skipping Paper and Clocks

Do you ever stop and reminisce about what you were doing exactly one year ago?

It's fun to do. I like to do this because it seems like every time I stop to take a deep breath, another week has past. With time flying by so quickly it is easy to forget all of the great accomplishments and progress that one makes over the course of an entire year.

This month is particularly important to me. That's because one year ago this month I was getting married in Brazil. On one hand the year flew right by, but when I stop to reflect it also is great to realize how many amazing things my wife Flavia and I have accomplished in just 365 days.

We accomplished our goal of buying our first home in NYC. (This alone is a Herculean feat as far as I'm concerned). We launched Flavia's booming language services company called Be Bilingual. We were fortunate enough to take amazing trips to Brazil, Aruba, the Caribbean, Iowa, and even Augusta for the Masters! I helped launch two more #1 national best selling books and create The Great American Homeowner Challenge with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. And two of my art projects, The Bathroom Graffiti Project and NO COAST have been really picking up steam.

According to tradition it's our anniversary year to gift paper and clocks. But I'd much rather enjoy all of the experience, progress, and time we were able to share.

Happy First Year!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Just found out that we were approved by the CO-OP Board for our new place -- only a few days away from homeownership in Manhattan...Yehaw!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Peter Feldstein in the New York Times

Read about Peter Feldstein's Oxford Iowa art project in today's New York Times here. My brothers and I were photographed for this project and you can see my brothers 1984 Mohawk portrait here.

Congratulations Peter and we look forward to seeing the feature in the Smithsonian Magazine in June.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The First Really Spring Day in New York City

You can't beat the first warm sunny day of spring in New York City: People's spirits high, doors and windows open, fresh air breezing through the streets and cafes everywhere.

Some notes on my perfect day walking tour in Manhattan.

1) Walk to pick up a pastry and fresh smoothy from Jamba Juice.
2) No subways. Too nice. It's a walking day all the way.
3) Walk through Tribeca, China Town, SOHO, Little Italy, NOLITA...
4) Lunch at Cafe Gitane
5) WIndow gazing and stop-ins at the boutiques and SOHO shops looking for winter close-out sales.
6) No sales going: ALL SHELF SPACE GLOATING "Spring is finally here!"
7) A few hours in Washington Square park people watching, resting on benches, listening to original hippies strum guitars, writing, reading paper. Sun bathing.
8) More walking...finally to Union Square.
9) Farmer's Market in Union Square
10) Gazing at new books at the best Barnes and Noble in the city: Union Square
11) Stop in at Virgin to listen to music
12) Check out the new Trader Joe's...quickly leave because insane customers are fighting over food and standing in a 90 minute checkout line.
13) Hang out in Union Square park to watch breakdancers
14) Visit The Strand Bookstore
15) Walk to Astor Place
16) Check out St. Marks' Place
17) Great dinner at Bistro in Alphabet City
18) More book shopping at St. Marks Bookstore
19) Chilly air sets in again
20) Subway home...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Belgium is the New Black!

Why Belgium? Why Not!

6 reasons to hop on a flight today and enjoy the weekend in Belgium:

1) Moules Frites
2) Belgian Waffles
3) Mary's Chocolates at 73 Rue Royal
4) Brugge!
5) 450 different varieties of beer
6) To celebrate your 1 year anniversary!

Interview on The Jim Richards Show

One of P.T. Barnum's best known quotes: I don't care what you say about me, just spell my name right!

I think "Strokes" is close enough to Stoakes, don't you?...Click here for the Jim Richards interview.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

How To Hire A Shoe Cobbler

Ok, here goes. Here are the 3 fool-proof tips you need to know when hiring a shoe cobbler.

1) Does the cobbler's shop look like it has been in business for more than 100 years?

2) Does the hunched over man behind the counter have white hair and look like he has been working in the shop for 150 years?

3) Are the cobbler's hands nubbed to the bone and blackened past his wrists?

If you answered yes to all three of these questions then you found yourself a damn good cobbler and you should do everything in your power to keep this man and his family in business. They are a dying breed to be treasured. And I fear most won't take notice until the best are gone...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Joe Apology

Check out my friend's new site: It's an anonymous site where you can let it all out. Some posts are sad, others hilarious. Have fun...Go to

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Graffiti Project Featured On ABC News

ROSE PALAZZOLO from ABC News wrote an article featuring The Bathroom Graffiti Project yesterday. So many people have been visiting the site that the servers crashed today. We will get the site up as soon as possible! Thanks for your the article here:

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Poem: Butterfly

Butterfly on the window sill
carry me away
lift me to places I can not see
hold me tight
show me the stars and the moon
carry me away
but be careful not to let me burn by the sun
I don't want to ride into the Sun

[I wrote this poem on June 17th 2002; I just came across it so I thought I would publish it on Stoaked!]

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Journeying Through Life

Don't worry, you're not alone! Thought this was a fun look at the fun journey called life...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Faucet or Drain?

Question of the day...are you a faucet or a drain?

Think about it for awhile and then let me know. I'll be posting much more about the topic in the future, so this random question is just a little teaser.

Feel free to post which you are in the comments section below.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Snowy Day in New York City

 Posted by PicasaMy brother Cayenne took this picture yesterday during the blizzard of 2006. It was a fun Sunday Snow Day in New York City. If you haven't been to NYC when it is snowing, there's nothing quite like being here during the first 12 hours of a big snow. The city seems to take on a collective soul for a few hours as everything slows down. As the snow melts today however, everything is pretty much back to normal. The City's calm has already started to transform back to its frenetic pace and the hustle and bustle of everyone and everything is starting to come back with each thawing inch.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Note To Grandma Charlotte

One year ago today you moved on to a greater place. The Stoakes boys and Mom and Pop want to let you know that we miss you dearly, but we also know that you must be enjoying yourself greatly with Grandpa Harold now.

In your memory, the holiday board game tradition lives on as we continue to play Triominoes and Scrabble. Unfortunately, none of us seem to be able to beat your high-scores.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you always. We know you are happy and well.

The Stoakes-Hughes Family.

Last years' In Memory Note and pictures...(click here)

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Cedar Bar

 Posted by Picasa

Click Here For More Of My Pictures

I have finally gotten around to uploading some of my favorite pictures from our recent holiday in the British Virgin Islands. Click here for more pictures. I also just tested the Flickr/Qoop photo book service and it is pretty incredible. The print quality could use some improvement, however, the book I had made looks amazing. The price was right and they delivered it in only a couple of days. I highly recommend the service. And I highly recommend My Mary Jean.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Buy Future Shop

Facinating book, by a good friend of mine Daniel Nissanoff. It is a compelling read and a bold forecast of how the online auction culture revolution is radically transforming what, how, and why we buy. Buy it via my Amazon link to the right and I get credit!


I rarely post negative feedback on my blog, but as a result of my recent experience with FedEX Ground I just can't help it.

WHAT EVER YOU DO, DO NOT EVER USE FedEx Ground. You'd think they are dependable like their sister company that specializes in overnight delivery. Nope. FedEX Ground is a completely different company and they suck.

Why? My ongoing experience with them: I'm still waiting for a small package sent from California to NYC on January 5th. It's now February 2nd and the package is still in California. And this is after calling their customer service team 5 times! Oh, I forgot to mention the package has already been back and forth across the country at least once stopping briefly in NYC.

Anyway, do your self a favor and use UPS or the USPS instead. FedEX Ground is a total nightmare.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

American Movie = American Masterpiece

American Movie: The Making of Northwestern (1999) is one of the best documentaries I have seen in some time...while the film making and editing are quite good, it is the real-life characters that make this film amazing. While Mark Borchadt, whose story the film chronicles, is quite bizarre and probably missing a chromosome, he perfectly defines all that is great in the human spirit: a never ending passion to succeed and go on, no matter what.

You just have to see this one to understand. Your first inclination will be to write off Mark as an insane dweeb, perhaps a little off his rocker. But anyone who doesn't respect Mark's drive and determination needs to reassess their life.

Too bad more people don't push forward through life this dramatically!