What is this site for?

I’ve struggled to figure out what to do with this site. I love the domain enough to name myself and my spawn after it. I do like writing, but I am not sure what to write about, here.

Here is an idea: use this place as a journal, and temporally contextual notes for longer-form writing. That is kinda what it is for at the moment, but I am thinking of embracing that idea, and running with it.

I would like to start writing longer pieces, like essays. But it doesn’t fit in to my architecture here, and I kinda don’t want it sitting next to my constant crying as a parent, or my utter and naïve disbelief of corporate behaviour. I think it would be nice to have them live somewhere that supports the premise of deep discussion and ideas.

Eventually, that will be a different site. In the meantime, I am going to start posting a lot more oddball ideas here and in the wiki. They will be early, rough and maybe nonsensical. They are my clay. And babby photos. ^_^

From rags to RichClowd, a human story

So, we are leaving stealth mode, and I am really excited! It has been an incredible six months since I ran into Mike on BART, and I could have never have known that we would be introducing RichClowd to world today (check out the press release)! While I could just rehash what all the social media sites are abuzz about, I thought I would give a first hand account of how we arrived to today.

Basically, we’ve created the next step in what we’ve referred to internally as the “status quo-tation”. Given our team members’ various backgrounds in intellectual property, social justice, free culture and being constantly invited to pre-launch niche startup sites, we found ourselves wondering how we could cater to a demographic in an area (the Bay Area, specifically) that is literally and figuratively saturated with ideas, and the money being thrown at them.

At this point I have to mention that I was about to have my first kid, and the rest of the team were in their own personal early-to-mid-to-slightly-pass-mid crises. With our initial round of investment nearly gone (we had all thrown in $25), we started losing some prominent members. Evan had to split, something about jump-starting the the Silicon River Valley. Dave left about half an hour later, muttering something about making it in domain reselling; he didn’t pay for his portion of the pizza. It seemed that in one night we lost a lot of historically talented people. It was a huge blow to our portfolio image ego morale.

I remember going out to get some fresh air and seeing Mike outside, smoking one of his signature cigars. He was just gazing up at the hills. I can’t recall verbatim our exchange, but it was something like, “d00d, they must have an awesome view up there!”. Mike looked at me, pulled out his mobile and immediately rang up Jimbo, Joi and Jon (in that order, he is fascinating that way), and told them to pick up some extra booze! We had found our niche, and I knew then that I had just witnessed a historical moment!

That night we didn’t get much done, but the next day, right there next to the empty pizza boxes, mostly drunk bottles of tequila, and a wrecked foosball table, we got busy, really thinking about how we could help the wealthy with what they needed. Security, nutrition, access to healthcare. These needs were all met, or were being worked on by others in the private sector. As we narrowed in on how to best serve this key demographic, we found that there was an abundance of human quirks that weren’t being exploited: status, guilt, and eccentricity, just to name a few!

Once we had extensively mind-mapped our key vectors of action, we only had one last thing to figure out: the name! Thumbing through magazines and old videos posted on YouTube, it became apparent that our bias was coming through. Not only had be forgotten to invite any women, we were still being heavily influenced by our shared hobby of creating vanity rap videos. They say hindsight is 20/20, and I think I speak for everyone in expressing how lucky we were of dropping our codename of Girls Around Me. Fortunately, we were keeping our notes in my instance of ownCloud, someone noticed it, and a few iterations later we had our name!

More details are going to come out in the following weeks, and while we are really excited, we are still in pre-launch. That means nothing to our target clientèle, of course, most of whom have already heard of us and invested from the sacred back halls of power that we call Mountain View coffee shops. I am personally going to spend some time getting to know my nearly six-month old child, and hopefully sleep for a whole night before going to our new offices in the former Borders, near the 4th Street Caltrain. Being strategically placed in SoMa, we may well become known as the third point of the Power Startup Triangle in San Francisco, along with GitHub and Twitter.

It is always exciting to be a part of something that will change the way we think about money and wealth, but it is a personal achievement to walk into my office tomorrow and see my name and job title on the door plate: maiki interi, director of vertical acquisition and octagonal integration

I made sure it was all lowercase! ^_^

Tips for blogging

I just got back from hanging out with a great bunch of folks, bloggers of iron, one would say. I had a lot of stimulating discussion, and I am sure my head will be abuzz for a few days as I digest everything.

Something that came up a few times was the idea that we would discuss tips for blogging. As I just wrote, I am a fan of practice. At the same time, I am also a fan of people buying me drinks. Turns out the need to communicate wins out, and I want to talk about ways to get into blogging, to make it easier.

So, here are some platform agnostic writing tips that I figured out for myself. They are short and simple, and probably have many volumes of dead trees dedicated them for use in old tech (ahem, books).

  • Use your voice. Don’t be fancy, unless you are fancy. I’m not. I am corny, and recursive, and sometimes wander around, and passionate about things I say, and excited about many things. That is my voice. Use your voice, because it is fairly easy to “hear” a fake accent in writing.
  • Write for a single person in mind. This helps use your natural voice, because it provides context. You speak differently to different people and different circumstances, and it is hard to get that all in one post (unless you are a boring, monotonous person, but I don’t believe that). I have different people I write for, roughly following the topics: Susan for design, Judy for development, Kevin for gaming, Gautham for media, future maiki (and now Emma) for reflect and relate, and past maiki for writing.
  • A sentence is a microblog post, use StatusNet. Two sentences is a blog post, post it there. Just commit to writing those two sentences. Most of the time you will have more to say, but that first hurdle is tough. Make it easy on yourself.
  • Don’t edit. At all. This is a website, you can change it later. I do, often. I edit stuff I wrote years ago, because sometimes I don’t make sense, or leave words out, or was allergic to spelling that day. No one really cares, and if they do they will tell you, which is great, because getting any non-spam comment gives a warm fuzzy.

I have tons to expand on, but I think these basics are something that is really worth internalizing. I am whipping out excerpts and tags, linking to mofos and checking analytics like no ones business (seriously, do you know who is tracking you?), but it is all based on these ideas to just get in there and write.

So go write something, right now! ^_^

Comprehensive Spam Digest

It’s that time again: Spam Digest! It has been a while since the last one, so in the spirit of catching up the theme is comprehensiveness!

Just a sampling of my current junk folder demonstrates the breadth, if not depth, or topics that folks want to inform me about. Let’s get into it!

Felix MCALLISTER writes:

Good morning,
as reqeusted I give you inovices issued to you per february (Internet Explorer format).

Wow. I had no idea I had such specific request. I am assuming that by “Internet Explorer format” you mean “broken and janky conditional statements to fix corporate bullying on the web”. I would be happy to go over the “inovices”, which I think is short for innovative vice, but alas, I don’t have a copy of Internet Explorer, so I can’t explore that particular vice. Also, maybe you should learn to link or attach files, since you didn’t actually send anything…

Best-Penis is happy to share:

MaxGentleman Enlargement Pills have been featured across major media outlets around the world, including ESP and Fox News, with dozens of positive reviews.
This is the only Male enlargement supplement that has been PROVEN in clinical trials to enlarge your penis – safely, quickly, and importantly – PERMANENTLY.

Where to start? First of all, while I have basic ESP, I only get like, four channels. And I mute commercials. But you seem honest, so I will trust that you have at least 24 positive reviews.

However, none of that matters, because your marketing terrifies me. Why did you shout “permanently”? Are you messaging me through an AOL account? Why would you be so interested in the permanent primary qualities of my genitalia? That is just… creepy.

Listen Mr./Mrs./Miss Penis, I think you need to reevaluate your sales pitch. Maybe tone back your enthusiasm for Max-ing Gentlemen, or try engaging in some social media outreach. I hear Facebook is good for this kind of thing.

Photoshop Update wants me to know about:

Hello Software User !!!The Popular Titles, Flash and more at Photoshop Update

Hello Software User !!!The Just Released Software, MasterSuite 5 and more at Photoshop

and finally

Hello Software User !!!The Latest Titles, Creative Suite 5 and more at Authorized Adobe

Well, PU (may I call you PU?), you got me! I am totally Software User. I couldn’t afford to have all my e-mail transcribed to small cards delivered to me by Sebastian, so I am doomed to be the User you refer to, just to continue our correspondence.

Let me thank you for informing me of the popular, latest and just released software titles! Please tell me how I can get in on this. I am afraid I am rather antiquated, I am still using the ol’ apt-get install method. I don’t hear about the latest releases except once a day when my computer automatically checks the public repositories where all my current software comes from. But your way sounds groovy! Just to be sure, all those titles work in GNU/Linux or a web browser, ne? Sorry for asking, I just had a memory from a long time ago, and I feel like I’ve dealt with this before. Oh well, it couldn’t have been that bad.

Darla whispers:

Hey there How are you doing? I enjoy most of your profile.

Would you like to check out my own non-public photographs?

Wow, that is quite a revealing photo you sent along with your message. Is that yoga? Is it difficult to take self-shots while stretching like that?

I have to say, I am kinda taken aback. By “profile” I am assuming you are referring to my about page. Which part of it did you not “enjoy”? Is it the photo? Because that isn’t yoga. It really doesn’t represent how limber I am. On the other hand, I am wearing sheer undergarments (I just don’t show them off like you).

At any rate, thanks for the offer. I don’t normally go for “non-public” photos. Do you have anything licensed under a Creative Commons license, or maybe a MediaGoblin instance? That would be really handy!

RuneScape convivially informs:

Greetings!

It has come to our attention that you are trying to sell your personal RuneScape account(s).
As you may not be aware of, this conflicts with the EULA and Terms of Agreement.
If this proves to be true, your account can and will be disabled.
It will be ongoing for further investigation by JAGEX Entertainment’s employees.
If you wish to not get your account suspended you should immediately verify your account ownership.

Listen RuneScape, as I’ve already informed you, I already sold my account. Therefore I can’t technically verify my account ownership. I am not sure why you still have my e-mail address, it should be changed to that of the gold farmer I sold it to. Also, I didn’t technically switch ownership. See, in your EULA, you don’t actually require a natural person to agree, so of course I used a corporation to create the account for Killaz6969. Then I merely exchanged ownership of the corporation for Bitcoin, which as we all know is not really money.

My point is, please remove me from your mailing list, your game sucks.

USAA Web Services asks:

Is your lack of a degree holding you back from career advancement? Are you having difficulty finding employment in your field of interest because you dont have the paper to back it up even though you are qualified? If you are looking for a fast and effective solution, we can help!

I am doing okay, but I know people looking for a change, so maybe I should point them your way. You peeps are the ones doing the Open Badges, right? Like, you are creating an alternative educational system, where people are acknowledged for what they actually know, and it allows for people to learn in a more natural way, while also letting employers, companies and collaborators parse through qualified candidates in a meaningful and efficient manner?

You are working with the Mozilla Foundation on this, ne?

Cupid Happiness relates:

Rogero, much moved by this intelligence, entreated her to take off her helmet, and at the discovery of her face remained transported with delight. While absorbed in this contemplation, an unexpected danger assailed them. A party which was placed in a wood, in order to intercept the retreating Christians, broke from its ambush upon the pair, and Bradamante, who was uncasqued, was wounded in the head.

Well, I’ve got to say, this is one way to sell Viagra. If I were to make a single critique, the primary protagonist seems inconsistent. Unless you are speaking in metaphor, the catharsis achieved upon seeing a person’s face, in a world I can only assumes requires that people where helmets from birth, is broken by the gang I am gonna call the Lions for obvious reasons. However, in the ensuing violence, the uncasqued Bradamante receives a wound to the head. How is it that Rogero could have gone from contemplative to belligerent in the course of a single ambush? Where is the character’s drive, what are eir goals?

Sorry, I just can read the five other paragraphs that follow in your message. However, I would like to offer my professional services as an editor to you. Get in touch.

Ming Yang solicits:

I am Mr. Ming Yang, Director of Operations of the Hang Seng Bank Ltd, Sai Wan Ho Branch, Hong Kong, I am seeking your assistance in helping me receive a large amount of money and in giving a clear research and feasibility study on areas I could invest on.

Um, like, you just want to borrow some money? Do you have a blog I can just Flattr or something?

Well, that is it for this digest! I hope you are able to appreciate the range of subjects my correspondence brings me. It isn’t all pr0n and boner pills. It is also software piracy, preying on the uneducated, money laundering and just a bit of semi-erotic micro-fiction! ^_^

Writing a bible

I woke up this morning with a great idea: I am going to write a bible!

Obviously I am not creating a new cult (those days are behind me). Instead I was thinking of those big binders or databases they use for novels, movies or tv series.

Besides tossing and turning all night trying to work out a simple header design for a site I am working on, I was apparently also gathering the points of the 150,000 year fictional timeline I have floating in my head (and three private wikis; and eight full Moleskins; and dozens of text files in backups with backups within backups).

It isn’t enough to just have a bunch or interlinked articles detailing persons, locations and events. I need all the references that inspired me:

  • Links to Wikipedia articles
  • Snippets of dreams
  • Interesting wordplay
  • Long, long lists of anime
  • Photos I took and created a story around
  • Autobiographical elements
  • So much more

I blame Tolkien, Asimov and Hickman/Weiss. Lord of the Rings and the Foundation series told me I could obsess on something epic. The Annotated Chronicles told me I totally want to keep all that info handy!

I am not writing as much everyday, but behind the scenes I am trying to organize this stuff so I can open it up to others. If I could get folks to tell me the stories happening in our shared world, then that is almost as satisfying as writing it myself.

Almost. ^_^