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Web/Tech

Buy N Large Privacy Policy

I saw this over on the MailChimp blog, check out this privacy policy. (The legalese on most company websites)

  • By visiting the Buy n Large website you become a registered member of the Buy n Large Database. You may not unsubscribe to this database at any time.
  • Buy n Large will share your personal information with third parties whenever it deems such sharing to be advantageous to it, including when you engage in certain activities on our site such as using a menu, viewing, clicking your mouse or breathing.
  • By visiting Buy n Large you are contractually obligated to read all email that is sent to you via the Buy n Large servers. Failure to do so will be considered a breach of contract.
  • The best part is that this fictional privacy policy, created for the movie Wall-E, is pretty close to what really happens. While you can always delete an account or take yourself off of an email list, you can never cover your tracks and say you didn’t visit a website. Some people think that if they use a proxy server they can go wherever they want an no one will know its them. Just keep believing that

    The truth is that the courts have deemed it perfectly acceptable for websites to track you, learn about your browsing habits, and then use that information to market to you. And you just thought the ads on Facebook and Gmail were targeted to people like you? Nope. They are targeted specifically to you!

    Categories
    hmm... thoughts

    10 random Monday thoughts

    It’s a holiday. And a holiday for me means that I tend to get strikingly little done. I may have some big plans for my day… but if I get 1-2 things actually done I’ll be satisfied. Here’s just a data dump of things on my mind.

    1. I’m definitely taking a bike ride today.
    2. It was supposed to rain today, but looking at the satellite I don’t think that’s likely.
    3. I stayed up until 2 AM playing Madden 08 for the Wii. It’s just OK.
    4. This morning I added a ton of people to my friends list on Facebook. Many of them I don’t know personally but are “fans” of YMX on Facebook.
    5. It was fun to head out to Metemora State Park last night to hang with the Fisher’s and Brinker’s. Each time we come home Kristen and I vow to take our kids camping. I don’t really know if that will happen or not. But I hope it will
    6. Everyone is asking us when our house will go on the market. Probably in a few weeks. We have some things we need to do first. We are oddly at peace about the process. We know it’s a good house and are hopeful it will sell at a good price. 
    7. Jimmy was clutch yesterday. I was very pleased with the services over all. I especially liked that he “de-cheesed” the Lee Greenwood song, “God Bless the U.S.A.” 
    8. It was a little weird being my “last day” at Romeo. At the same time, we’re back next week. It’s not like we’re moving right now. The most common question yesterday was, “When do you start your new job?” I start next week and my next trip out west in in a couple weeks. 
    9. I’m shopping for a digital SLR as my wife has broken both our cameras. How do you decide between Nikon and Canon?
    10. Mellen’s Market (the corner store across the street from us) is closing its doors and going out of business later this week. That’s a total bummer.
    11. Bonus random thought: Kristen and I are planning to sell our car and buy a new one when we get to San Diego. We are definitely looking for a small/tiny car that gets great mileage. (I may even get a scooter!) High on our list of cars to look into are the Prius and Civic Hybrid. (American cars) We are also considering some Korean made cars and Mexican cars made by Ford and GM. I just had to get that dig in since Romeo people still think that there is a delineation between “American cars” and “Foreign cars.” No one outside of Michigan has used terms like that since the 1980s… but you still hear and see it here on bumper stickers. Let’s translate that… by “foreign car” they really mean “non-union made car.”
    Categories
    Web/Tech

    Facebook changes on the way

    Facebook changesI’ve not been shy in sharing my preference for Facebook over Myspace. (Although I will admit that Myspace is much better.) Well, a friend of mine sent me a link about some upcoming changes to Facebook as they seek to de-clutter the site.

    If you are getting fed up of all the vampires, booze mail and super wall posts, then help could be on the way.

    The social network site Facebook is getting ready for the first major makeover in its short history.

    Designers are planning some widespread changes to the way the core profile page is organised, aimed at making it “simpler, cleaner and more relevant”. link

     

    Basically, their solution isn’t to get rid of anything. It’s just to offer tabs to sort all of the different applications, photos, wall posts, and other stuff. It’s a welcome change.

    Bonus: Not that anyone cares but me. But I’ve gotten tired of Firefox’s instability on OSX (mac) and am trying out Safari. So far so good. 

    Categories
    Featured

    I could do that, it’s easy

    innovationThis week I’ve had a couple of people approach me about YMX. One said, “I thought about doing that but you just got to it first.” The other person said, “I thought about doing that but I just didn’t have the time.

    Really, both are saying the same thing. I’ve heard it hundreds of times before. What I translate that to mean is… “I wish I had thought of that.”

    We’ve all done it. We’ve watched Donny Deutsch or 60 Minutes and we’ve thought, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Then when we meet someone who invented something or started their own business (and succeeded) we think to those moments and jealousy swells. Then we say something really odd like, “If only I had the capital I could have done the same thing.” They just smile and nod.

    It’s time to let you in on a secret… 99% of the best innovations in the world come out of the same formula. So if you’ve got a great idea. If you think you’ve got the next Google. If you think you’re ready to be the one who answers the innovation questions instead of asks them. Are you ready to see if you’ve got what it takes? Here’s the formula.

    Innovation = hunger + brains + guts

    Innovation: You know it when you see it. It’s a hot seller or a great idea or that little thing that makes life easier somehow. The best ones are the most obvious. But how do I get there?

    1. Hunger: As I’ve said before, 90% of the population is lazy. They strive to be mediocre. But a small percentage of people wake up one day and say… “I’m just not making it the lazy way. I want something else in my life.” Maybe it’s a bill that has to be paid and you don’t have the money? Maybe its that you live in a small house and you are having a kid and need a bigger one? Maybe you need a raise and the only way the boss will take notice is if you come up with a great money saver? Hunger… either literal or figurative… is the root of most innovation. I’d even add a healthy dose of desperation to show you how important hunger is. Very few fat cat companies invent the iPod or Google or Berkshire Hathaway or Facebook. If a company has to hire research and development people, paying them a fat salary, to invent something… that company is not hungry. (Prime example: The auto industry) But when your company CEO and a core group of people have an “oh crap, we’re all going to go bankrupt” meeting… then you’re hungry enough to invent the iPod.

    2. Brains. Let’s face it. There is a reason why most innovations never make it to the marketplace. They may be good ideas. But the person who is hungry enough to innovate something may not have the brain power to see if its a market-worthy idea, know how to capitalize the idea, or even how to make the idea a reality.
    In actuality, the best thing most innovators can do is find the right people to pitch the idea to. YMX would have never gotten past a proposal on a Word document if I hadn’t bounced the idea around with some really smart youth ministry folks, technology folks, marketing folks, and business folks. All of that bouncing around is totally free… and totally made the difference between YMX being a good idea and YMX being just another failed start-up. Trust me when I say those people saved YMX from my incomplete thoughts. The reason we are alive as a company today isn’t luck… it was hunger + brains + guts. Sometimes “brains” also means recognizing that your innovation may be cool, but it isn’t profitable enough to make it. Having brains means knowing the difference between a great idea and a great idea I can live off of. And having brains is getting the right people on the bus before you leave the station.

    3. Guts. When I get those people who come up to me at the booth or IM me or talk to me after church… I can tell they don’t have it in them. They may be hungry enough to innovate. They may have a MENSA mind. But they are wimps when it comes to making their ideas a reality. The last component is the differentiator. If you want to take your great idea to market. If you’ve bounced that idea around and gotten a million thumbs up. You have to pull the trigger and go after it with all you’ve got. It takes guts. Don’t have guts? Innovation isn’t for you.

    I love watching Donny Deutsch because there is a common thread with his guests. At some point most of them marched into their bosses offices and said, “I’m leaving to go do this, I quit.” Most of them had no income to fall back on! They were hungry enough for that innovation that they were willing to be more hungry to make it happen. They were smart enough to know that they couldn’t really innovate at night after a hard days work. And they knew that to make their idea a big idea worth a lot of money… they’d have to put their life on the line. It takes guts to do that. Do you have what it takes?

    So, if you’ve got the next great idea… and I think you do… now you know. It doesn’t happen by mistake. It isn’t an accident. It isn’t “dumb luck” or “good timing” and it’s never handed to you on a platter.

    Innovation = hunger + brains + guts. Get it done. The world is waiting.

    Categories
    Web/Tech

    7 ways you can connect with me

    connect with meOne of the reasons I blog is to stayed plugged in with the people in my life. So I thought it would be good to point you to the right sidebar and walk you through 7 ways you can connect with me.

    1. About me. Head over to this link to learn what I do, why I do it, and some other fun stuff.
    2. E-mail. My email address is mclanea@gmail.com. That comes to my phone, is on my desktop, and otherwise follows me around everywhere.
    3. Facebook page. If you are under 30 you probably have one too. It’s a great way to send me messages, see who I’m friends with, check out the causes I care about, and a bunch of other stuff.
    4. Google shared items. For serious. Wanna know what I’m reading and I think is interesting? Check out this page… it’s changing all the time as I keep up with about 100-200 sites per day. When I think something is worth looking at, I click “share.”
    5. Linkedin. For people under 30, it’s a Facebook for professional-types to connect with one another. Check out my profile, add me as a connection.
    6. Subscribe to my blog’s feed. Join millions of others and follow my blog. (OK, just my wife and my mom.) You can subscribe using your favorite feed reader or via email.
    7. Follow me on Twitter. Twitter is the latest dance craze sweeping the nation. Well, not so much. I use it as a back channel of letting my friends know what I’m up to in an informal, fun kind of way. Why? Because Facebook, Linkedin, RSS, reading my shared items, e-mailing me, and reading all about me may not be enough Adam McLane in your life.
    Categories
    hmm... thoughts Web/Tech

    Zloop: Is this the next social network?

    zloopLast night I had the chance to talk to Brent Myers, an evangelist for Zloop. Zloop is a new social network that is built around two general concepts:

    1. Security. Your “loops” are private to whom you invite.
    2. Mimics real life. You can control which loops see which side of you.

    If you are looking for a more detailed description, here is Zloop’s description: About zloop
    (pdf file)

    Last night I got an invite and created a few loops. At this point, it’s clear that zloop is in a late Alpha, maybe early Beta testing mode. There are some cool features to this idea and some weaknesses. Here’s what I like/dislike so far.

    Like

    • General concept is cool. Kind of like a combo to Facebook/Linkedin. I like being able to manage different
    • File sharing ability. Yup, attachments are cool.
    • Privacy. Cool idea.
    • Loops. Like that I can keep relationships separate, as needed.

    Dislikes

    • Missing some obvious components. Web 2.0 site with no RSS? No ability to search loops? No ability to find friends? Weird.
    • No rules. There is no TOS statement… can’t believe it! There’s nothing that stop hate groups or hate loops. Major problem here.
    • It is another profile to manage. Who needs that?

    If this were something I could install on my servers, run it as my brand, and manage it within a terms of service… this would be an incredible tool for YMX. But it’s not. As cool as it is I really wonder if it will take off as the current version is not significantly better than Facebook. It has potential, it’s worth checking out, but right now… it’s got some “cool factor” to inject.

    Don’t take my word for it, try it! Leave a comment and I’ll send you an invite.

    Categories
    hmm... thoughts Web/Tech

    Why the Twitter Fad will Quickly Fade

    TwitterI use Twitter a little bit. You can find my Twitter page right here, follow me if you’d like.

    But I don’t think Twitter will last long. Sure everyone is talking about how cool it is. And all the cool kids are posting tweets from a desktop application or the internet or with text messages or mobile internet connections on their phones. I think it is interesting and I like to  answer the question “what am I doing right now” 5-6 times per day. I think it’s a little narcissistic to think that anyone cares where I am driving or what I had for lunch. But I don’t think narcissism alone will fad Twitter’s fad. If that were the case you wouldn’t be at a website named after me. To the contrary many millions of blogs will be started in 2008.

    I think Twitter will fade because it has no real usefulness. It’s not a utility. There is only so much I care about what my friends are doing this very instant. In fact, it’s as sad as when we had binoculars when we lived in a high rise. When you stare into someone else’s life… even someone’s life you greatly admire… you discover they are just as boring as you are.

    At the end of the day I want to know what you think. I don’t really want to know what you are doing this very instant.  What you do is uninteresting to me. What you think… I will read that.

    p.s. I will still use Twitter. Just I still have the binoculars. You never know if a purpose will emerge for either.

    p.p.s I think something like Twitter, with true utility will become more popular than Facebook and Myspace combined in 2009.