The Uptake

by Brad McCarty

Lessons learned, words written

Page 10

Why is GoToMeeting being a scumbag?

I thought that we were past the days of keyword stuffing and cheap tricks to build our business. But apparently that’s exactly what GoToMeeting is doing. Proof? Look here:

Google search for MeetingBurner

There’s simply no denying what GoToMeeting is doing here. They’ve bought ads against the MeetingBurner keyword. While that’s common practice, the fact that they chose to deliberately mislead people by saying “Meeting Burner Software” in the ad is nothing short of stupidity.

I’ve been a fan of what the MeetingBurner team has been doing for quite some time. I’ve written about them on TNW on a couple of occasions. So when one of their people sent me a screenshot of the misleading ad, I had to check it out for myself.

The original ad, as it was sent to me, was even worse.

Here's what was sent to me

For MeetingBurner it’s actually a good sign. It means that GoToMeeting is feeling the heat, or at the very least sees MeetingBurner as enough of a...

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For Anna

It’s Wednesday morning, and I’m sitting here still reeling over the idea that you’re getting married in three days. You were the second grandkid on the Gipson side for my generation. For 15 years, I was the only one, and then you came along. I guess I’ve always felt a special connection to you because of that.

I remember watching you grow up into the beautiful woman that you’ve become. Mom once described you as “pretty is as pretty does”, meaning that you were as beautiful in your actions as you were in your look. I’d have to agree.

When I got married, we lost touch somewhat for a few years. But every time that we’d see each other, you’d light up and give me the biggest hug. It warmed my heart, and still does right now as I think about it.

I’ve always had big hopes for you – that you’d do amazing things with your life, that you’d be everything that you dreamed. It seems that, on...

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Oh look, it’s a tech geek doing automotive reviews

This is a work-in-progress for TNW. Also known as “how I survived not blogging for 2 weeks.”

The email went something like this - “Hi, we’d like to give you a new Kia for a week to see what you think about it.” Well…OK!

Sure, I work at home, but I also have kids that live 3 hours away. That means that every other weekend I’m doing a 7 hour round trip on Friday and then again on Sunday. I also work from the road (it’s pretty cool, living in the future) and hop downtown pretty often for meetings with startups and other folks. So I have a few requirements for a car and my trusty 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis just isn’t fitting the bill anymore.

So I took Kia up on its offer, figuring that I’d give the Soul a go to see if it could fit my mobile geek needs. Along the way, I’ve kept a daily diary of my findings, and now I’ll share that with you.

More to come on Monday. I’m still figuring out...

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Important Distractions

Holy crap. I’ll start with saying that. It’s been three weeks since I’ve updated this blog. This is a problem for two reasons - First, because I made a promise to Dustin that I’d update it weekly. Second, it shows that I’m too far involved in other things to do something that I really love.

It got me thinking about the different ways in which we spend our time. Largely they can be split into two categories: Important tasks and distractions. But sometimes there’s a third area too - important distractions.

I spend a lot of time each day reading things. Increasingly those things have been tied to the Svbtle network, and they’re not always related directly to my job, but they’re still important. Reading the work of others helps me gain insight, and also pushes me to be a better writer.

I went to the GLUE Conference last week in what could only be described as my biggest display of...

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Dear Candace

It’s Saturday, and I’ve been away since Monday. I’m coming home tomorrow, and I miss you. As I sit here, high above the streets of Omaha, Nebraska, I’m thinking about us. I know you’re sleeping right now, and I wanted to take this time, when it’s very quiet, to write you a letter.

If we were a normal couple, I’d tell you that when I met you a few years ago I never pictured where we’d be today. But that would be a lie, and we’re not a normal couple.

Instead, when I met this slightly-offbeat, video-game-loving, music-passionate nerd girl a few years ago, I saw a future with her. That future looked different in some ways than the reality that we have today, but the biggest parts are the same.

We have, by everyone else’s standards, the strangest relationship that could ever exist. But by our standards, life is pretty much perfect. I’m thankful every single day that I have you in my...

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Apple will “lose” ¼th of the tablet market

I’d call this fuzzy math, except that it’s really a matter of interpretation and ZDNet has decided to go for the most inflammatory headline that they could find:

“NPD: Apple will lose quarter of tablet market by 2017”

Lose. Not that it will own 50% of a market that is predicted to be 5x larger than it is today, but rather that it will lose th of its market share.

Let’s look at the real numbers to see how much Apple will be “losing”.

Ars Technica says that the most recent numbers show Apple holding 68% of a market that shipped 17.4 million units in Q1 of 2012. NPD predicts that, by 2017, annual shipments will equal 424.9 million tablets. By quarter, that’s 106 million units.

NPD then posits that Apple will control roughly 50% of the shipments, or 53 million units. 53 million in 2017, versus 11.6 million today (68% of 17.4 million). Or you could write it how ZDNet did (emphasis by me):


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How do you carry on after your world ends?

My world was destroyed on Friday. I found out something that changed me, down to the fiber of who I am as a father, a husband and a human being. I can’t and won’t go into details. I will say that I’m blown away by how humanity can, at the same time, be both wonderful and loathsome.

So as I sit here on Sunday, watching news stories about the latest technology crap, my world has a different perspective. On Friday morning I was taking a shower and shaking my head about someone who was griping about the technology news cycle. Today I’m wondering how I will go back to work within that cycle tomorrow.

I’ve spent this weekend with my wife and my kids and everything looked perfect to anyone viewing from the outside.

But it wasn’t.

For me, I reach the point that emotions become so varied and intense that all I end up feeling is numb. It’s not that I don’t care, but rather that I care too much...

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“African American”

I get it, we use the term to be politically correct. But the fact of it is that the term African American is disingenuous at best, and more likely just insulting. I repeatedly see discussions in the US media about the lack of African-American entrepreneurs, how African-Americans are discriminated against around the world and so on.

When did we, as Americans, become so self-absorbed as to think that anyone who is black has to be African American?

I know loads of entrepreneurs, CEOs and …well… people who would be considered black. Very few of them could be in any way considered American.

It’s the same logic here that begets people thinking that all those of Middle-Eastern descent have to be Muslim – or worse, potential terrorists. The same logic that people where I live use when classifying anyone who speaks Spanish as a first language as Mexican. Though really, it’s a complete lack...

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My WordCamp Nashville Prezi deck

For those asking, here’s the deck:

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That amazing feeling when you KNOW you’re doing the right thing.

How do you know you’re doing the right thing?

This is a question that I have asked myself a lot over the past few years, but even more after watching Micah Baldwin talk at Big Omaha last year. The talk (video is here) very literally changed my life, so I hope you’ll take 30 minutes to watch it.

So I had to ask myself this question even more often over the past couple of years as I’ve progressed in my work with TNW. To put it into perspective, I left a great-paying job, where I was miserable, to work on something that never came through with money. I was unemployed for 10 months, taking anything I could to make ends meet. I moved to Tennessee, took a job and lost it to a layoff 6 weeks later. I took a second job and immediately wanted to quit, because it wasn’t the right thing and I was in love with this idea of writing about startups and technology.

In just shy of 2 years, I’ve gone...

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