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There was a point in my career not too, too long ago where I fell into the Waiting Place. I was there with a whole lot of co-workers and we were waiting. I didn’t realize it then, but I realize it now. It sucked. So don’t wait, walk.

Read this from Dr. Suess’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” to know if you are in the Waiting Place …

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters?
Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

So are you in the Waiting Place? If so, put down the pencil …


This is how Apple convinced developers to develop for the Mac:

“It’s obvious that graphical computing is the future, whether the Mac is a success or not. This is your chance to learn how to develop for such an environment. Choosing not to develop for the Mac, then, is choosing for your company to eventually die.”
– Alain Rossmann

See Cringley’s post here:

Dr. Suess Wisdom:

Be who you are & say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter & those who matter don’t mind.

Favorite poem written by Rudyard Kipling in 1896.

The poem’s line, “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same” is written on the wall of the center court players’ entrance at the British tennis tournament, Wimbledon (per Wikipedia)

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Things gone awry with our move …

What is past is past, there is a future left to all men, who have the virtue to repent and the energy to atone.

Luis von Ahn (Captcha, Games with a Purpose) inspires me. Solitaire stat is crazy!

Vanity Search Comparison, originally uploaded by joff.

Ever type your name into a search engine? That’s what search folks call a “vanity search”. Here’s a quick break down when I search on “Joff Redfern” …


(1) This is a Google promotion to get me to start a Google Profile. If I start a Google Profile I will have some say in how I show up in Google Search results. Learn more at Search Engine Land.

This is clever. Yahoo! should do a search shortcut for Yahoo! Profiles. I noticed you need to be logged in to trigger the ad.

(2) My LinkedIn profile is #1 which I was generally happy with. It’s my online calling card. It’s work focused, but a good starting place to learn more about “Joff”

(3) Twitter is the most active place I’m writing right now so good that this takes position #2.

The freshness of this result is good compared to Yahoo!. I changed my Twitter name to “mejoff” earlier in the week and they reflect this (Yahoo! does not).

They also show a somewhat recent Twitter post in position #3. It’s not the freshest post but probably the one with the most link juice as it references a picture on Flickr and my blog

(4) Position #4 is my Facebook entry. Makes sense as that gets into my non-work life. I’m not that active on Facebook right now so Flickr would have been another good alternative.


(5) Yahoo’s also try suggests “joff redfern yahoo”. Good suggestion as I was there almost 6 years so you’d see me talking about my different Yahoo! products in the press with that alternative search.

(6) #1 result on Yahoo! shows my Twitter account, but is showing the “meredfern” name which I changed many days ago so not that fresh.

(7) No idea why this entry shows up as #2. Had a friend work there way back when and must have created a profile when he joined to check out. Never actively used the service.

#3 is odd too. It looks like a pre-alpha site is republishing my Twitter feed. The entry shows a tweet I did 3 weeks ago. Too bad the snippet didn’t pick up the start of that tweet as I begin with “WTF?” 🙂

(8) The #4 result is my LinkedIn result. I actually like the snippet better than Google’s. It gives the title and location of my current job vs. the standard LinkedIn marketing blurb.

Is your vanity search any better or worse?

Death of a snail, originally uploaded by joff.

It was late last night. As I walked out the front door to take out the trash I heard a crunch sound. I knew what happened, I stepped on a snail.

This morning when I was walking out the door I saw this other snail mourning over the remains of the deceased snail.

Very eerie. Like I had stepped on the snail’s lover or brother or best friend. I’m sad.

Love the trick at 3:10 into video.

Rushdie wrote the fairy tale Haroun and the Sea of Stories for his son. Before I read the book I saw the passage below in a Tufte book.

When Caterina Fake first joined Yahoo! I remember sending her this quote saying it reminds me of the magic going on in Flickr.

As I use Twitter more and more it seems apt to re-read it:

“He [Haroun] looked into the water and saw that it was made up of a thousand thousand thousand and one different currents, each one a different colour, weaving in and out of one another like a liquid tapestry of breathtaking complexity; and Iff explained that these were the Streams of Story, that each coloured strand represented and contained a single tale. Different parts of the Ocean contained different sorts of stories, and as all the stories that had ever been told and many that were still in the process of being invented could be found here, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was in fact the biggest library in the universe. And because the stories were held here in fluid form, they retained the ability to change, to become new versions of themselves, to join up with other stories and so become yet other stories; so that unlike a library of books, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was much more than a storeroom of yarns. It was not dead, but alive.

“And if you are very, very careful, or very, very highly skilled, you can dip a cup into the Ocean,” Iff told Haroun, “like so,” and here he produced a little golden cup from another of his waistcoat pockets, “and you can fill it with water from a single, pure Stream of Story, like so”…”

Twitter is becoming the Ocean of the Stream of Stories. Dip your cup in to see.