How much information does Facebook have on you?

Facebook has become a ubiquitous part of modern culture.  More people share more of their lives now than ever before.  As we share, however, do we stop to ask, “how much of me is available to the public?”  or “how much of my time/life is devote to Facebook?”  Stephen Wolfram has posted information about a new WolframAlpha offering that attempts to help an individual understand his/her Facebook behavior, i.e. personal analytics.  The report generated by WolframAlpha regarding one’s Facebook behavior is rather eye-opening.  (Parents – want to know how much time and how your child uses Facebook?  This app will help you answer the question.)  Note: You will have to link your Facebook account to WolframAlpha.



Twitter: More than just status updates

A new year.  December flew by with interviews and holidays.  My blog was neglected but life was not.

People still ask me, “what is the point of twitter?” and over the past few months I, too, have been wondering what the value of twitter is in my life?  It is a great way to quickly share information and it has allowed me to connect with people, but how will twitter evolve as the dust settles on the social-media hype of the past few years?

New England has just been hit by a blizzard and as expected airline flights are delayed and/or canceled.  The automated message heard when calling Delta states (paraphrased), “…delays….we are trying…wait for an operator, go the website, or connect with us on twitter at @DeltaAssist.”  Twitter…interesting.  The phones and website were slammed and thus slow, thus I thought I would reach out to @DeltaAssist and ask for help.  In short, I was impressed.  @DeltaAssist quickly responded and booked me on a new Delta flight.  Overall, the interaction took less than 20 minutes.

Kudos to Delta for using twitter in an effective way.  As a Delta passenger, my problem was resolved and I was very pleased with the service I received.  Hopefully, we will see more examples of this type of twitter use.

An American Tradition: Jack Daniel’s

Thanksgiving…an American tradition. This holiday is arguably my favorite. Friends, food, and giving thanks…what more can you ask for? (Yes, a Nikon D3 and a MacBook Pro would be nice but the season of consumerism begins tomorrow.)Jack Daniel

As we enjoy one American tradition today, perhaps we should enjoy another…

In 1866, Mr. Jack Daniel created an American icon when he licensed the now famous distillery that carries his name.  Jack Daniel’s distillery was the first licensed distillery in the USA, and few brands (beverage or otherwise) are more associated with “America” than Jack Daniel’s Old Number 7 Tennessee Whiskey.

The distillery has always been in the same spot although all the buildings have been rebuilt.  This icon survived the Great Depression, Prohibition, and being based in a dry county.  The recipe, Old Number 7, has never changed and the process of making this fine whiskey is still passed down through families. (Regardless of what you hear, the legend of “Number 7” remains a mystery.)  There is a sense of pride at the distillery that is rarely seen among employees of any company.

I recently had a chance to visit the distillery in Lynchburg, TN.  The employees of the Jack Daniel’s distillery are very serious…and proud…about what they do.  They should be.  They are part of a proud tradition that results in a mighty fine libation.

How has the distillery been able to produce the same, excellent product for more than a century with a consistency only dreamed of by many?  One could argue the unconcious application of many management principles or some super secret technology applied to Old Number 7 beyond the prying eyes of the public.  My bet is on a simple saying that is proudly displayed in Jack Daniel’s original office.


Interview season. Traveling…

Why has passenger train use almost disappeared in this country compared to the automobile? The train is so…nice. Why have we as a society turned away from a mode of transportation that dominated this country at one point? Luckily, the passenger train is alive (and well) in the North East. There are wide seats with power-plugs at each seat. Trains are leaving and arriving on time. No one is trying to violate the laws of physics by attempting to place over-sized luggage in the overhead bins. No sitting in traffic. The relaxing click-clack as the down runs down the track…overall, a great experience.