Wednesday, August 29, 2007, women?

so here's something you might not have bothered to think of: most people don't graduate college at 21. okay, maybe you did think of that; but did you think of the ramifications? well, think about the dating game. most people like to date someone their own age (certainly not all, but most), and traditionally if the ages are different, the male is often older.
now take that idea and meld it with the fact that few people graduate college when they're 21. thus, pickins are (at least in theory) pretty slim for a college-graduate girl of approximately my age. this is not to say they don't exist or that you can't date college girls or someone older, just saying the standard superficial matching criteria are harder to match. even if you don't want to put the dating spin on it, just finding other dudes the same age and situation to hang out with is tricky.
lucky for me, as i've proven in the past, i show very little age descrimination with friends and significant others. but here's another thing we are very rarely subjected to at davidson: not only could that attractive person at the other end of the bar be in a relationship, they could be married! i had that mild awkwardness pop up on me for the first time last night--attractive young woman my age who i met casually at a local "young professionals" (which it turns out can mean up to 40 years old) networking event was rocking some of the most iced out (that means lots of diamonds, for the older set) rings i've ever seen.
from what little i've seen and heard of the women down here, i can presume that 90% of them are "fake" in one form or another--be it via surgery or personality. it's scary. granted, i'm very picky about that kind of thing, and i may misperceive "dumb" for "fake," though i often find the two to go hand in hand. i'm not trying to rage on girls, but i, like many guys, just don't see the appeal of many of the things women do.
anyway, those are my current thoughts and ramblings on girls. don't know why, just felt like writing it down. and that's what blogs are for. i promise the next one will be more interesting.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

when poking turns to sheep throwing

ah, facebook, the ever-creepier "social networking" website that allows you to connect with people you know or would like to know or are just kinda curious about. the fascination, nay, obsession began my sophomore year at davidson--people couldn't get enough of it. you could "friend" the people you were already friends with and see things about them that you probably already knew! and (omg) you could even "poke" them! if you did enough digging, you could even find out who was dating whom!
then they added high school facebook. pshh, those kids aren't nearly mature enough to use this high-level technology. luckily they kept us separate to, you know, avoid creepy college kids spying on the younglings.
then it was really strange that the new freshman class could "friend" each other before ever meeting, as long as they had their college e-mail address (and it was even stranger that my friend michelle, a junior-to-be, friended them all, too).
then there was the news feed scandal--putting a feed of all of friends' facebook updates took all the fun out of stalking! at a quick glance, you could see that tommy now likes the movie "anchorman" or that jill and billy broke up. what's the fun in that if you don't have to dig for the dirt?
then they opened up facebook to everyone. oh, man. in our davidson bubble, this meant that incoming freshmen could friend each other and join groups even before getting their college e-mail accounts (i wrote a response to this phenomenon for our school newspaper). i was even "friended" by my 31 yr old brother last week! weird.
the most recent obsession, which has pushed traffic away from myspace and into facebook, are facebook apps. facebook opened their api to developers who could create new applications of their own to help beef up the facebook experience. popular apps include iLike (lets you listen to and download music, plus see information on concerts--oh, and of course post everything on your profile), top friends (so you can rank your friends), and where i've been (a map of where you've been and where you want to go).
what do facebook apps add? quantifiably, nothing at this point. i threw a sheep at a friend the other day, and spanked another. is that that much cooler than poking? or couldn't i just write on her wall saying "i wanna throw a sheep at you" or something to that extent?
my biggest issue is that while the facebook demographic shifts older (it, like most social networks, is now largely made up of the 30-45ish demographci), the facebook apps seem to get more and more childish. there are a few more serious ones out there, but to have success as an application, you have to spread virally like crazy--and that ain't easy.
not to mention the fact that they've alienated the early adopters--many of my friends have stopped (or largely stopped) using facebook, and my roommate even declared last week "i hate mark zuckerberg."
so can facebook survive? my brother jed attended a facebook apps developers conference last weekend. here are his comments:
"Facebook was very interesting. I learned a ton, but I'm not convinced that there is a lot of value for older folks yet. What would be the "killer app" that gets all of us old farts to start using it regularly? Basically the platform is open for you to develop whatever you want and stick it inside the Facebook border frames. If you happen to advertise on your section/application, you get 100% of the revenue, which is a good deal. Or you can use your app to drive traffic to a different site and capture revenue there via ads or commerce. But the key is to think of something viral enough that people want to share it with their friends because that is essentially the only way to drive traffic to your app. Nothing in there currently (of 3,000+ apps already developed since the platform opened in May) seems like a particularly good example of something that would either make money or attract older users. Most of the popular apps are either juvenile ("tag, you're it") or related to showing how cool your low resolution pictures/videos are. Good for a certain (young) audience, but kindof a turnoff for older folks.

Included Nat on this email so he has a "heads up" that I will be quizzing him on Wednesday night about the usage of Facebook by his students and his colleagues. And as for you, Ty, do you think that your cohort will continue to use Facebook now that you're into the professional world? I understand that it's useful for "self-expression" and "street cred", but all the apps seem to be so light-weight. It's all about portraying yourself to the world and keeping tabs on your friends. Can you imagine people using Facebook for different reasons? Can you imaging a more complicated app (one that takes a while to learn about, for example) spreading virally the way a "poke" app does?"

so what do y'all think? are there bigger extensions for facebook? does it have lasting power? can a more complex app than a new way to poke people spread widely enough to survive? are there other possible uses for facebook's platform? i'd really love to hear, both because my brother and i are intrigued, and because we at click2remember haven't written off the possibility of developing a facebook app.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Davidson Golf in the news

So first off, props to both Alex Knoll and Steve Mayo for being Academic All-Americans for the second year in a row (you're only eligible as a Junior or Senior).
Secondly, have a look at the latest Golf Digest--they give their rankings of the best College Golf Programs. How did Davidson do? Pretty darn well, by all accounts. We ranked 45th in "Golf First," 10th in "Balanced," and 8th in "Academics First." Need I mention we're ahead of all the Ivys in "Academics First?" We'll take it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

the housing debate

I've spent the past week or so very actively seeking a place to live, other than my friend's old room in my boss's house. It's definitely a process. I'm at the awkward level of having never rented/leased before, not having much established credit, and really not making enough money to have a whole ton of choice in features of apartments. The main keys are: safe, cheap, and not with a totally insane roommate.
Here's the biggest issue: I've been royally spoiled with each of these my whole life. I've always lived on the safe east side of milwaukee; I've rarely had to pay for housing; aaaaand my roommate has always been awesome. The lone exception was last summer when I lived in the ghetto, paid $325/month, and lived with 2 cats.
At any rate, I've looked at options from near downtown to way out in the burbs; from alone, to with up to 4 roommates; from 10x10 no closet, no bathroom to a 900 sq ft loft with new appliances and everything. And what have I learned?
  • Near downtown does not always mean better than the burbs. This may be a TX phenomenon, but the burbs also have a number of communities of and options for the younger crowd. Plus, they're generally safer.
  • When you go to check a roommate situation, focus on the roommate, not the living space. Unless you're independently wealthy, you're not going to be spending enough time in your apartment to justify extra costs that would come from prioritizing living space over roommate situation. And if you are that rich, why would you take a roommate?
  • Costs add up quickly. A $500/mo rent in a 2br is MUCH cheaper than a $600/mo 1br. Not only are you splitting utilities and internet/cable costs (totalling ~$200/mo in this area), but you'll probably find many other cost saving features of sharing--be it food or whatever. Multiply all those seemingly small differences by 12 and that's your annual savings (wow, tough math, I know--but it seems like few folks my age bother to really think it out).
  • Location, location, location. Especially in Dallas, a few blocks can make a SIGNIFICANT difference. Between slum an $500,000 house, or between walking and driving to bars or whatever else you might need.

That being said, I'm still no expert. But I'm at least confident that whatever my decision is, I can live with it. Besides, as long as your safe and don't have any major catastrophes, it's really not that big a deal to live in a shitty apartment--as long as things work most of the time, you can be perfectly happy there most of the time. And most of the time is pretty okay with me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I'm back!

After a hiatus from the blogging world (I know, all of you feel starved of my attention), I've decided to make a triumphant return!
Here's a rundown of life since we last spoke:
  • I spent almost a month in Milwaukee hanging out with friends, going to Summerfest, and playing a bit of golf (played one tourney, made the cut, but would prefer not to talk about it). I got to spend some quality time with Jared, my roommate of 4 years at Davidson, and many other great friends, plus got to see some great music including Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, MC Supernatural, The Fold, and of course my friends in Scenes From A Movie, who crashed at my house once again.
  • I took a job as Product Manager with an internet startup from Dallas called Click2Remember, a web portal that allows users to download customizable schedules and events from the internet to their Outlook (other calendars in the works) with a simple click. The website should go public in the next couple days (the portal will be in private beta for a while--let me know if you want a beta license and we can work out details), but I'll let y'all know when that happens.
  • I saw even more great music down here in Dallas. I got to go on stage at the Warped Tour for Bad Religion (who have been favorites of mine for 10 years), saw other bands at Warped including Anberlin, Meg & Dia, The Spill Canvas, and Street Drum Corps...and of course Scenes From A Movie. I also saw The Format and Limbeck, who teamed up for an amazing show. On my birthday, my friend Britti and I saw Days Away and The Working Title, both of which jammed out very solidly, then a few days later got out our skanking shoes for Reel Big Fish.

Now I'm hard at work, looking for apartments, and trying to get settled into my new home of Dallas. I'm going through the classic issues of deciding whether to live in the city (where the social scene is) or in the burbs (where it's cheaper and closer to work). I'm also struggling to meet new people and make new friends, since as of yesterday I officially have Zero friends living in the Dallas area. It's definitely different from college, but I've been very good about keeping in close contact with my best friends from school, which makes life seem a little less lonely (hmm...sounds like a good name for an emo band..."A Little Less Lonely").

Check back often, or subscribe to an RSS feed or somesuch, as I'll likely be posting here far more often than I have been (I'll make the promise of at least once a week). And if you can't get enough of me, I'm also doing a little blogging about Click2Remember over at

Much love! Keep in touch!