Google = :CueCat? You call this news?

I had started a rant on the frustrating coverage that Google has started to include QR Codes in print advertising. CrunchGear, Read/Write Web and even one of my favorite bloggers, Joel Spolsky have jumped on a meme that Google’s inclusion of QR codes is the same as the failed :CueCat business model from the 90s.

Thankfully, the All on Mobile blog Read/Write Web’s own predictions for 2008 said highlighted used of QR codes. So one day the publication is calling QR Codes the future. A couple of weeks later, they’re ridiculing Google for using them.

Why I Like Public Speaking

People are often surprised to find out that I’m introverted because I seek opportunities for public speaking. Why would an introvert like public speaking?

There are a few reasons including my appreciation for great oratory; the fact that public speaking is easier for me than chit chat; and it provides a forum to share ideas that I’m enthusiastic about.

The main reason I like public speaking is because I have little fear of it. I know public speaking is one of the top fears for most people. It used to be one of my top fears before I ran for student government in high school.

At my high school, there was a large assembly during which all of the candidates for office were given time slots to campaign for votes. I prepared a heartfelt speech about what I believed student government needed to do and how I would make sure it did it.

As I stood backstage worried about my speech, my apprehension quickly turned into terror. I watched each candidate get on stage and perform skits, sing, dance or simply act silly do make the audience laugh.

This wasn’t an election. It was a talent show!

I realized there was no way this didn’t end in humiliation. If I decided not to go on stage, everyone would know, and I would be harassed endlessly. If I went on stage, I was going to make a fool out of myself, and be harassed endlessly.

Guessing that I was screwed either way, I went on stage.

It was awful. See I made the worst mistake possible in high school. I took something seriously and was earnest. I was mocked, heckled, and a few people even threw things before teachers stopped them.

Thankfully, it was a short speech. But it didn’t end there. I was teased mercilessly on the bus ride home and the following day.

But then two amazing things happened.

First, I had some students who had never talked to me before tell me that they loved my speech and that my speech was the only one that was worth it for them. Second, within a few days, people stopped teasing me, and I had survived.

I was still gun-shy about public speaking for some time, but when I had the opportunity to do give a speech in college, I found that I had little apprehension. The reality is that nothing can happen to me on stage now that would be worse that the embarrassment I experienced in high school. And I survived that.

So now public speaking is enjoyable. I insist on being prepared and knowing my material well. I stress endlessly about making sure the presentation is perfect and that I’m telling a good story. But once I step on stage, I have confidence that nothing can happen to me that will top my high school experience.

After I left the high school’s auditorium, I didn’t want to face the world ever again. Now, I’m incredibly thankful I had that experience.

Speaking at Web Innovators on Feb 13th

I’m going to be speaking at the PDX Web Innovators February meeting on Mobile Web and the upcoming mobile tsunami. I’m excited to have the opportunity to share my love for the mobile web and possibilities available for businesses and developers.

Here are the details:

Graciously Hosted by Nemo Design
1875 Se Belmont St
Portland, Oregon
February 13th, 7 pm
PDX Web Innovators

In preparation for this event, I’m going to be starting a series of blog posts talking about the mobile market and how it mirrors the early days of the Internet. These posts are likely going to be posted on Cloud Four’s blog, but I’ll be sure to link to them from here.

links for 2008-01-28

Randy Pausch Last Lecture

I missed this lecture when it made the rounds in Fall, but I was still incredibly moved and inspired by the presentation. I watched it again with Dana last night. I highly recommend watching the video.

Quick background: Randy Pausch is a professor at Carnegie Mellon in their computer science department. He’s been very influential in the field. He was also recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. He refuses to live his live in despair and his lecture is funny and uplighting.

The lecture is a little over an hour, but much better than anything you’ll find on tv.

NetNewsWire for Free

During CES, NewsGator has released its RSS readers for Mac and PC for free. On the Mac, it means that NetNewsWire, my favorite RSS reader and the tool I’ve relied on every day for years, is now free. For PC users, FeedDemon is now free.

Go download it.

Why a desktop RSS reader? Nick Bradbury does a great job of explaining what you get with a desktop reader instead of web-based one like Google Reader.

One of the great things about the NewsGator products sync their feeds and item status to NewsGator’s online service. You can then check your RSS feeds via the web or through the great iphone interface for NewsGator.

Why do I love NetNewsWire so much? The main reason is the key commands for browsing items. 90% of what you need to do can be done via the arrow keys. Ode to Apple has a great post on how to get the most out of NetNewsWire.

If you’ve been holding out on trying a desktop rss reader, now is a perfect time to give it a try.