Valentine’s Day Storm, Boston

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Weeks ago, long before the area’s snowiest 30-day period in history became a reality, I bought tickets for a Valentine’s Day show, dinner, and a hotel room so we didn’t have to drive home late at night.

Since then, we’ve had storm after storm, with another one forecast for Saturday, Valentine’s Day, and Sunday. The show was cancelled. Undeterred, we were still committed to having a good time, so we kept our dinner and hotel reservations.

We got to Boston early, before the snow started. It bagan before we left for dinner. After dinner, since it was only a few blocks between the restaurant and the hotel, we decided to walk back via the shortest route, through the Boston Public Garden.

I’m glad we did walk, rather than take a cab. Although the snow has wreaked havoc on life in the region, it still is beautiful at the same time.

It’s forecast to escalate to blizzard conditions tomorrow, so we’ll see if we still think it’s beautiful then…

Twitter Group Direct Message now fully live

On Twitter, now you can send Direct Messages (DMs) to groups of up to 20 people. Twitter users, you just got a great new way to collaborate with groups of people, inside and outside your company, from the broad universe of folks who are already on Twitter. IT folks who still need to control external communications for security or regulatory reasons, you just got a big new headache.

Announced January 27th, and with roll-out complete on January 30th, I got the updated iOS & Android apps between Friday and Monday. I know I’ll be using this feature!

Twitter on Twitter

Microsoft Simply Rebrands Acompli as Outlook for iOS & Android — and That’s a Good Thing

Acompli for iOS & Android

Unlike Google, which a while back snatched my previous favorite email client Sparrow, and seems to be folding it slowly if at all into the Gmail app, Microsoft has, within two months of acquiring Acompli, rebranded it to be the Outlook app for iOS & Android.  And that was an excellent move.

Acompli had already become my default email client on both platforms, because of its savvy with both Gmail and Exchange.  It works seamlessly with both, with email as well as calendars.  It can manage attachments between email, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox.  And it has a People tab that consolidates all of your interactions by person.

So, in the short term, I’m pretty happy with this development — other than that I now have to migrate my data.  It’ll be interesting to see whether the product improves or declines on Microsoft’s watch.

The One Thing: Is That Even a Thing?

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All of you who know me personally know that it’s not in my nature to be involved in only one thing.  Work, church, music, gadgets, family…and each of these encompass multiple streams of activity.

I’m on Day 7 of the 15 Days to Freedom Blog Challenge by Natalie Sisson of Suitcase Entrepreneur, and the topic for today is to describe the one thing I will focus on in 2015.

Juggling multiple things is true of everybody, I’m sure.  Who among us these days has the luxury of ignoring some aspect of a multi-faceted life?  We as a culture look disapprovingly of those who do, for example those who ignore their family to single-mindedly focus on their work.  And I wouldn’t want to be that kind of person anyway.

I think it becomes a question of picking a main theme, and devoting a significant portion of my time and attention to that one theme.  Specifically carving out time to work on it, and being able to devote concentrated energy and passion to it.  And cutting back on other activities to make that possible, if necessary.

My one thing in 2015 is to build up my businesses to provide value to clients and customers.  This is key to overall success for me this year, and really is one thing that will make many of the other things possible.

So even if One Thing isn’t a thing, then the Number One Thing can be a thing.

This Year’s Model

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I decided last year that it’s not a good bet to rely — or at least to rely solely — on traditional employment for your livelihood.

I’m on Day 6 of the 15 Days to Freedom Blog Challenge by Natalie Sisson of Suitcase Entrepreneur, and the topic for today is to identify my ideal business model.  In this case, she means which of three types:  active, having a direct correlation between the time you spend and the revenue you make; residual, where once a product is put in place, it continues to earn revenue with minimal additional time investment; or a combination of both.

It’s a bit of a trick question, or a rhetorical question—this challenge is called “15 Days to Freedom” after all.  My answer, though, is “both”.

I’m committed to helping my consulting clients succeed.  This in itself already gives me more freedom of schedule and location than being an employee, which is a great benefit.

At the same time, I’m interested in building up initiatives in Internet marketing and in app development.  This will give me residual income in the future, to diversify my income sources and styles.

That’s the plan; now it’s time to go and execute!