Tuesday March 26, 2013

Synergy: MBTI, the WWW, and Me

A Long Time Ago, in a World Now Far Far Away...

In 1993 I was introduced to two tools that had a profound effect on the direction my work and interests would take. The first of these was the World Wide Web (WWW). I wasn't certain, at first, how useful it would be. (:-) But within a few months, I was hooked. Still, I didn't realize how important the WWW would be to me in the years ahead.

The second tool was the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). I was hooked on that from the first encounter. But again, I had no idea of the scope of knowledge and sheer enjoyment this would bring with time. ...
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Synergy: MBTI, the WWW, and Me ( in category Personality Type , Special Interests ) - posted at Tue, 26 Mar, 10:23 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday March 22, 2013

Lyons to Lot: a Landmark Vanishes


The former San Bruno Lyons restaurant is... gone. As of today, it's a vacant lot.

It was something of a landmark. Lyons restaurants dated from the late 50s to mid 60s. Lyons used to be a popular 24-hour coffee-shop restaurant in this part of California. We ate there often before the chain folded back in the '90s. ...
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Lyons to Lot: a Landmark Vanishes ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Fri, 22 Mar, 20:58 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday March 22, 2013

No WYSIWYG, Please. I Prefer Markup

I recently applied for a writer/editor position with a company that looks like a good match for my interests. As part of their application process, they ask candidates to complete a few writing exercises. That seems like an excellent idea to me. There was just one small gotcha.

Although the company uses a wiki for all of the internal writing, the exercise was to be completed in Google Docs. When I asked why, I was told they assume most people don't start out with a lot of experience using wiki markup. They are "mostly interested in people's ability to express themselves well, and learning a markup-based editing system might be a distraction from that."

That makes sense... for most people. I, however, am unusual. I have 10 years of wiki markup experience, but never used Google Docs before yesterday. For me, Google Docs posed a distraction. It didn't help that I managed to trip a surprise UI issue that offset the insertion point a bit to the left (or was it to the right) of where the cursor appeared to be. Distraction compounded by frustration is a bad combination. ...
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No WYSIWYG, Please. I Prefer Markup ( in category Random Thoughts , Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Fri, 22 Mar, 10:42 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday March 10, 2013

I am an Introvert: Thank you

From many of the things I read online, I realize that I really need to say "Thank you" to my parents for the way they raised my sister and me.

Far too many people, growing up, were apparently told, pushed, or nudged in directions they didn't want to go, or directions that were just wrong for them, psychologically. They were told what to study (or what not to study). "You have to be a doctor." "You can't be a writer." "You'll never make money in that field."

I was the girl who wanted to take every possible science class. When that meant I wouldn't have a lunch period in 10th grade, and the Guidance Counselor objected, my Mom said "She wants to take that class. Let her take the class. The class is more important than lunch period."

Thank you.. (I never ate in the HS cafeteria anyway.) ...
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I am an Introvert: Thank you ( in category Personality Type , Retrospectoscope , Treasures ) - posted at Sun, 10 Mar, 22:08 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday March 8, 2013

From TANSTAAFL to Purple Sneakers?

People who know me know of my current obsession interest in Yahoo!'s recent changes to their telework policy. I just can't wrap my mind around a good reason for it.

It's not about productivity (studies show that many people are more productive when they're not in the office). It's not really about collaboration; most people in offices talk a lot but that doesn't lead to great new products. It can't really be about a fraction of a fraction of the employees who both worked from home and also "hid". That's too small a number to care about.

And then, someone I was chatting with in Twitter made a comment that might, actually, explain things:

... [Marissa] needs to do this to weed out folks not totally committed to Yahoo!.

Think about it. ...
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From TANSTAAFL to Purple Sneakers? ( in category World of Work ) - posted at Fri, 08 Mar, 21:09 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday March 7, 2013


Between, by Kerry Schafer. © 2013. Published by Ace books. ISBN-13: 978-0425261149

It's a recognized fact among lovers of books that good characters come alive. They become friends; you miss them when you close the book.

Many a reader has experienced the feeling of falling in love with a character. But, how often can you say you've fallen in love with a penguin?

I have. ...
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Between - posted at Thu, 07 Mar, 19:15 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday March 6, 2013

Yahoo!'s WFH Edict And Ensuing Kerfuffle

Yahoo! recently decided to bring its "free range" (i.e., remote working) employees into the office. Much of the Net has an opinion on this edict. This is mine.

Disclaimer: I worked at Yahoo from June 2006 - Nov 2011. I left before Marissa Mayer came on board. I have a vested interest in the future of telecommuting in general and the policy at Yahoo! in particular (I have friends there who work/ed remotely.) You can probably guess how I feel about this policy from my use of the word "edict". :-)

As recently as a day before the news hit the fan, I still considered the possibility of going back to Yahoo!. Now? No.

How it Started

The fireworks started when Yahoo!'s head of HR sent a memo to everyone at the company:

To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.

Beginning in June, we're asking all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work in Yahoo! offices. If this impacts you, your management has already been in touch with next steps. And, for the rest of us who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration. Being a Yahoo isn't just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices.

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Yahoo!'s WFH Edict And Ensuing Kerfuffle ( in category World of Work ) - posted at Wed, 06 Mar, 22:09 Pacific | Comments (0)