Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, August 05, 2021

The mystery’s been solved: Those cryptic posters and placards that have been touting Windorphins for the past month? They lead to eBay’s latest marketing stunt.

I’m thinking exposure to Windorphins is having the wrong effect on me. Rather than the “win” portion of their name resonating in my mind, the “windo” part is. Meaning the first thing I thought of, even before I visited the URL and sprung the surprise, was Microsoft Windows.

The supposedly enthusiastic slogans — “Ever been to Cloud Ten?” and “If you’re happy and you know it, you’re probably on…”, among others — didn’t get across the idea of “winning” anything and feeling a subsequent drug-like rush. Even now, Windows comes more readily to mind for me, rather than online auctions.

But as is typical, I’m sure I’m in the minority. The little rainbow-hued pseudo-microbes have already caused a buzz, even a quantitatively measurable one at that.

Whether or not this unconventional (especially for usually low-profile eBay) marketing campaign works, I hope it was worth playing catch-up via bullying a reporter into surrendering the domain name.

(image courtesy of Jack Cheng)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/05/2021 06:22 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Internet
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Just as I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept of a Freelancers Union, I’m not sure the gestation for a professional bloggers’ union makes an awful lot of sense.

And even if it did, I think Susie Madrak, aka Suburban Guerrilla, could have chosen a better argument to illustrate its worth:

Madrak hopes that regardless the form, the labor movement ultimately will help bloggers pay for medical bills. It’s important, she said, because some bloggers can spend hours a day tethered to computers as they update their Web sites.

“Blogging is very intense - physically, mentally,” she said. “You’re constantly scanning for news. You’re constantly trying to come up with information that you think will mobilize your readers. In the meantime, you’re sitting at a computer and your ass is getting wider and your arm and neck and shoulder are wearing out because you’re constantly using a mouse.”

A health plan for desk-jockeying physical trauma? Somehow, I don’t see this winning over popular support for a blog-guild.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/05/2021 05:34 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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No, a million or two really doesn’t go as far as it used to. Especially when you live the San Francisco Bay Area, where “accidental” (i.e., cashed-out dot-com stock) millionaires feel inferior to the mega-wealth surrounding them.

When chief executives are routinely paid tens of millions of dollars a year and a hedge fund manager can collect $1 billion annually, those with a few million dollars often see their accumulated wealth as puny, a reflection of their modest status in the new Gilded Age, when hundreds of thousands of people have accumulated much vaster fortunes.

“Everyone around here looks at the people above them,” said Gary Kremen, the 43-year-old founder of Match.com, a popular online dating service. “It’s just like Wall Street, where there are all these financial guys worth $7 million wondering what’s so special about them when there are all these guys worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Mr. Kremen estimated his net worth at $10 million. That puts him firmly in the top half of 1 percent among Americans, according to wealth data from the Federal Reserve, but barely in the top echelons in affluent towns like Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton. So he logs 60- to 80-hour workweeks because, he said, he does not think he has nearly enough money to ease up.

If I had $10 million to my name, you’d better believe I’d be easing up — up against a beach bar somewhere, soaking it all up.

Still, it’s a familiar story: As your income level rises, your baseline needs suddenly scale up as well. Throw in a family that needs a financial roadmap for college, etc., and yeah, even an eight-figure nest egg seems lacking.

It’s funny, because I was just having lunch with a colleague who’s targeting a personal payout of $5 million from a current venture. He even has that sum divided up by purpose: X amount toward retirement funding, X amount for seed money to launch the next start-up, etc. He’s certainly not looking at that potential windfall as the end, but just the beginning. Work continues apace.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/05/2021 03:38 PM
Category: Business, Society
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I’m amused by how easily influenced I can be by some random opinion. Like this one by Schad, involving the origin and ulterior motive behind the current rage in women’s accessorized eyewear:

Ladies, I’m sick of the oversized shades. Besides just looking dumb, they make every woman look alike. I’m convinced that Paris Hilton began, or at least helped establish the trend of the big, bordering on grandma-Solar Shield-sized sunglasses because her face is so busted. The more of her face that’s covered, the better she looks.

Sure enough, after reading the above blog post, I cannot take notice of this look without thinking: I wonder what facial flaws she’s concealing. So thanks for that, Schad — one more thing to obsess about regarding the opposite sex.

Actually, I thought Paris’ fellow Simple Lifer Nicole Richie was the one synonymous with the goggle-like headgear. Although I guess even she’s diversifying her retro-shades look.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/05/2021 02:07 PM
Category: Fashion, Women
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