Archive for February, 2010

iPod Touch: The Ultimate Unitasker

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

I decided yesterday that I must be missing out on something. My lack of access to zillions of iPod and iPhone apps must surely be harming my productivity. There are so many things I could be doing… and I'm not since they're not apps for my phone. My phone is currently the HTC Touch Pro 2 for Sprint, a Windows Mobile 6.1 phone. I'm generally happy with it. I've used WinMo for so many years that I know how to make it bow to me. So I'm very productive.

But those apps! I must be missing out! I decided to go out to Best Buy and get the 3rd generation iPod Touch.

Took it home and charged it. Turned it on. Had to download iTunes (boo) for what seemed like no reason… since I can create an App Store account from the iPod. Whatever.

Got it started. Sat outside in the sun, got on my Wi-Fi, and started going around the App Store. Started downloading the usual free guys… Facebook, something for Twitter, Rhapsody, OpenTable. Started trying to log in and get things done. 

Couldn't believe how little I was getting done.

The Facebook app seemed quite clumsy. I went for Rhapsody. Got logged in, found a playlist, and started playing, "Taking Islands in Africa," by Japan. OK that's going well. Now, let's go back to Facebook or Twitter and see if I can get that going.

The music stopped. Huh? Where's my music? I guess Rhapsody doesn't run in the background, so you're either using Rhapsody or you're not.

OK, I have an MP3 player. Let's check out mapping. Went to the maps app. Asked it to find my location. I was shown a location I've never seen in my life. I have no idea what town in what city that was. It was definitely not Tucson. I don't remember where it was.

I asked it again to find my location. It finally showed the corner of Oracle Road and Orange Grove Road in Tucson. I was sitting 6 or 7 miles away from that. I decided that was really far off. Someone suggested it may have just shown me the closest cell phone tower… which would make sense if this had a phone and was looking for cell towers. This is the iPod!

I downloaded Google Earth. It first showed me in weird mystery place, which turned out to be the west coast of Florida. I asked it to try again, and it placed me at Oracle and Orange Grove. This kills the usefullness of apps that will find things, people, and resources near me. My WinMo phone's GPS usually finds me to within 20 meters. That's really helpful when you want it to map something near you.

What about all the apps? Let's say I want to track flights. Well, I can take my current phone, go to a website, and track a flight. Or I can pay $10 for an app that'll track a flight on the iPod. Twitter? I have an app (PockeTwit) on my WinMo phone. Love that app. Or I could pay $5 for "popular" Twitter apps on the iPod. I could easily have blown what I spent on the iPod on apps.

So 30 minutes into playing with the iPod Touch, I hit the factory reset button, and asked it to erase everything I had put on it. It was clearly not useful. I was not missing out on anything I felt like paying for. I am not impressed by a device that for the most part does one thing at a time, and what it can do, I feel like my cell phone will do much better and more efficiently.

People love their iWhatevers. I know. I just don't see it. I'm looking for something more useful. If you're ever watched Good Eats, Alton Brown says to always buy what multitasks, don't buy a "unitasker." I felt like the iPod was a unitasker, and maybe it's great at being one thing. I was hoping with all those apps, it would be great at being multiple things, but it's still not better than a Windows Mobile cell phone.

Buh-bye. Returned to Best Buy. Guy asked if I wanted to look at a Zune. :) I told him I wasn't using this for music.


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Iarla O’Halloran Does Not Work For As Was

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

It has come to my attention that a worker I terminated in mid-2009 has been contacting clients to tell them he can do work for them. That would be in breach of the non-compete, non-disclosure agreement he signed when we started working together.

I found this out because a client told me he was about to PayPal a weird email address for some changes to his template, and he decided to double-check the address with me.

If anybody you used to work with at As Was contacts you from a non-As Was email address, it would be because he or she no longer works with or for me. He or she is probably still under the non-compete agreement we signed.

And let's just say that with respect to Mr. O'Halloran, I would not have him work for me even if he agreed to do the work for free. Ever since his departure, my clients have come out of the woodwork to say how much they didn't like working with him. He is not missed.

If you are contacted by a former As Was staffer, please let me know as this may be in breach of their signed agreement. If anybody you thought worked with me asks you to pay anything but an @aswas.com PayPal address, please contact me. That's fraud, and I'm very not cool with that. My clients deserve better.


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What Marketing Promotional Items Work?

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Conference. Ugh. So draining. I was just at one, and thought it would be fun to go through the stuff in the conference bag in a video.

As a marketing-head, lots of people ask me what promo items they should make for conferences, conference bags, booths, or maybe to throw in with the box when you ship. Well, I might have different advice for different people and industries, so I can't just say one thing for everybody.

This video shows me going through the conference bag… what do I keep? What do I throw away? How long does any of these items get my attention? And hey, notice I'm going through the bag AFTER I'm home… which means something that says "visit our booth" is lost on me. I'm home!


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Connecting With Us on Twitter and Facebook

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

We're changing how you can connect with us. Here's what you need to know!

http://twitter.com/aswas will be mostly business-related tweets with a few personal or observational tweets

http://twitter.com/rocketplace remain as mostly eBay and eCommerce news

http://twitter.com/dlev will be mostly the personal world of As Was CEO Debbie Levitt. If you're tickled by her observations, thoughts, and personal musings, please follow that Twitter.

Our Facebook Fan page will start to get more use. I hadn't really done much with it since 2008, but I'll start using it more.

My personal Facebook page is mostly for people I actually know. So if I do not accept your friend request, it's probably because we aren't friends :) and don't know each other! If you're into my eBay and eCommerce musings, please join the As Was Facebook fan page.

Also, now that eBay is making announcements and new things are going on, we'll be doing more with our educational site at http://www.rocketplace.com.

We'll still be blogging now and then, though we will be moving the blog to our own domain over the next month or so.

Lots of ways to connect with us! Pick the ones that work for your style. :)


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