Prescience

I love when good ideas are executed almost as soon as constituents think of them.

Matt Haughey, November 6: Fly the WiFi skies. “Picture this: one airline being known for having free wireless near their gates at every major airport across the country. An airline that was wifi-friendly would be known by business people overnight as the airline to take (or at least the terminal to hang out nearby when you fly).”

Press notice, November 12: JetBlue Introduces Free High-Speed Wireless Service At JFK. “With this new service, JetBlue customers can now take advantage of free high-speed wireless access on both coasts, as complimentary wireless access is also available at JetBlue’s west coast base at LA/Long Beach Airport by the City of Long Beach.”

See you at the terminal.

Addendum: While you’re on Matt’s site and learning about good customer orientation, check out his latest discovery—that customers can’t call Best Buy stores anymore.

Soft-launch

I now have an official Web site up and running for my new business, User Savvy. We specialize in Web strategy, covering usability, branding, design and related issues.

User Savvy is going to be a weblog and publishing center for articles on the industry, but I’m still getting Movable Type configured, so expect the blog launch sometime next week. Once it goes live, the Ideapad will refocus on expository writing and non-Internet observations.

I am actively seeking new business, so drop a line if you’d like to chat.

But James Joyce never wrote business school term papers

wertheimerdavid: So I just switched my paper from Times New Roman (Windows font) to Times (Mac font)

wertheimerdavid: And it jumped from 4 pages and 7 lines to 5 pages and 2 lines

wertheimerdavid: And now my paper is done!

jeffwertheimer: a lot of the great works in literature finished up that way

Oh, and I almost forgot

The Ideapad turned five on November 1. How long ago is that? When I started this blog, my computer—a 233 mhz Apple G3 with a 4GB hard drive—was still new. (I upgraded the 4GB drive to an 80GB Maxtor two weeks ago.)

Maintenance

Today I finally switched my site search from an Atomz engine to Google’s free search option. Yeah, Google may run text ads next to my search results, but Atomz had stopped performing well. Atomz’s free engine has a 500-page limit, and the spider was digging into individual-item weblog display pages, then not including them in the search results anyway. Odd and inconvenient.

Google doesn’t always register database query pages in its search results either, so I have returned to making monthly fixed-code backups of the Ideapad to improve the search engine performance. Makes for a nice memento, too.

For those of you scoring at home, I also combined the search and contact info into a single page and updated the Ideapad sidebar for the first time in way too long.

Evolution

Career-wise, I am happily moving beyond the realm of “web designer” this year. My ambitions have my mind elsewhere: usability assessments, strategy analysis and planning, an MBA.

As a result, the actual build-out of my new corporate site (which should go live any day now) took a while to get started. As I work on it, I feel like a teenager getting back on a bicycle after receiving a driver’s license: I know how it’s done, and I’m good at it, but I’d so rather be in the new ride.

Of course, the need to know HTML, CSS and browser compatibility are far from irrelevant to my career, so it’s good to regain my proverbial sea legs. After the launch I shall dive headfirst back into RSS and XML feeds.

But that bicycle only gets me so far. And I can’t wait to start driving every day.

Ad:Tech 2003

Spent the day at Ad:Tech yesterday. Sometimes a conference floor still feels like 1999—lots of companies with forward-sounding names, free candy everywhere, and plenty of mine-is-bigger-than-yours plasma screens.

The tone is different now, though. Lots of people are inquiring about personal, not business-development, opportunities (myself not excluded). Conference floor space is far smaller than it used to be. And the free swag is much more humble.

Sat in on a decent blog-marketing panel moderated by Rick Bruner, but it was doomed by faulty T1 wiring and an end-of-day timeslot. But hey, one third of the New York’s “emerging chattering-class VIPs,” so I can’t complain. (Although Anil needs a haircut. Heh.)