Here's a rundown of what's been running through my mind lately...
I went to two cool restaurants recently in LA: Magnolia and BOA. Magnolia's a cool new trendy bar/restaurant. No reservations, and a bit of a wait, but a great bar, great food, great people, lots of fun. BOA was one of the best steakhouse dinners I've had in awhile - modern, lively, great music. Highly recommended.
I've also started keeping a list of cool restaurants, bars, dessert places in my new hometown of Seattle. I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate it into the blog, which brings me to my next thought...
Blog + Wiki = Bliki
Actually, I cringe at the thought of saying "check out my bliki" out loud. ;-) But my thinking here is that the difference between a blog and a wiki at this point is mainly that a blog is primarily temporal, and a wiki generally has many contributors. The line is getting greyed, as it should. We've got blogs with many authors, but what I'd really like to see is blogging functionality that isn't necessarily temporal. I have a feeling some blogging infrastructures (Wordpress?) provide features like this... I wish Blogger did too.
For example, let's say I'd like to post a wiki-like page with a list of my favorite bars and restaurants. I'd like to update this page over time, possibly exclude it from my syndication feed so updates aren't sent out every time I add a restaurant -- this page should be omnipresent, not archived by the date on which it was originally posted. I think I could do a lot more with this site if it were 80% blog and 20% wiki (and conversely, I bet some wikis could use some 20% blog functionality too).
Alaska Airlines Check-In
At LAX, all of the Alaska Airlines Check-In stations now use electronic checkin machines. No more people (except for a first class line which still gets real people). I guess this is actually a good thing, except that the interface on their electronic checkin machines is absolutely horrible, has about 10 unecessary steps, and generally pisses me off royally every time I nee dto use it.
UPS Requires Gov't ID to Send Packages
I was at a UPS customer service center a few weeks back, and noticed a sign announcing that government issue photo ID would be required to send packages as of a certain date. I hate the fact that I have to show my ID to fly, but I'll put up with it. Requiring ID to send mail though? Privacy is going down the tubes... quickly.
I'm Subscribing to More Magazines
If RSS is so great, why am I subscribing to more magazines? I recently ditched the Wired RSS feed and subscribed to the print magazine. I like kicking back and picking up a big paper magazine with fun, cool, colorful ads, yet I hate ads in RSS feeds, and working through hundreds of new items each day feels more like work than pleasure. Hmm.
Wireless Laser Desktop 6000
My dad recently bought a Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 mouse and keyboard. I liked it so much, that I went over to the company store the other day and bought one for myself. It's so amazingly precise, beautiful, and ergonomic. I highly recommend it.
When I was down in LA, I went out to a few bars with friends. When they introduced me to some of their friends, everyone expected kisses on the cheek. This is just weird. I mean, ok, on the surface it is rather fabulous. But c'mon, as if handshakes aren't bad enough. If it were up to me, we would all press our palms together, bow slightly, and say "Namaste".
The Windows Brand
The Windows brand is NOT cool, so why did we rebrand MSN as Windows Live? If it were up to me, we would create a new brand completely detached from Microsoft, Windows, and Office. That's what Xbox did. And why is Xbox cool? Because Xbox marketing realizes that Microsoft isn't, and keeps the brand completely separate -- so much so that people think Xbox is some strange offshoot secluded devision of the company (which it isn't). Windows is going for "clear, confident, connected" (whereas OS X goes for "cool, unlike Windows" -- check out their white on black magazine ads). Fine. But not sexy. MSN services should be going for "cool, kickass, sexier-than-google-yahoo-and-aol".
The Zelda Effect
I'd like to call for the abolition of "next" and "more" links -- in software and on the web.
Remember how the original Legend of Zelda game transitioned between map screens? When you would walk over to the edge of the map piece on the screen, more map would simpy transition into play.
This is what I call the "Zelda Effect". Why should I ever have to click "Next" to see more search results? How about when I get down to the 10th result, just show me the next 10?
Jill and I are talking about doing something like this with Ping. Another great example of this done in a really seamless way is Google's Picasa.