The fundraising team is happy today

Today was the first official UTC day of the fundraiser, [the previous days were tests][fundraiser 2012]. This year they’ve decided to only run it in 5 english speaking countries in December with the rest of the world to follow in April (to make translations, etc. to not be [bottlenecked on testing][2012 tests]).

Fundraiser statistics - Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Fundraiser this year and the previous two years. See http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Special:FundraiserStatistics.

If you can’t read the graph, they’re on track to have their first $2 million revenue day in history. 🙂

Thanks to all of you who donated and support Wikipedia.

Time to go up to the 6th floor and mooch the Fundraiser first-day cake. 🙂

[fundraiser 2012]: http://terrychay.com/article/wikipedia-2012-fundraiser.shtml “Wikipedia 2012 Fundraiser”
[2012 tests]: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2012/We_Need_A_Breakthrough “Fundraising 2012/ We Need A Breakthrough—Meta Wiki”

Wikipedia 2012 Fundraiser

Wikimedia is gearing up for the 2012 fundraiser that pays my salary. Here are the banners they seem to be testing today.

2012 Fundraising banner test (11/15 featured article)

Today’s featured article on Wikipedia, logged out version. Mouseover for the flyout.

Pretty cool, team! Though, I’ll be missing that double-take of people on the street when they recognize my co-workers, but don’t quite remember from where. 😉

(Yes, the fundraising engineering team *technically* reports to me, but all I am is a useless middle-management PHB.)

The only people who read TechCrunch are your competitors

> I’m playing video games and drinking champagne because after all the press I got, the only thing my client can say is “Aww. No TechCrunch? Is it too late to give them an exclusive?” [FML][]

I’ll repeat a rant I first said five years ago to a CTO friend told me his co-founder and CEO was obsessed with getting on TechCrunch.

“Why the f— does anyone want to be on TechCrunch? The only people who read TechCrunch are your goddamn competitors. Think of your product, do your customers even know WTF TechCrunch is, let alone read it?”

No. Fucking. Way.

TechCrunch for Humans

This is what TechCrunch looks like to a normal human being

Anyone who gives a shit about being on TechCrunch is someone sending a big [signal][wp signalling] that they don’t give a shit about their customer, or that their **real** customer is their investors who are stupid enough to sink money in that person’s latest grift. Anyone who wants to be on TechCrunch has a a big inferiority complex and values their ego more than their business.

> It’s okay I’m enjoying killing zombies with my friends who don’t even know what the fuck a TechCrunch is, thank God!

More dead zombies, less ‘Crunch.

[FML]: http://www.fmylife.com “F— My Life”
[wp signalling]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signalling_(economics) “Signalling (economics)—Wikipedia”

The neighboring McDonald's

My co-workers are constantly amazed and appalled about my obsession with [McDonald’s trivia][stuff i should know]. Most common comment once I get started: “How are you **not** writing the Wikipedia article about this?”

One of the weird talents is the knowledge of every McDonald’s in San Francisco (I’ve been FourSquare mayor of most of them). There aren’t that many.

Because of this, one of the strangest pairs are the two McDonald’s on Market Street which are less than a half block from each other. You can actually see the one from the other.

I thought about this while I stopped by one as I picked up [breakfast][mcmusings] at one and walked passed the other on my way to work. Are people so lazy that they need to put two McDonald’s right next to each other? In fact, there are four McDonald’s within a few blocks of each other here, but there are none north of Golden Gate Park where I live. Is McDonald’s too high brow for the Avenues that it can only be services by a Jack In The Box and Taco Bell?

Then it occurs to me that the clientele is notably different between the two. It’s mostly because one has nearly no seating and therefore doesn’t smell like a bathroom got backed up, which is doubly odd because the smelly one doesn’t actually have a bathroom.

I’m thinking of calling one the “[high class Market McDonalds][]” and the other “[low class Market McDonalds][].” (I’m adding the term “Market” because the one on Front Street is actually nicer than both.)

My faith in the world of business was restored.

If you’re ever in the Financial District stop by all four sometime and you’ll know what I mean.

[stuff i should know]: http://terrychay.com/article/stuff-i-should-know.shtml “Stuff I should know”
[mcmusings]: http://terrychay.com/article/mcmuffins.shtml “McMusings”
[high class McDonald’s]: http://www.yelp.com/biz/mcdonalds-san-francisco-10 “McDonald’s SOMA San Francisco—Yelp”
[low class McDonald’s]: http://www.yelp.com/biz/mcdonalds-san-francisco-27 “McDonald’s SOMA San Francisco—Yelp”

Last-Place schadenfreude is short-lived

It is said that the reason many poor are opposed to social programs that benefit them is [a fear of coming in “last.”][last place aversion]

If that is the case, the [impending implosion of the euro][euro ends], as [predicted for years by center-left economists][can europe be saved], offers a marked example of schadenfreude for us Americans.

Besides the obvious worry over whether the death spiral will reach our shores, there’s the question of how [Rupert-Murdoch-on-steroids][sylvio berlusconi] could run the third largest European economy (7th largest in the world) into the ground, what’s with right wing obsession with inflation in times of deflationary spirals, and why this prediction seemed to only have been made by liberals.

So my thinking is our laughter has a touch too much nerves.

[last place aversion]: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=occupy-wall-street-psychology “The “Last Place Aversion” Paradox—Scientific American”
[euro ends]: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/this-is-the-way-the-euro-ends-2/ “This is the way the Euro ends—Paul Krugman @ New York Times”
[can europe be saved]: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/magazine/16Europe-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all “Can Europe Be Saved?—New York Times”
[sylvio berlusconi]: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/09/silvio-berlusconi-italy-great-procrastinator

Why Siri

[From The iPhone Blog][tipb]:

> Equally interesting is what [[Siri][siri]] portents for Apple. Just like the App Store began the intermediation and exclusion of Google by offering users a better experience interacting with data in apps than via a web search, Siri continues it by theoretically making it easier and more enjoyable to engage in query/response with Siri than with Google. In typical fashion, Apple isn’t building a search engine to compete with Google, they’re building something to obsolete the current conception of search engines. And they’re not doing it by becoming a walled garden — there’s no profit in that. They’re doing it by becoming a walled gate with a multi-directional toll system.

Great observation. Reminds me also of how Apple got out from under the [Microsoft Office Sword of Damocles][microsoft 150] with [Safari][safari] and [iWork][iwork].

[tipb]: http://www.tipb.com/2011/10/12/ios-5-iphone-ipad-walkthrough/ “iOS 5 for iPhone and iPad walkthrough—TiPb”
[microsoft 150]: http://www.apple.com/ca/press/1997/08/AppleMicrosoft.html “Microsoft and Apple Affirm Commitment to Build Next Generation Software for Macintosh. The $150 million was a smokescreen to avoid the obvious anti-trust move of bundling Explorer in order to keep Microsoft continuing to develop Office for the Mac.”
[safari]: http://www.apple.com/safari/ “Safari: Browse the web in smarter, more powerful ways—Apple”
[siri]: http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/siri.html “Ask Siri to help you get things done—Apple”
[iwork]: http://www.apple.com/iwork/ “iWork: Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. The Mac way—Apple”

Tilting the Netflix windmill

My friend, [Andrei][Andrei], [points out][Andrei link dump] [an article][abovethecrowd article] as possible counter point to my [observation][first article] and [ridicule][second article].

It is [an interesting article][abovethecrowd article] for those not familiar with the legal basis created by the Right of First Sale or the Betamax case (though the application is not **literally** true in the case of Netflix. [Netflix revenue shares][hacking netflix], and has used similar deals [to bargain with in early streaming contracts][netflix warner]).

But, despite those good points, here is why this article is actually pretty terrible…

[hacking netflix]: http://www.hackingnetflix.com/2009/09/netflix-pays-a-revenue-share-on-about-half-of-rentals.html “Netflix Pays a Revenue Share on About Half of Rentals—Hacking Netflix.com”
[netflix warner]: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/07/business/la-fi-ct-netflix7-2010jan07 “Netflix agrees to delay in renting out Warner movies—LA Times”
[abovethecrowd article]: http://abovethecrowd.com/2011/09/18/understanding-why-netflix-changed-pricing/ “Understanding Why Netflix Changed Pricing—AboveTheCrowd”
[Andrei]: http://zmievski.org/
[Andrei link dump]: http://terrychay.com/article/dvds-by-mail.shtml/comment-page-1#comment-682857
[first article]: http://terrychay.com/article/dvds-by-mail.shtml “DVDs By Mail”
[second article]: http://terrychay.com/article/translation-from-asshole-speak-to-english-of-selected-portions-of-netflix-ceo-reed-hastingss-e-mail-to-netflixs-entire-customer-base.shtml “Translation from PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’s E-Mail to Netflix’s Entire Customer Base”
[second article]: http://terrychay.com/article/translation-from-asshole-speak-to-english-of-selected-portions-of-netflix-ceo-reed-hastingss-e-mail-to-netflixs-entire-customer-base.shtml “Translation from PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’s E-Mail to Netflix’s Entire Customer Base”

Continue reading about my critique of the defense after the jump

Translation from PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings's E-Mail to Netflix's Entire Customer Base

( Spun off from my [previous post][last post]. [Hat tip to diveintothemark][translate]. )

> I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

“I’m going to continue to confuse a great business pivot (Netflix streaming) with a small business mistake (hamfisted way we bundled a streaming subscription separation with a price increase), and then compound it with a terrible business decision (splitting a company in two).”

> It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology.

“I’m shocked some of you didn’t like the shit sandwich I gave you…”

> Let me explain what we are doing.

“…So I’m going to take a bigger crap on it and give it back.”

> For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn’t make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do

“Now I’m going to make up some [bullshit analogies][last post] to distract [from][netflix loses subscribers] [the][streaming prices] [real][netflix loses starz] [reasons][usps in trouble]. Hey, did you notice how I referred to AOL ‘dialup’ when you and I know I really mean AOL, the entire company? 😉 Heck, they should renamed themselves [Huff][Huffington Post]-O-[LOL][atrios tweet]!”

> So here is what we are doing and why.

“Double the Benjamins, only half the tedious bullshit of running a business.”

> Many members love our DVD service, as I do, because nearly every movie ever made is published on DVD. DVD is a great option for those who want the huge and comprehensive selection of movies.

“Like you, I stopped with the rentals when I found that every title we can’t stream can be downloaded in an hour using [BitTorrent][bittorrent].”

> I also love our streaming service because it is integrated into my TV, and I can watch anytime I want. The benefits of our streaming service are really quite different from the benefits of DVD by mail. We need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolves, without maintaining compatibility with our DVD by mail service.

“I got Apple to let me put out the Netflix App with nary a peep from them because they thought my main business was going to be this archaic DVD-by-mail. Heck, I even got them to bundle my shit into their Apple TV and do all the work. [Amazon][kindle app store] and [Conde Nast][wired app store] can eat my farts! Lolz!”

> So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.

“I want to play with the cool new toy. DVDs-by-Mail was a pain in the ass. I’m going to spin it off into some worthless business that is going to die.”

> It’s hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name “Netflix” for streaming.

“I picked a name that sounds like it came from 1999 so you know where Qwikster [is going to be][dead pool] long before the **next** 10 years are up.”

> Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies.

“Can you imagine telling your friends that ‘I’m using Qwikster?’ You might as well be saying, ‘In my day, we got DVDs by mail and [WE LIKED IT][grumpy old man]!'”

> One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow.

“We’re going to put all the money-losing ideas that we knew better than to do into Qwikster in the hope that Qwikster can take down [Gamefly][Gamefly] along with it.

> A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated.

“You’re going to love having to rate every movie twice on two separate websites. Also, you know all those times when you went to rent something and realized you could stream it, or those times we couldn’t stream stuff and you just added it to your queue? Say ‘Buh-bye’ to that, bitches!”

> There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!). If you subscribe to both services you will have two entries on your credit card statement, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as your current charges.

“Instead of punishing just the 1% of you who whined about new pricing, I’m going to punish the other 99% also with new pricing, separate billing, **and** a new company.”

> We will let you know in a few weeks when the Qwikster.com website is up and ready.

“The rest of you, don’t look into [Hulu Plus]

or [Amazon Prime][amazon prime], until one of them has bought us out, K?”

> For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.

“The sock puppet grew on me also…right until the moment Pets.com went out of business and it became a meme for FAIL. I hope [this meme][qwikster cancel tweet] for FAIL will top that.”

> I want to acknowledge and thank you for sticking with us, and to apologize again to those members, both current and former, who felt we treated them thoughtlessly.

“Fuck you, loyal customers.”

> Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions.

“If you’ve been assigned to the Qwikster team, just know that all of us never liked you in the first place, but we couldn’t justify shitcanning you.”

> Respectfully yours,

“No matter what happens, I’m rich, bitch!”

> -Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix

“If you haven’t gathered it by now, this signature shows I don’t give a shit about ‘Shitster‘. Oops! I mean ‘Qwikster.’ Also, if your name is Jeff Bezos, you now know who to call for a M&A.”

[Gamefly]: http://www.gamefly.com/ “Gamefly: Video Game Rentals”

[dead pool]: http://www.fuckedcompany.com/ “Fucked Company is Fucked. The dead pool”

[Huffington Post]: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/07/aol-huffington-post_n_819375.html “AOL Acquires Huffington Post”

[john cole]: http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/09/19/odd-man-out-again/ “Odd Man Out Again—Balloon Juice”

[Windows XP]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP “Windows XP—Wikipedia. While Windows still has a DOS prompt, the first Windows not built on top of DOS was Windows NT. The first consumer Windows built on that kernel was Windows XP, which succeeded Windows ME which succeeded Windows 2000.”

[art of the parlay]: http://daringfireball.net/2004/08/parlay “The Art of the Parlay, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Platform Licensing and Market Share—Daring Fireball.”

[the music subscription model]: http://terrychay.com/article/the-music-subscription-model.shtml “The music subscription model. Here was an argument from the same time period with a different co-worker. This one felt that Virgin Music would kill off Apple iTunes. I disagreed. :-)”

[bittorrent]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent_(protocol) “BitTorrent (protocol)—Wikipedia”

: http://www.hulu.com/plus “Hulu Plus”
[translate]: http://diveintomark.org/archives/2007/04/16/dhh-translation “Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Rails Developer David Heinemeier Hansson’s Response to Alex Payne’s Interview—Dive into the Mark”

[kindle app store]: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/10/amazon-kindle-cloud-reader_n_923573.html “Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader Sidesteps Apple App Store Restrictions—Huffinton Post”

[wired app store]: http://paidcontent.org/article/419-conde-nast-does-last-minute-pivot-on-wired-app-pricing/ “Conde Nast Does Last-Minute Pivot On Wired App Pricing—paidContent”

[last post]: http://terrychay.com/article/dvds-by-mail.shtml “DVDs By Mail”

[netflix loses starz]: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/blogs/gear-up/netflix-loses-huge-library-of-movies-from-starz-20110902 “Netflix Loses Huge Library of Movies from Starz—Rolling Stone”

[usps in trouble]: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/07/postal-service-pushes-to-end-saturday-delivery/ “Postal Service Pushes To End Saturday Delivery—ABC News”

[grumpy old man]: http://www.hulu.com/watch/4303/saturday-night-live-grumpy-old-man “Grumpy Old Man—Hulu”

[atrios tweet]: https://twitter.com/#!/Atrios/status/115781657377767425 ““quixster’s dvd library will consist only of aol free trial discs’ —@Atrios on Twitter”

[amazon prime]:bhttp://www.pcworld.com/article/220399/amazon_prime_vs_netflix_video_streaming_feature_showdown.html “Amazon Prime vs. Netflix: Video Streaming Feature Showdown—PCWorld”

[qwikster cancel tweet]: http://twitter.com/#!/jeremybowers/status/115788501030682625 ““Qwikster, noun: The sound of several million Netflix subscribers clicking on their mice to access the “cancel my account” page” —@jeremybowers on Twitter”

[streaming prices]: http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/08/technology/netflix_starz_contract/index.htm “Netflix’s vanished Sony films are an ominous sign—CNN Money”

[netflix loses subscribers]: http://techland.time.com/2011/09/16/netflix-loses-1m-subscribers-because-of-price-hike/ “Netflix Loses 1M Subscribers Because of Price Hike—Techland @ Time”

Credit Reporting

Just spent an hour trying to get [a fraudulent site (creditreport.com, freecreditreport.com, consumerinfo.com, and thousands of others)](http://www.la.bbb.org/business-reviews/Credit-Reporting-Agencies/FreeCreditReportcom-in-Irvine-CA-13062929 “BBB rating of FreeCreditReport.com”) to stop charging my credit card. They have been billing me since September of last year and despite disputing the charges before, they keep doing a recurring charge. They wanted the following in order for me to “cancel” my account:

– my name
– the credit card number charged
– my birth date
– the last four digits of my social security number
– e-mail address
– my full name
– my mother’s maiden name

Notice how all of this information is just what they need to do a complete identity theft?Continue reading about dealing with credit reports after the jump.