Walk Like a Lady: The San Francisco Version

I’m reading an autobiography D.V. ~ Diana Vreeland, perhaps one of the 20th century’s greatest tastemakers.  In Chapter 13, she makes a declaration to ” Eliminate all handbags….what do I want with a bloody old handbag that one leaves in taxis and so on? It should all go into pockets. Real pockets, like a man has, for goodness sake.” But Diana had remarked more insightfully, “… the silhouette is improved and so on, and also one’s walk — there’s nothing that limits a woman’s walk like a pocketbook.”

I think this is quite true. I wonder how much my history of heavy bag carrying has effected my carriage without myself noticing. I can trace this back to heavy backpack days during middle school and University. And fast forward to the present, carrying a pair of heels in my mid-size handbag to change into after I make the 15 minute+ walk in my ballet flats to wherever in the City center for an evening out with the gals. (Sometimes I have steep hills to contend with, just think 45 degree incline.) The “heels-in-handbag” is a common practice by style-consious ladies here. Those tiny ladies-who-lunch handbags just don’t work unless you have the disposal of a Driver (aka dedicated boyfriend/spouse) or if YOU just LOVE to drive-and-park-in-San Francisco. If I’m walking and don’t need to change footwear the cross-body style is probably the best since it complements the lifestyle here, especially if you’re walking home with two bags of groceries from Cala Foods.  It does make sense though. The less you’re weighed down the more freedom and opportunity to walk effortlessly.

I think Sade summarized it well in her tune Jezebel:

But when she knew how to walk she knew
How to bring the house down
Can’t blame her for her beauty
She wins with her hands down 

So ladies, be very conscious of your handbag choices if you want to be noticed.


Analytics: Are You a Fan of the Google Swag?

So this is the question: If I rave about Google Analytics (GA) does that mean I am a fan of the Google Swag? This is the general concept of what Google Swag is, although I’m not sure this is the “official” store. This creative writing instrument is another example of Google Swag.

I attended a “Google Analytics Premium Event” today sponsored by Google and Blast Advanced Media. The Google team was pitching their GA Premium product which was recently released and is offered at $150,000/year for the annual license fee. They say they have 20+ clients including Gucci, Papa John’s Pizza and Travelocity. It’s a “fixed cost” (or what they call “no penalty for growth”) for up to 1 billion hits/month compared to the free Standard version which allows for 10 million hits/month. In addition to this extra processing power, the Premium product offers data freshness (getting the data within 2-4 hours vs. up to 24 hours for Standard) and unsampled reports. I will not go into the details since all you need to do is Google “Google Analytics Premium” and you will get adequate results, I’m sure.

The Google team did talk about the Standard version (AFTER the more expensive Premium version) and I did leave with some take-aways. First, data does not exist in a vacuum. It’s easy to create segments. A segment is defined as a subset with one thing in common. An advanced segment is a subset with two things in common and a really advanced segment is an extremely specific subset. So the key is the discovery of informative segments within the data. And the purpose of segmenting is to analyze the process of acquisition, behavior and outcome. For example, social media traffic (acquisition) are visiting sites (behavior) and they become purchasing visitors at a value of x dollars (outcome). The result of this process is actionable insight. One of the Google team members referred to a quote which summarizes the essence of this approach: “Analyzing data in aggregate is a crime.” ~ Avinash Kaushik (2008)

There are other (powerful) analytics tools out there like UrchinAdobe Sitecatalyst  and Webtrends. And I’m wondering if current users there will eventually transition to GA. Will they become fans of the Google Swag?

Why Google is like Made in China

I just caught myself. There. In my previous post (hot off the WordPress ten seconds ago) I stated why one reason I prefer Droid is that I refuse to be dominated by a corporation such as Apple. I already use a MacBook Air so an iPhone would be out of the question.

But that’s silly thinking, now that I think about it. I’m already dominated by Google. I am thinking about getting a Motorola Droid RAZR and they have been acquired by Google.  I currently use a Droid phone (with Google apps).  I use gmail.  I use Google voice. I search on Google at least once a day. It’s not uncommon that I watch silly YouTube videos, owned by Google. I use Google+. I tweet about Google maybe too much.

Google is like any product Made in China. You cannot go through the day without using something that is Made in China. Try it. I dare you. Similar to how I and probably many others who are relevant in these times cannot go through the day without using the Big G, Google.

The Smart Phone Arms Race & Why I Prefer Droid

I was suddenly ecstatic when I read Mashable’s blog post yesterday about the unveiling of Motorola’s super skinny Droid RAZR. I remember when I was a proud owner of the very fashionable Motorola Razor back in the day. You know, that thin clamshell or flip type. (the black one, not the silver one). Circa 2004-05? Then I “moved on” to the Blackberry Bold. The keyboard was all I needed. Fast forward after a terrible experience with the Blackberry Torch and I am now a proud user of the (An)Droid phone. Three reasons: (1) I like the philosophy of “open platform” for Droid developers. Sounds very democratic and a strong creativity enabler. (2) I refuse to be dominated by Apple as I already use a MacBook Air so an iPhone is just not an option. (3) I prefer having a keyboard.

It’s interesting how I can get so caught up in the Silicon Valley ecosystem of “keeping up with the Joneses.” Do I really need the latest, the coolest, the skinniest, the fastest, the most talked about smart phone? Doesn’t a $100 phone function just as well as a $500 phone? Isn’t a Toyota just as reliable as a Mercedes? Is having the coolest phone a necessity of life? Will the world collapse and crisis ensue if the RAZR wasn’t unveiled? Silicon Valley may be the driver for innovation but I’m more convinced it’s the world’s most powerful marketing machine.

Get On Stage Now. You Could Be a Star.

I am referring to a tweet from Arianna Huffington recently. Per @ariannahuff, “Self-expression is the new entertainment.” Translation: Get on stage with TWITTER! Anyone can be a star. Just say something in 140 characters or less. Don’t be dull. Just imagine. Try to say something that could possibly solve someone’s problem of boredom or loneliness. Be entertaining.

More importantly, you must first create your TWITTER profile. Who do you think you are? And profiles are never static so don’t worry about nailing it the first time. I’m always tweeking mine. Currently, @BayAreaCara reads as: Contemporary American Woman, Dreamer, #BayAreaNut, Sushi Snob, #Happy, Wanderlust, Silicon Valley Groupie, love love love #SanFrancisco city life

What’s your profile?