dating posts

Out and About: Julie in NYC February 24th, 2012

There’s no better place than New York for the casual wandering photog. And no better way to unwind between interviews than wandering casually. Tamara shared her observations from last week’s trip; here are a few of mine.


An ambitious seeker-of-companionship slipped this onto the subway; an attempt at old-school social networking, ironic in its particular placement. It’s author provides a few interesting and wholesome-sounding options (library, the zoo, coffee date) to entice people to respond to this rather salacious-seeming invitation. Who calls, I wonder? And don’t they know that with Google Voice they can link those two numbers?


Surprisingly lifelike and expressive, for mini-robots cobbled out of plastic scraps.

A few of my pictures wound up revealing accidental compositional synchronicity. That’s one of the joys of taking photos – along with being obvious documentations of what I ran across, I often discover something new when I get them back and reflect on them:


When I took this, I only saw the blue face. And yes, this is the correct orientation of the photo!


The colors in this juxtapostion of the utilitarian and the ephermeral echo each other.


I like taking pictures of poles for the way they can surprisingly and dramatically bisect a scene. And because people put stickers on them. The little face sticker here is obviously a product of the same person/people who slapped up a little sticker I snapped on the other side of the country, at Venice Beach, just two weeks prior – the LA one reads, “Enjoy You” rather than, “Gain You.” Interstate sticker-art pattern! Theories?


Red, yellow and blue syncopate in a Brooklyn subway entrance, in a way that put me in the mind of Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie. Jazzy patterns abound, waiting for us to notice them.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
ChittahChattah Quickies January 23rd, 2012

Teenagers Sharing Passwords as Show of Affection [NYTimes] – Can you believe it’s been 17 years since Seinfeld considered the shareability of an ATM password within a relationship? Now we have more passwords controlling more access to more parts of our lives, so the issue is just that much more pressing.

The digital era has given rise to a more intimate custom. It has become fashionable for young people to express their affection for each other by sharing their passwords to e-mail, Facebook and other accounts. Boyfriends and girlfriends sometimes even create identical passwords, and let each other read their private e-mails and texts. They say they know such digital entanglements are risky, because a souring relationship can lead to people using online secrets against each other. But that, they say, is part of what makes the symbolism of the shared password so powerful.

Waterstones drops its apostrophe [Telegraph] – The justification of digitalization is a curious one. Since I have no attachment to the brand, personally, I like the new name’s evocation of rocks just below the surface of a flowing brook, rather than the possessive-of-someone-with-a-classic-British-name seen in the previous version.

The country’s last remaining national chain of bookshops, founded by Tim Waterstone, has decided it is more “practical” to ditch the apostrophe. James Daunt, the managing director, who took over the chain last year following a change of ownership said: “Waterstones without an apostrophe is, in a digital world of URLs and email addresses, a more versatile and practical spelling.” One customer on Twitter responded: “Wish I’d used that in spelling tests …”. Others used the hashtag #isnothingsacred, while another tweeted that it was another step towards apostrophe extinction. John Richards, the chairman of the Apostrophe Protection Society said: “It’s just plain wrong. It’s grammatically incorrect. If Sainsbury’s and McDonald’s can get it right, then why can’t Waterstones. You would really hope that a bookshop is the last place to be so slapdash with English.”

At Bank of America, the Image Officer Has a Lot to Fix [NYTimes] – Buried in a hagiographic profile (that, given the subject matter, might have been just a tad more circumspect) is this familiar bit of corporate speak about what people do and don’t want and what they do and don’t say they want.

Ms. Finucane jumped to Hill Holiday, a Boston advertising agency, where she developed a flair for marketing. At one point, the agency conducted a study for Hyatt Hotels, aiming to distinguish between what customers said they wanted and what they really wanted.The lesson, Ms. Finucane recalls, was this: Customers don’t always know what they want. “You may say you want a bathrobe and slippers,” she says, “but the truth is you really want a telephone in the bathroom.”

Dating service connects people over their leftovers [Wired] – This little story is actually a leftover itself, from some of Julie’s scouring-the-web-for-curiosities. Might make more sense to pair up people with extra food and people with not enough food, rather than try to force a romantic connection into the mix. I guess that’s what sells, though.

Farmers cooperative Lantmännen has developed a dating tool that connects singles based on what food they have leftover in their fridges. It might not sound like the level of psychometric filtering touted by other dating websites, but Lantmännen aims to pair up fellow environmentally-conscious single people to share leftover dishes or ingredients. According to Lantmannen, a fifth of all food in Sweden is thrown away. It was this figure that led to the creation of the dating service, called Restdejting. People are invited to visit the website and enter up to five ingredients that they have hanging around the kitchen. This list is then published to Facebook for other Restdejting singles to peruse.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
Conference Design in the State of Creativity (rated PG) November 9th, 2011

I presented a workshop, Big Ideas, Focused Action, Problem Solved, on 11.1.11 with my friend Cynthia Rolfe at the Oklahoma Creativity Forum (#OKCF2011). I was blown away by a number of things about the event (not the least of which is the fact that there is an entire organization, Creative Oklahoma, dedicated to promoting creativity in the state, with the aptly chosen website address www.stateofcreativity.com). What struck me most of all was the design and delivery of the conference experience. I have been chatting with friends and colleagues who attended the recent Service Design Conference in San Francisco and their insights coupled with my own reflections about being both a conference producer and consumer got me wondering about what it takes to design a memorable and satisfying conference experience.

Thus I arrive at the conference-as-dating metaphor and my desire to anthropomorphize the service experience of large scale events. A conference, like a potential date, must attract, entice, and engage if it wishes to become adored by the object(s) of its affection. A conference, like a date, runs the risk of being a waste of time (punctuated by free food and drink) unless it establishes a meaningful connection and lays the groundwork for deeper interactions.¬† A conference, like a date, creates dynamic tension. To use an oft-appropriated quote by JFK “When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”

To help avoid the dangerous pitfalls of conference design crises (and perhaps some dating fiascoes) here are a few suggestions for optimizing various conference experience ‘touch points':

  • Eye contact (aka Deliver seductive visual and interpersonal communication from beginning to end)

OKCF2011 has a clear mission and a solid brand to support it. The conference logo and PR elements (like videos) were pretty and clever and, most importantly, they reinforced the mission of the event to catalyze creativity & innovation in education, commerce & culture (i.e. get people thinking outside the box).

  • Flirting (aka Pique prospective interest with digestible doses of self-disclosure)

OKFC2011 speakers and breakout sessions were revealed in the weeks leading up to the conference. This created anticipation, similar to what has been done with User Experience Lisbon (aka a hot date with many of the finest minds in UX like, ahem, Steve!)

  • Foreplay (aka Set the stage and help participants warm up until they find it irresistible)

House music pumping out of the main ballroom had heads nodding while we sipped coffee and looked for seats. In lieu of a standard emcee welcome, we were consumed by a cross-cultural multi-media musical collaboration that included dancers, violins, native American flute, images from Africa via the Wishing Well program, and laser light show. Sounds cacophonous, right? It was flawless and I was smiling with my whole head before a single person stepped up to the microphone.

  • ¬†The Main Event (aka Overdeliver on expectations and attention to the, um, details)

OKCF2011 rocked out their mission and the venue was palpably packed with creativity including collaborative sculpture, young artists gallery, random and delightful antics by youth improv troupes, musical performance, photo booths and book store (to name a few).  Organizers found opportunities to weave local creative talent throughout the event. My favorites were performance poet Lauren Zuniga  (whose way with words made me drool) and the local youth from Louder Than A Bomb (whose courage and cleverness made my creativity blush!)

  • Post-Coital Bliss (aka Reflect on the good times and stay connected)

The OKFC2011 event included plenary sessions with individual speakers and panels plus two breakout sessions with ample options to choose from. The fastidious documentation means I can go back and experience whatever I missed or wish to revisit. Silly sidenote: OKFC2011 had great shwag- the bags were great, but I am talking about the interactive souvenir stations. There was a dedicated photographer with a conference background and props who would take whatever pictures you wanted and print them on the spot. My personal favorite was the Picstories booth where 7 seconds of silliness were instantly transformed into a personalized flip book.

  • Keeping the Fires Burning (aka Amplify the good and commit to continuous improvement)

OKCF2011 waited exactly two days to follow up with all presenters and attendees to request feedback (who doesn’t appreciate a good feedback loop when establishing committed relationships?) and offer encouragement for bringing the learning back into our daily lives. They alert me to when the site has been updated with images and video triggering a trip down memory lane that takes me to the future (of possibilities) through the past. Sadly, I can’t say that about most of the conferences I have broken up with, er, attended.

Presentation, in its entirety, is below and beckons your comments and feedback (in an “oops! I dropped my handkerchief” sort of way).

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
ChittahChattah Quickies November 15th, 2010
  • [from steve_portigal] You’re Reading That Book Too? Marry Me: How Young People and Online Dating Services Look for Love Matches Based on Reading Habits or Artistic Pursuits [WSJ.com] – [As we spend time on social networks announcing what we "like" this seems an obvious extension] alikewise.com, a free dating site that matches singles based on books and has amassed 4,000 users, mostly in their 20s and early 30s, since it launched in July. The site facilitates matchmaking by notifying users when someone adds a book of the same title or genre….The focus on matching people based on what they've read (or what they'd like to read) could change the online dating lexicon from "she's hot" to "she's interesting."…But are books really a Rorschach test for compatibility? Dennis Palumbo, a psychotherapist and author of the novel "Mirror Image," believes people in their 20s and 30s are too concerned with shared interests, as evidenced by the growing number of niche dating sites. "As we get older, we want a kind, caring person who cares how we feel," he says. Not necessarily someone who has read "The Cornish Trilogy." [via Springwise]
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
Comments Off  |   Email This Post    
ChittahChattah Quickies September 29th, 2010
  • [from steve_portigal] Homeless World Cup – [An interesting reframe of sporting championships and an interesting reframe of 'charity'] The Homeless World Cup is an annual, international football tournament, uniting teams of people who are homeless and excluded to take a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country and change their lives forever. It has triggered and supports grass roots football projects in over 70 nations working with over 30,000 homeless and excluded people throughout the year. The impact is consistently significant year on year with 73% of players changing their lives for the better by coming off drugs and alcohol, moving into jobs, education, homes, training, reuniting with families and even going on to become players and coaches for pro or semi-pro football teams.
  • [from steve_portigal] In Scholastic Study, Children Like Digital Reading [NYTimes.com] – “I didn’t realize how quickly kids had embraced this technology,” Ms. Alexander said, referring to computers and e-readers or other portable devices that can download books. “Clearly they see them as tools for reading — not just gaming, not just texting. They see them as an opportunity to read.”… “The very same device that is used for socializing and texting and staying in touch with their friends can also be turned for another purpose,” Mr. Chen said. “That’s the hope.” But many parents surveyed also expressed deep concerns about the distractions of video games, cellphones and television in their children’s lives. They also wondered if the modern multi-tasking adolescent had the patience to become engrossed in a long novel. “My daughter can’t stop texting long enough to concentrate on a book,” said one parent surveyed, the mother of a 15-year-old in Texas.
  • [from steve_portigal] Get a Geek in Five Easy Lessons [AMD at Home] – [AMD tries for humor on their corporate blog but ends up with an awkward, dated, false, sexist and generally alienating tone. Was this wise?] It’s hard to find a good man, but not impossible if you’re willing to make a little effort. Working in high tech, I’m mostly around guys all day. And I can tell you that – in general – technical guys are pretty cool. If nothing else, they will always be able to fix the TV, your PC, and the sprinkler system in a pinch. Yes, they have way too many gadgets, but come on, how many shoes do you have? How about just the black ones? So, if you’re single and find yourself at a TweetUp chatting with the cute geek in a backpack, here’s how to speak his language, appreciate his hobbies, and potentially snag a date at Fry’s. (Leslie Sobon is corporate vice president, product marketing at AMD. Her postings are her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions.)
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
Comments Off  |   Email This Post    
ChittahChattah Quickies May 16th, 2010
  • Texting in Meetings – It Means ‘I Don’t Care’ [NYTimes.com] – For more than a decade, my colleagues and I have gathered data on incivility from more than 9,000 managers and workers across the United States, and we’re continuing this work internationally. We have learned a great deal about the problem’s causes and consequences. I define incivility as behavior, seemingly inconsequential to the doer, that others perceive as inconsiderate. Electronic devices lead to more incivility because of their powerful ability to claim our attention — no matter where we are or what we’re doing. No one likes to be snubbed, of course, but the offense can take on a new edge when the winner is a machine.
  • Putting Customers in Charge of Designing Shirts [NYTimes.com] – “The value proposition of customization at retail prices was a cornerstone of our company from the very start,” Mr. Bi tells me by phone from Shanghai, where Blank Label shirts are sewn to customers’ specifications and delivered anywhere in the world in about four weeks. But Blank Label, his Web start-up based in Boston, offers something else that off-the-rack doesn’t: “the emotional value proposition: how expressive something is.” “People really like a Blank Label shirt because they can say, ‘I had a part in creating this.’ ”
  • Google Restricts Ads for ‘Cougar’ Sites [NYTimes.com] – Last week, CougarLife.com, which was paying Google $100,000 a month to manage its advertising, was notified by the company that its ads would no longer be accepted. When notified by Google of the decision, CougarLife proposed substituting a different ad for the ones that were running, picturing older women and younger men together. Cougarlife said it would use an image of the company’s president, Claudia Opdenkelder, 39, without a man in the picture (she lives with her 25-year-old boyfriend). But the advertising department was told in an e-mail message from its Google representative that “the policy is focused particularly around the concept of ‘cougar dating’ as a whole,” and asked if the company would be open to changing “the ‘cougar’ theme/language specifically (including the domain if necessary).” CougarLife forwarded the e-mail messages to The New York Times. Google would not comment on the messages but did confirm that they were consistent with the new policy on cougar sites.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
Comments Off  |   Email This Post    
ChittahChattah Quickies May 5th, 2010
  • Cupidtino: Meet An Apple Fanboy Or Fangirl – Cupidtino is a beautiful new dating site created for fans of Apple products by fans of Apple products! Why? Diehard Mac & Apple fans often have a lot in common – personalities, creative professions, a similar sense of style and aesthetics, taste, and of course a love for technology. We believe these are enough reasons for two people to meet and fall in love, and so we created the first Mac-inspired dating site to help you find other Machearts around you. [They claim it's not a joke /SP]
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
Comments Off  |   Email This Post    
ChittahChattah Quickies April 28th, 2009
  • What is the deal with Jughead's hat? – This is something the Internet is truly great at: as an archive for the exploration and explanation of the obscure aspects of the familiar. What will future anthropologists make of the Internet of our generation?
  • Karachi, Pakistan manufacturing firm produces corsets and fetish wear (for export) – The brothers said Pakistan’s “stone-age production” worked to their advantage. The country, they said, lacks visionary product development. “Everyone’s still making the same products,” Adnan said.

    Then, they discovered a kind of straitjacket online. At first, they thought it was used for psychiatric patients, but it quickly led them to learn about the lucrative fetish industry.

    Today, they sell their products to online and brick-and-mortar shops, and to individuals via eBay. Their market research, they said, showed that 70 percent of their customers were middle- to upper-class Americans, and a majority of them Democrats. The Netherlands and Germany account for the bulk of their European sales.

    “We really believe that if you are persistent and hard working, there is an opportunity, in any harsh environment, even in an economically depressed environment like Pakistan,” Rizwan said.

  • Average frustrated chump – for what's a subculture without its jargon? – Often abbreviated "AFC," is seduction community jargon for a heterosexual male who is unsuccessful at finding sexual or romantic relationships with women] This person seeks attraction and longingly desires intimacy, but only finds cordial friendship and platonic love with women. The term AFC is pejorative, and is attributed to NLP teacher Ross Jeffries.
  • Seduction? Yeah we've got a group for that – The "seduction community" refers to a loose-knit subculture of men who strive for better sexual and romantic success with women through self-improvement and a greater understanding of social psychology. It exists largely through Internet forums and groups, as well as over a hundred local clubs, called "lairs" Supporters refer to the subculture simply as 'the community" and often call themselves "pickup artists." Origins date back to Eric Weber's 1970 book How to Pick Up Girls.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
AirTroductions – There’s Something in the Air August 25th, 2005

AirTroductions is something I don’t quite get. How can this possibly survive? You can try to meet a new person online based on your travel plans; then arrange to sit together. Maybe they should just call it NeedyExtrovert.com or something. Let’s combine the hair-pulling ennui of a long flight with the tedium/fear blend of a blind date! It must be the Web 2.0!!!

JenS, 29, Female
USA, Oregon, Portland
I’m a twenty-something public relations professional who travels mostly for work, several times a year. I love my job, my two Chihuahuas, and living in Portland.

I’d like to meet:
I’m looking for fun people to sit next to on the plane. Sharing of books, magazines, and music is encouraged but not required. Sharing of drinks and laughs are a must.

I’m more comfortable with (Pick as many as you like to let people know more about you!):
The W Hotel, Las Vegas on the Strip , Paris at night, The Emergency Exit Row, First Class, Vodka Martini, Diet Soda

I’m searchable as:
both business and personal

I’d be very curious to hear from people who have tried this or would try this; my bias is very personal and I know there’s more stories out there than mine.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us