Category Archives: miscellaneous

Cuomo, it’s the supply, not the demand. Get it?

Watch out. I’m on a roll. I kinda, sorta called out Cuomo in my last LIPA post. For acting hysterically towards LIPA instead of being a leader. He’s been horrendous throughout all of this.

This gas shortage… Cuomo, it’s NOT the demand. It’s the SUPPLY! You can’t convince me that panicking and topping off 3/4 full cars has caused station after station after station to run completely dry. Like you say.

Sure that would cause some longer lines, but not suck the entire island out of gas.

See this map?

Red pins = zero gas. Been that way for days. The long lines are due to so few stations with a supply. Only 60% of stations are open.

What I want to know is why? Were restrictions lifted to get gas in here or not? Ethanol?  Was the red tape really cut? Where are all these tankers of gas you talked of? Where is that gas going? Not all in 3/4 filled cars I tell you.

Sorry, the increased demand is due to the extremely limited supply, not the other way around. We are not all idiots.

We deserve the truth. Are you scared of telling the truth and having people panic? Or would you rather people think you are lying and having them panic? Same result.

Oh, and a special shout out to http://www.gasbuddy.com/sandy/, who has been tremendous in helping people find needed gas.

Update 11/8/12:
Confirmed. It’s a supply issue. See Cuomo, you liar.

Fuzzy LIPA Math?

I’m going to try to write up a whole other post about the accuracy of information during a crisis and how much more critical even seemingly non-important information becomes when there is growing frustration, panic, etc.

I had been defending LIPA’s efforts up until yesterday. Well for one my power was restored in 24 hours, so who am I to complain? But two, I understand that a disaster is a disaster and a disaster needs time to recover from.

But more and more I started to sympathize with my fellow Long Islanders who aren’t as lucky as I am. And I can’t help but put myself in their shoes. And get frustrated at the lack of credible information.

First, it’s not an exaggeration that the absence of trucks is very noticeable. While I understand that “the repairs may be done at a location far from the outage,” Long Island, or to narrow it down a little more, Nassau County isn’t huge. Trucks have to be SOMEWHERE. Especially when you say there are thousands of them at work. WHERE!? I’ve seen more gas tankers than utility trucks–more to that in another post too!

That got me interested in their numbers. While nearly 200,000 are still without power, LIPA’s site is reporting 8,168 outages. Makes sense. An average of 24 people out of power due to one outage. Ok.

What makes no sense whatsoever, is their reported workforce. They report on their site that they have 4,374 linemen and 3,779 tree trimmers.

Listen. I really try to avoid oversimplifying things. I know there is always more to it.

So I asked LIPA on twitter… How many workers are needed to repair an outage (on average)? And how long does an outage take to repair (on average)?

’cause that 200,000 number hasn’t come down in a few days. I haven’t been tracking the “outages” as closely but they have to be tied together, right?

I’m not sure what kind of reply I’ll get. But until they can answer those accurately and  honestly, no one is going to believe they have that size workforce in action.

And while I’m ranting… Cuomo should be asking these questions publicly instead of acting hysterically. That goes for the newspapers too! HAVE LIPA DO THE MATH! Can also help LIPA too, by the way, if they can show the public.

 

Astaxanthin Reviews

Purity Products’ AstaFX Astaxanthin Super Formula has been getting a lot of great reviews. Don’t take my word for it, check them out for yourself by going to their website.

Astaxanthin is growing in popularity for its strong antioxidant properties. Their product contains 4mg of astaxanthin.

Caffeine

I’m into day 3 of my cold turkey caffeine stoppage. It’s rough, but could be worse. I’ve done this before. Usually I’m ok after 2 full days. I guess the volume I was drinking prior to the stoppage is prolonging my withdrawal. I don’t have a headache per se. It’s a weird feeling. Not necessarily sleepy tired, but very worn out feeling. I can’t wait to get over this.

What I’ve Been Working On, What I’ve Been Doing and Learning

Besides my very first post, I haven’t blogged much about work. So here goes.

I have a passion for online marketing. I kind of fell into it back when I worked at The Foundation Center. They needed someone to manage a lot of the nuts and bolts of the online marketing program, which was ramping up in parallel with a new e-commerce enabled website. Prior to that I worked on coordinating the direct mail program, which I liked, but I saw the new opportunity and jumped on it. I’m glad I did! The online marketing program was built, with my help, from scratch. I mean scratch. Imagine that… I became addicted to the immediate results you can see when marketing online. Although we didn’t have the best analytics and tracking (or any at all), it was obvious where sales were coming from following an e-mail or newsletter ad.

I plan on writing more about my online marketing travels in future posts. I just wanted a quick intro to frame this post because most of my time since, has been on retention marketing (upselling, e-mail marketing, merchandising, etc). And of course analytics.

I got 8 years into my career and realized I by and large was working on half of the internet marketing puzzle. I needed acquisition experience!

That’s what made my current position so appealing. I was able to leverage my experience in retention and apply it solely on acquisition. I’m now responsible for SEO, SEM, and other initiatives like partnerships, social media, content creation, etc. It’s a challenge, but I love it.

On the social media front, I’ve launched a blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page. And even some other pages like YouTube and LinkedIn. There is still a lot of work to be done to maximize those!

As I go, I hone my craft so to speak. The biggest area, analytics. I’m currently reading Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik. While reading, there were some ah-ha moments, but far more reassuring moments. I like to have my suspicions, thoughts, and theories backed by “experts.” The biggest takeaway so far is to focus on the analytics that matter most and what’s most actionable. Looking at too much data can be more of a distraction. It’s helped me so far. And it’s helped my company too.

We recently launched some new features on the site, and careful attention needed to be put on the effects. Careful planning was done before (to make sure we knew what we had to measure) and after (to make sure what we were seeing is valid). It’s always nerve wracking to launch big new projects, but it’s reassuring to know you have all the bases covered to measure and take action if something isn’t giving you the desired results.

One area that I’m focusing a lot of attention on is funnel metrics. In e-commerce, there are a lot of steps customers go through before they ultimately order. If you can improve each step, even a little, the results follow. A lot can be improved with improving usability. Sometimes there are technical and resource limitations, or other priorities, that stand in the way. I’ve been given the green light to test some alternate pages hosted separately from our main site. This gives me the control to make changes quickly and easily. The goal is to target the first part of the funnel with laser like precision. Meaning a customer is looking for something, show it to them right away instead of requiring them to navigate through an entire site.

So far the traffic those sites have received are converting pretty well. They are highly targeted, so it’s no surprise. Whether or not the orders are incremental remains to be seen. Either way, the learning is valuable.

Wow, that was a really long winded answer to what I’ve been working on. I promise to post shorter posts on specific content areas soon. I finally feel I’ve touched on all areas on online marketing, so I can hopefully share some of my experience in each area. Hmmm, maybe I’ll map out an outline later today…

Haven’t been sick in over a year and a half. Knocking on wood.

Can’t help but notice Facebook friends’ statuses filled with illnesses. It got me thinking back. I haven’t been sick or even had a cold in about a year and a half.

I’m sure not commuting by train anymore helps. I used to think of the train as a giant germ infested petri dish. I don’t get myself run down with stress. I get an ok amount of sleep. I eat so so, I guess. I take my super duper vitamins from my company. Maybe a little luck too? Maybe my immune system is like a force field. I AM knocking on wood big time.

Just my random Tuesday observation…

How to x in y many simple steps

I can’t tell how much it bothers me to see so many advice blogs (personal, business, how to, etc) give a list of “simple” steps to accomplish something—when the list is a list of lists of lists.

How to solve widget problem in 2 steps:

Step 1:
Do the following 10 things:
Thing 1: Do these 3 other things:
Other thing 1: Simply do these 5 other other things.

You get the point. It drives me crazy. And why I almost always avoid lists in my feed reader. I’m a prejudiced antilistite.

Same goes for 10 best sites for x. Then the 10 sites are lists of other sites. Repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse.

March Fools Day

Huh? Well it seems bloggers can't wait a day and post their "fools" tomorrow. How lame. Note: if you had to do it a day early to fool anyone, your trick was stupid. I might not open my feed reader tomorrow. Twitter will probably be a stupid trick sesspool tomorrow too.