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What great town Web sites are there? Or what should be on one?
I have seen a few pretty remarkable local web communities (albeit all here in the U.S.):
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 9:08 PM on August 4, 2009

What's the best way to spread an idea on the Internet?
Your best bet would be to join forces with the many, many experienced organizations that are doing advocacy around health care reform online. You're certainly not the first to have this idea, and in fact there are professionals who do this sort of thing for a living. You may do best to contact some of those organizations and ask how you can volunteer to help.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 8:19 PM on July 28, 2009

How can I adapt to fix problems with long-term girlfriend's family? (semi-long explaination, sorry)
They don't like you, and she doesn't want to help. If you're really serious about her, sit down like a grownup and have a straightforward conversation with the family. "I feel like we got off on the wrong foot at some point in communicating, and I'm sure it's my fault because my life was in such a transition for so much of the time you've known me, and I'm from a pretty different background. -- I guess you can tell because of my dad's crazy letters! Anyway, I was thinking maybe we could... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 3:41 PM on July 22, 2009

I'll take "SEO spammer" for $5, Alex.
I got 86%. Which means I am totally a MeFi expert and qualified to advocate for a white background, right? :)
posted to MetaTalk by anildash at 11:21 AM on July 20, 2009

Cash now, please!
Once you get it settled, remember to thank your wife for paying the bills. A simple mistake is no big deal in the long run, but someone to share your checkbook balancing with is truly priceless.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 4:47 PM on June 30, 2009

I Need a New Big Think Book!
I thought Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World fell very well into the same line of thinking as the other titles you've mentioned.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 5:38 PM on May 10, 2009 marked best answer

Should I include a failed startup on my resume?
I have hired lots of folks at an entrepreneurial tech company, and somebody listing their own startup (especially what they learned from it) is almost always a plus. Except don't call it a failed company.

Hell, though I hate the Web 2.0 trend of acting like every random business is a good idea, an ecommerce app is obviously the sort of thing that could work. So it was just some shortcoming in planning, execution, strategy or resources that kept your... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 7:49 PM on April 29, 2009

What is a good portable keyboard to go along with a laptop?
The recent thin Apple keyboards (I have a corded at work, and wireless at home) are the best pieces of hardware they've ever made.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 3:44 PM on April 29, 2009

Opensource CMS?
I work with the team that makes Movable Type, which is available as either a free open source version or a paid version with support. If by "big" media site, you mean genuinely big, then MT, Django, and only one or two other options are really tested at the scale of enormous media properties, as far as open source platforms go. (Take a look at the kinds of clients using MT for an example of the scale I mean.)

That's not to diminish great... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 9:52 PM on April 22, 2009

FW: FW: FW: FW: RE: Check this out! LOL
You think you're talking about a technological policy change, but what you're trying to do is change the work culture of your office. Not just change it, but change for the worse (in terms of a feeling of control/freedom) for the least-paid people in your organization.

I'm sure you have the skills to pull this off, but I bet there are bigger cultural problems that are probably worth taking on if you're really that short on things to do.... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 11:45 AM on April 20, 2009

Best albums of 2008
It's unfathomable to me that nobody here mentioned Kanye West's "808s and Heartbreak".
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 10:28 PM on April 18, 2009

Mac Mini: Yes or No?
Make sure you have enough RAM, and you'll be fine.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 7:27 PM on April 1, 2009

Dream Job--Worst Possible Location?
I once almost let a terrible breakup keep me out of NYC, the city I love and call home. I ended up meeting my wife and making my career here, and I shudder to think what would have happened if I had let one long-ago (and largely-forgotten) mess have such a lasting impact on my life by curtailing the opportunities I've had in the years since.

In short: It's going to be *your* neighborhood now, not his.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 11:56 PM on March 30, 2009

Going loopy
In regard to #2, (and to refute your "mixed to death" speculation), Rihanna's "Umbrella" was a huge smash single, and its signature drum track is a stock GarageBand Loop. Apple has also offered up Apple Loops in the past for purchase, and two of those combined together form nearly the entire musical background of Usher's "Love In This Club".

And for #3 yep, pretty much every new version of GarageBand has had at least a few new loops.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 12:23 PM on January 14, 2009

Community Blogging Platforms: What can I use to build a community blogging site
I work with the Movable Type team, and we do this regularly for a wide variety of sites, many of which run on Windows servers (and you can even make MT publish .asp templates).

The specific setup you're describing is being used on sites like Talking Points Memo, which is powered entirely by Movable Type (albeit with some custom plugins to address their huge scale). MT is open source, and there are commercial licenses available as well, which come with professional... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 2:53 PM on December 23, 2008

Any inkling about the TypePad Journalist Bailout Program?
Hi Daniel, my name's Anil Dash. I started the Journalist Bailout Program, and I apologize you haven't heard back from us yet -- that's my fault. I've been personally replying to as many of the (hundreds of!) responses we've gotten, and that's what's taken so long.

I did get your follow-up message, and you should get a full response from me in your inbox today. I'm sorry it's taken a while, and I appreciate both your patience and your enthusiasm. If you need, my email... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 11:57 AM on December 22, 2008 marked best answer

Oh shit, I just broke the Internet
Spiderwire, spend some time on these pages to understand why your idea doesn't work. To start with, it has these prerequisites:

Change the email behavior of over a billion users on the web.
Install processor-heavy hashing software on tens of thousands of servers around the web.
Install parsing application, complete with database storage requirement, on all of those tens of thousands of servers.
Update all kinds of routing, filtering,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by anildash at 6:49 PM on December 5, 2008

Need to simplify Vista. Please do not answer "get a mac."
Ask your parents what they want to accomplish, follow them through the steps of what they would try to complete those tasks ("how would you send an email?", "What websites do you want to visit?"), and then streamline those specific tasks. Vista makes a lot of sense to people who haven't invested years and years in forming a mental model of computers already, and almost all of the Tweaks are things that would be invisible to a normal user.

n.b. I am... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 4:11 PM on November 24, 2008

Buying a car in the current recession: need advice
Watch how to buy a car. Follow these steps. There is almost no reason other than vanity to ever get a new car, so apply the same steps to buying your gently-used car.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 9:52 PM on November 22, 2008
Oh, and with cash on hand, finance your car and then pay it off as quickly as you feel like. You'll feel great, and so will your credit.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 9:53 PM on November 22, 2008

How to list a company acquisition on a resume.
In the particular case of your work, I might list the product names or project names instead of actual company names. ActiveBuddy is a bigger name than the former company, and organizing by project puts the focus on what you've done instead of on the branding of the companies. I've appreciated that in resumes I've reviewed from people who've been through startup acquisitions.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 7:04 PM on October 11, 2008
D'oh, sorry for the creepiness! I am just a fan of ActiveBuddy and have a good memory.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 8:35 AM on November 5, 2008

Not a "basketball mom."
Thanks to everybody for reading a long (and admittedly a bit rambling) post, and for a largely constructive discourse. I don't want to go through and answer all the various questions raised, but I figure there are some specific questions to/about me that I might be able to offer up as background.

No, he's saying that just the dumb people will think she's telling them to kill Obama. Because they say things like "pallin' around" and "sixpack.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by anildash at 1:12 PM on October 29, 2008
Oh, I forgot: "The faveicon for his site is his head." That's supposed to be ridiculous. I think people who regularly read my site get the joke, and I'm okay if people who are new to the site don't.
posted to MetaFilter by anildash at 1:15 PM on October 29, 2008
The two statements of mine that you've quoted do not contradict. I certainly hope everyone's clear on my true meanings.
posted to MetaFilter by anildash at 2:04 PM on October 29, 2008

Eek! Meeting the family for the first time...at Christmas
Take bagels! Real NYC bagels are magical and will make his parents love you.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 9:52 PM on October 24, 2008

I see a lot of posts about work. A lot of them are not positive.
This is kind of fascinating to me -- just as a data point, I work at a relatively software company and pretty much every coder on our staff has the 8 points you've listed here. Now I'm sure when they're in crunch time on a project they feel like those might be compromised sometimes, but overall these are all well within the bounds of what our programmers can expect. So good companies are definitely out there.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 9:46 PM on October 24, 2008

Do nets on tall buildings catch falling bodies?
I used to work in the Empire State Building, near the top. There's a series of barriers that keep anyone who leaps from the building from reaching the ground. First, the architecture of the building itself; The top of the building is inset a few times towards the top. Those outcroppings are about 6 to 8 feet wide each, meaning you'd have to get 20 feet or more away from the building just to avoid hitting them.

On the primary observation deck, there's a very high fence... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 9:37 PM on October 24, 2008 marked best answer

Wordpress for local TV site?
Nah, Winston, Google has given a warning to pretty much any corporation, as has the Department of Homeland Security. Whether they choose to heed those warnings or not is a different question.

In short, the reasons I've seen that small media outlets don't choose WP is abysmal security, poor scalability under heavy traffic without special add-ons or tricks, poor options for managing multiple sites/blogs, and lack of support for technologies like IIS,... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 7:51 AM on October 23, 2008 marked best answer
Sorry, was unclear there. What I meant is, platforms like WorldNow have tons of process features that are orthogonal to running a community site (and generally WorldNow doesn't have any "social" features to speak of), but that traditional IT types at a small local TV channel might expect to see in any platform that they work with.

I think those of us used to social sites are used to tools that are designed to help us publish or communicate,... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 9:48 AM on October 23, 2008

How can I set up my own 'lifestream' site that I control?
This is exactly what Action Streams for Movable Type were invented for. They're an open format for collecting your actions from around the web, and dozens of different web services are supported, from all the big ones (Twitter, Flickr, Delicious) to tons of smaller ones. And new services are being added all the time.

Even better, if you use Movable Type to run your blog, you can use OpenID and plugins to do things like mirroring FriendFeed comments on your blog, so if... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 12:03 AM on October 22, 2008

From where did this Bill Gates quote originate?
This doesn't even sound remotely like Bill Gates, and none of the sites or articles online that quote him on this offer any source. Seems bogus.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 4:22 PM on October 15, 2008

What should I learn in order to do web development?
Look at this holistically, not based on individual technologies. While many of the individual platforms, toolkits, and frameworks described above are great (and my bias is that I've helped lots of folks build careers doing development around Movable Type, since I work with that team), the more important thing than any technology is to have a firm grasp of understanding web development methodologies.

Once you're able to identify people's business goals and translate those... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 12:48 PM on October 15, 2008

Hoppin over to hip hop
Cosmic Osmo has a great list, and I'll get shit for this, but if you dig what you hear from the Okayplayer and Native Tongues groups, you should probably grab a few tracks from P.M. Dawn. It's probably still fashionable to totally slam them, but at their best they were the peer to any of these other groups, all of which I love.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 8:36 AM on October 13, 2008

WHY DO YOU ALWAYS ASK ME ABOUT MY IDEAL DREAM JOB?
This question could be usefully resummarized as "Do you color inside the lines?"

Nah, I've asked similar questions of candidates during interviews, and generally I genuinely want to understand how ambitious the person is and frankly, how large their vision is. I don't want them to say "my dream job is to just be in this one gig forever!" and I don't want them to say "I want to do something completely unrelated to this entire... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 5:21 PM on October 11, 2008

Paralyzed With Resentment
Forgive, laugh, and then have sex with someone of a different race. This combination will ease all of your stress.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 4:29 PM on October 11, 2008

A Good Vlog
Enthusiastically seconding IllDoctrine, the best video blog around.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 4:20 PM on October 11, 2008

How can I show my wife that her travels will be OK?
When I was in a long-distance relationship with my now-wife, then-girlfriend, I always liked when we'd watch the same movie or TV show at the same time and talk before and/or after. Anything that generates that sense of you being in the same place mentally/emotionally if you can't be physically in the same place can be a great way to get through it.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 12:31 AM on September 30, 2008

wow me with the wonders of web2.0
I've spent a lot of time with customers and clients developing ROI models, most of which are really specific to the organizations that I was talking to, but there are a few general principles that I've seen be really useful in calculating ROI.

Web 2.0 tools are generally about collaboration and communication. You'll often find that one of the hardest parts to calculating ROI is that you have no idea what your current costs and inefficiencies are. For example, how much... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 9:24 PM on September 22, 2008
Oh, and I'd back up the general principles of 90-9-1 often hold true, but that's only because most tools have been organized around putting a giant white text area in front of users and expecting them to just know what to do. A lot of Web 2.0 tools are going to evolve towards capturing actions and more passive bits of interactivity, which means something as simple as uploading a file or adding a tag or sharing an image could count as "creating content", blurring the line between... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 9:33 PM on September 22, 2008

Table for 6 in Vegas
I'm no local, but I eat at a lot of good restaurants in New York City regularly, and Bouchon there is as good as some of our best. I've had a few fantastic meals there in Vegas and loved it each time. Pricey, but worth it.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 8:56 PM on September 22, 2008

Who are the best social media shops in NYC?
I work with the team at Six Apart Services, formerly Apperceptive, and they have a stellar reputation for doing exactly this kind of work for some of the biggest and most respected sites around. From the Washington Post to Talking Points Memo to Major League Baseball, they've done a ton of very large-scale gigs and have a very strong reputation. Based in Soho.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 4:45 PM on September 15, 2008
Don't wanna hog the thread, but 6A Services works with any platform, not just MT. They're just really good at MT. :)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 11:39 AM on September 16, 2008

Should we get married?
This toes the line of hard facts vs. emotional, but if you get married, you get to have a party that all of your friends and family have to come to. That was pretty much the reason I did it, since we already had every other trapping of marriage.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 6:34 PM on September 13, 2008


Is it possible to export all drafts in MovableType?
Thanks for the great answer, Su, and sorry for the frustration 2oh1! I work with the MT team and I'll be honest -- I hadn't heard this particular request before. But I've made a note, and perhaps we can figure out a way to make this easier.

I was thinking there might also be a way to do this through MT's templating system, but Su would have pointed that out if it existed, I'm sure. :)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 2:38 PM on September 9, 2008

How much do PHP developers in NYC get paid?
Depends how much experience you have, what kind of work you do, and what your domain knowledge is outside of just coding. If you want to make an insecure homebrew CMS prone to SQL injections but capable of running a 5-page website, then $50/hr is too much. If you are applying business rules for Sarbanes Oxley compliance on a high-end knowledge management and collaboration platform and happen to be doing so with an implementation in PHP, then $50 is way low.

Put another... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 2:35 PM on September 9, 2008

31: The Big Picture
Alan Taylor is my hero!
posted to MetaTalk by anildash at 7:59 PM on September 7, 2008

Free or cheap private web-based relational database?
A CMS is not the answer for this, even if Drupal is a nice CMS.

Intuit (the Quicken people) have a product for exactly this: Quickbase. There are even starter application templates that you could customize to build out your database without starting from scratch. I don't have any affiliation with the product, but have used it in the past (a long time ago) and liked it for exactly these kinds of purposes.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 7:54 PM on September 7, 2008

Can my blog updates appear on facebook?
Assuming you're talking about the Blogger blog linked in your profile, you could use Blog It to post to your blog from within Facebook and your full post could show up in both places as well as promoting it on Twitter or other services if you want.

Notes does work good for pulling in your blog's feed, too, as everybody mentioned.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by anildash at 7:35 PM on September 7, 2008

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