Monthly Archives: November 2006

Global Place: Practice, Politics, and the Polis (Jan 4-6 2007, Ann Arbor)

From the conference web site:

TCAUP CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE #2

JANUARY 4–6 2007

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Global Place: Practice, Politics, and the Polis, the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning’s centennial conference, will bring together two dozen renowned architects, urban planners, researchers and scholars from around the world. They will address questions and opportunities that architecture and planning face in an increasingly urbanized, media-driven and commoditized world.

A century ago, the planet was primarily rural; today it is half urban; and in twenty-five years it will be predominately urban. What does this mean for the design, production, sustainability and experience of our buildings and cities? For the sense of community and place?

The two-day interdisciplinary symposium kicks off on January 4 with a high-octane panel of distinguished guests, including Homi Bhabha, Charles Correa, Kenneth Frampton, Liane LeFaivre, Saskia Sassen and Michael Sorkin at Rackham auditorium on the University of Michigan campus.

looks interesting!

Blog analytics, some tools and experiences with it

I’m closing in on 1000 entries in this blog, so it’s time to do a little bit of retrospective analysis and look at some of the tools I’m using to keep track of which parts of the site are unusually active well after the original post hit.

The more general term for this would be blog analytics. Here’s some capsule reviews of some tools and an approach.

One theory of blog analytics is to identify the things that you’re writing about that don’t own page one for the queries that are being searched for, but which still are clicked on regularly by people who go a couple of pages deep in the listings. If it’s good enough to look at on page two, write about it again until it shows up on page one. Tools like 103bees and Hit Tail are specifically focused on this task, and they have views into your analysis reports that show which pages are on page two (or even deeper) on search results. You can do the same thing by hand if you have raw server logs by looking for “start=20” or “start=30” in the referrers – those will be indicative of click-throughs from pages deeper in the search listings.

A second useful approach to seeing where your blog fits in the greater world is to focus on the postings that are getting hits months after the original. If you are using a typical chronologically arranged publishing tool these are pretty easy to pick out since the filenames often include year and even months. Find a perennial favorite and revisit the topic from time to time either with new insights or just with an update to what else is new around the net since you last wrote. (Thanks to Brian Kerr for this idea.)

A third technique for testing effectiveness of a blog as a way to focus people’s attention on something else is to look through the logs to see where people went to after they visited your site. The mybloglog tool has pretty good reports and tools for doing that, both for reporting in real time what the most visited links are as well as collecting over time where the hot exit points are. Close the feedback loop here again by writing about things that people are actually clicking on at the moment.

You can, of course, get so enveloped in feedback that you never actually write anything. Sometimes you want to get as far away from what you’ve said before and think about something new, and I don’t know anything better to give ideas for that than LibraryThing’s Unsuggester tool. It doesn’t actually work on blog postings directly, but there’s nothing better to help mix up your writing than to contemplate two opposite works (Polya’s How to Solve It vs The Devil Wears Prada) and come up with a synthesis of the two.

DEQ delays Kennecott sulfide mine decision (Marquette Mining Journal)

From the Marquette Mining Journal of November 16, 2006 via AP:

DEQ delays Kennecott decision

By JOHN FLESHER, Associated Press Writer

LANSING — Michigan officials are delaying until January a long-anticipated, tentative decision on whether to allow development of a nickel and copper mine in Marquette County.

The Department of Environmental Quality had been expected to announce the preliminary ruling this week. Instead, the agency said Wednesday it was giving the public more time to study and react to Kennecott Minerals Co.’s plans.

Under the revised schedule, the department will accept public comments until Dec. 26. After reviewing the comments for two weeks, the DEQ will issue a proposed decision Jan. 9.

Even then, the fate of the would-be mine won’t be certain. The DEQ will hold a public hearing — probably in mid-February — and may request more information from Kennecott before making a final ruling.

‘‘People obviously care very much about this,’’ agency spokesman Robert McCann said. ‘‘We feel that instead of jamming through a proposed decision, let’s slow down a bit and make sure everyone has had time to review’’ the company’s latest documents.

For more information on the opposition to the highly toxic sulfide mining process on the Yellow Dog Plains, see the Save the Wild UP site and sign up for their newsletter.

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Transportation Riders United Ann Arbor meetup, Ann Arbor District Library Freespace, 28 Nov 2006

From Mary Jean:

Rapid Transit Meet-up
Interested in bringing quality rapid transit to southeast Michigan? Want to help push for commuter trains from Ann Arbor and Ypsi to Detroit, metro Airport, Chelsea, and Livingston County? Curious about the latest findings from the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) on transit in our area? Come to a meet-up with Transportation Riders United (TRU), a non-profit group working to improve public transit in southeast Michigan. Eli Cooper, Transportation Program Manager for the City of Ann Arbor, will discuss Ann Arbor’s efforts for rapid transit. TRU Director Megan Owens will discuss regional transit issues, the proposed Ann Arbor-Detroit commuter train, SEMCOG’s upcoming public meeting on that issue, and opportunities to get involved. Q&A follows. Free.

Join us at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 28th at the Ann Arbor District Library Freespace (third floor) 343 S. Fifth Ave., at William (313) 963-8872

www.DetroitTransit.org

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Bomb Ann Arbor Now (Dead Schembechlers)

As reported on Arbor Update (Bo Schembechler dies today at age 77):

The Dead Schembechlers ( a Columbus-based band) had this to say: “The band is crushed to learn of the death of Bo Schembechler. We named this band after Coach Schembechler to honor him as the face of Wolverine football. We have never wished ill will upon him in any way and have always wished him the best. When we learned that Bo had seen our web site and was amused by it we were delighted. We were simply delighted. He said to those with him as he read it, “See, I still matter in Columbus!” That may have been the greatest understatement in football history. We believe that he took the band’s name as the compliment that it was meant as and that he was flattered by it. We wish to extend our deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to his family. We are truly sorry for their loss.”

Here’s their video, “Bomb Ann Arbor Now”.

BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
Lyrics by Bo Biafra
Music by Dead Schembechlers
PRESIDENT IS ON THE PHONE
HE SAYS CONDITION RED
WOLVERINES ARE ON THE MARCH
HE WANTS THE BASTARDS DEAD
KILL 'EM ALL, GOD SORTS 'EM OUT
THOSE WORDS BECOME OUR VOW
TIME TO GO START THE SHOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
MISSILES FLY INTO THE SKY
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
WOLVERINES ARE VICIOUS SCUM
THE PLAYERS AND THE COACHES
BUT WHEN WE'RE DONE THE ONLY THING
THEY'LL FIND ALIVE ARE ROACHES
THE WAY DOWN TO THE GATES OF HELL
THEY'LL SOON BE LEARNING HOW
SATAN'S WAITIN' LET'S GET HATIN'
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
MISSILES FLY INTO THE SKY
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
DEFCON ONE THE FUN'S BEGUN
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR, BOMB DETROIT
THEN BOMB KALAMAZOO
BOMB CHEBOYGAN, WATERSMEET
YPSILANTI TOO
BOMB MUSKEGON, THEN BOMB LANSING
CAPITOL OF SIN
BLOW UP THE ENTIRE STATE
DEATH TO MICHIGAN
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
BOMB ANN ARBOR NOW
Copyright 2005
Dead Schembechlers Uber Alles Inc.

Patti Brotherton’s 90 Day Rule

From an essay by Realtor and coach Patty Brotherton

I was recently at a seminar and a fellow manager and friend, Michael Williamson, discussed the 90-day rule. It got me thinking. I thought back to my days of selling and how much this rule made to my business. Let me tell you how the 90-day rule works. Whatever you are doing right now, today, will affect your business in 90 days. So, if you are busy prospecting two hours a day, you will have fantastic results in 90 days. If you are busy with paperwork and allowing it to consume all your time, then 90 days from now you are going to be in the doldrums because nothing is happening. Isn’t that great information to know?

So when it’s mid-February and you’re wondering why things are going the way they are, think that it’s what you’re doing right now that will help make them that way.

(oversimplifies somewhat, but seems sensible)