Hi Friends & Family,

If you are receiving this for the first time, you were  on my old Golfslope mailing list. I just edited that list down and imported into eliotpierce.com.  I post occasionally, and when I do you will get an email. However, please feel free to unsubscribe if you don't want to receive these.

Until then, I just updated my music page to be powered by SoundCloud which includes some recent music and podcasts.


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AuthorEliot Pierce

Two people sent me Re/Code's article this week on Tuft & Needle's mattress business. about how they have become the best-selling mattress on Amazon.

While I follow Walt Mossberg, Kara Swisher & Peter Kafka on Twitter, I am a bit old-school in that I would love a daily email from a site like Re/Code that has just the Top stories.

So I just tried to subscribe from Re/Code's web site and clicked on the Mail icon on the upper right, but was then sent down a path to provide feedback, rather than subscribe to a daily newsletter.

I clicked on the +More image and was sent in to their Social page and if I clicked on IFTTT I was sent into an email preferences page. This is the first time that I have ever seen IFTTT used as an email preferences center. (All right, you can still get their formal daily email if you sign up, but they don't make that very clear!)

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IFTTT is a powerful service, but I would rather just see a daily SailThru powered email then a too-cool for school email preferences center or make it incredibly clear that one of the benefits of registration is the opportunity to receive daily email.

My two cents.

See also: Lifehacker's Best Use of IFTTT 

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AuthorEliot Pierce

I turned 39 years old yesterday, and had a wonderful birthday.

Torrey and my kids threw me a birthday party at 7am, with coffee and cake. Alice gave me a remote control car and Summer gave me a My Little Pony which was quite thoughtful of her...

Bd took me out to lunch and Torrey took me out to dinner and then to a Knicks game, which was a total surprise.

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The Knicks played Cleveland for the bottom of the NBA East and won. The seats were great, as was the new MSG. 

I had a great day, Thursday birthdays are always the best... 

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AuthorEliot Pierce

Over the course of the last couple of months, I began using Hubspot for the first time. While I am no means an expert on the tool, I thought that it might be useful to share some of my experiences in case they might be helpful to someone.

Hubspot bills itself as the All-in-one Inbound Marketing Software and it is a powerful tool that we used to create a landing page for Chris Crowley's new subscription newsletter based upon his best-selling book Younger Next Year.

HubSpot enabled us to import all of Chris Crowley's existing email addresses, Facebook fans, etc... so that you can now theoretically message to them based upon when and where we last communicated with them. HubSpot's interface is quite slick, but it is actually very difficult to use. HubSpot's customer service is fantastic, but it just seems that there is a HUGE opportunity here for them to make this incredibly easy to use, and currently it is not.

Unbounce on the other hand is an incredibly powerful easy-to-use landing page tool that easily integrates with email service providers like MailChimp and Constant Contact. I was able to easily create a good-looking landing page in UnBounce in less than hour and then have all email addresses sent to a new list in MailChimp. It was effortless and cheap. While I don't think that Unbounce has the breadth of features that HubSpot offers their landing page tools are far superior to Hubspot's.





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AuthorEliot Pierce

Happy New Year!

I am a fan of New Year's resolutions even if I don't always fulfill them. I think that goals are a good thing, and I think that making them public makes them even more real.

So here are my first annual public New Year's resolutions:

  1. Write one blog post per week. (This post keeps me on track.)
  2. Weigh less than 200 pounds by March 31st, and keep it off through December 31st.
  3. Win either the club championship or presidents cup , though ideally both, this year.
  4. Finally watch the rest of The Wire (seasons 2-5) by May 31st.
  5. Get a new car by May 1. (Lease ends in May.)
  6. Take up Yoga - 30 classes this year.
  7. Go away without kids for at least 3 nights. (By June 30th)
  8. Develop a pilot for my game show. (By June 30th)

Note that all of these are personal resolutions, and that I have two professional ones that I am going to keep to myself for now...

What are yours?

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AuthorEliot Pierce

I have played around with web site development for the past 15 years, but have finally found a piece of software that enables me to publish a personal web site that doesn't look like crap, enables me to easily pull in all of my online activity in to one place, and has just enough functionality to make it useful.

Squarespace 

 Squarespace was first mentioned to me by Tony Haile of Chartbeat almost two years ago because he thought that it might make sense to publish Golfslope on it. We ended up building Golfslope on Wordpress but with two years of hindsight, Tony was probably right.

Squarespace has been spending a ton of money marketing over the last couple of years and finally got me when hearing about it for the umpteenth time on Roman Mars' 99% Invisible. (I beleive that I am paying $100 a year.)

I have been able to easily pull in my pictures from Instagram, create an email sign-up form and publish an email via MailChimp. (Thanks to MikhailFoley!) 

These relatively simple requests are easy to integrate, use and customize and make it very much feel like it is my custom site.

Wordpress

Now I know that WordPress can do all of this, and that there is a huge developer community with a ton plug-ins and extensions to fit just about every need. But it seems that WordPress has spent the last ~5 years focused on becoming THE CMS of the Internet for major publishers and that it is has lost the personal web site / blog market, and perhaps also the small business owner as it has become more and more powerful and served more and more customer segments.

Rebel Mouse

While I commend the spirit of Paul Berry's social start-page Rebel Mouse, I just find it too chaotic and can't figure out if I should be using it for both reading / viewing about my social graph's activity AND using it to publish all of my social activity.

 

I think that Paul and his team are incredibly smart and are rolling out a ton of new features all of the time, but I am not sure what need it is filling for me, yet... I do however love the way that Lerer Ventures has used it to pull in all of their information about their portfolio companies.

I also love how if I don't do anything to it, it still updates... :-) 

 About.me

In stark contrast, About.me is probably the simplest way to create a personal web site, it is the least useful. I find it sort of interesting who has viewed my profile (though not as interesting as LinkedIn's), starred it, etc... but I find it incredibly annoying that I am always Signed Out of About.me and continually have to re-log in. Since About.me has been spun out of AOL, there is some interesting innovation going on there now in the Interested in Me, etc...

Conclusion

Squarespace is the perfect blend of all of them. It is powerful, but elegant. If you have not tried it, you should give it a try as it is quite fun too... 

What do YOU think? 

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AuthorEliot Pierce

I have been listening to podcasts for the last 3 or 4 years, but have significantly increased the amount of time devoted to consuming podcast on a weekly basis over the course of the last six months.

What began with This American Life, evolved into RadioLab, The Moth, Slate's Culture Gabfest and most recently Mark Maron's WTF podcast. I have almost given up listening to music except when writing, thinking, etc... But if I am walking or driving, I am most likely listen to a Podcast

What is sort of interesting is that when I mention this to friends of mine I realize that there are a lot of us out there. The term podcast apparently was first used in 2004 to describe subscribing to an audio feed. While media companies began experimenting with them in 2005, they seemed to be passe just a few years later. 

But it seems they have some podcats have only survived, but are actually thriving. NYTimes.com has only 2 podcasts left, while Slate appears to have about 10 of them.

Below is my current list of Podcasts.

My Top 5 Favorite Podcasts

  1. This American Life
  2. WTF with Marc Maron
  3. Slate's Culture Gabfest
  4. 99% Invisible
  5. Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

What are you listening to?

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AuthorEliot Pierce

I missed The National playing at Brooklyn's Barclay's center last Wednesday June 5th. It sounds like it was a great show, but that it was a large venue and they felt the need to perform like a touring band, with loud jamming sounds. 

In contrast, I heard NPR's Tiny Desk Concert of The National playing 4 songs. I have been listening to this constantly for the last couple of days. I love the intimacy of this. If you have the time, listen to their version of Pink Rabbits tarting 9:00 minutes in. 

 

Now I can't wait to watch the documentary made by his brother... 

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AuthorEliot Pierce

Every couple of years, I start writing a blog but always end up stopping after a weeks. But this time, it is going to be different. 

Last week I read my friend Jason Good's About Me page where he chronicled the journey that he has gone through over the course of the last three years as he has pursued being a comedian full-time.  What I really admire about Jason is how he turned procrastination into perseverance and he has become one of the most authentic writers I regularly read.

So here goes... 

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AuthorEliot Pierce