The Hot Iron

A journal on business, technology and occasional diversions by Mike Maddaloni

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Monday, February 17, 2014

What I Learned This Week For February 14 2014

photo of Discover card with cassette tape design

Last week was an off week for me, with this cough getting the best of me. It is getting better, but my mind was not always aware of things, so my list is not as extensive as last week, but ever unique. I used the back of an envelope for a bill I always pay online to capture my learnings.

  • After almost a year of carrying it, someone finally recognized the design on my Discover card is a cassette tape. The guy was my age, and the guy with him had no idea what we were talking about.
  • Not everyone knows that a general term for Safari, Firefox or Chrome is “browser” - seriously.
  • I learned about trisodium phosphate as an effective cleaner for painted walls. I also learned it is an approved food attitive in the EU.
  • Taxi-hailing app Hailo is beta testing a “black car” option for hailing a sedan instead of a standard taxi in its app. I learned this first hand as I was presented with the option last week when hailing a taxi with the app. In the beta period the sedan fare is the same or similar as a taxi. Though it was a short ride, it was a very quiet, comfortable ride, and I am looking forward to this feature going full-out live.
  • This study on mobile platforms in South Africa by Deloitte Digital shows the Symbian OS in second place with 26% of the installed base. Not bad for a “burning platform!” Check out the study and see the other numbers which overall are much different than in the US.
  • My 2-year old thought February 14 was Halloween, which clearly means she got way too much candy with her Valentine cards.
  • When I was living in the Boston area barely a year would go by when I would miss the Hometown Throwdown, a concert series around the holidays by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. They considered it a gift to their fans and hometown, and it was always an awesome show. Now that I am a thousand-plus miles away, I haven’t caught a Throwdown in years, but I did catch this video from this year’s show at the House of Blues in Boston (which wasn’t even there when I last lived there) and some scenes from an event they held at this little old ball field across the street. Check out the video embedded below or view it on YouTube. It made me laugh, it made me dance, and it made me cry a little.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 02/17/14 at 09:44 PM
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Sunday, February 09, 2014

What I Learned This Week For February 7 2014

photo of Halls cough drops

Now 2 days late, but hopefully still of some value to some of you, as most were to me. These were scrawled on the back of an envelope for a credit card offer, adding some real value to this junk mail.

  • Boundaries are not always bad, and when people tend to be pushing them, sometimes they are simply asking for them to be defined to them.
  • Halls cough drops have little motivational phrases on the wrappers. Not a bad idea for if you are buying cough drops, you are probably not at the peak place in your life.
  • There is a distinct difference between MOO MiniCards and Mini Moo’s.
  • Perform a Web search on any word or phrase, followed by the word “coloring” and you can find a plethora of coloring sheets for kids to color on.
  • There was little coverage outside of the tech world on the theft and compromise of the Twitter account @N by a social hacker. If you are not familiar with the term social hacker, look up anything on Kevin Mitnick. This article on The Verge about the @N theft and how the owner’s GoDaddy and PayPal accounts were compromised also includes a link to the Twitter account’s owner’s own story.
  • Where that famous groundhog in Pennsylvania saw its shadow and predicted a longer winter, my forecast has always been with Dunkirk Dave who hails from the same Western New York State city that I was born in. And it has nothing to do with him not seeing his shadow, and thus predicting an early spring.
  • I began taking an online course on “unprocrastination” and one of its tasks is to create a habit and commit to it. So I decided to come up with a new blog topic every day (not write it, just the topic) and I am also sharing it with the world. Look on Twitter for the hashtag #28d28bt for my topics. More on the course itself as I get into it.
  • A documentary on learning how to be a pit trader in the famous Chicago markets was just released this week, though it was filmed in 1996. Pit Trading 101 was released only online, and for US$2.99 you can see a training course on how those people who are yelling, screaming and flailing their arms are actually conducting business. It was released by Chicagoan and former trader Jonathan Hoenig who is also in the documentary. I haven’t watched it yet but want to, not only to understand how the heck that process works but also to seeing a piece of this city’s history. Below is an embed of the movie’s trailer or you can watch it on the documentary’s Web site.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 02/09/14 at 06:56 PM
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Saturday, February 01, 2014

What I Learned This Week For January 31 2014

screenshot of Chicago Grid

Though a day late, hopefully you will find useful at least 1 thing I learned this past week, as collected on the back of a flyer for VHS to DVD media conversion.

  • Though every media outlet and their grandmother in the Windy City reported on the demise of Chicago Grid by Wrapports, the publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, nobody has noticed the Grid Web site is still up-and-running, at least in part. I only found this out as I was still subscribed to their RSS feed, and after several days a daily summary was again appearing. Though I shared this several times this past week with media outlets in the city via Twitter, nobody else seems to be talking about the ghost RSS feed or seems to care.
  • If you read any book, especially children’s stories, through the lens of the late Dr. Sigmund Freud, you will never read one the same way again, or may not want to read one at all.
  • When you use a service on a daily basis and never even think twice about its quality or reliability, that is not a good thing, that is a great thing. It also probably explains why I haven’t blogged about my great experience with Phone.com over the almost year I have been with them for my home phone service. I need to do something about that.
  • Beverly Hills, California got its name from Beverly, Massachusetts, namely its Beverly Farms section. Now I have been to both communities, and I couldn’t think of any 2 places that could be further opposites of each other.
  • When I tell people I am from Massachusetts, the next thing they say is that I don’t have a Boston accent. When I go onto explain to them my roots are in the western part of the state, where they use all 26 letters of the alphabet and put them in the right place. For as many times as I state that, it really doesn’t resonate with people, so I thought I’d let the good Dr. Westchesterson explain it better than I possibly could with his video Western Mass. – it is embedded below or watch it on YouTube. I can’t think of a better way to end one month and begin another!


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 02/01/14 at 11:11 AM
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Friday, January 24, 2014

What I Learned This Week For January 24 2014

cover of PhotoMedia magazine from Spring 2006This week a piece of Syracuse University notepad paper hosted the eclectic list of things I learned throughout the last 7 days. Special thanks to my cousin Fedora for the notepad, and away we go.

  • Clearly I am not the only one having problems with the Cardmunch app from LinkedIn. This is evident from blog posts like this one and numerous threads in their support forum.
  • Though Ron May may no longer be of this mortal coil, his eponymous Chicago tech news site The May Report lives on, now under the guidance of his brother Paul. And they have an RSS feed.
  • Last week I mentioned about Jason Jacobsohn’s Chicagoland Entrepreneur Events newsletter, which is a bonus for signing up for his main newsletter. Follow the preceding link and you can subscribe to it directly, though you really will want to read both of them.
  • Living in Chicago made it hard to not hear about the story of Vivian Mayer, whose amazing talent for photography was only found after she defaulted on payments for a storage unit and her subsequent death. That being said, I had never really experienced her work up until that past weekend when I saw an exhibit on her at the Chicago History Museum - simply amazing.
  • There are a number of blogs who could benefit from having a CentUp button on their site. And when I say benefit, I mean earn money from readers.
  • Though past performance may be the best indicator of future performance, there is certainly no guarantee of it. This I learned the hard way when my New England Patriots lost the AFC Championship game and will not be going to the Super Bowl next week. Thanks for an awesome season, though.
  • I was talking with a colleague about hard drive storage and the accompanying picture of a magazine cover from PhotoMedia Magazine from Spring, 2006 came to mind. As she hadn’t heard about it, I searched it down – I did not recall the name of the publication only the photo itself – and found it, and thought someone may have missed it too.
  • Sears is closing its State Street, Chicago store. As someone who lives so close to it, the store was not a regular shopping trip, but we made many household purchases there, had some awesome photos taken of our kids before the portrait studio was shuddered, and bought the outfits my kids wore home from the hospital after they were born. Sears was also upfront on Twitter when I tweeted about the closing, kudos on this.
  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts – my home state – blocked the sale of Apple stock to its residents when they went public. I learned this from Jonathan Hoenig when I included him on a tweet thread about crowdfunding and risk with Len and Griffin.
  • If the windshield of your 2013 Honda Odyssey is covered with snow, make sure to close the driver’s side door before you turn on the wipers.
  • In keeping with a new closing video theme… I learned that as many times as you see the Too Hot To Handel concert it never gets old, and this past weekend was my 7th time. What is it? Watch this video on YouTube or watch it embedded below.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 01/24/14 at 01:00 AM
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Friday, January 17, 2014

What I Learned This Week For January 17 2014

photo of What I Learned list

So that I wouldn’t forget anything, I decided to carry around a piece of paper with me, or rather a leftover envelope from our over-order of Christmas cards. Looking back on the week, I picked up a few useful pieces of knowledge, as well as some random information. So here goes.

  • You can get Hood Dairy coffee creamers in the Midwest. Hood is a New England brand I grew up with and have never seen them outside of that area.
  • I took my very first-ever yoga class this week, and I don’t know why I never did it before. It was awesome for my mind and my body. The class is an introduction to yoga offered by Tejas Yoga in Chicago’s South Loop, and where I can’t make it next week, this is something I want to make a regular part of my week.
  • If you sign-up for Jason Jacobsohn’s Networking Insight newsletter, a great resource for networking tips, he will also put you on his Chicagoland Entrepreneur Events newsletter, listing the latest events for tech start-ups in the area.
  • The 2014 Liver Life Walk to support the American Liver Foundation’s Great Lakes Chapter will be on SATURDAY, June 14, and The “A” Team is already registered.
  • The days when neighbors who are having a party invite you as a courtesy, whether they want you to really come or you yourself want to go, are apparently over.
  • I found the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for my wife, or at least I hope it is. As she reads The Hot Iron I will not mention what it is, but if you ask me, and promise not to tell her, I will share.
  • In a conversation with Nan this week she said something we were talking about was not anything she would “die on the hill” over. I had never heard of that before, but I plan to use it.
  • I had been seeing these winter coats with a small circle emblem and I had no idea what it says or what brand it was. Then one day at Mariano’s someone at the checkout in front of me had one and I was able to read it was Canada Goose. I had never heard of them, and where it may be a nice coat and all, I am sticking with my LL Bean which is about a quarter of the cost.
  • Try calling a health insurance company and tell them they have been sending insurance materials, including insurance cards and statements, to someone at your home address who has never lived there. Not to mention they have been doing this for over a year and you have marked everything “return to sender, no such addressee” and put it back in the mail. You guessed it, they had no idea what to do with my call.
  • There are politics of work, politics of play and even politics of choirs, but I’ll take The Politics of Dancing any day – enjoy this 80’s video below or watch it on YouTube and have a nice weekend!


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 01/17/14 at 08:32 PM
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Friday, January 10, 2014

What I Learned This Week So Far This Year For January 10 2014

photo of a hotel door latch

If a day goes by where you don’t learn something new, what good is it really? Sometimes that new nugget of knowledge is welcomed and cherished, and sometimes it is scary as all hell and you wished you didn’t know it. Nonetheless, learning is what we do on this journey of life, whether we like it or not.

As this is the first “normal” Friday of the 2014, I have decided to start writing what I have learned in the previous week. As it is already 10 days into January, I will also include what I learned since New Year’s, and maybe a thing or 2 from the holidays.

So here goes:

  • You know those latches that you put on your hotel room door at night? Do you think they are completely foolproof and nobody can get by them? I learned the hard way that you can, with a few pieces of paper and this creepy video on YouTube.
  • There is a Village of Lakemoor, Illinois and they have red light cameras.
  • While everybody is talking about how fast food employees don’t make enough money, do you know how much – or little – your child’s daycare teachers make? Or the person flying the airplane you are on now? As I have no links for this, it was based on personal conversations.
  • I was not the only person waiting for the Hug Train when it pulled into Chicago last week. It was great meeting Molly and of course great seeing Arie again.
  • I have always said you shouldn’t get used to a desk (and have thought of writing about that fact here at The Hot Iron) but I got a lot of work done this week back at OfficePort Chicago. Thanks to James, Shaul and Mike for allowing me to come back every so often to be productive and social! And if you are looking for co-working space in Chicago, you must check out OfficePort for yourself.
  • With all of the problems Southwest Airlines had over the last week with snowstorms, delays and baggage handlers, one area where they really shined was with social media. I was able to rebook flights for family via Twitter direct messages. Seriously, and direct messages only! Thanks to Verity at Southwest for your help.
  • Underground nuclear tests were done in Mississippi.
  • There is something called krav maga and it is good for you.
  • Recent start-ups in Chicago can allow me to: get my dry cleaning picked up and delivered within an hour of requesting it with Dryv, donate clothing and other items to Goodwill via UPS with Give Back Box, listen to the local news in a podcast-like format with Rivet News Radio, and if I had a store with ever-changing inventory I could easily maintain a Web site of it with Live Storefronts. I am exploring all of these services more and hope to write up more on them.

Maybe you learned something new yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments of this post.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 01/10/14 at 03:00 AM
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Thank You For Seven Years Of The Hot Iron

Today, December 30, marks the 7th anniversary of the very first blog post on The Hot Iron, appropriately titled, Hello World.

photo of Heaven on Seven sign

Rather than getting mushy about the past, I’d like to thank you for reading, whether this is the first time you have read something I have written, you for some reason have been with me for the past 7 years or you are somewhere in between.

It has been an up and down journey, but aren’t they all? This past year I have gotten re-energized about blogging, and I hope to keep it up in the coming year. Only time will tell.

As I have in the past, I have wanted to have some photo to accompany the years, and this year I chose Heaven on Seven, an amazing New Orleans-style restaurant in Chicago. If you come to the Windy City, you must try it. They have 2 locations – one on the Magnificent Mile and one on Wabash Avenue, where this sign is located in front of. Go to the latter – the feel is more authentic.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 12/30/13 at 11:58 PM
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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Amazon Associates Program Returns To Illinois And Buy This Diamond Sapphire Pendant

There were screams of joy across the Land of Lincoln (or at least in my corner of it) as I received an email inviting me back into the affiliate program for Amazon.com called Amazon Associates. So why not join me in celebrating by clicking the link below to buy this beautiful Platinum Cushion Cut Blue Sapphire And Round Diamond Pendant?

photo of Platinum Cushion Cut Blue Sapphire And Round Diamond Pendant

A Little Background

Residents of the state of Illinois were tossed out of the program back in 2011 upon the state’s passing of the Main Street Fairness Act. The law recognized affiliates of Amazon and other online companies, those who did not have a physical presence in Illinois, as the physical presence of those companies, and thus required purchases made through affiliate links and Web sites to be taxed with Illinois state tax. I wrote about this back then in an eloquent piece called Pat Quinn Screws Entrepreneurship In Illinois By Signing Amazon Tax Bill.

The intent of the law was to “level the playing field” – and I am quoting the politicians who supported it, including Illinois governor Pat Quinn – between brick and mortar stores across the state and online retailers, the latter who have been taking business from the former. Where the intent was good, the law did not do anything to make anything more fair for anyone. As quickly as Amazon dropped its affiliates, it never missed a beat in its own sales. Residents of Illinois were still buying from Amazon, and as a result choosing to not buy from local stores. It actually had a negative effect as people and businesses who were affiliates – from myself to other bloggers to coupon companies like Coupon Cabin – either lost money or were chased from Illinois to neighboring states like Indiana and Wisconsin. And as these people and companies pay taxes on their affiliate earnings, the state lost out on that tax revenue.

Welcome Back

In October, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the Main Street Fairness law, paving the way for the return of the program. Just hours before I wrote this post, I got an email from Amazon Associates inviting me back into the program, and the text of the short but to the point email is below.

Hello,

We're pleased to announce that the Amazon Associates program is again open to residents of the State of Illinois. We're now able to re-open the program because the Illinois State Supreme Court recently struck down legislation that had forced Amazon to close the program to residents of Illinois. Amazon strongly supports federal legislation like the Marketplace Fairness Act that’s now pending before Congress, which is the only constitutional way to resolve interstate sales tax collection issues.

Residents of Illinois who would like to participate in the Amazon Associates program can submit an application here:

http://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/apply/main.html

Thanks for your past participation in the Amazon Associates program. We hope to see you again soon.

What it means to myself and others

The return of the program is definitely good news for those who run affiliate programs or are seeking to monetize their Web sites. The world of affiliate marketing is vast and, in my opinion, fascinating and too much to talk about in this post alone. For myself and this little corner of the Internet called The Hot Iron, I am certainly not looking at the return of the program as a cash cow. In the past links to products – namely books and electronics – were affiliate links to Amazon, and if anyone purchased them, I would get a percentage of the cost.

This is why I am welcoming back the program with what I found as a very beautiful piece of jewelry, let alone pricy. The affiliate earnings for this pendant would pay for a nice vacation, or a couple of months of my daughter’s daycare. I will admit I never got rich off the program in the past, and I don’t see myself doing so in the future, as links on The Hot Iron were never obtrusive and hopefully a compliment to the site.

I also welcome your thoughts and questions on Amazon Associates in the comments to this post. I am curious if the return of affiliate programs like this one will impact you or not, or if you even knew they went away to begin with.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 12/04/13 at 11:27 PM
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why I Quit Facebook

Nine months ago I did something that, looking back now, was both a brilliant and educational moment in my life.

No, not “that!” Instead, I quit Facebook.

Mike’s last Facebook photo

What did you say Mike, quit “the” social network” Yes, I did. I had thought about it for a while, and when I heard of other smart people I know also getting out of the closed ecosystem like my good friends Jen Hanen and CT Moore, I decided it was time for me to stop the madness myself.

And you read that correctly – I had been thinking about quitting Facebook for a while. Why? The reasons below are many. Blended together, they got me to cancel once and for all.

Nothing Personal

Quitting Facebook had nothing to do with any specific person, people or event. I did not do it in retaliation to anyone for any specific act. Rather, my decision was based on trends around how and what people communicate, actions that were moving in a direction by just about everyone who was using Facebook that I was connected with (and others who were friends of friends) that I did not like. I also count myself in with that grouping of people.

Even though I had amassed quite a large group of “friends” over the years, the quality of communications was not there, only the mass quantity of it. The fact I disconnected from them on Facebook doesn’t mean that I don’t like them, it was the pool we were all swimming in that I didn’t want to be in.

Too Much Information All The Time

Social media is all about sharing. But when everyone is sharing as much as they are, all the time, it can get overwhelming. I was getting drawn into Facebook and was spending too much time separating the wheat from the shaft to find relevant or useful information or engage in somewhat meaningful conversation. A visit to Facebook.com or the app on my mobile device was a time suck, as I was compelled to keep scrolling through until I found something of interest, even though many times I didn’t.

What I was sorting through was another matter altogether. They say that kids say the darnest things, well adults on Facebook are even worse. Just when I thought I had seen and read it all, I would read more and more detail that one wouldn’t normally post to the world, let along share in a whisper. Yet there it is, posted for all to see on Facebook.

One Hot UX Mess

To make matters worse, when Facebook went to the 2-column format, it became far too much for me. It was completely unusable, and compound that with the aforementioned volume of content and it makes for something I found very difficult to read and enjoy. Why subject myself to a (user) experience I did not like? I don’t visit some Web sites because of design and functionality flaws, so why should Facebook be any different.

One thing positive I will say about Facebook is the powerful engine behind that user experience. How often do you get a real error on Facebook? Years ago I attended a local conference and some developers from Facebook were there talking about the architecture of the site, and afterwards I had the opportunity to talk with them one-on-one. I was extremely impressed with their background, experience and the technology behind the site. How it was presented, at least to me, did not live up to what was powering it.

Living McLuhan’s Words

To me, Facebook lived to the letter of the words of Marshall McLuhan in that “the medium is the message.” I had written about this a couple of years ago in a post here on the Hot Iron titled Streaming Awareness By how I lamented about missing the birth of friends’ kids that were only announced over social media, and I never saw the original post. Needless to say, it continued. There were more I missed, though each time I did bring it to the parents’ attention my dismay – once it even compelled someone to send old-fashioned birth announcements by postal mail!

This changing of how we communicate feels almost like a cheapening of the interaction between people. Miss a small couple of word post on someone’s wall and you could miss out on seeing someone visiting town, and then the person who posted those few words thinks you are ignoring them. Yes, that happened to me once. Now I am not saying we all need to grab our quill pens, ink reservoirs and parchment paper and write long letters. Any tool of communication can be used wisely or poorly. Where changing your relationship status to “single” can inform the world of a divorce or major break-up, there are certainly classier, more tasteful ways to do so.

There was at least one time when Facebook put in a chance to only display the posts of people you recently communicated with. Huh? Yes, so if I was communicating a lot with 20 people, I would predominantly see the posts from them, and anyone else I may not see at all. When I heard about this I was shocked and undid the setting, and low and behold I was hearing from everybody, as I should be. It’s one thing if I make such a setting change, but I certainly don’t want someone telling me what I read and do not read.

And Now A Word From Our Investors

I will certainly not say that I predicted the snooping and tapping of electronic messaging on networks and social media sites by the US government. When I read the article in Time magazine when Mark Zuckerberg was named Person of the year in 2010, there is a direct mention about US FBI Director Robert Mueller walking in on the interview -. Why was the FBI Director at Facebook headquarters? I’ll leave it at that – read the article for yourself.

Nobody Seemed To Notice

Over the last 9 months, I have only heard from 3 people who said they tried to reach me on Facebook but could not find me. There were some that I told about my decision, and I certainly mentioned it more than once on Twitter. I had changed my Facebook picture and banner to the image at the top of this post, but once thing I did not do was inform people through Facebook that I was going to quit. Why? More so out of curiosity if anyone would realize I was no longer in their “stream” of consciousness. This experiment in social media was correct, but sad in its own right.

Don’t Call Me Anti-Social (Media)

Though I am not on Facebook, I am not shying away from social media. I am on Twitter @thehotiron, and this blog is my primary channel for longer form writing, longer than 140 characters anyway.

I have been drawn to Twitter because of its simplicity and binary nature – what I put out there is out there, and what I send as a direct message, which I use infrequently, is not. I find it easy to have conversations with individuals and on occasion with groups, though I don’t often participate in Twitter chats which are commonly driven by a unique hashtag. I also find it easy to pickup on a conversation and continue it later with the medium. My Twitter client of choice is HootSuite on the PC, though I am using the Twitter.com Web interface more and more as it has evolved tremendously. Twitter for me is like the water cooler or barstool in the local pub.

Blogging is something I enjoy and don’t do nearly as much as I used to and not as much as I would like to. In one regard it is an outlet for the things in my head, and in another it is a way to share and start a conversation. Where my tweets tend to be forgotten over time, my blog posts are still out there, and older ones still draw comments (even real, legit ones too!) and are shared by others. The Hot Iron is like a fireside chat or sitting down with a scotch and cigar among friends.

Looking Ahead And Always Evaluating

Facebook is not the only game in town. If you quit Facebook it should not be the end of your social media activity or identity. I have written before here at The Hot Iron about managing your online presence and I will continue to do so. But at the end of the day, what you do online should be only a part of who you are. So whether you call, tweet or write longhand, you are greater than the tools you use to communicate.

Your comments, as always, are welcome and encouraged!


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 09/17/13 at 09:22 PM
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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Why I Sign My Email Messages As I Do

It’s a question that comes up several times a year, and people have been asking me it for decades now. As many times as I have answered it, I have yet to write it down. Why I haven’t I don’t know for sure, but there’s no time like the present.

What is the question? Why do I sign my email messages as I do, with “mp/m”? And here’s a warning, it is a little retro-geeky!

photo of mp/m

When It Began

I have used this signature for my emails dating back to when I was a kid. Then, the messages I was sending were over dial-in bulletin board systems (I have included a link to its definition if you don’t know what one is!). I would typically sign my messages with my initials, “MPM.” But why do I sign it now in lowercase, and what’s up with the slash between the P and the M? Here comes the geek part!

There was a single user operating system for microcomputers popular in the 1980’s called CP/M. It had a multi-user version called MP/M. When I learned of this I was intrigued – it was the same as my initials! I thought of signing my messages with “MP/M” but didn’t want any confusion with the operating system name, so I made the letters lower-case, thus “mp/m” was born as my signature.

Dial-in bulletin board systems were replaced by dial-in services like CompuServe and AOL. Those were replaced by Internet email. Yet through the decades, my signature remained the same.

That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Go ahead – comment away on this, you won’t hurt my feelings!


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Posted by Mike Maddaloni on 08/31/13 at 07:45 AM
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The Hot Iron strives to present unique content and perspective on business, technology and other topics by Mike Maddaloni, a Web and business strategist based in Chicago.

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