Gadgets And Work-Life Balance

On this rainy Saturday I was reading a NY Times article about work-life balance, obviously with my work email open in another tab.

The topic is somewhat interesting considering when I entered the work place it was just a few years into the 24×7 work treadmill that quickly became the new normal. On top of that, supporting a 24x7x365 news site it seems even more natural. In my eyes the days of a 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday-Friday job are clearly dead and unlikely to ever return. While my primary task is day-to-day development, I also support the site, meaning when there’s a major news even (planned or unplanned), or a technical problem, that means we’re stepping up. Election nights are planned, shootings, major deaths, etc. are obviously not. Systems fail, things need to be upgraded, scheduling with a 24x7x365 newsroom who needs to always be ready to go is hardly easy. I should note that’s in addition to having a top-notch 24x7x365 operations team a phone call or email away. The repeated use of “24x7x365” is intentional.

Throw in my extensive reading to keep up on things, constant need to hack on things, occasional desire to write about things, and I think I find myself identifying with the people profiled in the article to some small degree. Truthfully I was like this in college already, having a job just replaced the academic part.

On a side-note, while I was reading this article I did a double-take when I saw John Lilly’s name mentioned. I’ve seen his name in the press on many occasions, but never unexpectedly ;-).

YASN (Yet Another Socal Network): YUB

There’s yet another social network (like friendster, orkut, the facebook). Yub is backed by Buy.com, Target, and Apple iTunes which gives you “points” for what you buy, or persuade others to buy. You can write reviews, and if someone buys through your review, you get 1% of the product’s price in points. Which are redeemable for cash (shockingly). It’s designed as a social network, but for purchasing products.

I gave it a spin today, and found it rather good. It’s got a nice design, very usable, and it’s actually pretty informative. I can definitely see myself using it as a frontend for purchasing products.

It’s themed like a mall, and even feature’s a map. There are “raves” (topics of interest), including Firefox!

I’d recommend giving it a look. You can find my profile here. If you join, add me as your friend (if you want to be my friend that is).

Social Networks are part of life on the net now. They provide a new way of interacting unlike more archaic forums and chartrooms. This just adds the dynamic of seeing what products other people like/dislike.

I’m curious how Amazon will respond.

Hopefully they will add an web service so I can make (or find) a WordPress plugin to keep my latest reviews on this blog and a generic signup link.