Great Advice from WPDesigner.com

I have been keeping track of WPDesigner.com for some time now. The first thing that got my attention was the high quality themes that Small Potato produces. In fact, this blog uses one of his themes, Pride. Recently, Small Potato started a series of posts called WWMD or Wpdesigner Weekend Must Do. The series is meant to help all of us bloggers improve our blogs one weekend at a time.

His most recent post focused on staying within your niche. I had been using categories more like tags , and I had amassed quite a long list. This got me thinking that maybe I was losing focus. I have since converted most of those categories to tags, and I feel like I have a much more focused blog. The next time I write a post, I will be reminded to keep focused on technology, music, and sports. That’s not to say I won’t write about other topics from time to time, but I need to get focused so all of you out there know what you can expect when reading Probstisms.

Whether or not you use WordPress for your blog, Wpdesigner.com is worth a visit. Check it out when you have a chance.

Night Out with Noah

Well, tonight is my daughter’s birthday party so my house is full of 3rd grade girls. Needless to say, it was in our best interests to get Noah out of the house so the girls could enjoy their evening.

Our night started with our first visit to Costco. That place has everything! If there ever was a reason to get an extra freezer, that store is it. Costco is the Target of the warehouse stores. It’s a much better experience than Sam’s Club.

Our next stop was McDonalds for dinner. In fact, I’m blogging from the Playland right now. The No-Man is going to be tired tonight! It always amazes me that he can keep up with kids much bigger than him. Thank goodness there are some nice kids here this time. On our last visit here, the Playland was invaded by future hillbillies so this is a nice change.

It’s getting pretty late so I’m not sure if we have another stop in us or not. I bet some frozen custard can keep Noah awake for a little while longer. We just need another hour or so. There’s nothing quite like an evening out with a two year old, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Presentations Now in Google Docs

Google DocsI read earlier this week on TechCrunch that Google had officially added presentations to Google Docs. This addition has been rumored for some time, and it’s finally here. Presentations is a web-based tool to create electronic presentations in a way that users of Microsoft PowerPoint will be very familiar. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that PowerPoint has, but I have never been a big fan of all of that worthless eye (and ear) candy anyway.

Google now has a very impressive suite of products that can handle all of the communications and productivity needs of both home and business users. I will write a more in depth review of Google’s products in a later post. Let’s just say that I won’t be buying the next version of Microsoft Office any time soon. Stay tuned!

Curtain Call for Business 2.0

Business 2.0This morning, I read a very nice post from Michael Arrington on TechCrunch about the final issue of Business 2.0. Like Michael, Business 2.0 is one of the few magazines I read every month from beginning to end. The magazine fits my business style much more than any of the stuffy business magazines like Fortune. In fact, it was their cover story, Blogging for Dollars, that inspired me to really start taking my blog seriously.

I really hope that Business 2.0 comes back in some form after all is said and done. It sounds like many of the people working for Business 2.0 will be moving to Fortune so hopefully the editors will not squash the ideas and style that made reading Business 2.0 so much fun. I guess this means my subscription will be transfered over to Fortune as well although I haven’t heard a word from the publisher about this.

Michael also mentioned in his post that TechCrunch and Business 2.0 held discussions regarding a possible merger. I would love to see some of the people at Business 2.0 move over to TechCrunch. It is already one of my favorite news sources, and it would only get better with the addition of the Business 2.0 team. I have a strange feeling we may see exactly that in the not too distant future.

Best of luck to everyone over at Business 2.0, and thanks for all of the great articles over the years.

Next Stop . . . Germany

iPhoneThe iPhone made its second stop on its journey across Europe this morning. Apple announced that it had teamed up with T-Mobile to distribute the phone in Germany.

There really weren’t any big surprises here. The iPhone will be available on November 9th which is the same day it will be available in the UK on O2. The phone will cost 399 Euro so it’s looking more and more like Americans are getting a good deal at $399. I wonder if Mr. Jobs has any more surprises for us while he’s in Europe.

The iPhone Invasion Begins!

As I mentioned yesterday, Apple seemed poised to launch the iPhone in the UK, and Apple did not disappoint. Steve Jobs was in London for the special Apple event and announced that Apple would be partnering with O2 to release the iPhone in the UK. One cool thing for O2 customers is that they’ll be able to connect to the Internet for free via Wi-Fi at The Cloud hotspots. This is something Apple and AT&T should have done in the US as well, and hopefully they will soon. Free Wi-Fi is a huge bonus for customers. All of those T-Mobile Hotspots in Starbucks stores and airports would be a nice place to start. 🙂

Jobs in London for Apple Event

In about four hours, Steve Jobs will take the stage in London for Apple’s special event at the Apple Store on Regent Street. The store is considered Apple’s flagship store for Europe and is a great place for an event. Now that there have been sightings of Jobso in London, this event is sure to be significant. The safe bet is on the official launch of the iPhone in the UK and maybe other European countries. I’m still hoping for a Beatles announcement, but that might just be asking for too much. Now the only question is do I want to get up at 4:00 AM to catch the coverage, or do I just get up at my normal time and have a nice surprise waiting for me?

The Enemy’s House

Busch StadiumI am visiting the enemy’s house today, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. That’s right folks; I’m making my first trip to the new Busch Stadium to see the Cubs close out their series against the Cardinals. I can’t wait to see all of the dirty looks I get just because I’m wearing a Cubs hat. I get dirty looks walking around my neighborhood so the mean stares should be even more intense at Busch. It’s going to be awesome!

I have a feeling all of the wacky Cardinals fans will act like they have a chance just because they won game two last night so it’s a good thing I’ll be there to set them straight. At six games back and the Cubs and Brewers ahead of them in the division, the Cardinal’s season is pretty much over. My big concern right now is the stinking Brewers. They just won’t throw in the towel. Don’t they understand how much stress they’re causing for ever Cubs fan around the world?

Anyway, like the Cubs, I need to focus on one game at a time, and I can’t wait to see the Cubbies beat the Cards today.

Go Cubs!!!

When Is It Okay to Lower Prices?

iPhoneApple released details yesterday about how all of those early iPhone adopters can get their hands on their $100 Apple Store credit. Ever since Steve Jobs announced that there would be a credit for early adopters, I have been trying to decide if this is a good idea or not. On one hand, Apple dropped the price by a third after only two months on the market. On the other hand, how many times have you bought a technology product, or any product for that matter, and had the price drop significantly not long after your purchase? This happens all of the time! I know Apple is trying to make everyone happy here, and that’s a good thing, but does this set a dangerous precedent?

I bought an iPod right after they were released in 2001. I was the only person I knew that had one. People on the Metra would do a double take when they’d see me searching for a new song, and some of them would even ask me about the iPod. I felt like the coolest guy in the world. Early in 2002, Apple introduced a 10GB model, and of course I had a little bit of envy because I was quickly filling the 5GB of my iPod. Not for a minute did I expect Apple to give me my money back. I paid the price to have the latest and greatest Apple device, and it was well worth it. So what if a new 10GB model could be had for the same price?

That brings me back to the iPhone price drop debacle. Would such a huge uproar have occurred if Apple had released a 16GB iPhone at the same time as the 8GB iPhone price drop? It’s hard to be sure, but I don’t thing it would have happened. People would have had some envy for sure, but I doubt that they would have demanded their money back. Apple’s early adopters and Apple itself may have just slowed the release of new products by making it the company’s responsibility to pay back customers when new products are released. You can be sure that Apple and other technology companies will think twice when they have new products or product updates to release.

Consumers have determined that two months is too soon to drop prices. What is acceptable? Is one quarter (three months) enough time? How about six months? I guess we’ll find out the next time Apple has something revolutionary to release.