How I Made $200 Writing a Blog Post

No Comments

Ok, before you go on reading thinking someone paid me $200 to WRITE a blog post, let me be clear. That wasn’t the case. I wrote a blog post for an online contest and won 1st prize which was $200 worth of UX (User Experience) books. However, I had to get your attention somehow so this sensational title was worth a shot. Anyways, it’s a great story so I thought I would tell it.

I blog on both my personal blog (here) and the Roundarch (my employer) blog. One of the usability blogs I follow was running a contest. I’m a student of usability and have read a couple books on the subject but I was hungry for more. This was a great opportunity for me to get in on some books without having to pay for them provided I won. All you had to do was write a blog post on “why you love usability and want to jump-start your usability training”. I thought to myself, that’s pretty easy. I can write a blog post. I write blog posts anyways.

For the last month, I’ve been pretty slammed at work, so you probably noticed tumbleweeds and cobwebs on my blog. The blog at work was also suffering a similar fate and needed remedying. So I thought, why don’t I kill 2 birds with one stone and blog about usability on the Roundarch blog. It would give others an idea of the importance we as a company place on usability (because we do), and I would have a blog post to submit for the contest. (And if by chance I won, I’d have a great blog post for my own blog in the form of this story I’m telling you right now). Mind you, I wasn’t expecting to win.

You can read the blog post and judge for yourself. I don’t personally think it’s award winning material by any means but if you looked at the competition, a lot of it was pretty half-assed. Like Woody Allen says:

80% of success is just showing up

I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that I was being lazy. I killed 2 birds with one stone by writing a blog post on usability on the Roundarch blog so that I could have a blog post there AND have an entry to the competition. As luck would have it I won.

Here are the books I won:

I’ve read Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Don’t Make Me Think, and Tipping Point. The person running the contest, a guy by the name of Peter Meyers, was gracious enough to let me swap out the books I already had for other usability books. I’ll give him a shameless plug. You should read his blog if you are interested in usability and UX.

So the point of this entire blog post is this: There are tons of small little contests and competitions like these all over the internet with prizes waiting to be claimed. You just have to seek them out and give it a shot. This one particular contest had 20 entries. That means you had 1 in 20 chances of winning. Why not? Anyways, if anyone did decide to listen to this tidbit of advice and actually wins something on the web down the line, please give me a shout out on this blog post and tell me your story.

Popularity: 2% [?]

Hack T-Shirt Designer


Roundarch (my employer) is having a t-shirt design contest for the summer company annual event. The winner will not only enjoy seeing her work being worn by all her colleagues but she will also win an Amazon Kindle.

I’m not really a graphic designer, but I decided to throw my hat into the game. If you guys like it enough, sign into the site and vote for it. Thanks

Popularity: 2% [?]

Pek Blogs for Roundarch

No Comments

Starting today I will also be blogging for Roundarch. This is very exciting for me since I get to represent Roundarch from a UX perspective. Something must give, so as I result, I won’t be posting here as much but I remain committed to putting up quality posts that reflect my interests in technology, startups, business, marketing/advertising, and of course martial arts.

Read my first Roundarch post here.

Popularity: 2% [?]

Adobe Max 2008 Session: Lazy Innovation

No Comments

This was a Designer track session – whoooohh, I already feel the creative vibe. Lazy innovation is about innovation that comes from people not wanting to have to do redundant tasks or inefficient tasks. Laziness in this sense is not about idle laziness. A great quote I got out of this talk:

When faced with a difficult task, give it to someone lazy, they’ll find an easier way to do it.

Takes from this talk:

  • understand people’s lazy behavior
  • look for clues of lazy behavior
  • respond to the lazy behavior

Lazy Behavior

Popularity: 6% [?]

Pek @ Adobe Max – General Session

No Comments

So I’m here in San Francisco where my peoples built the railroads and dug the mines. Fortunately though I had to do neither of that. I’m here on Roundarch dime for Adobe Max, a yearly 3 day conference where people who use Adobe products in their daily work lives come to meet other Adobe whores (and I mean that in the nicest way since I’m one too), learn about new products, and generally have a good time.

In this post, I’ll cover the kick-off general session. Adobe AIR was prominently featured. AIR is Adobe’s desktop runtime which basically allows you to do web application development for desktop applications.

  • The International Herald Tribune showed off it’s AIR application which lets you read their articles offline. There was a Silverlight version of this years ago which did pretty much the same thing.
  • (Red) Wire is a desktop music subscription service built on AIR that will donate the proceeds to the Red non profit that was founded by Bono to help bring medicine to AIDS sufferers in Africa. Seems like they used Papervision for the UI.
  • Maria Shriver, first lady of California came and they did a presentation about California Legacy Trails, a program meant to educate about women’s history in California. Adobe will be launching an AIR app for this organization. Look for it at sometime late this year.
  • Tour De Flex, an AIR app that basically showcases various Flex components along with sample source code, can be found at Dave Meeker let me in on this earlier last week. It’s pretty slick – a must for every Flex developer.

Adobe is making great inroads in the mobile market. They’re meeting their goal of shipping over 1 BILLION phones with some version of Flash. Flash Player 10 is coming to many of the new handsets. They’re also working on a seamless Flash app packaging and deploy for mobile phones to make the experience even more unintrusive.

Check out some Flickr photos from the keynote (these aren’t mine) – I was just too darn lazy seeing as how EVERYONE had their cameras out. Oh and I got those really cool Adobe product stickers that you put on your laptop to help other nerds identify you. Hit me up if you want some cuz I got extra.

Popularity: 2% [?]

Older Entries