Friday, July 31, 2009

On Being a Twit

I just opened a new twitter account with the name CommunityColor. This twitter account is for the CommunityColor family of sites. I will use this account to promote things in the communities served by CommunityColor directories (Colorado, Utah and Western Montana).

I have personal twitter account (yintercept) that I started a few years back. I was using the account to follow local sites.

Well, during the current health care debate, I thought I would take a stab at promoting an idea called a Medical Savings and Loan. This reform adds a guaranteed loan to a Medical Savings Account. The guaranteed loan makes the system a viable option for lower income folks.

Replacing health insurance programs with a Medical Savings and Loan would give people equity in their health care. This would eliminate the problem that occurs when people change jobs.

If one defines "progressive" as something that creates big benefits for lower and middle class workers, the Medical Savings and Loan is the most progressive form of medical reform.

I started using my personal account to promote this idea.

My observation is that engaging in national debates detracts from my efforts to promote local communities. Having two accounts will help me keep a separation of these two efforts.

NOTE, I will be going through my following and followers list and refollowing people with the new account.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Domain -- MS&L

There is a new site in the family of sites. The domain is This site introduces an exciting approach to free market health care reform called The Medical Savings and Loan (more).

A medical savings and loan adds a guaranteed interest free loan to a medical savings account.

An interest free loan you ask? How can a company provide an interest free loan?

The answer is simple. In a standard loan, one charges the premium for the loan in the form of interest. This does not work in the case of medical loans as injury and illness reduce the capacity to pay back the loan.

Rather than charging the premium on the loan, the system charges a premium to access a guaranteed interest free loan.

I opened a disqus thread on the topic. If you would like to comment please use that thread as it will be more robust.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Finding Local Sites on Twitter

The Community Color directories had reaced a plateau as I was finding it increasingly difficult to find new local sites.

I am simply amazed at the number of small local stores that forget the most important detail that needs to be conveyed in their web site: Their Location! The thing that I find rediculus is the online merchant who puts privacy contols on their DNS record.

Anyway, I started trolling through Twitter. As a fair number of twitters include their city and state in their profile, I've been able to find dozens of new sites to the local directories.

When I started trolling twitter, my knee jerk reaction was to check out people's "following" list. I realized that I would find more interesting sites by following people's "followers" list.

My guess is that if a person wanted to build a huge twitter following, one would troll the followers list. Based on the premise that followers are more likely to reciprocate a following, I assume a person wanting to build a following would have better luck following the followers to following those with a large following.

Ofcourse, I am not sure if there is any value in having a following list of thousands as it would make the list unreadable.

BTW, I started Twitter in March 2007. I have 91 followers. It is strange, I have almost zero desire to invest effort in building a following.

I like that I can find local sites for my directories. So, I will be hitting Twitter with a vengeance until I stop finding interesting local sites.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Recession Taking It's Toll

Tallying up the Q2 2009. The take for Q2 had fallen from $1,463 to $766. That is is fell from about a quarter of a minimum wage job to about an eigth of a minimum wage job. Costs are about $300 a quarter. So really the take is about a 1/16th of a minimum wage job.

The lack of a funding source has kept me from adding features.

To make matters worse, many of the links in the directory have gone dark and the directories are showing signs of excessive link rot.