Instagram is rolling out a preview of its coming ads with an example from Levi…

Now, Instagram, in a blog post today, revealed what ads will look like on the platform. It turns out, they look like any other Instagram photo with a “sponsored” tag and the ability to like and comment.

via Facebook’s Instagram Reveals What Sponsored Ads Will Look Like | Adweek.

With Instagram’s popularity still rising, it will be interesting to see the public reaction (particularly among its younger users who have moved away from Facebook partly because of its monetization attempts).

As a fan of economic theory (by no means an expert), I’ve always tried to rationalize the chasm that exists between private school and public school teacher pay.

Having been both a private school and public school teacher, I’ve had to rationalize this on a whole different level.

Though there are lots of generalities in this article, I do agree with the concluding paragraph here:

The biggest lesson public education can draw from the salary gap isn’t to cut wages, or quash unions, or hold open auditions for unlicensed teachers. The lesson, in fact, has little to do with salaries at all. The moral is that not all teaching jobs are alike. Different school environments make for radically different work, and many teachers find private schools offer a more rewarding experience. Attracting and retaining teachers, then, means more than just raising salaries. It means taking disciplinary obstacles and bureaucratic nonsense out of teachers’ paths.

via Why Are Private-School Teachers Paid Less Than Public-School Teachers? – Ben Orlin – The Atlantic.

My only caveat is that not every private school is the same Dead-Poets-Society engendering experience for teachers. I taught at three very different private schools over the last decade and I had three very different experiences. There were varying levels of responsibilities, overhead, bureaucracies, call for standards etc.

In general, I’ll say that the best schools are where the teachers are happy and passionate about their jobs. How to accomplish that? Get out of the teachers’ way and trust them as the professionals they are (or at least they are hired to be).

Facebook is rolling out an interesting new way to advertise to its members who have visited your website…

Today we’re announcing new custom audience features that can help marketers reach people who have visited them on desktop or mobile. Website and mobile app custom audiences will soon be available to a limited number of test partners and will roll out globally in the coming months.

via Coming Soon: New Ways to Reach People Who've Visited Your Website or Mobile App | Facebook for Business.

Facebook continues to open up its userbase to advertising and with its tentacles in all parts of the web, this is definitely an interesting aspect to what you can do with their ad platform.

four quarters

I was talking about calendars and work weeks with a friend earlier and I tried to explain how my convoluted brain processes the week. I don’t like to think of time in terms of hours or days. Rather, I’m much more productive (and happy) when I can segment things into their proper places in the flow of my life.

For me, that means having “4 Quarters” to what others would call a week.

This cycle of 4 quarters keeps me sane and focused. I look forward to each segment as you might look forward to a different class in high school or as a football team might prepare for a game of four quarters (see what I did there?).

Of course, there are unpredictable situations that pop up and cause a disruption in my cycle, but as I transition from a classroom teacher (wake at 6, work until 5, sleep, repeat) to running a business, this completely makes sense in my head.

Monday and Tuesday: Work Days. Sleep late. Work in the home office with the pups from 9’ish until lunch time. Go into downtown office at 1 until 7. Meet Merianna for dinner and week review. Work until 10 or 11 or 1 depending on volume. These are my “put on your headphones, put your nose down and get your work done” focus days. I’m up way too late and drink way too much coffee during this quarter. I normally look like this by Tuesday night.

Wednesday and Thursday: Travel and Meetings Days. This is the quarter when I have to take a deep breath and get out of introvert mode. It’s my travel, meetings, email catchup and phone calls quarter and I try to jam them all together so I can focus on work the other quarters. I travel to Asheville, Greenville, Charlotte or Charleston for client meetings during these two days. I’m usually working in my hotel room from 6’ish to midnight on either design work or meeting reviews. I’m constantly and purposefully on the road these two days and using the (headset) phone while driving. However, I’m trying to make it to more of our church’s Wednesday night suppers these days. This is usually me on the drive home Thursday night.

Friday: Brainstorm. Head to the office early (8 or 9) and catch up on reviews from Wednesday and Thursday travels and meetings and plan out the week ahead. This is my time to catch my breath and do some brainstorming for my clients and my own business. I normally look like this during the quarter. I work until 2 PM or so then go pick up my daughters for the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday: Family, Fun and Review. Normally includes sleeping late, working in either football and/or NASCAR for a couple of hours and some down time to cook and enjoy the family. Otherwise, I’m working but not as much as on Monday and Tuesday. On Sunday morning, there’s church and lunch with our congregation after. Sunday night from 8-10 PM is week prep time where I review my note cards, make sure they are scanned and in Evernote and everything from the previous week is either checked, archived or ready to be addressed Monday and Tuesday.

How do you think about your week?

Because I am my job. I enjoy building a business that literally has my name on it. It’s frustrating and scary and amazing all at once.

Great post…

Man is meant to be busy. But busy on certain types of things. There is not supposed to be some distinction between work and not work. It’s all supposed to be work…and none of it is supposed to feel pointless or soul crushing. You’re not supposed to have sneak in a Crossfit workout at 9 PM at night before you go home because that’s your only opportunity to feel alive or part of something. It can be that way all the time.

via I Work All The Time — And That’s A Good Thing | Thought Catalog.

Based on the current hotness that podcasting is going to experience in 2013 and 2014, Marco (founder of Instapaper and The Magazine) has a new podcast app:

I like some iOS podcast apps, but I don’t love any of them. So I’m making my own. It’ll be released when it’s ready. Maybe later this year.

via Overcast.

If you’re not doing podcasting, you’re missing out.

Another reason I’m passing on the latest iPhone is because of the 5th Amendment and the fine legal line between something you “know” and something you have or are. Or to put it simply, is a password more secure because you “know” it and the government would have to compel you to give up that knowledge rather than something that is tangible in the sense of a fingerprint or other biometric data that you “have” or “are”? It will be an interesting court case for sure.

Sen Al Franken (D-MN) has posted a series of thoughtful questions for Apple (and consumers) to ponder with this latest iteration of technology…

(10) Under American intelligence law, the Federal Bureau of Investigation can seek an order requiring the production of “any tangible thing[] (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items)” if they are deemed relevant to certain foreign intelligence investigations. See 50 U.S.C. § 1861. 

Does Apple consider fingerprint data to be “tangible things” as defined in the USA PATRIOT Act?

via Sen. Franken Questions Apple on Privacy Implications of New iPhone Fingerprint Technology | Al Franken | Senator for Minnesota.

To use the cliche, it’s not that I have anything to hide but I would like to keep as many constitutional aspects of my US citizenship (especially in 2013) instead of trading them off for quicker access to iTunes purchasing.


I’m writing this while sitting at the bar waiting for takeout from my fav pizza place dive in my old/new city of Columbia.

This time it feels more permanent. That’s most because I’vd started both my new business and my new life here. This is my Jerry Maguire moment in time and place.

Everyone here that I tell I picked this patch of famously hot dirt over Asheville looks at me a little curious and a lot of envious. However, this dirt is my home (well closer).

I called my grandmother today from my new offices downtown and wished her happy birthday. She was so excited to have me back in South Carolina just because it’s closer to home and my girls will have SC roots.

That made me realize some deep things about myself and my family.

It’s good to be home.

To quote Jerry Maguire, “I was 35. I had started my life.”

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