Tag Archives: location

How to Choose Where You Live

The city where you live can hugely impact your happiness. Some people say it doesn’t matter where you live, that you make your own happiness wherever you go. I beg to differ. The energy of a city is so important to your ability to thrive there. The weather is important too, more for some people than others. I really dislike being cold. I grew up in Chicago, went to college in New York and Michigan, and moved to the south primarily because I knew warmer weather would make me happier. It really did. So did other things about Atlanta.

Why I Moved from Atlanta to Austin

After eight years in ATL, I got the itch to try out another place. I wanted to get rid of my stuff and get rid of my 9-5 and make Beetle Moment Marketing my main job. I wanted to move somewhere with a greater focus on outdoor activities and a stronger sense of community, a place with less tension — without giving up my fantastic network and clients in Atlanta. So I’m splitting time between Austin and Atlanta. Semi-dual residency is my experiment for the next year or so. Airfare can be cheaper than bus fare if you know a few travel hacks.
people kayaking on Ladybird Lake
Ladybird Lake in Austin

My research

Who’s Your City,  though getting older and not the absolute answer to the question, is still a solid skim on the topic of choosing a place to live. Richard Florida has devoted his research to cities and what makes them and their residents prosper. Penelope Trunk did the same thing and after a year of thorough city happiness research moved from NYC to Madison, Wisconsin.  I examined the attributes of several U.S. cities and picked the one with the most pros for me: Austin, Texas.
page from Who's Your City
How do you like the place you’re living now?
It’s easier to move when you don’t have a mortgage or a job that requires you to be in one place. But if these apply to you, it’s still possible to rearrange your life to make a change or even become nomadic. Sell it, rent it, request remote work, quit, freelance…

And remember: jobs come and go.

We place too much emphasis on work in this country. No one on their death bed wishes they’d worked more. That said, I like working — more accurately, I love working for myself.
Emily at FBO looking at jets
Wheels up

What to do with all your stuff

Own a home? Rent it out. Have too much stuff? Sell it ALL. Inherit an old boat recently? Hire Captain Ron to help you sail it from the Caribbean to Miami, then decide to just keep sailing. The internet has made all of this easier than ever.

Downsize to joy items

Start to downsize early, then moving becomes much easier mentally. I sold or donated all my furniture and came to Austin with only boxes containing things like my InstantPot and Himalayan salt lamps and Casper pillow and rollerblades. Stuff that brings me joy: ditch the rest. Buy newer models of what you sold.

A chance to upgrade

When I move again I will pare it down even further. I’m excited to be lighter than ever. All those blazers and Brooks Brothers shirts and high heels from my corporate days are just taking up room in my closet. I’ve been thinking more about this since seeing the YouTube trend of young people living in their cars. Eileah Ohning from Columbus lived in her car for several months, motivated in part by wanting to save money to pay off student loans. That is a travesty, but student loan debt is a separate topic. The point is that it’s possible to be happy living really lean. Here are more moneysaving tips for your twenties.
I couldn’t downsize into a sedan like Eileah did (impressive) but I did embrace the discomfort of starting over from scratch. It’s a chance to upgrade things.

Your Life History on Demand

Here’s what I see coming for voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Lots of marketing opportunities here, and perhaps finally one eco-system to combine all social app data. More on that later.
Basic Functionality:
  • What date did I move to San Francisco?
  • Who joined me at the Bruce Springsteen concert a few years ago?
  • What was the name of that Portland, Maine dive bar on the water with the oysters we loved?
  • When did I first buy raw maca powder?
That’s fairly simple stuff. The required data sources (which we’re already comfortable sharing) include:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Swarm
  • Instagram
  • Amazon
  • Evernote
Amazon Echo Dot on kitchen counterApps like Timehop can already tap into high level info like this and tell you where you were three years ago, but the social and detail layers will require more information and networked data.
Intermediate Functionality:
  • What did I wear to Blackdiamondskye?
  • Which outfit should I wear today?
  • What topics did I research after my first lunch with Sandra?
  • How many calories have I really eaten today?
  • When am I due for an oil change?
Data sources:
  • Google
  • Weather
  • Credit card purchase history
  • Amazon
  • Photos
    • Clothing/style analysis (with predictive capability)
  • Mobile GPS data (location services) from apps like Google Maps
  • Passbook (boarding passes, movie ticket stubs, event badges)
  • Messaging app history (iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.)
Advanced functionality:
  • When was I happiest during the time I lived in New York?
  • Which job offer suits me best?
  • When did I know I was in love?
Data sources:
Everything we say and type? No – just all of the aforementioned sources, plus a future wearable or implanted device to monitor energy. Triangulate the data and apply some algorithms and AI.
hourglass with blue sand
Essentially, I think everything I currently rely on Evernote for will be available through a voice  assistant that is continually self-improving a personalized tagging convention and data-rich picture of who I was, who I am, and who I will be (how I will behave).
Location, check-in, and social data – your digital footprint – will be accessible. Visuals included. The more you check in and document your every move, the richer your look-backs will be. This is similar to the re-do in my favorite Black Mirror episode, The Entire History of You, except what I envision is not based on a 24/7 life recorder, but an aggregation of experiential data shared by permission.
ICYMI – The Entire History of You premise: In an alternate reality, most people have a “grain” implanted behind their ear. It records everything they see, hear, and do, like a first person recorder for life. This allows memories to be (quite realistically) played back either in front of the person’s eyes or on a screen, a process known as a “re-do”.
I’m not advocating for a grain implant or anything as terrifying as what’s available in this show. But the personal data recall possibilities are pretty exciting.
  • Upside: wonderful for re-experiencing memories or pulling up information quickly.
  • Downside: our memories will get even weaker because we will exercise that muscle less and less. Oh, and privacy.

Twitstagram, Facebook iOS 6 Privacy Nightmare, and the Internet Down Under – The Digital Dive Podcast Episode 8

This week The Digital Dive Podcast covers new Twitter photo filters, standing desk adventures, and a major privacy issue with Facebook/iOS 6 integration that hit a little too close to home for me. Your favorite digital divers are also thrilled to bring special guest Australian Crime Fiction Publisher Liam Jose on the show. Liam chimes in on Australia’s recent controversial policies regarding Internet censorship.

I. Standing Desk Update – How Melanie used stacks of office supplies to prevent cancer

II. Twitstagram- Twitter to add Instagram-like photo filters in the next few months

III. Australian government tries to censor the Internet

IV. The Facebook / iOS 6 privacy nightmare: We learn the hard way about the amount of information iOS Contacts pulls from Facebook based on mobile number and email address.

Source: Brian Farrington via townhall.com

Special Guest Liam Jose with my co-host Melanie Touchstone

Tips on Tap:

1. Zite: Apple’s #1 iPad news app of 2011 is still pretty great. Zite is “Your Personalized Magazine.” The app automatically learns what kind of articles, blogs, and videos you like and gets smarter as you use it.

2. Instagram spam comments are on the rise. How to delete Instagram comments and report abuse. (Tap the comment button as though you were going to comment. Then tap on the comment. Tap the trash icon that appears to the left.)

3. iOS 6 Ad Tracking: How to Opt Out. By default iOS 6 tracks iPhone and iPad owners’ browsing history to serve advertisements. How adjust your iOS ad tracking settings: Settings –>; General –>; About –>; Advertising. You’ll see Limit Ad Tracking. The default toggle is in the OFF position. That means ad tracking is turned on. If you want to opt out of targeted advertising, switch Limit Ad Tracking to the ON position. Note: Being tracked or not is a personal preference.

Show notes:

  1. The Standing Desk Adventure – Melanie Touchstone. missmelt.com, 11/14/12
  2. Twitter to Add Photo Filters to Compete With Instagram – NYTimes.com, 11/6/12

Can’t get enough of Liam Jose? Check out thecrimefactory.com and follow him on Twitter.

Me and Special Guest Liam Jose in the studio


You can download or stream The Digital Dive at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–>; If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review! The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming smartphone app. If you’re a new subscriber, please sign up with our link below:
Hear us on Stitcher Smart Radio

Ping us on Twitter @thedigitaldive_ and Like us on Facebook.

The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in