Alex Barnett tagged me with the "5 things meme" some weeks back.  Here we go:

  1. I spent several weeks every summer going to cemetery conventions with my grandparents. I've heard all the jokes, this is a business of complex long term planning and sales.  One banquet in trade for a week at the beach -- good deal.  My sister and I would max out our checkouts from the library at 12 books. Those summer car rides were a significant contribution to my reading skills.
  2. My early jobs as webmaster involved a lot of search engine optimization, starting in 1996 or so, I was exploring structural markup and keyword density.
  3. I do a lot of greasemonkey prototyping behind the firewall at Microsoft.  It's a great way to demo features.  Based upon conversations with Mark Pilgrim, this happens at lots of big corporations.
  4. I grew up with 10 feet of albums and thus have a special place in my heart for old school rock'n'roll from Springsteen to Gram Parsons.  Gotta love those original Advent speakers with vinyl!
and now for the hum-dinger. 

5. I'm leaving Microsoft at the end of the week.  It's been an exciting couple of years and, to some degree, i was just getting the hang of *process* at the corporate behemoth.  The search product has come a long way in the over 2 years I've been there and there's a budding mashup/hackday effort that I was lucky to be a part of. Heck, I even got to demo a javascript hack to Bill Gates. 

That said, I want to participate more deeply in realizing whatever the future vision of common use hypertext turns out to be and I'll be returning to hacking in the commons, on Firefox, tools for user centered design, etc.  New gig in Atlanta to be disclosed shortly.

Before anyone goes blogging doom and gloom for Microsoft from personnel, with Jon Udell and an undisclosed as of yet, but distinguished Firefox extension dev starting soon, MSFT is doing ok on that front.  I'm hoping to make Jon's first week in Redmond geek dinner Thursday.

For future updates, point your aggregators to surfmind.com.