Tag Archives: voice

Buy in bulk and save – AT&T and Verizon offer big savings through family plans

It finally happened, the telecom’s have given up their silly (and greedy) attempts to charge us through the roof for voice and text messages. All you have to do is switch over to their new family plans. It’s the new buy in bulk Costco business model.

A few weeks ago, Verizon released their Share Everything Plan, and now AT&T has answered back with the Mobile Share Plan (T-Mobile too).

Both marginalize making phone calls and sending text messages. Allowing you to send unlimited of both while switching the focus to data plans, where they have established tiers to charge you per gigabyte.

On a side note, it appears that both companies want to put the screws on individual plans. Most of which are still at $100/person while the family plan rate is $50-70/person. Even more so now that they removed the 5 device limit on the plans; now with a 10 device limit allowing even greater bulk savings.

One reason for this big family-push is possibly a strategy to prevent defections, after all it is much harder to move to another company when that also means leaving your family.

But does the new plan save any money?

For my family, no, unless we can pull in more family members.

 

The Breakdown

My family is on AT&T and currently has four out of six family members on one plan. The current cost for the four of us is $240.00/mo. We have one extra feature, unlimited messaging, for $30/mo. This ends up costing each of us $60/mo.

The break down:

Phone #1 (primary line)

  • Family Talk, 700 minutes – $60
  • Text messaging unlimited – $30
  • Unlimited data – $30
  • Total = $120

Phones #2, #3, #4

  • Family Talk, 700 minutes – $10
  • Unlimited data – $30
  • Total = $40 (x3)

 

Under AT&T’s new plan, our total cost would be – $260 and that breaks down to $65/mo per person.

  • 6GB – $90
  • Smartphone – $35 x 4 = $140
  • Unlimited talk/text – $30

 

Which means we won’t be making the change…unless we add another phone to our plan. With five phones our total cost would be $295 and that would cost $59/mo per person.

  • 6GB – $90
  • Smartphone – $35 x 5 = $175
  • Unlimited talk/text – $30

 

And, in case you’re wondering if we add that sixth line the cost person would go down to $55/mo.

Maybe it’s time to wrangle together the whole family under one plan.

 

Continue reading

How the hell did I end up here?

Today, I’ve been thinking about my career as a blogger, asking the question, “how the hell did I end up here?”

I never liked writing essays, stories, or pretty much anything on paper. My grades in English from high school through college were mediocre. Everything changed when I wrote that first blog.

You see I’m a talker, always have been since about age 5. I have this vivid memory of stuttering and being unable to speak my mind. Then my Dad was driving me somewhere, we passed the Delta Center (old name of the Salt Lake City Jazz NBA stadium), and my mind clicked. I was able to say whatever I wanted and instantly started gabbing.

I didn’t stop gabbing, and annoying everyone around me, until I found blogging. It was my perfect place to say whatever I wanted. I loved it.

Coincidentally, I don’t feel the need to talk anymore. It’s all left on the blog and my mind, and relationships, are free to be…well, normal.

At work, things progressed pretty smoothly. I was able to convince my bosses to let me start blogging. It was all about the mission and how to improve our work. They liked it, the community liked it, and I was on my way. The reputation I had built up carried me into my next few jobs where part of why they hired me was the blogging.

Then, finally, it was my job. I was hired to be a corporate blogger. It was a great gig and I was able to do what I loved and get paid for it. The next step occurred to me sometime during that job. Instead of blogging for somebody else, why not do it for myself?

A few months later, on July 1, 2011, I took the plunge. Full-time writing for my own site and my own business, and most especially with my own content.

Of course, this changed everything. I went from corporate sponsorship to advertising based. I had to learn how to write for the public at-large, instead of for a specific group of business people. The transition hasn’t been hard, but I can’t say I’ve found my groove. The main issue is determining how to stand out amongst the millions of websites out there.

Which is where I sit today, trying to find my voice and working on building some momentum for this blog. It feels weird to look-back on my progression like this. There is no way I would have imagined it ending up this way. I mean my job at the time I started blogging was a technical trainer for web 2.0. That’s a pretty solid 90-degree career turn.

I guess that means I don’t know how I got here. It just kinda happened. I’ve been following my obsession with blogging for seven years and have yet to stop. I wonder where it will take me next…

 

***

Continue reading

Creativity, an equation for success: Obsession x Voice

Here is a post from John Gruber about creative success. For publishers or anyone with a deep interest in something, “obsession times voice is a pretty good stab at a simple formula for doing it right.”

Obsession x Voice

  • What’s my obsession?
    • Surfing, sustainability, creativity, and technology.
  • What’s my voice?
    • Haven’t found that yet, despite being a loudmouth rambler. I do know I prefer positivity over controversy, brevity over run-on sentences, and quality over quantity, but it still feels like an amorphous blob to me.

A better definition from Merlin Mann:

“Topic times voice. Or, if you’re a little bit more of a maverick, obsession times voice. So what does that mean? I think all of the best nonfiction that has ever been made comes from the result of someone who can’t stop thinking about a certain topic — a very specific aspect of a certain topic in some cases. And second, they got really good at figuring out what they had to say about it.”

 

I think that gets us into the Malcom Gladwell 10,000 hours of practice territory.  You know the claim that real expertise in any topic takes 10,000 hours or anywhere from 5-10 years.

By my own arithmetic, I figure to be about halfway, 5,000 hours, into blogging. Give or take a few hundred. There is still a lot for me to learn and, indeed, every few weeks I learn something new that completely blows me away. Usually, a lesson that hits me like a punch in the stomach, but after each recovery I emerge better than ever.

A cycle that many of my creative readers will completely understand. Still, it’s good to hear other successful creatives come back and explain to us that “obsession x voice” is the equation for future success.

 

Continue reading

People are pulling the plug on cable television by the hundreds of thousands

People are pulling the plug on cable television by the hundreds of thousands.

Comcast’s Q2 2012 earnings show the cable company is relying heavily on its high-speed Internet service subscribers.

Though the cable giant reports a total Q2 increase in customers of 138,000; the cable company also lost a massive 395,000 television subscribers in the last year.

This number is huge, considering Credit Suisse analyst Stefan Anninger previously predicted 200,000 fewer subscribers would pay for television services this year.

 

Source: Business Insider

 

Specific numbers:

In Q2 2012:

  • Lost 176,000 cable subscribers.
  • Gained 156,000 broadband.
In Q2 2011
  • Lost 238,000 cable.
  • Gained 144,000 broadband.

“While Comcast continued to rack up new broadband subscribers, it is still losing basic video subscribers quite fast — both to cord cutters and satellite/phone company rivals.” – GigaOm

 

 

Continue reading

Music Video – My Country from tUnE-yArDs…crazy but interesting (with kids)

My Country – by tUnE-yArDs

Tune-Yards (stylized as tUnE-yArDs) is the music project of New England native Merrill Garbus. When performing live, Garbus creates drum loops on the spot, and layers these with ukulele, voice, and electric bass (played by Nate Brenner).