Football Team Management 2.0

Fantasy Football (Soccer) [not my image]

Quick update about MyFootballClub, which we wrote about when they launched in May. The venture, which hopes to harness the wisdom of crowds to manage a professional league soccer team (or football club, if you prefer), has just reached its target of 50,000 members. If all members follow through and pay their GBP 35 membership fee, MyFootballClub will soon have GBP 1,5 million in the bank and will be able to buy a team.

Thanks to a novel concept that garnered plenty of media coverage, it took MyFootballClub less than three months to get 50,000 potential owner-managers to sign up. Negotiations with clubs will start soon; the top 4 clubs on members’ lists are Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Cambridge United and Accrington Stanley, but selection will depend on a club’s availability as well as its popularity. Things will truly become interesting once 50,000 members start managing the team…

(Emphasis mine.)

Thanks to Mike W. for the tip.


Bangkok, Maine?

My cell phone rang at 2:41 a.m. today. I had been in a deep sleep and was more than a little confused when I answered.

Me: “Hello, this is Newley.”

Woman with an American accent: “Oh, Hi is this John in…?”

Me: “Sorry, no. I think you have the wrong number. This is Newley in Bangkok.”

Woman: “Oh, wow, sorry about that. You’re in Bangkok, Maine?”

Me: “No, no. Bangkok, Thailand.”

Woman [laughing]: “Oh, wow. That’s amazing! Sorry!”

Me: “That’s okay. It’s a small world.*”

Then I hung up.

Two notes and an asterisk:

1. I think she meant Bangor, Maine, although she clearly said “Bangkok, Maine.” I assume she was calling from somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, because…

2. I have a Washington, DC area code phone number that routes, via Skype, to my cell phone here in Thailand.

If I was confused that a strange woman was calling me from America in the middle of the night, imagine how bewildered she must have been to dial a DC-area code number and reach…an English-speaking stranger in Thailand.

*I’m not sure exactly what I meant by “it’s a small world.” I imagine I was trying to say something along the lines of:

“Hey, isn’t it nuts how in this crazy day and age you can be just, like, trying to call your buddy John to say come on over to our surprise party tonight for Martha, who’s turning 50, and be sure to bring some of those Lays chips that she likes, and also a card, and then next thing you know the streams are crossed because of a solar flare and you’re talking to somebody totally different on the other side of the world — can you believe cell phones these days?”

But it didn’t come out like that.


A New-Look

UPDATE (August 18): I’ve done some additional tweaking and settled upon a design. Finally. I invite RSS subscribers to click through and view the updated in all of its newfound graphical glory.

UPDATE (August 9): I’ve changed the design. Again. Sadly, not everyone shared my passion for the ultra-minimalist layout I was using a few days ago. And alas, dear readers, I ultimately strive to serve you. So I’ve adopted something a bit more exciting (yet still understated). Hope you like it.

As you can see, I’ve tweaked the design of It’s not a major overhaul; I’ve just made some minor changes here and there. Usability, clean lines, and white space still reign supreme.

I’m still fixing some bugs, so if anything seems amiss, please let me know. And if you’re viewing this from from an RSS reader, please do click through to the site and give me your thoughts. Comments for this post are turned on.

More soon…

Wine 2.0

Wine 2.0 [not my cartoon]

Snooth “promises to revolutionize the way people choose wine. By combining the company’s proprietary algorithms with the world’s most comprehensive wine database, Snooth is able to accurately identify the wines best-suited to an individual.”

(Site via. Cartoon via.)


Excellent OS X Writing and Project Management App

Scrivener is a remarkably useful Mac-only project management and writing application. I started using it a few months ago, and it’s quickly become a must-have.

First off: if you mostly write memos or simple documents that require strict formatting, then you should stick with Word. But if you’re a Mac user looking for something to help you manage complex writing projects — a novel, a screenplay, a book, or simply a long article — then you should take a look at this application.

For me, Scrivener’s best features, as I go about assembling my writing projects, are: 1) the ability to import and reference multiple documents and Web pages from within the main window; and 2) the split screen feature that allows me to consult two documents at once within that window.

No more toggling between multiple drafts in separate Word documents. No more consulting various Web sites and PDFs and then returning to Word. Everything now lives in one place, and all of my drafts and other materials are organized by folder.

I also really like Scrivener’s look and feel. It’s an OS X application designed and developed by a writer. And the community of users is also lively and passionate.

Here’s a recent Macworld review. And here’s what Merlin at 43 Folders says about Scrivener.

It’s free to download and use for a trial period; 35 smackers and it’s yours for life.

(Cartoon via.)