Lisa Noble yesterday asked where I find things. I don’t really know except to say that I just keep my eyes open for things that catch my attention.
I had such a moment last evening as I was catching up on email and newsletters. I have email accounts on Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft and use each for differing purposes. One of these purposes is to filter the resources accordingly. So, it won’t come as a surprise that, when I’m subscribing to a Microsoft resource, I use my live.ca account. I think everyone has their own way of keeping track of things.
This approach has worked for me for a long time since it allows me to focus on a particular topic, depending upon the service.
I’ll also admit right now that I do take a look at the Junk / Spam folders because there are times that things I want to read end up there according to the rules written by the provider to keep us safe. I do admit to being amused with the bad attempts at phishing. Maybe I should write a post about responses to email spammers.
Anyway, as I cleaned out my live account last night, I noticed that there were some things in the junk folder.
Checking it reveals:
So, Lisa, that’s how I find things that amuse me. I’m actually quite interested in the specifications, pricing, and availability of the Surface Pro 4. I was quite surprised to see them end up here.
I think Brandon Grasley summed it up nicely…
@dougpete I’m certain that Google would never send its own marketing emails to your Gmail spam folder!
— Brandon Grasley (@bgrasley) October 27, 2015
I have had this tab open in my browser since the recent Federal election because I found it oddly engaging.
I ran into it because of one of the channel coverages and I can’t remember which one so I apologize for not knowing exactly where I first saw it. All of the channels had their own engaging supporting segments about voting patterns but one of them had this fellow from Environics Analytics. According to him, his firm had sliced the Canadian demographic into 68 different types and was using that to talk about voting trends.
So, I had to check out my current location. The results really didn’t describe me but I could see it fitting others in a nearby subdivision. So, I guess the numbers would dwarf this single person family in the realm of statistics. It is a fairly big subdivision, after all. Then, as I tend to do, I started to wonder.
As a student, I lived in five or six different places going to university, four different places once I got my job, and then of course, my home town. I decided to track the communities where I used to live. It was quite interesting. Here’s where I lived while attending the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto.
Things have certainly changed since I lived there, if the description is accurate. At the time, I was a poor university student renting a refurb over top of a friend’s parent’s garage. My recollection of the neighbourhood was of people who were hard working single and dual income families. I don’t recall many who would have gone to university but, of course, I didn’t meet everyone!
The whole exercise was interesting and I could see using the tools in a bunch of educational settings, including digital tool strategies. All that you have to do is enter the desired Postal Code into Environics’ Prizm tool, let it do the analysing, and then ponder the results. What a starting point for a discussion.
Now, lest you be impressed that I could remember all the postal codes of places that I’ve lived, I couldn’t. But, I sure knew how to find them.
So, the two tools that I used were:
- Canada Post “Find a Postal Code“
- Point and Shoot a Postal Code “Canadian Postcode Radius Search Map“
- Environics Canada “Prizm5“
I guess the days of predicting winners by looking at candidates’ signs on lawns may be gone! As a dog walker, I know that on our road there were six orange signs, one red sign, and two blue signs. We did end up electing a NDP candidate.
It’s a website worth poking around for lots of things digital, analytical, and applied mathematics. From the home page, you might be interested in comparing the big Canadian cities in the section “What if they were 100 people?”. Here’s the resulting infographic for Toronto.
If nothing else, it goes a long way to answering the question “Where does anyone ever use this?”