Infographic showing ethnic diversity in Austin, NYC and other cities

In 2009, Bill Rankin created an infographic of the ethnic distribution in Chicago. It was pretty awesome. Awesome enough that a couple of months ago Eric Fischer took the 2000 US Census Data and did the same thing for 40 other cities.

I love Chicago and spent a lot of time there between '04 & '08. It had always struck me with that city that you can walk across the street and literally feel like you are in a completely different place. Just on a level of race, Rankin's work seemed to support that notion.

Two of my other favorite cities in the world are listed below and they tell very different stories. Each dot represents 25 people. Pink is white, green is asian, yellow is hispanic and blue is black.


Austin is a great city. I haven't spent too much time there, but my girlfriend is from there and I feel like I know it pretty well. The population density is pretty low overall and there seems to be a pretty good mix of ethnic diversity within the various communities.

New York City

Not surprisingly the density of NYC is drastically different than Austin. Although Manhattan at street level has an incredible ethnic mix most of the time, it's hardly surprising that it's so white in terms of residents (except for Chinatown & Harlem).

It's really interesting to see other cities such as Washington, LA, Detroit and SF as well. I've also been watching a lot of The Wire lately, so seeing Baltimore was also pretty interesting.

If you live in NYC, get ready to start digging

It's a Muppet* treasure hunt for $10,000!

*Note: there is nothing aside from the style of the puppets to suggest this has anything to do with the actual Jim Henson Muppets, however they have been incredibly savvy with their web marketing as of late, and it would not surprise me if there was some connection.

The cool thing here is that this is not being billed as a marketing ploy or stunt to get your email address. In the FAQ's they answer 'What's the Catch?' with: "NOTHING. This is not a contest. Please don't send us your personal information. We don't want your email. There is no list to sign up for. We just want you to enjoy the videos. They contain everything you need to find the chest."

Of course, they likely expect the mystery around who is behind this thing will generate tons of PR. They will be proven correct there - it looks fun and yet another thing that makes me wish I was back in NY.

Here's their site:

Going to sit by the pool.

Waiting for some friends to show up in Austin. It's 10.30am but a beautiful day already, so I'm going to go sit by the pool. I'll be here for 11 more days and then back in Calgary for at least a couple of months.

As previously mentioned, I had a great meeting for Game Plan Systems on Tuesday. I was also able to stop in and chat with my client the Calgary International Film Festival. Aside from those 2 projects, I'm not too sure how much I want to get back involved with web marketing. It's not that I don't love the industry, but the hard part is that from a service provider standpoint it is a real grind. Sites like Clients from Hell illustrate the lack of respect for people in our industry. We don't sell anything tangible - we sell ideas, pretty pictures and lines of code - and I can understand where clients are coming from when dealing with us. I'm as guilty as anyone - when dealing with contractors I am bound by the limits of my budget and although I always try to be as fair as possible, often it is hard to justify paying as much as is asked for when there is such a variance in the outcome.

So my number one goal is still to make Game Plan's hockey training and coaching software successful. Over the next couple of months there is a lot I can do in Calgary to continue towards that objective. Beyond that, I'm wondering about the best place for me to be. New York was light years ahead of Calgary in fostering web entrepreneurship and my understanding is that San Francisco is even better. However, this is not possible due to visa restrictions - I will need some other work until Game Plan is self-sufficient and I can't do that in the US without a visa.

Toronto has a hotter hockey market and is on the East coast (which makes it closer to the important markets of NY, Boston and Montreal). Vancouver has a hotter interactive market than Calgary and is closer to Seattle and SF. Calgary has been home for a long time and it is a good hockey market and there is promise on the interactive front but I also have this Mashable article about the time-honored location, location, location in the back of my mind.

So now I'm going to put that in my brain-hole, take my orange book and sit by the pool for 3 hours. Sunburns await.

In Austin, waiting for luggage

After a whirlwind day in Calgary yesterday, meeting up with several friends, some pho at Co Do, a productive meeting for Game Plan, sliders at Loungeburger, and a chance to do some laundry and drop off 2 of my big suitcases - I didn't end up getting much sleep last night. Which matched my lack of sleep the night before in Toronto. And the night before in Brooklyn.

I'm now sitting in Austin, without my luggage (which didn't make the connection) and an inability to take out my contacts which are really bugging me. I'm exhausted but also pretty pumped about SXSW and trying to figure out what I'll do the first few days. I came across the video above and now am really having trouble getting to sleep.


I'm lying in bed at the place I'm staying at in Brooklyn - listening to the trade deadline and marveling at the Oilers' trades today. All I really want to do is sleep though.

I had a long call with a friend of mine at 8pm Mountain time on the 1st - which was 4am in Spain. I got a few hours of sleep but got up early enough to enjoy my last day in Malaga. Then flew out at 5pm in Spain and 12 hours later arrived in NY without sleeping on the plane. What a relief being back in NY - it definitely seems like home in a lot of ways. When I got in I was talked in to going out with my previous roomie, Patricia, who I stayed with last night. I finally went to an underground speakeasy, which was a lot of fun. But by the time I got home at 3am ET (9am Spain), I was really overtired and although I fell asleep instantly, I woke up only 2 hours later. The 2 hours I slept involved a very surreal dream and I wasn't able to get back to sleep. Thankfully I could get a little work done, as some inspiration hit.

So from the time I woke up on Mar 1st to now (which would be 11pm Spanish time on Mar 3rd), I've got a total of 5 hours sleep. I want to make the most of my time in NY (Animal Collective plays at the Guggenheim tonight & midnight showing of Alice in Wonderland), but I'm also getting sick & am pretty much useless right now. I've been trying to sleep for the last 4 hours and no luck.

I might need to head back to Soho. Maybe the unfamiliar setting is keeping me awake. The lack of sleep is probably making this blog post non-sensical, and if so I apologize.

One thing I will say is that the feeling this time around in NY is already a lot different. Like I mentioned, it does seem a bit like home now, and my schedule looks full for my 5 days here. For some reason, I'm also in the mindset to go out a lot more now. I also have offers to move in full-time with both the girl in Brooklyn that I'm staying with now (starting in May) and the girl who replaced me in Soho (in July). Gives me a lot to think about.

I'm also really looking forward to my meeting in Calgary, but really wasted the day away in my tired/sick haze. I hope I can pull my shit together tomorrow.

One disappointment so far: not being able to arrange a caesar-making contest with my hockey-loving friends I met at the Digital Dumbo event in January.

Busy Day

Holy shit, what a crazy day. It's funny how sometimes things just fall in to place. Yesterday I was faced with coming back to Calgary this week to take care of some things at home (thereby missing Brooklyn) OR staying in Brooklyn and missing out on the things in Calgary I needed to take care of.

Luckily this morning, one of the things finalized itself.

Almost immediately afterwards I got some follow-ups in both Calgary and NY and all of the timing was able to line up nicely. So now I'm going to do both. I leave tomorrow and will be in NY from the 2nd to the 8th. Calgary on the 9th for a meeting and to drop off all the luggage I've been dragging around with me, and then on to Austin on the 10th for SXSW. The festival doesn't kick off until the 12th, so I will have a couple of days to unwind luckily.

I have a crazy travel schedule in front of me and so much work to do, but I have a ton of focus right now and am really excited. I'll definitely be feeling like George Clooney's character in Up in the Air by the end of the trip.

Fridays +/-5

My last 5 Fridays were spent in the following cities: NYC; AGP; GRX; CDZ; BCN
My next 5 Fridays will (likely) be spent in the following: AGP; NYC; AUS; AUS; YYC

I have yet to book the flight home from Austin. There's only one thing I have to discuss with someone which could derail an early trip home, but now that my mind is set on it, I am looking forward to having a Keith's at BTF, being in town for the playoffs & playoff pools, Phil's on Sundays, pho, having a place to go to work, and obviously seeing friends & family.

Aside from the above, what I really want is to be going back to NY. I'll have to figure out how to make that happen on a more permanent basis. Maybe in a year or two or five.