When #Andyasks, What Are the Answers?

I launched my completely unscientific ‘#andyasks’ Twitter experiment on November 25. Since then I’ve asked a question a day on Twitter (I forgot yesterday – whoops!) and invited any and all to respond.

I don’t know how to judge whether or not it’s been “successful” (beyond the fact that it helped get my Twitter grade up to 99.7 – woo hoo!), but it’s been a lot of fun. As expected, it’s taken me very little time. Whenever I think of a question I write it down in a google doc, then fire ’em off each day in about 20 seconds. Also as expected, I’ve learned a lot, and I think others have, too.  #andyasks-related tweets have been retweeted, and I’ve seen them lead to some conversations in the Twitterverse.

So the experiment will continue. And I’ll also periodically post recaps here, starting with this one.  Here are some of my questions, and a few of the good answers received to each one. I’m using no selection criteria here that I can articulate; I’m just grabbing what grabs my fancy right now.

If you want to participate, just follow me on Twitter. I usually ask my question at about 2 pm US East Coast time. If you respond, please include “#andyasks” somewhere in your response so that hashtags work.

I’ve found Tweetdeck to be a great resource for watching the conversation unfold, and Twitter itself has a robust search function (to prepare this post, I’m using it to search for “@amcafee” and “#andyasks“).

November 25

amcafee: #andyasks your favorite recent non-food purchase under $20?

sethgray: @amcafee another Moleskine notebook: http://bit.ly/Sz91 (expand) and The Killers’ new album: http://bit.ly/OuqB (expand) #andyasks

bevbarnett: @amcafee Recent purchase: Concert ticket to see http://www.robinsongs.com acoustic duo at Fremont CA coffeehouse, $15 #andyasks

sengseng: @amcafee #andyasks: “i’ve never” playing cards from urban outfitters: http://tinyurl.com/6m2kx9 (expand)

cbandler: RT @cbandler: @amcafee Ashton Classic cigar (favorite because it was enjoyed while playing Torrey Pines last Sunday) #andyasks

amcafee: My answer = Injinji 5-toed athletic socks: http://www.injinji.com/ #andyasks

mnoreen: @amcafee #andyasks Flip Clock turns your iPhone into a retro-style timepiece. $1 http://bit.ly/Nnri (expand)

davidvivero: 400+ miles worth of gas for my Prius #andyasks (Former student!)

prewett: a couple Gin and Tonics so I can stand hanging out with guys like @vecheva #andyasks (Former student dissing other former student!)

suzannefrederiq: @amcafee #andyasks Anthony Robson’s recording of Albinoni double oboe & string concertos: http://tinyurl.com/5utuef (expand) – Baroque perfection.

mickierops: RT @amcafee: #andyasks your favorite recent non-food purchase under $20? Mine: cute fuzzy pjs for 5 y.o. Matthew.

KristianT: @amcafee #andyasks a detailed map of the rural corner of France where I go with my family next summer.

jklopson: @amcafee hmmm…I appreciate the exploration of what you’re doing with the #andyasks… but signal to noise has clearly gone up ^2. Balance?

November 26amcafee: #andyasks favorite motto / slogan / saying of <= 140 characters? (if room, include source)

JeanneYocum: @amcafee #andyasks “I try to leave out the parts people skip.” Elmore Leonard – I keep it taped on my monitor at all times!

LouisColumbus: #andyasks “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion” (Friedrich Hegel)

bevbarnett: @amcafee Follow those who seek the truth and run from those who say they’ve found it (anon?) #andyasks

amcafee: #andyasks my answer: “Sit down and read. Educate yourself for the coming conflicts.” – Mother Jones

jensonsdaniel: #andyasks Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime oublie, parce qu’il a ete proprement fait. -Balzac-

jensonsdaniel: #andyasks The secret of great fortunes without apparent reason is a forgotten crime because it was done properly.

schlosna: @amcafee “Perfection is attained, not when no more can be added, but when no more can be removed.” – Antoine de Saint Exupéry #andyasks

planetrussell: Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est. – The designated hitter rule has got to go. #andyasks

driessen: @amcafee #andyasks “A problem can never be solved at the same level it was created” – Einstein

DonnaM519: @amcafee #andyasks You must be the change you wish to see in the world. M. Gandhi.

ldesautels: #andyasks The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence. Robert Shiller

mnoreen: #andyasks “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”

November 27amcafee: #andyasks is predictable today, but still important: aside from loved ones and health, what are you thainkful for?

adrielhampton: @andyasks #andyasks Thankful for God, democracy, BHO, and that fact I’ve been on a spending plan the last two years and am financially sound

a32b: @amcafee No problem with asking the obvious. I’m thankful that Matt Cassel has made this Pats season better than anyone expected #AndyAsks (former student!)

sengseng: #andyasks I’m thankful for every failure, every heartache, every loss, every pain, every mistake & every night of missed sleep.

amcafee: @sengseng my favorite words along those lines: http://bit.ly/12k3S (expand) #andyasks

NextInstinct: Yes, that is a keeper of a poem. Thanks @amcafee http://bit.ly/12k3S (expand) #AndyAsks

amcafee: #andyasks my answer: I’m thankful for my students over the years. I’ve learned much from them, and some have become friends. Lucky me.

nadosy: #andyasks Obama (former student!)

narcise: @amcafee #andyasks I’m thankful for a fresh start with a new administration poised to go to the whitehouse.

November 28amcafee: #andyasks: Who’s the best live performer you’ve ever seen?

jessewilkins: #andyasks Roger Waters, Radio KAOS tour, McNichols Arena in Denver
mcornell: @amcafee The Mighty Mighty Bosstones or Primus #andyasks

sengseng: #andyasks oh oh oh. Linkin Park. Hands down. Like being at the pinnacle of where heaven & hell converge

jmcaddell: @amcafee #andyasks Joe Jackson

amcafee: I’m with @jmcaddell: my answer = Joe Jackson. Heard him ealier this fall; he flat KILLED, and clearly loved what he was doing. #andyasks

pair_o_dimes: @amcafee #andyasks Metallica (with Jason Newsted, not Robert Trujillo)

lewisshepherd: @amcafee Phantom Surfers, legendary Cali band, opening for Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, Santa Cruz #andyasks

dkrcarter: @amcafee #andyasks You are gonna laugh… Barry Manilow. I got dragged to a concert when I was 20 but the guy has done every song, jingle

amcafee: @dkrcarter You’re right – I’m laughing. Barrry Manilow!?!?! #andyasks
dkrcarter: @amcafee #andyasks admit it though.. You got Copa Cabana in your head. My close second was Springsteen last year.

amcafee: @dkrcarter If I did have Copacabana in my head I’d never forgive you… #andyasks|


Pistachio: #andyasks Ani DiFranco for the sheer awesomeness in all dimensions. Billy Joel for pure showmanship and energy.

kmallwein: @amcafee I’m aging myself but it was Bob Hope doing one of his classic performances for US military troops. He was superb. #andyasks

amcafee: All ‘best live performer?’ responses so far have been about popular music. Any other types of performer merit inclusion? #andyasks

timoreilly: @amcafee How about Ben Zander? His TED talk was the best ever. I’d love to see him conduct. #andyasks

driessen: RT @driessen: @amcafee Yo Yo Ma and Anne Sofie von Otter. #andyasks

suzannefrederiq: @amcafee #andyasks Kurt Masur: http://tinyurl.com/5dtehp (expand) he’s incredible to watch.

ericagee: @amcafee #andyasks Nobody’s saying theatre or dance or musicals? Comedy? Teaching? Trial lawyers?

amcafee: @ericagee Excellent point! I saw Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice” in NYC last year. Transported me and broke my heart. #andyasks

mpm: #andyasks best performer? at least one of the best – the de la guarda ensemble in ny. humans as graceful rhythmic projectiles

November 29

amcafee: #andyasks Fill in the blank: I am a passionate fan / follower / aficionado of ____?

alanlepo: @amcafee Bleach Manga #andyasks

JeanneYocum: @amcafee #andyasks I am a passiaonte fan of Penn State football & the Bosotn Red Sox.

sengseng: @amcafee oh oh oh. Lemme fill in urs…red sox, IT, NYTimes Xword puzzles. #andyasks

amcafee: My answer: The Boston Red Sox, crossword puzzles (brava, @sengseng) #andyasks

pair_o_dimes: #andyasks Christ

sbjet: @amcafee – The New York Mets – #andyasks

nadosy: #andyasks aspartame, sadly.

bncarvin: @amcafee Avid fan/follower: Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Mgmt Review, The Conference Board Review, Rotmans #andyasks

shionguha: @amcafee Jethro Tull, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Forgotten Realms. #andyasks

November 30amcafee: #andyasks: What’s the oldest piece of clothing you still wear at least semi-regularly?

KristianT: @amcafee #andyasks that would be the early 90s bandana that I always carry in my suitcase for when a hotel aircon mess up my throat.

kmallwein: @amcafee #andyasks pair of furry mukluks bought in Canadian PX in Germany in late 70’s. Great when shoveling snow.

JBordeaux: @amcafee #andyasks Sneakers purchased in anticipation of entering AF officer program, budget cuts cancelled the appointment. Circa 1989

vendorprisey: @amcafee pair of tan brogues that I bought in 1990. And a tweed coat that was my father’s (1960’s) #andyasks

amcafee: answers to today’s #andyasks are largely footwear and outerwear so far. Other ancient-but-still-used garments out there?

cheeky_geeky: @amcafee Flannel shirts, for sure. #andyasks

amcafee: #andyasks my answer: sweater I bought before junior year in France, 1987. It’s holding up much better than I am.

a32b: @AMcAfee Oldest clothing item I still wear: a José Canseco t-shirt I got in ’95, his 1st year on the Sox http://bit.ly/Canseco (expand) #AndyAsks

jessewilkins: #andyasks a T-shirt I bought in Panama in 1990. Red with rollable sleeves to create canary-yellow cuffs. Faded to pink but still a fave.

mikaeliand: @amcafee #andyasks Jimmy Buffet concert t-shirt from 1983

nadosy: #andyasks. I like this one! I still wear a cashmere sweater was my grandmother’s in the 70s. I think it must have a coating of asbestos.

Pistachio: #andyasks ancient-est garments: USN bomber jacket; pale green formal beaver-collar coat, both ca. 60’s. Or, HS frosh yr(’87) denim overalls

December 1

amcafee: #andyasks Last book that made you look at something important in a whole new way?

leeprovoost: @amcafee #andyasks India Unbound by Gurcharan Das -> understad why India is today how it is by looking at its past

adrielhampton: #andyasks The Future of Work, Malone

ebala: @amcafee #andyasks Information Anxiety 2 by Wurman great read about information design It’s about understanding over data volumes

leeprovoost: @amcafee #andyasks Lords of Poverty by Graham Hancock -> too much money gets wasted in development aid

cbandler: @amcafee Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt #andyasks

psantora: @amcafee #andyasks The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb – made me rethink my view of ‘luck’. Risk and the bell curve can be very misleading.

a32b: @AMcAfee Sounds silly, but I did a 180º on clutter after reading “It’s All Too Much”. It changed my life. #AndyAsks http://bit.ly/AllTooMuch (expand)

LouisColumbus: #andyasks Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck validated how important a strong work ethic is even for those blessed with exceptional abilities

bncarvin: Thanks @LouisColumbus for the referral of the book Mindset. Going to put that one on order at the library. #andyasks

jessewilkins: #andyasks @dweinberger‘s Everything is Miscellaneous.

amcafee: My answer, part 2: The Skeptical Environmentalist, by Bjorn Lomborg http://bit.ly/8Thg (expand) . The data speak, and surprise. #andyasks

Kickstand447: #andyasks A tie between The Omnivore’s Dilemma http://tinyurl.com/6atbfw (expand) and The Long Emergency http://tinyurl.com/2mfg8p (expand)

SteveD503: @amcafee #andyasks “The Theory of the Leisure Class” (1899). Coins “conspicuous consumption:” a manners-driven over-reaching. 100 years ago.

December 2amcafee: #andyasks Coolest website (that YOU DON’T OWN or operate) that not enough people know about?

adrielhampton: #andyasks GovLoop.com

sethgray: @amcafee http://keyboardr.com (this time with hashtag goodness) #andyasks

psantora: @amcafee #andyasks http://amiestreet.com – free/cheap music, http://reddit.com – news, and http://zefrank.com – comedy.

amcafee: @psantora zefrank is in fact strange and wonderful. I remember him from back in the ‘how to dance’ videos #andyasks http://bit.ly/bwWU (expand)

sbjet: @amcafee -I like – http://fanfoodie.blogspot.com/ – reviews of the stadium experience at major sports venues – #andyasks

larissagaston: @amcafee DonorsChoose.org, a place to donate to public school projects of your choice, invest in education for kids in need #andyasks

mcornell: @amcafee #andyasks FuelFrog.com

elsua: @amcafee Just mentioned it before but here it goes again: Vyew.com (One of the very few e-meeting places that *works* 🙂 ) #andyasks

Pistachio: #andyasks https://www.microplace.com because while the Kiva.org model ROCKS, maybe even more will microlend if there’s a small dividend too

amcafee: My answer: Many Eyes – http://bit.ly/1uMf (expand) – talk about democratizing data… #andyasks

jenrobinson: @amcafee #andyasks I second your vote: IBM Many Eyes is the coolest website not enough people know. My thoughts from w2e: http://bit.ly/ujfW

prewett: http://1000awesomethings.com/ #andyasks (although it is gaining popularity fast)

amcafee: @prewett High fiving babies – perfect! #andyasks

a32b: @AMcAfee I’m partial to http://garfieldminusgarfield.net/ & http://springfieldshopper.tumblr.com/ Both are harmless/nostalgic fun #AndyAsks

amcafee: @a32b Those are both brilliant. #andyasks

December 3amcafee: #andyasks Favorite ad campaign?

adrielhampton: #andyasks Got Milk?

blm849: @amcafee #andyasks “Leave Nothing” by Nike, directed by Michael Mann (ok, technically favourite ad of that campaign)

jensonsdaniel: @amcafee #andyasks Bud. Real men of genius.

amcafee: @jensonsdaniel NEVER get tired of hearing those… #andyasks

Kickstand447: #andyasks Old Superbowl add from E-Trade http://tinyurl.com/6letj8 (expand) (now somewhat anachronistic)

JBordeaux: @amcafee #andyasks Coca-Cola commercials during the 60s. Teach the world to SING, dammit.

amcafee: @JBordeaux Those are clearly timeless. #andyasks

amcafee: #andyasks My answer: Burma-Shave – http://bit.ly/OLpC (expand) . So clever, and a great bit of Americana.
davidvivero: @amcafee Favorite ad campaign: http://bit.ly/WQoT (expand) #andyasks

prewett: Terry Tate Office Linebacker http://is.gd/a5SN (expand) or the old Seattle Mariners Commercials are really good (none online) #andyasks

amcafee: @prewett Terry Tate was complete genius. And he put a mean hit on people. #andyasks

nadosy: #andyasks. just a commercial. . . http://tinyurl.com/2myxoj (expand)

December 4
amcafee: #andyasks professionally meaningless achievement you’re striving for?

benzumsteg: #andyasks @amcafee qualifying for boston marathon through chicago marathon in oct 09. easier said than done.

JeanneYocum: @amcafee #andyasks Professionally meaningless goal I’m striving for? To have a thousand followers on Twitter.

sbjet: See a game with my son in every Major League park #andyasks

pair_o_dimes: #andyasks Summa Cum Laude

SteveD503: @amcafee #andyasks Create a YouTube video that gets 1,000,000 hits.amcafee: My answer: winning the New Yorker’s cartoon caption contest http://bit.ly/ljuG (expand) – #andyasks

jsolar1844: @amcafee #andyasks – complete the Goofy Challenge at Disney (but not ’till 2010)

driessen: @amcafee Building Lego Mindstorms robots… #andyasks

ldesautels: #andyasks .. To play the violin with total abandon – I don’t know how to play it yet!
prewett: extracting the value of my HBS education by staying at friends places for as long as possible. #andyasks

a32b: @AMcAfee My meaningless achievement would be getting my cat into the WSJ. He’s been in BusinessWeek, the Globe, & almost the NYT #AndyAsks

December 5

amcafee: #andyasks Moment or experience that made you first realize the power of social media?

maczter: @amcafee When I got a DM from Guy Kawasaki. #andyasks
natenash203: @amcafee #andyasks Someone in my company pulled me onto a job based on my Wiki contributions. In other words “was shown the money”.
jmcaddell: @amcafee #andyasks 2006:Rec’d a comment from Australia to a blog post, elaborating on my topic, opening up a world of new contacts &ideas.

bhc3: @amcafee When my humble little blog got picked up by a mega blog, and social media got me a new job (http://bit.ly/UMHR (expand)) #andyasks
thedrake: The first time I saw Iped fix a tough analytic challenge #andyasks