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My Interview with Dr. Vasant Dhar from NYU’s Stern School of Business

Posted in A Day in the Life, Carla and Goliath, Future Legends | 1 Comment »

Yesterday I interviewed Dr. Vasant Dhar, the NYU professor behind the research paper “Does Chatter Matter? The Impact of User-Generated Content on Music Sales”.

Dr. Dhar and student Elaine Chang studied the effect of user-generated blog chatter on 108 major and indie CD releases. Their findings indicate that there is a relationship between blog buzz and music sales, and I just love that they even took the time to do this kind of research. To have quantifiable results on the effects of blog chatter on music sales opens up a whole world of possibility, and I look forward to transcribing this interview so I can share it with you soon. Thank goodness I finally took those typing lessons!

Before meeting, Dr. Dhar was concerned that he wouldn’t have anything profound to say for our interview. Au contraire! I was fascinated by Dr. Dhar’s research, as well as his breadth of knowledge on topics from artificial intelligence to Scandinavian death metal. After chatting with him for 45 minutes, I imagine that he’d be a cool professor to have. 

You really can learn something new every day!

Leap Year Proposals

Posted in A Day in the Life | No Comments »

Today is Friday, February 29, 2008. It’s a leap year this year, and I totally forgot about the folklore associated with Leap Year: These are the years when a woman is allowed to ask a man to marry him. Women get this “permission” only once every four years, when we gain an extra day on the calendar. This extra day satisfies man’s construct of time, so the days “fit” into the bigger scheme of things.

That is some interesting stuff, when you think about it. When a woman wants to get married any other time, she basically works her mojo on a man, makes him so enchanted (or tired of being harrassed about it) until he is led to “pop the question” of marriage. The woman is ecstatically happy (in many cases ;-), and if she is honest with herself, she’s not really surprised that he proposed. She has probably wanted to be married to this man. At the very least, she wanted to be asked. To know what that moment feels like.

On Leap Years, women can escape the bullshit, and just take the bull by the horns (ahem) and ask for what they want directly: “You dig me. I dig you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Let’s do this. Marry me.”

Now I can’t tell you what that would feel like for the guy, because men hate that kind of pressure, for the most part. They sincerely and truly want to believe that getting married was their idea (I hear you ladies giggling!). 

In today’s NY Daily News. a woman is proposing to her man today, taking the opportunity of Leap Year to propose to him. I hope he says yes. Otherwise it may be a bit embarassing to put your stuff out there and then get shot down with the whole world to know, right? But dammit, there’s something beautiful about a woman proposing. Forget the Victoria’s Secret lingerie! Forget the 4-star home-cooked meals! Forget all the gifts and trinkets!

Just take me, for the rest of your life.