How can it be it that the iHeartRadio app seems to really know me? The make-your-own radio station application let me plug in the name of my favorite artist, Jack Johnson (who is also my double secret boyfriend) and the computer program automatically played music that it electronically assumed that I might like. But here’s the kicker…..every song was spot on. After it had played 4 or 5 of my favorite bands, I became suspicious. How did it know? Am I that predictable? Are people in general that predictable?
So my husband, Joe, tried to explain a bit about these types of computer programs to me and he threw around a bunch of mathematical words like algorithm and function and I promptly blacked out (not literally…but pretty close).
My feelings on higher math are pretty similar to my feelings on voodoo……I believe it exists……I don’t understand it….. and quite frankly, it scares me. So I stay far away. You are just about as likely to find me in a calculus class as you are to find me in Haiti dancing and channeling my dead ancestors.
Etsy, the website that hosts my craft shop, uses algorithms too. The computer program gets to “decide” how items are ordered when a shopper enters a search word and there is something of a system for maximizing the traffic to your shop. But the system is complicated, and on Etsy bulletin boards, I constantly hear people looking for tips to get more online traffic to their craft sites.
And while I pay a little bit of attention to maximizing my own shop’s traffic, I mostly just choose a few “tags”and then cross my fingers. But my laid back approach to the algorithm of Etsy is much like my approach to business stuff in general. I like making coasters and I am ridiculously easy to please. When I have a sale, I am thrilled! But when someone compliments my item and doesn’t buy it, I am thrilled too. Money…..compliments…..it is easy to make me happy! I would never make it on The Apprentice, that’s for sure.
But tonight’s iHeartRadio experience was a lesson in how efficient and useful a well programmed program can be. Their system really works! So maybe if I put in a little work and time and pay a little more attention to the Etsy system, I can rule my coaster empire after all!
But for me, I want my crafting to be fun, so there has to be a balance between serious business and just rolling with things. Luckily, I can take my example from my environmental activist/surfer/cutie pattootie pretend-boyfriend Jack Johnson who has certainly struck a balance between laid-back and business savvy. He earns the big bucks, but he still gives back to the communities where he performs, and he watches his carbon footprint and he surfs……ALOT. Do you see why I love him so?
Now for those of you who know my husband Joe, don’t worry about him getting jealous. Joe has heard me gushing over Jack Johnson for years, but he knows that my heart always belongs to him first and foremost. Plus, Joe has one up on my velvet voiced crush….
Joe, as it turns out, is an expert at calculus! For real.
Here is Jack Johnson (who probably can’t do calculus as well as my hubby!) playing Upside Down, from the soundtrack of the children’s film Curious George.