— Michael Hussey Blog


After nearly 17 years, four children, two companies, we are saying goodbye to our NYC and hello to my home state of Maine.

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Every January Spotify releases your personalized top-100 most played tracked from the previous year. I always look forward to this playlist, as it is a most interesting way to self-reflect on your mood, thoughts, and feelings from the past year. The only reason the list below doesn’t list all 100 songs is because my wife sometimes used my account (we moved to a family plan earlier this year), and some of her songs ended up in the rankings. The below 75 are songs I played, along with comments on why they made the list. I’ve also included an embedded Spotify playlist if you are interested in listening to the songs yourself. If you want to go directly to the playlist, MPH’s Top-75 Songs of 2018.

[spotifyplaybutton play=”spotify:user:popcontest:playlist:1NFHcQdxN9G90BXXn9AQRX”]

Rank Track Artist Album Comments
1 Yamasuki Yamasuki Singers Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki This was the top requested road trip song from the kids — and it was often played loud and on repeat
2 Shadow Chromatics Shadow I listened to a lot of David Lynch inspired playlists this year — great for when I need to focus on my work
3 California Dreamin' – Single Version The Mamas & The Papas If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears First song in my Mamas & The Papas playlist – which I listen to a lot – espcially in the morning
4 Tulou Tagaloa Olivia Foa'i Moana (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/Deluxe Edition) Girl's favorite road album
5 (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance Gene Pitney 18 All-Time Greatest Hits Kejda probably influenced this — still a great song
6 Super Trouper ABBA ABBA Gold Rosamund's favorite song
7 Sloop John B – Remastered The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (Original Mono & Stereo Mix Versions) One of the best songs and albums of all time
8 How Far I'll Go Auli'i Cravalho Moana (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/Deluxe Edition) Girls / Road Trip
9 Golliwogg's Cakewalk No. 6 Claude Debussy Isao Tomita Tomita's Greatest Hits Tomita fan — especially the Debussy covers
10 Anywhere Rita Ora Anywhere A little embarrassing to see this one so high up
11 No Reply – Remastered 2009 The Beatles Beatles For Sale (Remastered) Favorite song from favorite Beatle's album
12 Lightnin' Strikes Lou Christie Lightnin’ Strikes: The Very Best Of The MGM Recordings The girl's love to dance in a circle to this song
13 You Baby (Mono) The Turtles You Baby / Let Me Be This song captured my attention this year — got to be The Turtle's best song. This song just feels like 1966.
14 Rum And Coca-Cola – Single Version The Andrews Sisters 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best Of The Andrews Sisters I think I've somehow somehow listened to this song once or twice a month.
15 Sukiyaki Kyu Sakamoto The Best of Kyu Sakamoto Found out Slick Rick borrowed a verse from a lesser know cover of this classic song (for "La Di Da Di") — and was surprised to see how often covered it was.
16 Somewhere Only We Know Keane Somewhere Only We Know Good for late night working
17 96 Tears ? & The Mysterians 96 Tears Great to listen to anytime
18 Enough Honey Alison Sudol Enough Honey Late night working background music
19 He's a Rebel The Crystals He's A Rebel A top-10 all-time song for me – wall of sound at its best
20 I Call Your Name The Mamas & The Papas If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears Mama Cass always
21 Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood The Animals Animal Tracks Every year brings lots of Animals and British Invasion – one of my favorites here
22 I'll Never Find Another You The Seekers The Ultimate Collection Sounds like something from 1964 Greenwich Village — but this is an Aussie band (Aussie is always a few years behind). Great song and harmonies.
23 Time Of The Season (Mono Version) The Zombies Odessey And Oracle The song reminds me most of October and October weather
24 Wouldn't It Be Nice – Mono The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (50th Anniversary Edition) Pet Sounds – one of the best of all time
25 Walkin' After Midnight Patsy Cline The Very Best Of Patsy Cline This song might be playing if I'm working past midnight.
26 Two Faces Have I Lou Christie Lou Christie What a song…
27 Monday, Monday – Single Version The Mamas & The Papas If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears The girls also like Mama Cass
28 Where You Are Christopher Jackson Rachel House Nicole Scherzinger Auli'i Cravalho Louise Bush Moana (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/Deluxe Edition) Road trip favorite for the family (see above)
29 Clair de Lune, No. 3 Claude Debussy Isao Tomita Tomita's Greatest Hits Debussy by Tomita always wins
30 Bad To Me Billy J. Kramer British Invasion Gold Written by the Beatles
31 A Lover's Concerto The Toys The Toys Sing "A Lover's Concerto" and "Attack!" Pretty much a perfect song
32 Here Comes My Baby The Tremeloes Even The Bad Times Are Good This is the defining song of Wes Anderson's "Rushmore"
33 Tower Of Strength Gene McDaniels The Johnny Mann Singers Best Of Gene McDaniels Horns support Gene McDaniel's voice perfectly
34 I Am Waiting The Rolling Stones Aftermath One of my favorite Stones songs
35 Good Lovin' – Single Version The Young Rascals Time Peace: The Rascals' Greatest Hits I remember my father playing this with his bandmates in our basement when I was a kid
36 Dream A Little Dream Of Me – Album Version With Introduction The Mamas & The Papas The Papas & The Mamas More Mama Cass – of course.
37 Bring It On Home To Me The Animals Animal Tracks Another song I remember well from my father's band.
38 Razzle Dazzle Rose Camera Obscura Let's Get Out Of This Country A song I discovered this year through a Spotify suggested playlist personalized to my listening habits. This band is fantastic.
39 Mamma Mia ABBA ABBA Gold The kids love dancing to Abba. I also like them.
40 Do You Realize?? The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (U.S. Version) I'm not sure I realized this song was by The Flaming Lips. It's good.
41 Embryonic Journey Jefferson Airplane Surrealistic Pillow Solid instrumental. Doesn't sound like their most popular songs.
42 See You In September The Happenings The Happenings Classic 1960's New Jersey sound
43 She's Not There The Zombies Begin Here The Zombies always seem to make my lists.
44 Different Drum Stone Poneys Evergreen Vol.2 Linda Ronstadt has a perfect voice.
45 Our Day Will Come Ruby And The Romantics Our Day Will Come I could listen to this song anytime.
46 Dedicated To The One I Love The Mamas & The Papas Deliver Mamas & The Papas playlist works morning or night
47 The Pied Piper Crispian St. Peters Follow Me… Pretty much a perfect pop song – up and down
48 Queen Jane Approximately Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons Sing Big hits by Burt Bacharach…Hal David…Bob Dylan I like this version better than the Dylan original.
49 We Gotta Get Out Of This Place – US Single Version The Animals Animal Tracks My favorite Animals track
50 Weightless Again The Handsome Family Through the Trees Kejda got me into this band after listening to the True Detective title theme "Far From Any Road"
51 3 Chorales for Organ: Chorale in A Minor M. 40,César Franck David Sanger,Franck: Complete Organ Music Turn this on with the lights off
52 Abracadabra Steve Miller Band Abracadabra I'm glad to see a Steve Miller track in this year's list – this is one I remember specifically pulling up a few times
53 He's Sure the Boy I Love The Crystals He's A Rebel The best of the girl group era
54 Douze coffrets studieux: IV. Pour les sixtes (Poem from Lucien Noullez from Debussy's Etudes, L. 136) Claude Debussy Elodie Vignon Clara Inglese Claude Debussy: Etudes Surprised to see this on here — but I listen to a lot of Debussy
55 Saturday Desire Windswept David Lynch!
56 Sing For Your Supper The Mamas & The Papas Deliver I think this is my favorite Mamas & The Papas song
57 Blue Velvet Bobby Vinton The Best Of Bobby Vinton David Lynch!
58 Never My Love Astrud Gilberto Windy Great alternative to The Association's version of "Never My Love"
59 Broken Hearted Melody Sarah Vaughan The Complete Sarah Vaughan On Mercury Vol.3 Listen to that voice. Wow.
60 Ringo Lorne Greene Welcome to the Ponderosa Fun
61 Kono Samourai Yamasuki Singers Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki More road trip music
62 Danke Schoen Wayne Newton Danke Schoen I like to ask our daughters if this is sung by a boy or a girl
63 Miserere Mei Gregorio Allegri Armonico Consort Christopher Monks Naked Byrd One of the greatest pieces of music ever created by man. Right?
64 Uptown The Crystals He's A Rebel 10 out of 10
65 Atlantis Dory Previn Dory Previn This one kept coming back into my playlists. Very sad song.
66 I'm A Loser – Remastered 2009 The Beatles Beatles For Sale (Remastered) Makes sense to see this here. Beatles for Sale is my favorite Beatles album.
67 Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Rodgers And Hart Song Book I think this song was suggested by a Spotify weekly list and saved it for repeat listens.
68 Baby Don't Go Sonny & Cher The Beat Goes On 9.9/10 – Cher's best
69 Time Won't Let Me The Outsiders Capitol Collectors Series Another favorite song I remember well from my youth – one my father used to play with his band
71 I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City Harry Nilsson Harry I probably listen to less Nilsson (and similar stuff) these days – but this one is really good anytime.
72 Pipeline The Chantays Pipeline Not much you can say about this — except of course.
73 Young Folks Peter Bjorn and John Writer's Block How old is this song? I have no idea.
74 Laugh, Laugh The Beau Brummels Introducing The Beau Brummels Harmonica + vocal harmonies well put will go a long way. Exhibit A.
75 God Only Knows – Mono The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (50th Anniversary Edition) Really listen to this song…

[spotifyplaybutton play=”spotify:user:popcontest:playlist:1NFHcQdxN9G90BXXn9AQRX” view=”list” size=”0″ sizetype=”big” theme=”black”]

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My Favorite Things
55 Binge Watchable TV Shows
My Favorite NYC Restaurants
Ranking Every Beatles Song (216 Songs)
Top-50 Fast Food Items in America (Inspired by The Ringer)
Top-ten Albums From My Teen Years
Random Archives
Maine Guides 1985 Program (PDF)

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Welcome to this crazy world, Eleanor. xoxo

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Nearly a year ago, we spun a nascent analytics engine called PeekAnalytics out of PeekYou. At the time of the spinout, I left the day-to-day operations of PeekYou and put all our focus into retooling and rebuilding everything, with a focus on bringing this technology to the B2B world; leveraging seven years of knowledge and best practices. I’m proud to announce that we are now live with version 2.0 of our database and platform — and to mark the launch, we are heretofore known as StatSocial. The data and taxonomy we’ve built is unlike anything I’ve seen in the wide world of data. We look forward to leveraging this technology across a number of marketing verticals (analytics, targeting, CRM). Stay tuned.


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Welcome to the world, Fleur.


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After many months of careful legal review, we’ve now officially spun PeekAnalytics out from PeekYou LLC into a new company. As of today, I am CEO of PeekAnalytics Inc. This spin-out will allow us to better focus resources and deliver to the market what has become an incredible product. I can truly say there is nothing else like it. Stay tuned.

Much of the same can be said for PeekYou, which has now recovered from Hurricane Sandy setbacks. PeekYou is in good hands and won’t skip a beat, with long-time employees Tom Lynch and Lane Gillespie stepping up to man the day-to-day operations. We still believe PeekYou should be one of the top-100 sites on the Web. The good news is we’re climbing back up those rankings. I’m stepping back from day-to-day business, yet will continue to advise the company as a Director.

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What happened in 2012?

  • My wife and I had our first child. I can’t make up my mind on if these past nine months have been the longest or quickest of my life. Either way, they have been the most rewarding.
  • Visited Albania, where my daughter’s great-grandmothers were both able to meet her. That was incredible.
  • Business had many ups (record traffic, revenue, and the launch of PeekAnalytics) and downs (Hurricane Sandy took out our servers and hit us hard; I also lost two memorable employees), but overall, it was the most accomplished year of my professional life and I feel very good about 2013.
  • My 2012 new years resolution was to lose ~20lbs and keep it off for good – and I accomplished that goal. How? My doctor and I dubbed my diet “Atkinsonian,” in that I eat very few carbs from Monday through Thursday, and I eat whatever I want on Friday through Sunday. Another bonus, my LDL cholesterol is down 60 points and I have more energy.
  • Our cat, Tefta, passed away. She was my birthday gift to Kejda in May 2007. We sort of rescued Tefta from a crazy cat lady (picture a 1br apartment with at least 40 cats). We estimate that she lived to some age between 10 and 12. We miss her and her calm and generous temperament.
  • Spent a lot of time studying the decline and fall of the Roman republic and empire. (url1) (url2) (url3)
  • Moved back to downtown Manhattan (after a one year experiment in the Upper West Side).
  • Sites I started reading every day: ZeroHedge and Marginal Revolution.
  • Favorite restaurants we discovered this year: Matilda, Da Mikele, Villa Mosconi.
  • My resolution for 2013: no excuses.

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    For the past nine months, Kejda and I (but mostly Kejda) have been working on a new start-up venture. Even though we just launched today, we’re already experiencing a positive ROI. We’re in this one for the long-term but we definitely expect rapid growth.

    Her name is Rosamund Louise Hussey and after we pulled an all-nighter, she was launched at 2:51 PM today, weighing in at a healthy 6 lbs and 15.8 ounces. And we love her very much.

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    In May, we celebrated PeekYou becoming a top-500 US website. We said we’d throw another party when we hit the top-250….and we just crossed that threshhold this month. In five months, we’ve halved the Quantcast rank and doubled our office space. Additionally, we successfully launched into beta our first B2B offering, PeekAnalytics. All-in-all, it has been a great year.

    PeekYou - Top 250 Quantcast Site

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    I covered what I could in two minutes…which isn’t a whole lot. 🙂

    The data for this report came out of our development work for the upcoming PeekAnalytics.

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    Punk Prophet Billionaire

    It is hard to describe what I felt watching The Social Network. I knew going in that much of the account it presented of Facebook’s founding was fictional. Certain things, however, hit too close to home not to make me at least a bit sentimental and a bit embarrassed as well. Why should I feel anything? It was a just a movie, right?

    I sometimes pride myself with being one of the first people ever to have been friends with a personal computer for their entire conscious life; although this experience is a commonplace among today’s children. And so, I often wonder — how does my experience compare to that of Mark Zuckerberg and other Internet pioneers? How different of a person am I?

    I watched The Social Network in the middle of a packed New York City audience — and each time a familiar experience was depicted on screen I felt self-conscious, or something like it — as in, how could this audience, seeing this, genuinely understand the excitement over Mark Zuckerberg’s achievement? I felt it acutely because it tasted so much like my own formative years — and I realized how much I would probably like Mark if he were even 50% like the caricature painted in the movie.

    Mark Zuckerberg


    Mark had an overnight success with Facemash.com at Harvard (20K hits in the first day, according to the movie). He was forced to shut it down by Harvard. The summer 1999, between my junior and senior year at the University of Maine, I launched RateMyFace.com (the precursor to HotorNot – referenced in The Social Network), generating over 100K hits in the first weekend.  I shut it down because it was too popular and I had to graduate. I later launched RateMyFaceOff.com (Summer 2000) – which was exactly the same concept as FaceMash – and for the same reasons cited by the Zuckerberg character in the film.
    Course Match – an application Mark developed to help identify who else was in your class at Harvard RateMyProfessors/RateMyTeachers – In 2001, I developed a ratings platform which millions of students have used to date – revolutionizing how students choose their courses and still among the most popular education websites ever created.
    Conceived of Facebook (November 2004) Conceived of IMConnected (Nov 2001)
    Plenty of crazy people trying to leech away his creation Plenty of crazy people trying to leech away my creations
    The Social Network portrayed Mark as someone who walked quickly and/or jogged around campus, so as not to waste time getting from here to there. Not sure if this was the actual Mark’s habit. This sounds minor – but it was one of the most curious parts of the movie for me. I used to be laughed at by my friends for doing the same thing at UMaine. I hated wasting time between locations and hated wasting time getting where I wanted to be.
    Worked with Peter Thiel, the main angel investor of Facebook I only once met Peter Thiel at a lecture here in New York and consider him a business hero of mine. Peter invested in an early and inferior competitor to PeekYou, Wink.com, and more recently in a legitimate competitor, Rapleaf (a similar data company with a different approach). I’ve wanted to work with Peter for years, certain he’d appreciate my take on the future of the Internet.
    Net worth: X billions, liquid Net worth: X millions, but almost entirely tied up in the net worth of PeekYou and RateMyTeachers.


    Did I waste 2002-2003, when I was sitting on business plans, some of which were foundational blueprints for Social Networking? I still am unsure of the answer. My fit-all excuse is that the Internet economy had crashed and investment dollars were scant, to put it mildly – and everyone I presented IMConnected to asked the same question, to which I did not have a good answer: How will it make money? Had I known then what I learned over the following years, I’m certain I could have gotten it off the ground for less start-up capital than I thought I needed but I was afraid to enter into the project without sufficient resources for scaling up immediately (I’d been through that with RateMyFace before and didn’t want to experience a failure to scale again). When Friendster launched in 2003 (as well as AuctionDrop – a copycat of another business plan I spent a lot of time developing) – I was starting to feel sorry for myself (the worst possible thing for an entrepreneur to do).

    The lesson learned was that great ideas are often obvious – and even if they weren’t, someone else will probably think of them eventually and set about their execution. I had a two-year head start on Social Networking (I called it “affinitology”), but failed to execute. Despite knowing full well how important an innovation it was, there was always an excuse to put it off until tomorrow (when I would have the resources to “build it properly”).

    IMConnected - November 2001

    In 2004, after Friendster had essentially failed to scale (my own biggest nightmare come true) and had come and gone from popular public consciouness, MySpace and LinkedIn were ascendant, and Facebook was on the rise (and, I assumed, destined to overtake MySpace by virtue of its well-structured architecture) – I began to obsess over the opportunity lost, but I also wondered about the fate of a site like Friendster, which had all the promise in the world, only to see its opportunity slip away overnight. I wanted to create something eternal – something that would change the way people think about the Internet forever. It was too late for that something to be IMConnected – but I knew I had it in me to think of something else, potentially better, and with the ability to make it happen. I also knew that when it hit me, I wasn’t going to waste a day. I thought about this at least every week for the next couple of years. It was an ongoing obsession and I enjoyed the thought process.

    A couple of years later in April 2006, I woke up in a semi-conscious state of mind, with the crystal-clear concept of re-indexing the web around people almost fully formed in my head – perceiving right away that if I could identify the actual individual behind any given URL, I could create a database that would not only be relevant 100 years from now, but might rank as the most important web database since Google’s. I vowed not to waste a day — and three months later, I had a prototype of the database ready to go. … After much deliberation, I named it PeekYou.

    Today the company is growing by leaps and bounds – month-over-month increases in revenue throughout the past year – we’re hiring great new people, and the markets we are entering into fit as a glove within the original vision. The sometimes ridiculous challenges I’ve faced in building this company are eventually worth writing separate stories about – but we’ll see how things stand a year from now. I’m thankfully surrounded with good people who share my vision for this database and we’re in that period of rapid growth all bootstrapped start-ups dream about.

    The Social Network induced me to reflect back on the past decade. Here are some final thoughts on what I believe I’ve done right and what I’ve done wrong.

    Some big mistakes I’ve made:

    1. Underestimating the urgency of executing my ideas.
    2. Feeling sorry for myself, for whatever reason.
    3. Assuming that everyone who says nice things has my best interests in mind.
    4. Not focusing on building and utilizing my personal network and goodwill – turning down opportunities and lifelines out of stubbornness or fear of failure:
      1. Example: In 2004, Mark Pincus, CEO of Zynga (formerly founder of SupportSoft and Tribe), offered me an apprenticeship to learn the ropes of entrepreneurship under him. I thought Mark was awesome, I thought Tribe.net was an interesting approach to social networking, and I thought I could run RateMyTeachers on the side. In the end, I was afraid to move to San Francisco with no money in my pocket. I’ll always regret this – and now I wonder if Mark even remembers me.
      2. Accepting deals I knew were fundamentally flawed, hoping against hope that things would work out in my behalf because my own goodness would eventually win the day for me.

    Best things I ever did:

    1. Retained a lawyer to review my contracts and to negotiate sticking points on my behalf
    2. Sought to create something eternal – I directed my ambition on building something long-lasting instead of placing too much focus on the immediate
    3. The day I conceived of re-indexing the web around people, I did not waste a day in developing a business plan and prototype.
    4. Marrying Kejda – for the first time in my life I was responsible to someone I love as much as myself. I was forced to defend my decisions to someone more intelligent than me. This didn’t stop me from making mistakes – but I have made many fewer mistakes because of her.

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    Kejda and I just returned from Albania, where we spent two weeks visiting her family and touring the southern half of the country. We keep a separate blog dedicated to our Albanian trips, where we’ll soon describe our daily activities in greater depth.

    For my birthday, I bought myself a Gigapan robot it is safe to say I am slightly obsessed with it. What is the Gigapan?

    The GigaPan Epic and Epic 100 make it easy to capture incredibly detailed images and works seamlessly with the GigaPan Stitcher and GigaPan.org. The Epic allows your camera to take tens, hundreds or even thousands of photos. These images are combined into a single gigapixel panorama by the GigaPan Stitcher. You can then view, share and explore the incredible detail of your panoramas at GigaPan.org.

    Here are some of the panoramas we composed during the trip. Click the images to access the full resolution shots (some as large as 5,000 megabytes).

    Hotel Liro - Vlore, Albania

    Berat, Albania

    Ksamil, Albania

    Sunset above Lin, Albania

    On a communist-era bunker in Lin, Albania

    Llogara Pass

    Tirana Panorama

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    Today we submitted an extensive utility patent with the goal of securing many of the database and web technologies we are pioneering at PeekYou. It has been a privilege over this past year to work with the excellent team at Patterson, Thuente, Skaar & Christensen. I’m very excited about the next stage of our company — much more to come throughout 2009. Stay tuned.

    Here it is the patent text in full:

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    For the most part, I try to keep my atheism and libertarianism private, as most people are rightly sensitive about religion and politics. While I hold strong views on the role of the State and am averse to mysticism of all stripes, I get along with people from all walks of life. My best friends are libertarians, socialists, evangelical Christians, anarchists, atheists, republicans, democrats, and more. I’m also a busy person, having spent most of my time since 1999 focusing on building new web technologies and businesses, some of which have marginally improved the lives of millions of people across the globe.

    About a year ago, in response to a troubling vibe I felt emanating from the Obama presidential campaign, I created the following video under the pseudonym cakesecret. I utilized a song from one of my favorite bands, CAKE, to compare the Obama movement to a religious movement (I wasn’t necessarily the first to note this analogy, but I was certainly ahead of the curve). The video became viral almost immediately, quickly generating over 100K views before YouTube/Google censored it (details here).

    Last summer I created a Twitter account under that same pseudonym to help draw attention to what Google/YouTube had done. Due to my video’s success, my Twitter account attracted thousands of followers. After some consideration, my wife eventually convinced me that it was foolish not to take credit for a video that clearly struck a chord with so many, and for which I have nothing to be ashamed. I’ve changed the twitter account from @popcontest and @cakesecret to @husseymichael so you can follow me there, if you like.

    Here is the video:

    For the record, I did not vote in 2008 (first and last time I did was in 1996, for Bill Clinton). I subscribe to the Peter Thiel view that technology is the greatest practical force for freedom in the modern world, but the underlying philosophical ideas supporting individual rights matter the most.

    video platform
    video management
    video solutions
    free video player

    “I’m very much in favor of free market economics; probably quite a bit more liberal on most of the social issues; and I believe basically that individual freedom is very important, and that we live in a world in the 21st century where there will either be a lot more or a lot less; and that the politics matter and ideas matter because the choices people make will be of decisive importance in determining, you know, how the 21st century is gonna shape up. You know the 20th century was sort of a great and the terrible century at the same time. And I think the 21st has every indication of being far greater and far more terrible.”

    Follow me on Twitter here.

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    Good news.

    Patrick Nagle and I have agreed to partner up to re-focus and build RateMyTeachers.com. Patrick is well known for buying RateMyProfessors.com, improving it, and selling it to Viacom/MTVu. He is also the creator of Swooks (originally Switch Textbooks), a used textbook swap and sell service.

    Stay tuned, for good things to come.

    RateMyTeachers Logo

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    Kejda and I were married today in a small ceremony at my sister’s house.

    Michael and Kejda
    by lucillehussey

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    I enjoyed this interview with Alt Search Engines.

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    Early this morning (after a couple of all-nighters), we launched the latest PeekYou product – a Google search that displays the owners of the websites directly next to the search results (or the people referenced within them). The search results are generated with Google’s Custom Search engine — so you get the same exact results as you would expect from any Google search — but you get the added bonus of seeing the people behind those search results.

    Some sample results:
    Michael Hussey
    White Pages
    Tech Blog

    Update: Mashable says “PeekYou Makes People Search Worthwhile with Google Integration

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    I recently won first place on an AltSearchEngines essay competition. Charles Knight asked readers of his new blog to contribute ideas on how alternative search engines can increase their collective market share. Here is my entry.


    Google and Yahoo currently have a stranglehold (75%) on the search market for one simple reason – for the past six or seven years they have offered users the most relevant search results. Through long-term success these two have achieved mindshare, thus significant path dependencies exist within their core user base. MSN, AOL, and Ask, own the next 20% of market share. This means that 95 out of every 100 Internet searches are owned by five companies (actually four companies, if you consider that AOL now displays Google results). This exercise asks us to consider the remaining 5% of alternative search engines as being one general entity and we are tasked with increasing the Alt’s market share to 7% or beyond.

    Nearly every alt engine has its own unique quirks, positive or negative, and a considerable number of these engines do indeed offer quality of output that rivals most any search result from the major 95% market share holders. Yet most Internet users have never heard of nearly any of them. Before making direct suggestions on how to compete by creating a better search experience, it is more important to consider the products that already exist in the alt search market, and understand what drives the 95% of search users to the big five engines.

    Consider the three second-tier search engines, MSN, AOL, and Ask.com. MSN has the benefit of being Internet Explorer’s default homepage (used by more than 70% of Internet users), and they’ve spent many millions working on their search technology to catch up to Google, but it clearly isn’t there yet in terms of quality. AOL has the benefit being the country’s largest ISP, therefore able to place its homepage in front of millions of people every day – but they do not offer links to Google’s advanced tools (which require a Google login). Ask.com is a well-funded company with a simple domain name that continues to spend millions of dollars driving traffic, and though their search results have improved over the years, the results are still not yet generally considered superior to Google or Yahoo. The obvious question is why would 20% of the market utilize inferior search services? The answer is likely that less sophisticated users make up a greater percentage of this 20% than Google’s and Yahoo’s user base.

    For more evidence of this, cross-reference Quantcast.com’s demographic information. It indicates that Google and Yahoo attract a larger percentage of users in the 18-34 age group (the most Internet-savvy age group), generally coming from higher income households.


    There are two reasons why the quickest path to increasing market share is to focus marketing and education efforts on the demographics which make up 20% owned by the second-tier search engines. First, these users are likely newer to the Internet, and more open to trying new ways of surfing. Second, it is easier to demonstrate higher quality search results from an alt-engine over the second-tier engines, rather than Google and Yahoo, whose users are affected by stronger path-dependencies.

    To attract this new audience, marketing materials must focus on how your alt-engine makes life easier and improves the online search experience; how it provides quicker and more accurate information, thus creating a more comfortable online experience.

    Much can be learned from Ask.com’s growth over the page five years. Previous to their disastrous 2007 marketing campaign (“The Algorithm Killed Jeeves”), emphasizing simplicity and user-friendliness was precisely their approach. Ask created effective television commercials that in effect spoke the following message: “Go to Ask.com – type in any question in the world – and we’ll give you the answer.”

    Remember, before your alt-engine acquires a Yahoo-sized market share, it has to first get an Ask.com and MSN sized percentage. Grab the users at the margin first – and then go for the big time.

    -Michael Hussey CEO, PeekYou.com

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      PeekYou Emerges From Stealth Mode With 50 Million Profiles in Beta, Providing Easy and Efficient People Search Capabilities
      Tuesday July 17, 12:54 pm ET
      RateMyTeachers.com Founder Seeks to Meet Growing Demand for Online People Search
      Via Yahoo:

      NEW YORK, July 17 /PRNewswire/ — PeekYou.com (www.peekyou.com), an innovative search engine dedicated to finding people online, announced today that it has officially launched in beta mode. The Web site is the Internet’s first true openly edited white pages, allowing users to easily locate other Internet users with a presence on the web and access a list of all relevant links to the person being searched. The site has been in stealth mode since October 2006 and has already built profiles for over 50 million users, with more being added every day.

      Created by RateMyFace.com and RateMyTeachers.com/RateMyProfessors.com founder Michael Hussey, PeekYou aims to be an open source directory of every individual online. Hussey, who has been featured on CNN, NPR and BBC amongst others looks to bring his experience developing popular consumer destination sites to building PeekYou into the premiere people search engine. Each individual will have their own personalized page and a PeekYou profile that will include bookmarked links to all information available about the target person. PeekYou differentiates itself from other people searchers by the site’s ability to link and identify numerous Internet identities to a single individual based upon tags and online identities.

      The site allows users complete freedom to edit, add or remove information, links, photos, and tags (school, work, interests, etc.) associated with their profile or other PeekYou user’s profiles. In addition, PeekYou provides human created search engine results, reducing nonspecific and incorrect matches. Concerned with maintaining privacy, PeekYou empowers individuals with the opportunity to be “unlisted” (similar to the White Pages) as well as edit their profiles to ensure correct and accurate information.

      “People searching is one of the most popular online exercises, but until now it has been a largely inefficient and often confusing experience,” said Michael Hussey, founder of PeekYou. “PeekYou is a true Web 2.0 ‘people search’ – we discover and map where people exist online, almost like writing a biography about your life on the net. In doing so, we are building the ideal engine for individuals to monitor their own online identity.”

      “PeekYou is creating an entirely new lens from which the web will be viewed,” said Baldev Duggal founder of Duggal Dimensions, LLC, which is funding PeekYou. “I think PeekYou will forever change the way that ‘people searches’ are conducted.”

      About PeekYou

      PeekYou.com (www.peekyou.com) is an innovative search engine dedicated to finding people online. The site has been in stealth mode since October 2006 and officially launched in Beta Mode in July 2007, with over 50 million users and more being added everyday. PeekYou is the Internet’s first true openly edited white pages. The site allows users to easily locate other Internet users with a presence on the web and access a list of all relevant links to the person being searched. PeekYou satisfies a huge demand for Internet users looking to track down friends, family and business associates while maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with search engines. Once launched PeekYou will be the go to site for people search. PeekYou is privately funded by Duggal Dimensions, LLC, founded by Baldev Duggal who has been at the forefront of technology and creative innovation in the photo and computer imaging field for over 35 years.

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    Tonight, I was interviewed on the Life Online with Bob Parsons (of Godaddy.com) XM Radio business talk show. It was an interesting interview, centered around RateMyTeachers; but I got to talk about a lot of things I do not usually delve into and I really enjoyed it.
    Listen to the interview here.

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    Interviewed on BBC today regarding RateMyTeachers in the UK.
    Listen here (Real Player required)

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    Kejda and I blogged our trip to Albania. Check it out here.

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    Quietly launching…

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