Happy Birthday 2.0

April 18th, 2009

Wow, it is almost the second birthday of the blog. I don’t remember doing anything voluntarily for such a long time (well, perhaps sticking with the same guy).

I got a nice birthday present: “2008-9 Best of Blogging” nomination from ClearAdmit. ClearAdmit is an admissions consulting company that runs an MBA blog which is an excellent resource for MBA applicants (I used to read it when I was applying). So the nomination, as they say at HBS, is an honor, a privilege and a humbling experience. I also got a cool icon:

ClearAdmit Best of Blogging

The birthday and the nomination motivated me to update many parts of the blog – the pages that appear at the header (best posts, blogroll) have been updated, as well as other things.

Here’s an updated map of where my readers came from this year:


Loved the dot in Hawaii!

Last year for the birthday I wrote about “the exotic world of blog statistics“, courtesy of Google Analytics. (being a geek,) I had a lot of fun with that, so this year I decided to write

Google Analytics – The fun continues

Part 1: You Ask, CS Answers

This is my gift to you, my readers. Sometimes you reach my blog by asking questions in google. I am posting some of the most probing questions coming from google, along with my answers. Hope you find them helpful, I put a lot of thought into them.

“which is best section at hbs?” – Section I.

“what did you write for hbs essay” – yes, most people write essays to get into HBS. For me, I just sent the link to my Facebook profile.

“can you finish hbs in one year?”
1. no
2. why would you want to?

“hbs do i stand a chance?” – sounds like the beginning of a Haiku:

hbs do i stand a chance?

autumn leaves are changing colors

bunnies squirrels and crimson cash.

“what does hbs looks for in the mba essays?” – people who google so eloquently.

“would you like for a while in the united states?” – as Borat says, “yes, it is niiiiiiiice”

“why did you start the mba program?” – it’s a prerequisite for graduating.

“admitted to hbs what next?” – you must send a $1000 deposit to at least one HBS blogger. Contact me for details.

“advantages of hbs faculty diversity” – they speak with multiple funny accents.

“can i write my harvard essay in third person” – no, she definitely doesn’t recommend it. It’s not like you’ve done something to deserve it.

“can people send embarassing information about me on facebook?” – yes. They can also find out your name and address from your google searches. Muhaha!

“cs hbs muhaha” – muhaha to you too!

“closest hotel to hbs” – Doubletree Guest Suites Boston. Chocolate chip cookies are to die for.

“cooking in hbs dorms?” – no, unless electric spoon counts. Some dorms have shared kitchenettes (=microwave).

“differences between hbs and stanford gsb” – 30 degrees in the winter.

“do i put mba at the end of my name?” – would look pretty weird, no? “John smithmba”?

“do students like hbs?” – no.

“do students read blogs” – yes, and I just updated my blogroll.

“does hbs have majors?” – no, we specialize in “general management” (=we’re equally bad at everything)

“hbs what students do after graduation?” – try to pay back student loans.

“how can a hbs mba student earn by working part time?” – write fantasy books.

“how do older applicants get into hbs?” – vicariously.

“how long does it take to get from hbs to boston airport?” – usually, 15 minutes. With construction on Storrow Drive, indefinitely. Avoid (take I-90 instead)

“how to analyze distressed companies in excel?” – as always, google does a fabulous job bringing you to the experts in the subject matter. I would recommend the function sum().

“how to write an essay with a “wow” factor?” – use some HBSpeak.

“is combination of mba and cs good?” – serious answer, yes. I think it’s a powerful, relatively unique combination (geek power + biz power).

“mba cocktail party what to wear?” – I recommend this:

dress (photo from here)

“no class on fridays at hbs?” – no, this is not true. We learn Monday-Friday. Life is tough.

“obsessively look at ex’s facebook” – I have no idea what you’re talking about.

“weird guy essay” – I’ll defer that to half the guys in my section.

“what city’s nickname is ‘the emerald city’?” – Seattle! (soon to be known as “home”)

“what is the most amazing thing you done?” – cannot discuss in a family-friendly blog. On a serious note, I consider leading this and helping this organization as two of the highlights of my HBS experience.

“what medical scientist would you most like to meet” – the guy who discovered caffeine. Wow.

“what to do during hbs visit” – answers in another one of my classics.

“what to wear to harvard mba information session” – I recommend this:

guy-in-ugly-suit_2 (photo from here)

“why don’t people tag themselves in their pictures on facebook?” – would you tag yourself if you looked like this?

ugly_people (photo from here)

“why mba students are driven by money & power?”- that’s completely superficial and inaccurate. We’re also driven by alcohol & sex.

“why would you like to meet thomas edison?” – Heard he’s ridiculously good looking.

“what to wear to hbs interview” – I recommend this:

3-japan_01 (photo from here)

Part 2: Google Anomalies

This year, my blog got really ahead in google rankings. I don’t know if that says good things about the blog or bad things about google, but I’m enjoying the results in the form of many more visitors coming to the blog as a result of a google search.

The blog appears in the first google results page for some relatively obvious keywords, like “HBS blog” or “Israeli MBA blog”, but some of the keywords are somewhat… obscure. Here are some of the amusing keywords where the blog  appears on the first results page:

being a second year student – the first result, even without quotes!

Greg Brenneman – this guy is the former CEO of Burger King and Quiznos, and I’m the 6th google result (because of this post).

hbs lehman smoking – first google result! surprising, I would expect many more people to write about it…

“best looking mba students” – second google result! (with quotes) Not surprising of course. btw, one of the people who reached the blog after searching for this phrase spent 54.40 minutes on the blog. I’m sure he (she?) was reviewing the list of recommended books for MBAs.

hbs mba don’t try and be superhuman – first google result. Sometimes I’m just amazed by what people search for.

Thanks again for being such a wonderful crowd throughout these two years. If you feel like giving me a gift, leave a short comment!

18 Responses to “Happy Birthday 2.0”

  1. Andy Says:

    As always….Well done my friend!

  2. Dan Says:

    Loved the ‘google analytics’. Keep up the good work!

  3. monkey Says:

    I have a challenge for you: visit every country with a red dot on the map above . What a life that can be!

  4. cs@hbs Says:

    Andy – you’re my best reader & commenter ever. Thanks :)

    Dan – thanks! I try.

    Monkey – that’s a cool idea. Some might be a bit too challenging though (Saudi Arabia and Qatar, for example…)

  5. missionmba Says:

    Amazing post, dude!! Absolutely hilarious!!

    I have been thinking about a post on some weird Google searches people have used to reach my blog, but after reading the search-terms in ur post, I think my definition of “weird” has changed. :-)

  6. cs@hbs Says:

    thanks missionmba! I think you should definitely write this post. I saw that you’ve also been blogging for 2 yrs, so I’m positive you have weird search terms as well. :)

  7. Fridays From The Frontline » Clear Admit: MBA Admissions Consultants Blog Says:

    […] ‘09 CS considered her BoB nomination a birthday gift and provided a humorous rundown of some of the ways her blog gets readers. Darden ‘09 Mandy attended one of the best weddings ever and had the tan to prove it. Chicago […]

  8. ahembeea Says:

    Part 1 is absolutely delicious :). Love your blog.

  9. Palo Alto for a While Says:

    hahhaaahaha! LOVE google analytics. It feels almost as voyeuristic as reading blogs.

  10. cs@hbs Says:

    ahembeea – thanks! and good luck in Goizueta. Great school and good time to be in school :)

    Palo Alto for a While – you’re totally right, it does. Sometimes I’m embarrassed just going over the keywords. Have fun in Palo Alto – I love it! My favorite place is Cafe Del Doge in University Avenue.

  11. anon Says:

    It is me who searched using cs hbs muhahaha :-). Like your blog a lot. It is like having a converation without pushing too hard

  12. cs@hbs Says:

    thanks Anon, that’s nice to hear :)

  13. Andy Says:

    CS I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this…feel free to move it to a more appropriate place to be viewed if you wish.

    I just wanted to take a few minutes to wish CS, and all her fellow graduates, my congratulations for a job well done!! Over the years I’ve been to many commencement speeches and over the years they all have pretty much the same message. Usually the message is how you, the new grads are our future and, how you’ll soon see the reality of the outside world, and so on and so on. I believe the class of 2009 is in such a rare moment. A moment full of difficult challenges that few classes before them have faced. This economy, this moment in time has finally made the commencement speeches of the past finally have more meaning then every before.

    Your class will be faced with new challenges such as finding new ways to do business. Many of the old ways are outdated and just don’t seem to work anymore. Your class will have to work harder than any class before you. Much of today’s economy is the result of business people with little vision just being content to live in a business as usual world, that world has dried up.

    There was a day when you graduated Harvard with an MBA and you walked right into a job…well as many of you have discovered it just isn’t that easy this year. You will have to be more resourceful then those who came before and perhaps create your own jobs. You will be expected to conduct business and be held to higher morals and ethics then ever before. Just remember to use “common sense” something that isn’t so common in the thinking of many of todays CEO’s

    I believe in our young people, if anyone can solve the many problems that face us today it is you, the young graduates of 2009. Your challenges are many, I believe you’re up for them, and the result will be a better world for all. Good luck !! And my deepest congratulations!

    Finally I would like to share a poem with you, I shared this with CS many years ago. It is a poem that I had on the wall of my office throughout my working life. I turned to it almost everyday, and each time I recited it, it had new and deeper meaning than the day before. I hope you will find something in it as well. The only outdated part of the poem is the gender reference at the end…kindly disregard Mr. Kiplings short sightedness =) The poem is called “IF” by Rudyard Kipling

    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    ‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

  14. Happy Birthday 2.0 | B-School Admissions Formula Says:

    […] the full article: Happy Birthday 2.0 #arkayne { background: transparent; text-align: left; vertical-align: top; margin: 5px 0px; […]

  15. comcee Says:

    happy b day luv the funny pixs

  16. comcee Says:

    andy ur sooooooooo funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  17. comcee Says:

    anon nd cs@hbs do u no each other

  18. online stock trading advice Says:

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    I’m Out! :)