The 3^3 Project

It’s almost the end of 2008 and I want to try something different — something fun that will interrupt the relentless stream of business-related posts.

Over the year, we all discovered new things that we now love and recommend to everyone.  Restaurants, food, movies, songs, bands, books, websites, articles, Youtube videos, etc.  We recommend them because we’re confident that they’ll enrich another person’s life in some way or another.  This is genuine word-of-mouth marketing. The person making the suggestion has nothing to gain from it personally, other than the satisfaction that he gets from knowing that he’s made someone’s life a little better.

But when you’re online, it’s a bit harder to find authentic recommendations.  You don’t know if the source is being paid to write something or if they’re doing their friend a favor or what.  But I’m not going to let that happen on this post.

I’m calling this “The 3^3 Project” (three to the third) because you need to recommend 3 things, describe each of them in 3 sentences, and then ask 3 more people to join this discussion.  It allows us to find really cool stuff through genuine word-of-mouth, and possibly even come up with some Christmas gift ideas.

What I want you to do is this:

  • Post (preferably in the comment section below or on your own blog) your top 3 favorite things that you’ve really gotten into this year and want other people to check out.  Your suggestions can be anything.  They don’t even have to be things that came out this year; you just have to have fallen in love with them during 2008.
  • For each of your recommendations, you have to sell us on it in 3 sentences or less.  No paragraphs — just a few sentences.  Bonus points if you make it actionable by including a link, which will make it easier for everyone to actually see what you’re talking about.
  • After that, you should ask 3 more people to add to the list.

Rules / Guidelines:

  • No more than 3 things. Think hard about all the stuff you’ve fallen in love with this year and really narrow it down to the best of the best.
  • Be specific. Don’t say things like “Film – Get into watching movies!”  Tell us which 3 films you really loved this year and why we’d love them, too.
  • Avoid mainstream recommendations. No one wants to hear about how great the iPhone is.  But if you’ve found a really great iPhone app, tell us about that.
  • NO SELF-PROMOTION. If you try to make your recommendations about you in any way (“I recommend my blog – I really got into it this year LOL!!1”), you will have officially killed the spirit of this list.  I will delete your comment if I get a self-promo vibe from it.  Side note: if you really want people to find out about your blog, go talk to Chuck Westbrook.

So here are my 3 things:

  1. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Next to ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Chappelle’s Show,’ this is the funniest and most creative show I’ve ever seen on cable TV.  You can watch all the episodes for free when you sign up on Hulu.  Start with this, this, or this.
  2. “Consolers of the Lonely” by the Raconteurs – My favorite album this year.  Almost every song is awesome, but my favorites are: “These Stones Will Shout,” “Carolina Drama,” and “Old Enough.”  Be sure to listen to the whole album.
  3. Delicious bookmarking – This is one of the most useful online tools I’ve come across.  You can categorize online articles, easily keep track of stuff, and passively send links to people in your network.  Be sure to download the Firefox extension which makes it A LOT easier to use.

In order for this to become a group effort, be sure to put a comment down below and ask others to join in.  I look forward to seeing your list!

UPDATE: This post has started a thread on Tucker Max’s message board (see it here).  It will obviously be way more developed than the comments section on this page, so be sure to check it out.

15 comments on “The 3^3 Project

  1. 1. Stumbleupon – aside from delicious, this is my favoute firefox add-on, as it allows you to randomly generate any webpage that people have submitted to its databsae, and rate it upor down, so it learns what you like and don’t like. If you use the wikipedia channel, you can find any random wikipedia article that stumbleupon thinks might be of interest to you, based on your past preferences. The more you use it, the more accurate it gets and so the more quality content you come across.

    2. Post-it highlighters – using these when I’m reading makes it infinitely easier to mark the relevant parts of a book. The page tabs save you so much time, so rather than flicking through the whole book, you can find the section you’re looking for in seconds. They make it much easier to review a book and its key messages.

    3. Arrested Development – As I’m from the UK, I had never really seen this before. It’s one of the funniest sitcoms I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen quite a lot). Possibly better than the Office.

  2. Flight of the Conchords – I’m late to the party here, but that’s okay; these guys are great. My favorites are “Jenny,” “If You’re Into It,” and “Bret You’ve Got It Going On”…and “Issues” and “Business Time.”
    Twitter – If Delicious doesn’t count as mainstream, neither does Twitter. I’ve been amazed at how entertaining and useful Twitter can be. Practically, it’s helped grow my blog from nothing in a hurry.
    ‘Good Eats’ – I don’t like cooking or cooking shows. I don’t even go out of my way to watch this one, but I think it’s awesome. The host (Alton Brown) is a local guy, too.

  3. From Alex Deherrera’s blog:

    1. The Futurist – My brother lent me his copy of the book and I read it on a trip down to San Diego and it restored my faith in fiction. I had been on a long non-fiction bender prior to reading this because I hadn’t found anything worth reading. This book is funny, a quick read and it has some good lessons as well.
    2. 1-800-GOOG-411 – Google’s 411 service has saved me multiple times from driving to a business that was closed when I was on the road. The best part is that it is free. Worth putting in your contact list if you don’t have a smart phone.
    3. Streaming TV – From to SOPCast, I have been able to watch more Raiders game this year than I usually am able to. For all those who watch football, you know that without DirecTV, you are out of luck if you want to watch an out of market game. No more, at least, until the NFL catches wind of this.

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  5. From Mike Auerbach’s blog:

    1. Post-It Highlighters: These have completely changed how I read and mark up my books. Ryan Holiday was the first person that showed me how helpful they can be, and they have made a huge impact on my reading process. The ability to instantly find important parts of a book, or phrases that were especially memorable is easily worth the cost of the highlighters many times over.

    2. Google Reader: I was pretty late getting on the RSS bandwagon, but it was also something that has really changed me for the better. Collecting blurbs from some of the smartest people in the world is amazing, and Google Reader saves a ton of time aggregating it.

    3. Girl Talk: The first time I heard one of his CD’s (Night Ripper) I sat in amazement for 2 hours while I listened to it twice. I can’t describe how amazing it is to hear some of the most popular music today mixed all together with a bunch of classics, and to have the result be better than the original. The most famous example of his songs is mixing Biggie with Elton John (starts at 1:25). The CD’s are meant to be played straight through, and they are free, although you can make a donation, ala Radiohead’s In Rainbows.

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  7. 1. Mad Men on AMC – Why this show? Two reasons:

    Don Draper and Joan Holloway

    2. Google Reader – If you read blogs or follow websites daily and don’t have, you are a fool. Register with, subscribe to your favorite websites’ RSS feeds, and you’ll get a daily feed of all your favorite sites. No more typing URLS!

    3. – If its politics you like, go to Nate Silver, the stats guru behind the site, correctly predicted the electoral outcome in 49 of 50 states in the 2008 presidential election. Get away from the blow hard pundits and follow the most accurate political blog on the internets.

  8. Pingback: The 3^3 Project « The Blog of Alex J. Mann

  9. Pingback: a show about nothing « alex deherrera

  10. 1. A thumb piano.
    You can play anything on this small, portable, musical instrument. It plays pure and almost meditative.

    2. Rubik’s Cube.
    It’s really not that complicated. Cube freaks are on youtube giving tutorials on how to solve it, try it and amaze your friends.

    3. Survivor by chuck Palahniuk
    The same author as fight club, this book is a great read. The main character is records his story on an airplanes black box as the plane runs out of gas in the middle of the ocean. Really cool!

  11. Pingback: The 3³ Project | SELF + MADE

  12. Pingback: The 3^3 Project: 2009 « Hoehn’s Musings

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