Ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of tech knowledge and news you’re expected to know? Want to understand it more fully? Want to be able to follow conversations with tech veterans who often reference noteworthy writers from reputable sites?
You can start here.

For your reference, we’ve complied a list.  Its not your usual “Top 10″ because we have 11! Yes! Our favorite 11  influential writers in the technology field. In addition to knowing their names, be sure to read their work, as it is both enjoyable and informative.

Ellis Hamburger
Remember Ellis. Among the many other things he does well, Ellis is a writer for Business Insider. You’ll enjoy both his ‘brief and to the point posts’ and his longer form which he tells us he prefers. You’ll really enjoy his great article about Instagram.

How is Ellis with names you might wonder?
“I struggle most to remember the names of PR people I meet at events. Journalists and PR people need each other to survive, but I’ve heard they outnumber us 3 to 1!”

Jeff Hughes
Jeff is an app genius.  His most recent book offers priceless and timeless insight into the world of apps and app marketing.  For those of you interested in app development, you should definitely check out this amazing article.

Do Jeff and names get along?
“The names I struggle the most to remember are people I’ve only met once and then I run into them at a trade show or some other conference a year later. Sadly, they remember my name from my writing and books, but I don’t remember theirs!”

Jon Mitchell
Just look at that picture – doesn’t he look like the awesome front man for a a kickass indie band? Sadly, that’s not true.  But Jon is my tech guru.  Jon writes with a broad perspective, seeing importance and value in article topics that other people might ignore.  One of the things I really love about Jon is his ability to explain the topic to his readers, which is very evident in this piece.

Is Jon a name magician?
“I’m pretty bad about remembering names after one try… the problem is much worse in person. I tend to remember names of people I meet online. Being able to stare at a name in text is a luxury. The name doesn’t just float by over the air. I tend to get distracted by people’s eyes, faces, and body language, and that’s what causes names to go in one ear and out the other.”

Dominic Rivera
As a writer, Dominic is smooth and easy…just like a good scotch. His writing allows the reader to feel comfortable and connect with the topic. This article is an awesome example of what I’m talking about.


Kevin Tofel

Kevin’s writing is very clean and provides a clear look at the article topic. He allows to reader to interpret the information how ever they want. Ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to stay socially connected to friends?  Kevin can help.

Soren Gordhamer
Do you ever feel inundated by the enormous amount of information we are expected to process every day? Soren’s writing is like a breath of fresh air because of his unique approach of “exploring ancient wisdom in modern life.” Soren reminds us that it is possible to find balance in our lives.

Andrew Tarantola
I give Andrew and his writing two thumbs up! (get it?)
Andrew has a billion things to say about a billion different topics. No matter what the topic is that you want to read about, I am 97% certain that Andrew has written about it.  Need to build a Bungee-Powered Bazooka?  Yep, Andrew’s written about it. And he’s probably written about whatever device it is your using to look up that Bazooka.

Xeni Jardin
<—- Look at her! This is not a woman you want to mess with! It is clear that she knows what is going on. Female writers in the tech blogging world are still pretty rare but Xeni let’s it be known that women belong. Her writing is informed and intelligent. And they are fun!

Raymond Wong
Ray is a man who knows what he is talking about.  His writing style comes off as super cool, most likely because he is super cool. And he’ll be the first to tell you that gadgets and technology are his life.  You can tell from his writing, he is passionate about what he does.

Michael Gorman
Sometimes tech blogging can be overly technical and complicated, leaving the reader confused. Maybe that’s why Michael had such a strong love for Star Trek: The Next Generation, who knows. I do know that I’m glad that Michael had that love because it is what led Michael to love technology and tech writing. When Michael writes, it’s not complicated.  Michael breaks it down for you so that pretty much anyone can understand.  Check out this article.

Dan Rowinski
Dan is the man.  After reading just one of Dan’s posts, you probably won’t believe me when I tell you that he used to be a chef.  You read right, a chef.  It almost seems like Dan was born with a non-creepy, non-scary robot brain because he writes and explains all aspects of tech so well! I don’t know about you, but with posts like this, I’m glad Dan is writing.  Although I wouldn’t say no to a free meal.

Remember names to become president.. like these guys!
So, you want to be President one day? Great! But there is a very important first step to help you get there.

Step 1 – You’ve got to be great at remembering names.  Okay, so really step one is you have to be a citizen of the United States.  But after that, the most important thing you can do is remember the names of all the people you meet. A wise person once said: “To recall a voter’s name is statesmanship. To forget it is oblivion.”  Let’s take a quick look at history.  Do the names Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton and Abraham Lincoln mean anything to you? At the very least, you should recognize Abraham Lincoln as the guy on the penny.  You’ve got to be pretty important in order to be on national currency.

So, besides being great leaders, what is one thing that these three guys have in common? They were all great at remembering names. All three of these presidents were able to make personal and meaningful connections with their voter base, with fellow leaders, and with the men and women that served under them by remembering their names and addressing them personally.

There’s a great story about Roosevelt going to special efforts to find and personally thank, by name, the mechanic who helped deliver him a specialized car that accommodated his paralysis. It’s clear that as president, FDR was a busy man, but he was never too busy to learn someone’s name.  The investment that Franklin D. Roosevelt made to all of his countrymen by valuing the importance of their name is one of the things that made him a great President.

What about Bill Clinton?  Put the scandal and the perjury aside for a minute – Clinton left office with the highest end of office approval rating of any President since World War II. How could a guy who embarrassed himself so royally with the whole oval office intern affair still be so popular? Because he remembered everyone’s name! Whenever Clinton interacted with someone he made a point of physically touching him or her in some way, (get your mind out of the gutter, a clean way – handshake, hand on shoulder etc) he held eye contact, and he always addressed them by name.  It only took one meeting for him to remember someone’s name.  And he made sure that the next time he saw that person, he used their name again.

And Abraham Lincoln? Lincoln was one of the earliest advocates for Human Rights. It is said that Lincoln valued the importance of a person’s name as an integral part of their sense of self-identity.  In Lincoln’s effort to carefully remember peoples names, he showed them that he also valued them.

90% of people surveyed say that they feel more respected and motivated when someone remembers their name.  A persons name is an extremely important part of our self-identity.  It’s who we are.  When you remember a person’s name a sense of familiarity and connection is formed.  It’s an immediate sign to the person that you value them and see them as important.

Have you ever had someone forget your name? It’s a pretty deflating feeling when they do.  When you are campaigning to be President, you’re going to meet thousands and thousands of people – donors, other politicians, grandparents, teachers, little league baseball teams, girl scout troops – all sorts of people will cross your path, people whose votes you need!  The more names you can remember equals the more people who believe in (and like) you.

So you want to be President one day? Namerick will help you get it done.

Categories Improve Memory

Got NADDs?

August 23, 2011 //

Name Attention Deficit Disorder - Namerick

THEM:  ” Hi, My name is.. ( YOU: Wow, they are kinda cute ).. Nice to meet you.”
YOU: ” Hi, nice to meet you ..  ”

Grr. You just missed their name. It’s almost like you didn’t even hear it – or if you did, it went in one ear and directly out the other without even stopping to wave at your brain.

or perhaps..

THEM: ” Well, it’s been nice hanging out with you for the past few hours ”
YOU: ” You too, ..buddy.. See you later. ”

Ug. You’ve been hanging out with them all night and had learned their name at some point, but when it would be most impactful and respectful to confidently smile and call them by their name – *poof* – it’s gone. You’re forced to use one of those filler names like “buddy”, “dude” or “man”. If they’re a girl, your filler names are probably useless.


Name Attention Deficiency Disorder (NADD) is an affliction that so many struggle with today. With so many other things flying through our brains, we rarely take the time to register a name to memory before we are on to the next thought. Even if we take a moment to repeat their name in hopes we can lock it to memory, moments later it’s usually gone when you start talking about last saturday night’s epic adventures or what you had for dinner. Sometimes you may ask again, but usually most of us are too embarrassed and resign to the fact that the next time they’ll have to greet them awkwardly with a filler name.

For those suffering from NADD, there are a number of things you might try to become better at remembering names. Our soon-to-release Namerick iPhone app is obviously the best, but many also find some of these techniques to be helpful.

In an era that is collectively so bad with names, learning to be better at remembering names will make you stand out among the pack. In our recent survey, people listed ‘remember[ing] my name’ as a trait they like in new people they meet.

Categories Improve Memory

Using Mnemonics Can Improve Memory – The Office

August 21, 2011 //

* Unless you’re as smooth as Michael, we don’t recommend sharing your namericks or regular mnemonics with others if they may be considered offensive. The more image-rich and memorable the words in your namerick are, the better it will stick in your memory.

Categories Improve Memory, Memory Games, Memory Techniques, Tips to Improve Memory

What is a Namerick?

August 20, 2011 //

namerick (n) : a mnemonic device that utilizes imagery and alliteration to make a name more memorable.

Like… Robert Rides Rhinos

A namerick, pronounced like  ”limerick”, is a fun and image-rich few words that are paired together using alliteration. (ie. the same letter/sound of each word) Namericks are designed to capitalize on other parts of your brain that are more apt at quickly remembering things. Both the repetition of sounds and the imagery of the words help to better lock a name into your memory.


Jackson Juggles Jaguars
(imagine him juggling big snarling jaguars!)

Samantha Slaps Serpents
(imagine her winding up and slapping a big green serpent) 

Greg Guzzles Guinness 
(picture him with an upside-down pitcher of thick dark beer)

Entering a new name in the Namerick App will unlock a variety of random namericks to choose from, or you can easily create your own. Take a moment to imagine the namerick and the scene it depicts and some details about it. These will help you remember their name for good.

Categories Improve Memory

A Lesson in Neighborhood Building with Mr. Rogers

July 15, 2011 //

“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor?”

Since I was indeed a baby of the 80s, and grew up with the poignant, albeit cheese-filled rhetoric of that beloved shoe-tossing, cardigan wearing Mr. Rogers, I will admit that he and his neighborly attitude have a soft spot in my heart. But whether or not you can stomach Make-Believe Neighborhood or not, there is a lot to say for the work real people are doing to strengthen real neighborhoods and communities across the country. A common theme for community organizers and leaders in neighborhood building, is building strong relationships with individuals. For those folks doing the great work of community organizing in and around San Francisco, it seems that that good relationship building starts with that first exchange of names…and the ability to remember them an hour, a day, or 3 months later.

In San Francisco, a community group has emerged in the neighborhoods that surround the bike route, The Wiggle. The group’s mission is to be a leader and a model in community sustainability and resilience. Morgan Fitzgibbons, chief ‘Wiggler’ and organizer of the group talks a bit about the importance of remembering names:

“Learning people’s names really is essential to building community. It’s pretty much impossible to build the ‘strong tie’ relationships you need for community work if you don’t know and address someone by their name. It seems like a small thing, but it’s really a major step in building a relationship. Calling someone by their name really makes them feel like they are important to you. And there is a special pleasure in using someone’s name when they don’t expect you to remember – it sets the tone for the relationship and makes you appear very put together.”

Lauren McCarthy, Community Manager at Scoutmob (super cool company that aims to generate a greater community of locals by connecting folks with deals, stories and insider scoops of local businesses/events) speaks to the same truth:

“Learning people’s names is the first step to getting to know our neighbors and a critical step if we are going to collaborate with the right people to make things happen in San Francisco…Names are intimately connected to our identity. I make it my goal to remember the names of people who I see on a regular basis in the neighborhood. It feels so good to say hi to Sharon or Alex at Mission Pies in the morning. I also love to connect people with one another who should meet-and let me tell you, it’s so much easier if you can remember the name of the people you are trying to connect.”

Lauren Markham, an experienced leader and Program Consultant at the Oakland Unified School District, works with refugee families from around the world.

“In my experience, knowing a person’s name is vital to building community and to building trust within and among communities. On a symbolic level, knowing a person’s name shows that you have taken the time and energy to learn that name, and that you are committed to that person as an individual. And on a purely practical level, it simply makes communication and coordination easier as people are automatically more engaged and responsive. I think there’s often an inherent connection between having someone know your name and having a sense that that person sees you, or cares for you in some way.”

As we recognize the increasingly disjointed nature of communities across the country, it is these kinds of efforts to build strength and cohesion amongst neighbors that ought to be celebrated. Focusing in on the simple task of remembering someone’s name, begins that interaction with intention and thoughtfulness; it says, ‘this is my neighbor, this is a connection I care about.’

Check out these guys’ tips and secrets below. They are also early adopters of Namerick, which gathers together some of these age-ole tricks, mixes ‘em up with some new-age magic and VOILA! creates a name-remembering iPhone app of the most neighborly nature!

Tips for Remembering Names from Bay Area Community Organizers:

Morgan Fitzgibbons Lauryn McCarthy Lauren Markham
PAY ATTENTION! This is really the biggest thing. Listen. Really listen Listen carefully
Focus on the person when they are telling you their name. Repeat names once you’ve learned them I’m a visual learner, so I have to see the names written.
Repeat the name early and often, remind yourself silently in your head during or shortly after your first interactions Introduce the person you just met to another person (maybe those forced ice breakers were onto something: “this is Allie and she loves apples”) It helps me to make connections among people: I know Lishara is the adorable six year old, and that woman is her mother. I’ll ask her mother’s name (Maya) and remember them as both individuals and a unit.
Don’t be afraid to ask again – even the best of us forget from time to time (although using Namerick will surely help with that!) Write it down after you meet someone-I know names are important but hey, I’m human and sometimes I forget. Writing a name down and looking at it later can be helpful.
Facebook helps keep new people on my peripheral radar. If I run into them at brunch a month down the road, I am better positioned to remember them.

For more info on the work these three are involved in, check out the links below.



Categories Improve Memory

12 Powerhouse Names to Remember in Technology

April 8, 2011 //

When it comes to having power and influence in the field of technology, these guys all have that  special something (smarts, wit, charisma) that sets them apart.  In Hollywood, they call it the “it” factor.  So what would be the equivalent to the “it” factor in the tech industry?  Sorry, I just couldn’t come up with something catchy, but read on and maybe you will come up with one!
(Names are in no particular order.. they are all awesome!)

1) Duncan Riley

Duncan Riley is a writer and blogger who founded The Blog Herald and the b5media blog network.  He also wrote for TechCrunch and The Inquisitr.  Most recently, Duncan has become the editor and publisher of Medacity, a hip and happening online media news portal.  And with a name like “Duncan,” this powerhouse is hard moniker to forget!

2) Erick Schonfeld

The former Editor-at-Large for Business 2.0 Magazine, Erick Schonfeld is now the new(ish) Editor of TechCrunch.  Congrats on your new position, Erick!  And as a father of three and a successful businessman, we’d love to know his tricks for remembering names!

3) John Biggs

A former writer for the New York Times and editor-in-chief of Gizmodo, the Gadget Guide blog, John is now the Editor for TechCrunch Gadgets.  Based in New York, John is clearly a name to remember on the East Coast.

4) Pete Cashmore

Pete Cashmore is the founder and CEO of Mashable, an award-winning destination for technology news.  We happen to think Mashable is one of the coolest sites ever.  In fact, it’s so great that even our moms have heard of it. When we heard that Pete made Ad Ages 2011 Influencers, we knew he had to make the list.  And “influencers” don’t get where they are by being forgetful with names!

5) Marshall Kirkpatrick

Marshall Kirkpatrick is the Co-Editor and VP of Content Development at ReadWriteWeb, a blog devoted to tech industry news.  Previously, he was the Lead Blogger at TechCrunch. With over 34,000 Twitter followers, Marshall is no slouch when it comes to making and keeping connections. So, what helps you remember important names in your life, Marshall?  We’re listening!

6) Michael Arrington

There’s obviously no denying that Michael is a go-to-man when it comes to technology blogging (his blog).  As the founder of TechCrunch, he has a very strong influence on what people have to say and how they say it.  Michael was also named on of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2008.  No one will forget his name.

7) Robert Scoble

Robert Scoble, a former video blogger for Microsoft, is now best-known for his popular tech blog, Scobleizer.  His moving account of the first few hours after the world learned that Steve Jobs had died showed that he has heart, in addition to power and influence.  Although Robert says that he is “horrible with names,” and that’s why he begins every show he does with, “who are you?” we know how personable (and accessible) Robert really is.

8 ) Casey Chan

Casey Chan is currently a writer/editor at Gizmodo, the Gadget Guide blog.   We just love his informative, yet humorous posts.  Casey keeps a pretty low profile, but we have a feeling he has got a pretty long list of killer connections in the tech world.

9) Om Malik

Om Malik is an award-winning journalist and the founder of GigaOmniMedia, the company that publishes GigaOm, a media and tech blog. We think that GigaOm is one of the best tech news sites out there.  A writer, published author and former reporter, Om Malik has a nose for tech news and we know that a good reporter never forgets a name (or he writes it down).  We have no doubt that Om has some serious memory skills.

10) Rob Walsch

As the host of PodCast411, Rob is clearly a powerhouse name in technology.  Funny thing is, other than his most impressive title, there is little to no information about him on the web.  It is almost as if he doesn’t exist.  How does he do that?  Rob says, “Simple – I try to talk and write about the tech – not about me.”  Rob also says that he has the most trouble remembering…(he is getting back to me on this, but wants to participate)

11) David Pogue

As a tech blogger for the New York Times for the past 11 years, David Pogue is another name to remember in the world of technology.  David has also worked as a correspondent for CNBC and CBS Sunday Morning.  David’s down-to-earth style appeals to techie and non-techie audiences alike. As he is also a father of three, we know he must have some pretty good strategies for remembering names up his sleeve!

12) Walt Mossberg

And though he is last on our list, we could never forget the name “Walt Mossberg.”  Walt  embodies the definition of “powerhouse” as the Wall Street Journal’s lead technology reporter.  The Washington Post has referred to Walt as a “one-man media empire.” He also co-edits the site,
AllThingsD (digital).

Categories Improve Memory, Names to Remember