12+ Gems of the Pacific Northwest Coast (Plus: 200 Tweets – My Thoughts on Practical Twitter Use)

The unbelievable Oregon coastline. (Photo: liquidskyarts)

Six weeks ago I conducted my first social media travel experiment. I posed a simple question and let your responses to me on Twitter and this blog dictate exactly what I did on a 12-day roadtrip with my brother from San Francisco to Vancouver, Canada.

No packing or planning was done before jumping in the car (the best proof of this: I needed a friend to FedEx my passport to Seattle so I could get into Canada).

I’d done the trip from SF to Mexico several times, often meticulously planned, and this trip — my first up through the northwest coast — was both more fun and less stressful. Here is the progression of my “tweets” (Twitter entries), beginning with the first question…

Off Wed. on a road trip with my bro from SF to Portland, Seattle, then Vancouver. What are your top B&B and must-see picks? B&B rec’s pls! 02:26 AM June 17, 2008

Day 1: SF to Eureka. 101N to lunch at Ukiah Brewing Co., then Avenue of Giants, to Eureka, dinner at Lost Coast Brewery, bed @ dalyinn.com 11:25 AM June 19, 2008

Day 2: to Eugene. Samoa Cookhouse snipurl.com/2ltjq , 500 ft dunes that inspired ‘Dune’ snipurl.com/2ltkx, and sleep @ The Campbell House 10:12 AM June 20, 2008

Day 3-Portland: Powell’s Books, btl of Pinot @ Vino Paradiso (1/2 off @ happy hr), dinner @ Jake’s Famous Crawfish (top-10 seafood in US). 12:55 PM June 21, 2008

Day 4-Portland: woke @ 12, Voodoo Doughnut feast, Saturday Market, rose garden @ Forest Park, movie @ Kennedy School, finish w/ Vault Martini. 02:08 AM June 22, 2008

Voodoo Doughnut’s delicious Maple Bacon doughnut and meth-high-inducing Grape Ape doughnut.

Day 5-to/in Seattle: stop @ bridge of glass http://snipurl.com/2o8ub, amazing espresso @ vivace (espressovivace.com), and dinner at Kells. 01:03 PM June 24, 2008

Day 6-Seattle: lunch @ Cutters, ‘Mongol’ @ the Egyptian Theater, KICK-ASS Remedy Tea (200+ teas) for night cap. Get the ginger/matcha shot. 09:08 PM June 24, 2008

Day 7-Seattle: presented to CIA (no joke), Underground Tour (undergroundtour.com), amazing crab cakes at Etta’s, reading Zorba The Greek… 07:44 PM June 25, 2008

Day 8-to Vancouver: Zoka coffee testing, Seattle (zokacoffee.com); drive up I-5/99 to Vancouver; sushi & sashimi at ‘Asahi-ya’ 1230 Robson. 11:00 AM June 26, 2008

Any recs for vancouver meetup spots and sleeping? Must do’s? 04:36 PM June 26, 2008

Day 9-Vancouver: Stanley Park (incl. totems), best comic/anime exhibit ever (http://snipurl.com/2pps8), amazing Malaysian @ The Banana Leaf 11:21 PM June 26, 2008

Day 10-Whistler BC: excellent hiking to Joffrey Lakes, saw black bear on hillside, incredible pizza in Pemberton at http://ponyespresso.ca/ 10:54 AM June 29, 2008

(Photo: ucumari)

Day 11-Vancouver: Lamb popsicles @ Vij’s, Sauv Blanc fr Alsace, hanging w/ Cameron Herold (http://snipurl.com/2r5gd), + Wall-E… AWESOME. 02:16 PM June 29, 2008

Day 12-Fly Seattle to SF for $98 on Alaskan; ship car from Seattle to SF for $640 www.ableautotransport.com = $ than hotels and gas 09:44 PM June 30, 2008


Links above, when not written out using shorthand from SnipURL, were added for this blog post.

200 Tweets – My Thoughts on Practical (vs. Addictive) Uses of Twitter

I don’t follow anyone on Twitter. To some, this is sacrilege.

Let me explain the main reason of several that I don’t follow people:

Imagine that you send an email to 10 people inviting them to a party, but you BCC 100 more casual friends who are uninvited. How will those 100 feel? Offended and somewhat resentful, just as I would.

Twitter is like this: all followers and followees are transparent. I can’t follow a single person without risking irritating hundreds. This problem is the same for someone who has 40 followers as it is for someone with 40,000. I avoid the drama and politics by following no one. I do this because I don’t care to be a hypocrite (low-information diet, etc.) and do care about my followers, not because I’m uninterested in them. I track some of my followers regularly but don’t “follow” in the formal sense.

I “follow” my close friends via food, wine, texting, and — for old classmates — Facebook.

Here are several quotes about Twitter relevant to my 3 personal rules of Twitter use:

“Twitter is a community. It’s not all about you. Engage your peers by asking them questions”

Micki Krimmel, video blogger and host of Mickipedia

“Don’t try to impress–just be yourself. But go a little beyond your comfort zone; share something you’re hesitant about sharing.”

Evan Williams, co-founder of Obvious, which created Twitter

[my panel interview with Evan here]

Here are my 3 basic “Twittiquette” rules of using Twitter:

1. Add value if you consume attention.

I use Twitter as a “micro-blogging” platform, exactly how it’s most often described. Just as I wouldn’t put up a blog post that reads “just ate a burrito. Mmmm… good,” as it consumes readers valuable attention without adding value, I wouldn’t put up such a post on Twitter. On the other hand, “Just had an incredible mahi-mahi burrito at [best unknown taco stand] in San Diego. Must-eat: www.website.com In NYC, try: www.website2.com” adds value with actionable details. Mundane perhaps, but still a cool “to-do” that ethnic food lovers can tuck in the back of their heads.

Some self-indulgent tweets are fine, but make sure 90%+ help or entertain your readers somehow. Information empty calories are parasitic.

2. Use the tool for its best purposes and ignore the rest.

Use a tool for what its best suited to do. Don’t make a Swiss army knife out of every social media tool or you’ll end up with nothing but overwhelm, passive-aggressive “friends,” and a dozen separate inboxes.

I use the blog for testing ideas/campaigns/memes, catalyzing social change, and introducing more developed concepts so I can watch and track their impact and evolution in the blogosphere.

I use Twitter to broadcast time-sensitive suggestions, questions, events, random facts, and happenings, and other ideas that don’t justify an independent blog post. I don’t want another IM program.

I hate page view-driven sites that force features on users in the quest for more clicks. 500+ unread messages on Facebook? 600+ unread requests on LinkedIn? That’s what e-mail is for.

3. Linking is fundamental to adding value.

Twitter is perfect for honing your word economy and value-to-attention contribution: offer a brief takeaway and quicks links to more resources for those interested. Minimal attention impact for the uninterested with gateways to more goodies. Here are a few recent examples.


Thanks to all for the killer suggestions for my trip! Much crazier stuff coming if you want to follow me here.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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124 Replies to “12+ Gems of the Pacific Northwest Coast (Plus: 200 Tweets – My Thoughts on Practical Twitter Use)”

  1. Great timing on the post, I’m starting to feel overwhelm with Twitter. I do enjoy posting on it occasionally. I met an awesome colleague there that has been supportive of my site with content ideas.

  2. How does somebody actually get in touch with you. I sent an email to lisa or whichever girl’s email address is on your contact form 3 days ago…

    Great post anyway, I always wondered why you didn’t actually follow anyone, although I don’t think that is a great use of the service.


    Hi Glen,

    It’s quite hard to get a hold of me 🙂 I’ll check with Amy, but a response in a week — if non-urgent — would be reasonable. Try e-mailing anyone who gets 100s per day and you’ll see what I mean.

    I’ll check up on it.

    All the best,


  3. Thanks for the Twitter advice. Literally set it up on my iPhone yesterday and was trying to determine how the latest (sort of) thing was any better than texting or Facebook etc. I will definitely add more value and from early on now because of your advice.

  4. Hey Tim. Great thoughts on Twitter. I would like to add this, however. Twitter is absolutely terrific at exposing new bloggers and socials media types, like me, to different communities and events I would never have known about had I not been “following” anyone. Additionally, it is the best “advertisement” I have for my blog. When I write a new post, I Tweet “New Post” with the link and immediately get 50 clicks. It gives me leverage in the infinite universe of the WWW.

    Additionally, here in Columbus, OH we have monthly “Tweetups,” where all the “Tweeps” meetup for lunch face to face. The people involved in this are very interested in improving the community through social media (ie tweet about events in the community, charity functions, etc.) As such, Twitter has facilitated a powerful group of people interested in improving our city.

    Great thoughts though. I just wanted to establish a difference between you (someone who can generate plenty of followers without “following” yourself), and an average “Tweep” (like me).

  5. Hey Tim,

    Great post on the use of Twitter. Have a great story for you. We were filming our Jet Set Life show in Mykonos last week at an overnight sunrise party (at Cavo Paradiso) and we met a great girl that came over to us and said “hey I think I follow you guys on my Twitter”. Serendipity!

  6. I follow you on Twitter Tim, and I find your updates to be exactly as you say – suggestions, questions and/or events that aren’t mundane. I like how you distinguished the ideal uses of each outlet. This clarity helped me make some clearer lines between a few of the platforms I’m using.

    So, I just finished reading your entire blog (plus the old one)! It took a good 2 days. I made 7 pages of notes and highlighted where questions came up. For most of them, I found the answer in the forums. But, here are two that are outstanding. Can you shed some light?

    1. Owning a home: It sounds like you own a home in SanFran? With all the traveling you do, does it make sense to have a “home base” that you own? Do you try to rent it out when you leave for extended periods?

    2. Language: How long do you think a language can stay “dormant” without totally digressing to square 1? You write a lot about refreshing a language and I’m wondering how long you’ve left a language entirely but succeeded in reviving it on demand (with a little practice).

    Thanks Tim!


  7. I pretty much agree with your twitter view. I started following a lot of people, that got overwhelming, then decided the best use was to follow only leaders in my niche so I don’t have to visit their blogs (most people update their blog posts on twitter) I found a plugin that updates my blog for me. Now I’ve decided to research & develop Social Network Integration techniques for people lost in the Social Network woods. Rage on

  8. Great stuff as always Tim. I’ve avoided Twitter thus far, but I think even for a few back links it’s probably worth it if used as you describe. As with any tool, content is king.

  9. Love it!

    Posted this on the thirtydaychallenge.com forum since the 30dc this year (starting in a few days!) is apparently going to rely heavily on twitter.

    I figured twitter as a concept would be completely at odds with the Low Information Diet, although as you’ve pointed out, if you don’t follow people on twitter, you don’t get overwhelmed with it.. but I’ll be interested to see how it all fits together.

  10. I like the intent of your Twittiquettes. I think they give structure to how you use Twitter and social media in general; however, I think the strength of social media is that it allows for unfiltered expression. Sure, posting anything and everything in Twitter creates a lot of noise, but that is exactly why I choose to follow some people and not others.

    So, while I agree with your Twittiquettes and hope to apply them to my own approach to posting, I think they are a personal approach and should not limit people from posting whatever they want. Who knows? maybe we are yet to experience a new way of using Twitter.

  11. Sounds like a great trip. That’s exactly what I need.

    P.S. Now you’ve got me following you on Twitter! Sheesh!

  12. great post,…I was just talking the other day with someone about the potential benefits of adding twitter to my lifestyle. I haven’t bit yet. This gives me a few ideas,….especially the posting that you have posted a blog,…..it is a challenge to decide what media/social tool to implement and what will just clutter. Thanks Tim.

  13. Tim, I noticed this tweet:

    “Signing docs to sell my house in San Jose and looking forward to the Mashable party tonight in SF… 01:20 PM July 15, 2008 from web”

    Are you taking your global arbitrage lifestyle full-time or simply moving to a different house?

  14. Your reasons for limiting your use of twitter is exactly why I haven’t yet dived into it. I’m not sure what value I can in my tweets and not sure I have time to follow others.

    In September I plan to explore it more.

  15. My thoughts on Twitter:

    Great concept with awesome potential. But this tool is not for everyone and with the mass amounts of social sites out there one may consider a few good ones to participate in. Oddly enough, I joined CouchSurfing and get more out of that site than Facebook or Myspace.

    Enjoy the City


  16. Yeah, I get these kind of emails all the time…

    “Why don’t you follow me on Twitter”.

    It’s kind of lame because I have over 1200 followers, but only follow about 30 of my close friends. I could never possibly keep up with more then that. Nor would I really care to in my busy world of Xbox 360, surfing, and the occasional IM stuff.

    I know some people feel slighted, or jipped because I don’t follow them.

    It’s really nothing personal. If I knew you were a kick ass Twitter poster, I’d consider it. But the truth is, I really don’t care about reading… “I just watched Facts Of Life reruns again. Natalie is so hot!”.

    Know what I’m saying?



  17. OMG! Bacon on a donut, that looks really yummy. Great source of protein to start the day’s adventures.

  18. I too have found Twitter time consuming but I do often get traffic from it. Mostly, when I can sort of straddle the line between thought provoking personality exposing to useful links that lead to interesting conversation. Not that interested in some of what you characterize as the time wasters. When it forwards a persona, ok (I like your style of mentioning interesting food in interesting places, for example) but when it doesn’t seem relevant at all like “I feel mad” with no URL. Who cares? I’d respond more to “Prejudice and Injustice gets me steamed. See why at http://www.myplace“.

    Re: followers. I love people to follow me (I am especially curious as to how and why they found me) but I don’t follow everyone who follows me, mainly if the tone and substance of their profile and URL doesn’t fit my preferences. I have to see their postings so I like it to be stuff I want to see.

    Together, we are stronger.

    Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman

  19. i guess i’m the exact opposite when it comes to twitter use – although my extreme is also quite practical for me.

    i follow everyone i know in real life, on twitter. i also post random things about my day (okay, not “just bit into a muffin…mmmmm!!!”), but things like what i’m doing, what i’m feeling, an observation, a thought that someone might appreciate…it goes on. most of my friends (with a few irritating exceptions) also do the same. that way, i’m always in touch, without actively being in conversation with everyone. if someone’s having a bad day, or if i have something to say that won’t fit 140 chars, i pick up the phone and call/text. i dislike links because they force me to fire up my phone’s browser (or leave whatever’s already on it) to complete the picture of what my friend wanted to say.

    twitter is different from phone or text or im, because it’s a sort of selective broadcast. it’s also more timely than a blog. twitter is also not the sort of medium where i’d post something i’d want to recall a month from now. that’s going straight to my blog.

    twitter helps me stay in touch with friends who might have otherwise drifted apart due to geographical/time zone distance. compared to the friends who aren’t on it, the contrast is stark enough to be black and white – if a friend lives in another city and isn’t on twitter, it’s almost guaranteed that we’ll be out of touch in a few months 😀

  20. Thanks Tim useful pointers. And thanks to Joss as he directed me to it from the TDC forum as I hadn’t read your blog post today yet. And I guess that’s a good example of Twitter working well for keeping up to the minute on things of interest and hearing things first – as well as offering an easy, quick soundbite that you can check out further or ignore, without it interrupting what you’re doing too much.

  21. Agreed on points #1 & 2 of Tim’s Twitter Etiquette 101.

    I would argue that #3 is dependent on how you’ve chosen to execute point #1. If you’re adding value by providing resources and information, yeah, sure, links are welcome and often necessary. I follow a few people who provide value this way (and not in the dig-me, self-linking, broadcast-y way). Most of them, however, use that as part of a mix that includes entertainment in heavy rotation.

    As you yourself alluded in point #1, there’s value in entertaining. At least as much value, sometimes more, than straight information.

    After all, All Work and No Play, as the man typed over and over…

  22. Tim, if you like the Oregon Coast, you have to make a pass through Central Oregon, its waaay better. We’re one of the most athletic regions in the US… a haven of beauty and outdoor activity, not to mention a top telecommuting relocation area 🙂

  23. If you don’t mind me asking, what was the cost on a trip like this (hotels and food)? I was thinking of doing something like this for Spring Break next year instead of the beerfest in Mexico that everyone else seems to do.

  24. A thought-out use of Twitter is key when all the new social networking sites pop up like crazy. Taking for example the site allowing you to make 12 second videos or all the other Twitter-like sites. The list is endless, if not careful, you may end up getting lost in it and forget about enjoying the summer!!!

  25. wow awesome RoadTrip Dude!!

    i did the amazing Ride up to Whistler from Vancouver – incredible Views*

    U will have to checkout the 2010 Olympics in Whistler fer sure*

    Ski Bunny Heaven!! ;)) Peace*

  26. You well over thought the twitter following thing! Follow people for there interests if you don’t follow someone I’m sure they wont care that much, if at all!

  27. Only partially off topic here, but that shot of the Oregon coast is INSANE. I know you didn’t take it, but I just love it–if I (or you, or someone else) had painted that, it would be reviewed as a fantasy.

    Having grown up in the area, I know it to be truth–but having spent most of my life far away,it’s nice to be reminded of the beauty of such places…

  28. Oh BTW Tim,

    Revival is tomm. It is buy one get one free from 11pm-2pm. The bartender is a cool guy too, he is from San Antonio. Just a heads up if you make around that area in Union Square.



  29. Dear Tim,

    I did not discover you and your work until a couple months ago and now it occurs to me that even though i have visited your blog a few times, commenting has never occurred to me until i saw the picture of the bacon on the doughnut. I would call it blasphemy if you hadn’t brought it from a place called Voodoo Doughnuts. I can understand the “meth-high-inducing Grape Ape doughnut” your average glazed krispy creme doughnut will do that to me by the time I reach for the second one. BUT BACON ON A TOFFEE DOUGHNUT @#$%^

    I did not think my first conversation with the person that opened my eyes to “effective action” or detailed fantasies of how to use MMII would be about doughnuts, i just could not help myself.

    Love your blog btw,



  30. Tim !!!!! You’re in NYC — I would love to meet you, maybe get you to sign my copy of your book? I missed you on the booksigning tour. I see you tweeting from all around me, LOL. I have tried replying to your tweets but I don’t think it works. Have you found an apt. for the weekend? Email me!

  31. Tim !!!!! You’re in NYC — I would love to meet you, maybe get you to sign my copy of your book? I missed you on the booksigning tour. I see you tweeting from all around me, LOL. I have tried replying to your tweets but I don’t think it works. Have you found an apt. for the weekend? Email me!

  32. Hi All,

    Thanks for the great comments and discussion! I think Twitter is like eating an ice cream or fashion sense — there is no one approach that will suit everyone. If the “end” in mind were clear, perhaps, but when it’s something more amorphous, it seems a case of: do what makes you feel best.


    I’m thinking of having a meet-up in NYC (Manhattan or Brooklyn) in two weeks or so. Any suggestions for a cool spot that can hold 200 people on a weeknight?

    Pura vida 🙂


  33. I would like to purchase 4HWW for a friend in Brasil. Anyone know where to get a portuguese version in Brasil? Thanks.

  34. NYC meetup suggestion: I just had drinks at the Gramercy Park Hotel‘s private roof club last night, was pretty chic. There are also 2 bars, Jade and Rose.

    Just please don’t make it August 7-10 because I’ll be in Las Vegas and I dont want to miss it! 🙂

  35. Have the meetup at the Delancy bar. Its got a great rooftop area that fits 200 and its centrally located for both Manhattan and Brooklyn people (its right at the entrance of the williamsburg bridge on the manhattan side).

  36. THANK YOU!!!!

    I am using your book to build my New Lifestyle!!!! I am sooo excited to use my new online based business to fuel my wants and desires of my life.

    AGAIN!!!! I never would have done anything but work if you had not wrote this book!!!!

    Tell me what you think of the site. Thanks!


  37. Tim,

    I loved your rules about Twitter use and I love the fact that you don’t follow anyone. I also love the fact that I don’t use Twitter at all.

    Like you say, gotta stick to the low-info diet and people will feel slighted or offended if you don’t follow them, and there’s no way to follow everyone. That’s why blogrolls are generally a bad idea…not worth explaining to people why you chose such and such but not them.

    Although, if we would be grown men and women about this, instead of acting like we’re in high school, not getting noticed on social media shouldn’t be a big deal. What happened to simply doing things because they’re fun?

    I like what Jason Moffatt commented here:

    “Yeah, I get these kind of emails all the time…

    ‘Why don’t you follow me on Twitter?’

    It’s kind of lame because I have over 1200 followers, but only follow about 30 of my close friends. I could never possibly keep up with more then that. Nor would I really care to in my busy world of Xbox 360, surfing, and the occasional IM stuff.”

    Quite frankly the overwhelming majority of Tweets and blog posts and Diggs and Stumbles and whatever else are not worth consuming. They just aren’t.

    It’s usually much more worthwhile and fun to go outside and play some football or hit up a local bar.

    You know–actually living. Like you did on your trip, Tim.

  38. @Tim

    It’s not Manhattan or Brooklyn but there is a very cool outdoor Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, just a short subway ride from Manhattan (last stop on the N/W train). The outdoor space could easily hold 200+ people, especially on a weeknight.


  39. Great advise. Easy to get overwhelmed and then caught up in sites like Twitter. Social media should be just that-social. Great post.

    BTW-this sucks! Your here or coming here to NYC and i am just leaving! Oh well. Hope to get to see you at a conference or something in the future. I am moving south tomm to start my new life. Going to really use the 4hour work week and make it work! I have already read and reread your book and have made great changes. Time to ramp things up a notch.

    See you out there!

  40. Hmmm. One thing that I’ve observed about your Twitter comments, Tim, is that you often ask if anyone has this or that or can anyone help you out with this or that. Yet, since you never follow anyone, you can’t provide the same help to the same people you often ask for help.

    I’d like to invite you to comment on this situation, as it seems to me that it is related to some of the comments I often read in response to your book.


    Hi Zina,

    Good question. I use Twitter to ask, as it’s faster and often more convenient for people to reply (they can use their cell or PDA). I do reply to questions, but I funnel people to the blog for this purpose.

    Directing people — friends or strangers — to your most responsive channel of communication is a good thing for both sides. To always take and never give is bad, but to chose how you give is just being economical and avoiding overwhelm.

    Just my 2 cents — hope that helps explain my thinking!


  41. Tim what is your next book project?

    I want to tell you about my trip over the weekend to remind people to just get in a car and do it! Fri.-Mon. was supposed to be in Portland and ended up zip lining on Vancouver Island.

    Portland: Fri/Sat- Masu sushi with a friend, Kenny and Zukes for breakfast, walked to Powells, Oregon Brew Fest, and Saturday Market. I skipped Voodoo which was recommended since I was not in a doughnut mood.

    Almost went back to Seattle and wanted to come up the coast and didn’t realize that 101 split (no map) so from Olympia I ended up on the inland 101 and hit Port Angeles right in time for the 9:30pm ferry to Victoria. Got a room at Swans, Sauce for late dinner, was literally carried over to Social by a guy who was six-four, asked how much he had to drink before I got on his shoulders, danced to 80’s and 90’s and had coffee at a gas station-Mac’s at 2:30 am.

    Sun-ate at De Dutch for breakfast since Lady Marmalade was packed, went zip lining in Sooke, back to Vic for Sunday market, lunch at Paradiso, back to Seattle where I had dinner at Matador Tequila bar in my neighborhood.

    I am constantly harassed as a solo girl traveler eating out alone or especially at the border where they ask me all sorts of questions. People are even shocked by a bacon doughnut!

  42. Cool stuff. Sounds like a fun trip. Glad to see you got experience Voodoo Doughnuts. If you are ever in Portland again stop by The Straight Blast Gym for some grappling.


  43. 230 Fifth (230 Fifth Avenue @ 27th St) has the best rooftop lounge in Manhattan. Also a large indoor area as well. Another good alternative is Hotel Gansevoort- Plunge is their rooftop bar and Ono Garden is ground level but also pretty cool.

  44. I’m not sure if this is the right blog to comment on or not but I had an epiphany today that I wanted to share with 4HWW readers. It goes like this: Think of each day of your life being $1. On average, the typical life span of an American is approximately 79 years for a women and 73 years for a man. For this discussion let’s say it is 75 years. So in 75 years, you will live 27,375 days not including leap years. Let’s throw out the first 18 years and the last 15 years. That leaves us 42 years from age 18-60. In days this equates to 15,330 days. Not that many sunrises and sunsets when you think about. Now applying the idea that every day is worth $1 and knowing that you only have $15,330 “dollars” to play with, what would you realistically consider wasting with no or little chance of getting a decent return? Would it be $1, $10, $100, $1000?

    What is you’re 30 years old? This would allow you 10,950 days until age 60. Now what would you consider wasting?

    I realize these are all rhetorical questions but I think it sheds some light on some basic facts: 1) We’re here for only a short amount of time and 2) It is crucial that we make the most of the time we have on this planet.

    Hope this helps, I know it’s helped me.

  45. I am definitely going to put that on my “take action” list. Looks like that trip was a blast.

    Enjoy the Big Apple_


  46. @Zena,

    Good question. I use Twitter to ask, as it’s faster and often more convenient for people to reply (they can use their cell or PDA). I do reply to questions, but I funnel people to the blog for this purpose.

    Directing people — friends or strangers — to your most responsive channel of communication is a good thing for both sides. To always take and never give is bad, but to chose how you give is just being economical and avoiding overwhelm.

    Just my 2 cents — hope that helps explain my thinking!


  47. Timothy,

    I am reading your book at work… you do have a big head.

    My question is, if I am stuck at my salaried job because I have to be physically in the office and it pays well. What are your thoughts about my finishing my critical work in less than 40 hrs and then secretly reading or doing other activities that I enjoy. Am I am being ‘unfaithful’ to your model?

    -David, age 42, married 3 kids, Ivy League grad

  48. Thanks for the explanation, Tim. My knee-jerk reaction to that, the first immediate and unconsidered response, is that it’s still an unequal balance, in some sort of Smithian kind of way (not on the Wealth of Nations end, but on the Moral Sentiment end) that I can’t quite put my finger on. I’ll thrash it out in my head, Tim, and get back to you on that, if I may.

    Thanks for the Scoble link, Joe, I found that very interesting. While the big adventure in life (for me, at any rate) is the other people in it and specifically the life experiences very different from mine, this particular viewpoint intrinsically appeals to me (sort of, amplifying and abetting my own natural viewpoint).

    Admittedly, I usually simply scan Twitters (I only use the web end, I don’t use it on my mobile) and focus on just the ones that I’m currently interested in, even with as small a Twitter group as I have. It keeps my information flow a little lower — I’m a communication junkie, so I’ve been considering how to staunch the flow as per the 4HWW canon while maintaining the rate that will make me feel as connected to the people in my life as I wish to be.

    Sorry for the length of this, I haven’t time to edit this morning! 🙂

  49. Good to see others thoughts on twitter. I really didn’t see much use for it. It seems like it can really suck up a lot of time. I have found it useful to ask various questions, but am still unsure how far I want to take it.

  50. Hey Tim, I tried to email you through one of the addresses on your website, but Amy wouldn’t let me through, so I saw you were on twitter. I made a twitter account, but I’m not completely sure how the messaging works yet and it wouldn’t give me enough characters. So I decided I’d use this to message you on, I had one more idea if this didn’t work though. I’m 15, and I want nothing more than to live the vagabond life like you do, As soon as I’m 18 or maybe after college, I’m going to start putting my money towards doing great things, making great accomplishments, and going all over the world, but there’s a problem. Even before I read the book I wanted to make a company, your book gave me the drive and showed me that maybe it was easier to do so though, and that it’s not about hoarding loads of cash for you to retire on when your older, it’s to use while your young, and experience life to the fullest. I read the book, went to all the websites in it, and the bonus chapters for how to find the muse, but I still can’t come up with one that has minimal risk and that is easy to do. I found a chinese shoe manufacturer that sells custom shoes to you with your own logo for very cheap, I found private labeling water bottlers, but they’re expensive, and I’m trying to write a book, but I can’t find a topic that gives me enough things to fill a book with. Can you think of any Muses that you would recommend? If you could email me that would be cool, but if you don’t want anyone to see your email, then that’s fine, I can check the comments on this article. Thanks.

    -Myles Kessler

  51. Well Tim the whole idea of the Twitter are fast questions and fast responses. If someone asks a quick question and needs help on Twitter he/she probably doesn’t have the time to go and read your blog for an answer. They need a shorter and more immediate response.

    Also I noticed a few people mentioning on Twitter that your tweets are often like ads and the places must pay you. I find it amusing and of course don’t believe in it. Just imagining the Corner Bistro paying you in burgers for your little tweet ad… lol. BTW this place doesn’t need publicity, all New Yorkers know it plus it’s been mentioned in enough guide books for tourists to head there first for a good (def not best) burger…


    LOL… yes, the Corner Bistro is paying me in ground chuck and fries. Of course, the idea that I would tweet out suggestions to only places that pay me is ridiculous. My time is better spent elsewhere for income.

    I’m not tweeting out Corner Bistro necessarily for New Yorkers, though several of my friends here had never heard of it. It’s more an offer to anyone who might find it of interest.

    I also don’t believe that people “need” a faster response on my blog and that they don’t have time. They choose to rush — simple as that. I have almost 4,000 followers and sometimes get up to 100 tweet questions per day. It just isn’t a good use of my time to turn it into another inbox.

    Remember: every time you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to something else.



  52. I actually really appreciate the tweets. I go back and for to NYC and it is nice to know where some different “hot spots” to go. I can remember the first time I was in NYC and had no idea of what restaurants to go to. This really is useful data for anyone traveling or thinking of traveling to NYC. Moreover, people have a tendency to always want more and more. Is it not enough that you are suggesting places? …. Whether or not you were going to be compensated for it is really nobody’s business. There is a fine line between following someone on Twitter and annoying them. This is my totally biased opinion but I have noticed a trend of questions bombing you for not following people on Twitter. Keep the posts coming and go watch a Yankees game.


    Jose Castro-Frenzel, the half nica half german dude from Dallas.

  53. Oh, and I meant to mention, in response to your Twitter:

    “tferriss Just found out 4HWW is Num 6 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list this week for the 66th wk straight. Should I shower with holy water?”

    Since holy water is traditionally used for expiatory and purificatory purposes, it would depend on whether you feel hitting the the sixth place on the the bestseller list is positive or negative.

    For those who feel this is a positive achievement, showering with holy water might possibly chase this sign of, well, achievement or whatever you will, away. The love of money being the root of all evil and that. So, in this case, perhaps not.

    For those who feel this is a negative achievement (for some people, nothing less than #1 will do), showering in holy water might be to hope for perhaps possible advancement on the list. Authors have done sillier things before. (Of course, showering in it would be overkill; like perfume, it’s not supposed to take much holy water to do the job.) In this case, though, perhaps you might like to get your head checked for finding placement on the list a negative.

    A third and strangely attractive (if a bit icky) option, for those who are severely envious of a sixth place position on the list, showering in water, capturing and packaging it, and selling it as the Water of Tim Ferriss’s Bestseller Mojo might earn you some serious cash. Of course, in this instance, you’d look a bit grasping, even if you would sell quite a bit of it, just in case it worked.

    Aren’t you glad you don’t follow me on Twitter and instead sent me to your blog?

    Congratulations. 🙂

  54. Hello Tim, Was the show a funked up version of Wedekind’s classic? Didn’t know you were the theatre going type! What was it about the show you enjoyed?

  55. Hey Tim,

    Just finished your book and have already recommended to over five people even before finishing.

    I was just up in North Vancouver today on Grouse Mountain beautiful spot. Since you don’t read the paper or the news you may not have heard that the Sea to Sky highway is still shut down between Vancouver and Whistler for there was a big rock slide. Lucky you were in and out when your did.

    Thanks for some of the instant great tips in your book. The email management/blackberry has made the biggest difference. The one I really am having fun with is the two phone numbers a day. It is amazing how easy they are to get and how happy the gals you are that you ask. The one that worked great in the parking lot of the trail head this morning was, “hey mountain chick.” She was an doorsy looking gal and she really digged the handle. She showed me the cool knife she was carrying too. Didn’t ask for her number for she was packing.

    Enjoy the freedom…

  56. I still think Twitter is a community and if you don’t give, you shouldn’t take.

    Kevin R. has over 55,000 followers, owns 3 companies, has a girlfriend and I still see him responding directly on Twitter…

  57. @Sonja,

    You’re personal opinion and view of Twitter is valid, as is everyone’s. Just recognize it for that: personal opinion. There is no law defining how Twitter is to be used.

    I know Kevin personally and you’re comparing apples and oranges. He and I have different businesses, different roles, and different goals.

    Gary Vaynerchuk spends 12-14 hours a day on e-mail and has made $50 million+ in retail. Should I therefore do the same?

    I know 7-figure income fathers who work on Christmas and family holidays — should I imitate that when I have a family?

    Kevin and I have different commitments and different likes/dislikes when it comes to digital communication. Two people, two different uses of Twitter.

    People who criticize my lack of following on Twitter — if they’ve read the book — are asking me to contradict my own advice on strategic ignorance.

    Kevin’s companies are all communication-based: Digg, Rev3, Powce. So he spends a ton of time communicating. As he should.

    Kevin and I do share several things in common. One is: we don’t want to be hypocrites and try to practice what we preach.

    I don’t expect to convert you, but hope that helps explain my thinking,


  58. Aha. Thank you, Sonja, for your use of the word “community”. That was the key I needed to unstick my thoughts on the subject.

    What is community, and how does one’s own definition of “community” differ from someone else’s definition? What is owed to the general community, from the individual’s point of view, morals/ethics, and judgement? Where is the dividing line between reasonable and successful self-interest and selfishness? How does where that dividing line falls affect one’s own actions in our business lives? To what extent does any of that matter? And how do small decisions about one’s business and personal life affect the entire, larger picture?

    These are very Smithian questions, and the answers will be different for each individual. I feel that applying these questions to the subject of Twitter usage and style of the same is going to be useful in people’s thinking on the subject.

    I don’t want to get into discussions of value judgments on the moral aspects Tim’s Twitter usage or even of his entire book; I am not entirely certain my comments would be of any use to anyone reading and/or commenting upon his blog. Surely it’s preferable to simply figure out one’s own reaction. At any rate, regardless of ethical agreement, one can always find and learn lessons from other people’s experience and teaching, keep what one judges to be of acceptable use, and make note of the rest.

    The first line of Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments is as follows:

    How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.

    Speaking at the World Economic Forum (2008), Bill Gates took this idea and spoke further on the idea of a creative capitalism (as opposed to a laissez-faire capitalism) in order to relieve poverty:

    Creative capitalism takes this interest in the fortunes of others and ties it to our interest in our own fortunes in ways that help advance both. This hybrid engine of self-interest and concern for others can serve a much wider circle of people than can be reached by self-interest or caring alone.

  59. Tim,

    Just a quick note to tell you something… I F**KING HATE YOU!!! But, I mean that in a good way. Every time I see you, or read your blog, or listen to your book again, I just want to run up to you and freakin’ pound you in the arm. I’ve never been so jealous of someone as I am of you! The only thing that would make tis worse would be if you started talking about how you seduce hundreds of women around the world. Then I’d… well… beg you to tell me your technique and then punch you in the arm.

    Good Luck on your continued success, even though I hate you.


  60. Firstly Tim, I am very happy that a friend had mentioned your book to me. I was visiting a friend and her friend mentioned it to me to assist with my business. I really enjoy the book to date. Mind you I still have to complete a few exercises, a few chapters, a reread and of course get my mind to believe this is possible – even though I know and envision that it is. I was curious though. what made you keep going? What did you do on the low days. What advise could you offer to keep the dream not only alive but promised? How long did it take you to be in a financially comfortable position. I have some debts that I wish to clear off and not file bankruptcy but the amounts seem so too high to see the other side sometimes.


    TMI with not enough information








    Hi Martha,

    Anyone who promises you a certain amount of revenue should be avoided. Nothing is 100% successful for all people, whether aspirin or business model.

    Good luck!


  62. @Martha,

    Hi Martha,

    Anyone who promises you a certain amount of revenue should be avoided. Nothing is 100% successful for all people, whether aspirin or business model.

    Good luck!


  63. Living in Central Oregon pretty my whole life of 23 years. I can highly recommend Newport Oregon. Eating down at the bay is divine. Moes serves great clam and the Rogue Brew Pub is another great place. Just make sure you order a Rogue beer and not something like Budweiser. Trust me…

  64. Hi Tim,

    I would love to learn some tips and ideas on meme creation, product categorization, social media marketing etc. My questions follow:

    1. How do you jump-start traffic to a site/blog without using google adwords?

    2. What do you think about having an old-style sales letter (headling and long copy filled with bullet points of benefits) vs. one or many articles to sell a product

    3. What is the quickest way to create an ebook and start making a small but steady income within 30 days when you have very little experience in the niche? I’m thinking: Research -> Test -> Produce but can it be done in 30 days?

    4. How do you create a category to stand apart from the crowd? You’ve done this both with your product (neural accelerator) and your book (lifestyle design) What is the process you go through to come up with these labels?

    That’s all I have for now, but I’m sure I can think of more.

    Thanks for writing your book and igniting a revolution in my life.

  65. That was awesome aspirin? Where did you get that from? You must be in the city still having some beverages…haha This has been one of my favorite posts btw.


  66. @Eric,

    For category differentiation, the only book you need to read is “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.” You’ll love it.

    Pura vida,


  67. Tim,

    Saw you’re in Louisiana on your Twitter. You’re only three hours away from one of the best cheat days you’ll ever have. Head down to Lafayette, LA if you get a chance. It’ll make you want to write a 12+ Gems of South Louisiana.



    Lafayette Native

  68. I was in your National Speakers Association “sharing.” Thanks, Tim. I needed a quick Web 2.0 101 and you provided it!!! I found your comments on the use of various digital tools/sites to be illuminating and it gave me the courage to go forth. I started the WordPress blog and got a Twitter account. Thanks for helping me ease onto the cyber highway!

  69. Tim,

    If you’re still in LA (Louisiana) you may want to check out Natchitoches, LA. Great little town with a lot of history and good food. Only 1 hour south of Shreveport.

    chris d – is right Lafayette is another great city.

  70. Tim,

    Great feedback on Twitter. I recently joined the community and was told to follow a large mix of people, so that I can learn the ropes. Ever since I did it it has been like drinking from a fire hose. And have found that Pareto’s rule applies here, just like everywhere else. About 20% of people I am following regularly tweet. And only 20% of those provide valuable “mini-blog” information.

    – Mike Michalowicz

  71. I heard about your adventure at the NSA convention in NY. It inspired me to get beyond my fear and set up a blog. How can technology be this fear inspiring? But if interested in reading my passion on dealing with cell phone addiction, [check it out…]

  72. GReat post on the trip – my family, as a child, did this. Dad would come home and say let’s go on a vacation tomorrow. Mom would wash all night and off we would go.

    First thing on the road, Dad would say Colorado or Minn. We had realtives in both areas.

    I’ve always been free to change – the more the better

    Thnx tim

  73. Nothing to do with the article but couldn’t find a gratitudes section. (If there is one would love to know where it is.)

    I’m doing a road trip from sandiego to San Fran and purchased the four hour work week Audio CD. (4hww was the only cover without a man in a suit pulling a cheezy head!) man this stuff is unbeleivable, thankyou Tim, I’ve got a pretty damn good existence as it is, and I’ve read plenty of self help (don’t tell anyone!) but stuff is phenomenal. Thankyou so much Genius.

  74. I went on a recent “vacation” with my girlfriend to a place which came recommended from a bunch of people as being luxurious, exclusive and reasonably priced ($1200 for 4 days 3 nights with food/drink – travel not included). Well it ended up not being great, not being exclusive and the food was awful.

    Have you thought about creating a travel section on your website, so that those of us who don’t know where to look for recommendations have a good resource? Someone like yourself who doesn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a vacation and wants to live like a king for a few days? I know you end up finding great deals on flights and destinations, but this is a lost art in my mind. Travel sites are crap and seem to always suck as much money out of your wallet as possible.

  75. Waay off topic here but wanted to let you know about this:

    Check out a freaky new hotel over in Austria which has a “pay as much as you like” policy (cant get cheaper than that unless you’re a hermit stayin in an ashram):


    It’s a comfortable hotel room inside a repurposed drain pipe!!

  76. Tim,

    Just joined Twitter and felt it could be a time suck and WAY too much info, way too often. Your three rules made sense to me.THank you!

    BTW, you were fabulous at NSA…break dancing and break-out session. I’ve told everyone YOU were worth the priced of the convention. And you were so gracious and NICE when we spoke after your session.

    With my next book coming out in OCtober (Face To Face), you were timely, generous, brilliant and gave me so many ideas.tha I’ve shared with the house’s publicity person. I’m a blogger for four years, joined Twitter last month and now will be better at both because of you.

    Your break dancing put my “hip hop” classes to shame. Very cool!

    Susan RoAne

  77. @Susan,

    Thanks so much for the kind words! Hope to see you again soon, but next time I want to see some moves 🙂

    All the best,


  78. Herr Ferriss,

    You forgot about one of the best gems….My secret swimming spot *tween Seattle and Vancouver.

    Du hast eine grosse Abentuer vermisst! Maybe you were just worried my German would prove to be too advanced for you? 😉

    Mozart’s Left Toe

  79. I love Twitter, but I use it very sparingly. I like the fact that you are limited to only a certain amount of characters per post, but I think it is another way to become distracted in an already overstimulated world. I am gonig to lay off the Twitter narcosis for awhile.

    Love the blog, Tim.

  80. Essential rules for Tweeting.. Thanks… I see now that I didn’t really get the gist of Twitter…

    But those three simple rules added more value to me than the 10-20 posts i’ve read on Twitter on sites like Jon Chow, Problogger, and hosts of other sites about making money online.

    Thanks… just discovered your blog… but will def continue reading

  81. Hey Tim!

    Hope you are enjoying London!

    On the other side of the canal, in Amsterdam, I am organizing a big and special party. It’s becoming huge! It’s ‘My Super Sweet 30’ Festival. I’ve been wanting to invite you, becuase you inspired me with your book. Also, I am throwing the party as a pressie for my friends at this milestone. And to prove you can still set up something GREAT with NO budget AT ALL!!! 🙂 Yihaa!

    The great thing is that there are some investors interested. It’s all just for the love of it, against all odds, with a bunch of energy of one person and goodwill of many!

    It is in a circus tent in an old huge warehouse, it’s promising to be a happy styleful mess! Just as I like it.

    Check the website…

    Today I just realized, I am actually doing what I dreamed off many times, and what I fantasized off as a kid….and now it’s one big self forfilling prophecy!

    If you are in the neighbourhood, it would be great to have you as a special guest and party together.

    You are most welcome!

    Can’t figure out how to work Twigger…sorry!

    Regards Justine.

  82. Hi Tim,

    I laughed outloud when I read “just ate a burrito. Mmmm… good” because its so true. I use Twitter for the social networking aspects and it has been valueable in that respect…but some of the posts can be pretty silly. I am all about the low-information diet. I have been trying to work to cut back on useless information like actually reading email forwards and so on. No more!

    Great post and love your book.


  83. Purchased 4HWW last week and am now re-reading it. True inspiration to actually live the ongoing life goals! Everthing’s prioritized, ready to go, but I don’t see how to select a product for my target purchasers w/ 8-10x markup. Or, any product. The websites listed don’t seem to have what I imagine, or to allow for browsing to find something similar. Everything else seems like lots of fun. I have emailed a couple of manufacturers that sell products similar to those I’d like to distribute or license.