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State Recession Data [Map]

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Image credit: USA Today via Transparent Real Estate
 


I’ll share my thoughts and invite you to share yours in the comments:

  1. How telling that California has its own special little breakdown.
  2. Interesting to note that not one single state is “In Recovery”- why is that?
  3. Much of the weight of blogging is in “recession” states and people may think it is because they’re attempting to salvage their careers through an online presence but I would argue that the heavy hitters have been around since their state was green.
  4. If you look at the housing stats chart of value changes over the year, note that some expansion states had decreases in housing values while recession states had increases.  Very interesting.
  5. Montana is all out on its own.  I don’t know why.
  6. Maps like this are great but can really get a buyer or seller’s hopes up.  Real estate is still micro even if a sexy color map is fun.  My house has shot up in value while my family in the next subdivision over is sitting at the same as last year.  Micro, people, micro!
  7. No offense, Oklahoma but you’re not in an expansion.  A new Super Target doesn’t balance out the GM plant being gone.  See the danger of a studly map?  We’re all specialists now.
  8. I would have preferred a more modern color spread- that red is so 2003.
  9. If you subscribe exclusively to the bubble blogger mentality, Washington shouldn’t be green.
  10. There’s no mention of it, but I would predict that the top areas in the nation are currently building luxury golf courses.  My bias is that I can see one from my window, but my guess is other areas could be analyzed by golf.

What are your thoughts?  List them in the comments.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Craig Tone

    March 9, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Golf has a huge influence. Studying the golfing trends alone can determine with a high degree of certainty the state of an local economy.

  2. Vicki Moore

    March 9, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    This is an amazing visual. If you take in the media reports, the nation is falling apart financially. I never would have imagined so many states are in expansion. Leave it to California to be a maverick; it’s the best visual proof of micromarkets.

  3. Jeff Brown

    March 9, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Though the map appears to vindicate what I’ve been saying for awhile now, your comments are also on point. The whole golf thing? Not as superficial as some might suppose. Example — Jack Nicolaus is currently designing a course in one of the Carolinas, (I’m pretty sure it’s North). It’ll be an elite club. In speaking to someone close to the development I learned Jack doesn’t even walk the dirt for less than $2 Million.

    Developers may be one of the last of the riverboat gamblers, but they don’t pay out that kinda cash unless they’ve done their homework and concluded it’s gonna be in high demand. The results? The first phase of unimproved dirt sold out in weeks for $3-500,000 apiece. Food for thought.

  4. Benjamin Bach

    March 9, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Jeff, you hit the nail on the head.
    There is a condo development at the North end of Waterloo. Between me, my clients & my mortgage broker, we own about 10 units in there.

    One of the reasons I like the location so much is that it’s near a brand new $10 million big box retail development, that will be anchored by a Walmart.

    Commercial Developers tend to have a larger research budget than I do, so I like following their lead. It’s been good to me so far 🙂

  5. Matthew Rathbun

    March 9, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Lani,

    This is a great insight and apprecicate this information. I especially like the nugget about Realtor Blogging in relation to current market status.

  6. Missy Caulk

    March 9, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Well they have been calling us a one state recession on the news, guess I’ll call and let them know we’re not alone. Until the “big 3” restructured, we were appreciating at about 8% in Ann Arbor area.
    So that goes with your point # 4.

  7. Mariana

    March 9, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    This is a great breakdown and I posted about it as well. It is WAY cool!
    (Actually, when you go to the site, each state has its own breakdown. P.K. just took a screensot of it while CA was highlighted)

  8. Mariana

    March 9, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    The article DID say that the “red” states have been the ones with the biggest BOOMS, thus they now get to experience the biggest BUSTS (and yes I am speaking strictly in the economic sense.) Larger pendulum swing in those areas.

  9. Cyndee Haydon

    March 9, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Lani – Even though we’re in the red here – it’s great to see a more accurate view of the market. We are seeing lots more activity and even the local paper today (the ultimate in doom and gloom) reminded buyers that “bear and bulls make money but pigs get slaughtered” and that buyers should act now – I nearly pinched myself.

  10. Pat Kitano

    March 10, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Great top ten observations Lani! and yes, Mariana is correct… California is Red, not pink as Bill O’Reilly would assume…

  11. real estate Toronto

    March 10, 2008 at 5:34 am

    Very good report. Now it doesn’t seem so dramatic as I believed it was.Of course, there is lot of “at risk” states, however I believe the worst part is behind you. I am dealing with Toronto houses for sale and despite having good times, it seems real estate recession is slowly appearing. But US problems are firmly connected with mortgage problems and banks and I believe this part of busiess is doing well (so far) in Canada. However, I wish somebody made also Canadian version of your map!

  12. Toby & Saide

    March 10, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Ohio is at risk?

    That surprises me, I would have placed us square in the recession. And from talking to people while digging out 20-inches of snow, I think my neighbors would be surprised as well.

    Toby

  13. Jay Thompson

    March 10, 2008 at 10:22 am

    “Much of the weight of blogging is in “recession” states and people may think it is because they’re attempting to salvage their careers through an online presence but I would argue that the heavy hitters have been around since their state was green”

    You argument works for me, as well as several other Arizona bloggers I know. Ditto for some in other “red states”.

  14. Messenger

    March 10, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST 1% HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy…. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars. Transfered FROM US TO THEM. Over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They will never settle for a reasonable share of ANYTHING. They will do whatever it takes to get even richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any ‘humanitarian’ progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. So don’t fall for all of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah, Ellen, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China.. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit.. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea… Prozac, Zanex, Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, love-sick, couch potatoe, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of the above shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP. In many cases, the ‘charitable’ contribution is almost entirely offset.. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and ‘good will’ all at once. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to ‘tax revenue’. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH. ITS THEIR OWN DAMN FAULT. If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax reveue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havok on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a dominoe effect to consider. So when people forgive the rich for all of the above and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. If these filthy pigs want to be over-paid, then they should be over-taxed as well. Remember: The richest 1% STILL own 1/2 of all United States wealth EVEN AFTER taxes, charity, and PR CRAP. A similar rule applies worldwide. There is nothing anyone can say to justify that. Anyway, there is usually a higher state and local burden on the middle class. They get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Otherwise, the red inks flows like a waterfall. Service cuts and lay-offs follow. Again, because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in this country. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. Afterall, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, free and clear assets, lower deficit, ect. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA. Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home forclosure epidemic, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution.. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH HAS MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

  15. Eric Bouler

    March 10, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    You do make some good points. I know our area is kind of lkie a counter culture as well as on the economy. I know we are lowering taxes as a state and on the local level. Hopefully we can attract some people from California. You can still get a home here for 200k, the jobs pay less but its not that much less.

  16. Benn Rosales

    March 10, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    That has to be the longest comment in blogging history… enjoy.

  17. Cyndee Haydon

    March 10, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Wow – Benn I had to see that for myself – thought you guys had launched a blog within a blog! 🙂

  18. Matthew Rathbun

    March 10, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    So, um Benn…. you’re saying that you’re upset that Brett Farve retired? 🙂

    I am a huge fan of rhetoric and expression. This a great rant and honestly, I think you should repost it in and of itself. Well thought out op ed!

    Thanks so much for sharing and maintain this venue.

  19. Brad Coy

    March 11, 2008 at 2:21 am

    Lani,

    >How telling that California has its own special little breakdown.
    I don’t think it did. Just in the way it was copied. If you go to the USA Today page, all states Metros are evaluated: https://urltea.com/2wgk

    Great commentary!

  20. Teresa Boardman

    March 11, 2008 at 4:18 am

    Can see signs in Minnesota that feel like a recession. part of it is the attitude people have about money, they are not spending it.

  21. Real Estate Web Sites

    March 11, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Coming to you from a golf capital Florida here and I see we are in a recession. Florida has always had problems and it seems to be the SW Florida area and parts of Miami that have been hit with luxury home foreclosures while other areas of the state seem to be median homes. Alot has to do local economy, jobs, lending practices.

    This is actually a great opportunity for many to buy first time and retire to Florida. The smart people are investing becasue they know this area is secure and will rebound. We have our tourist industry, fruit industry, fishing, cattle and many medical companies are relocating business for cheaper commercial property and opening many new job markets.

    I see this as a good thing and just an off shut of a 3 year boom in Florida that many got wrapped up in that could not afford the first ARM bump and should not have been sold it to begin with. I am not in favor of bailouts either. There are plenty of people to buy these homes and as soon as consumer confidence is restored I thing you will see a turn around.

  22. Matt Scoggins

    March 12, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Someone get “Messenger” his/her own blog…wow!

  23. Maureen Francis

    March 13, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    My blog is about to celebrate its three year birthday later this month (No gifts, please.) Michigan’s recession started later, I think. Maybe if I had started blogging earlier, we wouldn’t have had a recession. Now I feel guilty!

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Opinion Editorials

Why robots freak us out, and what it means for the future of AI

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) Robots and humans have a long way to go before the social divide disappears, but research is giving us insight on how to cross the uncanny valley.

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Close of R2D2 toy, an example of robots that we root for, but why?

We hate robots. Ok, wait, back up. We at least think they are more evil than good. Try it yourself – “are robots” in Google nets you evil before good. Megatron has higher SEO than Optimus Prime, and it’s not just because he’s so much cooler. It cuz he evil, cuz. It do be like that.

It’s not even a compliment to call someone robotic; society connotes this to emotionless preprogrammed shells of hideous nothing, empty clankbags that walk and talk and not much else. So, me at a party. Or if you’re a nerd, you’re a robot. (Me at a party once again.)

Let’s start by assuming robots as human-like bipedal machines that are designed with some amount of artificial intelligence, generally designed to fulfill a job to free up humanity from drudgery. All sounds good so far. So why do they creep us out?

There’s a litany of reasons why, best summed up with the concept of the uncanny valley, first coined by roboticist Masahiro Mori (Wow he’s still alive! The robots have not yet won) in 1970. Essentially, we know what a human is and how it looks and behaves against the greater backdrop of life and physics. When this is translated to a synthetic being, we are ok with making a robot look and act like us to a point, where we then notice all the irregularities and differences.

Most of these are minor – unnaturally smooth or rigid movements, light not scattering properly on a surface, eyes that don’t sync up quite right when they blink, and several other tiny details. Lots of theories take over at this point about why this creeps us out. But a blanket way to think about it is that our expectation doesn’t match what we are seeing; the reality we’re presented with is off just enough and this makes us uncomfortable .

Ever stream a show and the audio is a half second off? Makes you really annoyed. Magnify that feeling by a thousand and you’re smack in the middle of the uncanny valley. It’s that unnerving. One possible term for this is abjection, which is what happens the moment before we begin to fear something. Our minds – sensing incompatibility with robots – know this is something else, something other , and faced with no way to categorize this, we crash.

This is why they make good villains in movies – something we don’t understand and given free will and autonomy, potentially imbued with the bias of a creator or capable of forming terrifying conclusions all on its own (humans are a virus). But they also make good heroes, especially if they are cute or funny. Who doesn’t love C3PO? That surprise that they are good delights us. Build in enough appeal to a robot, and we root for them and feel empathy when they are faced with hardships. Do robots dream of electric sheep? Do robots have binary souls? Bits and zeros and ones?

Professor Jaime Banks (Texas Tech University’s College of Media & Communication) spends a lot of time thinking about how we perceive robots. It’s a complex and multifaceted topic that covers anthropomorphism, artificial intelligence, robot roles within society, trust, inherently measuring virtue versus evil, preconceived notions from entertainment, and numerous topics that cover human-robot interactions.

The world is approaching a future where robots may become commonplace; there are already robot bears in Japan working in the healthcare field. Dressing them up with cute faces and smiles may help, but one jerky movement later and we’ve dropped all suspension.

At some point, we have to make peace with the idea that they will be all over the place. Skynet, GLaDOS in Portal, the trope of your evil twin being a robot that your significant will have to shoot in the middle of your fight, that episode of Futurama where everything was a robot and they rose up against their human masters with wargod washing machines and killer greeting cards, the other Futurama episode where they go to a planet full of human hating murderous robots… We’ve all got some good reasons to fear robots and their coded minds.

But as technology advances, it makes sense to have robots take over menial tasks, perform duties for the needy and sick, and otherwise benefit humanity at large. And so the question we face is how to build that relationship now to help us in the future.

There’s a fine line between making them too humanlike versus too mechanical. Pixar solved the issue of unnerving humanoids in their movies by designing them stylistically – we know they are human and accept that the figure would look odd in real life. We can do the same with robots – enough familiarity to develop an appeal, but not enough to erase the divide between humanity and robot. It may just be a question of time and new generations growing up with robots becoming fixtures of everyday life. I’m down for cyborgs too.

Fearing them might not even be bad, as Banks points out: “…a certain amount of fear can be a useful thing. Fear can make us think critically and carefully and be thoughtful about our interactions, and that would likely help us productively engage a world where robots are key players.”

Also, check out Robot Carnival if you get the chance – specifically the Presence episode of the anthology.

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Opinion Editorials

BIPOC Gen Zers are using TikTok to create cultural awareness

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) TikTok has become a platform for younger generations to share their cultures, paving the way for a more inclusive society. And they’re doing it one 15 second video at a time.

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Black person's hands holding a phone loading TikTok above a wooden table.

When scrolling on TikTok, you might come across this question posed by a BIPOC creator (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color): “How old were you when you realized you weren’t ugly, you just lived in a predominantly White space?”

Growing up in predominantly White spaces myself with immigrant parents from the Middle East, I had a warped perspective of beauty. Straight light hair, fair skin, Western features, a stick-thin figure – I internalized my physical otherness as lack.

It wasn’t until I moved to a diverse city for college that I realized this. I saw others speaking different languages, eating ethnic foods and dressing however they wanted without fear of losing their proximity to Whiteness. Exposure to others who didn’t fit “the mold” was transformative for me.

As someone in their mid-twenties, I came of age with social media like Tumblr, Facebook and, ultimately, Instagram. But I’d be lying to you if I said that I didn’t wish TikTok was around when I was a kid.

For reference, most TikTok users are between 16-24, meaning that many are still in high school. While content on TikTok is really all over the place and specifically catered to your preferences (you can feel the algorithums at work as your scroll), one facet that I find integral to the app’s essence is Gen Z proudly showcasing their cultures – aka #culturecheck.

Besides the countless ethnic food tutorials (some of my favorite content on the app!), fashion has become a main way for BIPOC or immigrant TikTokers to fully express their identities and share their culture with other users on the app, regardless of physical location.

Take the #FashionEdit challenge, where creators lip sync to a mash-up of Amine’s “Caroline” and “I Just Did a Bad Thing” by Bill Wurtz as they transform from their everyday Western clothes into that of their respective culture.

In her famous video, Milan Mathew – the creator attributed to popularizing this trend – sits down in a chair. She edits the clip in such a way that as she sits, her original outfit switches to a baby-pink lehenga and she becomes adorned with traditional Indian jewelry. Denise Osei does the same, switching into tradition Ghanaian dress. If you can think of a culture or ethnicity, chances are they are represented in this TikTok trend.

This past Indigenous People’s Day, James Jones’ videos went viral across various social media platforms, as he transformed into his traditional garments and performed tribal dances.

Though the cultures and respective attire they showcase are unique in each video, the energy is all the same: proud and beautiful. Showing off what your culture wears has become a way to gain clout on the app and inspire others to do the same.

The beautiful thing about cultural/ethnic TikTok is that it isn’t just Mexicans cheering for other Mexicans, or Arabs cheering for other Arabs – the app sustains a general solidarity across racial and ethnic lines while cultivating an appreciation of world cultures.

But just how deep does that appreciation go? Some users think (and I agree) that “liking” a video of an attractive creator in traditional dress is hardly a radical move in dismantling notions of Western beauty.

While TikTok trends might not solve these issues entirely, it’s important to note that they are moving things in the right directions – I certainly never saw anything like this when I was growing up.

For whatever reason, Millennials, Gen X and Boomers seem to have a lot of shade to throw at Gen Z. But one thing is for certain – this young generation is paving the way for a more inclusive, more respectful society, which is something we should all get behind. And they’re doing it one 15 second video at a time.

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Opinion Editorials

This website is like Pinterest for WFH desk setups

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) If you’ve been working from home at the same, unchanged desk setup, it may be time for an upgrade. My Desk Tour has the inspiration you need.

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Man browsing desk setups on My Desk Tour

Whether you’re sitting, standing, or reclining your way through the pandemic, you’re most likely doing it from home these days. You’re also probably contending with an uninspired desk configuration hastily cobbled together in March, which—while understandable—might be bringing you down. Fortunately, there’s an easy, personable solution to spark your creativity: My Desk Tour.

My Desk Tour is a small website started by Jonathan Cai. On this site, you will find pictures of unique and highly customized desk setups; these desk configurations range from being optimized for gamers to coders to audiophiles, so there’s arguably something for everyone—even if you’re just swinging by to drool for a bit.

Cai also implements a feature in which site users can tag products seen in desk photos with direct links to Amazon so you don’t have to poke around the Internet for an hour in search of an obscure mouse pad. This is something Cai initially encountered on Reddit and, after receiving guidance from various subreddits on the issue of which mouse to purchase, he found the inspiration to create My Desk Tour.

The service itself is pretty light—the landing page consists of a few desk setup photos and a rotating carousel of featured configurations—but it has great potential to grow into a desk-focused social experience of sorts.

It’s also a great place to drop in on if you’re missing the extra level of adoration for your desk space that a truly great setup invokes. Since most people who have been working from home since the spring didn’t receive a ton of advance notice, it’s reasonable to assume that the majority of folks have resigned themselves to a boring or inefficient desk configuration. With a bit of inspiration from My Desk Tour, that can change overnight.

Of course, some of the desk options featured on the site are a bit over the top. One configuration boasts dual ultra-wide monitors stacked atop each other, and another shows off a monitor flanked by additional vertical monitors—presumably for the sake of coding. If you’re scrambling to stay employed, such a setup might be egregious.

If you’re just looking for a new way to orient your workspace for the next few months, though, My Desk Tour is worth a visit.

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