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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

December
29
2014
7:48 pm
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I realized recently that it’s been 2 years since I last blogged.  There is a distinct feeling of “lack” – I sorely miss the blogging atmosphere, the community and the closeness I experienced when I was active. Much of what I got out of blogging was replaced by Facebook due to how easy it was to use, along with the “quick post” option, linking to stories, and catching up with people who don’t regularly visit blog sites.

Facebook made connecting with others brain-dead easy.

But the more I use Facebook, the more I recognize some major downsides – the polarity of the “like” button, the mounting privacy concerns, the ineffectiveness of “text-only” arguments, the outright assumptions made by strangers, and more.  The persona that people put forth is but a mere facsimile of the real person underneath.  I believe peer pressure and the allure of attention influences way more than it should.

Facebook made being seen by others a priority over actually connecting.

I don’t think people can be “real” online and this relevation didn’t hit me very much until this last year (2014).  People will spit venom online that they wouldn’t dare utter (or even think) if they were talking to you in person.  There’s a false confidence and a bullying tendancy for some when they can hide behind a pseudo-rally on someone else’s post.  The name calling is intense.  The strawman arguments are pervasive. The cherry-picking of other’s words to formulate a battering ram of responses is amazing to watch.

Facebook made some people meaner.

In many ways, 2014 was a year of major division points in the nation.  Pick a topic, and there’s a bunch of people on one side of the fence eager to burn and rip to shreds anyone who dares to be on the other side of the fence.  It doesn’t really matter if there’s any fence at all, or if the fence was constructed piece by piece by conflict-peddlers who sell tickets to people to watch the fights at the fence.  The polarity is staggering – the enemies that people have crafted in their mind are diabolical, and the need to fit “the other side” into that idea of an enemy is equally diabolical.   Person #1 states something and unless Person #2 completely agrees, Person #1 has a handy list of boxes to put Person #2 in until they conform.

Facebook made people take sides.

As the arguments heated up, people upped their game. They had to not only cherry-pick something to fight with, but they also researched online any evidence whatsoever that supported their side.  It doesn’t matter that “researching online” can be an oxymoron.   Simply because they could sit and compose the perfect reply without interaction, feedback or fact-checking, they sat contentedly in their own juices, marinating in their hatred.   With people’s news feeds filled with only the things that confirm their own world view, their own self-confidence grows to enormous proportions.  The typical information diet is sorely lacking in some basic essentials.

Facebook made people instant experts in absolutely nothing but their own opinions.

I frequently found myself checking my phone here and there since the mobile app is so easy.  Status update notification!  Someone liked this post!  Here’s a video you gotta see!  17 Reasons To Write A Headline That Pops and You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!  Everything is vying for your attention and competing for your clicks and likes.  When I wondered what my employer would think or would want to track regarding my social media use, I decided to severely limit any Facebook use during work hours.  But then when I’d check in while on the road, at the airport, or at night, I’d see a lot of people posting all day long.  I then wondered – do they work?  Are they getting paid to Facebook all day?  What if everyone’s Facebook profile showed a handy chart of “Time Spent Per Day” and their employer could see it?

Facebook made me wonder about my friends.

And that is not a good place to be.  Who am I to judge or understand what someone does with their time?  Maybe they’re in a waiting room at the doctors, or maybe it’s their day off.  Maybe they’re more efficient than me at working and can throw in a few updates here and there.  Maybe they ARE retired, unemployed, or otherwise not beholden to a supervisor to answer to. Either way, if I’m wondering at someone else’s usage of Facebook, what am I really concerned about?  What should I be reviewing about myself that I’m so concerned what other people do with their time?

Speaking of judging, I frequently lament the lack of filters on Facebook.  I am someone who highly prefers a lack of profanity in business, casual or public settings.  Although the age limit is 13 years old, that’s still a very young age.  Facebook doesn’t let me put a filter on that says “don’t show me posts with bad words”, at least not that I’ve found.  Then there’s the IFL science pictures and posts that make profanity a house-hold word for everyone.  It’s like over the last five years, the whole world got *real* comfortable with vulgarity.  I feel like I’m the only person left of my peers that doesn’t REGULARLY cuss as part of their postings.  Are they like that in person?  Do they talk like that with their kids or other people’s kids around?  Is this how they really are, or is this the persona they are pushing outward?

Facebook made people into potty-mouths and me into an apparent goody-two-shoes.

As these things weighed on me, I constantly was reminded of the “good old days” of blogging.  Am I mis-remembering blogging somehow, and forgetting the bad things?  Did I unfairly abandon blogging because it wasn’t doled out piecemeal like Facebook?  With blogging, I had to actually set aside some time to compose an entry, and then some other time to read other people’s compositions.  Compare that to Facebook where I can literally spend anywhere from 20 seconds with a quick check and a “Like” button to hours of scrolling, watching videos, researching and composing responses that get ignored… and it’s no wonder blogging took a back seat to the convenience that Facebook offered.

At the very least, Facebook made me write this blog entry.

 

If you’re one of my friends, have known me (or my family), like me, and/or trust me, or have been referred here by someone you know, like or trust…

…I’ll save you time and just ask that you please go and vote for my wife’s artwork entry in an online voting contest. There’s no login required, Login to Facebook if you have an account, and you can vote once per day (see update at bottom) until 3/28.  Please spread the word (more details below).  I’d really appreciate it.

For everyone else… this is my plea to you.

Most of you who have read my blog (it’s been up for what, 5 years now? Almost 6?) have noticed that I rarely write about my wife.  My son Jaden (now 9yrs old) is all over the place on the blog (he loves the attention and being “on the internet”), and every once in a while I write about my 16yr old Caitlin, but both my daughter and my wife prefer to be a little more private than the rest of us.

My Wife

My wife is completely wonderful.  Those of you who know her know this.  We’ve been married 18 years, have two beautiful children, and get through the daily and yearly challenges of life together.  She’s supported me throughout my career and I want to support her now for something that is very important to her.

It is out of respect for her privacy that I shy away from extolling her virtues and bragging about her all the time.  This blog would be filled with her awesomeness if I could have that publishing embargo lifted, but, alas, it was not meant to be, and I’m fine with that.  Her privacy is important to her, so that makes it important to me.

When I say “privacy”  I don’t mean aloofness, or elitism, or anything like that. She just doesn’t “get” online stuff like many of us do — she’s not on facebook; she doesn’t “do” twitter; heck, she doesn’t even read her email but a couple times a month.  She’d rather talk in person or on the phone to connect with people. People who have her email address know that they can wait a looong time before a response comes.

She just has this… wall.  A wall exists between her and online communication.  She has zero interest in online camaraderie, forums, blogs, tweets or facebook status updates.  She’d rather have a tea or coffee with a friend than type away on a keyboard or read other people’s comments.  It’s just not her thing.

Some Details

One thing I’m allowed to share about my wife is her love and admiration for Duran Duran.  She’s been a Duranie since before I met her, and that was a looong time ago. I wouldn’t even attempt to put into words here what she feels for them for fear that I’d mess it up horribly. Just know that D2, as they’re affectionately called by their fans, means a lot to her.  An incredible lot.

Another thing I can share is that my wife is an artist.  She’s extremely creative and has solid talent in lots of artistic mediums.  She’s simply brilliant.

When she heard that Duran Duran was doing a contest — an ART CONTEST, no less — well, let’s just say it tore. down. that. wall.

The Contest

So here’s the deal – Duran Duran’s contest is where fans submit their artwork and then get people to vote for their artwork.   They are promoting their new album All You Need Is Now (I suggested they call it “Whall You Need Is Now” but they turned me down).  The artwork is judged on Creativity/Originality (50%), Relatedness to Duran Duran’s “All You Need Is Now” (25%) and Aesthetic appeal (25%).  They specifically are looking for art inspired by their new album’s look and feel.

The top 10 vote-getters will advance into the next stage where the band actually views the art and votes on a winner — that winner gets a framed print of their art signed by Duran Duran, 2 tickets to see any tour performance of choice, and 2 tickets to the meet-and-greet tour performance of choice.

That’s right, I said “meet-and-greet”.

Once she realized that the contest was an online contest, I had to explain what an online voting contest was, and that it was largely a popularity contest, and it involves getting people to go online to vote and OH WOULD YOU PLEASE GET PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR MY ARTWORK WAYNE?!?!?!?! YOU’RE A COMPUTER GUY WITH ALL THE TWEETY FRIENDS AND BLOGGERS AND STUFF!!!!

All of a sudden she was OK with making a facebook account and emailing and tweeting and retweeting and asking others to ask others to vote for her artwork because — SHE COULD POSSIBLY GET THEM TO SEE HER ARTWORK!

For her, getting to the top 10 means knowing that the members of Duran Duran saw her artwork.  And judged it. Reviewed it.  And considered it closely.  AND THEY MIGHT LOOK AT MY ARTWORK, WAYNE!!!!!

What You Can Do To Help

This, my friends, is what I’m asking your help for.  I want my wife to get her artwork seen by the members of Duran Duran. That will only happen if she gets to the top 10.

Would you help us?  We need as many votes as possible.

Here’s her artwork – click on it to vote for her entry.


electriciD artwork submission for Duran Duran contest

(click here for larger image)

Remember, you can vote ONCE PER DAY (!!!) from now until March 28th.   That’s almost two weeks of voting.  Set a calendar reminder if you have to. (see update, below) You can click on this link, once every day until 3/28 and it will help her achieve her dream.  You don’t have to login or join Facebook – it will only make you type in a couple of verification words to prove you’re not a robot.

And if you know anything about marriage, you know a happy wife makes for a happy husband.  Maybe I should say “happier“.

How to Help More – Share the Love

Won’t you please share this with your friends?  I’m looking to make this as public as possible so she get tons of votes. Point them to my blog entry with http://bit.ly/d2whall or you can use

http://tinyurl.com/voteforchristy

as a short link in Facebook, twitter, email, etc. to go directly to the voting page.

If you’re on twitter, here’s a link that will tweet for you (editable of course)

And if you need a Facebook status to copy and paste, here’s one:

Vote for Wayne’s wife in a Duran Duran art contest, up until 3/28!  http://bit.ly/d2whall (Please share with others!)

Thank you so much!

Update [3/18]: It appears that even though the Official Rules of the contest state that “Limit one (1) vote per person per day“, the voting widget itself says “You can vote for each entry once during this contest.”   This discrepancy and the fast rise in voting for her entry are causing people to question the validity of voting.  I’m not sure which rule is accurate and I surely don’t want to cause anyone any grief.  So, for now, concentrate on your one vote (and vote through Facebook if you can) and spreading the word.  We’re all D2 lovers around here and drama can check itself at the door.

I’m pretty sure when I show this video to my wife, she’s going to want me to commit Web 2.0 suicide as well.

While the video makes excellent points, I don’t buy into the all-or-nothingness of it all.  But maybe that’s the real point.  Showing how bad it CAN get by using extreme examples (like committing suicide) so you can recognize when your online life is getting a bit too much and infringing on the in-person-and-in-your-face life.

I for one don’t think I could ever give up my online friends, nor could I discount the myriad benefits I receive from facebook, twitter and linkedin. 

Moderation is the key. 

(I found out about W2SM – Web 2.0 Suicide Machine through NetworkWorld’s article about the legal fight they’re having with Facebook.)

I tweet a lot.

A lot.

facebook-wall

Because I have Twitter cross-posted with Facebook, this means my “wall” (or as I like to call it, my “whall”) fills up quickly.  For those who don’t know about “cross-posting”, just know that it’s basic integration betwen social networking systems.  It’s a way for the different social mediums to work together, like Twitter, Facebook, Utterli, ping.fm and a hundred others, so that none of them hog you all to themselves.  In fact, the more a social medium shares (ie, cross-posts) with others mediums, the more likely people are to use it as their primary interface.

It’s like love.  The more you share, the more you have.

Or fire.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a couple of comments a few times from my Facebook friends that I’ve spammed up their news feed, or that my status updates have hogged up their home page.  For that, I apologize.

I’m not likely to reduce my twittering, however.  So, I’d like Facebook to listen up and see if they can come up with a way to solve this.  I have two ideas in this area:

@replies should be a comment, not it’s own update

When I put in “@username” in a status update, I’d like facebook to make my a reply in that person’s status update, if they also have a Facebook account integrated with Twitter.  It takes up so much less real estate and helps promote that person’s facebook page as much as, if not more than, my own.

If they don’t have a Facebook account, then maybe they could just make it look like the following example, but instead of “status” say “tweet” and have it link to the actual tweet. 

      facebook-comment

Threads should be recognized and put into comments

This is very similar to the first one, but is different enough.  If I do a status update, then someone replies to me on Twitter, then I reply to that reply, I want Facebook to figure that out and put BOTH updates as comments on my original status update. 

Even if the other person isn’t on Facebook.

Yes, I know facebook would have to go searching for the tweet.  But computers are good and fast.

For example, I might have the following conversation on twitter (shown in reverse chronological order here)

   tweet-example

In Facebook, this would typically turn into five (5) different status updates with my picture and everything. (actually, it appears as though maybe it’s not doing that anymore – is Facebook blocking @replies as status updates now?).

Instead, I’d rather it show up like a threaded conversation. 

   facebook-2

I see that there’s a facebook app called “Selective Twitter” that allows you to add a hashtag (#fb) to tweets to determine whether or not to actually update facebook.  I think that’s a good first step, but I’ve noticed tools such as TweetDeck (my desktop and iPhone tool of choice) allowing me to specify, per tweet, if I want to update facebook as well.

Once my ideas are implemented, hopefully I can be nominated for the Nobel Peace prize.  I could use the $1.4 million dollars.  Oh wait, the government normally taxes at least 50% of all “winnings” so I guess the prize isn’t that high. I know the prize is tax exempt in Hungary and several other nations, but I don’t know if it’s tax exempt in the US.  Anyone know?

April
29
2009
11:45 am
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Facebooked?

Facepalm?

Facewhahhh?

I got on Facebook because there are a lot of less-tech-savvy folks in my life who I care about keeping in touch with.  I’m talking about people who really don’t “get” blogs, twitter, utterli, or instant messaging.  Or maybe they “get” them but they really don’t care to dive that deep into someone’s online persona, or that it’s too much work.

For many people, Facebook leaves most of that other stuff behind because it’s just plain easier.

The average Facebook user doesn’t need to know about RSS feeds, tweet streams, instant messaging clients or anything technical.  They just use a web browser and they’re in. They’re connected.  They have friends. Then they get an invitation to be in the Mafia.   Who could want more?

The only thing I use Facebook for at this time is to re-broadcast my tweets.   My tweets rebroadcast my thoughts, my blog entries and my utterz, the latter two being also thought rebroadcasts themselves.

In one big huge way, Facebook is better than twitter because of the concept I like to call threading.

Twitter can do quite a number on a conversation (in a bad way), and while there are tools to help figure out a thread, it’s not intuitive. Facebook, on the other hand, makes the conversation very intuitive, and very public.  So public that people who don’t even know each other can meet, in a way.

Oh yeah.  The OTHER main benefit Facebook has over twitter is the email notification of replies.  Twitter can email you for direct messages, but not replies.  That’s a biggie.

Facebook is also apparently very addictive.  I’d like to share with you a glimpse of all the things I DON’T do on Facebook (for those of you who have invited me or tagged me with things and don’t understand why I haven’t responded, this may explain it).  These are the outstanding requests I have on my Facebook page, sitting there waiting for me to act.

Look at that.

It’s no wonder Facebook is so addicting.  It makes everyone feel so… so… wanted.  So requested.  So invited.  So exclusive.  So rockstarish.

I still have 6 friend requests from people who I have no idea who they are.  And it’s not like they’re strangers – oh no.  I’m sure I know them, online.  But I don’t know their REAL name.

There are people out there that have their online names and lives (poohbearextremeLOL) completely lived separate from their real names (John Quincy Doe III).  Facebook doesn’t allow for pseudonyms, so someone I probably have known online for 3+ years can send me a friend request and I have no idea who they are.

Or (this is the kicker) – I know of them online, but I don’t actually know them.  What do I do about those?  I still haven’t figured it out.

Maybe you can now see why I blurred out names from that thread snapshot above.  Those people?  I don’t know if they want their real names displayed.  Some I know don’t mind.  Some I know DO mind.

I’m sure if I let myself, I could spend as much time on Facebook as I do eating, walking the dogs, playing with the kids, hygiene, and commuting combined.  I think a lot of people already do.

Someone hit me if I get that bad, k?

Some snazzy intro should go here.  If it’s not, please check your server.  Don’t forget to tip your server.

Write on my whall

You knew it was coming.  I joined facebook.

[GASP]

Given that I already have a non-trivial online presence with twitter and utterli, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised how fast I went from 1 to almost 100 “friends.”

I put friends in quotes because I don’t know yet how I want to handle facebook.  I’ve decided for now that

  • Family is “in”
  • Online friends are “in”
  • In-real-life friends are “in”
  • coworkers, unless they’re actual friends, are “out”

I still don’t know how I want to embrace facebook.  It sure can be a time sink if you let it.  It has way too much potential to interrupt work and “real” life.  I also don’t know if I want to muddy up close friends with semi-acquaintances.  I’m so new, I don’t even know if that’s an issue.

What about you?  Do you facebook?  Do you keep it private or open it up?

Utterz you may have MISC’ed

You might be wondering to yourself – “when Wayne isn’t busy saving the world or eating breakfast tacos, what does he do with all that extra time he has!?!?!?”

To answer that question, I use Utterli.  I speak my thoughts into my phone while commuting or walking the dogs, and YOU can listen in.  Maybe even reply!

Here are some of my more brilliant moments that you might want to check out.








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