Archive for the ‘social networking’ Category

one year later

Well, yesterday marked the one year point of my blog, and if you asked me to reflect on what I’ve learned in the past year, it would mostly be that writing takes time, and thoughtful writing takes time, reflection, and lots of editing. I’ve learned that setting up a blog can be as easy or as complex as you want it to be. I’ve learned that to get comments you need to leave comments. I’ve learned that children are an endless source of material, if I’m not too tired and my memory is working. I’ve learned that I don’t usually write lengthy posts.

In the past year, I’ve seen the rise of facebook, the advent of the tag, and the introduction of numerous social networking sites. I’ve discovered that I’m a joiner. πŸ™‚ I’ve experienced the thrill and the negatives of chasing pageviews and rankings. 😦

I’ve made friends of total strangers, and overcome some of my inherent ‘I-ness’ and discovered my latent ‘E-ness’.

I know not what the future holds, nor where it may take me
If many years remain, or few
I simply know that with me goes the one
Who holds all hope
In hand

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The Virtual Church on the Rise

Ben Witherington writes about virtual church on his blog:

…. have you been attending church online of late? What, you didn’t know you could attend church, or synagogue, or the mosque on line? Well yes, you can, sort of. Now, I am not talking about a web link to a live worship service in a real church. No, I am talking about websites where you can go to pray, to network, to join others in studying the Bible, to exchange pictures, and so on, and no they are not just glorified chat rooms. [read more]

I found this statement interesting:

In my view, there is no real danger of this phenomenon replacing the real church, or even the church newsletter, but it certainly reveals that Christian people are looking for contact with unknown but like minded Christian folks. And there is nothing inherently wrong with that. We used to write pen pal letters. Now people go to websites and make friends from around the world and have their faith nurtured.

Now, I’m not old enough to have really had a pen pal, but it’s so true! Conversations on social networking and facebook (or twitter or pownce or VIRB) are to our generation as pen pals were to generations gone by. Except the conversation is near instantaneous. And no licking stamps. Blegh!

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so many sites, so little time

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Profilactic and their great idea of putting all your social networking links all on one page. Want to see what I’m twittering? It’s there. Latest bookmarks? It’s there. Flickr pictures? What I’ve dugg lately? Pownce updates? LinkedIn? It’s all there.

It’s a simple idea really, but implemented really nicely, and in that big friendly font that seems to be all the rage with the new sites. πŸ™‚ (Hey, are we aiming at a new demographic with web 2.0? One that has increasing difficulty with their eyesight? Just a thought.)

You can find a link to my Profilactic page in my “About” page, but to save you the trouble, just click here and you’ll see what I’m going on about:

The site’s developer just rolled out a rev 2 yesterday, and I’m sure he’d love it if you went over and checked it out. And while you’re at it, add me to your friends list. Yay!

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Boy, updating your site theme and modifying all the bits can be really really addictive… anyway, I think I’m done all the changes. I’ve looked at it with IE7 and it’s just plain ugly. So do yourself a favour and use Firefox or Safari instead. πŸ™‚

Now you can easily add or fave posts by using the little buttons beneath each post to save it to, digg, reddit, and others. So go crazy with the social bookmarking already! Thanks.

I’ve also taken out the twitter friends bar… it’s just too cluttered looking with that thing there… for some reason it looks nice on my VIRB profile though, so check that out too while you’re at it.  -_-

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update log / twitter

I started an update log so that you can see what changes I’ve been making to my blog as I go along. I actually started it last month when I had to re-install my whole blog because I was hacked by what I now understand to be an infamous Turkish hacker. Grr. Anyway, it was benign, thankfully, in that all my data was untouched, simply the front page was modified. That’ll teach me to leave my file permissions wide open. Duh.

In the log, you’ll see some of the details of what I’ve installed, and what I’ve tweaked. The most recent change is my Twitter now includes all the updates my ‘friends’ are making, so it might seem odd that I’m giving all this space to other people on my blog. Well, I say, the more the merrier. This is about conversation, so why not eavesdrop on some other conversations while you’re here, right? At first, I was hesitant about Twitter. After all, why would total strangers want to know about what you were doing? In 140 characters or less? As dbush put it so eloquently:

TWITTER –> washing hands.
–> blowing nose

Yes. Well, there is that. But more often than not you get a little slice of life from somebody that can be quite interesting. And people from around the globe as well. Not only that, but twitter itself is evolving. The use of the “@” symbol to denote a response to someone else’s tweet has turned into a bona fide way of having a chat through twitter. Rather than just talking into empty space, you can and will get replies and responses to what you tweet about.

That’s why I’ve changed the sidebar. You can get a taste of what’s going on in my twitter network, and maybe you’ll want to join up too. Fabulously addictive, but you can spend as much or as little time as you like.

I also recommend using Twitterific for tweeting, if you’re on OS X 10.4 and up. Just try it, you’ll like it.

facebook… i guess it was time

In response to K, to get her to join VIRB, I joined facebook.

And then something very strange happened. It asked me for my email, so it could search through my address book and see if anyone in there is on facebook. Now that is a cool feature. And then it imported all my blog posts via RSS. Nice.

If I were to characterize the social networks, I’d say myspace is like a community bulletin board where everybody just throws stuff on all over the place, facebook is like the white pages, and VIRB is like going to the record store to hang out.

But what do I know… πŸ™‚

facebook was all over the news yesterday after the VT shootings… so sad, so heartbreakingly sad.

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VIRB is so cool

Hey, so I skipped the whole facebook thing. I know, everyone‘s on facebook. Everyone and their mother is on facebook. You know that something has reached mainstream when people on my wife’s team at the hospital are all talking about their facebook pages. Granted, some people didn’t get the finer points (“What does it mean to poke someone? It is platonic, or does it mean more than that?”), but it is definitely mainstream.

So what is this VIRB thing? Well, I don’t think it’s just another ‘me-too’ social network. I was talking with K about it, and she asked what’s the point of joining something if no one you know is on it… Good point. (TouchΓ©.) And I agree, it’s been kind of strange adding strangers to my friends list based on profiles. And I’m not finding any high school friends or anything like that. But I’m discovering new music, new bands. The discoverability factor for music is very high on VIRB. In fact, the ability to add music to your personal player is pretty cool, and then be able to recommend it to your friends is killer. VIRB can also track what you’re playing on iTunes and automatically keep track of your playlist on your profile. As an artist you can post your tracks for fans to listen to, they can grab the lyrics if you want, and they can also download the file if you want.

Of course, what new site is complete without tagging? VIRB has tagging for everything. You can tag your photos, your blog posts. You can tag your friends (although they don’t get to see your tags for them, they’re just for you to sort out the real friends from the groupies… ha ha…). All your profile lists become tags, so all the music, books, movies and so on become tags that you can search by.

There’s also groups, and speaking of groups… I just started my first group today. I called it “Hop On Pop” after the Dr. Seuss book, and it’s dedicated to the sharing of children’s books that you like to read to your kids. Check it out. And join VIRB! You’ll like it, trust me. πŸ™‚

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i succumbed …

… to the power of social networking. I joined VIRB, the latest social network to come along after myspace and facebook. It just came out of beta last week, so I signed up.

So far it’s been cool. Today Chris Tomlin added me as a friend… how bizarre!

Anyway, check out my profile!

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