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2/28/09

ME: 83° in February on Balcony


The desert broom behind me on the balcony garden is already blooming.


I'll try to visualize this when it's a 100 plus degrees for months this summer





2/27/09

Twitter and me so far...

developing...

Since Twitter is enjoying yet another resurgence in popularity, my entry now is onto a more evolved site and coinciding with a flurry of other newcomers. For several reasons I'm evaluating a number of web tools and Twitter was inevitable in my life, even if only for a short time, so on Twitter I am.

So now I'm a tweeter, albeit a awkward and not prolific or clever one, I get the point, the vision and now it seems obvious. It is the ubiquitous version of the way a few close friends (all I grew up with) and I have juggled instant messaging, text messaging, cell calls for years to be accessible with the technology we had. We still use good old msn messenger as the start of every day as a link to what we are doing and where we are or what our opinion/mood is at the moment. I might send an IM at 7:30 am and at 10:15 pm my friend sends a reply back by text message and...that goes on back and forth all day, you get the idea. I've known for awhile we were using modified tools from the late 90s, Web 2.0 updated, to accomplish a social connection through the day that seemed outmoded. I will say that for 5 people it's very functional and works but that is it's limit.

Twitter accomplishes what we do among other things on a larger scale. As the early adopter among my little crowd, I've learned to wait for the question "what is this Twitter thing you're doing all about?"

to be continued...
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"Evan Williams on what's behind Twitter's explosive growth"


In this TED Conference ten minute video with Evan Williams, he talks about the concept of the side project of Twitter and how it evolved to where it is today.


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tip of the hat to our national space

2/26/09

Rick Santelli's "Are You Listening Mr President? "

wow...he really spoke his mind!

Rick Santelli is one of the few mainstream media tv people I like and after watching him for ten years believe he knows his message. Until Thursday, when he went on this impromptu well spoken rant on CNBC while on the trading floor in Chicago, he flew under most viewers radar. That is rapidly changing.
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Benson


The Classic Liberal, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Steve Benson of The Arizona Republic, doesn't seemed thrilled with big government intervention events either...






2/25/09

2/24/09

Get Yer True Grit Out America!

we interrupt usual programming for a patriotic jingoistic rant...
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A little over 40 years ago, when I was a freshman in high school, I moved to the United States with my parents, my sister, aunt, uncle and my cousin. I'm proud and fortunate to have been able to come to the United States and live my American Dream.
  
 

Through the decades I've come across all kinds of people working and living their American Dream. The American Dream is a journey that never really ends since as you travel you discover that is the real destination. For those people who have the character traits that are likely to seek the American Dream, the quest to achieve is never satisfied and with each achievement, their nature is to move on to another quest. How the rewards of successful quest results are utilized is as unique as the individuals who achieve them.
 
We are in an economic crisis and era of social and political change that matches any other in history and a lot of hard work needs to be done...


 


In the mean time what are we doing to ourselves? Too much mainstream media, government commentary, wall street prognosticators, politicians, all with an overemphasis on the mentality of failure talking. Has everyone lost their senses and their guts and vision? Personally I don't think so. The self-fulfilling prophecy model can happen if more people don't realize that life is not as we knew it but not nearly as bad as we make it and get their mojo back real soon. I believe many already are and will. America was founded on Self-Reliance, Individualism, True Grit, Innovation, Invention and Reinvention...history is on our side, now let's get on with making it.

This is going to be a tough haul and the best thing Americans can do individually is the necessary work to reinvent the way we live to build back a better country.
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Some books are timeless and 26 years ago when an odd unintentional medical event sidelined me for a period, I read many books to help me rise above the temporary but difficult immediate situation I was in. One recommended to me by a doctor stands out as still relevant, "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl. Although first published in 1946 it remains one of ten most influential books in the US. It is most worthwhile reading for gaining a healthy non-monetary perspective on our current dilemma.

2/20/09

Just a moment girls!


Social and Technology History: How it made me an Early Adopter


In the early 70s I was hired as one of the first male operators in AT&T’s Bell System, then the largest corporation in the world (think Microsoft, Google, Cisco), The Telephone Company, the first electronic social network, a forerunner of today’s social media.

I stepped into a world that for decades had been the enclave of acceptable “woman’s work.” As a result it became a theme in my working life, dealing with the massive social dynamic of gender politics and the very real conflicts between men and women in the workplace. It paved the way for me to be set on a road bridging the gap between the WWII "Greatest Generation" who ran things and us "Boomers" who questioned why things were run that way. My early work experience provided me with skills to see with pretty good clarity the tension that others don’t always see. The skills required to navigate the waters of historic social change, coupled with work tasks that required interacting with people over a vast telephone network, prepared me for social media today. It is an explanation of why I became an accidental Early Adopter.

This 1953 Western Electric (the AT&T subsidiary that manufactured switchboards) operator recruitment ad indicates clearly the job of telephone operator, which could be every bit as complex as working a testboard, was for “girls” of any age only. The men have finished their “men’s work” of building the switchboard and the girls were now needed to “man” the switchboards, for much lower wages than men.

Market forces were not at work then. If they had, then the Bell System would not have been a regulated monopoly and on a larger scale, not with gender job roles and pay treatment. In 1948 and through the early 1950’s Operator Toll Dialing was introduced nationwide, the forerunner of customer Direct Distance Dialing (DDD). Long distance traffic was rapidly increasing and the country was humming along towards the economic recovery of 1954.

The demand for women as telephone operators and service representatives was very high and often difficult to constantly recruit for. If market forces were truly at play then the wages of these woman’s jobs should have skyrocketed due to supply and demand. The social interference of assigned gender roles had a significant economic impact on the entire economy. The government interference with attempting to correct assigned gender roles and pay treatment later had unintended consequences on the economy.

In 1973 Stanford University’s Sandra L. Bem and Daryl J. Bem published a report funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, “Does Sex-biased Job Advertising 'Aid and Abet' Sex Discrimination?” in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology (1973, 3, 1, pp 6- 18). The article answered the question:

“Do [these] advertising practices aid and abet discrimination in employment by actually discouraging applicants of one sex or the other from applying for jobs for which they are otherwise well qualified? The two studies reported in this article sought to answer this question empirically. Both were conducted as part of legal testimony, the first in a suit filed by the EEOC against American Telephone and telegraph Company, the second in a suit filed by the National Organization of Women against The Pittsburgh Press."

The use of the Scientific Method, a “hard” science test on Social Science, a “soft” science, for use in a court of law to argue a social case with the potential for economic disruption is still being debated today. Nonetheless it was allowed to be introduced and the course of events seemed inevitable due to the social pressures of the time.

AT&T signed a Consent Decree with the EEOC and the US Justice Department on January 18, 1973 that opened the door for specific hiring quotas for targeted underrepresented groups. My slot had been secured by federal decree in a Bell System job and my job duties were mandated to be “nontraditional” or in the old parlance, woman’s work.

I never objected to performing those jobs because I was young, grew up outside of the US and generally I wasn't looking for a “man’s job” anyway since for me it would likely have meant being a dreaded “suit.” What I did strenuously object to was the limitation it placed on my career mobility. During the recession of the 70s what little hiring occurred across the nation happened mostly in nontraditional jobs that were being filled by force of hand of the federal government. My fate was sealed.

Technology and social change were meeting in the vast Bell System and other corporations like IBM right at the time I was in college and working at the local Bell Company as a nontraditional male operator. The mood on campuses versus that in technology giants such as AT&T and IBM was a contrast. The technology giants were forced into melding cultures by meddling and our generation was expected to deal with it. The effect of that era of social change, technology and economic conditions on the macro economy is still being studied today.

In the long run for me personally it was instrumental to my becoming an Early Adopter. The skills I learned helped me assist people in adapting technology to people and social change, instead of the other way around. Boomers took the old networks that were locked down and secured away from the average user, except with the intervention of workers like telephone operators, bringing networks direct to the user. The box of Pandora was opened and as we are once again in the midst of great social change, it helps to look back to see how we got here for guidance through the present to the future.

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The first telephone operators were teenage boys and this short video explains why they were quickly replaced by women...


2/16/09

A great explanation of the value of Twitter by Dr. Tom Guarriello


I'm exploring Twitter, dipping my toes in, already seeing the value of it for me and intend to do more in-depth blogs (maybe a vlog) on how I am adapting this social media tool to work for me. This
22 minute video by Dr. Tom Guarriello of TrueTalk and VloggerHeads is a very personable explanation of how to use Twitter coupled with why you would want to use Twitter. I also found it useful in understanding what Twitter is.

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"Twitter: Why Bother"



Find more videos like this on VloggerHeads

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You may follow
Dr. Tom Guarriello by going to his Twitter profile at www.twitter.com/tomguarriello.

2/14/09

each melody is you

by ournationalspace on youtube

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when it comes along i'll know it
The perfect song i'll own it
but of course it'll be yours
from me

hang on to it all
those dresses those shoes
you make them so pretty with your smiles
one day you'll wear them
at dances at spring balls
i'll spin you round and round for miles

your blue valentine will turn red
your private poet's flubbed lines will be reread
all the wrong notes will be rewrote
for you

it's always for you my white flame
no matter the who or what the name
each melody is you with a beating rhythm true
for you

2/13/09

Roger: The Boring Dispatcher

repost on 02.20.2009 to add tribute video at end of post.

In late 2005, early 2006 I was discovering the brand new wonders of the video sharing site YouTube with delight. The viral videos were lowbrow to me (sorry Kevin Nalts) but it was way too cool digging through all those tv, movie and best of all, music video clips. I soon discovered the new medium of video web loggers (vloggers) that was developing on YouTube, anonymously watching from my first channel that I created in February 2006. I collected and favorited videos, many of which would not be allowed today and not just because of copyright violations but scandalous content. On that channel (the username an odd mix of letters and numbers) I began to venture out into the social networking world and leave quite a few not so judicious comments. The year 2006 on YouTube was the year of real anarchy where uploading almost anything went unchallenged unless it was pure porn.

In February of 2007 I closed my first channel and opened my current channel with my public username. I had been considering it for a few months and this video "Paypal (Ian's Song)" by ournationalspace for some reason convinced me to do it. Keep in mind that since the 90s I have been cautious and selective regarding which sites I created accounts on, to open a real channel and throw away my anonymous experimental channel, was a commitment of my username. That year the anarchy became a bit more tamed but an online networking social community was crystallizing around vlogging and there was disorder and drama providing the energy that drove the emotional engines of the social community.

One of the best and most prolific vloggers, one of the first that I really remember, was Roger TheBoringDispatcher and especially his "vlog war" with HellionExciter. You probably would have to experienced or been around in that period of Web 2.0 and YouTube to understand why the death of Roger impacted the YouTube community in a very big way and the part it has played since. To me personally he was always very considerate, even if I always wasn’t, while remaining very real.

Just as people I have written about for niche historical publication, that were an early part of different periods of telephone history, were unrecognized at the time for what they were doing, to be later seen as pioneers…I believe people like Roger will in time be recognized for the beginnings of this thing called vlogging.

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This is the tribute video created for him a year ago, at the time of his death, where a vast majority of the community posted video response tributes and commented on the loss. It is still the video that best captures Roger and that moment in time with many comments remaining and some of the responses still attached.

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Simple 2009 One Year Tribute by mymoosejaw Dave:


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Roger Forever (memorial collab for theboringdispatcher)
uploaded on 02/20/2009 on You Tube by Lea, user achampag

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2/12/09

On my way to 2009 the year 2008 happened


When I did the video "
Online Social Networking Revolution: Thinking Ahead" a year ago I was certain on my premise but certainly could not realize how prescient I was on the topic. A funny thing happened on the way to doing the things I talked about at the end of the video, real life events that required full attention, therefore until recently a lot of online action was delayed. This website blog is a big piece of my work now with blogging, vlogging and online social networking and the beginning of where I was heading back then.

I do have something more to say in a vlog as a follow up to this video and I'm preparing to do that. Personally I'm seeing a lot of late forties to early sixties boomers completing those online forms to all kinds of social networking sites they never completed years ago. From Facebook to Reunion.com to beliefnet.com to Twitter to CNN, you get the idea...this is worth commenting on.

These folks have the time now after unexpected unemployment, forced retirement, part time and/or underemployment and the damage the economic crisis has caused. There is a wave, a flock if you will, coming onto online social networks of the next adopters. They no longer give me that look about "being on the internet" that they used to since now they're on the internet a lot more. Now they ask questions.

It is why I started using Twitter and still like my YouTube social networking community that I know, with Skype and Stickam as tools to bridge them together among other tools. What will be dropped and what will be added is dependent on the economy, access, ease of use, value, privacy. Pretty tough criteria really that I think all social networking sites are going to have to contend with, along with a business model that at a minimum breaks even on the bottom line. It is interesting contrasting my much more tech savvy online community friends that use more current applications, with some of my lifelong offline friends that I'm still chatting with on good old MSN Messenger and certainly not with a headset or webcam. They're getting there with rapidity though, they just left tech savvy workplaces, Skype is in their lexicon.

To its peril, while searching in vain it's soulless corporate being, YouTube sacrificed it's unintended thriving online social networking community, to blundering Google corporate handlers trying to make a huge profit by all kinds of deals with content providers. Guess what? YouTube still don't make no money. The very thing, online social networking, that was exploding and YouTube by natural consequence had, they squandered while the bubble was expanding. The online social community still exists on YouTube but it is not what it was or what it could have been or possibly might still be. It remains to be seen what happens since I don't believe that story is close to ending.

I learned a lot from the very early days of the internet and even more about online social behavior in the 90s as the web reached the masses. It remains to be seen which technologies, software and sites that I use as the interweb unfolds and online social networking increases to even more of the masses by the ubiquitous connectivity across devices from the pc to smartphones and operates in the "cloud."

tbc...


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of course all bets are off if we have a catastrophic technological breakdown. I mean really...who knows what's next?
at least I weigh 60 lbs less than a year ago!

2/8/09

So I finally decided to try this Twitter thing...


http://twitter.com/jrsnyderjr

let's just see what happens, tbc.

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This is Lea, username achampag, a self described "Twitter Wh*re." Send her a tweet at http://twitter.com/achampag and mention JR. Tell her to vlog more on YouTube, she will love you for it!



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Here again is Jon Rettinger of jon4lakers.com on why he uses Twitter. He's http://twitter.com/jon4lakers.


2/7/09

"Learn to Twitter if you want to stay connected"

Working Ideas

Learn to Twitter if you want to stay connected

by Donna J. Tuttle

As a chief inspiration officer for San Antonio’s Sales by 5, Nan Palmero is a technology power user. So when he flipped open his Dell laptop last week and saw vertical lines, he shifted into uber-geek mode. He tracked down a YouTube video that displayed the exact problem and called a Dell support technician. “I wanted to email him the video so he could troubleshoot quickly,” Palmero says.

The specialist couldn’t accept an e-mail and, instead, started to submit Palmero’s request into that black hole, otherwise known as the repair request process. Annoyed, Palmero sent out a Tweet on social networking channel Twitter.com

“Dear Dell, I could show your support team EXACTLY what’s wrong with my XPS M1330 if they had youtube access. Apparently, it is a common prob,” Palmero tweeted.

Immediately, Palmero got a response: “@nanpalmero What’s going on with your Dell XPS? Is there something I can assist with?”

Ten minutes later, a technician fixed Palmero’s issue and one of Dell’s Twitter team followed up to ensure his satisfaction.

Palmero’s experience hardly is an anomaly. Corporations all over the world are responding to customer service issues with staff that monitors channels like Twitter and Facebook. It is another avenue to preserve their company’s image and promote their brands.

Receiving excellent and immediate customer service is only one reason to Twitter. Getting familiar with a medium that is taking the world by storm is another.

Trust me, I understand how uncomfortable this makes you. I already struggle to answer my workday e-mails and exigent text messages from one of my four kids: “R u making dinner??” Now, I’m supposed to track hundreds of alternately witty and mundane Tweets? “I just don’t get it. And, for that matter, who cares?” is the collective response from many first-time Twitter users.

Tim Walker, an Austin-based editor and blogger for Hoover’s, says we should care. In a presentation that hit the audience over the head with a Web 2.0 two-by-four, Walker posed the question: “How new are the social media?” His answer: Not new at all. In fact, Walker argues that one of history’s first Tweeters was the late theologian Martin Luther, who died in 1546, a full four and a half centuries before Twitter became a phenomenon. When Luther nailed a copy of the “95 Theses” to the door of a church and the message was printed, copied and distributed like wildfire, he was using a form of social media, Walker says.

Twitter, today, is no different from the earliest letters, telegraph messages, and e-mails. Historically, people always have pressed for new ways to connect and communicate faster, and especially on channels that fly under the radar of the mainstream. Twitter is to computer users what CB radio has been to truckers and lighthouses have been to ship captains.

“Twitter is an easy way to interact with your community,” says Jennifer Navarrete, one of the founders of Social Media Club San Antonio and a social media consultant. “If you are a business, people are talking about you — good or bad and if you’re not participating in that conversation, you’re not promoting or problem solving. Likewise, if they’re not talking about you at all, then they should be.”

If you’re ready to take the leap, here are some steps you to get you started:

• Look up www.commoncraft.com (at the recommendation of Palmero) to watch How-To Twitter videos, which are simple step-by-step explanations using stick figures.

• Go to www.twitter.com and sign up for an account. It’s free. For your settings, make sure you click “See all @ replies” so you can view responses.

• Download a Twitter application to your iPhone or BlackBerry.

• Jennifer Navarrete (@epodcaster) offers up this starter pack of people to follow in San Antonio: @alanweinkrantz, @kr8ter, @calamityjen, @Pandaran, @doing media.

• On the national scene try: @chrisbrogan, @Twalk, @nanpalmero, @BryanPerson and a few I find interesting: @taxgirl, @incspring, @johnlithgow and @iamneurotic.

• Check out tools like Twittersearch, geotweet, and Twittergrader to find out who is Tweeting locally and what they’re chirping about. Use the Tweetdeck to organize your followers into groups like: work, family and current issues.

Hoover’s Walker likens Twitter to a cocktail party, and, indeed, the awkwardness of walking into the virtual lounge is palpable. It’s noisy in there. In one corner, advertising and marketing gurus are jockeying for position by throwing up posts about new Twitter tools. In another corner firms are announcing new products. In between, artists, parents, and animal lovers are getting chummy over life issues and popular movies. There are online snobs who liken novices to “Twitter Tots” and grimace at Twitter blunders through emoticons. Users need to find their own groove.

Like any human interaction, the beauty lies in the serendipitous connections. A business contact hooks you up with a cheaper, more efficient product. A like-minded parent eases your worries. A company representative is so warm and funny that you reconsider your opinion of that giant firm. Or, you simply make a new friend. Twitter is a human knowledge database standing, ready and waiting on your front lawn 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s an interactive encyclopedia and global support system on steroids.

Marc Warnke, an Idaho-based author and speaker on social media (@marcwarnke), says this: “It’s critical to understand that Twitter can be a business tool, but if you come to the table with only your business in mind, you will never be set a place to eat,” he writes in his blog. “If someone jumped up on a table and yelled his or her pitch (at a cocktail party), it would be very inappropriate... walk lightly around self promotion. Be helpful, funny and that person who people want to hang around with.”

For your professional life, Navarrete says consider Twitter a virtual Chamber of Commerce mixer or industry networking seminar. “You only go to those once a month, and if you miss it, you miss out on a great chance to meet new people and make new connections,” she says. “This is a 24/7 networking opportunity, it’s free, and it allows you to get to know people before you meet in person. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met via Twitter and by the time I meet them in person, we’re hugging like long lost friends.”

Last month, Navarrete and colleagues kicked off the first ever San Antonio Social Media Breakfast (http://sanantonio.socialmediaclub.org). San Antonio is the 15th city in the country to form this type of breakfast group where marketers, educators, business owners get together to learn something new about social media and share information. I’ll be there. Look me up @writeontime, and we’ll plod along on this journey together. Not interested. Don’t worry. That crazy new thing called Internet e-mail? It was just a passing fad.

The Working Ideas column by staff writer Donna J. Tuttle focuses on workplace issues, strategies and trends and will appear occasionally in the Small Business Weekly section.

2/6/09

Be careful what you ask for...


QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Given how stark and concentrated the job losses are among men, and that women represented a high proportion of the labor force in the beginning of this recession, women are now bearing the burden — or the opportunity, one could say — of being breadwinners"
HEATHER BOUSHEY, an economist.


NYTimes online 02.06.2009

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In hindsight, after having born the burden of a very long career myself, to little avail really...women have to be wondering why they wanted all of that. The real answer of course is that neither women or men needed the rat race of the 20th century. All of us will be better off if we approach living in the 21st century with an entirely different attitude about work, priorities in life and the human condition.

In this 1950's film of a radio program, the attitude of some working women in that era to have a successful career is represented. The woman being evaluated for her potential exhibits the forward looking attitudes of the era and the men evaluating and scoring her typify the backwards looking attitudes of that same era.

When technical progress and social change (the two go hand-in-hand) are occurring in any historical era, opinion in society usually takes the generalization of two opposing views until some social and/or legal agreement is reached. The two sides exhibited here are classic for the '50s, women and men representing the most common arguments of each side regarding "career women" in the workplace.

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This video is from Professor Daniel J.B. Mitchell's YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/danieljbmitchell) where he has uploaded very interesting and useful archival footage for general education purposes.

2/3/09

Been There, Done That...


QUOTATION OF THE DAY


"Oh, you’re one of them."

IRIS CHAU, recounting an acquaintance’s reaction when she said she worked at a banking company.

NYTimes Tuesday, February 3, 2009

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As we were walking out the door
a few years ago, voluntarily leaving employment by the largest bank in America, a good work friend repeated what she had often said during the time we worked for the bank:

"Once you go near the fire and get burned, you don't go back."

In the years we had been working at the bank, we had learned to operate in primarily one mode..."cya" coupled with "don't probe too deep." When dealing with our employer on bank policy issues, which was a large part of our job responsibility, you just never knew if and when you were going to get burned. The enigmatic process at which a bank policy question was derived and answered, could work for you or against you, depending on the answer you could get. You had no control and you always expected the unexpected.

It's like the TARP money Kool-Aid they've been drinking, it went down a gullet, to be swallowed up in some dark digestive process to be processed out in who-knows-what form.

This video was released to bank employees internally first and we knew immediately it was going to get "outside" and cause us some grief. It didn't take 8 hours for that to happen, we were One of them...

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Bank of America sings U2's "One"