OneWebDay 2007

Today is OneWebDay a celebration of the community that exists on the web. It’s a day to celebrate this great huge thing that exists all around the world. In my opinion it’s the one thing that we can all share in. There are no borders, no real class systems that block people from coming on board, there is just this space that we can all share, create and explore together. This isn’t something that can be necessarily controlled, what is taboo in one place may be perfectly fine in another. A space exists for all, whether it be large corporate sites that are entirely commercial to user generated content sites that make money for the creators as well as the owners of the site to totally informational sites about every subject under the sun and beyond and even blogs and other personal sites that are merely there as an outlet to express themselves to others around the world.

I’m proud to be a part of that community, I not only contribute here with my personal thoughts, links and stories but I have also built several websites of varying success for commercial enterprises. The tools that we use to build this community are not just tools; they are works of art. We can use simple tools like notepad and other text editors, complex HTML and WYSIWYG tools and even drag and drop tools that don’t require any knowledge of design or code. Anyone can create a page or site in just a few minutes.

Of course the real gift to community is not the design, layout, and technology of the web, but the content that can be delivered on it. Sites like Wikipedia are not particularly well designed, simple text, images and links are all it takes to get the correct information to you. Other sites like sports sites, news sites, and most social networking sites are enormous arrays of code, images, text, video and community modules that function as a huge organism in and of itself. The content makes the site however. How do you want your information? Do you want simply information in its simplest form, which in my opinion is simple hyperlinked text or do you want to watch a sports event clear across the world with live video? You can have both or something entirely different, look around, if you want it, you can find it and if not, build it, someone else might be looking for it too!

We all contribute here on basically level ground. A large corporation and purveyor of information like CNN must compete with a simple young blogger for readers. Perhaps CNN offers the most complete analysis of the particular story of interest but if the blogger is eyewitness to the event they may have insight that CNN could never hope to have. We are a community and as such must interact with all around us, big, little, corporate and personal.

The community on the web has changed for me in the last year greatly. I’ve changed the way I work on the web and on a computer in general. With my recent acquisition of a Mac I have been thinking of getting a Windows virtual machine software solution to install my software on. I realized quickly though that there is really nothing that I need Windows software for. I use the web for nearly everything I do, I use Quicken, iTunes, and MS Office all of which can be used on the Mac and everything else can be found on the web. We don’t need smart computers anymore, we need a smart network that we can always be connected to.

Since the last OneWebDay I have changed my social networking approach. I’m on Facebook but greatly reduced my friends after a long hiatus from the site altogether. I didn’t want to be involved in the community in the aspect that it was being used. I like using sites like Facebook to stay in touch with friends, but pushing all of their information to me all the time got annoying. I don’t need to know every little thing that people do. I see social networks as a solution to email, a simple way to keep in touch with select people about select things without the need to remember everyone in particular all the time. Sites like Twitter make it possible to send out quick updates on your stream of consciousness quickly but low adoption by the masses have hurt them into being a true way of communication. In the future I think that these sites will catch on with the generation yet to come but being connected in general will continue to grow in ways that we can’t even begin to think of yet.

Tools like the iPhone, Blackberries and smaller and smaller laptops have made keeping up on the happenings of your friends, business contacts, and even news stories all over the world nearly entirely ubiquitous. This is the future, always connected to each other. The way that it’s implemented will be crucial to the future though. There has to be a happy medium between pull and push information. I want to know what my friends are up to, but I don’t need to know exactly what they are doing all the time. I want to know about important news topics during the day, but I don’t need it right now all the time. I want to be able to contact anyone I need at the drop of a hat though in various ways including SMS, email, and voice. Connecting the infrastructure of the old media, phone, television and radio with the infrastructure of the new media like SMS, podcasting, and the web in general will be the next step. How can I get one device to connect me to the world anytime all the time without being cumbersome or bothersome?

I encourage you to participate in this community, in whatever way you can, a blog, a photosite, a podcast, reporting news important to you (firsthand or not), even just adding comments to forums, blogs, and other chances at be social in this space is important. We have built this community and must continue to help it grow.

OneWebDay

Pipes, not tubes, in my ears!

It’s been beautiful here the past few days. 70s with tons of sunshine, more of it to come in the next few days. Here’s the thing, I love having my windows down in the car, 4-55 is what we called it back in the day (4 windows down at 55MPH). Now instead of being a necessity for comfort, windows are a luxury, a nice way to enjoy the weather, a way to get some fresh air. Cranking up the radio, hitting the gas and just cruising the highway for 30 minutes or so is great, sure the occasional semi will pass and drown out the tunes. But my beef is with everyone who puts “pipes” on their truck/SUV/motorcycle. Do you *really* need an engine that idles at 80dB+ and revs well over 120dB? In most towns around here teenagers are harassed by police constantly because of their booming stereos, however a man in his early 50s with huge pipes on his Harley will go by without notice. Why?

These people are causing more harm to those around them than a fat man sitting in a movie theater after a burrito-eating contest. Why a fat man, because I said so, that’s why!

Putting pipes on your vehicles makes it sound “cool” right,  wrong. You may be looking for that low rumble at an intersection, I’m cool with that, you may want a fuller deeper sound, I’m cool with that, adding pipes so that you are obnoxiously loud at intersections and even at highway speeds is stupid. You are not only possibly damaging your engine with sub-par exhaust flow; you are damaging my hearing and all that you pass or are passed by (yes, people do pass you from time to time, admit it Bubba).

I think that noise ordinances should be enforced not only on bass-thumping rice burners but also on Harleys Dodge Rams, and any other vehicle that causing such a racket racing down the street as to cause potential hearing loss for all those around. Get off my lawn!

I got a little wind in my sails

Kyle made a comment on a post, it was short and probably made in jest… For some reason I just needed to go off and make my feelings known. Here’s the text, be mindful that the facts are not quite right and there is a ton of opinion here. Thanks for letting me vent Kyle, don’t take it personally.

Oh I totally agree with you man, but you know from experience, how many fo them are technically apt enough to purchase one let alone actually use one? By forcing them to use the technology that they are legislating against perhaps they can gain at least some understanding of how they actions affect the rest of us.
Take this for example: If you go to a store that is broadcasting the radio over a loudspeaker, technically they are required to pay the RIAA a license fee if the music is copyrighted (all radio music is usually) in addition to the fee that radio stations pay to play the song, the RIAA is double dipping. Now I realize that the music is being played to create an atmosphere conducive to selling goods at a profit so therefore a license might be warranted, but what about non-copyrighted music?
Lets pretend that I own a music production studio, I create my own music via computers and real instruments. I also happen to own a chain or large retail outlets that collectively have about $1m per year in gross sales where I play my music for customers. Under the current rules I would still have to pay that license to the RIAA because there is a chance that RIAA (copyrighted) music could be played.
That is what I’m talking about, little rules that are out to screw just about everyone who comsumes any kind of media, whether it be the fact that recording your Tivo’d shows to DVD or making a backup copy of your own music or burning it to more than a couple mix CDs for your own personal use. All of those things are technically illegal, most are broken every day by most of us. Why can’t the laws be changed to stop favoring the companies and start giving people the benefit of the doubt? I realize piracy hurts everyone, artists included. But the $15 that I spend on a CD isn’t buying that artist a cheesebuger, it’s barely paying the tax on one.
The anti-piracy measures do one of several things, destroy the creation outside of its original form (the upgrade tax per se), like CDs that aren’t able to be copied for archive purposes (a right afforded us by US Code), or they are destructive to our property (the Sony rootkit scandal) where they install means of preventing piracy at the expense of our security and equipment’s well-being.
I’m totally against any copy protection, give people a chance, they will own up to what they should. There will always be bad elements of society but by respecting your customers and giving them what they want you will ultimately sell more product that what you are force feeding us now. I want a CD of songs I like, or at least the ability to pay for only the songs I like.

Any thoughts?

In Soc again, and at home….

The last few days have been mostly uneventful. Monday I went to work, it was rather busy for a holiday but a lot of people were open still. Last night I went out for coffee with Kyle, taught him how to play Rummy. It was good just to chill someplace quiet. I think I’m going to have to go to the doctor soon. My back, ankle, and write have all been sore. Its bone sore though. Like all it need sis a good pop or something> I’ll call Stout tomorrow and see if I can get in Friday maybe.
Today I got up later than I wanted to. Not that I didn’t’ have time to just relax this morning but I guess I was just more tired that I thought I was. It’s good for me to get a lot of sleep though. This semester is going to be rough. Classes are going well enough. So far I’m staying caught up. But it means I have to study almost everyday. I need to do my law brief but it’s only one page so it shouldn’t take long and I’m procrastinating. Of course I have tons of reading to do too. 137 pages by Thursday! Ugh
This weekend started off with some conflict but not I think its back under control now. The same issue always come up and I just don’t know how to approach them right all the time.
This is what I thought the other day. “I’m talking about the one thing I hate the most and I have a knot like a ball of twine in my stomach. All I can do is grin and bear it. Life affords me no such luxury. All I can do is sit here and act happy that I have what I have. Life is so cruel sometimes.”
Its over know though. Just something I feel from time to time I guess. It either shows I’m totally incapable of getting over it or that I’m totally incapable of giving up.
Back at home now. I spent most of my evening reading my law stuff for class where I totally got nailed by the prof with obscure questions that I wasn’t expecting. I was supposed to go bowling with Kyle tonight but that didn’t’ happen cause he got busy with something else. It’s cool we are going to see Radio tomorrow for free. Really look gin forward to that. Right now I’m working on my law brief. I’ve got my post to Oncourse done and I’ve already written one paper tonight. I’m on a roll, can’t stop now. Although my fingers are starting to hurt from all this typing