This is what I do when I’m not at work.

Take the new survey titled “Social Networking Privacy and Security Survey 2012”

Posted: February 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: interwebby, privacy, scientifics, social networking | No Comments »

If you are a user of any online social networking sites (such as Facebook), please accept this invitation to participate in a survey of your usage and privacy practices. Participation is strictly voluntary, but highly appreciated. The goal is to gauge the perceptions and activity related to user privacy across a wide swath of Internet users.

Take the new survey titled “Social Networking Privacy and Security Survey 2012“.

Please pass this link along! Thanks and I hope you choose to participate.

The Power of Social Networks

Posted: December 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: computers, interwebby, social | 2 Comments »

This is, like, a graph of social networking and stuff.

What a year! 2009 turned out to be the Year of The Social Networks. Your mom joined Facebook. The news media wouldn’t stop talking about Twitter for months. And now everyone is a “Social Media Expert.” Actors and musicians connected with fans, as did sports stars. (I’m sure Tiger enjoyed more than a few ‘random’ TweetUps). People used social media to cover war, the loss of Michael Jackson, and the story of a small Oregon boy risking his life in an airborne balloon craft. The latter turned out to be a hoax, but the impact of these new forces of immediate social communication became very real. You could send out an alert if you were in trouble or you could post up some mind-numbing minutiae if you were feeling bored. You could connect with and ‘follow’ people of interest which you had never had access to before. It was an exciting time and this emerging trend served as a handy distraction from whatever else was going on in the world.

It wasn’t all just welcoming handshakes and joyous LOL’ing, either. A study was released that attempted to show social stratification amongst the social networking set. I believe the conclusion was that lower socioeconomic individuals gravitated towards MySpace, while those slightly up the scale were trending towards Facebook. This led to further musing on the idea of “segregated” online networks and the potential for online inequality. Authors and journalists decried the dissolution of language to a bunch of abbreviations, emoticons, and short burst induced incompleteness. (These same people don’t seem to like text messaging for the same reasons). Computer connected employee productivity has taken a nosedive to such proportions as to almost cause a global financial meltdown. Privacy experts are practically having a conniption over this whole exposing oneself idea. Clearly, all is not rosy in the social networking arena.

So, why then are these newfangled social networks taking root and growing so fast? What is the value add? What do we get out of it? And why are these ephemeral and immediate networks so powerful?

First of all, online social networking is not new. Supernerds have been convening on the Internet since the early 1970’s. There were early bulletin board (BBS) systems, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and (of course) electronic mail (now commonly and coyly referred to as ’email’). [The first Web-enabled chat I recall was ICQ circa 1998. I found the “group-shout” interaction intriguing, but rather annoying. Clearly, I wasn’t ready for short burst communications just yet. But I digress…]

Anyway, these perfect new online social networks are full of pizazz! Full of allure! And full of potential vectors for malware and privacy invasions. But mostly full of pizazz and allure — The pizazz to show off your own unique self and super-fantabulousness to the universe and the allure that you can connect with ‘anyone at any time’ and likely for any reason. Lots of people use it to follow their preferred news sources or to catalog information regarding their industry or career. Yet the killer feature seems to be localization. You can find people near you who do what you do. Or you can follow your local politicians (check to see if they’re on there). You can ask questions like “Where can I find a great Italian restaurant around here?” or “What bands are playing in Raleigh tonight?” One of my favorite services for this type of localized search is Aardvark. You should go there and sign up. (Or let me know if you still need to have an invite.)

My favorite use of social networking technology is to remake connections with friends from the past. It has been quite interesting to see all my high school friends emerging online almost two decades later. Not only that, but many people I didn’t have the opportunity to know better in the past have connected and enhanced our relationship via online social networking. Beyond that, I have often gone to my vast legions of social network peeps and sought job leads, medical advice, shopping consultancy, and all sorts of things.

There is also the notion of communicating for communicating’s sake. I like to crack jokes and mash-up the day’s events into (quasi-)witty status updates. I rarely tell Twitter “What’s happening?” and instead just throw out “What’s on my mind?” I think there is a lot of value in the new social network scene, despite the non-extraneous time they seem to consume. If you can enjoy your time on these networks and not get carried away, then I guess you’ve won the battle.

What say you? Will the Web 2.0 social networks shepherd about the end of language? Will Twitter be responsible for the decimation of our final strands of time/information management? Will pictures of you holding a beer can in high school ruin your entire life? Why do you do (or don’t do) the online social networking thing? And how the hell did anyone solve any problems or research anything before The Google? Shout it below.

Image above: / CC BY-ND 2.0

The Eyes of March

Posted: March 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: interwebby, photography, social | No Comments »

Beck Tench got me involved in her whacky Experimonth concept. The idea is to conduct 30-day mini-experiments for each month of the year. This month has been dubbed “The Eyes of March and the goal is to take and post a photo every day.  There is an awesome Flickr pool and Beck has her own fancy aggregate site going.

hawk on UNC campus

Please take a look and comment and participate to your heart’s delight. We certainly are enjoying it.


Posted: December 29th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: humor joke, interwebby, random | 1 Comment »



Got Me Some Netflix

Posted: January 1st, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: eShopping, interwebby, movies | No Comments »

Well, I had been putting off getting a Netflix account for several years now, but that wind of change was blowin’ through 2008 and convinced me to commit up to $17 per month to another online merchant. They say the first two weeks are free…


Now I fully expect to become a couch-ridden blob, unable to answer the phone or go to work, simply popping in DVDs and making snacks 24/7. This is my destiny! However, I am not so impressed with their service. I opened my new account thirty minutes ago and I am yet to receive a single DVD. What? Do they think I’ve got all night??

Happy New Year to you! What is your resolution (if you chose to make one)? Does it require as much athleticism and physical endurance as my New Years Netflix resolution? What movies should I put in my queue?

Oldie But Goodie

Posted: February 6th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: characters, humor joke, interwebby | No Comments »

1-31-07 Never Forget

Well, it has only been a week (which by internet standards is about four years), but this image and the whole Aqua Teen Hunger Force terror ad campaign debacle is too hilarious. It is really a shame that ATHF and other Adult Swim shows don’t have greater viewership, otherwise this whole unfortunate scene could have been avoided. On the other hand, I am glad that our nation’s defenses are strong and alert enough to have put down this “terror cell in our midst” and make sure that it’s perpetrators do hard time. Let this be a warning to improv comics everywhere.

Vanderlin tagged some flickr items of the one LED/IED that was captured and not destroyed.

Those Hula-Hooping Liberals!

Posted: April 10th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: characters, interwebby, photography | No Comments »

Yay Hooray! I can bask in my (very temporary) moment of fame, for having one of my photographs make an appearance on an ultra-liberal website!!

Beckie The Hula-Hooping Liberal

My new friend Beckie showed up to the April InterNetWorkers event wearing a snazzy suit and an ITMFA American Flag lapel pin. No one had any idea what “ITMFA” stood for, but soon enough we all knew what it meant. (The words are too foul to be repeated on this pious and pristine weblog.)

The other copies available online have been cropped and offer slightly less perspective than this one. Also, I was able to tweak the color and sharpness to look more like the actual moment (instead of a poor digital copy of it). Click the above image for an 800 by 600 copy.

I fully expect to see you wearing one of these pins (or thongs) next time I see you.

Zombie Insurrection

Posted: March 27th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: humor joke, interwebby | No Comments »

Sure, you might have been following all the bombings surrounding the Green Zone in Baghdad, but have you left yourself open to a much more prevalent and insidious threat? Namely, zombie attack? Don’t berate yourself too much — after all, many of us are underprepared for such an event.

Zombie Defense sticker

Well, thanks to our friends at, now we can learn all about this (almost) silent danger and find more creative and effective ways to run from it. Rumor has it that this site was created by some truly insane Chapel Hill locals and that it features artwork by the World Famous Dan-O.

So ease on down to zombiedefense today and eliminate the weakest link in your personal security chain. Remember — they are putting this information out there to save lives — those of you and your children. Don’t be the next tasty brain treat for someone’s undead grandma.

Other Cool Stuff

Posted: December 12th, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: characters, interwebby | No Comments »

Check out The Sloganizer and make your own instant catchy slogan. Creator of such classics as:

  • «Halleluja, it’s a matusiak.»
  • «Google Maps – now!»
  • «Way to go, myspace!»
  • «It must be Friendster.»
  • «For the love of Orkut.»
  • «Battleship Earth – what more could you want?» — Totally happy news about such and such. They made Yahoo! News.

J3KkF resurfaces on the internets
. No, not that imposter Jeff K! I mean the real J3KkF!!!111one1 This is J3KkF’s NYC Press Agent.

relax we understand j00

Photography is Flattery

Posted: December 11th, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: interwebby, photography | No Comments »

Dan McCann is flattered

James Rajotte is a New York photographer who appears to be compiling a fairly comprehensive set of linked photographs to exemplify the range of human expression, if you will. Imagine how flattered I was, then, to discover that his link for “Flattered” was to a photograph of mine. Dan McCann partying down at Goodfoot in Portland, OR for Lucas and Ellen’s wedding. Awesome! Thanks, James!

Dan McCann, of course, looks fabulous.