It’s certainly been a fair few weeks since I last posted something, to leave it so long was certainly not the plan! Surprisingly, I appear to be busy with… nothing. A strange scenario, is something I’m pretty certain on.
Swiftly moving on, I though I’d give you a quick recap of what I’ve actually been up to. (And it’s not all TV, honest! I’ve only managed to catch a few hours of that this week – This makes for a sad Daniel)
These past few weeks have certainly been this “busiest”, of the few since. After months of doing bits here and there, I finally decided to finish off my personal site (minus the content re-work… – though it is responsive now, always a plus.) After that, a well earned break from computers in my spare time was certainly needed!
This gave me some lovely time to catchup with some films I’ve been meaning to do since around November time. (Jheesh, I’ve really no idea where all of my time goes!) That is, until I had an email about sites going offline due to server issues. Sadly, there was little coming back from this. Content was lost, it was time to move. But I’ll spare you the technical details. To summarise, these past few weeks have been very geek-related, and still not quite finished!
So once free time returns, the content should shortly follow… If not, I’m probably doing something wrong somewhere.
“You’re always on Twitter”, “You Tweet too much” “You’re a Twitter addict”, phrases I hear on a regular basis, perhaps too regular in fact. But, all too true. I am on Twitter a lot of the time. My
reasoning excuse for it, as follows.
You see, when I was growing up through my teen years, when we pick up our habits. “MySpace” was in, soon followed by Facebook… But me and Facebook, we never really got on. Don’t get me wrong, it was a brilliant way to communicate with family and friends at it’s time, but it also came with it’s part of drama. This is what put me off.
I was the never the popular kid at school, I never really liked school. A cliché, I know. But it wasn’t the whole “I don’t like learning”, I loved it, I just didn’t like the people. I could never find myself to really get on with people, like the others would.
Then came along the end of school and the discovery of Twitter, with just a selection of people on it – it seemed… brilliant! After growing up with social networks, it still felt as if I needed one. Yet this one, empty, new, it was like starting all over again. From here, my love for it just grew. I was meeting “new” people, almost daily.
There was always something new to discover, articles, websites, all sorts! In fact, it’s one of the things which pushed me into blogging. If people were to like short updates, what about longer, in-depth ones. Surely they’d love those too!
Then I discovered it could be so much more than a social network, perhaps more of a tool. You see, when starting college, my tutor used it for teaching us some online classes. So not only could I learn at my own pace, without being “judged” of being ahead, or behind, but I could still communicate with the others. Brilliant (Note: These were only a one-off thing, just to “break” us out of the summer, but it was still a nice chance to meet others, and the online “support” through Twitter, remained there).
Brining me back to my point, this is why I’m on Twitter… perhaps more often that I should. I’ve grown up with it, I’ve seen it grow (I still remember the drop-down navigation!), I’ve met new people on it, I’ve learnt with it. It just seems a brilliant tool, I wouldn’t want to leave.
Of course, as always. These thoughts are of my own opinion, I’m not saying one is better than the other. Just the experiences I have had with each.
The theme of Easter is definitely around this weekend, I’m sure for a handful of people it’s for the four-day weekend they’re getting too. Other’s, probably the chocolate. Who doesn’t love an excuse to love chocolate? But the reason it should be, is religion.
Like Christmas, Easter is a religious event. Sadly though, I feel the real meaning to this might be lost. I’m not religious myself1 but from what I’ve understood Easter was about the death and resurrection of Jesus and we celebrate it with an egg to symbolise new life. I’m not too sure where the chocolate side of came things in, a treat of some kind though I’m sure.
But getting back to my point, has this meaning been lost? The talks about Easter are always about Easter Eggs and chocolate, the TV channels are full with family films (primarily because the kids are off and it’s difficult to keep them occupied). There’s even families who go on holiday across this time. I’m not saying that should change the way they do things at all, just trying to emphesise my point about the real meaning being lost.
Perhaps it’s a generation causing this, as mentioned previously religion (sadly) seems to becoming “less common” for the reasons that this generation is technology driven. But I won’t repeat what I’ve previously said. Instead just ask you. Do you think Easter has/is lost/losing it’s meaning?
1I am not religious and this could be wrong. No offence was meant to any religion in this post.
A couple of days ago I switched over comments (more comment enhancements to come soon!), meaning the ability to login via social networks was removed. I won’t go into details about why I did this (It used an iframe – not good for performance!). Admittedly since doing this spam has increased… but it’s being caught by the spam filter, and I’d rather that than a slow loading page seeing as it’s only me that sees them.
However, this brings me to my point, polls make for brilliant user feedback (thought my last poll wasn’t exactly a success with results…)! So I want to know, for those that do comment (or even those that don’t) would you like to see the return of the social login for the comments?
There’s one thing which has become more annoying to me recently. A follower count.
The sudden urge for them seems to have grown. Yes, I suppose there’s always been a “competition” on who has the most (I was once part of this myself…), but recently it appears to have become a lot worse. I’m not sure how many others have you have noticed, but the amount of people post “RT for a follow” has increased, even from those who didn’t previously do it. It’s not even automated apps anymore.
Yes, I see, it’s a number, the higher number wins who thing. But looking at it from a different point of view, what’s the point in having 1,000+ followers if you’re only going to interact with a handful of them? Speaking from experience, I probably interact1 with about 200 (of the ~900) of my following. As for followers, I have no idea how many of read my Tweets, or visit the links I visit. Though taking an educated guess from interactions2 I would say 6% of followers.
Which brings me back to my point… If you have a load of followers and you make no impact to them followers, what’s the point? Of course, you can’t make them unfollow you (though there are apps for that), but at least stop asking and let them follow you by choice, eh?
Secondly, if you’re going to follow loads of people, just to do so (and perhaps gain followers in the process too), what’s the point in that? I think you should follow someone because you want to. I certainly don’t “judge” someone for the amount of followers they do/don’t have.
Note: The post was not intended to cause offence to anyone, nor was it targeted at anyone in particular. These are just my thoughts on the subject
1In this instance, I’m defining interact as a RT, favourite, reading, visiting links of a Tweet etc.
2In this instance I’m referring to the interactions I can see.(I.E. a reply, retweet, favourite). I can’t tell if somebody has read a Tweet…
For the some of you that may not know, in the news recently there’s been a “Horsemeat Scandal”. To summarise, some beef products (primarily beef burgers and lasagne) have found traces of horsesmeat (and/or horse DNA inside them).
The problem with this? Well of course, the obvious issue here trust. People trust what the label says, if it says beef, you expect beef. I understand that. But, however, we all know that not every bit of meat is 100% pure of that meat, especially when it comes to processed food. Nevertheless, I understand the problem.
But what I don’t understand, is the issue. People’s reactions. At first, people sounded disgusted at the thought of eating horsemeat. This completely astonished me! We have:
- Lamb, from a sheep (well, a lamb…)
- Pork, from a pig
- Beef, from a cow
- Chicken… from a chicken
You get the point, we eat many types of animals. So why should there be shock over horse meat? It’s just another animal.
Now this, this is where to story becomes even more… silly, if you ask me. The “contaminated” products have been removed from the shelves. So just to clarify. We’re currently in a recession, the price of food is going up and they have removed perfectly good and what appears to be safe, edible food from the shelves. What I don’t understand is why not just sell it as a discounted price? Or, re-package it with “Horse” instead of “Beef”. It also seems… astonishing! Especially when people at home have been told to not throw away “beef” products (from my last hearing).
So when it comes to a summary of my views, I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. Mean as it may sound. it’s just another animal at the end of the day. If it’s safe to eat, then why not do so?
I’d started to realise that I’ve been a little bit neglective (is that even a real word?) towards this over the past few weeks. Whilst you may think it’s common, I told myself this year I wouldn’t take such long breaks in posting. I guess I didn’t stick to that advice eh?
So I opted to right a post… except, it wasn’t quite that easy. You see, inspiration is somewhat… lacking these days. It’s no surprise really, when it’s been so long, you fall of out the… err… “zone”, as I’ve mentioned many times before. Then I remembered that Automattic had a service that was supposed to inspire you to write posts (They put somewhere on it “Inspiration four-oh-four” – I love it). So I headed over to their website, then headed over to Plinky, where the question to present me was “You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of schoolchildren on anything of your choice. What would you present?”
Let me begin first, I really dislike presentations and public speaking, though, it’s something almost all of us have to do at some point in our lives. So my first thought to this was “I wouldn’t”, the easy way out, I know. But to this day, regardless of how many presentations I’ve done, speeches, interviews, performances etc. anything where to attention is focuses primarily on me, I’ve “hated”. In fact, sometimes I don’t even write blog posts because I feel it’s more attention on me, and real people I know read these.
But let me reassure you, although my instant thought was “I wouldn’t”, it does get easier. Whether that’s with age, or experience, it’s never as daunting as it was the previous time.
One of the main things I find easier, is a “stranger-audience”, where you’re performing to people you don’t know, or probably won’t see again. Why? Because regardless of how much of a fool you’ve made of yourself, if you’re never going to see them again, what does it matter? They don’t know you! The benefit to this is it also gains you experience.
Another thing I think helps, is a familiar audience (of course, it may sound like all audiences at this point – but it’s not). By this, I mean people you know very well, you have know and will continue to know. This way, you’ve “broken the ice” from the first presentation, they understand you slightly more and there’s just the overall feedback afterwards, what was good, bad (but of course, there are never bad points, just tips for improvement).
Finally, the audience I don’t really like presenting to, the “don’t quite know you, yet” audience. People you’ve met for the first time, are going to meet, know for a few weeks. Those people, especially if you’re going to see them again. Of course, they may not remember it, for them it might just be “another presentation”, but for me, if it’s gone bad – I’ll often remember it for weeks to come!
So what about you guys, when it comes to presenting something, what tips can you give us? As always, let me know you’re thoughts in the comments. Perhaps a share to spread the word out too? (Cheesy, or what?)