Charlene Gray is concerned about what’s happening in the social sphere. Is social media good – or bad? It seems to me that almost daily there are more people spreading hate instead of talking to each other and learning from each other. What do you think? It’s both. We already know why social media is good. It connects us all in ways we never imagined just a few years ago. How is it bad, though? I believe that in some ways, it has perpetuated the anger, hatred, intolerance and ignorance among us. Think about how many Tweets and Facebook posts you see each day that are slurs against someone (or an entire subset of people) couched in a “joke.” How often do you see outright hatred being spewed across your streams? The ease of social media posting has given a voice not only to those of us trying to make the world a better place, but also to those who are trying to tear it apart because they are ignorant. Just as social media sites have made it easier for us to connect with others in a positive way, they have made it easier for the human race to tear […]
Shelley asked me: What makes you do the things you do every day? Why do you push yourself? What is it that makes you want to keep going every day – even when the going is tough? The short answer is: YOU. All of you – the community – is what keeps me pushing myself day in and day out. I’ve said a million times that building a good community is everything. It’s why I do the things I do. That’s the reason I get up in the mornings and head into my office. Y’all make me strive to change things for the better, find new ways to engage and keep making sure everyone is able to easily communicate with each other. Is it always easy? Of course not! People’s needs and interests change. Google changes the way we find websites. Facebook changes the things you do and do not see on your feed. Haters hate. Whiners whine. Some days I do what everyone does at some point – question if what I’m doing is worth it. You know what, though? The answer to that is always a resounding YES! Why do YOU do what you do? What drives you […]
Matthew Rappaport seems to be concerned about what’s going on within Google’s social sphere: Is Google+ still alive and what do you hope to see announced for it at Google I/O? It’s not dead – yet. I have little patience for the typical jingoistic navelgazing that often seems to come with some of Google+’s most vocal supporters, though. I don’t eat, sleep, or breathe any single social platform, though – nor does my life revolve around any single company apart from my own. For Google I/O, I’d hope to hear more about how they’re going to continue to improve the Android experience – and, with just about every change they make, Google only reinforces my positions early on regarding their platform (despite me being perceived as persona non grata by many whose personal identity is tied into a piece of fucking software).
Melissa Davis asked: What is parenting in the digital age going to be like in your opinion? How will technology you have at your fingertips help you be a better parent? I think our lifestyle is somewhat different (but not too far apart) from what other families experience. For example, social media is now a given for people of all ages – right? You tweet a selfie, and it’s probably not going to be seen by too many people outside of your circle of friends. Baby Pirillo will have more attention than average, and with that comes undue judgment. People think they have the right to tell others how to live simply because they have the right to speak – and while I defend someone’s ability to say what they want to say, I think it’s extremely rude to judge someone else based on your own conceptions (or misconceptions). At least I can be there for Baby Pirillo the very moment morons sweep in and try to tell us how to live our lives, eh? I’d fear for those judgmental morons, really. Oh, wait… am I judging someone who is judging me? Is that too weird?
Marc asked: Why does it take so long for an app to be approved for the App Store? The company takes its sweet time to approve apps, yes. However, there’s a reason for that. The employees must be sure that the apps don’t contain spyware or malware. They need to be sure there are no significant bugs and doesn’t have a poor UI. They verify that the apps do what you say they’re going to do and that there are no private APIs being used. They are careful to check that the apps don’t crash all of the time. And, of course, they have to be sure that there’s nothing embedded that is disallowed by Apple. It’s all about user experience. This is the reason so many people prefer to have an iPhone or iPad over an Android device… the quality of the apps. Before anyone screams at me – I know there are great apps available for Android devices, as well. However, overall… the App Store is simply superior when it comes to making sure that you’re getting exactly what you’re promised.
Techinformania asked: What should a newb blogger post? She s/he post something about themselves or just start posting what others want? First – posting an introduction in the blog itself isn’t really a good idea. It will quickly get buried and no one will see it. Try making a separate “About” page on the blog site so that people can get to know you. Second – why on Earth would you ever write what someone else wanted? Even if the point of writing a blog is so that others will read it, you’re not supposed to write whatever it is they think you should. You need to focus on what YOU want to write. Write what you know and are passionate about. Put your own spin on your topics. Add in your thoughts and feelings. Ask questions of your readers. Trust me… people who are interested in the same things will love what you’re doing if you’re being yourself and writing what you love. Don’t do anything “for” someone else. Do it for you.
HyderPotter asked: Should social media be at the top of the list for companies who sell things? I don’t know about “top of the list” for any type of company. But… social media definitely needs to be a priority. Companies obviously need a great product or service and amazing customer service. Those things have to be the main focus. Once they’re in place, you have to buckle down on marketing. Any good marketing plan these days involve social media. Don’t do what too many businesses do: throw links at your customers. Yes, they want to see products and sales. They want to know what you’re up to. But more than that, they want you to TALK TO THEM. Seriously. Interact with your customers and it will build into an actual community based around your business. Don’t talk AT them… talk WITH them. Answer questions. Pose questions. Share a funny story or video. Interact with fun comments. Like things they’ve said and ReTweet when you can. Don’t just paste a bunch of crap and then ignore the streams until the next day. Don’t panic over Facebook’s algorithms, either. You’ll never get it right. It’s hard work. Just focus on the things […]
Matthew asked: What are some good features to look for when selecting a new web hosting service? There are a lot of different things that people find important. Some only care about cost. Others feel that uptime is crucial. There are a few things that you should look at, though: Uptime – Does the company have sites that crash often? Also, how quickly do they resolve issues? Addons – Many companies offer freebies when you “subscribe” to a hosting plan. What are these addons? Are they even useful to you? Customer Service – Do your questions regarding pricing get answered quickly? How good are the reps at finding the answers you need – no matter the question? Do they answer professionally, or do they treat people rudely? Technical Service – Even more importantly, do issues get fixed quickly and properly – even little things? Are issues explained to you? Are glitches brought to your attention? I’m sure I’m missing several points to consider. This is where all of you come in: what do you look for when choosing a web host? Photo credit to Funny Pics
WickedZen asked: I am a full time student, and aspiring writer, with a family. For some time now I have used Sunbird to keep track of my schedule, specifically my tasks (assignments, tests, projects, etc) as a student. I review and update this schedule dozens of times during a day. Recently my main laptop died, cause unknown and is on its way to be checked out. I had to switch to using my old, backup laptop. I was able to pull out my hard drive and get the data, including my schedule, onto my backup. If I had been unable to do so, I would have been in serious trouble rebuilding my schedule and keeping up with everything. Any suggestions for task/schedule management software that I can sync between different computer(s) and a tablet, as well as online but with an offline feature if I ever cant access online? Honestly? Google’s calendar may be your best option. Once you fill out your calendar, you can easily sync it to a number of different places, including to your computer. Having this easily available via your phone or other mobile device is great – along with the fact that you can have […]
Ehtesham asked: I am currently thinking of buying a laptop, tablet, and a phone but I am not sure what I should look for. Should I go for a perfect integration between all my devices like a Macbook, iPad, and iPhone or should I go for a full experience of all phones like Windows laptop, iPad, and an Android device? It honestly depends on the experience you’re looking for. The most important thing to remember is to get devices/machines that work for you. Does each one offer you what you need? Will all-Windows or all-Apple devices do what you expect of them? Another thing to think about is ecosystem: are you partial to one over another? Do you have fears of “switching” operating systems? Something else: money. Let’s face it: certain types of devices cost more than others. I’m not going to argue whether those particular pieces of technology are “better” or not: that’s relative, anyway. But you have to keep your budget in mind when looking at what to buy next. What about all of you? Is it more important to you to have all of your machines and devices “match,” or do you enjoy using things from a […]
SolidSafety asked: What does being sponsored mean? I know that it can help you but don’t know how and what it does. I know that a lot of people are being sponsored on YouTube or their websites. What’s this all about? Being sponsored means that a company believes in you and what you’re doing and wants to help. In some cases, it just means that you have something a company wants: lots of exposure. Company X may have a product that best fits the audience you have on YouTube and your website(s). You have a fairly good-sized following, so they approach you and offer to sponsor you in exchange for promotion – a video, a link in an article or even a social media status. The benefit you receive could be money or product(s) – it depends on the company and your needs. Company Y may see that you’re hosting a meetup or conference in the near future. The person there may completely believe in the message you’re trying to bring to your audience, and so the company decides to be a partner – they give money to the event in exchange for branding of some type during it. The […]
Kevin asked: Do online relationships actually work? I met a girl online and we’ve been talking for months. I think I love her, but how can I know this is real? Can you actually love someone you’ve only “met” online? Can a relationship become “real-life” after only being online? I know many people who met their significant other online. There have been a few relationships which started after people met each other through one of our LockerGnome sites or chats! I’m not kidding… Melanie and Mike, for instance, have now been married for quite some time! There are others, as well. To more fully answer this question, I turned to my Social Media Manager, Kat. She just got married in March (on her birthday!) to a man she met three years ago while playing an MMORPG. She’s pretty happy, so I guess it’s safe to say things are working out for her. Kat and David met in their guild on their (at the time) favorite game. They talked for hours every day for several weeks in private chats and on instant messenger. Then one day, she gave him her number and he called. Six hours later, they hung up. This […]
I’ve been asked by multiple people lately why I no longer run the 24/7 live stream. To be honest, I’ve now lost track of everyone who has asked. Instead of crediting a few and missing someone, I am simply leaving names off of this one. This goes out to everyone who has asked! To be frank: I needed a life. I’ve mentioned that the live stream cost a lot of time, effort and money. You already know that. But dudes… having to be “on” all of the time for cameras so people aren’t bitching that it’s boring is daunting. And impossible. And a huge time suck. We vlog. We show you a peek inside our daily lives. I do two live videos every weekday on top of the vlogs. What more do you need? Do you really want to see me just sitting there at my desk staring at a screen while I work? What’s the point of that? I don’t have enough hours in the day as it is to get everything accomplished. I certainly don’t have time to interact several hours per day with the live audience. That’s NOT to say I didn’t enjoy it while it lasted. […]
TechieDude once asked: When you are working at your computer, what is the “best” (or worst?) way to suck your time? What types of things catch your attention and make you lose track of what you were trying to accomplish? An Internet connection is awesome to have… unless you don’t need it to get your work done. I’m often pulled to my email inbox more than anything else. If I don’t want to do something, I’ll find any distraction (like a social stream) to further forestall any amount of “meh” feelings that might spring up. I know many people tend to play games, watch YouTube videos or get sucked into online chats via some platform or another. And, of course, there’s always adorable cat pictures. Or something. How about everyone else? What sucks you in and wastes your time?