All posts by Chris Pirillo

How Do You Search for Information?

Riquochet is a newer Patron who is curious about my search habits. You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions!

When you search the Internet for information, would you rather whip out your wallet and get your hands on what you’re looking for quickly, or spend time searching around for a ‘free’ answer? After all Time = Money.

If I want it, need it, and know it fits the bill… I’ll pay the bill.

I think it’s asinine to hear people whine about how they got their computer infected with malware because they downloaded a movie through less-than-proper channels.

That’s hilarious, really. People spend more by trying to avoid spending money.

Free doesn’t always mean totally free.

An hour of my time is worth more than minimum wage.

How Do You Search for Information?

Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?

Patron Zamira is curious about affiliate marketing and whether it’s worth the time and effort. You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions!

How do you feel about affiliate marketing? Is this a good area to get into? Why or why not? Have you had any good successes being an affiliate? Likewise, do you have any horror stories (without naming company names, I know)?

I believe I’ve actually written about this before, and my thoughts haven’t changed much on the matter.

I am not a fan of affiliate marketing for many reasons.

Case in point? If I ever recommended a product that you bought on Amazon (based on my recommendation) without going through my designated link, I don’t get the credit. Yikes. People who don’t deal with my type of business don’t understand just how outlandish – and unsustainable – that is for someone in my position.

That’s about as horrific as it gets.

I believe that the only true winners with affiliate programs are the people who operate them. To that end, I’ve longed to figure out a unique product I could sell and find affiliates to sign on as resellers.

Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?

Which Old Game Would You Bring Back?

AirWolf asked:

What PC game of old would you like to bring back from the grave, give a fresh start and re-release (or just be able to play!) – and why?

Oh, man… you just can’t replace the classics!

If I could do anything, I wouldn’t reboot or update a favorite game – but bring it back to its last “best” state.

I think a good game plays well forever, and that (too often) newer versions can destroy what made a game work so well for you in an earlier edition.

So, I just found out about JummMan Forever the other day – and I’m thrilled that it’s a project that’s actively shipping code to platforms (with more major platforms coming). I loved Jumpman Jr. on the Commodore 64, and have played it through emulators over the years.

The developer is doing a great job at bringing back what he loved, but while I appreciate some updated graphics coming down the pike… I wouldn’t mind seeing and playing with the “old graphics” either.

I am so grateful I was around for the classic home video games – because I think they’re all timeless. Not all simple, not all perfect, but they obviously worked well enough that I’m still playing a few of them to this day.

Which Old Game Would You Bring Back?

Does Technology Creep You Out?

ClosetFuturist asked via Facebook:

I’ve been trying to stay aware of trends that are arising in the technological revolution. I’ve been researching it through Documentaries, Keynotes, and even scientific papers. I see a number of discoveries and innovations that could have moral and ethical dilemmas attached under the current system. Some are already occurring. There’s also the reality of biological interfacing that is already happening. Are there any aspects of the tech revolution that has you concerned or even a little creeped out?

It’s pretty much as you laid out, there.

I’m concerned that while technology may be advancing at a rapid rate, the human condition is still operating in the dark ages.

No, seriously.

We have all these great tools around us that are here to make our respective lives better (and, for the most part, I’d say that the quality of life has improved thanks to advancements in high tech and Internet access outright).

But the same tools that can build can also destroy, and if we don’t accept responsibility for what we do with technology… it’ll destroy us altogether.

Let’s illustrate the problem with a simple tool: Twitter. It’s easy to send a tweet that uplifts, inspires, informs, entertains… but what else do people use Twitter for? To diminish, degrade, and derail. Same holds true for YouTube (or any social platform).

Or, worse yet? Some people woefully choose to designate their choice of a smartphone platform as a personal religion.

If that doesn’t illustrate just how disconnected humanity is from technology, nothing does.

We have tools to better connect us, but… some people have yet to develop the emotional maturity (and cultural awareness) that it’s going to take to let these tools build us up together rather than tear us apart.

A tool can often be only as good as its user.

Does Technology Creep You Out?

What Type of Games Should Kids Learn to Play?

Patron George Barrett is interested in kids and their early gaming years. You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions!

When you introduce your child to gaming, will you show him/her the classic games from the NES era, or let him/her discover them for his/herself if it develops as a personal interest whilst playing the current games?

This is actually an easy one to answer, George. I’m sure that at a very early age, Baby Pirillo will start being introduced to educational games. There are so many great ones out there that teach little ones everything from hand-eye coordination to counting to reading and back again.

Once s/he is old enough, our child will be allowed to choose their own path with most everything in life… including gaming. That’s not to say Diana and I won’t provide guidance, of course. It’s not like the child will be given free reign to do things that are simply not appropriate. But I would never “force” my child into doing things that I prefer instead of what they would choose.

Yes, of course I’ll show off the old-style games. I’ll also help him or her check out the latest MMORPG or FPS (at the right age) if that’s what they’re into. Heck… maybe the kid won’t be into games at all. Instead — Lord help me — my child could be a huge sports fanatic like my Dad and brothers. Maybe s/he will prefer to play instruments, or plant a garden with Mommy or want to cure cancer.

Whatever our child is interested in — be it games or sports or music — we will do our level best to nurture that passion and help it to grow.

What about all of you? How would you answer this question?

What Type of Games Should Kids Learn to Play?

How Do You Deal with Anger?

SnackPack asked:

How do you deal with anger? Is there anything in particular you do — or anything you know to not do?

We all tend to get angry at times, some of us more so than others. Knowing how to cool down and manage these emotions is critical to relationships with others and how you perceive yourself, even. Anger that is uncontrolled can turn very physically dangerous.

For me, I am lucky; when I lose my cool, I’m able to get over it quickly. Sure, I’ve been known to rant — y’all have seen video evidence of that. But that’s just it… I rant. I don’t direct my anger at anyone. I simply spout off about whatever it is I’m pissed about in a healthy way and then get over it. I don’t let it get to me, you know?

I’ve also been known to walk away. That helps me detach from whatever the situation may be, think about it rationally and calm down so that I am able to go back and deal with things. Sometimes, you just have to back the hell off before you say or do things you may later regret, or which may seriously hurt someone.

What about all of you? What do you do to calm down? Beat up a pillow? Throw wet noodles at a wall? Stick pins in a doll?

How Do You Deal with Anger?

What Do You Use the Internet For?

GadgetSuperHero asked:

What do you use the Internet for?

At first, I wasn’t going to answer this one. My initial reaction was that the answer should be obvious. However, I realize that there’s far more I do online than what all of you see. I’m sure that’s how you are, as well.

Obviously, I use the Internet to work. I stream live to video twice per day on weekdays, write blog posts, post to social media, answer emails and upload the vlogs. That’s definitely far from the sum total of what I “do” when online.

I listen to music through streaming services. I catch up on television shows the same way. I handle many of our household bills and finances online. I do research for shows and posts online. I shop. I read. I learn.

When you stop to think about it, we do so many different things online every single day that it would be hard – if not impossible – to go without it. Yes, impossible… because we rely so heavily on the Internet to get things done, we’d be at a complete loss/standstill if that connection were suddenly taken away.

What about you? What do YOU do online?

Image credit to Rodney Pike!

What Do You Use the Internet For?

Is Online Education Any Good?

Madison is curious about her education options:

Are online classes and degrees just as good as a traditional classroom setting?

It really depends on the school and the person. There are many excellent online programs from reputable schools. When looking for one, do your research and be sure they’re accredited and have good feedback from others.

As far as you – there are many people who have thrived in online classes. You have to be intelligent, of course, and easily able to grasp the content without the benefit of one-on-one instruction.

You also have to be highly disciplined in order to make yourself study and complete assignments when you should. With online classes, students have a lot of temptation to blow off what they should be doing for classwork to do any number of other things, either around the house or out in the world.

Make a decision as to whether you feel YOU are prepared for the challenges of online classes. If you are convinced you are, then look for a reputable school that has the program you’re looking for. Good luck!

Is Online Education Any Good?

What is the Difference Between a Fanboy and a Follower?

Interesting question, MogStayshuns!

What, in your opinion, is the difference between a fanboy and a follower? What makes someone a fanboy (the type with negative connotations)?

You DO realize that I could drone on about this all day, right? This blog post would end up being far too long to then be classified as a “quick answer” post! I’ll do my best to keep this short and sweet, okay?

A fanboy – the type you mention that has negative connotations – we all know what that means without me having to define it. They drive us all nuts and make us want to scream or punch things. It’s annoying as hell to deal with people like this, for sure.

However…

I have to admit that having fanboys is also an ego-booster. Think about it: someone thinks highly enough of you to want to copy what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, where you’re doing it and even the environment you’re doing it in (copying my workshop). Of course they aren’t going to do it exactly the same as I do – they aren’t me! But that doesn’t mean it isn’t flattering to me to recognize that I have had that much impact on someone. I know that many of my peers in the tech and social space feel the same way, also.

A follower – well, why do I really need to define this difference? It’s obvious you already know what it is due to the way you worded your question. Perhaps you wanted to ask me if fanboys are bad or good? I’m not exactly clear.

A fanboy is someone who takes their following of a person, product or company to an extreme. They will often try to imitate the person, or only buy products from a particular company – even if it’s not the best choice for their needs.

Does that clear things up a little?

What is the Difference Between a Fanboy and a Follower?

Is Social Media Good or Bad?

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 each other down. It takes ten seconds to type out a Tweet or Wall post – and a lifetime to erase the pain that your words could cause. Think before you post. Stop hiding behind a keyboard and take ONE moment to decide if you are one of those contributing to the ball of antipathy surrounding our lives. If so – do the rest of us a favor and just knock it off already.

Is Social Media Good or Bad?

What Keeps You Going to Work?

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 each and every day?

What Keeps You Going to Work?

Is Google Plus Dying?

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).

Is Google Plus Dying?

How Does Technology Help You Be a Better Parent?

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?

How Does Technology Help You Be a Better Parent?

Why Does it Take Apple so Long to Approve an App?

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.

Why Does it Take Apple so Long to Approve an App?

What Should a New Blogger Write?

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.

What Should a New Blogger Write?