Tag Archives: Technology

How to Buy a Home Using Technology


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Can new media help the real estate industry? Years ago, you used to be able to place an ad in the paper and receive almost guaranteed results. At the time, that’s where people’s eyes were. Now, potential home buyers are spending their time on social networks like Facebook and Twitter instead of reading the local newspaper. It’s for this reason that companies like Century 21 have expanded their public reach in to the realm of new media.

Just like many of you out there, I happen to own a house. While visiting BlogWorld, I noticed a booth from a real estate company. That shocked me, since this venue is not normally a place you’d see this type of business having a booth at.

Century 21 is still a real estate company, yes. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is the way they talk to consumers. By visiting conferences such as BlogWorld, Century 21 and other businesses are able to connect with people face-to-face in a relaxed atmosphere in ways they couldn’t otherwise.

This is a much different type of scale for the companies. Part of the effort is to let people know of all of the social media properties out there, so that they can get involved with the brand.

When I bought my first house back in the late 90s, it was so difficult to find information online. Blogging as it is now didn’t really exist. Forget “social media” as you use it today. None of that was around. I wanted to do things though when researching that the Internet simply wasn’t ready to do.

The second time I bought a home a few years ago, I was able to learn everything I could possibly want – and then some – just by logging in to my computer. I found blogs and podcasts and tools and ways to connect with my realtor, my company and my own mind.

I’ve always trusted technology to help me make decisions. Talking with Matt from Century 21 helped me realize exactly how much more my beloved tech is being ingrained into every aspect of our lives.

This video was filmed during a live broadcast from the BlogWorld & New Media EXPO 2011 in New York.

Thoughts on the Future of Technology from ceBIT

Say What attended ceBIT last weekend where I was a keynote speaker. I took a few moments to talk with him about my thoughts on the conference, the iPad 2, Skype and FaceTime.

While the conference has gotten a bit smaller over the years (as with other trade shows), I definitely was surprised to see just how big ceBIT was. In my mind, it saw more attendees than even CES did this year. I hate seeing the decline: trade shows are really the only way you can get out there to see the new products and meet the people and teams behind them. You simply cannot make that same connection through a web page or social media account.

I have to say that the coolest things I saw at the conference dealt with assistive devices, such as the intendiX. I’ve long said that technology is becoming more pervasive rather than invasive. That has never been more apparent than it was during my time in Germany.

Some of the things I witnessed while I was here blew my mind. These types of advancements were things we only dreamed of less than ten years ago. Technology is transforming the human experience. I may be able to walk, talk and see but not everyone can do those things. The technologies of today are making it so that everyone is on a level playing field. It’s bridging the gap between those who already could – and those who were waiting for that little bit of help to be able to.

I believe the best and most important tech advances come from simple hacks. Take the Kinect: we’d have never had something of this magnitude if it weren’t for hackers who were tinkering and making gadgets do what they weren’t designed to do out of the box. Geeks see promise in something and take those idea to bring something else. Inspiration leads to inspiration.

The seemingly silly gadgets and gizmos inspire someone to create something better. By seeing what’s already out there, you can then gain a better understanding of where the industry is going. It gives you perspective. Never forget to look beyond yourself and your ego-centric view to the larger picture.

After discussing the conference in depth, we laughed over the fact that I stayed up far too late in order to watch the iPad 2 announcement. I’ve already given my initial thoughts about the device in another video. I will remind you that it’s not about the apps or the hardware: it’s about the experience.

Talking about the camera being integrated led to us bringing FaceTime into the mix. I predict that within a year, we will see Apple shipping a FaceTime application for Windows. Skype sucks in my opinion… FaceTime is where it’s at. It’s video calling done right. Apple has made it simple, clean and easy. That combination makes it appealing to users on all operating system.

What are your thoughts on ceBIT if you were there – or any of the trade shows you may have attended recently? Which technologies really stood out to you?

New Technology in 2011

It seems as though each year, we see some new breakthrough in the world of technology. Products are better than we thought they could be. Upgrades are churned out at an almost alarming rate. Companies are competing in the “race” of their life – to attempt to capture the attention of the buying public. What do you think is next on the horizon? What new – and amazing – things might we see in 2011?

Keep in mind that “new technology” doesn’t only refer to the hottest and shiniest new gadget on the market, folks. Something as simple as a better lightbulb is new tech – and sometimes even more important than that phone you cannot leave home without. What things do you think we may just see in the coming year that could change our lives?

Don’t forget to stop by our software center to see what’s new today!

How Has Technology Changed Your Life?


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There’s no denying that technology has made our lives easier in many respects. Over the past 20 years we have seen amazing accomplishments.

As an article on The Consumerist recently mentioned, back in 1990 mobile phones were the size of toddlers, we struggled with programming our VCR and bills were paid by check… in the mail.

We are all grateful for technology simply because it means that Lamarr is no longer a Chippendale’s dancer. Seriously, people. Doesn’t that thought scare you!? (Just kidding, Lamarr! Mostly!)

It’s mind boggling when you think of all of the ways technology has changed and enhanced your life. From the important things such as mobile computing to little things like being able to DVR all of your shows… our lives are far different than they were twenty (or even ten!) years ago.

What tech advancements have made YOUR life easier?

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Family Technology Trends


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The family that gets geeky together stays together. That’s how the saying goes, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter, I suppose. I happen to know that it’s very true.

My parents – Joe and Judy Pirillo – and my brother Adam were all here to help with the Gnomedex conference. While hanging around at the house late one night after the event had ended for the day, I noticed that everyone was playing with some type of gadget.

Here you see Dad shooting things on the iPad while Mom is griping at a game on her iPod Touch. Adam, of course, couldn’t resist stepping in to help Dad get his game on.

Does your family get geeky together?

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Are You a Speed Demon?

YamazaruNinja asked the Lockergnome community whether we tend to tend to speed when driving down an open stretch of highway. I like to think that I never do this – thanks to Cruise Control. I admit that back in the day before I had such a luxury on my cars, I always ended up going too fast at times. I think everyone I know had this problem at some point. You’re cruising along and totally lose track of how fast you’re going. After all… it doesn’t FEEL like you’re speeding, right? You don’t even realize it until it’s too late sometimes.

This is just another small way in which technology advancements have enriched our lives. In the grand scheme of things, perhaps something such as Cruise Control isn’t such a big deal. When you realize that it could save lives by helping us to slow down, it puts it in a whole new perspective.

So how about it? Do you tend to speed when you’re out on the highway, or do you pay attention and drive within the speed limit?

Take your time looking around our software center. There’s no reason to hurry through finding the best software deals we can possibly find.

What is Your Favorite Quote?

TechJohnson asked the Lockergnome users to post their favorite inspirational quotes. I noticed that my assistant Kat had posted a few of her favorites, and some of them really hit home. One in particular resonates due to the fact that it’s how I try to live my life: Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

This quote is useful in nearly every aspect of life – even those pesky fanboy haters. Can you imagine where I would be right now if I let the fear of striking out keep me from playing the game at all? Can you imagine where you would be in your life and career if you were too afraid to take risks and put yourself out there?

It’s not always easy to set our fear aside and keep on keepin’ on. Determination to put one foot in front of another and continue building upon what you started is what helps to enrich our lives.

What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

You have nothing to fear when you check out the latest software and apps we have gathered together.

Top $10 Tech

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gillette. All opinions are 100% mine with my standard disclosure.

I'm a Gillette Pro

We take technology for granted on a daily basis. Most people equate the word technology with computer-related items despite the fact that by definition it extends far beyond that scope. Technology encompasses any inventions, gadgets, doohickies, appliances, doodads, thingamabobs, whatchamacallits, and gizmos that we use in our homes each day. They’re the little things that we have lying around, grabbing to use without even really thinking about. We know they’re there yet we don’t stop to realize how much easier our lives are for having them.

I took a tour of my house and opened my eyes to inexpensive (under ten dollars) tech gems that I take for granted, and was shocked to see how many there were. Here are just a few.

  • Batteries – Can you imagine a world without batteries? Take a glance around you right now and count how many items you see that need a battery to make them work properly. When I did this myself, I was astounded at how many there were. Imagine coming up with alternatives for all of the battery-operated things you use regularly. How much time and effort do you save by having these objects? Before the invention of batteries, we had to power our gadgets with the help of tiny dinosaurs on treadmills, and this could get quite messy after a long day.
  • Toothbrush – Yes, a toothbrush is a type of technology, and one we definitely don’t stop to think about. We simply use it – day in, and day out. Prior to an actual toothbrush being invented, our ancestors likely used their finger or a leaf to clean off their teeth IF they even thought to clean them at all. Imagine how gross you would feel – and look – if you never used one of these simple little pieces of tech. When your teeth feel like they’re wearing sweaters, it’s time to get scrubbing!
  • Earbuds – The next time you’re out in public walking around, make a conscious effort to notice how many people have earbuds sitting in their ears. Thousands of people use these on a regular basis while walking, cooking, cleaning, exercising, sitting on an airplane, or during their commute. We listen to music and podcasts, catch up on the news or our favorite shows, and generally tune out the rest of the world for those few stolen moments of solitude. Even if you’ve got nothing to plug them into, they’re nice for avoiding conversation with street corner tuba buskers and one-eyed spare change hustlers.
  • Gillette Fusion ProGlide – For men and women alike, shaving is something we do without thinking, though this hasn’t always been the case. Before the advent of the safety razor in relatively recent human history, shaving could be a quite dangerous chore that was tasked to experts. I shudder to think about how we would all look without having a simple way to shed unwanted hair -from our chins to our legs to our underarms – whatever the case may be. We want to look and feel our best, and shaving is just one of those things we do to prepare ourselves for whatever lies ahead. Until recently, I never took the time to notice how invaluable my razor is. On the other hand, think of all the gadgets I could have at the ready if I grew a gnarly gnome beard to keep them in!
  • Electric Can Opener – If you cook, you know exactly why this made my list of items. You’re busy whipping up a pot of your famous chili and have to spend fifteen minutes opening several cans of beans, tomatoes, and sauces. With one of these shiny little pieces of technology, that time is cut to just a moment or two. I am convinced it also saves me from having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my wrists. I’d make sure to rinse it between peeling open cans of dog food and peaches, though. Just saying.
  • Alarm Clock – It doesn’t matter if you use a traditional alarm clock, your cell phone, or your computer. You still likely use an alarm to wake yourself up at a certain time. Can you even imagine what time people would stumble into work or school each day if we didn’t have some type of alarm clock in our bedrooms? Very few of us have our bodies programmed to wake up automatically. I’d definitely never make it on time to morning appointments without one of these. The rooster I was using annoyed the neighbors, so I made them a nice chicken dinner as a peace offering.
  • Thermometer – If you’re a parent, you are already grateful beyond belief for these tiny little pieces of tech goodness. You can easily tell when your child has a fever. It’s not so easy to tell with the touch of a hand exactly how high that temperature may be. A kiss to the forehead may tell you that the person needs a dose of Tylenol, but it won’t tell you if they may need other medical intervention. Even as an adult, one of the first things a doctor will ask when you call them is how high your fever is running. Without the aid of a thermometer, you cannot begin to give them an accurate answer. Resist the urge to tell your doctor where he/she can stick that damned thermometer, anyway.

When one remembers that technology doesn’t only encompass things you’d find in your office, it’s easy to appreciate the things around us that we use on a daily basis. Each of the items I listed make life a little easier for us. Isn’t that what technology advancements are all about?

What inexpensive pieces of technology lying around your house do you use regularly without thinking about them? Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…

You're Invited to the Gnomedex Conference


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Most tech conferences would charge you thousands of dollars for the privilege of being inspired. Gnomedex, however, does not! It delivers more bang for your buck, as it has been for the past ten years. This year, the 10th Gnomedex will be happening from August 19 – 21 in Seattle. Will you be joining us?

We don’t know what is going to happen with the Gnomedex brand going forward. We have a lot of ideas, though. I’ve been talking with potential partners, and am looking for potential partners who may want to help evolve the idea of Gnomedex in years to come… not just in Seattle, but possibly elsewhere, as well.

Gnomedex is a confluence of influence – a tapestry of Human Circuitry. We’re surrounded by technology, but it’s becoming increasingly pervasive. We’re surrounded by stories and discussions that usually get glossed over online. Gnomedex is an experience. That is what past attendees will tell you.

We attract hard-core Geeks who love technology and want to meet influencers. We attract influencers themselves. Heck, we even attract the people who don’t realize they’re influencers. We find them before they are influencers of anything – or anyone.

We Geek out over a few days’ time and enjoy ourselves. We relax and open our minds to new experiences, stories and connections.

One of our partners for the past several years has been Eventbrite. They handle registration for us, and have been a boatload of help during past events. This year, they are offering to help drive more traffic towards the conference, in honor of our tenth anniversary. They asked me a series of questions to help them get a better feel for what we do, and I decided to answer them in a video.

  • What IS Gnomedex? – It’s typically a “tech conference,” but really it’s so much more than that. It’s an opportunity for you to explore a side of yourself you may not otherwise have a chance to. You realize you identify with this Geek spirit. Imagine being around more than 300 other people, and being who you really are. You’ll talk about issues that are on the forefront of our industry. We push the envelope, and even predict trends. Back in 2001, we talked of blogs and RSS – long before anyone knew what they were. It boils down to the experiences people have and the energies they take with them back to wherever they came from.
  • How has Gnomedex evolved in the past ten years? – The ethos was still the same in the beginning: treat everyone like a VIP, connect with one another and offer a single-track event. It has evolved to better facilitate the communication online. We’re live streaming the entire conference. We have a much better venue than in past years. You get an awful lot of awesome things for the low cost of $300.00 that we are charging this year. For a 2 1/2 day conference packed full of opportunities, that’s not a lot of money folks.
  • What sets Gnomedex apart from other events? – People come to Gnomedex because they truly WANT to be there. They aren’t made to go. With a lot of industry events, people are sent by their bosses and managers. They feel that they “have” to have a presence there. With our conference, we just don’t get that crowd. Everyone attends because they truly want to experience what it is we’re doing.
  • How do you think the structure of the event serves your goals? That’s something organizers often struggle with. – I’ve seen organizers have seventeen different tracks with thousands of people pouring in. I’m not down with that. I’d rather make 300 people happy than 3000 miserable. In the past, we’ve had people equate what we do with very large conferences and brands, saying that we have done the same thing for a fraction of the cost. I value those connections. I AM about those connections, so that is what I value most. I keep it as small and manageable as I can. That’s centric to community, which is the core component of everything I do.
  • How did you choose and secure the venue? How will the space be set up? – I’m in the process of negotiating the venue for this year. We’ve used it for the past few years. I have no desire to change things, but we’re working out the cost this year. Bell Harbor is an amazing place, and very comfortable. It’s beautiful there, the location is fantastic and everyone leaves happy. They provide awesome food, snacks and drinks all day long. The seating is comfy. There is plenty of room at the tables. Each person has power strips right at their seat and kick-ass Wi-Fi to use.
  • What is your approach to using social media for the event – before, during and after? – I’ve been using various social media outlets for Gnomedex pretty much since the beginning. Our attendees own and create the event. All we do is set the stage. I encourage people to record things, tweet about things and blog about their experiences. It’s always worked out well. Before the event, our volunteers help spread the word as much as anyone. They are excited to be a part of organizing the event and they show it in their conversations online.

I’d love to do other types of events around the Gnomedex brand. It would be amazing to do one for kids and teens, with speakers and presentations geared specifically towards them. This may very well be the last Gnomedex as you know it now – it depends on the partners we get in the future, and the direction they want to take.

If you want a free event, attend a free event. If you want to be treated like cattle, don’t bother to attend Gnomedex. EVERYONE at Gnomedex is treated like a VIP, whether they are a volunteer, an attendee or a presenter.

We have some amazing speakers and experiences lined up already this year. I promise… you will have an amazing time if you join us this year.

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Tech Questions and Answers


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After we did another round of live phone calls, I decided to place Pixie on my lap and answer a few of your burning questions (at least, those being posted in the open chat room at the time). Mind you, only the questions were burning; I couldn’t answer questions related to burning sensations.

And to anybody who thinks I was a bit short with my answers – that was intentional. They were scrolling by so fast, I wanted to get to as many as I could. Plus, so many of the questions were impossibly general (answered before several times over in the hour preceding).

If you ask a “what is better” question in our live chat room, you’ll see one of the bots answer you with: “Chris recommends you use what you want to use, download what you want to download, try what you want to try, buy what you want to buy. These choices are all personal in nature, so it’s always difficult to answer the question of “which is better” (so don’t be surprised if Chris doesn’t answer your impossible question).”

Imagine being asked the same question every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year – then imagine how you would answer it for the 1,000,000th time. Imagine that.

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