Understanding the Size, Scale and Growth of the Internet

Trying to understanding the size, scale and growth of the Internet? Watch this video by from Jesse Thomas on Vimeo.

A Year for Resolutions…

There is something about a New Year. Something fresh, a starting point. Something that makes us want to get rid of the old and bring on the new.  Something magical that happens the second the bell tolls midnight and the fall of the crystal ball brings on the New Year.

So what are your plans for the New Year?  What are your resolutions? What do you plan to leave behind?

Read more? Lose weight? Watch less TV? Eat the right foods? Get organized? The list goes on…

Every year I struggle a little with resolutions. Not because I can’t figure out some good ones that will apply but because within a few weeks or months it seems I have forgotten all of them. So this year is going to be different. Nope, no resolutions. Just a few things I need to resolve and here is my list;

  • be better at following the “Golden Rule”
  • embrace changes in my life (like kids getting married)
  • work hard at being a better person
  • help others succeed
  • re-invent myself once again with my new businesses
  • get a better haircut (LOL…but true)
  • be a better Leader
  • do the right things not just doing things right

Yup, nothing about food, weight, TV, exercise or organization. This year is about resolving things and when 2011 comes around, I want to honestly say, “I left the world a better place in some way last year.”

That will do.

A Video I Just Had to Post

Although not a huge fan, I have always liked the unique sound of Tom Waits. I stumbled across this video today and had to post it… Enjoy.

Build the Church is a Finalist for the Podsafe Music Award from Podcast Awards!!

Build the Church has been selected as a national finalist in the Podsafe Music Award category from PodCast Awards   http://www.podcastawards.com . Voting starts November 13 at the PodCast Awards website. Since the finalists are based on listener nominations and a quality review process I want to thank you for your nominations and recommendations and I hope you get the chance to vote for Build the Church once the voting begins (don’t worry, I will try to remind everyone…) Considering many of the nominees from various categories are podcasts from national syndicated networks and shows such ESPN, Fox News, NPR, Real Time with Bill Maher and the Rick Steves Show (just to mention a few); I am humbled and honored by your nominations and support.

Thanks again for everything,

Go to http://www.podcastawards.com starting November 13th to vote!

Below is the video announcing the finalists.

Remember When…

A post on a friends blog spurred a chain of thoughts which lead to a little reminiscing which lead to this post…

  • Remember when Twitter had no spammers, no MLMarketers, no DM’s offering free e-books on how to make a fortune?
  • Remember when you had to be in college to use Facebook?
  • Remember when Adam Curry did a “daily” Daily Source Code?
  • Remember when everyone was saying, “Have you heard about this thing called PodCamp?”
  • Remember when the hottest new marketing thing in the world was a place called Second Life?
  • Remember when Google Feedburner was called Feedburner but before was called Burning Door?
  • Remember when the term social media meant nothing?
  • Remember the world before YouTube?
  • Remember when you had to explain to everyone what a podcast is, what a blog is?
  • Remember when iTunes opened up to podcasts?
  • Remember when Mevio was called Podshow and Mevio Music Alley was called the Podsafe Music Network?
  • Remember when the Podcast Expo became the Portable Media Expo which became the New Media Expo and now the Blog World and New Media Expo?
  • Remember when no one, I mean no one used FriendFeed?
  • Remember “Pownce?”
  • Remember when the official name for a blog was “weblog?”
  • Remember when Google launched adsense? or when people would ask, what’s a Google?
  • Remember when reading your favorite blogs became easier with the creation of news feed technology, called RSS, by Dave Winer?

I could go on and on and on…I would love to hear some of your “remember whens.”

When the Community Turns On You

One wonders if there is justice in the world? In our society when someone feels they have been wronged there are laws to protect them. If the act is bad enough, someone goes to jail, if not…they just get sued. It is the “get sued” part where the cross hairs live for often a person may be unjustly sued (whether true or not) or in the opinion of a community unjustly sued (whether true or not.)

Earlier today Chicago Now reported that a tenant of Horizon Realty was sued for a “tweet” they sent regarding the place they lived. If you are bored and want to read the complaint, here it is;  Twitter lawsuit.pdf.  A woman with less than 20 followers on Twitter complained about mold in her apartment to a friend, so Horizon Realty sued her for $50,000 in damages.

Lawsuit Twitter

The purpose of this post is not to agree or disagree with the lawsuit, but rather to point out when the online community turns on someone/something because they see injustice…the results can snowball. I mean snowball in a big way. One of the top tweet topics today are commentary from literally thousands of Twitter users spreading the word about the injustice they perceive.

Business can learn a big big lesson here.

Seek to resolve before you pull out the big guns. The lawsuit and report of the lawsuit has created a huge PR problem for this company. In a world where information is in real time one would think companies would adjust their actions to take the every changing world into account. Once the mob turns against you the damage is irreversable and the public relations nightmare just grows bigger and bigger.

What would I do? I would withdraw the lawsuit, address the issue, work towards a productive resolution for all parties and if at fault, I would stand up and let the community know I made a mistake and I am sorry.

Will this happen, only time will tell…but till then you can read the Twitter communtiy tweets about it here.

Twitter Search Horizon

Take Time to “Wave” at the Future

The Future

Yesterday I had the chance to watch a video produced by Google from a conference they held a couple days ago. The video was about a new communications/collaboration tool under development planned to roll out later this year. The name of the product is “Wave.” Granted the video is 80 minutes long featuring the development team that is creating Wave (the same brothers that brought us Google Maps) and all I can say after watching the video is…wow!

For a moment think of email, document sharing, mapping, texting, IM’s, picture sharing and more all built into one tool that delivers information instantly along with needed levels of security, accountability and functionality. Imagine a tool where client side applications can be added into the product to produce instant language transalation, polls and more. Then, on top of all that, imagine the addition of gadgets to add untold functionality to your communication. Then finally, it is open source. Which we know means third parties can produce applications for Wave that will give it even more powerful functions.

Once the video started I was quickly captivated by the demonstration of the product under development and instantly could see how it will change everything. I mean everything, email, sharing documents, project management, feedback & comments, instant messages and collaboration. If you don’t believe me, take the time to watch the video below. Then when you are done, wave hello to the future.

If you want to get in early on Wave, go here to sign up. http://wave.google.com/

How Do You Want to be Remembered?

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

With the passing of popular 70’s starlet & Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett, and sudden death of  Michael Jackson, it is interesting to read, watch and listen to reactions. Both of these popular icons lives were filled with incredible success and tragedy. Farrah’s publicized fight with cancer and MJ’s legal and personal problems marked the end of two incredible journeys. Both passed the same day. But, how will they be remembered?  Will Farrah be remembered for her famous haircut and poster or for her amazing fight with cancer?  Will MJ be remembered as a boy star then the King of Pop or for his troubling legal battles?

How do you want to be remembered?

A couple of years ago, I attended a funeral of a simple man. He worked in a grocery store all of his life. He started out as a bag boy and over his career he advanced into management of the location. It and of itself, that part of the story is not extraordinary. But here is the rest of the story. For his entire work life at the grocery story, this simple man was determined to help people, give everyone a pleasant smile, thank them for shopping and made all of the customers he encountered feel welcome. Over the years he developed real relationships with his customers, knew them by name and did everything he could do to give a great shopping experience at this local grocery store.  One day, after a long battle with cancer the man’s life ended. I had the opportunity to attend this man’s funeral. I was amazed to find that at the funeral for this simple man gathered over 1500 people to pay their respects. Not just family, friends and friends of family but hundreds of customers and people this man had helped, smiled and been kind to over the years.

The deaths of two famous people yesterday caused me to pause and remember this humble man’s funeral. No, he was not a movie star a pop star or a cultural phenomena. He was a good decent man who in his small world made a difference and effected people in a positive way. In allot of ways, this man was just as successful as the stars that passed yesterday.

It is interesting how we reflect at times like these on how others will remember us after we leave this life. The equation seems to be very simple. The quality of how you are remembered is the direct effect on what you do during your life and how you impact the people you deal with. If your impact is negative, sad as it seems, I believe you will be remembered that way. If your impact is positive, again I believe you will be remembered that way. Please take note I said nothing about the size and scope of your impact. You can be remembered just a fondly as the before mentioned man and have only a handful pay their respects.

So let’s all do something, if only for a little while…Let’s treat others as we would like to be treated. Go out of your way today to be helpful. Show courtesy to everyone you contact and give them a smile.

You never know, if you always do this till the day you pass you just might be remembered as someone who really made a difference.

Salute to Our Armed Forces

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Everyone

As we celebrate our long weekend, let’s not forget our troops.

Dodged a Facebook Hack Bullet…but Just Barely

Ok I have to admit something. Yesterday, I almost fell for a hacker’s scam. Don’t get me wrong, I am at the front of the class when it comes to firewall protection and virus-spam-phishing-malware protection. But still, yesterday…I was so so close to getting bit.

Hackers launched an attack on Facebook yesterday and upon the 200 million users therein. The purpose of the attack was to gather passwords. Many speculated the hope of the hackers was identity theft and to solicit fake products to Facebook users.  Considering if Facebook was a country, its 200 million users would make it the 5th largest nation on the planet, I am not surprised the site’s users face these issues from time to time.

Below is a cropped screen shot of a message within my Facebook Inbox, the names and pics have been covered <so someone out there can breath a sigh of relief  :) >.  The message was sent to a large number of people and Heading was a simple “Hello.”  The message contained a request to check out an obscurely named website and upon clicking the link one was sent to what appeared to be the Facebook log-in page. Sadly it was not the log-in page but the phisher’s site and here is where passwords and information were gathered.  The attack looked like this in my Inbox;

Facebook Hack

As you can see, many commented on the thread as they attempted to reach the hack site. It appears that everyone in this thread clicked after Facebook cleaned up the mess.

Here is what Ryan McGeehan (of Facebook) had to say on the Facebook blog;

When the latest phishing incident surfaced on Wednesday, we quickly blocked the fake links from being shared on Facebook to stop their spread. We’ve been removing these links from Walls and Inboxes across the site and resetting passwords for any of the compromised accounts we detect. This foils the bad guys, because the login information they collect will no longer work.

Now here is my confession. I had a busy day but noticed several comments to a Facebook Inbox message being dropped into my email. Last night I looked at the message thread and considered clicking the link…but it was late and I did not. This morning, I became aware of the hack and realized how close I was to being a victim. So what does one do? This message was from a trusted source and the sending of links on social networks is very very common? Although not full proof, here are a few simple guidelines to help you stay safe;

  • change your passwords often
  • never open an email/message from someone you do not know
  • always keep your virus-malware-phishing-spam software up-to-date
  • turn your firewall on
  • back up your data frequently
  • update your operating system as asked
  • and finally, when in doubt…check it out (ask the source if they sent the email)

My guess is that everyone reading this post knows what to do to protect themselves. You are probably doing what you need to do, I was and still…I almost clicked the link. I guess the one piece we cannot forget is awareness. We get busy, we are busy, we will be busy…and the result is a drop in awareness. That is what happened to me so please, try not to let it happen to you.

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