Category Archives: Social Media

An Obituary for an Old Friend

I didn’t have a photo ready for today so I thought I would offer this instead.

This piece has been around for over 10 years but with the silliness absurdity of the current political season, it seems worth taking off the shelf again.

The Death of Common Sense
Lori Borgman | Sunday, March 15, 1998

Three yards of black fabric enshroud my computer terminal. I am mourning the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense. His obituary reads as follows: Common Sense, aka C.S., lived a long life, but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was, his birth records were long ago entangled in miles and miles of bureaucratic red tape. Known affectionately to close friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, he selflessly devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals and offices, helping folks get jobs done without a lot of fanfare, whooping and hollering.

Rules and regulations and petty, frivolous lawsuits held no power over C.S. A most reliable sage, he was credited with cultivating the ability to know when to come in out of the rain, the discovery that the early bird gets the worm and how to take the bitter with the sweet.

C.S. also developed sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adult is in charge, not the kid) and prudent dietary plans (offset eggs and bacon with a little fiber and orange juice).

A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, the Technological Revolution and the Smoking Crusades, C.S. survived sundry cultural and educational trends including disco, the men’s movement, body piercing, whole language and new math. C.S.’s health began declining in the late 1960s when he became infected with the If-It-Feels-Good, Do-It virus.

In the following decades, his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal and state rules and regulations and an oppressive tax code. C.S. was sapped of strength and the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, criminals received better treatment than victims and judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional baseball and golf.

His deterioration accelerated as schools implemented zero-tolerance policies. Reports of 6-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing classmates, a teen suspended for taking a swig of Scope mouthwash after lunch, girls suspended for possessing Midol and an honor student expelled for having a table knife in her school lunch were more than his heart could endure.

As the end neared, doctors say C.S. drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding regulations on low-flow toilets and mandatory air bags. Finally, upon hearing about a government plan to ban inhalers from 14 million asthmatics due to a trace of a pollutant that may be harmful to the environment, C.S. breathed his last.

Services will be at Whispering Pines Cemetery. C.S. was preceded in death by his wife, Discretion; one daughter, Responsibility; and one son, Reason. He is survived by two step-brothers, Half-Wit and Dim-Wit.

Memorial Contributions may be sent to the Institute for Rational Thought. Farewell, Common Sense. May you rest in peace.

Social ME-dia and Me

Or why lately I might seem ubiquitous, redundant, or even a social butterfly

I got into Google Plus just at the end of the “1st generation” through an Invitation from a friend. It looked interesting so I thought I’d give it a try as I use practically every other Google product already.

Unlike Facebook (of which I have been an ‘on again-off again’ user, G+ allows me to focus on just those contacts who share a common interest, in my case — photography. I currently  have about 1200 contacts in my Photography circle. There are about 1700 people who have me in their circles but I don’t know in which circles they have put me. I suspect most of them have me in ‘photography’ and I know those in my circles have a photography interest because I review each profile before I ‘add’ them. Others are ignored.

The primary draw of G+ for me is that I receive a steady stream of photos and images from great photographers all over the world operating in all genres. Many celebrity photographers use G+ extensively and there are always tips, tutorials, live discussions, etc coming across my monitor. One problem is that it REALLY IS a steady stream and it comes so fast that it’s hard to keep up with everything. Fortunately, its very easy to search for favorite subject matters or authors.

Recently I had a few images purchased so I began to think about how I could get more exposure. I reorganized my SmugMug site (where I keep my portfolio) and pointed this blog to it for purchases. After seeing the new Timeline feature on Facebook, I decided to reactivate my account there because it’s still the largest social media site out there.

I’m freshening my Flickr site because most people think of it when they think ‘photos’. So then I said ‘what the hell, let’s take a look at Twitter’. I’m still working my way through how that will work for me. More on that another day.

Back to SmugMug for a moment. It’s great place to host portfolios and handle the commerce involved with ordering, printing and delivering images. And the Communities there are a great place to share photos with like minded people, especially the Daily Photo group.

So after awhile I started getting confused about all the ‘social media’ and why I should use one over another or when to use one for what. I came across this ‘explanation’ on the web so I thought I’d pass it along for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet 😉

OK, so back to Google+. It can be anything you want it to be depending on how you structure and use it. You can leap right in if you want but it can be less frustrating if you take the time to familiarize yourself with all the features first.  And that’s beyond my ability to explain in a post like this and besides there are numerous well written articles available on the subject. One of them can be found here: 6 Steps to Getting Started With Google+ at the ‘Social Media Examiner’.

So, I’m out there on the web. But if you search for ‘John Roberts’, you’ll find a Supreme Court justice, a news journalist, a comedian, a drummer and several photographers. Hmm, maybe I should change my name to …