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Happy new year to one and all, and a happy 80th birthday to my nan

Happy new year...

to all my readers, family, friends and strangers!

Hoping 2010 (twenty ten) is a great year for you all, remembering also those lost in 2009.

Happy new decade!

So what a decade that was, the relentless speed and growth of technology in our lives has made the "00's" and astonishing decade, a decade that changed so much, a decade that also gave a voice to everyone, a voice that will be heard.

Most of the real change in my lifetime has come in the last decade, as a 70's child (71) who started with a black and white tv, then when we could a colour, along came the artari game console and started the whole ride off.

Look at them now, and tv's too, which are no fatter than the war and peace book!

It really does seem astonishing what the last decade has given us in terms of technology changes.

Today's youngsters are so unaware of the impact, seeing as they are growing up with it all around them, they would find it hard to image the world without mobile phones!

What does the next decade have in store for us?

Whatever it is, we would be guessing wrong whatever we guessed, no doubt!

Exciting times ahead in that respect.

Last but NOT least...

Happy 80th birthday to my fantastic nan.

One in a million, no doubt about that, hoping nan is having a great time in the USA for her birthday and new year.

Love you always nan. x

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Merry Christmas to one and all.

Hoping everyone has a great day, time with loved ones, friends, time to be cherished.

The very best of luck in everything you do throughout 2010.


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Facebook screwed up, what they SHOULD have done...

I've been a bit off with a cold the last week or so, although having stayed in the loop I think it's been an interesting week or so with several things happening that caught my eye, mainly though was the stupid changes with privacy on Facebook, we should all call it faceache, that's certainly what it gives us.

No doubt millions of eyebrows went up when they realised what had happened.

I wasn't going to post about it, mainly because I shared several good links on my own facebook page for others to read, some missed it though, and some readers on here don't see my facebook page.

Then I realised I already shared what they should have done, they already had/have the right solution... they ignore what's right under their noses, I'll explain that in a minute...

On the week where that nasty scum who abused kids in a nursery then sent pics to perverts met VIA facebook I found this move very very distasteful, in fact facebook LOST trust, that trust they built up over the last few years dropped overnight.

Jason Calacanis asked a pretty strightfowrd question with...  Is Facebook being unethical, clueless or unlucky?

Before you go rushing to read that, my thoughts...

I think I tend to fall into the unethical argument, I felt it was a very sly move dressed with spin, IE they say one thing while it's actually the opposite, they say it was to give more control over privacy yet they changed it without saying so, if you think the pop up box give us a say... you will find it was already changed, they are banking on ignorance.

If it was two days between your last signing in and getting that pop up box it means your profile and it's contents were available to the search engines for those two days, enough for it all to be indexed!

In real terms facebook has been built on privacy, sharing with chosen people, family, friends co workers etc.

Most of the users are parents, family members, aunts, uncles, etc and don't mix much with "everyone" online.

Facebook's betrayal of your trust is immense... and they did it to several hundred million people!

It's like you invite your family, friends round to your home, then share your latest holiday snaps with them, after they leave and you go to bed, facebook come into your home and took the photo album outside and put it onto a magazine rack outside your  front door, that's the sight which greets you in the morning when you go to get your pint of milk from the doorstep!

A bunch of strangers and a possible pervert stood there rifling through your photos!

How would that make anyone feel?

As someone said.. they are the foxes guarding the hens!

They are indeed preying on peoples ignorance, how many of the 350 million people got confused and did nothing about it?
How many of them millions don't even realised what's been done?

Even if it was only a paltry 5%, that's a HUGE number of people.

So, why did they do all this really?

Traffic, and money, NO other reason, they wanted profiles to be indexed by search engines which would create traffic, traffic they would like to monetise because they are useless at monetising in reality, how can anyone with 350 million users struggle to monetise it??

They have had crappy apps do better at monetising then them on their own site!

Yet, it's a dilemma, they created a closed walled garden which was the main reason for that huge growth in the first place, now they realise it is also a hindrance to their own monetisation plans, so they tried to slyly trick us into it think it wouldn't kick up a stink, daft move!

So, what should they have done?

Lets look at this from their point for a second, they wanted this purely so they could expand their reach using search engines and also as a way to battle twitter, which is in my view could have happened IF they got it right.

The already have the twitter rival in Lite.

Let me explain, when I first saw lite, my immediate reaction was to think, "wow, well, if they let us have both lite and normal facebook, yet seperate them completely they could probably dent twitter in a huge way".

Not only that, a rival with an already bigger userbase than twitter! 350 million!

At the moment, every facebook user has a lite version, there is an option to make lite default but it's just that, a smaller neater version of the facebook we already use.

What's stopping them from keeping lite as a standalone platform with slight differences than the normal facebook set up?

Nothing! Less excuse now when they already have the great friendfeed team on board who know a thing or two about all this stuff.  It's all in place already!

Here's how I would set it up...

Don't copy twitter, beat them at their own game.

Keep the main facebook is it is, have the settings so we do have complete privacy control and we decide in total what gets shared and with whom, keep the friend limit as it is or lower, 5000 is too many anyway IMO.

Have lite set up with no friend limit and have it default as open, but let people have the option to deactivate it completely, if they don't want to use lite, let them choose to not use it.

Have the option to import all friends on your main facebook who use lite into your lite friend list, have the option to use the lists feature like we can on the main facebook and the option to have one list set to private... this could be the friends from your main facebook set up.

Have the option to cross post from lite to the main facebook but not the other way round.

Make lite work in real time like friendfeed does, use facebooks own fb.url shortner on lite and give us the metrics to use and work with so we can improve our lite experience as we go along.

Make lite a great addition to facebook not a small alternative.

That's what I would do. What do you think?

P.s If facebook use this, a beer or two would be nice as a thanks Mr Zuckerburg!

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Blogger made simple...for the new user

Ack.. this giving up smoking is not easy, (see last post) one thing I have to do as well as break old habits where smoking is involved is to stay busy, taking my mind off the craving is hard but has to be done.

I have had a few emails lately asking some questions I thought I'd take a chance to answer one or two here...

One of the questions I've been asked a few times is "how do I set up a blog, in simple terms" ... meaning in plain English, the one thing these people say is "what's WP, what's FTP, and where does my blog go?"

This is familiar to me, had the same thoughts years ago and know how it can all seem so confusing and techy.

One reason I suggest new bloggers start with blogger, which is far more basic and simpler to learn with than WP (wordpress), I don't care what others say about WP, there seems to be this elitist attitude with WP users and they seem to forget that WP is NOT easy to use for the completely new user. (I have had WP users say they like this WP blog...not realising it's a blogger blog! Says it all.)

I mention this to people and they say, "can you set it up and do it for me" .. for free?!

No, I can't, that doesn't put food on my plate, I don't even have time to do that for everyone even if I wanted to but I will happily help you learn it and get started, because you all know as well as I do, there is no way better to learn something than to actually go ahead and DO.

I know, if I had set it up, started it all for them, in a few days there would be other stuff they would want me doing... that is not a way to learn.

To that end I started blogger made simple for the benefit of the wannabe bloggers who had asked how to go about starting a blog for themselves, though when it comes to actually doing a blog it seems they weren't that keen, it felt like I had wasted time doing it but I know that's not strictly true as there are a few friends who have said "thanks, that helps" and they have started a blog.

Those who started are the ones who get more help, everyone helps those who help themselves.

Lets face it, the only real "work" you do is generating content, writing the post themselves, setting the blog up is done once, then it's all down to you adding content, be it writing, videos, podcast, whatever method or mix of methods you choose.

The thing to remember is once you have set one blog up, it gets easy to set up another, once you have learnt the basics you can go ahead and try WP if you feel blogger is lacking, which it does in some ways, but WP is also lacking in some ways. Half a dozen of one and 6 of the other as they say.

"But I can't write" is the next thing I hear...

Look, anyone can write, we all have a different level of writing skill but practice makes perfect as they say, it's not that they can't write, it's that they are making excuses or creating barriers before even trying.

If you really need to learn a bit of how to write well enough for a blog then grab this writing report and it WILL help you, and it's not a 3 or 4 page crappy report, more like 40, 50 pages of solid content and tips by who I would say is a great writer...put it this way he writes one of two newsletters I ALWAYS read.

That report is very low price for what you are getting, in fact in the interest of disclosure, I get the money if you buy that and that is also helping me, what's more, you can also sell that to others using your own link and get paid all the money too... the writer is more interested in building a relationship with you, via his newsletter which I always read, as I said, and am sure you will enjoy it too.

Again, if you are keen to start a blog for whatever reason, a personal one, hobby one, work one, whatever, you can follow the blogger made simple and as it's cost nothing to do, you could grab that writing report to help you get started creating decent content.

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Up in smoke, changing the habit of a lifetime

Well as you can see I have been a little absent here lately, for good reason though I may add, felt as though I was in a free fall and was unsure what would catch me, thankfully my youngest son comes to the rescue in more ways then one.

Several weeks ago, about the time of the last post here my youngest brought home something from school, then brought it here for me, something that got me thinking and taking action.

Smoking... and giving it up!

One of the main reasons I have done little recently is the fact I needed to break my habit of smoking while at my pc and forming a short habit (on way to stopping obviously) of smoking in one room in the home only, namely the kitchen.

As a non drinker smoking has always been my one and only vice, one I am determined to stop for good, I know from past attempts it's going to be really hard to do and I accept that, that is the challenge I face.

Gradually I have cut down a huge deal over the last 3 weeks to a month and I already feel a bit better for it.

The main thing that rives me is not just the fact I don't wont my sons losing a dad early, but the fact my sons support me in giving up, that support is the main motivator which has surprised me somewhat.

I do of course want to see my sons have kids and for that to happen it's important I take this shit seriously and give up.

Breaking my usual habits, where and when I do smoke is going to be the main thing to keep plugging away at.

I am on my way to being an ex smoker!

But that's not all which has changed, I've also took the opportunity to take a step back and evaluate where my life is heading and where I want it to be heading.

Detaching myself from all this "stuff" I do and looking at it objectively it really opened my eyes.

I have learnt alot about myself these last few weeks.

On the whole, I am now aiming where I want to be aiming and not where I thought I wanted to be aiming...

Nothing is set in concrete in life, we have way more power of control than we probably realise.

To that end the biggest issue I have been dealing with is my mindset, we are who we are because of what goes into our minds, yet we are the ones who decide what goes into that space between our ears.

That for me means cutting out the negative crap, the news for example, who I interact with, online and offline, after all it's all influence.

The big lesson for me is the sheer ease of how things, people can influence moods.
I don't wanna be pissed off, annoyed, snappy, so I have cut off what was making me that way, with the giving up smoking it's vital I keep control of my moods.

With that in mind I have been ruthless in cutting off certain people, (although they are friends) on places like facebook, people I have known most of my life and people I have no issues with other than they way I react to what they say or do... I had to do it.

A few were annoyed with me and said as much, that's ok, I respect that but I am not going to allow it to bother me anymore, one or two berated me for cutting them off, which I found a little odd, as if they had this sense of "entitlement" and I must be friends with them.

As I said before, no offence to them, I have my own life and issue to deal with and this is part of that!

The ones who matter are my sons, they are the ONLY people with this "entitlement" as far as it goes with me.

If that bothers some people, tough.

So, while I have now got a real grip on smoking on one room, having broken the worse habits I have regarding smoking I feel I can get back into the swing of things online but with much better focus and intent.

In other words, not wasting time on the wrong places, building content where it matters, moving in the direction I now know I should in order to make things better overall.

Life IS short... to short to be wasting it on meaningless crap and wasting what precious time we do have.

Did I miss anything?

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