Thursday, February 12, 2015

What happens when we die?

Unlike the personal papers left behind when a person dies, an online portfolio can continue on, with "Likes" and Fans" who don't even know if the person is still alive.

An interesting article today from The Associated Press reports that people may now be able to designate someone to manage their presence, long after they leave their place in the cloud.

Here is the full story, from ABC TV. Looks like we all have something new to think about, and hope we have the sense to abandon our online profiles before the day comes when we are no longer here. Interestingly, Facebook offers to take care of the task for you if you check a box to delete your account when they find out you died. Is that creepy?

Of course, you can also have the foresight to delete your accounts or leave a list of your log-ins and passwords, and make your wishes known to a trusted friend or family member.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Time for a digital detox?

I have just completed my first digital detox experience! The holidays and five days in California gave me a rare chance to unplug and relax.

Tempted to try the same?  Maybe you, or a family member, are ready for a detoxification from the constant onslaught of screens, beeps, email, social media and thousands of other tempting distractiong. Oh, they're still out there, but maybe you won't miss them if you take a sanity break for a few days.

Before you start your tech break, consider reading this first-person article: The Digital Detox: How and Why to Do It, by Nora Dunn.

[cross-posted on Release Your Writing blog.]

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Blogging is 20 years old!

Blogs have been around for twenty years!

Yes, 1994 was a long time ago and that's when blogs got started.

The Columbia Journal Review has a nice long piece here about the start of something that grew larger than anyone could have predicted.

Understanding how to build personal brands and audiences have since become crucial skills for many media professionals, but in 1994 there were hardly any precedents. - See more at:

Friday, August 01, 2014

Can you unplug for just one August weekend?

Look up --  It's August already, nights are sometimes cooler, and some trees are dropping their leaves.
Summer goes by so fast!  Would you consider this challenge? Current is hosting an Analog August—we’re unplugging from technology for any single August weekend, and invite you to do the same. No Internet, no cell phones, no insipid celebrity tweets.

Inspired by The End of Absence, we’re giving ourselves a break to rediscover the quiet joys of solitary walks, face-to-face relations, and a good book. More details to come soon! Poke around the website if you’d like:
I am reviewing The End of Absence here soon and plan to take part in the unplugged weekend while I finish reading the book.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

For better note-taking, write longhand.

Pacafic Standard Magazine (a favorite subscription of mine) has a web article entitled:

Want to Remember Your Notes? Write Them, Don’t Type Them

Despite the speed of notetaking with a laptop or tablet, it turns out it may not be the best way to learn new information. "The problem, it seems, is that the lightening-quick speed of typing encourages listeners to transcribe what they’re hearing without actually paying attention to what’s being said—a note-taking approach that has been proven ineffective in the past."

Here's a quick link to Pacific Standard's article, which cites a study published in Psychological Science, a professional  journal with fee-based access to articles.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Internet Explorer users: Stop what you're doing...

News alert today: April 28, 2014

"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advised computer users to consider using alternatives to Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer browser until the company fixes a security flaw that hackers have used to launch attacks.

The bug is the first high-profile security flaw to emerge since Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Windows XP earlier this month. That means PCs running the 13-year old operating system could remain unprotected against hackers seeking to exploit the newly uncovered flaw, even after Microsoft figures out how to defend against it.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a part of Homeland Security known as US-CERT, said in an advisory released on Monday morning that the vulnerability in versions 6 to 11 of Internet Explorer could lead to "the complete compromise" of an affected system."

Read more at Chicago Tribune or CNN or your favorite news source.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Microsoft Office now available on iPad app... a little bit

Microsoft is offering a free app for iPad users of the Office productivity sweet programs: Excel, PowerPoint and Word.

It allows viewing documents sent to you in those programs on an iPad, but there is a charge of $70/year to actually create spreadsheets, presentations and documents, so the free app is basically a document reader.

Read more here.