Posts Tagged 'Facebook'

May 11, 2009

Has Your Life Changed Due to Social Networking?

Social Networking in my eyes has been around for years since the old bulletin board system days, though now with the advancement of technology and the internet, we see it on a much larger scale. I remember in 2004 I told myself I would never join Myspace. That turned out to be wrong in October of 2005 I joined and connected with friends from the past.

Then came facebook, I once again refused to become a member of another social networking site, though in 2008 I joined to help diagnose one of our customers issues as they hosted an application on the site. I then later found additional friends that had one or the other, so I started using both to stay connected (Still all wondering why no one just uses email like it was intended for instead of just for notifications from your favorite social sites).

I then joined a more professional social networking site, LinkedIn, and became connected with former co-workers, contractors, professors, students, and industry people. Then came twitter, which I just signed up for a few months ago and haven’t really gotten into it, as I feel it is the same as status updates on facebook and myspace, while thinking to myself, do I really need to update my friends with what I am doing every hour on all three. No I don’t think so, but I have friends that do!

My blackberry has five main applications that are used on it: Email; Browser; SMS messages; Myspace; and Facebook. All get checked about every 30 minutes so I can stay in the know about everything from work, to friends. I rarely use personal email for things anymore as most of my friends contact me on one of the social networking sites. I have often thought about deleting one or the other if not both. I find myself telling myself, why it’s like when you disconnected text messaging from your cell phone in 2000 because you hated it, you’ll sign right back up for it as it has became an essential in my life.

I can’t say I couldn’t live without social networking sites, but it would require me to reorganize how I organize my already busy life. My answer is yes, social networking has changed my life and how I interact with people. Social Networking can be a very vital tool, if you are a restaurant / bar, band, sales person, etc. You can use Social Networking to expose yourself to that many more people and reach out!

Now I’m off to install TwitterBerry and see if that makes me like twitter anymore, ask me in three months.

April 25, 2009

Facebook and Geezers

Last week, more rumors about the valuation of Facebook were flowing. So, is Facebook the real deal? Or will it go the way of the CB radio “social networking” experiment in the 1970’s?

Last weekend, I attended an event that indicates that Facebook has more staying power than those old CB radios. It was a quasi high school reunion. Since a lot of graduates of Brownwood High School (my alma mater) wind up in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, a 2-3 hour drive away from Brownwood, we had a get-together in Grapevine, TX for Brownwood High grads living in the area.

At the event, the oldest grad I bumped into was from the Class of ’81 and the youngest I saw was from the Class of ’90. Yes, there’s a “19” in front of those graduation years, making the age range of people I saw between ages 37 and 46 years of age. I won’t disclose where I fit in that group, but in the world of Facebook, we’re all pretty much “geezers” I imagine.

I wish I had counted the number of times I heard Facebook mentioned at the party on Saturday night. Many times people told of who they had found on Facebook that couldn’t make it to the party. Some of the comments I overheard went like this:

“I saw those pictures of your kids on Facebook. Man they’ve grown!”

Q: “So, is that crawfish boil you posted on Facebook an annual event?”
A: “Yeah, it got kinda wild this year.”

“You said in your Facebook status a while back that your daughter got hurt. How’s she doing now?”

You get the drift, I’m sure. Most everybody there in this age range was active on Facebook and was already connected to several in attendance on Facebook. Since the event, I’ve received friend requests from folks I saw, and I’ve also sent out a few friend requests.

After we all made it home early Sunday morning (hey we’re not THAT old – at least we think we’re not), the Facebook fun continued. My email account pinged all day letting me know I’d been tagged in a photo here, someone commented on a photo there, etc. Yes the cameras were out Saturday night, and the contents of those cameras got uploaded, tagged, and commented upon all day Sunday. In fact, I was tagged in one photo that had the caption “Brownwood High School geezers from class of __.”

As far as Facebook goes, I’ll bet stories like this occur all over the country by the thousands. Provided that Facebook keeps its financial house in order, they’re here for the long haul I think.

So, what’s the connection to SoftLayer here? Easy. We have a lot of customers who provide apps on Facebook. The infrastructure for those apps is hosted at SoftLayer. Consequently, we’re big cheerleaders for Facebook and the apps that run upon it. Go go go!

November 5, 2008

Can I Get an Update?

I recently signed up for a Twitter account, to add to my ever growing list of email, chat, and social networking groups—maybe just to give myself a new user name to forget. I wasn’t really familiar with Twitter and was surprised to learn that its sole function is to provide status updates. This got me thinking about our ever growing need as a society to share, broadcast, and receive information about ourselves. From Google alerts to Facebook and MySpace status updates I receive untold daily emails that are for the most part irrelevant.

But, I subject myself to this ever-growing, streaming feed of information in the hopes that I won’t miss anything and that at some point I might learn something useful. At SoftLayer we have streamlined this process through our industry leading customer portal, where monthly, daily, and even real-time reports are filed, sorted and posted to customers' login accounts. Our portal provides a single interface to manage and monitor customers’ servers and IT infrastructure. If only my life were as simple as having a single, manageable interface, maybe I wouldn’t have already forgotten the password I set up 20 minutes ago.

-James

April 9, 2008

Technology - 1 Day

Here’s to you, that nerdy IT Sysadmin smart guy!

6:10am – Alarm clock goes off. No, I don’t have one of the easy-wake "light up your room slowly" Hammacher Schlemmer alarm clocks. I have the old school buzzer that bounces you off the ceiling. I suppose this is old technology but no servers needed. No kudos here.

6:11am – After wiping the gritty stuff the sandman left in my eyes away, I reach for my Blackberry. We outsource our Blackberry server to our cell provider but it certainly sends me emails all night long and SMS messages, etc. All of that happens on a server somewhere in a datacenter somewhere. And you know what happens in the news when the Blackberry network is down. PANIC! So, here’s to you, that nerdy IT Sysadmin smart guy that keeps them running!

7:00am – I hit the door and head out to the Echo. There is nothing cool about the Echo, trust me. No XM, Sirius, no Sync just good ole 103.3 sports talk with Mike and Mike. Go Cowboys! From 7am to 8am I am of course only doing two things, watching for the long arm of the law and Dryping. Along the way I pass through 3 tollbooths without even blinking because technology knows that I am there and have driven under it. RF technology is cool and if their servers were down they wouldn’t be able to charge my tolltag. Hmm….nevermind. Again, Here’s to you, that nerdy IT Sysadmin smart guy that keeps me from having to sit in the pay a buck lane.

8:00am – I am at my desk finally! Where I login to my workstation that uses servers in the background to authenticate me. The same servers then run a few scripts and I have all my data and email at my fingertips. Servers keep working in the background to deliver my email to me and allow me to IM my peeps both in and outside of the company and also give me the very needed - internet access. Here’s to you, our internal nerdy IT Sysadmin smart guy!

8:01am – The internet. I feel the need, the need for the internet. In the past I can say I was a junkie. I would just type in http://www.insertacoolwordheretoseeiftheyhaveawebsite.com/ kinda junkie. Sometimes you could find some pretty interesting sites using that trick and others it would just be someone domain parking. Now it is pretty much my bank, which has a ton of servers and technology (they even just rolled out two factor authentication), ESPN.com, our internal portal, webhostingtalk, theinnerlayer, the SoftLayer forums, facebook, and of course our website. Those pages keep me pretty satisfied during the day. So, here’s to you, that nerdy IT Sysadmin smart guy that keeps them running!

8:02am – Wife calls me on my IP phone. Just to see if I am at work and what I am doing and to tell me that the dog is running in circles. She is at home with 2 kids (4 and 2) so she needs to talk to someone I guess. And you guessed it, the phone uses technology too. So, here’s to you, that nerdy IT Sysadmin smart guy that keeps it ringing!

8:03am – Coffee, technology - yes – Servers NO! We need some coffee servers here. That is a great idea.

8:04am–11:45am – Open up about 57 different windows on my workstation and simultaneously work on all of them. If a server is down or a link is down somewhere I will know about it because I will not be able to do something…who knows what. So, here’s to you, that nerdy IT Sysadmin smart guy that keeps the network pinging.

11:45am – Hunger pains, it’s time for lunch. Off to play some Racquetball and get a smoothie. I walk in the door and they scan my retina, wait, I mean they scan my key card and I am free to enter. If their servers or workstations were down I am sure that would be a bad day to work the front desk at a gym. Can you imagine all the "roid rage" when they turned people away. So I whip my brother (Gary) at Racquetball but you have read his blogs, did you really think he could beat me? When we were both much younger he did, then he found numbers and equations and forgot how to play. So, here’s to you, that nerdy IT Sysadmin smart guy that make sure I get into the gym semi-daily.

12:30pm – Smoothie Time – Jamba Juice is right around the corner so I grab my smoothie and wheat grass shot and it’s back to the echo. I guess a juicer isn’t really cutting edge technology.

12:45pm – Back at my desk (on time as always … of course) and it is back to the 57 windows I have open and working. I tend to not go home until I have closed every window; that is the only way I can keep up with everything I am supposed to do. I have been officially titled the “heywWouldja guy” around here.

2:45pm – Time to head home. Ha! I’m just joking, gotchya.

6:45pm – I have now had enough technology for one day so it’s back into the echo to head home. The first light I come to, I don’t dare run (speaking of lights, without technology they tend to cause accidents and flash a lot, so there are definitely servers involved with them). It has one of those schnazzy new Red light cameras. That is $75 dollars I don’t want to hand them so they can add even more of those technological light cops to another light. Feel free to let these servers go down anytime guys…We are all on the same technical team here right?

7:45pm – Back at home. I walk in to the kids attempting to beat my scores on Guitar Hero and RockBand or playing on Xbox live, a wife cooking supper and a TV with Dish Network blaring. In the other room the 7 year old is listening to Miley Cyrus ..wait, maybe it is Hannah Montana not sure, on her cheapo wanna be Ipod. I sit down in front of the laptop that is on a wireless network and check my tickets and email one more time. Sometimes Dryping gets tough on the commute home because of all the traffic so I have to catch up. So, here’s to you, that nerdy IT Sysadmin smart guy that keeps the Xbox cool and keep the cool games coming!

9:45pm – Kids are in bed, playing not sleeping, and I settle in to watch an on demand movie instead of having to traverse all the way back to Blockbuster or wait on the next Netflix movie to arrive. They look better in HD anyway. I am assuming that guys that can keep satellites in space are pretty technical. So, here’s to you, that nerdy IT Sysadmin smart guy that keeps them flying!

Midnight – Set the non-technologically advanced alarm and pass out on the pillow.

So how much of that uses technology, servers, Datacenters, power, IP’s, DNS, etc etc. So, here’s to you, that nerdy IT Sysadmin smart guy that keeps that keep all of this stuff up and running with very little downtime. MY hat is off to you (because I look really funny in hats!)

-Skinman

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January 28, 2008

Virtualizing Our Childhoods - There's Money to be Made

Here's a couple of my childhood memories for you. Today, they've been virtualized. And monetized.

Shooting Up the Neighborhood
The kids in my neighborhood would get home from school, crank out the homework and household chores, then bail outdoors in all kinds of weather and play some version of battle games, be it "cops and robbers", "cowboys and Indians", "World War II", etc. In addition to politically incorrect game names, we'd use toy guns and plastic knives and swords to pretend-shoot each other and pretend-hack each other to bits -- all in good fun and while using vocabulary that our parents didn't care for. I'm sure the toy makers made a modest profit from our recreation.

Just last night, my son (age 14) approached me and announced that his homework was done, his room was straight, he was ready for his tests, etc., then asked if he could get on his Xbox 360. After I had him help with the dinner dishes, he headed upstairs much like I would head out the front door when I was 14. I went upstairs a little later and he was logged on to Xbox Live with the voice headset running and he pointed out that about 11 of his hockey teammates were also online and playing Call of Duty 4. So instead of pretend-shooting each other outside in the cold January air, they all get together online and do it. Don’t ask him what kind of language gets used either – it’s probably the same as my generation. From what I understand, the toy makers in this case make a lot more money than those of my youth.

Passing Notes at School
In yet another politically incorrect part of my upbringing, somewhere around 5th and 6th grade, somebody thought it would be a good idea to pass ballots around the classroom. They’d write a question at the top of the page along the lines of “Do you like Gary?” and they’d put two columns below. Other kids would sign under the “yes” or “no” columns depending on how they felt that day.

This is basically virtualized with Facebook, Linked In, and Plaxo. We get prompted to accept others as friends and recommend each other with these networking tools. With all the applications, pictures, messaging and so on these go way beyond our childhood note-passing but the concept is the same. Virtualizing this concept has unlocked untold riches. How much? Microsoft’s investment in Facebook extrapolates the value of Facebook to be $15 billion. That’s a nice chunk of change for virtualizing the passing of notes at school.

All This Virtualization Requires Servers – We’ve Got ‘Em
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not real good at whiteboarding new ideas. Tell you what – you think of something from childhood that can be virtualized into billions in valuation, and SoftLayer will provide the servers and connectivity you need to achieve it.

-Gary

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