The Social Networker

by Chris Miller at 09:06:00 AM on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
Have you met this person yet?  Do you follow them online? Are you that person?  I know I am.  I have carried this form of VGS for years and actually don't see anything wrong with it, which is a sure sign of VGS.

It isn't about the drive to report to you, my faithful readers, on all the new sites, gadgets and commentary.  it is the hunt to find that perfect tool.  That I may never find.  Yet, I am drawn to test, view, ponder and critique all that come along.  I am not certain there is no adrenaline rush right around when the beta invitation arrives.  The hopeful click on a link to confirm your email address.  The slow typing of the invitation code.  The dread of filling out yet another profile.  Yet we forge through, for you.  That is it!  All for you, the reader.  Not for me.

Ignore the following bad jokes as I walk you through the need to be first.
  • It comes in Waves
  • No one else gets the Gist of it - even if they know more
  • You must always be part of the CliqSet - you know, the early adopters of course
  • A desire to build a bunch of stuff with Google
  • An overwhelming need to new sites
  • Early adopters will work hot or brizzly

    Further VGS entries:
    Created Subject
    08/13/2009 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Levels of Intimacy
    06/10/2009 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - The Twitter API Breaker
    05/19/2009 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - The Co_friend
    01/27/2009 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - The Over Information Gatherer
    12/10/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Social Network Refugee
    12/01/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - new Repetitive Posting Syndrome (RPS)
    11/17/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the publisher aka Minutia-streaming
    09/18/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Social Stalking
    06/23/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Forcing Temporary Remission
    05/12/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Profile of a Social Networker
    05/08/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the dosage issue
    04/14/2008 Tweeting in the bathroom - the new social crime
    04/07/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the variance
    03/12/2008 Chris Pirillo further proves my VGS theory is true
    03/11/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - you have it

by Chris Miller at 12:33:46 PM on Thursday, August 13th, 2009
I ran across the following picture, sent from a friend today, and it sums up the many ways we all take part of VGS.  The funny thing was, I can't recall the last time I sent or received an actual letter someone put a stamp on and mailed.  Well outside of Amazon shipping something.  The order of the steps I don't think meet how those of us in the virtual world consider friendship levels, but they all do exist.Image:Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Levels of Intimacy
Age plays a big part in this also.  While kids may put text messages and Facebook right up there in the rankings, our older generation doesn't do much tech according to statistics.  So talking in person, phone, letter and email are the final steps.  I personally  think steps 8 and 9 should switch places as most of us consider the phone communication right below talking in person.  What about you?

Further VGS entries:
Created Subject
06/10/2009 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - The Twitter API Breaker
05/19/2009 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - The Co_friend
01/27/2009 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - The Over Information Gatherer
12/10/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Social Network Refugee
12/01/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - new Repetitive Posting Syndrome (RPS)
11/17/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the publisher aka Minutia-streaming
09/18/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Social Stalking
06/23/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Forcing Temporary Remission
05/12/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Profile of a Social Networker
05/08/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the dosage issue
04/14/2008 Tweeting in the bathroom - the new social crime
04/07/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the variance
03/12/2008 Chris Pirillo further proves my VGS theory is true
03/11/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - you have it

by Chris Miller at 12:38:01 PM on Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
This was pointed out online by Gina Trapani.  With so many  clients, websites and tools using Twitter under your account name, you can easily break the API rate limit for yourself and have to wait till the next hour cycle to get tweets and updates.  You know you suffer from VGS when you :
  • constantly trip this rate limit trying to glean as much as you can
  • constantly tune how often clients update to get the maximum out of your hourly limits
  • constantly close and open clients hoping that it will reset your rate limit (umm no)
  • constantly open a client, check something and shut it down so you don't get blocked for the hour
  • constantly watch the counter in the corner of your Twitter client

As you can see, this nervous twitch of rate limit watching is more than an affliction, it consumes you so you don't miss a single tweet.  Learn to jump in the stream of information and jump out without feeling guilty. Learn to ignore the limit.  If you break it, good for you, that means no distractions for the rest of the hour.  Pull your eyes away from the client and take a breath.  I would type more but my rate is running out.

Further VGS entries:
Created Subject
05/19/2009 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - The Co_friend
01/27/2009 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - The Over Information Gatherer
12/10/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Social Network Refugee
12/01/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - new Repetitive Posting Syndrome (RPS)
11/17/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the publisher aka Minutia-streaming
09/18/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Social Stalking
06/23/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Forcing Temporary Remission
06/12/2008 Using Jott for reading (listening) to hot RSS feeds
05/12/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Profile of a Social Networker
05/08/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the dosage issue
04/14/2008 Tweeting in the bathroom - the new social crime
04/07/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the variance
03/12/2008 Chris Pirillo further proves my VGS theory is true
03/11/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - you have it

by Chris Miller at 10:03:40 AM on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
Livedrive banner

After visting my local Costco and watching people buying terabyte drives by the basketload recently, I began to question the disaster recovery planning the we, as individuals and not companies, have put into place.  In the speed as which technology is becoming cheap for home usage, I think too many of us are becoming comfortable in either cloud, SaaS or local computing to make the right choices.  I am going to attempt to break down each of these and give a summary of my best practices.

The most common form of cloud computing that individuals consume is free web based email and online storage.  In this mode you have limited information kept locally on your computers at home, but have the flexibility to reach this data from anywhere.  Some of it is ad driven, which you learn to ignore for the value of the service itself.  Email systems like Gmail and Hotmail have become a commodity that you consume with no regard for worrying about your data, which is the first mistake.

Let's take Yahoo Photos for example.  When Yahoo bought Flickr they ran both for some time and then sent the announcements that you will migrate to Flickr.  Soon after they shut down Yahoo photos and many people were still left stunned as their pictures were just gone (if they did not know about Flickr).  Recently Yahoo did it again with Briefcase, but there was no exit plan in place for that one.  You had to make sure you had your data and they closed the site.  No migration.  I am not saying millions were impacted, but simply using it as a cloud example.  There is plenty of other recent ones that are closed or closing.

The idea is that we do not plan for contingency in the closing of these cloud sites, that have never relied on your for funding, unless you wanted additional storage or services.  Often called Premium accounts.  Many of you have never made a local backup of your cloud hosted email and some even don't keep their photographs locally anymore.  What you leave yourself open to is total loss of accumulated data from it ONLY sitting in the cloud.  Gmail for example offers the ability to access email by POP/IMAP.  This allows you to bring a copy locally onto your own machiens for archiving or storage purposes.  Now Gmail may not be one to close given the state of Google, but take your pick between the public free email systems.   (**please see tip at end of article**)

This isn't really inclusive in any DR plan since you rely entirely on the Software As a Service provider to have redundancy.  I know of many that start on one or two servers only, nothing more.  People stand a high chance of losing data if you do not know how your SaaS provider operates.  Think Magnolia for social bookmarking when they lost databases and recently the whole registration beta list at Imindi,  Most of these do not offer ways to sync or get copies of the data stored there and you are at their mercy on how often they back up and how long they retain those backups.  They may or may not have multiple servers in multiple geographic areas to keep them operational.

You also pay for this service, so understanding what they offer in terms of data retention and your ability to retrieve that data and move at any time is important.  Remember SaaS may be in the cloud for some providers and not others.  Additionally, many SaaS providers offer no escape, meaning no way to move and take your data with you easily.  What happens if they are down for 3 days?  While you may not be able to act on everything, you could at least see your data if you had local copies.   (**please see tip at end of article**)

This is where the majority of people maintain their family photos and even the only place they keep copies of their Quicken and other stored data.  Now the technical person in the house may go out to Costco or Best Buy and track down a large USB drive to start making copies of laptops and home computers.  The more advanced might even go so far as a home media/storage server.  A couple will burn DVD's for safe keeping and put them on the shelf.  What is wrong with each and every one of these?  They sit in the same house!

Now a few have moved to webdrives, This is where you back up your data to web based archival systems.  This falls into the SaaS category on some of the smaller startups offering the service.  While others like MIcrosoft have a built architecture.  But how long do they keep that data in rentention is a question you have to ask.

The idea of disaster recovery is not only for the physical machine, but for the physical location too.  If something happens to a home, such as water damage, fire, tornado, whatever, the backups are gone too.  Having 40 copies of the same data on DVD, USB drive and multiple machines won't save anything. (**please see tip at end of article**)

So what do I propose?  A combination of all of these. It may take some time to organize a flow that makes sense, so map it out before you start moving files around.

Use your local systems and provide not only a quick local backup, but also find web storage.  Provide yourself with a low cost and flexible alternative.  Feel free to keep downloading those family photos, videos and such to that terabyte USB drive, but invest in a remote web drive to move the very important files, like financial, for long term safety.  Grow it as needed from there.

Feel free to use SaaS services, but make sure you can offload, download and keep copies of the data that then follow the same local rules as before.  You are trusting your data to another provider fully in most SaaS scenarios.  Make sure you are a step ahead in case they don't have their own good procedures.  Remember offline access and copies are better than no access

Look into cloud services.  Gmail has grown so incredibly large and offers so many ways to access your data, take advantage.  But also pull that local copy for longevity and safe keeping. This also allows you to access data if Gmail (or whatever) goes offline.  You then get the benefit of being able to work from anywhere most of the time with the peace of mind in knowing you have that data offline.  Shipping that monthly to a web drive is not a bad idea either.  As long as you think about combining each of the tools, you are on your way to personal disaster recovery.

*****  If I can leave you with one more tip before I hit publish, I would like you to take the time to also map out your plan.  This means not sitting in the corner with coffee, laptop, USB drive and online access.  But actually drawing it out, listing what files are important and where they all reside.  Then take this file and place it in each of the locations so no matter what happens, you know exactly where you stored and kept that data and backup.

by Chris Miller at 11:40:03 AM on Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
Another variant of Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS)  was uncovered in a recent meeting I had.  It is called "The Co-Friend".  This is something that many people have long before they enter into social networking.  The co-friend is a person that started out as and still remains a co-worker of yours.  You met them in the office and found out you could actually tolerate them on a daily basis.  From there a slight bonding took over.  It started with simple conversations and moved quickly into going out to lunch.

This is not to be confused with a co-lust or co-love syndrome which has to do with another intermingling entirely.

This person never really becomes a friend in the true sense.  You might grab a drink after work and enjoy a dinner while at a conference.  But more than likely they never come to your house and only know your entire family history because you told them.  Sure, they meet your significant other at company events, but that is as close as you want them to get.

Now enters the social networking.  You started talking to each other on chat when you both found out you could hold private conversations on the public IM networks and shared your screen names.   Soon you became Facebook buddies and then it all went downhill.

They started to find out far too much about you.  You have overshared details about your personal life in minutia and it has come back to haunt you.  The former co-friend is now either someone mad at you, a new boss of yours or worse, an enemy.  All of that time spent together is not at your disposal to use as you and them see fit.  It could destroy your reputation because you didn't know they kept archives of every chat you had.  Those pictures you hid from certain groups at work are now accessible via Facebook.

So where is the line you must keep when moving someone from co-worker to co-friend?  I say a safe distance and keeping that business profile and personal profile separate as best possible.  When you cannot, then only publish what should be public and keep the rest to yourself you oversharer!!

Further VGS entries:

Created Subject
01/27/2009 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - The Over Information Gatherer
12/10/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Social Network Refugee
12/01/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - new Repetitive Posting Syndrome (RPS)
11/17/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the publisher aka Minutia-streaming
09/18/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Social Stalking
06/23/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Forcing Temporary Remission
06/12/2008 Using Jott for reading (listening) to hot RSS feeds
05/12/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Profile of a Social Networker
05/08/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the dosage issue
04/14/2008 Tweeting in the bathroom - the new social crime
04/07/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - the variance
03/12/2008 Chris Pirillo further proves my VGS theory is true
03/11/2008 Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - you have it

by Chris Miller at 10:00:18 AM on Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
A usage survey for social networking in the enterprise hit my desk today with some simple, yet direct questions.  Here is a sample of what they asked.  Notice the influx of particular tools, not just social network type sites (ie: bookmarking, microblogging, photos, video, etc).

Image:Does your enterprise get social network marketing?

So why am I taking interest in the above grid?  Simple.  The focus of tools in the enterprise is something many IT groups and departments are taking for granted.  They think:
Sure, user are on the sites, we are trying to block them.  There is no business value.  Even though we play and goof around in these very sites most of the day ourselves.  Our marketing department is starting to understand how to use these tools, but they don't get it.

Many of you have had this very thought race through your mind.  How about meeting with the marketing teams and sharing your knowledge of how you best use the sites.  Where you get your best vendor information and feed from?  Wouldn't your very own business you work for expand and reap the benefits if they were sharing information the same way?

There is a huge decline in the way we all communicate.  Voicemail was the 80's.  They say email was the late 90's into the new century.  Now we blast massive amounts of data hoping to get noticed on the next wave that rides through.  If your company or organization is not out there looking ahead now, they will be certainly looking from the back soon.

by Chris Miller at 10:04:52 AM on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
When someone Google's you, are they getting the real "you" or a combination of people sharing the same name?  You previously had to work hard to control your identity and found search results.  Google has opened the door to better control with  Google Profiles.  I can see the argument that Google is going after social sites that have large profile information, a la Facebook.  But do you really think they want that space?  Why not simply pull profile information from sites where I have aggregated data and profiles?  If Google could make a hook into some of those, it would save me incredible amounts of time.  It would also increase the number of profiles that get built on their own site.  Is this more of showing yourself off or becoming a control point of your own identity?

Let's cover how the whole thing works.  When someone searches for a name now, there is a new profiles section that shows at the bottom of the search results page (sample for me).  If you have a unique name, this really benefits you since you may well be the only result.  For that scenario I would want to make sure I gave them all the correct information I possibly could.  But if you have a fairly common name, you need to stand out.  Here is a sample from Google if you do not want to click my sample.

Image:Do you own yourself on Google? (Google profiles)

Taking an example from the real world, someone like Tom Duff, would want to not only claim his name, but Duffbert (his online persona he built) as well.  Google makes this easy with a customizable  URL with your Google email username. (Note this can make your Google email address publicly discoverable.) This unique name will also be used in other links to your content on Google.  Keep this in mind if you have a private Gmail address.  In this instance Google allows you to create a random number profile address instead.

From there you can fill in tons of fields, hiding and providing as much or as little as you want.  Without a percentage of information, which Google does not show, you can not enable your results to be shown publicly.  I luckily already had a handful of sites that had my entire profile links built and just copied them from there.  Any physical address you enter is then mapped and a link to it is shown.  Profile URL's are listed in a long list down the side.  From there you can write a short bio, list where you lived previously and even fill in such items as birthdays and instant messenger names.

I spent some time adding a myriad of sites to my profile, even after the self discovery suggestions went to work and began filling in the important information.  as you can see, it needs some serious formatting and personalization help, but I can't imagine that Google will not get there in due time.  Pay special attention to the information you show on your "Contact info" tab as this will be shared to everyone.  So if there is an IM name, physical address or even email address you do not want shown, then be careful what you provide when you make your profile public.

by Chris Miller at 09:53:00 AM on Monday, April 13th, 2009
To go swimming in the social media pool you need to know where the deep end is.

The Sinker states they do not understand all the excitement of social media.  They state that it has no effect or benefit to them.  They fight every attempt and turn off every news story about anything to do with any social tool.  They never want to get wet and could care less where the pool is located.  We often think they do not even like being near the water.  Soon everyone around them is using some social network site and the sinker complains about all the invites they get.  Heck, they used to hate email.  This person is easily identified by the answering machine at home that still uses cassettes.  Every so often one of them breaks down and becomes a Treader.  This is usually after getting pushed into the pool.

The Treader takes the first step in signing up for services to appease the requests of all their friends and family.  They never quite understand all the benefits the tool can offer, nor even how to use have the features.  They were likely pushed into signing up by someone close just to make them shut up.  The treader rarely screams for help and will flounder in the corner holding onto the edge until a cannonball takes them under.  If they manage not to drown and become a Sinker again, they head towards the light and become a Swimmer.  Do not get too close to a treader as their constant whining can sometimes take you down with them.

The Swimmer takes pride in knowing how to navigate numerous social tools.  They coast along seamlessly between sites and often use the integration between them.  They share not only how their day is but useful tips and find value in the tools they use.  Social networks become a knowledge source and place of solace.  This is the high point of the bell curve of users and adoption.  The Swimmer will often cause splashes and kick a treader in the face with no regard.  Swimmers often do not understand why a Treader will not let go of the edge and join them in the deeper waters.  They hate the whiners and ignore them quickly. Increasingly as they see postings of misunderstanding about the social tools they offer some advice and correction making them Lifeguards.

The Lifeguard is the watcher of the social tool or network they care about most.  They save the newcomers (Treaders) from talking bad about the service by making sure they know how to do specific tasks.  They exceed depth of the Swimmer and are not scared to go into uncharted waters.  This means beta versions of the tool they use.  Swimmers often hesitate before trying a  beta for fear of hurting their computer.  The Lifeguard has made accommodations for testing, like test machines, Virtual Machines or the thought they can always reinstall if something goes bad.  They jump at the chance to get on the most recent version to stay ahead of the bell curve.  Some will become Instructors accidentally by producing a quick how-to video.

The Instructor has mastered many social media tools and is looked upon as a knowledge master.  Sometimes they might even be referred to as early adopters for their drive to learn every corner of a new network.  They willingly share information to anyone who will listen and often write long blog postings describing how to use a tool.  Or even worse, screencasts on how to install, configure and best utilize the tool.  The Instructor seems to always be online somewhere, sharing information to anyone that will listen.

by Chris Miller at 10:19:38 AM on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
You sit at your desk with multiple screens, multiple devices and multiple desktops running.  Enjoying the gluttony as a victim of  Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS)?  This symptom is easily identifiable for once.  Look for the following symptoms in yourself or those around you:
  • The Google Feed Reader has a constant unread value greater than 2,000
  • The tabs in their browser of choice exceed 12 and span multiple windows
  • They use multiple browsers at once for alternate purposes and are not developers
  • The person jumps quickly between the computer, the Blackberry (or smartphone) and CNN
  • The person has multiple RSS widgets and tickers on their screen
  • The person is able to share over 100 articles per day
  • Instant messaging is a waste as they don't want to talk, only consume.  If you send a string of links they might keep the chat window open
  • Newspapers suck as they are a day old and you can't cross link from them
  • The radio never quite has on what they want, so podcasts it is all the time
  • They are pissed Jott is going to a paid service as they used it since day 1 and have grown attached
  • Twitter clients are too slow for them

External symptoms then begin to show as they are detached from their devices for any period of time
  • They talk aimlessly around 15 subjects that they "just read"
  • They seem to know every major event going on in the world
  • They also seem to know every minor event and technology event going on
  • They can recite where Leo Laporte was for lunch each day this week
  • At their own kids event they rarely know the score or have seen a performance
  • Driving causes them to twitch.  No, you just thought they were bad drivers.  Not true, they cant concentrate on a blank road
  • If they lose their device they don't know what day it is

Treatment varies, but going cold for at least a week seems to give them some sort of grounding effect.  Simply destroying their computer and Smartphone only allows them to use the insurance they purchased to quickly go and get an even newer and better device.

by Chris Miller at 12:58:25 PM on Friday, January 23rd, 2009
After seeing the easy steps that Corvida posted on SheGeeks, I went ahead and started the process she defined.  That worked quite well and did send me a confirmation email when it completed.  Yes, it is scary seeing all zeros for a while as it updates, but I don't check it often enough to panic.  What I did find interesting is some comments they had in the email confirmation letter.

You no longer sign into, but instead use

I can live with that, no problem.  Merged over, log in somewhere else.
All of your feeds will now be automatically redirected to

Umm, why the new CName record.  Why can't we just change authentication?
You may want to update all your links or buttons to use the new

Now here I am confused.  If you are redirecting me already, are you hinting the first one may go away?  Sounds like we need to carefully watch this one.

by Chris Miller at 09:40:11 AM on Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
  • You have become lost and disoriented.
  • You are not sure where to log in and where to create a new account.
  • You are unsure what to do with all this content you have published and gathered over the past year to longer.
  • Where did your friends go?
  • Will you be able to find them?
  • Could you make new friends?
  • Holy crap I lost my status as king of that network !!

You are now officially a refugee from a closed and shuttered social network and an immediate sufferer to Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS).  The recent closing of Pownce prompted me to consider this emerging area.  Many people are currently being left stranded without a home after their social network folds and closes or worse yet moves to some bizarre paid account scenario when everyone thought it would be ad supported at best.

So what happens to your content?  You either find some way to download and export it, have it already saved locally and have to re-import or another site comes along and offers a migration toolset to get you on to their platform.  This goes back to something I have been preaching about data stability (announcement coming shortly in that area).
  • What responsibility does the network have to give us notice and proper access to obtain our data that has been entered?
  • I am not just talking pictures and stuff, but the relationships we have created and the links to these people?
  • Should the networks be held responsible to provide the proper tools to export our content?
  • Should the networks be responsible to give us a mapping of our social connections on that network?
  • Should the networks provide some form of public statement on what will happen with our data stored on their servers?  Is the server data and all bakcups destroyed?  Is it transferred to some new site or company that buys them?  Can they sell the names?

The lack of publicly produced documentation is staggering across all of the sites that are closing.  Does anyone see the need for some form of formal policy from these providers?

by Chris Miller at 08:30:00 AM on Monday, December 1st, 2008
A subset of VGS has surfaced in the wild of social networking recently.  Be warned, no known cures exist today!!!  But I have the medical definition already written out.  As the title of the posting suggests, it is Repetitive Posting Syndrome (RPS), a new part of VGS.

Some new services like and now offer the ability to submit the same content and postings to multiple sites.  Instead of creating a simple flow between them (such as the ability to submit RSS to Twitter or have your Twitter postings show on Facebook, etc etc etc). You write a post once and then have it show up at every social network you define.  Between the two sample I listed, that covers over 20 different sites and networks.  This ability to submit to all at once enhances the feeling and empowers the person cursed with VGS.

So far, the only know way to force temporary remission, not a cure, is direct combating of RPS from the followers of the person afflicted.  I have seen interventions take place where followers band together and 'unfollow' the poor RPS sufferer.  What they do not realize is that by simply making noise about not following that person, they have wreaked havoc with the VGS.  Services like Qwitter, that alert you when someone stops following you, definitely change your perception on how your postings are perceived by followers.  You start to over analyze each individual tweet to see how you offended someone.  Yet they do not stop RPS sufferers from continuing forth to make their presence felt on every network.  The followers then also suffer since so many user FriendFeed, which the RPS person has also aggregated in so you see the same posting 14 times at once.

What we need is a simple way to prompt someone kindly without jumping into the immediate unfollow.  It is only fair to tell someone, rather than walk away.  The person with RPS needs to be treated gingerly and softly so as not to create a ripple in their smooth VGS taste.

by Chris Miller at 10:52:06 AM on Monday, October 13th, 2008
Let's get right to the figure they state for the market between the years of 2008 and 2012:
The Radicati Group forecasts the overall Enterprise 2.0 Software market to reach $842 million by 2012

You must be kidding me?  The report looked at more than a handful of leading vendors and compiled the enterprise software market as:
  • wikis
  • blogs
  • social bookmarking
  • social networks
  • "and more"
With the push to get more of this ability into the enterprise, I cannot see why this number is so low and it totally eliminates all the smaller vendors making inroads into the companies.  When you only look at a few leading names, there must be an account for the consumer push and adoption rate of getting tools to broaden employee knowledge and expanding the sharing of ideas and hidden content that has always been stored in email and chats.

Software development is expanding at an incredible rate and it is bringing all the data and thoughts that people have during the day to the top like cream, being surfaced through Enterprise 2.0 applications.  When the CIO goes home and gets him or herself on Facebook or MySpace, you can bet that the company will soon be doing the same.

by Chris Miller at 02:44:01 PM on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
The blogs have been blinking with blinding Chrome postings for a week now.  Well I stated in via voice yesterday in TheSocialGeeks Episode 7.  Google is about to take a chunk of browser market by tackling the underlying issue.  The user.

Let me slowly paint the picture I see
  • Google is the household name known globally.  Period.
  • Google always pushed new features and starts with search
  • Google takes a slice of the email market with Gmail.
  • Google takes a slice of instant messaging with a nice, light, clean client, gTalk
  • Google punches Microsoft and Lotus with Google Apps, with offline mode
  • Google announces Android to attack the mobile phone operating system market
  • Google releases Chrome

Let's focus on the build and the last few events.  One thing MS had going was Windows Mobile with the desktop to provide some limited form of applications to the mobile devices.  Pocket this and that.  Google can easily slip in and take this away.  With a lighter version of Chrome on top of Android that can take Google Apps offline, you beat what Microsoft offers.

Now let us tackle the iPhone.  The Google Gadget directory could easily overtake the App directory in terms of open, FREE applications.  Mobile mail comes natural and there will be a slew of apps to do so.  If companies like Lotus could make DWA Lite work against Android and Chrome, the iPhone loses as a business phone.  Now you gain the choice of carriers, phone models and capabilities, all backed by an ever growing company.  Chrome will come in components so you don't need the whole thing all the time, is my toher guess.

So grab your new Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, Cricket or whatever phone with Android.  Open the Chrome browser and grab what you need for capabilities.  Sync it with your online storage that is part of Gmail.  Open gTalk to have a chat and grab and edit your docs you are storing in apps.  Oh yeah, don't forget to load the Twitter gadget and all the other free toys.

You win Google.

by Chris Miller at 12:30:03 PM on Monday, August 25th, 2008
The argument evolving is that comments, commentary, reader feedback and honestly, the hits, go somewhere else outside of your blog.  You post the good content, and then people are on social sites having conversations about your postings.  Without you contributing, responding or growing your reader base.  How does that help you as a blogger, podcaster or whatever.

I was standing fast on the "No" side where it doesn't hurt, while one of my recent conversation opponents was arguing the opposite. Then I sat back and reflected some.  I can see points on both sides of the argument while FriendFeed grows.  If someone brings your article into FriendFeed, it can then be "liked", commented on and evolve into it's own thread.  Does the conversation link go to your blog? No.  That is why sites such as Mashable have been embedding the current FriendFeed status into the end of their postings.  Go look, I will wait. You, the content and blog owner, become responsible for tracking down everything about you on the web.

So what happens as your conversations that normally would occur on your blog get sucked into the ether? Your readership stays stagnant for the most part.  You then rely on the Digg, Google Readers shares, FriendFeed and StumbleUpon hits to shed light on your postings. You slowly dissolve into a one hit wonder of the blog world, or an icon of good postings that shows immediate readership growth. The ether either weighs you down or floats you to the top like the old saying of cream rising to the top.  The social sites become the giant stirring of the churn.

It is almost like Social Stalking.  They are there talking and watching, you feel the eyes, but never know who it is.

by Chris Miller at 01:56:14 PM on Monday, August 18th, 2008
Have any of you ever thought about this?  You create a profile on a new social network and start using the service.  You forget about it for some time, and then run across it (link or news article) saying, wow I haven't been there in a while.  When you go back to the site, it has turned into a business site. One that still has your credentials and is now serving such customers as retail chains.

Well it happens.  The actual knowledge site that has me writing this blog post is there still there.  However, all the main pages are now about their SaaS offerings and bringing customers/users with gained topical data together.  What topical data?  Mine?  The one that you have had for some time that I typed in?  I should point out that the same info they have is the same I would put on any public profile.  But how it is used is the question I am asking.

The "Who owns the data" game can be played for now (news coming here), but I don't think any of the social networks you would participate in state in their agreements that they will maintain your data while creating a business model based on that profile, at the exact same address, that is meant to glean topical (read as profile) information for business to learn how to market against.  While ads are currently targeted for sites based on age, groups and whatever, we understand that premise going in.  At least I do.  In order to stay in business, social sites run ads.  No secret.  But when you take my profile data and create a possible business from it, we have entered a new realm of unwillingness to share any information.

I have found no rules or past postings on this, so what is your take?

by Chris Miller at 10:10:48 AM on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008
The reports have started coming in already:
That is a pretty harsh list to begin operations with.  I get the feeling Apple was rushed into meeting a hidden deadline for release and the software 2.0 was not fully baked.  The developers were put under pressure to get this new 3G device ready, without proper testing of all aspects.  Having to reset your device to factory defaults more than once to keep it working is a sure way to have them returned right back to the Apple stores.  If you have not totally tested a device that you know will form lines around stores, down blocks and have people standing for all hours to get one, then don't ship yet.  It is funny how often we have to say that to hardware and software manufacturers.  I know the race is on, even though the iPhone still has an insignificant share of the business smart phone market, but they want it.  That is apparent.  However, corporations have high standards in the devices they select and having a phone die on a CEO or CIO will have the iPhone tossed out on it's iButt..

Image:The new iPhone - Did Apple Ship Too Soon? and the new iBat

The numerous posts alone on battery life should have been a show stopper.  Any device that is used to be used as a primary communication device as well as personal smart phone, PDA, butler and whatever else can fit on there better darn well last more than a few hours.  Soon we will see people with large Apple logos on their belts which are extra battery packs just to tote around an iPhone.  Soon to be called the Apple iBat

I will agree with Don in the post I link above, some of the charged rates for applications are a tad bit crazy.  I want a couple of them on my iPod Touch for use around the house on the wifi, and was shocked to see some of the higer end priced ones.

by Chris Miller at 10:49:10 AM on Monday, July 21st, 2008
I recently read a posting on the costs associated with purchasing and enabling your own corporate social network.  After I sat back and put some thought into it, the idea is not far fetched.  How long does it take you to gain any ROI from the effort?  The steps look like this:
  • Generate team (could be one unlucky person which then makes it a solo network, not a social network) to find possible software to test.  Keep in mind this team may never go on the hunt, but might sit through meeting after meeting while they are pitched.
  • Team then acquires the necessary hardware to run the application
  • Team then spends countless hours learning how to install the software so a bunch can get in there and play
  • A whole pilot should be formed, but is overlooked many times.  This now moves beyond a couple people into the tens of people that have to spend time learning and testing the new software
  • The team makes the necessary changes, and has the pilot group test yet again.
  • The above steps repeat, lather, rinse and repeat again
  • After the testing seems complete, then we lok at implementation
  • More meetings on architecture, SSL, load balancing, network placement, directory integration
  • After all this is done, we enter deployment
  • Deployment takes a couple people involved with a few teams to meet the above and then we go live
  • Users can now get in and use it
  • But this means they have to take training, unless they are wizards.  Some area are self explanatory, yet others take some effort
  • Once they get in, how do you keep them in and constantly putting in information
  • Then how long until the info in there is useful
  • Add in software maintenance and support by the way

What we have entered is a world that has a push for companies to draw out information that was never exposed properly.  Numerous employees spend a lot of time on social networks on a personal level.  But is it as entertaining as the Web 2.0 personal apps?  Heck no.  No one wants to share at work as they wish on the open Internet.  So the product either excels or languishes at this point.

Some users will then take to it and constantly update, fill in information and provide links.  Even start little communities.  The rest will sit blindly by since their day job doesn't have a need in their eyes.  Forget expanding what they know about company products, services and what people do.  They have to be taught how to explore outside those bounds.  Then enters the fight of lost productivity on what they were hired to do.  Is a social network something they were hired to do?  No, so where is the community manager?

This person is directly responsible for guiding topics, communities and being the local evangelist.  (See the above RWW article for a great amount of info) How much do they cost to add to the payroll?  Add all of this up, guess how long before you see a ROI benefit?  Does it ever occur?  

by Chris Miller at 06:00:00 AM on Monday, June 23rd, 2008
While on a trip I discovered that people with VGS have a hard time making the switch to a limited technology area for short bursts.  After the original VGS shock at the airport when the phone service lit up correctly but showed no data, the shakes began.  Maybe it was just being around all the airport signals right?  But it lasted.  I knew I would be saved from the spasms in my thumb that began by the time we got away from the airport and to the resort area.

While you cannot always count on affordable high speed Internet access in hotels across the world, the simple lack of any access is rare.  Almost everywhere I go it is present.  I did find that the hotel we are in had a very limited and slow open access point in the courtyard, but no where else in the property.  While driving around the island, we did encounter a couple small Internet cafes with exorbitant access rate plans.  I was even slightly amused and the number of people crowded around a small snack hut on the side of the road.  I imagined the food was incredible or it was a local hang out.  Until I read a very small sign.  "Free Wifi here".

Did I get overcome with VGS and stop at the stand?  No, thankfully we were on a path for the beaches with no laptop tagging along.  I immediately realized that the always connected state we live in gets even harder with the evergrowing presence around us of wireless signals and data across handhold devices.  We have a constant expectation that the Internet now follows us.  So how do you cope when not in that scenario?

First I found that actually using a map was a handy thing to learn growing up.  With no GPS sitting on the dash, or available in the Blackberry (which only got phone service and no data) you had to rely on yourself for once.  Or could I take it one step further and actually interact with a person by pulling over and asking directions.  We had more fun with the one or two wrong turns that led us into adventures we never would have known about.  Such as pulling over to watch a cricket match in progress and accidentally sitting next to a former player under a shade tree that traded us incredible amounts of passion and knowledge about the game for nothing but a smile and conversation.  Or finding a back road with a simple sign that said 'beach' and encountering where the locals hang out, away from the tourist beaches.  We know why they don't share it publicly, and will never tell where it is either with the courtesy we were given.

Second I arrived at the understanding that always looking up everything you wanted to do on the Internet, was not always giving the best answers.  We had a book on where we were, we had scoured the Internet for information and came up with a great gameplan.  Talk quietly with one or two people from the local area and you learn a lot of what you discovered is there for the tourism.  The hidden gems are gathered through actual communication with people that have no desire to always be connected.  People that have on idea what the Internet says about their area and what sights to see.

Jokingly, there was many a geek in the courtyard as I sent this blog posting up getting their quick VGS fixes.  From small handhelds with wifi to full laptops and on Skype, I saw a worker here shake their head, put a drink on the table and say
"relax man, we have live music, open doorways to the pool overlooking the ocean and no stress."

The guy hardly looked up with a smile as he prized his time online.  I said aloud, he will be ok, he has VGS.

by Chris Miller at 01:13:50 PM on Friday, June 13th, 2008
It is bad enough we suffer through endless amounts of pop-up ads on sites.  The ones that block your view till it times out or you find the tiny hidden magical X that closes the window.  But do you really think I want advertisers in my friend streams on Twitter and Pownce (and Plurk and whatever else) ?

Now, I do like and agree with small, sidebar, unobtrusive advertisers that blogs do.  Heck, I know one of mine does.  It helps pay the hosting and bandwidth bills sometimes.  But to actually invite them in as your friend so you can begin getting unknown amounts of advertising slush.  I hate the crap that comes daily to my real mailbox by the postman.  I definitely won't entertain digital.  I block spammers in email, so they now want to be friendly?

Image:Advertisers to people -> Can I be your friend? Oh hell no

As I sat yesterday at ILUG2008 listening to the keynote address by one of the evangelists from Lotus (Alan Lepofsky), he brought up a section on attention management.  Under it were three areas:
  • importance
  • urgency
  • interest

He brought up some quick areas that had me thinking more.  Importance is a key factor into what you should be looking at and investigating in the workplace.  While you are allowed to stray into numerous sites and other activities, you have a primary job focus that must be met.  With the infiltration of social networking into not on the business, but personal lives, people are drawn away from the primary and into secondary and even tertiary interests.

Social networking fights attention management in some ways. Other people try to send to you, bookmark to you and even drive communities around their interests and what they feel is important.  I know I do that daily with Twitter and blog postings.  When someone sends you an email with the high importance exclamation mark (signifying high importance), they are saying it is important to them (taken from Alan during his keynote).  What he says rings true.  People are telling you their item is important.  You are not flagging it yourself through some rules or tagging magic.  The same holds true when I send a link in Twitter.  I have filtered this information and think that it should be important to you. (Sure I use the Tweets as an archive for myself sometimes too), but I feel that my followers there and even on Diigo want to see it.

Does it automatically have urgency?  No.  No one sets urgency outside of yourself on any given email, IM, tweet or bookmark.  You control the urgency at which you must view it.  So that one really doesn't fit.  No one forces you to open or respond to any of these in any given timeframe.  While you may be looked upon differently if you do not promptly send an out of office to an email, or even ignore IM's, you are not required.  Social networking begs you to make things urgent.

Interest links us right back to importance.  If I carry an interest in a topic or mindset, I follow you on Twitter, read your RSS and see your bookmarks.  How much interest I have in the information you provide is how important it becomes to me.  You do not get to set an importance factor on social networking, I set it by my interest in what you have filtered and presented.

I came in saying how social networking fights attention management.  Let me bring it all together since I don't like you reading terribly long blog postings.  If you follow so many people, have so many RSS feeds and constantly check bookmark services, location awareness sites, lifestreams, you are being driven by social networks to fail attention management to your primary job focus.  Yes there are some of you that this is how a living is made.  But when you introduce a social network to the enterprise, without the proper management you introduce a fractionating of attention management.  You push your users not to focus on what they do, but to explore those tertiary interests that they already have.  No, I am not saying social networks are not valuable to the enterprise, I support, urge and consult on  the implementations, done properly.

Just because you put a business controlled social network into your company doesn't mean you are helping right away.  You might be driving attention management in the wrong direction without offering guidance to employees on personal interest that becomes so important it makes that information more important that their primary attention focus.

by Chris Miller at 02:08:35 PM on Monday, April 7th, 2008
A few weeks ago I published the start of a syndrome I tagged as VGS.  Amazingly, it was well received by many of you, well, that have it already.  But since then I uncovered another aspect of VGS.  One that still fits in the syndrome, but shows a slightly different behavior.  This person carries many of the following traits:
  • always online in some form or fashion
  • constantly updates us with loads of personal information
  • links to news that they feel should be shared instantly
  • makes heavy usage of social bookmarking
  • streams themselves through one of the many streaming services
  • feel that Twitter is akin to yelling from a city rooftop
  • decided blogging is passe, IM is an ok medium, but rarely emails and unless it is a cell phone, forget it
  • is always on the latest beta of every social networking site
  • finds that none of the current tools do everything they wish
  • never have enough friends, followers and watchers

So what we find when studying this behavior is the virtual gratification from knowing someone read one of their many postings, bookmarks, tweets and watching a stream.  They thrive on the reverse voyeurism that brings people into their life at a never ending pace.  They can never get enough followers, viewers or listeners.

I haven't yet found a cure except total burnout.  This person will either drop dead in the middle of a tweet with thousands watching on live video, or totally find themselves unable to type or click with carpal tunnel.

by Chris Miller at 02:56:20 PM on Saturday, March 29th, 2008
I read a great blog post on while sitting at the airport.  Many great comments followed the posting titled "A Journey of a Thousand Steps"

My mind starting racing around all the great ideas and comments.  However, to me there is that glaring hole.  Many people posted they don't care how their data syncs between services (bookmarking services were used as an example) or if they can export their Flickr photos if that site goes under and move them to Picasa.  The point isn't about synching or moving.  If we follow that path, we start with a small pod of information that another provider can grab and bring over into their systems. Now we have duplication of data and expect eh vendor to maintain the integrity and timing of the updates.  At any time, a vendor could decide to cut all ties and then you either move to a manual approach or dump one of them.  And the friends on that site with it.

Why aren't we treating the data as a blob, with limited (some basic rules) structure requirements, an open API to know how to get the blog and good user controlled security models?  From there, the developers of all these applications really give us a reason to utilize them.  They build a social networking site that accesses the blob and wraps cools tools and services.  Notice I did not say copies, takes or moves the blob.  Accesses.  You provide them with the proper access to what data you want that site to see from your blob and let them build.  I now know that I am storing my data one time, one place, one security base and when I update, everyone can get it in the way I want across services.

Forget updating 20 sites and then attempting to map blog posting into Tweets, Tweets in FriendFeed, photo into Flick, Flickr into Jaiku and Facebook and then all that into some widget on your blog once again.  What a mess.

So I think the word goes from DataPortability to DataStability or DataSittingInOnePlace

Update: Another blogger with an opinion

by Chris Miller at 12:33:59 PM on Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
While reading Twitter today, SheGeeks asked the question, what is the difference?  There is a symbiotic relationship between the two, while still maintaining differences.  The current sites out there do not reflect true aggregation, while many are attempting to do lifestreaming (like Profilactic)

The mere definition is the pulling together of disparate information to be available at once place.  FriendFeed is a form of aggregation, as well as Spokeo.  I go to one place to find the information.  LDAP services give a good example.  I can federate, or look everywhere for the information, or collect all of you together in aggregation to look in one place.  I can force federation through some of the social products, or I can let you aggregate all of your information into a social profile that gives one output.  So what you end up with is little pockets of aggregation by person, but not for me in consumability.  For true aggregation to occur and be functional in social networking, each person must aggregate, or better yet have a single source for their data (a la and my posting previously) and then allow me to further aggregate all of that single information into a sole place I get it all.  From RSS feeds, to friend updates, to instant messaging.  The whole ball of wax as the saying goes.

Lifestreaming is the first step in people trying to pull every facet of information they post, every profile they maintain, every instant message they send, every song they listen to, every favorite everything they make a list from and somehow put it into a clean interface.  This in turn becomes an aggregation point for that single person, yet not for everyone else.  You now need an aggregator tool on top of the lifestreaming to make it usable by any one person.  Sure, if I had one friend, then this would solve it.  But people are watching hundreds of Twitters, hundreds of blogs, hundreds of newsfeeds and still trying to entertain themselves on the Internet.  Have you seen one yet that accurately also gets all my IM's across all the networks added in there?  Not a chance.  Does everyone use presence awareness coupled with location awareness?  That means not only am I online and available, but where am I in the world (Plazes and Dopplr for example).

So where does that leave you and I?  Busy finding just the right mix of consolidating our daily Internet presence and finding sites that pull enough of our friends stuff, we keep up.  Forget news feeds and any other meaningful site.  The recent TWIT podcast stated this well, that we naturally crave for information and it is coming to us at a rate faster than we can absorb.  All of us top line bloggers and Internet presence enthusiasts are blasting away, while many can't keep up with the river coming at them.  

No single site is yet the golden ticket that gets us to see Willy Wonka.  Wait, is he online right now to ask?

by Chris Miller at 11:22:00 AM on Tuesday, March 11th, 2008
Virtual gratification.  What does it include (but not limited to)?
  • the sound of the email arriving
  • the ping of an IM
  • the chirp of a SMS
  • a new wall posting in Facebook
  • a podcast (ie: TheSocialNetworker podcast) gets released
  • even the hopes that your favorite Twitter client shows a new posting
  • the constant refresh of PlanetLotus/FriendFeed/LinkRiver/NewsPond/Shyfte/etc as you watch the blogs
  • watching strangers on Yahoo Live or Qik

Then begins the rush as you open each one and the immediate let down once you read it, respond to it and click the delete or ignore key.  You then enter wait state again  How much of this represents your day?

If this sounds familiar, as I know it does, then you suffer from a new syndrome. VGS.  There, I said it.  Virtual Gratification Syndrome.  I am sure that you have it. You know you have it.  You want to shake it.  How do you function in your day as it constantly sucks you into your vibrating Blackberry, making little ringtone sounds and "bing-ing" on your computers?  Your family dreads you bringing any of your devices to the table, knowing you only respond to them with a grunt or glance.  Your right thumb hurts as you spin the wheel or rollerball.  You can text a T9 message without looking.  You check email before you eat, shower or roll out of the bed.  VGS.  Sometimes, the things you read changes  your entire mood for the rest of the day.  You follow people like Jason Calacanis as he drives his car on Qik.  You have long conversations over Tweets with someone you have never met.  So can we beat it?

My independent study shows that the younger generation cannot escape it once they are exposed to it.  My independent study consisted of my teenage kids, my low 20's in age brother and watching people in general at airports, malls and whatever.  So is this scientific? No.  Is it any the more false? No.

I know once a year I totally disconnect for a week.  I have successfully done this for 10 years now.  Does that fix VGS?  Heck no.  It only delays the inevitable of me spending days trying to catch up to the swarm of information I try to consume on a daily basis.

Some people have recently declared email bankruptcy, only to fall into email debt soon after.  One IBM'er (Louis Suarez at has stopped using email as any form of communication over the past 4 weeks.  Read his postings to see how he has gotten on using other tools.  I think that falls further into VGS thinking about it more.

For those of you that:
  • follow me on Twitter
  • contact me over IM channels
  • see my bookmarks on many social bookmark sites
  • read my blogs
  • listen to my podcasts
you would know that email is not a prime choice for me.  My email flow has slowed and instant gratification has stepped in with more force.  Things like Facebook quickly lost their appeal.  Voicemail is quite passe and my actual voicemail message says I do not check it often so don't bother leaving one if you need something right away.  So what are the next steps?

I posted on my IdoNotes blog a few weeks ago part 1 of how I am kicking the Facebook habit.  It worked so far.  I only logged into Facebook the past couple months for those private email messages someone might send or a friend invite.  I got past the Facebook messages with Digsby, a new consolidated IM and social tool.  I have broken the Facebook habit with forcing other feeds, such as Twitter and blog rss entries, as my status updates.  From there I am building a better social network flow so I can post once or twice and get everything updated all across the net.

I am not sure yet what step #3 will be, that will be a soon to follow blog posting.  I can't type anymore as my VGS is kicking in..

by Chris Miller at 02:28:33 PM on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
I came across the link to the blog posting by Nitin on "Data Property Rights, Not Portability" referred by Chris Brogan.  One little part from his posting: not whether web app vendors "allow" me to take my data and go play elsewhere, but whether they "play fair" with my data when it's in the web app.

I agree overwhelmingly with this portion.  However, he goes on to speak of exit and moving our data.  I think that is too far out.  Let me try.

 I have an approach in my head, and it is one of the reasons I am part of the Data Portability working group.  The ownership of data should always lay in the hands of the person, not the vendor.  Here is the basis of my thought.

We spend far too much time populating profiles on numerous sites.  Then along came the profile aggregators that I have reviewed many times on this site.  So they attempt to pull all your meta-data or APML or whatever form into one interface for people to follow.

So here is my theory:
  •  We should have one central, standardized, loose object (pics, videos, meta data, profiles, etc) storage facility
  •  It should be a blackbox data storage where everyone dumps their info
  • Then vendors build frameworks around this same data store to pull data
  • We authorize the vendors to access certain data parts as we see fit
  • They all pick some centralized authentication mechanism like OpenID (don't scream it is an example)
  • We then allow and disallow the who's and what's centrally

What is the added bonus for vendors?  Well what they wrap it with and offer as services around my data.  If I do not like what the vendor does with data or what services they offer, I don't spend time making another profile to find out.  Or I do get involved and they change their path.  No need to remove content I spent tons of time on, I simply remove their authorization and they cannot pull the data to make the interface for me any longer.

I know this simplifies things greatly, but we have to take a different approach then all the social network sites that pop up and try to be the next big thing.  My data is the big thing and centralizing it is the  mission.

by Chris Miller at 09:15:00 AM on Friday, August 31st, 2007
Geezeo is a site that is supposed to allow you to enter all of your credit card and/or banking data, securely, so it can assist you in setting goals, and take control of finances.  All via a simple web interface or even your cell phone.

 So what is the twist?  Well the Framingham, MA company takes all of this ability and wraps it with social networking.  From this screenshot you can see how they take the Web 2.0 icons and make it so your own grandmother could pull this one off.
Image:Geezeo - would you let them tap into your financial sites for you?
You can join groups with the same goals as you, start your own or even have them push you along in true collaboration support.

I can say I did not go further into the site past this point.  As some article writers may say that this will become a future of financial planning, having some website (outside of my bank, credit card company or place where all bills or sent) store all my personal information, pin numbers and accounts, well scares the hell out of me.  With the current trend of places "losing" huge numbers of personal information to hackers, lost backup tape or even a laptop left in an airport, there is no way you would want to centralize all of this outside your own home machine loaded with Quicken or Microsoft Money.

For now, run away from this one.

So I read a short article, that I am not linking to since this is more opinion, and come to the confusion, I mean conclusion.  

The situation: Basically the school is preparing the yearbook and the staff mentor/director is not there.  Certain students are missing the fun pictures.  Not where you sit with the bad combed hair or the goofy smile.  The truly fun ones at the school functions, events and in the halls.  Well the school doesn't have those innocent pictures for these students.  So the yearbook staff logs into Facebook and starts grabbing photos from their friends pages.

Now here is where it gets sticky.  Yes the Internet is forever, and don't put up what you do not wish those to find.  Saying that however, the pictures were marked (ok most of them) for friends only, meaning you had to not only log in but be a 'friend' to see these.  Which meant some expectation of privacy on the student's part that posted it.  It isn't like pictures taken of you at the mall or walking in a park.  You cannot expect someone not to be able to take them at that point.

The opinion:  Did that give the right for the yearbook staff to use them?  I say no.  Many say if the pictures are there, then they shall take.  I know feel the students did not have a malicious intent.  They simply needed more pictures, knew where to get them and didn't think long term of the consequences.  Unfortunately the consequences were two sided.  The ones placing the pictures in the yearbook get into trouble for choosing content unbecoming to a school.  The students in the pictures get in trouble for some of the pictures themselves. This leads us into a new topic for later that is creeping up on the Internet.  How and should you get into trouble for things not associated with a job/school that get posted.

I ran across this article talking about that exact fact.  The interesting part was the comment one of the investors in Facebook made:
Sounds like a big number, except that it might not be enough to buy it; Facebook investor and director Peter Thiel recently asserted that for $10 billion, they would consider selling

While this article revolved more around what Yahoo has to do to get into the Social Networking race (Yahoo 3600 really isn't that good), the believed value of any site like this astounds me.  Where is this revenue?  Are ads generating so much value?  Do you really click on them?  I know I pretty much ignore them, while others run ad blockers so they never see them.  I would love to see some statistics from companies that utilize these sites and how much they make.  Not click-through, but real dollars spent.  or Euros, whatever.

Then do some real math.

by Chris Miller at 02:17:11 PM on Friday, July 27th, 2007

So I read this with great despair, at first.  Then to see they have worked themselves into some financing of $1.5M in series A "pre-user" funding from some ventures in Europe.  Well that changed things.  Talk about making a living off of the deceased.  How about some social networking around their death, even though they cannot participate in it.

On the serious side, there is some nice memories to those that have passed.  You are encouraged to share your own memories of stars and friends.  They use the bold 2.0 icons for navigation with lots of pictures of the loved ones that have left us.

Wait, what is this?  You can create your own with no death date.  More like a living respectance wall.  I have no idea what to think about this site yet.

by TheSocialNetworker at 11:00:00 AM on Tuesday, July 24th, 2007
A quick online review can be found here...

I looked at the site (too bad for them someone sneaky bought to try and suck in users).  But we are moving beyond the idea of a simple small text file and heading right into higher bandwidth usage.  The basic idea of Twitter was to send short SMS based messages to keep people in sync, not to download a couple hundred K of audio bytes that in most instances will sound terrible.  Then they reply with the same audio response.  Pretty soon bandwidth becomes an issue and the instance of having to pause to download instead of reading under 160 characters quickly.  While layering technologies is the way new ideas are born, this was supposed to be a simple interface with a simple solution to meet the needs of many devices.

So who has uses TwitterGrams so far?  Any insight into whether this is just a bother or you actually like it?

Conference/Article Materials

My Files

Yes this is a blatant theft of the outline that Jess uses on her page, but I asked permission. Why?? Because I am a hardcore admin and can make ugly tables to make you developers frustrated, but this was too nice to pass up.

Also Known As: Chris Miller (when awake)

Boring Certifications: (only because someone asked twice)

  • Workplace Collaboration Services 2.5 - Team Collab and Messaging
  • Domino 7 Certified Security Administrator
  • PCLP ND7
  • PCLP ND6
  • PCLP R5
  • PCLP R4
  • CLP Collaboration (soon to be retired Aug 2006)
  • random former R4 exams
  • CLI for numerous admin areas including Domino, Sametime and Workplace
  • CLP Insane

Yes, I write some of those dreaded admin cert exams you take. I won't say which ones so you don't come looking for me, but I will say they are the real good recent ones that have been coming out.


  • At work an IBM 2 GHz
  • At home a plethera of 6 machines with various Windows versions and Red Hat on a wired/wireless LAN
  • A Toshiba E740 with 802.11b (yes geek toy)
  • An Apple 40GB iPod that is filled to the brim
  • Compaq RioPort MP3 player (now in storage)
  • An EBook (REB1100) also for travel (Love that darn thing)
  • Verizon and they always seem to know how to find me, damn cell


One dog, a Pug. He has been on this world before and seems to understand slippers and a fine cigar. Mind you that is him in the chair and not me.

Let us now also add a deranged cat that is in the process of being toilet trained. Update: Toilet traning was very very close.


Non-stop. At my desk, in my car, walking to work and back to my car downtown. In the house there is a crazy zoned set-up for you home automation geeks.

I am a self-proclaimed MP3 fiend, to which I have tried rehab 4 billion times to no avail. Next is the MP3 hard-drive for the car that I found. Now what kind of music you ask? I will never tell.


  • Incredibly fast English
  • Very slow Spanish
  • Emoticon-ese
  • Learning Korean
  • HTML
  • Advanced Sarcasm

Geek class special abilities:

  • Notes/Domino overdrive
  • Workplace
  • Sametime
  • Active Directory (huh? kidding)
  • Quickplace
  • LMS, LVC and the other L's of elearning
  • Windoze junk
  • MS Exchange versions
  • LAN
  • Server Iron
  • Yeah, yeah it goes on some


Get back to you here


Hershey’s Stomach of Holding: Jess and I are fighting over who eats more chocolate. TWDUFF can help me out and vouch for me.

Character Bio:

This will take far more time than I have today. I will start with I was born and still live in St. Louis, MO. Even though for a couple years I was never, ever here and always on the road, this is smack in the middle of the US. Everything is just a few hour flight. That part is nice. No beach/ocean/coast isn't the best. But with the travel I make up for it.

Don't Panic

Looking to find me in person? Here is where I will be.

delayedcustomer visitMinneapolis, MN
Mar 31 - Apr 4Lotus Notes and Domino 8 Upgrade SeminarCopenhagen, Denmark
Apr 30 - May 2Admin2008Boston, MA
May 10 - 15Lotus Notes and Domino 8 Upgrade SeminarLondon
Jun 4 - 6Irish Lotus User Group 2008Dublin, Ireland
Jun 16 - 19Lotus Notes and Domino 8 Upgrade SeminarSan Francisco, CA
Jun 21 - 29VacationSome island I am not telling you
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