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Archive for December, 2008

There are many things I can bear. For instance, I can bear sitting in a church where the preacher only speaks Spanish. I can bear the fact that CSI (and its mignon spinoffs) is popular.

I can’t bear life without the internet.

Did you ever see that episode of South Park where the whole world freaks out without internet. Yeah, my life is exactly like that. Panic, restlessness.

I wanted to check IMDB earlier today to learn more about David S. Goyer. I couldn’t. I am catching up on news because I’ve grown wearier of the daytime CNN anchors.

The past two days have been hell.

It’s all compacted by the fact that I’m on an actual island…the punchline, the entire island survives on dial-up except for one coffee shop that is closed until after Christmas.

I tried surviving on the other great time waster, Television, but it does me no good. I hate the limitations of television. I love Hulu.

It got so bad that I printed pictures from my computer to make a real life Facebook. I updated people’s statuses as I contacted them. If I wanted to see them add pictures, I’d have to print off pics from my hard drive – or in desperate times Photoshop them into new pictures I took with my camera.

Instead of Twitter, I just step outside and shout how I’m doing. No @replies yet.

People decided to contact via snail mail. Someone asked me for the Condo’s address, but I couldn’t remember how to tell someone a real address. I told them michaeltobias@damnthisisland.com

The days, I swear, are getting darker. Definitely colder. I have set up smoke signals on the beach, hoping that someone with an AT&T connect card will rescue me.

The only hope is that this post will make it to the internet. I have set up some aluminum foil and a shirt hanger to establish a connection…

If the post makes into the real world, tell everyone I loved them. Tell everyone that, if I had the ability to post on their Facebook wall, I’d tell them how I had no regrets about my internet usage on the mainland. No regrets, just precious memories of Hotmail and A.I.M.

Your home boy,

Michael

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You’re wired off that Starbucks seasonal latte you had at 10PM, and you’ve already checked your Facebook 500 times (And Sheila still hasn’t poked you back…)

What’s on Tv? Infomercial. Sigh. Shamwow? That must be bulls#$%It can’t pick up that much water. It’s cheap, but before you consider buying one you turn off the tube.

But then you remember a post you read (maybe this one) about 5 guys who decided to perform comedy on a streaming video network.

Hallelujah, there’s something to do.

Tonight at MIDNIGHT, you’ll get to watch a professional improv show via your computer. No need to RSVP, pay anything, or sign up….

Just show up to this link anytime around 12AM:  http://tr.im/2gk9 We look forward to seeing you there!

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Have you ever paid for a professional account on LinkedIn. Jesus, talk about expensive. A small account – which really doesn’t offer much more than the free account – is $20/month. Making this expense $240 a year. Not bad.  But not really worth your money.

But while we’re talking about things not worth your money, the professional account costs $200/month. Yup, math wizards are now gasping at the $2,400 a user pays for a professional account. I mean good god, I do not have that much money to use a simple service.

For those unfamiliar with LinkedIn, it’s a social network dedicated to allowing business professionals to build connections and introduce your current associates to new people.  Basically, everything you do at a conference. You can upload your pic, current position, experience, skills, resume, and connect to third party apps.

The golden $200/month professional account (as well as the smaller paid accounts) allows you to send messages to people….cool? Er, and the professional account let’s you only send 50 of those per month.. Use ’em wisely. Plus you get more search results when looking for people…..yay, more search results…. And send requests for introductions.

So, actually, the features are pretty sh***y at $200/month.

But there’s something else going on. Some of you might have guessed it.

Perceived value.

If you’re a Fortune 500 business person, why on earth would you use Facebook? There’s no value to it, or I should say no gates to control who gets prominence.

So, there are all these business people, a lot of them unfamiliar with social networks in the first place, who are willing to throw their money at LinkedIn because it costs some coin.

By all means, it’s inferior to Facebook’s ability to control privacy and integrate with 3rd party applications that assist business networking. But Facebook is free, has a bunch of teenagers, and has that goofy bumper sticker app. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is somber and costs money.

This is why I’m starting my social network, RICH AS F*CK. It’s open to the first 3 people who give me a million dollars each. And premium features include the abillity to message the other two members of this super exclusive network. Anybody wanna sign up?

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I was at Game Stop today.

A dude was at the Guitar Hero station, playing. He decided to hold and play the guitar from behind his head – you know, all rock star and such.

It made me think about who I am.

Am I judging him? Should I cheer him on? Or do I want to be him?

I decided that Guitar Hero can teach us about who we are. This guy risked looking like an idiot. After all, he’s playing a plastic guitar in the middle of a video game store. But he took a chance to do something that felt right.

If you were watching him, would you judge him, cheer him on, or want to take his place? The answer says a lot about your personality.

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“Dude, tomorrow don’t sign onto your Facebook account.”

“Why?”

“Because we gotta show those Facebook admins that they can’t walk all over us! It’s a revolution against the new layout. You in?”

“No…”

“What? Dude, this is like tots important.”

“If you’re unhappy, why don’t you delete your account?”

“Because then I couldn’t use Facebook…”

Tomorrow, you can make an impact (not really) on Facebook. A group of people have decided to make a bold statement by not signing into their accounts for 24 hours. They’re pissed off that Facebook ignored their criticisms of the new layout, on top of other minor problems.

1 million people from around the world say they’re attending tomorrow’s blackout. That’s only 1% of Facebook’s total users.

So, I was not a fan of Facebook’s new layout. I hated it. I wrote letters to Facebook with curse words and dirty innuendos. (Maybe.) But now I dig it. I guess it was a lesson in how people resist change.

But tomorrow there will still be a blackout. Nothing will change Tuesday.

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I like that Vimeo always signs its messages “love, Vimeo.” It’s a very personal touch to a mass produced message.

It’s a small gesture that the company wants to make these messages as personal as possible. Unless I’m in direct contact with a team member, these messages will never be personal.

But that’s not what matters. It matters more that the company says, “We hate boring messages. So we’re going to try something different.”

Flickr greets me in a different language each day. Squidoo calls me Sugarpie. My wordpress page has snow on it. And I can’t help but appreciate these little hints of life.

If your company is about to mass message its clients or users, consider giving the message some personality. It may be overlooked, it may not matter to every single user, but it counts for something.

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The job interview.

Fran: Sir, you know I’m a huge advocate for women’s health. And don’t forget that I have diplomatic experience.

Gov. Paterson: Mhm…

Fran: Just…just try to put that whole ‘Nanny’ TV series in the back of your mind. I mean it was a hit, but there’s so much more to me…

Gov. Paterson: Mrs. Drescher, let me stop you right there. It’s not the TV series that concerns me.

Fran: Oh, then what is it?

Gov. Paterson: It’s your voice. You see, I’m legally blind and my hearing is slightly enhanced. So, Mrs. Drescher, when you speak I want to bang my head on this desk over and over again.

Fran: Oh…well, oh dear…

Gov. Paterson: Yes, and I’m doing my best to not squeeze your head until it pops and relieves me of this agonizing interview.

Fran: Goodness…Well, Governor, I  just thought that if a guy with a funny name could be president, a girl from Queens with a funny voice could be Senator.

Gov. Paterson gets up to hug Fran’s head.

Fran: Sir, please don’t squeeze my head.

Gov. Paterson: I’m not going to squeeze your head.

Fran: Ok, cuz I’m really worried you’re going to squeeze my head.

Gov. Paterson: Shhh, Fran. Shut up. I’m going to have a heart-to-heart with you right now. People used to make fun of me for having a lazy eye. I was capable of so much, but people couldn’t get over this little thing. I cried, Fran. I cried and prayed to God that he’d make me normal.

Fran: Governor, that’s really sad.

Gov. Paterson: Yes, but now I thank God that I’m not you.

Fran: Oh…

Gov. Paterson: You might not be a Senator; but, Fran, you help millions of people feel better about themselves because they’re not as annoying as you.

Fran: Well, I’m sure there’s a compliment in there.

Gov. Paterson: No…Not really. I honestly don’t understand why your husband hasn’t killed himself.

Fran: He’s tried.

Gov. Paterson: Fran, if it’s worth anything, I may still have a disability, but now I’m governor. So what if your voice is like a piece of metal farting. Don’t let me bring you down. Dream big. Within reason. I guess I’m trying to say do anything with your life. Just don’t run for public office, okay?

Fran: (Nasal laugh)

Gov. Paterson, with a gun he didn’t have before, shoots Fran Drescher.

Gov Paterson: (breathing heavily) Wow…that laugh is intense. It’s all right, now. I did the right thing. Yes, I have to believe I did the right thing. (Presses the button on his intercom.) Can you send in Rosie O’Donnell?

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