Archive for March, 2011

Have you ever ..

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Cross out what you’ve done.

graduated high school.
smoked a cigarette.
kissed someone.
gotten so drunk you passed out.
ridden every ride at an amusement park.
collected something really stupid.
gone fishing.
watched four movies in one night.
gone long periods of time without sleep.
lied to someone.

snorted cocaine.
failed a class.
been in a car accident
been in a tornado.
done hard drugs.
watched someone die.
been to a funeral.
burned yourself.
run a marathon.
cried yourself to sleep.
spent over $200 in one day.
flown on a plane.
written a 10 page letter.
gone skiing.
been sailing.
had a best friend.
lost someone you loved.
shoplifted something.
been to jail.
dangerously close to being in jail.
had detention.
skipped school.
got in trouble for something you didn’t do
stolen books from the library.
gone to a different country.
dropped out of school.
been in a mental hospital.
watched the “harry potter” movies.
had an online diary.
fired a gun.
gambled in a casino.
had a yard sale.
had a lemonade stand.
actually made money at the lemonade stand.
been in a school play.
taken a lie detector test.
swam with dolphins.
gone to sea world.
voted for someone on a reality tv show
written poetry.
read more than 20 books a year.
gone to europe.
used a coloring book over age 12.
had surgery.
had stitches.
taken a taxi.
seen the Washington monument.
had more than 5 im’s/online conversations going at once.
had a drug or alcohol problem.
been in a fist fight.
suffered any form of abuse.
had a hamster.
pet a wild animal.
used a credit card.
gone surfing in California.
done “spirit day” at school.
dyed your hair.
gotten a tattoo.
had something pierced.
gotten straight a’s.
been on the honor roll.
known someone with HIV or AIDS.
taken pictures with a webcam.
started a fire.
gotten caught having/going to a party while parents were gone.

Good News At Last

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Like a lot of people I have alerts set so that I am notified when my name comes up on the Internet. (Please tell me I am not alone.) I think it is good practice because I know that a lot of people look me up because of my job. While I don’t have a very common first name my last name is common enough that people with the same first and last name do show up on the Internet besides me. Several of them, sadly to say, for criminal activity. I suspect that almost everyone has someone with the same name who gets into trouble. I keep hoping that someone with my name will make the news for something good. And today it happened.

In the UK a man named Alfred Thompson stopped an armed (with a knife) robbery and held the criminal for police. (Story here) Mr. Thompson I salute you. Not sure I’d have the courage to do the same but I do appreciate you bringing honour to our name. Thanks.

Twitter, Lists, and Influence

Monday, March 21st, 2011

This started as a comment I wanted to leave on a blog post by Robert Scoble but after I started writing it it felt too long for a comment and too far off the main focus of his post.

When I see a list of most influential anything the first thing I wonder about is context. There are some 300+ twitter users with over a million followers. Most of them have no influence in *my* life. I think I follow, technically, a couple of them but really don’t pay that much attention to them. A number of people with hundreds (or fewer) followers have more day to day influence with me.

In my case I follow several lines in Twitter. Tech of course. Friends as well. The big group though is education which in some cases overlaps friends and tech. Who is influential in that context is not influential in the context of the sort of tech Scoble writes about but may be very influential in educational technology.

Now I like making lists as much as the next guy (more than some) but I have to realize that the people who make lists have their own context and their own idea of influence and I might very well be influential in the areas I want/need to be without making those lists. I think that judging influence only makes sense when looking at one person in the context where they are trying to make a difference.

My friend Doug Peterson (@DougPete) and I frequently share “another list we didn’t make.” It’s a bit of a joke and we both (I think) see these lists as interesting but not important enough to get upset over not being included. We share ideas, thoughts, conversations, and quips. We try to be interesting, helpful and useful. If we have influence fine. If not, well, if we are helpful to someone that is good enough.

I think I worry a lot more than Doug about “influence.” Call it insecurity on my part. Or ego. It’s most definitely a weakness on my part – a vanity. At the end of the day though I know I will never have the influence of many many other people on Twitter and I am ok with that.

And besides, those lists are not to be taken seriously. Entertainment value only. Even, or perhaps especially, the ones that list me. Smile