Entries Tagged 'Life' ↓

Online Overhaul: Knowing my goals

I blogged earlier about my desire to revamp my online habits, how I felt I was lagging behind.  Before investing too much into this, though, it’s best to step back and look at my goals. What do I want to be doing that I’m not? What don’t I want to lose? What is my desired end state? Once I started doing that I thought it would be interesting to share this here, for others who might be tackling a similar situation.

So, in one short statement, I want to be more participatory. I want to spend more time writing, commenting, connecting, and sharing. At the same time, I want to continue monitoring the online world for news and discussions about topics that interest me personally and professionally.

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On a personal note: chase your dream

I had every intention of writing a post with performance review tips today, but I received a sad email this morning. I hope you forgive a personal moment, as I mourn the passing of a friend – Peter O’Connor.

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Enjoy the moments

(This is the final planned post for 2008.  I’ll be taking some time off for the holidays and will resume posting next year.)

Last summer, my wife and I spent the afternoon and evening at a distant relative’s cabin by a lake.  We were visiting her brother and his family, who were staying there for a few days.  We enjoyed an afternoon of swimming and fishing, and sat around a campfire as the night grew darker.  In the hills surrounding the valley we were in, we could see thunderstorms.  They were so distant that no sound reached us, but we saw the lightning flashing in the clouds many miles away.  The four adults stood by the lake and watched as we quietly talked.

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Video gaming and the office

I left a bit of information out of my response to Storagezilla’s question about how I ended up in a manager’s office instead of writing code.  After talking to him briefly in email I realized there was no reason not to add that information here.  It’s the story of how playing video games made me a manager.  Or something along those lines….
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Blogging to Learn

Gina recently posted about blogging as a learning mechanism, a topic I’ve had sitting in my “write about this someday” queue for a while (originally motivated by this post on Coding Horror).  I was going to take a different spin on it, but her education-based look at the idea was a new angle for me and so I decided to run with it (plus she basically called all of us EMC bloggers out; I can’t ignore that!).
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Make your voice heard

If you’re active in social media, blogging, twittering, meeting and connecting with people across the world and across your workplace in new and exciting ways, you’re probably used to making your voice heard.  You’re probably getting used to the fact that real work gets done in these back channels.  But tomorrow in the US is about the front channels.

I’m not here to endorse a candidate.  I’m here to endorse the process of voting.  Regardless of how you feel about the presidential race, there are real issues being decided in hundreds of local elections across the country tomorrow.  Sometimes issues like these are decided by a handful of votes.  Staying home because you’re apathetic about the president, or because you know your vote won’t change your state’s “color” on the CNN map Tuesday night is a mistake.

Even if “your” candidate or cause loses tomorrow, you’ve taken a step to being more involved.  You’re not just watching from the sidelines, you’re participating.  There’s a reason we’re all active here online — and those reasons apply just as much in person as they do here with the ones and zeroes.

So come in to work an hour late, leave an hour early, whatever, and get to the polls.

I don’t even own a TV!

Here’s an Internet culture test: how long after someone posts a comment about a particular TV show will someone else respond with “I don’t even own a TV“?  It happens more often than you’d think — on the Ars Technica openforum it happened often enough that it evolved into a meme/joke — someone would ask for advice on fixing their Toyota and someone would jokingly say “I don’t even own a car.”  How should I cut my hair?  “I don’t even have hair!”  And so on.

This is just one symptom of something you see all over the place.  Start a discussion about what version of Windows to buy, and you’ll get people telling you to install Linux (that link was the second google hit for “which version of windows to buy”).  They could well be right, but that’s not what you came to talk about, is it?
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It’s about the people

As long as I’ve had access to the technology, I’ve been online and interacting with people from around the world.  Back in the late 80s, it was bulletin boards running FidoNet and WWIV.  As the technology changed, so did the communities, but it has always been about the people.  It’s no different now, and in fact it’s more obvious now than it ever has been, as your sites and tools naturally remind you that the nodes in your network are all individuals.  Whether it’s twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, or Facebook friends, you’re dealing with people nonstop.

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Blog Action Day 2008 – Poverty

I remembered Blog Action Day too late to have a polished post ready at 8 AM today, but after reading Steve Todd’s post on the subject I felt I really needed to get something written before the day closed out.

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Office Politics

One of the more interesting moments in my transition from developer to manager was when, in a training class, an honest instructor said, “If you don’t want to see office politics, you shouldn’t become a manager.”  I always thought I wasn’t one for office politics, but I was beginning to get dragged into them as an individual contributor, so I realized it was a non-issue for me.

But I’m not here to talk about that kind of office politics.  I’m here to talk about politics in the office.  Well, politics, religion, and whether you prefer waffles to pancakes.  You know, the hard questions.  I recently saw a discussion sparked by an employee who felt “harassed” by having unpopular political views criticized by others at the workplace.
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