Category Archives: Website

Social Media: Consume or Create?

The above is a clip from Joshua Becker’s vlog today. He discusses how to use social media. He is absolutely offering advice. The problem with offering advice is that somewhere out there someone will disagree. That is me.

Unlike a lot of “minimalists”, Becker does not promote staying off social media. But as he states above, if one is one social media, he should create content.

I disagree.

The only social media platform I currently have/use is Facebook. I’m there for the consumption. Oh, I posted a couple river pictures from the cruise, but I don’t create content.

I am convinced no one cares for what I contribute. It’s been a lifelong lesson, but it is pretty well documented. Most people don’t care what others say. All they are interested in is responding and themselves. I am guilty of it as much as anyone else.

If I were truly engaged, I still would be more about driving traffic to this blog than I would be providing Facebook or some other company content. If I want my content consumed by others (people who presumably do not follow Becker’s advice) then I would post with links here. Yeah, I don’t do that.

Another reason I don’t post to social media is that almost everything I read there is virtue signaling on some level. From the outright political posts to the more subtle but nonetheless telling readers that doing it this way is the right thing. Are you part of the kewl kid club? Nope. Never was and I suspect I never will.

I’ve given up on the idea that I am going to change lives, provide inspiration, etc. I am living the Me life now. If anyone were to read this (unlikely despite it being public), he is free to judge that comment all he wants. I know my place. I know who I am. I do not feel obliged to play it the way others feel it ought to be. I write my rules regardless of others. I lived a decent number of years following “the rules”; it didn’t work. Now I do it my way.

Folks won’t see my content on other people’s web sites.

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

Spring is here! The birds are chirping loudly early this March morning. It puts a smile on my face . . . I’ve worn black eyeglasses for the last two years. I picked up my new silver glasses the other day. My children have not noticed . . . 379 work e-mails since I last checked (I am on leave due to knee surgery). Only two did I need to do anything with. It is apparent some parents are unaware their child has had a different teacher the last three months . . . I am up to August 2011 in the rebuild of this blog. Tagging of photographs became markedly better at this point. The children are tagged properly now, which is making dealing with the photographs easier to deal with. There are still too many of them . . . Love that my son texted me tonight and asked if I wanted to see Doctor Strange 2. Had a grand time . . . Need to adjust my attitude. Work issues are completely out of my control. There’s no way for me to even influence things let alone enact change. Because of that, chill. At this point it is what it is. Go with the flow for the next three years . . . I lead a very quiet life . . . I could write an entire book about the parking antics at my apartment complex . . . It took moe than two months from start to finish for this post . . .

Lost Files

Tonight I learned that one of the two hard drives that had failed cannot be recovered. I’ll have to check my notes, but I believe this drive housed the majority of my Toastmasters speeches. There are other files on here as well.

It’s sad. I was careless and it looks like some files I really would like to have are no longer ever going to be had.

No use in beating myself up over this. What is done is done.

I am building mechanisms to protect the data (I was doing that when these drives went), but it is all ephemeral. I am trying to make it last, but once I am dead and gone, with a mouse click whomever inherits this can do away with all my work.

Such is life . . .

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

Noted this morning that I have not lost a sock in the washing since I moved here . . . Found an example when I went for done/good enough and not perfect: scrubbing the tub . . . Last evening I had the best night of sleep since the surgery three weeks ago. I needed it as I haven’t been sleeping . . . My Flickr bill is almost three times what it used to be. I am beholden to this service; I don’t like it . . . One of the hassels of re-building this site the way I am doing it is I have to rename a lot of posts, which causes me to have to update data for all the photographs linked to that post. Renaming occurs is because some posts have the same name. If it’s a geocache, for instance, that I found multiple times, I want them in order, so the second time has a 2 in the url, not a 4. It’s time-consuming . . . Concert ticket prices are soaring again. Can’t get into the Wells Fargo Center for under a C-note to see John Mayer. Really? $100+ to sit in the rafters? Bah! . . . Purchased $200 worth of linens to replace stuff that had worn since I moved. Wrote the company explaining why I did. They refunded my money and apologized. That impressed me, Brooklinen . . . I am in my seventh month of not biting my nails. Yeah, me! 56 years of biting my nails . . . As I re-build this site, I am re-living a lot of the participation that others had here. There were some posters who were quite vocal with local politics but who posted with a pseudonym. Interestingly, I am rather certain I figured out one of them this evening. The reason I didn’t know 13-14 years? I didn’t know the person at that time . . .

Comments

While I re-build this site, one thing has become clear about the path I have chosen: the comments are not entered in order.

For each comment on a post, the count increases by one. I am entering the comments as I re-post the blog. But the comments on that blog post may have come after comments on a later blog.

It would be too arduous to go through the comments and enter them in chronological order. Just understand that all comments prior to when I get caught up (when will that be?) should not be judged on the number assigned to it. 😉

Re-Building This Blog

There is a lot of work that goes into re-building this blog. What was once cruising along has become a chore. That is mostly do to the plethora of photographs. Once I purchased the Elixim camera in late 2006, the number of photographs I am dealing with exploded! That has significantly slowed the progress. Even so, I chip away daily.

Here is a list of what I am doing:

  • Re-creating blog posts from rdowens.net
  • Re-creating blog posts from family site
  • Hand enter comments from multiple sites
  • Built a spreadsheet to document commenters
  • Account # for each commenter
  • Edit my children’s names from every post and comment (change to Beetle & Fritz)
  • Re-tag every photograph
  • Provide uniformed link from photograph to blog
  • Organize albums of photographs on Flickr
  • Add lots of details on videos on YouTube
  • Provide uniformed link from videos to blog
  • Tag and date videos
  • Uniform coordinates for all geocache pages
  • Uniform links for all geocache pages
  • TC.com links totally new
  • Built geocache hides page
  • Fleshed out cachers met on trail page
  • Added a cast of characters page with links to individual pages
  • Linked to each person and tagged in blog posts
  • New content
  • Fixed formatting from various incarnations of posts from the past 18 years
  • Corrected misspellings
  • New comments added as I posted
  • Got into cider making because of old posts
  • Developed a new system for tagging that was universal (name changes, added location, etc.)
  • Read every post
  • Troubleshoot linked videos, articles that are no longer available

This all takes time. What I thought was once reasonable to complete within the next six months I think will take much longer. I also have more content on its way as I near the end of resurrecting some failed hard drives.

I love the process of doing this. 🙂

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

Materialism is alive and well despite me living a simple life. Going through old photographs today reminded me of making apple cider. Now I want a homebrew set again (this would be the third set). C’mon, Bob . . . Yesterday I was researching cameras and stills. I’ve been down this path many times before. One never escapes wanting to buy things, it seems . . . Spring 2007 seems to be where recreating this blog has slowed down. Far too many photographs and some complicated web pages are stretching out the time that I spend doing this . . . ’twas reminded how I tried to take my ex-wife to New Hope many times. She refused each time. Also tried to take her to Prince Edward Island due to her interest in Anne of Green Gables. She wouldn’t go there either. And just today, one of my students told me he went to Williamsburg. That was yet another destination I suggested many times our family travel to. No, we never did . . . Not big on polls, but Biden and Harris are 20+ points underwater right now. On top of that, 64% state they don’t want Biden for a second term. The man hasn’t even been in office a year yet. Yikes! . . . For some reason, Facebook thinks I am interested in skydiving. Not certain why . . .

Do you consider the value of your content for your audience while you’re creating it?

No. I have no audience.

Once upon a time I did. I do think I catered some posts to those I knew were reading my work then. In hindsight, that was not good. It is too easy to write the negative. Every story has conflict. People like conflict just as they rubberneck themselves while driving for the accidents. We like the fights at the hockey games. Controversy sells . . . just ask the cable news networks regarding that.

Ultimately, I am too thin-skinned to put myself on the edge constantly. I elicited pejoratives from folks I did not even know. So, I took this blog underground. For the past decade, nearly, it has been private.

My readership moved on. I also had some domain changes along the way, so some may not even know this domain exists. And while I was going to keep behind closed doors until retirement, I opened things up the day I left my marriage. I do not think anyone is reading. Even if someone is, I write for me. This is my journal. If someone else gets something from it, all the best. But the content is not geared toward anyone but me.

Here in my third act, as it were, I lead a me-center life. Not a narcissistic life, but one where the writing is where I work through my thoughts.

I have no audience. I also do not crave an audience as I once did. I will not be a notable blogger. I will, however, continue to write about what I am interested in.

This Blog’s Audience

Once upon a time, I encouraged discussion on this blog. There were regular readers. Because of that, there were scrapes and arguments. I also noted that I wrote differently in that I sometimes felt as though I needed to push buttons for the audience.

After several years of that, I took the blog private. It’s been private for the better part of the last decade.

During my convalescence in 2014, I reviewed each and every post on the blog, edited, organized, and cleaned up the posts. Sometime after that, I began to write a bit more freely, sharing relationship issues, work place concerns, etc.

For the past five years or so I have had a banner for anyone who may be sniffing around for the blog on my site. It states: “Do not open until 1 July 2025.” That is the first official day of my retirement.

I suspect that it will not open then. I think this may be a private correspondence with myself until I am really old. Even then, I may just let it die with me.

One thing I have learned over the past couple years, something I knew before but was unable to frame it just right, is: I am thin-skinned. I do not handle criticism well. I dish it fine. I take it poorly.

Because of that, I am removing myself more and more from the public. I left social media months ago. I left Reddit today. I think geocaching is phasing out now too. I seem to only write here and at GoodReads. And GR is really only to populate posts here. I like I can search there for what I have read; I don’t really participate with anything there outside of the reviews I write.

I am reducing my footprint. Working (still) on keeping my mouth shut. I am becoming better at recognizing what activities I should/want to do and not getting as caught up in the grand illusions (beermaking, rocketry, Reaspherry Pi, etc.).

It’s a process, but I see me progressing.

The blog is just my documentation of what I am doing. It’s for me. If someone else ends up reading this and enjoys it, fine. If not, fine. I love reading through the “On This Day” section to review past posts daily.