There are a lot of social sites, which one is the most effective?

As promised a few days ago I’ve been watching the social media posting from Virily. I picked random people I read and split my two posts. I only shared my family history project for five days on Facebook. I shared everything else on Twitter (including the other blogs I read on a daily basis). Out of that, I have come to the following simply conclusions (again this is not a scientific view, I would need access to the actual information from the Virily site to give you more than supposition). Please note that this is where my posts are and the people I read. I feel like one of those drug commercials on TV, in the end, they have to tell you all the side effects of the drug. Sometimes my wife and I sit there and wonder, with the adverse side effects why to take the drug in the first place.

First, Twitter moves the needle a lot more than I expected. Two, to even three times as many views per post than Facebook.

  1. Average (reading 10 and sharing)                          10 views Facebook 30 views twitter

I have also received 11 private messages with the following additional requests

  1. Share the negative poster list (I will not do this one)
  2. I have not gotten paid (i posted about this as well already)

What I will do is share, as promised my initial social study. Again, this is very squishy data. The way I collect the data is to share the post, and then literally refresh the browser and watch the change. I started off watching the posts; I know for example that my family history post has more connections on Facebook, so I started thinking, and I will now actually reverse this. I will post family history on Twitter and my technical blogs on Facebook to see what the difference is overall.

I am also tracking the impact of influencers. A couple of the current list of influencers don’t read my posts right now. I am watching to see if the influencers impact other influencers. I am also going to consider asking a couple of the regular readers (influencers) of my posts do not read for a couple of days and see what that would do overall to my views.

The initial findings (5 days) of the two influencers not reading my posts is that my views are the same as they were before.


wandering the social desert

My review of MindManager 2019

One of the products I have used for years is Mind Manager. Mind Manager is a mind mapping product. The image shared with the post today focuses on peeling an opinion and was built in mind manager. The product is something that allows you to show the relationship between concept[tsp.. I know, for example, if we were to map out Virily showing all he connections within the actual software of the site, people would get lost quickly. Mind Manager 2019, is the current version and the product is owned by Corel. Corel has purchased some products over the past few years that makes them a player in the creative space. They own the former Fractal Painter, they own the Pinnacle Video studio, and they own Mind Manager.

Mind Mapping is a useful tool for brainstorming, project management and designing a new solution (after brainstorming). I find myself using Mind Manager frequently. The product released at the end of 2018, and they just released the fir .release about a week ago. There used to be a mobile version of the product, but honestly, it wasn’t easy to use. The PC or Mac version of the product is the way to go. Their website has a lot of templates, and they do have an online integration (cloud storage) for your mind maps. I shared one I made for this review, peeling an onion. Some of the more complex maps I have don’t share well. The other thing that mind maps do well and Mind Manager is the best I’ve found for this is allows you to show connections.

I use it often to map out connections between people and software. Or sometimes I use it when considering options in situations. It is a tool I’ve had and used for a long time. A good friend of mine many years ago, from South Africa, recommended the Mind Manager product. We used it for mapping out various solutions we presented to customers, and I got hooked! Overall this is one of my go-to products.

My rating for Mind Manager Mind Mapper is 8 of 10!


Digital rude is growing….

Do you ever wonder what drives people? The online world is interesting. It is one that continues to evolve. Many years ago I brought up the concept that I coined called Digital Rude. When I was a child, a telephone rang, we raced to answer it. But I was a little kid in the age before answering machines. When we got the answering machine (before the concept of caller ID) we did at times screen calls. Doing the answering machine shuffle (listen and pick up the phone if it was someone to talk to). Now people answer the phone while they are talking to you directly. I call that digital rude when you are talking to me, answering your phone without letting me know why first, and holding up your hand for me to pause, rude.

Another thing that I consider part of the rude digital world is the ever-increasing invisible view. People don’t live on the internet, the normal filters we have in our lives don’t apply. Except here is a funny reality. They apply, those filters that we think don’t apply when we are pointing online they do apply. In fact when you post in a forum, and in counting your posts everything you say is negative or sarcastic, then you are digital rude.

When you trumpet your achievements without the intent of harm, you are digital rude.

I worry that the world is heading more and more towards the negative reality where its ok to always be negative in one forum, and not be negative in another. I believe that if you act differently in different forums that is digital rude.

One of the things that I enjoy every morning is going through all the wonderful comments from Virily writers, and the others who comment on my posts on Facebook and other social locations. I truly welcome the opportunity to carry on a conversation with people. When I raise a point, I don’t walk away from the response if I don’t like it. That by the way, walking away, is digital rude. The communication and connection is the critical part. How and what we do as people is determined as much by our integrity. A friend of m8nie always says “ethics is what happens when no one calls you out.” For years I wondered about that, it felt like he was saying something that didn’t make sense. Then I realized, who people are is what they do when other people don’t yell stop.

Digital rude is something I am going to fight now. I am of the opinion that if you waste my time, I won’t waste any more time on you!


I hate digital rude

The future is coming….

One of the things smartphones do is changing the pocket paradigm. Phones that once easily fit in your pocket don’t always do so now. But, the abilities of headsets and other things like that, mean you don’t have to dig around in your pocket as much. You can quickly answer calls on your headset. You can check the weather and some other integrated things without removing the phone from your pocket. If you add a smartwatch, you can even interact with your phone, from your wrist.  What is available to your phone now versus 10, 12 years ago is impressive. The first releases of smartphones did not include GPS’s. They did not include camera options, and in many cases, they were bound to slower memory (external).

The rise of the iPhone changed that and frankly between Apple and Android phones today what was and what it isn’t even comparable. I remember when the first phones with GPS shipped. I remember when the first phones with Cameras shipped. These changes were market movers. The next change for cell phones will be the releasing of 5g. Now fifth-generation cellular or 5g is a different beast than 4g or what we commonly now call LTE. As you consider 5g the change is massive for applications. Applications suffer when networks have what is called Latency. Latency is the time between you asking a server for something (my I log in) to the reality of the server responding to you (yes, your credentials are accepted you may log in).

5g will make real-time facetime conversations or real-time video conferencing on your cell phone easier.

The question that comes to me is what else will be added to cell phones (and intelligent cars) that we don’t have today. 5g opens the door to data. It also opens the door to evaluating where and how you consume data today. The smarter the organization is, about data the better off its users will be. Tomorrow will bring information truly at our fingertips and the capacity to share, interact and drive that information.

The future of technology is going to be 5g! The change to smartphones is going to be huge.


Cold Weather Tech

Cold weather tech gear, something I always think about. The onset of the cold air makes those of us without fur coats cold. The dogs both have jackets for when it is really cold (anything below 12 degrees they wear their jackets). But the humans don’t always have the same ability to just, well add a jacket to a natural fur coat. Even, though the Labradors often look quizzically at the humans for not have a fur coat. So come the harsh days of winter, it is important that humans find other ways to stay warm. That brings me to the cold weather tech portion of the post. Sorry, I took the long way through explaining why the post was focused on cold weather tech. To my friends in the tropics, well this stuff doesn’t apply. 

The first to consider is a jacket. Now, the reality of a jacket is that you have two options. The first is to wear two, or three jackets combined. We, the walkers of our hours other than the four-legged walkers, have sweatshirts with hoods we can put under jackets. The outer shell you wear has to be waterproof in case it snows while we are out and about.  The jacket needs to be flexible enough that you can move while you are walking. We often have to stop and adjust dog harnesses and things like that while walking. Over the past four years, I’ve tried some jackets. I settled on the Ravean heated jacket this year, and it was amazing on Monday (high Monday was 15 degrees. But the Windchill was 10 degrees below zero when we were walking). Ravean is a down jacket that is lightweight so it can be worn with or without the battery. The battery also can charge your phone and other devices that have USB cables.

The jacket also has a heated hood.

We got Balaclava’s last year; the twins hate theirs I like mine. It fits and covers your face from the wind nicely.

Finally, there is the reality of globes and eye cover. I have a pair of ski goggles I use that is perfect for covering my face and shielding my eyes from the sun. The Googles keep my face covered as well. The gloves I have are also heated and also come from Ravean. The gloves are nice, cover my hands and keep everything nice and toasty warm!

Cold weather tech is really important if you have cold weather of course!


stay warm my friends

lots of blame to share…

The death of the writing site Niume taught me two critical. The first is always to be able to generate my views. That can be done very easily, but you have to pay attention to the rules. The first way is to bu8ild, join or participate in a group of writers that are site independent. There are several groups on Facebook that focus on helping writers share their works. I would argue they have varied levels of success. It is a great place to make and maintain non-blogging relationships.  The other thing being able to drive your viewers is you can quickly determine which of the influencers on a site can help you. That brings the second lesson from Niume and the one that scares me as I see it again here on Virily.

Virily is a writer at will site; you are not contractually bound to the site. You are not obligated to read, post or share anything from the site. If, and there are some writers this doesn’t apply to, you’ve been paid at Virily you owe a level of loyalty. If you, as an author get 30, 40 or more views the site owes you a level of loyalty as well. Virily has for the past 18 months, paid writers. The number of sites on the internet that pay writers is small. Virily has paid (geez look at all the I got paid posts). As a former leader in the Technology and Travel sections of Niume I can tell you that no matter the site notified people, they didn’t like the way they were notified. Roughly two or three months before the end of paying writers, the nature of posts on Niume and public comments became more about complaining and less about writing.

That happened here on Virily with a couple of writers who left the site (one has returned). Their negative posts are kind of created a hyper-negative atmosphere. When they left the atmosphere got a little more positive. Between them leaving and today the site also improved. Here is the hard-won learning I gathered from Niume and now see playing at Virily.

  1. 50% of the blame goes to the writers.
  2. 50% goes to the admin team

It isn’t a question that the negative posts, to quote Kim “You beat a dog enough times, it won’t come back.” There is no high road for any of us to take. I think it is time for all of us to ask ourselves, do we want Virily to be here tomorrow? I stayed on Niume well past the time that payment ended. I will stay with Virily as well, I like the templates, and I post here. I am, however, no longer going to stand by as people beat the dog.

A writer sent me a private message on Virily and said I should post the negative comments made by Virily writers. The “negative” influencers list. I won’t do that. Everyone has the right to complain. Everyone has the right be frustrated. Nobody is asking anybody to stop complaining, on one condition. If something works, make sure you share that with your complaint. Don’t confuse the issue. Post a positive thing after or before you tear down the admin team. It doesn’t matter their failings or our failings; there are human beings on both sides of this problem. Let’s learn from our mistakes!


lots of blame

growing a community…

Growing the community here on Virily has been a goal of mine for the past few months. One of the things that interested me originally was who influenced the other authors on the site. I shared the seven top influencers and a couple of call-outs for the positive commenters as well.  Today I am chasing guest views. First I am not asking for credit for guest views I am interested in how many guest views are happening. The reason for that is wholly economic, the more guest views we as authors drive to Virily, the more revenue the site will get from advertising. That benefits all of us, as the longer Verily remains economically viable, the longer we get paid. Guest views are generated when we share posts either our own or those other authors on social media.

Yes, the four buttons that appear after you publish a post, or when you are reading someone else’s posts, the four buttons right below the cover picture. Each of those represents a chance to expand the overall Virily audience to more people, i.e., guests. Guests don’t get you, as the “sharer” Virils. They did when the site was first operating, but because of many issues, the overall to track guest views by the author was disabled. The admin team informed us that it, tracking guest views per author caused performance problems for the site. I can understand that The analogy I use for that is a highway. It is easy to track the number of cars on a highway. Simply count the passing cars as they go by.

It is much hard to track specific cars traveling on a highway throughout a day. It changes how and what you track. It can also be a lot more information, that has to be captured quickly. Does the question then become what we can do to increase guest views on the site? The more guest views, the more effective the click-through advertising is, the greater the revenue the site gets. Plus, you, as the author get credit for guests reading your posts as views. The poll questions are geared to begin understanding what social media sites are being leveraged by readers. As we change down the path of increasing guest views, it is important to understand where we are sharing first. Then we can determine where the effective sharing is going! A stronger Virily is a happier writer community!


community means open and honest two-way communication

Building a bridge to fair!

I read a comment to my post on Facebook that reminded me of a better way to communicate. Private messages sent directly to the person is the best way to complain! A much more positive way to communicate overall.

Today is a US Holiday. It is the day we remember the life of a human being who tried to change the world. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was a brilliant speaker and a drum major for change. His life was one of turmoil and resistance. But his voice was one of rational thought and hearing both sides. Dr. King remains one of my heroes and his “I have a dream speech” ranks up at the top of the speeches that have influenced my life. Dr. King asked each of us to look within ourselves for the answers but to seek change when things were wrong. Dr. King was taken from us far too early by hate. His message remains about making positive changes and finding the common round where can all walk!

From now on I am going to send private messages to people about the negativity!

The technology of the past, the picture today is from my father’s collection of slides that we scanned as part of the family history project. This one is of a covered bridge; there are many covered bridges in the midwestern United States. There is a wonderful book about them in another state “The Bridges of Madison County,” well its more about the love affair between the two characters but the pictures are of covered bridges!

Building a bridge requires the maximum available technology of what-ever time you are in. Today, we build bridges by starting on both sides. We also during the last great war invented bridges that could literally float on the water and be rapidly deployed. Being off 1 inch when building a bridge from both sides can cost millions of dollars. Here is the funny thing about a bridge, it brings us together. It lets us cross the dangerous water, swamp or another risky area to arrive safely at the other side!

Let’s build a bridge for the Admin team of Virily! A place where they can feel safe to share information with us!


moving on

A moment of frustration, it is pretty hard to build a complex site…

I have run internet discussion groups for more than 30 years. I used to run a teaching group on the old pre-internet BBS systems. Back then you had your forum on a single BBS, and that BBS would replicate with the other bulletin board services. The Bitnet system moved data around the world pre-internet. The rise of the HTTP protocol which is the basis of the internet brought new kinds of forums. I ran forums on the AOL and CompuServe platforms. I had more than 15,000 members of my teaching society at its zenith. The only reason it stopped was that I left teaching and just didn’t the time anymore to focus on the group. That said I’ve been doing online posting, sharing and communicating for more than 30 years. In that time I have found three valuable things.

  1. There is nothing better than a good community sharing good information.
  2. There is more crap on the internet.
  3. Not knowing why something doesn’t work doesn’t put the platform at risk, it puts you at risk.

For example, let’s dissect a now-defunct platform, Niume. Niume used the moderator model, much like MyLot does today. Moderators could pull content at any time. A modern and model like Niume allows for a level of administrative control. The site was built on WordPress and used between 16 and 20 templates. The reason I am leaving variance in that is that at times there were more than 20 templates and at times there were less than 16 templates.

  • Each template used requires some level of management 9operations) and coding (original development). $
  • The first reality regarding costs is that the site has to be paid for. You have to go and buy a domain ( There is an annual cost for that. $$
  • Then you have to go to AWS, Google, Deutsche Telecom, Microsoft Azure, IBMCloud or some other hosting provider. Sadly, beyond that domain name, you have to pay for that. $$$
  • Then we have to build the site. What is the site going to do? Is it a site for sharing creative information like Niume? Oh wait, now beyond the original site we built, we have to figure out how available that site will be and storage we will need. Both of those cost money as well. $$$$

The next time you want to complain think about this first. Yes, the current state of Virily is painful when it comes to the dashboard. The rumors about the site are frustrating and not positive. But let’s stop for a second. Let’s understand how complex a site like this. Because building the site is hard. Getting set up with Google Adsense isn’t hard, but requires effort. Having authentication (social or username/password) requires maintenance.

Not to mention the reality of the admin and moderation team who has to read posts from people and verify that they are legit. The easy button here is for all of us to step back.

A wise person once told me “If you can’t make it yourself, you have to use something someone else made.” “If you don’t like what someone else made, the door is that way.”


it is not that hard to find the good things

How smart is your smart speaker?

Ok, so in my office, I have three smart speakers. One is on loan and is going back; the other two are ones I got when I was testing smart speakers. What I realized yesterday is that sometimes when I am thinking I talk to myself out loud. Yesterday I got a response from a disembodied voice “I’m sorry I can’t answer that.” It was in response to my soliloquy that honestly didn’t require a response. Rather, I was speaking to myself and didn’t need a response. Both Alexa and Cortana answered me. It did give me a great idea for a virtual therapy application. Then the social worker stepped in and said, you need a human being, a virtual therapist wouldn’t work. (she’s right, but it is still an interesting idea).

It is a one-sided argument often, and frankly, Alexa wins. When I ask a tough question of the smart speaker that well it doesn’t like I get the “I can’t answer that.” As a parent I know that is one of the best ways to make me stop being angry. It is also the one way that guarantees the child is professing that will get a lot of follow on questions.

The integration of voice control is interesting. It isn’t that hard to do, except for two parts. The first thing is the reality of natural language recognition.  The Virily Quizster Norman recently had a great post on the differences between “English” and America. It seems strange, but it is a critical thing. If you consider how a smart speaker listens and speaks, then as an American I want to know that I am about to be hit by a truck. An Englishperson would prefer that the smart speaker notify them of an approaching Lorry on a collision course. In setting up a smart speaker, you have to tell the system what language you re using. Yes, they all have options for American English and High Faluting proper, as they say, UK English.

That way when you ask to rent a flat your smart speaker will help you find an apartment!

They continue to improve, and frankly, smart speakers are petty good. The four big tech companies all have one, and I will end with that!

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Microsoft Cortana
  • Google Home
  • Apple Homepod


how smart is your speaker?