being positive

My grandfather used to say two things to me. They stuck with me. The first was the opening of a conversation every single time, “what is bothering you?” He would say. My grandfather was someone I used as a sounding board, as a guide and as someone to think through problems with. Then grandpa would look at me after I had expressed the problem, and he would say, “so what are you going to do about it?” That started the second conversation. The first conversation is one that everyone has complaining about were whatever was happening was at the moment. The second part of the conversation was to begin building a path to a solution and making changes that would ultimately fix the problem.

Fun Author Tip: go back into your old posts and share them via social media!

One of my favorite speeches of all time was the Inaugural address of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He said many things, but to me, the lines that stuck the lines that I recall oft are “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” That drives me back to the last couple of days, talking about building SEO for posts using titles and tags. Are there other things authors can do to increase the views of their posts. One of the things I have been doing is sharing old posts over the last month or so. During that time, I have learned a lot of interesting things about old posts. So a new offer from me. In the comments of this post, share a post you are proud of. I will read it and promote it.

Fun Author Tip: The best articles share a piece of you!

I have several upcoming cool tech reviews:

  1. Scribit the whiteboard wall robot.
  2. Chasing Dory, another underwater ROV
  3. Airtame 2.0

Thanks as always to all who read. Share that post you are proud of from your past posts. Let’s see if we can change the number of views it has!


A conversation about SEO

I have been posting fun author tips and information about SEO. Let’s take today as the last day in this series to think about what, why, and how. I have a friend that always talks about Why we do things, drives what we do and how we do it. When you’ve attended a few of his sessions, he says that to Why drives what and how. In the world of SEO, the thing that catches attention is why. The title is the way of an article. Each of us, wandering the online world, often stop and read things that have catchy titles. I also know, by the way, if the title is catchy and the content isn’t good, we don’t often go back to that article, or sometimes even go back to that site.

Many internet sites support two distinct types of SEO entry, as discussed yesterday, Tags and Titles. Catchy titles will drive attention. But the reality of catchy titles has to be backed up by interesting content. Go back into your old Virily posts. Consider the types of titles you’ve used. Do some exploration and see if you have any posts that have more than 300 views. What was the topic you discussed? For me, I have two distinct categories that I tend to post in. The wander project will normally within 20 days of being shared reach 100 views. My technology posts often reach about 150 or more views in those 20 days. However, those posts still get views far longer.

For example, I recently shared a very high view, low comment (it has many comments now, but originally did not) post. In fact, since sharing the post, it was picked up another 120 views. Good for the site, good for me! But the real benefit for the site is the roughly 1100 external views that post has generated. It was a topical piece about a robot from roughly three years ago. It has 1200 views on Virily today. The title Just another shameless review meet Jibo is a title I’ve used before. It is also a tag I use on occasion. The first time I released the article on Virily 3 years ago, it got 100 views. Three years later, with no sharing until recently, it has gotten around 900 external views from Google and Bing searches.

I understand the frustration a lot of authors have, we don’t get credit for sharing or for the external views. But the site does, and ultimately the site pays us, so it is a good thing.

Take a look at your old posts, do you have some gems like the one below?


useful tips for writers…

Useful Author Tip: We all want external views (Virily gets paid on both our views, but also external views), so let’s talk about SEO. Search engine optimization. Your homework for today –search google, Bing for a post you’ve published here on Virily, and see what you get!

I am continuing my helpful author tips for the next few days. The reality of search engine optimization is an interesting one for authors. What SEO is, is finding titles that will drive search results. Now, we can certainly use some of the tags and content types that guarantee search results (the most searched thing on the internet has to do with sex)! But for most authors, we have to think about what our goal is when seeking SEO. I started doing the Wander Project here on Virily. I have called that family history project many things over the years. But I decided to have a consistent name around three years ago here on Virily. I introduced the Wander project here on Virily. There are a couple of companies that use the name The Wonder Project, but my results are still on the first page.When it comes to a search engine, being on that first page is critical! You get more clicks on the first page than you do on the 2nd or 3rd pages. Clicks are what we want! Now, please note that this is simply searching and finding articles on Virily. This is not adding the impact of social media sharing. Google, Bing, and other search engines use what is called crawling. They wander the internet seeking new material. Every time we publish something on a site, Google ads it and returns it in the search results. Moving up the list is what SEO does. As authors, we try to drive or gather views. Driving or fathering views is often accomplished by the title of the article we share!

Useful Author Tip: What is the essence of your article? The most salient point? Make that your title!

The funny thing is, most readers from outside of Virily don’t search for pictures. Pictures will draw readers here on Virily, but until your title and your pictures match, pictures don’t help you as much. Tags are another interesting problem. Many authors do use tags; many do not. One of the tags I’ve used for a while is Europe2016. If you search for that stage, you won’t get one of my articles until you add a second tag I’ve used or my user name (Doc). Tags aren’t searched the same way titles are so that everyone knows. I will continue to share more Author tips. Building your SEO, Search Engine Optimization helps your post gain external views. I know we don’t get credit for external views, but we do get paid by external views, indirectly.


Fun tips for authors

Fun Authors Tip: I highly recommend to all authors, that you go back and share your old posts on social media (if you do share on social media). I am finding that some of the old posts that are shared generate fairly good views! I know a couple of other authors have also mentioned this.

Yesterday I was walking, keeping track of my steps with my phone when I realized I have been using an application for a while and haven’t talked about it. My sister introduced me to the application. It is called Sweatcoins. If you walk outside, Sweatcoins will track your steps, and when you walk outside, converts those steps into coins.

For the most part, the coins are worth much, but I enjoy donating my steps to good causes! If you have a Google Android phone or an iPhone and walk outside – try Sweatcoins!

There are several things I use on my pheon that add value to the way I use my phone. Looking back at the phone posts I’ve made, it has been more hardware-focused. I have talked about the many things you can attach or connect via Bluetooth to your phone. There are many great things you can connect to your phone physically. Many of the adds have specific functions that are used.

  • Nano 360 lets you connect to your phone and take 360-degree video and pictures.
  • ARRIM lets you create Augmented reality measurements.
  • Moasure lets you have a digital measuring tape.
  • FLIR allows you to see infrared images on your phone.

But the connection is also something that can be wireless. This includes wireless speakers, earbuds, and other things designed to convey information from your phone. I can honestly say that my prediction for 2022 and beyond is that fewer and fewer people will have and use computers. The reality is your cell phone will be the computer and screen you use the most, in 2 short years.

Fun Authors tip: did you know that when you share on Social Media sites, the things you share are there as long as you don’t delete them?

Fun Authors tip: SEO matters! (Search engine optimization). Go search one of your Virily post titles on Google and see what you find!!!!


smart speakers and security

As someone that looks over the horizon to tomorrow, I often find myself laughing at things I think of. I realize quickly and stop laughing before my coworkers get more nervous about me than, well, they already are. Over the years, I have written down some of my funny ideas. One of those funny ideas a couple of years ago was a two-part series the first part was called “The Pizza Delivery drone” and the second was a follow up where the Pizza Deliver drone well goes a little crazy. Can you imagine what a drone, sitting on your porch, with a pizza in its extended arm demanding payment for a pizza you didn’t order? Confusing Blueberry and Cherry lanes, because robots don’t usually eat fruit?

I think about things like this all the time. Yesterday I talked about the quiet, voice-activated, and motion-activated sections in the restaurant of the future. The leaders in this space, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Google, have less than sparking reputations now (I had a comment on my post yesterday bout the leaks and hacks that have happened to Alexa devices). There have been leaks, there have been hacks. But honestly, if you want a voice-activated speaker, the security risk can be reduced. Only have it on when you are using it. Change your password as often as you can. The reality of the security of voice-activated devices is that yes, they can be hacked, but if I am a hacker, why?

Hackers don’t hack things like that often. There isn’t money to be made there. They are more interested in your laptop or gaining access to your home than they are hacking your smart speaker. However, I will say the following. Fear of what might happen is a great reason not to have that technology in your home. I would apply it to your cell phone, laptop, and any other smart devices you buy. If you are not often changing passwords, I will caution you against having any smart devices that are always on and connected. Remember, the hacker isn’t likely to attack your house. But, someone with a bad sense of humor, might. Fear is a good thing as long as you don’t let it limit what you do.

The most important rule when it comes to smart technology is that smart people use smart technology smartly!


tech of smart speakers and voice control

Throughout the last few years, Voice and motion control have evolved. Motion control originally brought to market by the Leap Controller allows you to make gestures that become actions either on your computer or on your tablet. Oculus uses the motion, using Haptic Feedback, to provide interaction with the Virtual Worlds created by their headsets. Haptic feedback comes from the two controllers you have for the Oculus Device. The next version of the Microsoft Hololens product will also include motion sensitivity; the last version did as well (original Hololens) using several gestures to navigate the Augmented reality presented to you via Hololens.

Voice integration has increased as well, Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and the car manufacturers have continues to drive down the path (sorry for the pun) of voice control. What I find interesting now is that the problems I saw three years ago remain. Alexa is something to be used in the privacy of your own home. I would be nervous, and honestly am nervous when I walk by someone, and they are talking on their phone. Not, talking with the phone held to their face, but talking to earbuds. You know, you can’t see that they are talking to an earbud, so you have to consider that they are talking to themselves. The same would be true for someone wildly gesturing to their phone.

I realize I look at things differently than most people do. It comes from years of looking into the future of technology and wondering the impact. Today I am thinking about an upcoming change. I remember, now probably nearly 30 years ago, when you were no longer allowed to smoke on Airplanes. You were also no longer allowed to smoke anywhere in a restaurant in the US. There was a smoking section and a non-smoking section. In the future, I wonder if your going to be asked “good evening and welcome to Bob’s Rib Palace. The best ribs this side of Adam’s Ribs in Chicago.” Smiling, you are happy you are about to be seated. The Maître D says, “will you be dining in the Silence section, the yelling at Alexa section or the waving your arms like a crazy person section.”

I don’t know, can I get my ribs to go?


cool upcoming tech

I’ve already published my 2020 what’s coming in the technology column. One of the things I wanted to talk about was some of the new and interesting things that were potentially arriving in 2020 from a technology perspective. When I do my future column, I focus on things that already exist. There are several crowd-funded technologies that I think are interesting but wouldn’t call them market movers or game-changers. So today’s technology piece is a few upcoming tech items that I find interesting.

  1. Printcube – a handheld printer, seems odd, but the device is now shipping and allows you to print on any flat surface. You wouldn’t be able to print on glass or other non-absorbent surfaces. But you could on a scrap of paper, or fabric. It is a very small handheld printer, and it prints in color!
  2. Hinui – a mobile device application that drives a telescope, pretty cool, you can do that with virtually any Celestron telescope. But one that allows you to from your smartphone capture pictures of the night sky? Now that is an interesting connected telescope. Hinui is just such a device!
  3. Snapmaker 2 – the first version of this 3d printer, did printing, laser engraving, CNC carving in one unit. The V2 of the Snapmaker is faster, the software is better, and it is shipping now!
  4. Skyvalet – Once upon a time I travel, a lot, and I used to buy a new bag every year. The reason? Honestly, they were always missing something. Along comes SkyValet (now shipping)! This is the luggage of the future and very existing. Built-in scale, built-in smartphone charger, and bets of all strong exterior that can withstand the loading and unloading process of training, planes, and automobiles!
  5. Aguadrone – Aguadrone is one of the first modular drones this one is hopefully shipping this year. A modular drone allows you the pilot to have 4k video land the drone, take the camera off and have a sonar module instead. Or you could use a 360 camera module. The unit, Aguadrone, is waterproof so it can land and take off from the water. It also supports carrying a 2-pound weight. It will allow you to carry a fishing line, and once you see fish with the sonar, you can drop the line exactly where the fish are! It is also fun in that the name (Aguadrone) means a water drone in Spanish!

These technology items are all either shipping or shipping soon, and all have an interesting addition to your home, bag, or just being onshore and wanting to catch fish! It is an interesting list. The first two are intended for my IoT presentation that I do every spring for High School Juniors and Seniors. The last ones are interesting projects and fun things to play with overall.


i am a whiteboard geek!!!!

There are two projects I am working on that is interesting for me, but I doubt significant for the rest of you. The first is a crowdfunding project called Scribbit. It is a wall robot, that when you send images to it, will draw them on a whiteboard. I am a huge fan of whiteboards. I have 6 in my house today. But in reading the setup directions for Scribit, I found out the whiteboard had to be 6 feet by 6 feet or larger. *3 m by 3m) Needless to say, none of mine are that size now. So, I found a section of the blue wall in the basement that my daughter painted when she lived in the basement room. Now I have to paint it white, then add the idea paint so that it becomes a huge whiteboard.

I will share pictures when it gets it fully painted. Idea paint is something I have mentioned in the past a few times, and it is paint that, once applied to a wall, turns that wall into a whiteboard.  I have two in the pool table room in our basement. One is to keep score for pool and darts. The other is one for me to write notes on to remind myself of things that have to be done. Whiteboards are something I have always had several. It is how I think best honestly, and I draw on the whiteboard. Sometimes I convert those images to digital, and that way can edit and build on them, Sometimes I take a picture of the whiteboard and use that with other packages to create my graphic.

I realize that I am probably the only person thinking about things like this. I will share pictures once I get the initial painting project done. I have to paint the dark blue walls white first. The Ideapaint is clear and doesn’t have its color, and a blue-board wouldn’t be as efficient as you would be limited as to the overall colors of markets you can use. With a whiteboard, you can use any color of marker. Plus, it is a lot easier to see the actual drawing. Get now I am packing up and heading off to a volunteering opportunity! It is the day to volunteer in the US (Dr. Martin Luther King day). Thank you to everyone that reads and comments. You are the reason I write, and while I don’t often or always write about things that interest you, I appreciate the read!!!


impacting authors posts!

I am going to share the results I’ve gotten from my week-long project. I am not going to respond to argumentative questions about the data. It is simply the data I collected. If you have additional or different data, please share that! But not interested in arguing this. I am simply providing information to the community.

  1. Sharing – I shared posts via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Mix, and a few by Reddit.
  2. I edited old spots that were high views but low comments.
  3. I shared old Virily posts of mine.

That is the initial reality of the project. Once I started sharing things, I had the following. If I shared your post and commented that was marked and I checked your post later. If you responded to my comment, I shared your post again.

What Did I find?

  1. Facebook was the top driver for views (which I was shocked by) for other users. However, based o where we are right now, the current state was way fewer views. Based on the greatly reduced views overall, I think this may be a false positive.
  2. Edited post and old shared old posts had very different views. Edited posts came into Virily as if they were new, shared old posts with high views, picked up many more views than the edited posts did (one edited post with more than 1000 views ended up growing more than any other ending up over 1200 views in total, the rest moved 10-20 views total)
    1. This concerns me, the value of an edited post isn’t much.
    2. Unless the post was high views in the first place, then it will move again.
    3. For this, I got much more response from twitter.
    4. I did not share old posts on Facebook and will have to examine that going forward.
  3. When I shared my posts on twitter, I got many more external views. That was not the case for sharing other author’s posts on twitter.
  4. Mix had virtually no increase in views for anyone.
  5. Pinterest also had little to any view impact.

I have a couple of conclusions overall.

What do I think?

I have thought for more than two years that twitter was the answer for views on Virily. It is for my posts, but right now didn’t move anyone else. Facebook shares go into two writing groups I am a part of and did generate some views.

All in all, I look back at this project and think it wasn’t the best use of my time. I keep thinking there has to be a way to increase views. I know there is, we will find it! The only thing I know for sure out of this experiment is if you have a low comment, but high view posts in your archive edit them and get them back into the flow of the site. That is the only thing out of this project that moved the most!

High view, high scammed older posts that are shared, end up with more views than the same type of post edited.


of computers and VMs

My side project of reading commenting and double sharing is over. I will share the results of that later!

I have had a Macintosh computer again for the past eight years. Before that, from 1996 to 2012, I did not own a Mac. Before 1996 I only had a Mac. I had one of the very first PowerBooks, a Macintosh computer running on the PowerPC chipset. Now, the MacBook’s use the same Intel chips as Windows computers, and that brings the cost down. But there are two reasons why I still have a mac.

  1. You can’t easily create a Macintosh VM.
  2. I have tow mac based programs that I use a lot

The first issue is something that apple played with (allowing other companies to make Macs back in the 1990s). But you can’t easily make a VM or Virtual Machine with the macOS. Based on that, I have a physical Macintosh computer.

The second is there are two programs I use on the Mac that are not available for PCs. The first is the iMovie tools, and the second is one I won’t talk about here.

Over the years, the Macintosh went from the computer preferred by graphic artists to the mainstream computer. There are sadly enough Macs now that it is no longer a virus-free operating system. As smart hacker attempting to break into a computer most likely makes their malware in the order listed below.

A personal computer running Windows

Perhaps computer running macOS

A personal computer is running anything else.

Now the funny th8ing is, the numbers of computers drive hackers attacking. Nearly 1.1 billion computers are running a version of Windows in the world. Many fewer Macs and PCs are running other operating systems. I don’t have a favorite; this blog today was written on my Mac. I sometimes connect to Virily on a Mac, on my Windows-based PC, and sometimes on a Linux based VM. Sometimes when I have issues with Virily, I try another browser. If that doesn’t work, I try another computer.

But the only thing I will say, each of the computers I use, has something awesome about the computer. I would end with that!

  1. macOS – easy to use doesn’t require as much memory, and the apple upgrade process is so simple!
  2. Windows – easy to share with other people, better integrated with web meeting software, and I use that all the time.
  3. PC running a flavor of Unix or Linux doesn’t require much memory, and there are a lot of interesting tools you can run!

Both Linux and Windows support free “virtual machine managers.” You can add one to a Macintosh, but there is a cost.

Overall all three work well. I would be down to two computers (work laptop and home computer) if I could run a VM of MacOS!