i didn’t know the word was loaded

They, words, sometimes like hand grenades explode. The funny thing is that they often explode when unexpected. Some words we all know are triggers for everyone. They are words that are often called “foul language.” Sometimes we call them 4-letter words like work! Language is funny, and if you are not a native language English speaker, it is even harder when you re required to communicate in English. Heck, I know even people that grow up with English struggle with the rules. Like when do you properly use y’all? Or the word ain’t, technically it is in the dictionary now does that make it a word? Or because it is a late addition to the dictionary, does it still stand in the limbo of not being a word?

Recently in the south of the US, people have combined y’all and ‘aint to produce the, even more, contracted y’a’int! It intrigues me when you consider communication and language. I’ve talked about my friend that has built a deck of communication pattern cards. I’ve even shared a few of those over the years. But when it comes to sharing information on a writing site, the importance of words becomes critical. The reality of the most thing is that humor doesn’t always convey. Sarcasm is a form that doesn’t work online. On the internet, no one sees you smile!  Humor, however, is essential both in what we perceive but also in what we read in front of us!

Yesterday I asked about salespeople. What kind of salesperson do you not like to work with? It was a question that got great responses. For the most part, any comment is useful. Please note I did say for the most part. I noticed that most people responded that push aggressive salespeople did not win their business. The goal of any salesperson is to earn your business. So losing your business by being pushy would seem to be antithetical. Why, if no one likes pushy salespeople, are there so many pushy salespeople? That got me thinking, what job would you expect to have a pushy person doing? Specifically, that push sales type that most of you didn’t like.

What job should they do?

Yesterday’s Post on Sales people!



TV is going away, but now they want your blender as well

So yesterday, I on purpose generated a title, and the opening piece that I knew would draw attention. I was trying to demonstrate the other side of starting conversations. There are a few things to think about as we consider the new world order here on our site. The first is that commenting is now critical. If you want to gain more virils per post, you have to say and start conversations on your posts. But you then also have to return that on the positions of others. You see, if you don’t help others, they likely won; ’t help you. So yesterday, I posted a title that was a little provocative first, that you would even consider hugging a television second your TV itself was going away.

But there are other measures of success. Getting to 1000 views on a post is a big deal. It means 1000 people found your content attractive, your title catchy, and they viewed your post. There are many spots on this site and others with well more than 1000 views. Some get there after 3, 4 or more months some get there in days.  I know that there are people on the site that use the rule if you don’t comment on mine I will not comment on yours. I don’t believe in that. I read what I like to read. If I don’t read stuff, you sometimes publish it because I don’t enjoy the subject area, or I don’t usually read posts of that nature. I do occasionally read posts covering areas outside of my comfort zone. But not very often and certain

So I will leave you with two things today. The first is my pledge. The second is a non-rhetorical question about goals.

  1. If you comment on my posts, I guarantee I will read and comment on your posts. If you reply to my comment on your post, I will respond to your feedback! I pledge that!
  2. What is your goal? You see, you can get views, external mostly, and if your goal is to view, then there are things you can do to help yourself. If your goal is to earn points on a site, then you have other options.

Have a great start to your week!


Jargon can kill your blog

Did you ever wonder? Building on the last two days now, its time to consider what to do after your first step. So now you’ve got pithy titles down. (perhaps you’ve mastered the ability like famous authors of the past). You have considered (and no pressure if you do fantastic, if you don’t know still impressive it is wholly your choice). But honestly, a zippy title and a writing group with 300 people don’t generate an audience. Audiences are built over time.  Many of us have an audience on this site (good for you building one)! What I have found over time is that my audience is bifurcated. Bifurcated in the sense that my audience is focused on two distinctly different things.

My first grouping I’ve mentioned before, and they read the wander project. They read it on my WordPress blog, and many of them have done so for quite a few years. How do you pull it all together? You have a great picture or a great picture. You have a snappy title, you have joined a group on Facebook, or have a lot of friends on Instagram or other social platforms, but nobody is reading your posts? Well, let’s take a hard look at your job. One of the problems I often have in my technical blog is the vast amount of industry-specific terms, sometimes called Jargon. Yes, I realize my blogs are often filled with words, and people ask what does it mean in the comments.

Jargon can be a blog killer. TLA and FLA’s or even MLA’s are also risky. Oh, wait, what is TLA’s? Three letters acronym. I was reminded that the TLA ANC used in headsets, also refers to the African National Congress in South Africa. In the tech world, it stands for automated noise canceling. So be careful with Jargon. It is tough to recover from. I try, but I do not always succeed.

*Bifurcated is a legal term meaning split into two functional systems.

Links to others in this series




Do you have a Podcast?

There are times when I write when I know I am on a technology island. Right now, this is one of that island. But, I enter my island happily today. I am moving to the world of voice recording and digital voice recording. I realize that most of the folks here on Virily probably do not have a podcast of their own. (Podbean will host your podcast for free if you want to start one).

You can find mine here https://docandersen.podbean.com or look for Docandersen in iTunes. I am not in the google podcast system as of today, I never actually checked to see if I was there in the first place.

I like doing a monthly podcast, and it lets me talk about the ideas that interest me. It is a one-way conversation, but I try to make them interesting. One of the things I do often share are Fred and Ed stories, I’ve explained those many times in the past.

But I also talk about tech trends and what is coming. I try when I can to link the ideas of the podcast to the theme from my blog, but in fairness, I don’t always do that. I try to keep my podcasts to 3, sometimes 5 minutes, so that you can listen to them easily.

I guess the point for this column is, are there any other podcasters out there? By out there I mean here on Virily? I have done a podcast now for over ten years.  Many of my podcasts are now done at the request of former students and former co-workers. Once upon a time, I was on the radio. People tell me I have a voice for radio!

Anyway just curious if there are any other folks here on virily that podcast as well.


of Scam and Spam Emails

Yesterday we talked about scam and spam emails. Today a little bit more of the reality we all face today, SPAM or SCAM phone calls. The evolution of the telephone has added features that change things. The reality for those who grew up during the 60s and 70s is back then we rushed to the phone when it rang. We never knew who was calling, but we ran to answer it anyway.

OF course, back then the reality of demon dialers did not exist. A demon dialer is something all of us, regardless of where you live have experienced. Demon dialers do two things. The first thing is they spoof, or fake a legitimate number, and secondly, they connect the call without a human. You’ve heard the click when you answer the call, a pause and then a second click before a human speaks. The rise of that demon dialer software is part of why there are so many spams or scam calls today. Let’s talk about my all-time favorite scam/spam calls!

1. The central windows support team, windows support team or partner support team. Your computer has errors. There are more than 1 billion Windows computers in the world. There is NO CENTRAL computer collecting error codes. Even if there where they don’t have any machine-specific information. Type event in your start menu. It will open the event viewer. Notice what would be sent from your computer, nothing about you as a user or your specific computer.

2. Car warranty calls – I love these they start with your car’s warranty has expired. They get people to panic, gather information and if they can they sell you a useless car warranty.

3. In the US, the IRS calls and leaving a threatening voicemail. First, the IRS does not use telephones to leave voicemails. They also do not threaten people. If you owe taxes they send you a registered letter. They never call you, unless they are turning your call, and at that point, they do not leave Home threatening emails!

4. Home security company calling “the neighbors: They start with “your neighbor was robbed, or a house in your neighborhood was robbed.” So far they have called our house eight times. There have been two break-ins in our neighborhood in the time they have called.  The last time I asked what neighbor was robbed. They said: sir we can’t answer that question.”

There are many other scams out there. Home repairs are another huge one. If you have gotten one I haven’t listed, please share it in the comments. The path to safety both personal and home is to be careful.  My grandfather’s rule applies “if it seems to good to be true, it is too good to be true.” There are many software solutions by the way that help with SPAM calls. NOMOREROBO, MALWAREBYTES and your cellular company’s software all work to reduce SPAM and SCAM calls. Just like here on Virily the most important thing, if something is offensive report it!


of Scam and SPAM emails

The reality of scams. First of all, everybody makes mistakes. I have clicked on two different phishing emails in the past eight years. Both were sent by the internal security where I worked, so I had to take the additional training to remind me not to click on emails that were fake!

First off, emails that are scams have two things in common right off the bat. Most companies do not send emails with misspellings. Additionally, every company I know always sends links that end in the company name and a .com. (As in https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.company.com&data=02%7C01%7C%7Caedaf7485450411d878f08d7468af642%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637055434951953529&sdata=uo775dkLQ%2Fh7TeIw%2BaytI6RSI2KjbU2xa0yx9TcM%2Byg%3D&reserved=0 is a modified URL from a security program)! The corrected version would be http://www.company.com.

Always right-click on the buttons in emails! Right-clicking will show you the URL. The first URL is a made one from a security program. But the reality is you have to be careful. When you right-click on a button it will show where the button is taking you. IF it is not company.com do not click that button. The best thing to do is to delete that email.

Emails in your junk folder cannot do anything to your computer. All functions in the junk folder are disabled. You can test that by taking any email you have with a http or web address and putting it into your junk folder. Then try launching the URL. It won’t work. Copy the email back to your inbox and the URL will work!

A common scam today is the reality of the fake bill or fake account issue. If you are working with Apple directly, or Amazon they might send you a file. They do not, however, ever send you files spontaneously. The file in those cases is a malware attack and designed to ruin your day!

There are no Nigerian princes with millions of dollars to give away!

There are no XYZ country soldiers, trying to move millions of dollars out of the country where they are.

There are no people randomly selecting email addresses and giving away millions of dollars.

All of the,se sadly are scams. If you have an email address you’ve gotten one or more over the years. The very best thing you can do is never open them, delete them and then empty your trash folder.


water, fills the world but where it goes matters…

Today, a picture of the Black Hills Recreation area, lake. The lake is much smaller today than it was ten years ago. In part that is because a large number of feeder streams have been rerouted. What reroutes a stream of water? Well normally it is either a beaver, Black Hills has a few, but they are in the actual lake area and not building dams stopping the streams, or humans and concrete. The concept of concrete is interesting. Let’s start with a history lesson of changing water flow. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. The devastation was horrible. The problem, for that area, was that one of the swampy areas around New Orleans had been drained and there was human construction. Swamps absorb a lot of water rapidly. No swamp, too much water.

In the case of the lake for the Black Hills, there is the other side of that. The reality of concrete and ultimately the impact of concrete. Previously the recreation area lake was fed by streams that gathered water from the entire area, carrying it to the lake. The Army Corps of Engineers, created a dam to reduce the flooding in that area. Now, in the ensuing years, that area has exploded. BY exploded the lake itself has now some homes built around it. But more importantly, when you consider drainage basin, you have to go 2-3 and more miles away to determine where the water is coming from. There is a great sign, replicated some times in the Rocky mountains. Water on this site goes to the Mississippi. Water on the other side of the line goes to the Pacific Ocean.

It is a very complex explanation of a simple problem. There is now a shopping mall (with lots of parking and parking lots). There is a huge series of four new developments — lots of houses, lots of concrete less flow of water. The resulting changes push the water away from the black Hills recreation reservoir. It is the reality of expansion. The parking lots from the new mall all drain into a stream that heads parallel to where the water used to go. Two of the four new subdivisions of houses, drain into the new flow pattern created by the mall. The reality is more than 30% of the lake’s water is now heading away from the lake. When you add evaporation, the lake is declining now because of that.

Amy Grant sings a beautiful song that has a line “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

The reality of parking, malls, and hours is that water flows change.


Doing introductions

One of the things that I am always curious about is the “who” of the online conversation. Based on my post of yesterday talking about the reality of the not yet here information age, I would share a little of who I am, to help people get started. It isn’t a challenge, just an opportunity to create a greater connection.

First off, I work in the IT world and have for most of the last 30 years. I have had various leadership positions over the years, based on that some of my suggestions come across as orders. I promise they are not meant as orders, always suggestions.  I run a team of people; sometimes, I forget that I need to throttle back a little.

I live in the US. (in the comments, where do you live) I have lived in what traditionally called the middle of the US (Born near Chicago, lived in India and Ohio). I have been to all 50 US states so far and more than 60 countries of the world. I’ve logged over  1.5 million miles flown and spent more than 1000 nights in various hotels all around the world.

I am a parent. I am also a husband. Now more than eight years ago, we packed up the family and moved to Maryland (on the Eastern Coast of the US).

Thanks for reading! Now you know a little more about me. During the workweek, I get up at 3:30 in the morning so that I can get a jump on the day’s activities!

Will you share more about you in the comments?


Virily FAQ

I wanted to start with this statement. “There is no intent to offend anyone with the information in the FAQ.” I am trying to get known good information about Virily and share it with as many authors as I can. The most important thing is validation. I have heard rumors and legends thrown around about Virily. We are slowly but surely validating the information we are getting as a community.


What we know – over the last 28 months the dashboard has updated the day of the month (except for July 2019). Early on, in the Virily past, the Dashboard updated daily. It is normally dashboard updates and two-three days later those who get paid that month have money. The other fact we know right now is that one Viril converts to 0.0011192637731625 US cents.


Badges do update. Users report that they have gotten new badges.

Badges have value (each one carries with it a Virily award for the bookworm, owl, etc.)

The question on the table from yesterday now is what does a locked badge mean? It does not mean you should not use that template. What it means other than the one thing we know it does.t is open right now.

Known double click issues:

There are two I know of, and I am listing them for the community in our new FAQ.

1. If you double click the upvote or click twice too quickly, it results in a downvote.

2. If you double click the comment button too quickly you get the infamous “duplicate comment submitted error)!

Why can’t I copy-paste the same comment over and over

one it’s rude. Two it is it an enforced comment remove the rule.

Why a 20 character limit on comments?

Why is there a 20 character limit on comments? The rule exists people didn’t treat authors posts with value. Good. Nice. Cool. Don’t do anyone any good. I do agree that we should, and we did ask the admin team to move the rule to 10 characters or more from 20. I understand many readers and authors here on Virily are not native English speakers, and the English rule for the site on posts and comments is hard. I find value in every comment. I don’t care if you make a spelling mistake in the comment or your post. Those don’t matter to me. I know you can’t edit your posts or your comments, and I know I’ve made a few spelling errors over the last three years.

Verified User

There are a couple of posts from 3 years ago by Virily Editor that talk about what it takes to become a verified user.

1. You have to be a positive contributor to the community

2. You have to adhere to and follow the rules of the community


I know there is a lot of frustration in the community about how long it takes posts in the pending stage to be published.

1. The verified users are allowed to publish right away. The important thing to remember about the Verified Users is that not a single one of them started on Virily as Verified. We all followed the rules to become Verified.

2. The moderators appear (this is opinion) to work Monday – Friday. Based on that the queue grows over the weekend.

3. It should be noted first off that the Moderators are people, and as such, it is important to remember that they deserve time off. The other part is if we were to ask for more moderators, that costs Virily more money, and would force the value of a Viril down further than it now. Money has to come from somewhere.


on building views and workarounds…

,I am going to start with some known Virily issues and workarounds. Please understand that I am not condoning the need for or use of workarounds.

  1. Safari connections to Virily – at times Safari is a limited browser; in fact, many Safari users report slowness when connecting to the site.
    1. Try a different browser such as Chrome or Mosaic.
    2. Clear your browser cache (there is an impact in that you lose all stored passwords for all sites when doing this.)
  2. Chrome users on Windows – often experience 524 errors.
    1. Reduce your number of open browser windows. The more you have, the more taxing the browser is on your computer.
    2. Clear your browser cache (there is an impact in that you lose all stored passwords for all sites when doing this.)
    3. Start Chrome in safe mode (extensions off). Sometimes Browser extensions impact your ability to stay connected.
    4. Try Edge or IE.

The reality of browsers today is that they do so much more than the original browsers did. If you look at Opera or Mosaic, you will be reminded of the old Intender Explorer or the Netscape browser of years ago. Simple, and ultimately you get what you get. The modern browsers include support for QuickTime, Adobe Flash, Java, image reading, and video rendering (MP3, MP4).

Every browser is different. The musical, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Edge all have different implementations of the browsing window.

I do not use these posts to excuse the 503, 504, and 524 errors. I just want to make sure that everyone knows there are options. If something doesn’t work, try a different way! I would much prefer the Virily Admin team to post something other than articles about renting apartments and or buying a couch. But in the two-plus years, I’ve been here, they communicate less and less. Since I still get paid from this site, I am moving on without expecting the admin team to respond.

More to come…