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…


Oh the trends I’ve missed…

Ten things you think about, ten things that make you ponder. There are writers here on Virily that often post things that I find beyond interesting. Some of them force me out of my comfort zone and help me ponder the wonder around me. Some of them make me want to post big red letters on their post saying “Hoax: and not true. Some of them I argue with, their points interesting but not always what I see and believe. That is the wonder that is the online world. The joy of conversation. The wonder of sharing information with other people and of course, community. It is why I have stayed here on Virily; I truly love the community of writers and artists here. It feels like home.

Sometimes as you reflect you have to remember why you do things.  For me today I am sitting in my office, finally feeling better thinking about doing more of the things I love. It is after a vacation. A time to recharge and consider the many things that have gone well leading to the vacation as well as the many things that could have gone differently. Based on that I would like to share a few of the not gone well issues I’ve run into over the past few years. The first and truly painful was the reality of Populate. Populate was a second screen for your phone, designed to be always on the back. You could throw notifications and GPS directions on the back screen reducing the wear and tear on your phone’s battery.

The 1.0 version of the product shipped, they were crowdfunding the 2.0 version. Sad to say the company went out of business. It was a painful realization that you can’t always guarantee what you think is awesome, is truly awesome. Some others that went the way to the dinosaurs (although scientists point out that birds are relatives of Dinosaurs, so they didn’t go all the way away) include a huge number of Indiegogo campaigns. I no longer back projects on Indiegogo unless I know the creator personally. Far too many cool devices failed there. The one that makes me the saddest is Mi World. A multi-media service designed to stream your content anywhere. I have a lot of content! Goovis actually does that for me now, but that wasn’t available then.

Tech Wiz

The answer is easy, you tell me!

A person that I struggled to work with over the years once, in a moment of self-clarity asked: “what communication pattern and anti-pattern do you think applies to me.” First of all, in fairness, I don’t do that. I create the patterns based on what I observe, but I don’t assume that someone always uses the same patterns or anti-patterns. I also don’t like labeling people, and sometimes an anti-pattern is a label that sticks, far longer than the meeting did.

“The answer to your question is, I don’t. That is for you to decide not me.” Certainly, as an observer, I have an opinion. (I did, in fact, one of the anti-patterns was modeled after that person’s behavior in meetings) But it doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what you think. What do you think your pattern is?” For the next hour they, using the anti-pattern I had pegged them for describing the patterns that applied to them.

I have to say at the end of the house I was convinced that the anti-pattern I had assigned to them was right. But I was also right in not sharing my opinion. It is critical to remember that no one chooses to see themselves in a bad light. Self-reflection is more to see zits in the mirror than it is to correct the flaws we share with others. We are the children of a lesser god, to borrow from the play. Children who cannot see ourselves sometimes for where we are. I know sometimes I cannot see myself. I know a number of the patterns and anti-patterns I have found in others are in myself as well.


communications wanderer

Of my journey to being a technologist. My paddle to the computer…

During my career, I have made a couple of pit stops. Those pit stops were shorter moments of employment than I would normally have even considered. One was a situation of not being able to deal with the passing of my father and needing to leave. The other was an ethical situation that still bothers me.

That said, it is interesting how an IT career progresses. IT wasn’t a career when I started that was on my radar. It was a career in the sense that you could walk right out of college when I graduated and be an IT person. My degree, my focus, and my career right out of college were as a school teacher. I set out to follow in the giant footsteps of my father. I found out quickly that I couldn’t fill his shoes. But, I do recall in interviews superintendents saying to me “you aren’t long for education.” I thought that was an indictment of my teaching skills, so I asked them. They all said “no, you would be a great teacher, but you won’t be one long. I give it ten years.” Seems funny now that I think back. They were right (a total of three superintendents told me that. One said I would teach for four years or less. One said ten years and the other said nine years. All three were wrong. I was a teacher for seven years) in that I didn’t teach a long time.

I still teach, but now it is more by doing a presentation. I didn’t leave teaching out of some noble obligation, some grand quest. I left because I love technology. Not that you can’t be a technologist and an educator, you can. Rather that my love of technology was on the other side. Not how things work (which makes you a better teacher I am sure) rather my interest was what could I put together. My interest was not one I could do as an educator because frankly and fairly you have to help kids achieve their educational goals first. So I left teaching in the rear view mirror.

Now I am a technologist. People ask me all the time, how do I get to where you are? I tell them two paths they can take. One is to go and be a teacher for a year. Work in a 2nd-grade classroom and be responsible for everything. The other, if they are not inclined to be around children. Is to sit on the telephone helpdesk. To be a support person for a time. That is, like teaching a way to grow the skills, so many people don’t understand.

I love technology. Without question, it has changed the world in the time I have been alive. What once was is gone. Will a robot replace you is the new issue. Will AI render your job obsolete? It won’t render teachers obsolete. We need them, to see the child come to school and to look on their arms for bruises. Sure we could build an AI system that could educate kids, but in the Elementary Years of education, kids need hugs. They need a pat on the head.

Today is a wandering day. I am stuck in a moment of memories for some reason. As if remembering was even remotely important today over every other day that I awoke to blog. It isn’t, but for some unknown reason, I am stuck in the swirl that is a memory. Remembering the way things used to be, once upon a time.

I guess there are those who years ago were right. The Superintendents who said I wouldn’t be a school teacher my whole career. They had insight and vision at that time that I didn’t have. But there were others who were wrong. Like my ex-wife who told me I was best served by selling my computer and to stop playing with writing and computers and focus on being a school teacher. Otherwise, as she left, she said I would never be anything.

Sorry, ma’am, you were wrong.


happy now…

IT Jenga©, a great game for your IT friends!

The concept of IT Jenga© is one I shared yesterday. Jenga itself;f is a very simple game. You build a tower of blocks. When the tower is complete, you either take out any of the blocks below the top three rows and place it on a new top row. In theory, the game can go on forever. In reality, the game becomes unstable after 8 to 9 turns.

IT Jenga©, on the other hand, has a slight variation in its play. You still take turns but instead of removing one, and putting it on the top, you remove one and grab two more from the other pile. IT Jenga© takes two full sets of Jenga blocks to play.

The advantage is in IT Jenga© you don’t have to build a tower. You can create a larger base. The other reality of the game is that like regular Jenga without careful playing before building your organizational Jenga tower to start; you won’t last three turns.

Organizations, and I have worked with many over the years fail at migrations. At the first problem, most teams stop the migration and either terminate it or start over. There is nothing wrong with failure which is why we here at IT Games have released IT Jenga©.

You see the beauty of IT Jenga© is that if your tower falls, you start over. You can start with once again planning your migration. You rejigger the pieces that didn’t work. You shuffle the deck again. Perhaps your base needed to be broader. Maybe you were doing too much early and too little late. Or too little early and too much late.

The path to success is not hard if organizationally you are prepared for the what and how of the migration. Every migration starts out with an incredible promise a dream if you will. We could also call it a vision but let’s go with dream as it is a little bigger than a vision. That dream, we are going to enable more with the new solution, is awesome. You can do more with the new solution than you can with the old solution.

As an organization embarking on this new journey the first thing, you do to make that dream real is your plan. Plan for success! I learned many years ago that the easy way to plan was to start by assuming you were doing and going back and reviewing what you did right. Then writing the components of the vision, the things you want to do, and write that down as the dream. Once the dream was established, you would be able to move forward.

Look, the reality of big migrations is a pain. I won’t kid you. The failure rate of migrations isn’t any higher than one would expect. The problem isn’t failure, the problem is resolved. That is why I moved that vision to a dream. You see dreams are aspirational, which means in the strictest sense that when you are playing IT Jenga© based on that dream you will pay attention to the foundation needed for success.

I want to be a doctor. Therefore, what do I need to do?

You start with the things you need. For a good game of IT Jenga,© you need a base. That base needs to be able to both support the organization but also to allow the organization to grow. In the IT Jenga,© there is a variable coin you flip. Heads you end your turn. Tails you pick up a variable card. The variable card may be something like CIO discovers that she wants to have email on her phone add two additional IT Jenga© blocks to your IT structure. Effectively instead of the three you would normally do, you instead have to do five blocks. The coin flip occurs at the end of every single turn. You could, can and will have to plan up front for variables to make it past four turns.

Good luck! I hope you enjoy IT Jenga,©!


inventor IT Jenga©,