communication patterns

There are several things we as people say. One of the things that someone can say to me is, “I have an open mind.” In all my years of living, I have learned that when that phrase comes up, it is time to stop the conversation. People that feel the need to say “I have an open mind” do not have an open mind. It is at that point, best to walk away. That took me years to learn. It is hard sometimes when we are arguing about walking away. There are many communication clues that I track that is one of the big ones. That got me thinking about my long-time hobby of creating fun names for communication patterns and anti-patterns. There are many communication patterns in the world. From the world of software architecture, a pattern is a repeatable and reusable component of what you are trying to build. An anti-pattern is a reaction to the explosion of or the reverse of the pattern.

I have shared both the pattern and the anti-pattern many times on many different blogs. But I haven’t shared them in a bit, so here we go!

I have an open mind, and it is an anti-pattern. It is normally uttered by someone that has their mindset on the way things are. The pattern that corresponds to that is the question asker. The question asker tries to understand the situation by asking lots of questions. They don’t start with “this is wrong” they start with things like “that is interesting, tell me more.”

The likes of you anti-pattern, these are people that similar to the open mind team, has already decided that one side of the conversation is coming from someone that is beneath them, or below their station. I chuckle when I run into this pattern because most of the time, they don’t understand. The other side of the pattern for this anti-pattern is the “did I offend you” pattern. This person asks you directly if they believe they stepped on your toes, they apologize.


who is that on the other side…

Do you know the person on the other side of the computer screen? I lived outside of the US when I was young. We had a telephone in our apartment in Bangkok. But honestly, the cost of calling home (the US) was expensive. You could easily back then spend 100 dollars on a telephone call depending upon how many telephone companies you had to touch. It is much less expensive now. But the reality of the internet is do you know who it is on the other side of the computer screen? First of all from a broad security perspective, it is recommended that you be very careful in what information you share online. But there is more to consider.

  • First, the person could be a hacker, collecting information.
  • Second, they could be a very nice and considerate person interested in you.
  • Third, they could be someone who has an ax to grind.

It is an interesting question and one that we have to consider here on Virily and the internet at large. Who is that person typing to me? I often wonder as I converse with people online who are on the other side. I know many authors here on Virily and I enjoy conversing with them. I know other authors, and I stay away from them for a variety of reasons.

Remember, the human is a rule used on the micro-blogging site Reddit. But there is one more part of this world that we do have to worry about — the quality and source of the information. I have a really good friend that long ago was also a coworker. He and I sat in a meeting once. The leader of the meeting was very angry at my friend. He yelled, said a bunch of things. Afterward, my friend said, “let’s go to lunch.” I thought it was so that he could vent about being yelled at. But instead, we spent the time talking about things that were important to us, family other friends and so on. I finally at end of the time, had to ask “aren’t you upset about what the manager said to you.”

My friend looked at me and smiled.

“I don’t trust the source, so I discard the information and claims.” He said.

I have thought about that for 20 years since he said that. I finally got it about a year ago. Consider the source; consider if you find value in what they say. If you don’t trust them, then what they say can be ignored. They can yell, they can scream, or they can exist. But in the end, if they are not a source you use to validate yourself, ignore them!


Communicate is a verb

It is often confusing to people when I tell them what I do for a living. I am a solutions architect I tell them. They look at me. “So you make buildings?” I always laugh, not at the person but the misconception, Architects design buildings, engineers build them. In the world of software architecture, we take the initial concept, align with the existing processes and the business goals and available technology, and that creates a solution. In my current job, I am often asked to take a look at the bandwidth a company needs.

I talk about two concepts that most people grasp very quickly. The first is the concept of cost avoidance, and the second is the reality of cost removal. Cost avoidance is the money that the organization never has to spend. Cost removal means that the solution is cheaper this week than it was last week. The two can operate together. Or you can apply them separately to the issue at hand.

Why am I telling you this? Well, it has two distinct parts. The first is that in solving problems with software there are always reasons why you will fail. I will tell you, though, having built software for some of the biggest companies on earth there is one rule, originally coined by Ed Richter.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

If the first two fail, try the 3rd, if the 3rd fails as well start over at 1. It seems so easy, but it is often the hardest thing to do.


More on the movers project…

I promised in comments for yesterday’s post to further explain each of the three groups. First off, the intent of breaking group one two and three is to gather information. Group One will have three groups if we get enough people. The first would be the users that only share posts for a week via Twitter. The second will be the group that only shares posts via Facebook. Finally, the last part of Group one will be the Pinterest group; They will share posts via Pinterest. Now, of course, it is easy for me to say that it is far different going forward to what that means. The first question is, do you use social media sharing on Virily today? Group one is only for those Virilians that use Social Media sharing today.

If you don’t share via social, you can still participate in group two; we will take about Group two tomorrow. Here is a very simple process. Group One users will log into the post and will share the posts they read via the Social Network they are in the group for. So Facebook Group One will only share the posts for other Authors on Facebook. The Twitter Group One user will only share the posts on Twitter.  The Pinterest Group One Users will only share the article on Pinterest. We will do this for four days. The people in Group one will comment, but the main focus here is to find out which Social Media site has the largest impact on Virily external readers.

Again, we will do this for four days. The members of group one will pick four posts a day, and they will capture the links of those posts and send them to me along with the time they shared them on Social media and the social media site they shared them to as well.

1. Log into Virily

2. Open four posts

3. Comment

4. Share via your group Social media

5. Capture link and capture time you shared

6. Send a PM to Doc!

That is it. Honestly, this will add maybe 20 seconds to your normal reading process per post. So for four days, I am asking for 00:05:20. I will check the links and the time stamp and gather information as to which social media site works. Please note that this is phase 1 of the movers list project.


A new movers list will be coming soon and Thanks!!!!

I am officially done publicly posting about issues and potential workarounds on Virily. The negativity is more than I can take, and frankly, I am moving on.

If I can help you in any way, please send me a message here on Virily. If I can help, I will help. I am not going to post publicly about issues and solutions any longer.

Instead, I am going back to focus on things that are important to me. One of those is the impact of authors on my posts. I have posted the mover list before, based on the current flow on the site, I have shared that list in the past. I will take a look again when the summer gets here and share the list. I am going to modify my criteria a little and will share the new criteria later on b4efore I start the new mover review.

I’ve started looking at other places to share my posts as well. The reality of negativity forces me from time to time to consider other options.

Sometimes you have to consider what your goal is.

Right now, my goal is to share my family history project. I want to share the pictures I have collected from the past. I would also like to share some of the old movies from the 1940s and 1950s that my grandfather took. I suspect I will continue from time to time to publish those on my YouTube channel.  If you liked the When Harry Met Sally post I shared yesterday, I did the extended version on my podcast. You can find that here end for today, I want to loop back to Ghostwriter’s Thank you Challenge. I want to extend my original with the following:

Thank you!







And so many others. Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting.


Communication is not a contact sport

The twins and I have an agreement about their dog and walking. I didn’t enforce the deal with their older sister as well as I should have and they remind me of that all the time. The last time we discussed it, I asked the twins a question. “which is more important what you say or what you do?” I know from a professional perspective, my employer needs me to produce, or do. What I say may contribute, but what I do is what they pay me for. In professional relationships, I do suspect that is as much the rule as it is anything. What you do is much more important than what you say is.  But, I’ve been thinking about what people say a lot lately.

If you are in a non-professional non-work situation what you say matters, sometimes you discuss with a person, and they go “nuclear.” When that happens, you have two options. The first is to defend yourself. I think now however that defending yourself actually may only exacerbate the situation. Plus I have come to realize that my self-image doesn’t get impacted by what people say about me. Argue my points, make fun of my ideas that isn’t a problem. You see the thing is if I find your responses to be worthy I will argue. If I find in the end that I was wrong, I will acknowledge it. It is a part of communication to accept when you re wrong or when you have wronged.

The other option is to ignore the person. That if they attempt to interact with you, you walk away. Note of course if the person that attacks you attacks other people walking away doesn’t solve the initial problem. The reality of someone going nuclear is there are few survivors. I am standing in the way of someone going nuclear does you no good. But everyone deserves a chance. That is why I always respond to people not liking my ideas. I will never ignore someone that doesn’t like my ideas. When, however, that person attacks me, I stop dealing with them. Therein lies the ethical difference between a person that cares and a person that is self-absorbed.

Attack my ideas – it won’t hurt my feelings. Attack me, and I will walk away. If you apologize for attacking me, I will accept your apology. I will give you a second chance. Do it again, and I may or not accept the apology. Do it a third time, and that is it. I believe in treating all people fairly. I don’t attack people; I only argue with the idea you present.


advertising is interesting…

I was talking to a blogger yesterday via chat who used to write for Niume. There are a lot of ex-Niume writers out there (since Niume is gone forever, there aren’t any current Niume writers). We were talking about the struggle the site had towards the end. It got me thinking about the reality of creating and maintaining a blogging site. For example, the first revenue source, and for most blogging sites the only revenue source is the application of, use of and delivery of google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing or other internet advertising companies. It makes it frustrating at times as you log into the site and it is filled with ads. It is interesting into hat you can refer, in your post and when you view the post to respond to comments, check what being advertised is.

For example, as Google does searching within your post, they look for keywords. Is a drill, in particular, a cordless electric drill from Makita on your shopping list? It will be on the site when you see this post. Mention Sea Ray boats? See an ad for Sea Ray boats. Oh, by the way, have you tried an instant Pot? See the ads below, and you will see one. Maybe, in fairness I listed three products in this post, so who knows which one will be selected. I am going to put a bunch of products at the bottom of this post just to see which ones get selected. Amazon focuses on the last thing you bought, and when you add something to your cart, what similar purchases also included.

Targeted advertising is interesting.

Gallo. Makita, Yale.

I wonder what ads will appear in my post!

By the way, I am interested in what you folks think, not about the advertising itself, if you get paid by Virily, then you have to accept the ads. The only way they can afford to pay authors and keep the site going is to generate ad revenue. Niume was going to die before the creator of the site passed away. Its ad revenue was declining.

Let’s see what happens!