Virily Site issues…

First off, to everyone that is suffering from the create button issue, but that is still reading and commenting on their friend’s posts, you are a hero! You deserve a huge pat on the back! You are a part of a community, and all of us feel bad about the situation that has occurred.  I have gotten several PMs on the topic, and I know that Carol and Ghostwriter also have. As a wise man once said, we are all rowing together!

My grandfather used to say there are two ways to truly tell what kind of person someone is.

1. When things are going against them, they still help others.

2. What they do when they think no one else can see.

I applaud those of you still commenting without being able to post!

I thought today’s cover picture would help people a little understand the reality of the situation. It is hard building a site like Virily. The concept of the site is what ultimately makes Virily money. I am sure they are working to fix the issue, fewer submissions and blogs to review makes the moderator’s jobs a little better, but over time can jeopardize the income for the site.

It also tends to drive authors away.

I was going to take a couple of weeks off from the Movers project, but I am going to watch some posts until the create button issue if fully resolved. It isn’t just when the create button is back. It is when the backlog of posts that were not moderated gets out live on the site. That will take between 3-5 production days to get moving. (A production day for Virily is any day that the moderators review content and pass it onto the site). So for the next few days, I will keep a watch and see if the site dynamics change.

Thanks again to those reading and commenting, you are the heart of the community!


A little Virily History

Around 2.5 years ago, give or take a little time, there was a cheating problem here on Virily.  People that had 2, 3 posts were suddenly rocketing up the leaderboard (Alex L reminded me to check the rankings from time to time yesterday). That was using a problem on the platform.  That is why when someone shoots up the rankings quickly, most of us that have been around Virily for a while wonder. Yesterday @Ghostwriter posted that she had encountered a problem. She reached out to the Admin team, and they informed her that it was a glitch. It sadly isn’t a glitch. One of the bugs that the cheaters exposed in the platform and one that sadly still exists was saving drafts

Initially, it appears only to be saving drafts of polls. Here is what happened (back in the dark ages of Virily). Someone would create a poll. Then they would save a draft. They would open the draft and then save it again. Some people did this 100, 200, or although I cannot verify this even more. By the time they published the quiz (or some never even published it) they were receiving 2000, 3000, and more Virils per day.  Some of the “cheaters” were earning 10,000 Virils in a day, never commenting, posting, or doing anything other than creating polls, saving them, opening them, saving them again. The result was a change to the platform, and the now hated message “creating huh?” when you do that (save a quiz multiple times).

The other issue, it wasn’t really a scandal but it was a little on the edge of cheating, was the comment issue. There were a lot of people that did one of two things.

1.Posted extremely short comments (nice, beautiful)

2.Copied and pasted their comments from post to post

Those two created two other changes to the platform. The first one caused the creation of the minimum comment length rule (20 characters). The section forced the creation of the report button. In theory, comments that you find offensive or that is spam can be reported. The reality is the only ones the moderators will delete forever are the Spam comments.

Sometimes the sins of the past bite you in the future. If you see someone go from 0-60 on Virily, you have to wonder.


Cats are killing birds, not windows!

The number of birds in the world is decreasing at an alarming rate. The many conservation groups around the world are concerned. Scientists continue to study the issue, and they as well are alarmed.  The interesting reality of this issue is the disinformation that has been thrown doubt over the past two years. The first one is that Wind Turbines kill more birds than anything (they don’t). Wind Turbines are way down the list. Now, if some of the power company goals are achieved, there will be 10 to 20 times as many wind farms in the world as there are today. The problem with that is, they would still crack the top five in terms of overall birds killed.

The other often throws out the killer of birds is Windows. While yes, windows do kill birds. You would have to combine windows, wind turbines, solar farms, and human hunters even to be close to the number of birds killed by Domestic Cats. That, by the way, is not even close to the number of birds killed by feral cats. But the disinformation campaign continues to spread around the world like a giant oozing oil spill.

Oh yeah, oil spills are bad for wildlife, but it doesn’t represent a huge killer of birds.

There are 2.9 billion birds missing, no longer flying, no longer appearing in pictures shared on Virily now than there were 30 years ago. One of the things that are impacting the birds is Climate Change. In fact, on the links below there are a couple of articles that look at the death of birds (and frogs) and project that out as an indicator of just how bad climate change is.

I do worry about the misinformation – I have heard wind turbines, solar arrays and windows all used in a variety of unverified presentations. Because of that, I include links to validated scientific articles below. These include US government agencies (USGS) showing the population shifts by region in the US. Plus, references to the study showing 2.9 billion fewer birds in the US.

Finally, there is a link to a table that is roughly nine years old. I will continue to look for the updated version. Contrary to the Window claim, the Wind Turbine Claim, Feral, and Domestic cats are the only human-created problem on the list of bird killers that kill birds at a single-digit rate compared to the other things that kill birds.

Links (that support and provide facts)


The office of tomorrow…

I have talked about the Circular Slide Rule that my father gave me.  It was the start of my technology journey. Now it is my bag. The things that make my bag are the things I carry with me every day I got downtown to Washington DC proper, or when I head to the office in Northern Virginia. But when we consider the bag carried, with the concept of the office of the future we begin to see a pattern emerging. Computers, tablets and cellular phones are to varying degrees of input devices. They are also output devices. When you consider, however, say this blog, I don’t write blogs on my tablet very often. I did, back in the Niume days publish my blog via my tablet for about two months.

One of the things that most workers that don’t work in an office will consider in the future is the list below:


2.Output to hand to other people (pDF, printer, etc.)

3.Large screen to see items that are screen dense

The connection is critical; how you connect becomes the office of the future question. In the future your phone will likely have two different stacks in operation. The first stack and processing will focus on the voice part of your phone. The second, the data will be separate. That allows you to tether your phone and use it as a data connection will still talking on the phone. The risk here is power consumption.

Output can be a critical component as well. IF you are a home office worker, you may rely on PDF and other files to share information electronically. You may still have a printer at home, but likely it is not going to be the same high-quality printer you have in the office. The other thing companies are beginning to do, a Kinkos budget for work at home professionals. Need to print in color? Print online and pick it up at Kinkos.

Finally, the large screen to see screen dense information question. I’ve talked in the past about the concept of the screen as a service. This concept also fits with JIT or Just-in-time information delivery. If you are walking about with no access to monitors or TVs, why not hold the dense screen file until later? Screen dense files require a monitor to best read and consume. My example is always a 10,000-row excel file (yes, I get those a lot)!

The office of the future will need to have systems that are aware of where you are. What devices you are carrying, and the amount of bandwidth you will need to get the information you need. Moving us from the Office of the Future to the Smart Office of the future!

My Office of Tomorrow posts


Work from home, the future of the office.

The reality of the office of tomorrow (continuing my series) is that the office of tomorrow may not be in a building. The reality of offices has moved to huddle rooms and cubes. More and more companies are moving to the open or sometimes called hoteling concept. A hotel is where your device plugs into whatever cube you sit on that day. Some companies end up with reservation systems (literally a calendar connected to the room, office, or cube). One of the things that most organizations don’t do is the printer alignment. That would be an email sent to you after you reserve a spot and sit down, which would automatically map the nearest printer to your computer. Someday that will happen but not so far.

But…the reality of the office of tomorrow may sit in your home today.  Now in many cases people don’t have offices at home. The computer sits on the dining room table or in the corner of the living room. The office of tomorrow can be anywhere. You don’t have to be in a specific place. If you have a wonderful screen porch you can work there. Or on your back porch. You are free to work wherever you want to. Other than the occasional all0hands or the occasional customer meeting, for the most part, you work from home. It means you don’t have to compute to the office. Several studies have shown that work from home professionals tend to spend more time (9-10 hours per day) working.

They also have a much higher job satisfaction rating. But of course, there is a downside to the work from the home world. One of the value propositions of working for a company is going to the office and being able to talk to people. I had a job for many years where if I wasn’t onsite with the customer I was home. The kids were in school, and my wife was in school. There were many days when it was just me at home. It got lonely sometimes.

The other side of the organizational value of supporting work from home workers is that you have a smaller requirement overall for office space. That reduces the cost per employee and allows for other benefits for at-home workers. It should be noted that not all jobs should or can be done by work at home professionals. Some jobs still require the actual human being be there.


The office of tomorrow

The office of the future. It is something that customers ask me about all the time. It is an interesting question. Many companies are moving to the model of no offices. When I was a kid I remember going to my dad’s office. He had a brown plague on the wall that says Dr. XXXX XXXXXX Science education department. I was always touching it when I walked into his office. The move to the new world order of cubes and open workspaces has been ongoing for the past ten years or so. The reality is that most people use their cell phones more than their desk phones. I find that I get 90% of my calls on my cell phones and a split (office and home) for the remaining 10%.

But the office of tomorrow is yet another evolution. The cover picture is of a MiFi, a personal device that you can take anywhere that has an LTE connection and WIFI built-in. It also supports a 5g convention, allowing you even more bandwidth. It is battery powered (lasts 4 to 5 hours with heavy cruise. The WIFI does pretty well, supporting four devices. Now, it is portable so you can take it with you anywhere. You can use it in the car, on the train (underground subways do require Cellular repeaters), and virtually anywhere you go. Like voice translation, you can do this with your cell phone. Most phones have a hotspot built-in. The reality of the built-in Swiss army knife approach is why the Mifi!

You see, when you are connected via wifi to your phone, acting as a hotspot, you really can’t do a lot with your phone. You are using it as a network connection. Oh yeah, and doing that, drains the battery. A MiFi does the same thing, but nothing else! You can use it as your network connection while you are on the phone! It is as I see it today, a part of what is to become the office of the future. The other things I will cover in the next few months. I am still building out what I think that the future looks like. I am fairly certain that their concept of a Mifi device will be part of the office of the future. At the very least, it will be part of the bag carried by road warrior (a road warrior is always traveling for work.)

I do know the move away from an office, continues to gain steam in the market!


Nice Comment Challenge

 It was 49 degrees when I got up today with gray skies. The humidity was less than 20%. We remain in the drought that ended the US summer. Other information I am 145 meters above sea level.

I got a PM today about twitter dashboards and how do I get to mine. On your twitter home page go to the More button and select Analysis. That will take you to your tweets, the average per day of views, and, more importantly, your interactions. I find that as Alex Ledante mentioned I get a lot of views and actions from eBay shares than I do from Virily shares.

I am stopping my viewing of other authors for a few weeks to recharge. That buys me 15 minutes to read more posts by more people. I again want to apologize to those that I do not get to every day.

One of the things I am still interested in but can’t test is the time of day. First off, the time of day is a huge variable. Secondly, there are many authors who wait, two, three, or more days and may have four or more posts published at exactly or nearly the same time. It makes finding a consistent reading for the time of day hard.

I find the comment conversation on my last post to be interesting. There were some excellent comments from other authors about comments.

1. Please do not take this as me saying you need to spend more time on Virily, spend the time you can!

2. Comments are harder because honestly the depth and number of comments you get have nothing to do with you, other than the content you start the process with.

So let’s turn comments into a challenge. One time a day, pick a random author and leave them a compliment. Beyond the comment, leave them something nice about them.

I love your posts!

I love your pictures!

You are very creative!

(I cloud keep going but I won’t)

Let’s call it the pay it forward positive comment challenge!