Archive for the 'cartoon' Category

Comics and cartoons by Tojosan

Tojo’s Cartoons and Comics

Shameless plug for my newest blogging effort.  I’m considering moving it to it’s own site when I move this blog in the near future.  Do drop by, leave a comment, heckle me a bit, or find a way to send money. 🙂

Feel free to leave me suggestions, requests, or comments at the new site. It’s for you, my readers, to enjoy your time online just a bit more.

See you there.

Social Networks?

     Do we need fancy websites, new applications, and cool new gizmos to have social networks? One might think so in this day and age.  High school and college kids have one up on older folks here, the younger folks are painfully aware of their social networks.

     The tools we have today may seem like the end all of social networking, but networking has been a skill since there were more than two humans.  You and I are involved not just in networks enabled by Twitter or Facebook, but more likely, those tools support networks older than either one.

     In fact, the very tools many of us have integrated thoroughly into our lives, have become even less enablers to our networks, but perhaps barriers and resistors to the growth of those networks.  In the past, one simply became part of our networks by working at the same place, living in the same neighborhood, attending the same school, or shopping at the same local market.  Today, many of us don’t consider those very same folks to be part of our social network, even folks we spend 40 hours a week next to.

     Before I continue, I’m guilty of this same thing.  Not intentionally, but by default.  If people at work don’t make themselves more accessible than loaning me a pen, they’re pretty much out.  If my neighbor doesn’t borrow sugar or loan me their lawnmower, we’d hardly know their names.

     Now let’s assume the same neighbor signed up on Twitter, and somehow found out my Twitter ID, would that situation change?  Well it depends.  Is he a technofile? A photographer? Does he ooh and ah over the latest social media tool?  Ultimately, does he enable my life and success in some way.  If not? He’s likely just going to be someone that knows me and never engages with me, or vice versa. Wait, that’s much like our current arrangement.

    Magnify this situation to include the thousands of random people out there that might actually have some similar interests to you or I, but we’ve never met, never chatted, and never heard of them.  To make this more complicated, they are shy, or protective, or socially inept, so they don’t use even a name. Lots won’t have even a blog or some form of reference about themselves.  These are the people that want in our networks.

    These people, neighbors, strangers, spammers, odd followers and more want into our networks.  They follow us on Twitter, Utterz, Facebook and our blogs.  Some will track down our emails, and even rarer I hope, our phone numbers.  The contacts start showing up all over the place, first with comments, then emails, linking us or stealing our content, or even reaching us on the phone.  Some may just knock on our door here and there and follow quietly beside us.  But they all want in.

    My question though, even if we didn’t invite them or encourage them, and we don’t add them back, are they really outside our social network?  I’d contend that they are in our network, want them or no.  Oh, you and I may not engaged them, but they’re still there.  We can ignore them even, but we still notice them.  Our network notices them as well.  Heck, the blogosphere will notice them too.

    What should we do then? I say, other than the spammers and the really odd ones, why not cultivate them to become real contributing members of your inner circle?  They are already part of your life, why not make them a better part of your life.  Speak to them about the type of folks you like to socialize with, the type of people you want to do business with, and the ones you want to create art with.  Don’t give out your home address or anything but help them understand where your heart lives.  Let them know how they can be part of your success in work, play, and creation.  One can never have too much support.

     And the rest, the ones you can’t stomach, block the ones you can, and give little or no press to the rest.  Don’t blow your energy over them.

    Hopefully I’ve given you something to think about, and helped you realize that even folks on the edge of your life are in your networks, sometimes even unintentionally. Why not cultivate them to help move your life along?

     Who are you neglecting on the edges?

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Twitter zen again

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New Job?

New Job? I start at the new position tomorrow.  May not be doing much, but my days on the Logistics team are over for now.  Welcome to the world of Manufacturing IS.

This position will be totally new software packages to learn, and new software development tools as well.  In addition, lots of new internal customers to get acquainted with and a team I’m only somewhat familiar with.

My current director asked me if I was ready or anxious. I told him the new team better be ready to keep up! Why do I feel that way? Because they recruited me off of my current team.  The new boss sang my praises on our first meeting.  Of course, there’s always that I’m damn good at what I do.


(cartoon created with Toonlet, check them out.)

Twitter Universal?


Twitter Secret?

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Facebook, You’re Banished

Aaron Brazell aka Technosailor has dropped Facebook. You can read about it here, Facebook, You’re Banished.

For instance, earlier today I went in and declined 17 application requests and ignored 32 “Which Bible Character are you?” kinds of questions. It’s pointless noise that is distracting.

Aaron made not just a blanket statement about it, but provides a short video as well.  His comment above summarizes the main frustration well.  It’s all about usefulness.

Facebook applications are significantly more focused on games, quizzes and other time wasters than productivity oriented.  Chris Brogan shared only a handful when asked.  I find only a few add real value to my life and my objectives.

Facebook CartoonFacebook may soon be in a battle to keep it’s high end users, like Aaron, Scoble, and Brogan.  Those users don’t just desire sites to provide productivity enhancing environments, but require it.  Even sites such as LinkedIn and Dopplr might be in trouble if the time spent there isn’t directly resulting in new knowledge, bringing in business, or otherwise making lives easier.

OpenSocial claims to be a boon to social networking sites. Ultimately though, if the quality and usefulness of the applications doesn’t increase, then OpenSocial may only bring a geometric growth of the noise over value.  Are we doomed have all social networking sites become useless?

The question is really not will there be more game and quiz applications, that’s a given. The real question is will sites find more real tool applications to use.  Behind that even, what might drive their development.

The big problem is that application developers are driven mostly be ad revenue right now. This is even true of sites such as LinkedIn, which I use.  Sadly, game players are apparently into clicking on ads.

My suggestion is to create services where the value is high enough that even everyday folks like me will join up as a paying member.  Those sites then need to make their objects available to me where I want and need them, not just on their website. If I want a Dopplr widget on my browser, that’s common enough it should already be there.  Or how about Widgets on my desktop? Where’s my Grand Central notifier?  The concept of sites that users must visit might be fine for folks that have lots of time to spare visiting them, but busy people needs apps that will come to them. Mobile application versions is just one aspect. They need not to forget desktop and laptop users like me, that don’t want to open 10 tabs to see all my stuff.

Yes, I’ve ranted off course a bit, but it comes down to usefulness versus noise.  The noise isn’t just a steady trickle on Facebook, it’s a flood.  The pace is just picking up.  Aaron isn’t the first to weigh anchor and move on but he’s a strong sign of the movement away from such sites.

What’s your line? 10 invites? 100? 1000? What’s your camel back breaking app you’ll freak out over and drop Facebook for?

Blog Aggregation – Getting it right?

The adventures in blogging continue.  Blogging and aggregation is a hot topic in St. Louis lately.  If you blog, you’ve dealt with the up and downsides of it.  If your blog has RSS, there’s a good chance someone is aggregating it.  Maybe that happens inside an RSS reader, but it can also happen at a blog aggregator site.

What’s the harm? Those sites can be both helpful and harmful. Some aggregators capture the entire content of the RSS feed and redisplay it on the site.  Kinder ones showcase the blog feed with human designed setups.

What can you do to get it right? Create your own aggregator of course!

Some of us bloggers are getting together, forming a project to talk about making a better aggregator.  I can’t give up the site yet. It’s still very bare bones.  Currently a team is being assembled.

It’s stirring up in St. Louis. Here’s a little background for that too.

What are you doing about your blog and aggregation?


Contest Ninja?


In all seriousness there was no ninja in the contest that I know of.  But if he blogged, he’d have had a shot too.

SOBCon is all about the bloggers.  You can read here what last year’s participants had to say.

Here are 3 key reasons SOBCon08 is going to be even better than SOBCon07:

1. Bigger. More attendees. More planning. More to talk about. More to do. More, more, more, more.

2. BAP. “The SOBCon08 program guarantees to send each attendee home with a Business Action Plan that can be immediately executed for measurable success.”

3. Biz. School, that is. An even stronger focus on business blogging and how to use blogs to boost your business.”

Me? This will be my first time. I’m excited about the opportunities this will present. Not only a chance to mingle but learn.  The sessions will be very focused with the end result a plan I can take forward for blogging as a business.

Currently there are no ads on this site, however that is not for a lack of interest. What I’d like to do is get it right. That applies for social networks as well.  Where can I best spend my time and resources?

What are you doing with your blog and your social networks? Are you merely marking time or are you making progress towards your personal and business goals? Has your online life profited you today?

Check out SOBCon and see if it’s for you.  It might just help you answer those questions.

SOBCon Registration Brings Perks

SOBCon cartoon

SOBCon, one of the premiere blogging conferences, is adding a lot of perks to registrants. If you were worried about getting a little something extra, then worry no more.

“Thanks to our sponsors you’ll also receive:

  • a copy of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett
  • 60 attendees will get free design and SEO consults from Network Solutions experts.
  • a $99 lifetime hosting offer from THC
  • a pro account at E-Junkie
  • a free subscription to Blogger & Podcaster Magazine and a chance to join their new USA Today guide
  • a professional video interview on you and your biz for BlogTV sponsored by Fuel My Blog

and more to come . . .”

How about you? Have you registered yet?  SOBCon looks to be one of the best conferences again this year.  Just check out the program and the presenters.

If you want to turn up the power of your blog, please give SOBCon a look.