Lies & Boob Jobs

Pretty much every single week, I have to hear about people that fell for the okey-doke because someone SAID one thing and then DID another thing.

Please get a clue.. Stop listening to what people say. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Try to focus on reality instead of some fantasy someone pumped into your brain.

Boob Jobs

So I’m watching this week’s ‘Jerseylicious’ episode, and they’re talking about how Olivia wants a “Boob Job”. Continue reading “Lies & Boob Jobs”

Do NOT Tamper With Your Comments!

I told my ex-girlfriend not to lie to me… I mean, she was still my girlfriend at the time, and now she isn’t. The reason I told her that was that I was catching her in small, seemingly insignificant lies. VERY VERY small lies… Not even worth telling, to be sure. I explained to her that the most important thing you have in a relationship is trust. Without TRUST, you have nothing at all, because any communication you have with anyone will be tainted… untrustworthy… disbelieved. Lying to me about small things is WORSE than lying to me about important things, because it’s not necessary. If your character can’t stand up to the smallest criticism and you feel the pressure and need to LIE, then you CERTAINLY don’t have the stomach to tell me the truth when it REALLY counts.

WHAT does this have to do with “Technology”, you ask?… Because the same holds true in many situations, *including* posting on the internet. The way a lot of blogs are set up, including this one that I’m posting to right now, after the main entry, there’s a section for comments. This is the place for viewers/readers to weigh in and let you know if they agree OR disagree with what you said, and why.

The benefit of having comments is taking a post from being a soliloquy to being the beginning of a conversation. It’s like having a lecture and then at the end, opening up the floor to any questions your audience might have. *YOU* are just as responsible for and will be held accountable for what happens in your comment section as you will be held accountable for what you post in the main entry. Just like I told my ex… (paraphrasing, hahaha) the way you carry yourself in dealing with comments can make or break your credibility in EVERYTHING ELSE that’s MORE IMPORTANT than your comments section…..

Let’s take a very simple example that everyone should be able to follow:

Let’s say you have a company that sells widgets. Let’s say your business blog is “widgetblog”, and is a blog about widgets. Let’s say you also author “personalblog”, and what you post there has NOTHING to do with widgets, and only to do with your personal life. Unfortunately for you, you can not separate these three things if people know that you’re connected to all of them. Similar to a chain, your credibility is only as strong as the *WEAKEST* link.

Now, let’s say you post that “the sky is blue”. Let’s say that several people post “I agree, the sky IS blue!” and those comments are not tampered with. What do you do when someone posts “the sky is actually grey”? This person has now added their personal opinion to the discussion that you started. Do you leave this dissenting opinion on your site so that people can see the HONEST, TRANSPARENT format of how the discussion actually unfolded?…. OR…. Do you log in as “admin” and CHANGE THAT POST so it now reads “the sky is blue”?

Let’s say you get five more “blues” and two more “greys” and even a “red”… What now? Do you log in AGAIN, and tamper with your comments AGAIN? When someone comes to your post the next day, will EVERYONE be in agreement with your position? Is that fair? Is that HONEST? Is that *transparent*?

Now, in most cases, you can get away with this underhanded behavior. There’s only one thing you have to do to maintain your credibility and look like people agree with you….. Be. Faster. Than. Everyone. Else. That. Reads. Your. Blog!

If you come to your blog, and the dissenting posts have been sitting there for an hour, consider the possibility that SEVERAL PEOPLE may have ALREADY READ THEM and will see you for who you really are and what you’re really doing if you tamper with your comments. :/

What’s the problem if you get caught tampering with your comments?…. “Trickle Up”! πŸ˜€

If you get caught tampering with comments on PERSONAL posts, your credibility is *SHOT*. You can NOT be trusted. If you can’t be trusted with the comments on your personal post, you can’t be trusted in what you POSTED either. Why tell the truth, when you could make up a convenient lie to make yourself look good? Now, your entire personalblog is tainted. Meanwhile, you’re the same person that writes and moderates widgetblog. Why should we believe that you’re willing to risk your business by allowing people to have opinions contrary to YOUR best interests? Now, the posts AND comments on widgetblog are tainted.

Meanwhile, you’re the owner of the widget company. Why should your character in doing business with someone face to face, shaking their hand and looking them in the eye be any stronger than when you’re posting a business or personal blog? So, unfortunately “this person is a liar” trickles UP to where you don’t want it because you didn’t have the stomach to leave your comments alone and perhaps POST A REBUTTAL? Stand up for your own statements? Explain to the dissenting commenter why you think you’re right and they’re wrong? Seriously. :/

Assuming you feel you’re prone to resort to underhanded tactics to make yourself look good in the future by tampering with people’s comments today… Here are some things you can do that will still make you look like you have something to hide, but there’s no PROOF, like when a statement that was “X” for 45 minutes, suddenly becomes “Y” merely by clicking ‘refresh’ in your browser. :/

Turn Off Comments – Your word is law and that’s it. Anybody who comes to personalblog or widgetblog will get what YOU have to say about things, and that’s it. Nobody else has any say.

Turn On Moderation – Make it so that NOBODY’S comments make it to personalblog or widgetblog unless YOU approve them. That way, when everything ends up positive, you just look like you spun the situation by only letting the comments through that you liked. This is DIFFERENT from changing people’s posts because there’s never anything negative for people to see in the first place, AND dissenting comments don’t become agreeing comments with the same person’s name on the top, posted at the exact same time.

Delete Dissenting Comments – MUCH, MUCH better than changing what people had to say from “X” to “Y” is deleting their comments altogether. That way, you look like someone who can’t handle the truth instead of someone actively cheating to make it look like everyone’s on your side in this situation.

Don’t Blog At All – Really, I don’t understand why some people post things on the net in the form of a blog with comments, when they don’t REALLY want to hear what people honestly think about what they’re saying or doing.

Maybe two years ago, I read something I thought was interesting on someone’s blog. I thought it was very interesting….. as well as COMPLETELY WRONG! πŸ˜€ I explained to her very professinally and clinically WHY she was wrong by posting a comment on her blog. Eventually, I got an email from her saying that she was going to erase my comment, and suggested (to her credit, because I hadn’t saved my post anywhere) that I copy it and post it on my own blog and link to hers.

I wrote back to her, thanked her for not deleting my post FIRST, and explained to her (in not so flowery terms) that I thought she was lame for having a web site where all she wanted on it was her opinions and people that agreed with her position. She was doing a disservice to her readers, because with all of them commiserating and rallying around the flag, it was the blind leading the blind, and they were never going to get to the solution to their problem, because they had the question wrong in the first place.

Since then, I’ve come to realize that many people post NOT to START a conversation, but to appear as if they’re an authority in something. They think that as long as they post something and nobody disagrees, they look intelligent or wise. I now realize that a lot of people use the internet to make themselves feel better or to doctor the results so as to convince themselves that they’re in the right and someone else was in the wrong.

That’s all well and good, however, if that’s the type of person you are, don’t think that people aren’t figuring you out. Don’t think that you’re getting away with tampering with comments or juking stats scot-free. Your credibility’s taking a hit, and you may find out down the line when nobody wants to buy your widgets that it’s because more people than you know saw you tampering with comments on some seemingly insignificant post and decided that your credibility as a businessperson has been seriously undermined by your personal character.

Bill Cammack Ò€’ Cammack Media Group, LLC

Gratitude

I’m sitting here right now, in Manhattan, in my house, able to type this on my computer right now because of the dedication of my friend, homie, brother, etc… Lou.

We went for a ride this morning, and the mechanic had assured me a couple of weeks ago that they checked out the electronics on my old-ass 1993 GSXR sportbike. I don’t doubt that they did. I think today was a NEW problem. It was so hot today, and my engine was running so hot, I’m pretty sure it burned through my cable leading to my ignition fuse. When I took the tank off so I could check my cables, they were different from when I had sent them to the mechanic, so I’m sure they did SOMETHING, and I don’t doubt it was proper. However, the location of my wires is conducive to them getting burnt and essentially “shorting out”.

I had had this happen quite a while ago, and my good friend MK got me out of that jam. This time Lou made it happen, and I just plain wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for Lou helping me out. I’d still be in Chester, NY, or wherever we were when my bike shut off.

I had offered to Lou to continue on his trip and just pass back that way when he was done. I didn’t want to ruin his day, but he wouldn’t break out. I was really more upset that I had messed up his plans for the day than that I was stranded out in the sticks without enough bike-mechanic knowledge to get ANYWHERE NEAR my house, where I am right now.

Eventually, we got back on the road and came back home. Thanks, Lou.

……….

There really isn’t any more to say, but it’s still not enough. I’ve had people go the “well, I’ve done all I can for ya… now I have to go” route under similar circumstances, and it doesn’t feel good. That’s an incredible understatement. Similarly, “Thanks, Lou” doesn’t even begin to amount to anything near how appreciative I am that he stuck with me and helped me out of that situation. Not that I *EXPECTED* any less of him, because I met Lou more than half my life ago… But, it’s still nice to receive that gift of friendship…. of dedication. While I wasn’t thinking properly and couldn’t bring myself to find the proper solution, either because I was so upset or because I just didn’t possess the technical, mechanical knowledge to get myself out of that situation, Lou was on-point, and I’m getting to type this right now because of him. πŸ˜€

I didn’t realize how blessed I was when I first got my bike a few years ago…. I mean, I did, but I never documented it. Another life-long friend, Jay, walked me through learning to ride and then rode with me for VERY VERY MANY of the 20,000-plus miles I put on my bike in two years. Fortunately for Jay, he met the woman of his dreams and got married! πŸ˜€ I hadn’t realized how much of what I considered to be fun in “riding” was actually the fun of “riding WITH Jay”. On top of that, I hadn’t realized how much I was ‘dependent’ on Jay’s technical knowledge of biking. I was *N.E.V.E.R*, *EVER*, ONCE… NEVER worried that I wasn’t going to make it home tonight if I went riding with Jay. NEVER. I knew that Jay took bikes (and cars) apart and put them back together again. This was in the back of my mind… along with his dedication to me as a friend, and my dedication to him. Again, though it doesn’t come close to expressing my heartfelt gratitude… Thanks, Jay. πŸ˜€

Going riding is like going campaigning or going to war. You go out with a certain number of guys/gals, and you return with that same number. Similar to what’s said about war… It’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to trust whomever’s next to you in the bunker. That BELIEF carries you to your greatest potential in riding. This guy Todd went off what I consider to be a short cliff one time when we went on a group ride. We went back to find him and five of us literally LIFTED his bike out of the woods he fell into, maybe 30 feet below. His front rim was jacked, so I suggested that someone remove his front brakes, and he was able to ride with us all the way back to NYC, and to his home in either Queens or Long Island. The point is that we were going to FIGURE OUT how to get him home and get his bike squared away. PERIOD. Even though that was my first time meeting him, he was rolling with US, so MY goal was to get him home. PERIOD. That was the goal of the others too, and we made it happen, hoisting his bike with one hand each and grabbing onto trees with our other hands while digging our boots in to the soft dirt of the ledge we were climbing with Todd’s bike in tow. Todd got home. Mission accomplished.

There are some who will read this and discount my claim that riding is like going to war because nobody’s shooting at us. Well… When you go riding, you’re not SURE you’re going to make it back. I’m NEVER sure I’m going to make it back when I go performance-riding. Anything can happen, from mechanical failure to someone running you off the road to oil slicks or construction to someone rear-ending you. I always thank God when I make it back, because I know I didn’t have to. There are quite a few riding deaths every year. One of them was my friend “Avo”. I didn’t know him for a long time, relative to many other riders, but he was a great guy and a solid rider. When Avo died on the West Side Highway, that was REALLY the first time that I honestly felt like “if it happened to him, it could happen to me”.

Anyway… I wanted to get this stuff down while I’m still feeling the immense *GRATITUDE* to Lou for sticking with me and changing his plan for the day from “having a good time” to “getting Bill back home”. I realize this is all my fault, and even though I completely LOVE my bike, I may very well need to sell it, because I’ve allowed it to become unreliable. It’s my fault that the bike’s unreliable. I bought it @ 22,000 miles and put another 20,000 on it in the span of two years. I allowed the ignition electronics to get jacked up. Nobody else. I’m either going to commit to getting it fixed PROPERLY or selling it and getting another bike. I’ve had enough of people saving me from the DEPRESSION of being WAY out of town with NO WAY to get home. πŸ™

The bottom line is that riding isn’t about the bike you’re on… It’s about the people you share your experiences with.

Beleedat! πŸ˜€


billcammack

Twitter Has “Ruined” My Life

For those of you that don’t know what twitter is… Basically, it’s a DIY (do it yourself) chat room. You choose people that you want to “follow”, and you can see when they type something to the twitter site. People can choose to follow YOU, and they’ll see what you type to twitter. There’s no forced mutual following, so sometimes, it’s a one-sided deal. You can see what someone’s saying, but they can’t see what you’re saying… which is unfortunate for them when they ask a question that you “tweet” (somehow the verb form of twitter…… meaning each entry should be called a TWIT or the site should be called TWEETER, but anyway…) the answer to and then an hour later, you see them ask again if anyone has a solution for them. πŸ˜€

I think twitter’s more effective in areas where people are in relatively close proximity to each other or at least can get to where other twitterers (tweeters?) indicate that they are or that something’s going on. It’s extremely useful during conferences, like SXSW or PodCampNYC. Twitter works on cell phones as well as computers, so people on-the-go can still find out the latest information, ASAP. The benefit here is that instead of texting… or, could you imagine, actually CALLING several people to tell them where you’re about to have lunch, or what floor you’re hanging out on and with whom


Photo Credit: Jared Klett

… You can make one “tweet,” and everyone that’s following you receives the same information at the same time. (PS – If you don’t know what twitter looks like, you can see it on my macbook pro screen on the right side of the picture.)

So, by now, you’re saying “All I’ve heard is positives!” πŸ˜€ Yes. That’s true. πŸ™‚ I think twitter is a very positive thing, or at least it CAN be. It all depends on how you use it. If you clutter your “friends list” with people that don’t do anything, but seem to always have something to say about the NOTHING they do all day, then it’s a waste of your time and energy to read the feed. That’s not my ‘problem’… it’s exactly the opposite! :O

The first day I became aware of twitter, I ‘crawled’ through my friends’ friends lists and added people that I thought might be interesting to follow. I was doing something that day, and I don’t remember what, but I remember doing just ONE thing… πŸ™‚ So I happened to have added someone that appears to be an actress. A “tweet” comes up that she’s heading wherever to meet with whomever. I’m like “ok”….. Then, while I’m still doing the same thing, and time doesn’t really seem to have moved at all, another tweet comes up from her saying that NOW she was heading to a different location to do something else. I’m like “ok”….. So while I was sitting there, still doing the same thing… over the course of the day, she did at least SIX THINGS in six different locations! :O I noticed how interesting it is to ‘eavesdrop’ on the goings-on of someone that’s in a profession you don’t know anything about, but I ALSO noticed that I could have done a lot more with my day than what I did while she was scurrying all over the place being effective.

I chalked it up as a fluke, but the same thing happened the next day and then the next day. To make matters worse, the rest of the people I added are workaholics also! πŸ˜€ So now, all day, every day, I get to hear about where they’re going and what they’re doing and who they’re meeting with and what’s happening in Second Life and what country they’re in and which conference is starting and who’s the keynote speaker and who’s broadcasting live on the Internet right now…..

On top of what they’re ACTUALLY DOING, I have to hear about what they think is interesting on the net, who made a new video, who didn’t get paid for the unauthorized use of their photo coughlanbuicough, what’s the latest social site somebody created, how to get invites to be a beta tester, what just crashed their browser, which phone shoots the better video, who updated their blog, what’s the latest HD camera that records MP4…..

And then, while you’re trying to be more productive with your day, AND you’re checking out all these links that people sent out so the tabs on the top of your browser are increasing and getting smaller and smaller… You get to find out who’s going to lunch at such and such a place, who’s going out for drinks later, who’s flying into town for the weekend, where the Wii Sports tournament’s going to be, which bar is giving out free beer RIGHT NOW!, the sun just came out over Central Park, the party’s moving from location X to location Y….. So now, instead of having the excuse that you don’t know if anything’s happening tonight or this weekend and actually getting to USE the time that you had allotted to being more productive, which was ALSO spurred on by twitter… You’re hanging out all the time, to the wee hours of the morning, then spending the better part of the next day updating your flickr set! πŸ˜€

Oh, yeah… It also doesn’t help that people live in different time zones. :/ When you’re in the middle of your day, people are talking about “GOOD MORNING FROM HAWAII,” then when you’re done, they’re talking about going out to lunch…

As you can see, the overall effect of this twitter phenomenon is that there are NEVER enough hours in a day anymore. :/ Every second you’re not running with the pack, you’re falling behind. Unfortunately, I don’t subscribe to slackers, so it’s always build, create, innovate, move, report, link, blog, videoblog, discuss, contemplate, debate….. You just have to do as much as you can and eventually call it a day. πŸ˜€

There is one downside-downside to twitter, and that’s when it CRASHES, and suddenly, you’re “flying blind”. Twitter has two types of crashes. Type-2 is complete denial of service. πŸ˜€ Either the site doesn’t come up at all or it comes up but doesn’t let you type anything and doesn’t give you any updates from anyone else either. You just sit there looking at this screen that says “so-and-so said whatever about 3 hours ago.” Suddenly you start trying to activate the telepathy that you just KNOW you have that will allow you to discernn where people are and what they’re doing, even though none of the “tweets” are coming through at all, hahaha. I suppose it’s the same way people feel when they open the fridge and find out that someone drank the last of the Kool-Aid and didn’t fill it back up! :O You just stare at the container, IMAGINING how good that Kool-Aid would have tasted… IF it were actually IN the container. :/

The Type-1 twitter-crash is way more frequent and way more frustrating! πŸ˜€ Twitter lets you type things, but then there are random occurrences right afterwards. What you typed mght disappear into thin air, and twitter acts like you never typed anything at all. It might appear in the list of “tweets”, but then, when you refresh, it’s gone. You can type something and what appears in the list is a duplicate of something you typed hours ago, competely replacing what you actually typed. “Tweets” show up out of order and randomly appear and then disappear upon refreshes. Etc, etc, etc… Anyway… Type-1 twitter-crashes inspire denial as well as disbelief as you realize your carefully crafted post, complete with hyperlinks, has been eaten by twitter and if you didn’t select it and copy it before pressing “Update,” you have to start all over again.

You can imagine the effect these crashes have on the twitter-dependent… suddenly scurrying to use email, instant messaging and telephones to try to find out what’s going on… one.person.at.a.tiiiiiime… πŸ˜€ It’s not for the faint of heart. So beware, and be aware! πŸ˜€ Watch out for the effects of TMI (too much information). If you recognize it starting to be too much, take a bunch of people off of your “friends list” to slow down the traffic to only relevant information that’s useful to YOU… or Just.Say.No! πŸ˜€

Bill Cammack Ò€’ New York City Ò€’ Freelance Video Editor Ò€’ alum.mit.edu/www/billcammack