The Social Web

The Social Web


Do you know the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web? The Internet is a series of computers, servers, and wide area networks connected through service providers and leased lines. The World Wide Web is a network of documents and data connected through the Internet and using the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol or HTTP.

Over the past decade, a new function of the Internet has made its use mainstream and started connecting everyone through their mobile devices. The Social Web is composed of a number of social networks that exist within the web. So the World Wide Web runs on top of the Internet and the Social Web runs on top of the World Wide Web.

This Social Web is a tool with much more power than simply sharing pictures of your vacation to make people jealous, opinions about a political environment no one really has any idea about, sowing seeds of malice and discontent, or sharing cat pictures. This social functionality of the Internet could become the tool for humans to start holding each other accountable to be good and compassionate, to condemn hate, and to expose swindlers. As users, we are able to design our own social experience on the Internet.

“The social web is a set of social relations that link people through the World Wide Web. The Social web encompasses how websites and software are designed and developed in order to support and foster social interaction.”

Talking about the social web is bigger than just social media. The social web references a user experience taking place through the internet powered by social networks and online platforms such as: Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Reddit, Google+, online blogs,  publishing sites, and more.

Socrates contends that the greatest social good is the “cohesion and unity” that “results from the common feelings of pleasure and pain which you get when all members of a society are glad or sorry for the same successes and failures.

Back in April, I did an Ignite Talk about Social Good on the Social Web. It was my first prepared talk for the purpose of education AND entertainment. It wasn’t spectacular, but it wasn’t terrible either. You can watch it here:


Hack Night!

At the Reno Collective, Hack Night is the 2nd Wednesday evening of every month. What are we hacking? For most of us, nothing really. It’s just a cool way to have a monthly open house open to the public without all the fanfare that would come with calling it an open house. I recommend it.

There is a great emerging tech startup and entrepreneur community developing in Reno centered on Startup Row with the Reno Collective at its heart. Anyone who is into that sort of thing should start here. I like to call it the ‘New American Dream’.

Be sure to checkout all the activities for Reno Startup Week:

Strike 3 – Full Fail

Strike 3. I’m out. Not really, but I failed my goal of writing a post every two weeks or less. Goals are stupid anyway. James Altucher says set Themes–not goals.

This post was supposed to be published weeks ago–months ago actually. It is the 3rd and final chapter of my short failure trilogy. See Strike 1 & Strike 2. I would like to write more. It is something I enjoy doing, but I enjoy life in general and life has plans of its own.

Like I have mentioned before, when I decided to create this blog, I was convinced that I would be able to consistently post at least every two weeks or more. I have no shortage of tech topics that I can write about, but the fickle nature of writing is a roller-coaster of creative ups and downs. Also, setting a two week deadline between posts was supposed to encourage me to stay with it, but it only added extra angst to an already fool plate (pun intended).

I am going to continue to maintain this blog and occasionally post to it for my own benefit and satisfaction. Sorry that I won’t be able to post more useful stuff. I’ll just put up whatever I think is interesting. If you have any specific tech topics or questions you would like to address, please let me know and I’ll probably come up with something.



Windows 8 Ain’t That Great :(

This article started as another Today I Fixed It piece, but then morphed into a rant about why Windows 8 sucks, and how Google helped to make it not so bad.

When my Toshiba Satellite took a dump on me, it was a total bummer, but some good has since come from it.  This PC was the first time I had ever used a laptop as my primary computer. I have always made my desktop number one. Working on the go changed that.

My primary laptop recently became useless for a while. I used to give Toshiba high marks, but this recent experience has left a sour taste in my mouth that was already spoiled by having to stomach Windows 8. It failed when something went wrong with Windows, so I went to do a factory reset, but for some reason, Toshiba’s built-in software just wiped the HD clean.

I thought that this fault could be a good opportunity to put Windows 7 on my Toshiba because I did not enjoy Windows 8 and sadly, 8.1 wasn’t good enough for me either.

To my surprise, Windows 7 drivers for my network interface controllers simply do not exist. I probably could have used some tech trickery voodoo to make it work, but I’m not a kid anymore, hack job PCs are unreliable at best. It is the same reason I don’t root my mobile cloud device or jailbreak phones.

I was forced back to Windows 8.1! I could not even find my existing license key (it shoulda been a sticker on the computer), so I am using a 3-month trial of 8.1 Enterprise.

I tried to like the new Windows. The context menu from right-clicking the start button is nice, but meh. Some of the hidden menus and control panel items have nice new quick access features and have been redesigned with a more visual friendly interface. Some new features are nice, but I want a start menu to access applications and shortcuts–that’s how I like my PC to work. This new tiles interface is GARBAGE! I started using Windows at version 3.11 and that is the User Experience Microsoft has gone back to. Typing this makes me hit the keys hard because I’m angry about it. MS went back over 20 years! Take a look:

windows 311 ss01VS


Microsoft got rid of the way that I wanted to access their software, so Google stepped in and fixed that for me. Thanks Google! The new Google App Launcher sits right on my taskbar and displays web apps that I can launch right from the desktop. It would be nice if I could put shortcuts for my local applications in the launcher, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. By taking away my start menu, MS opened the door for Google to step-in and allow me to more easily launch Google Documents than it is for me to run MS Office.

Today I Fixed It – Compaq Presario R3000 Laptop

For about four years, I have been keeping alive a semi-vintage Compaq Presario laptop. It is able to run Windows 7 just fine, and it has some high-end networking components in it. It is a hand-me-down laptop from my mother, it makes a great backup PC, and it has proved itself useful on multiple occasions. I replaced the hard drive and DVD player, upgraded the memory, and one time I had to open it up to re-seat the graphics card and solder a broken contact point for a USB port.

When my dad gave me the computer, the battery in it was no good, so he had rigged a zip-tie to keep the power cord plugged into the laptop. I used it as a stationary PC for a while, but I eventually got tired of needing it to be tethered to its charger. I purchased a new battery for cheap from Amazon and then I was able to use it without having to keep it plugged in.

After I had a battery that could hold a charge, I started having problems with the charging cable. Having the power cable and connector zip tied to the computer at an awkward angle for over a year put stress on some of the internal connections inside the cable. It got to the point where it would not charge the battery unless the connector was at the perfect angle, with a precise amount of pressure, and it could not be disturbed until the battery was recharged.

The faulty connector was annoying, but I dealt with it for over a year. One night a couple months ago, I got frustrated when I couldn’t get a good connection, so I yanked on the power cable and distinctly felt something give inside the shielding. The connector was completely broke now.

I thought about giving-up on my mom’s old laptop, but I decided I could just buy a new charger for it. After putting-off buying the charger for a couple weeks, I thought, “Why buy another charger when I am perfectly capable of fixing this one?” How complicated could it be? Just a broken wire or solder point. I got my exacto-knife out and carefully cut back the shielding around the connector and found the center wire connection had completely separated. Opening it up also caused the ground connection to separate.

To make a long story short, I’ll briefly summarize it and let you fill in the details. I brought-out my soldering iron and then went crazy for an hour while looking for solder. I did not find any, so I used copper pins and electrical tape. This fix worked for a couple days, but I ended-up crossing the connections while I was fiddling with it–small sparks. I needed a more permanent solution, so I found some solder. I tried to restore the original contact points and succeeded while also making a mess of the hot glue and plastic shielding. This fix lasted about a week until one of the solder points became loose. I tried to adjust it while it was still plugged in, and I received a mild shock with more sparks.

The electrical shock was harmless but shocking enough to put the project down for a week.

Today I decided to fix it properly. I tapped a new pin into the center connection, soldered new wire to the pin, soldered the new wire to the old wire, and put down a solid solder point with new wire on the outside ground connection.

Now the connector on the charging cable is solid and not easily disturbed. I should have done it right in the first place.

WordPress Wednesday from the Road

Today I find myself using the WordPress app on my device while a travel over the mountain to Sacramento.

I feel compelled to write about the way the user experience paradigm for technology has shifted to an app-based, mobile preferred model. This observation is true for casual tech users who primarily enjoy the benefits of staying connected, but power users still require a full keyboard and large display.

As I write this, I do not feel like I am composing a proper post with links and pictures and references. Typing with my thumbs greatly limits my ability to view the entirety of what I write, and it is a process to include links and media.

The keyboard takes up most of the screen, auto-correct is messing with me, and did I mention that typing with my thumbs is awkward? This app is useful to do stuff in WordPress other than composing a new post.

Also, there is no word count when composing in the app, so I am just going to end here because I have already lost one draft of this post. The app does not do a good job with auto-save. This rant is mostly to avoid strike 2 while doing a light review of the WordPress App. I already got Strike 1 last month.

Thoracic Bridge to Health

Today I discovered a great new way to stay healthy while working at a computer. It is called the Thoracic (Thor-ass-ick) Bridge, and it is a pretty basic stretch that takes less than a minute.

I have previously written about Standing Desks and How Working w/ Tech Impacts Health. Today for WordPress Wednesday and to makeup for missing YouTube Tuesday yesterday, here is another health tip. In the future, watch for an article about how to protect your eyes from too much technology.

This is the video that I found via @Facebook via @lifehacker via @YouTube via Max Shank via Ambition Athletics.