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.

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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.

Craig–Friend to Freelancers

Happy Freelance Friday Friends!

A valuable tool that I use as a freelancer and an entrepreneur is Craigslist.

I’m no wizard at using Craigslist, but I am learning quickly. I’m probably better than most. I wish they would put some R&D into User Experience and update their platform. Maybe a nice Public API regulated by the GNU Community would help to clean the site up and get rid of some of the 50% that is scammers and schemers.

This post is about my experience on Craigslist. I would love to read about experiences from other people if they’re willing to read mine and give me some notes on it.

Posting an article on my blog helps to start the conversation with myself. Then I start researching and reading about whatever topic I’m writing about. In this case, I just posted 2 more ads on Craigslist before I finished writing that last sentence.

CL is a great way to organically connect with the local community to make deals with strangers. The site uses old school, simple technology to replicate the old school, simple industry it replaced–newspaper classifieds. The main competitors for CL are thrift stores and eBay. Earlier this week, I sold an old Vizio tablet through CL. I did a factory reset on the device, met the guy at the library, he checked it out and gave me my full asking price–CASH!

If you have a side gig or do a freelance business, you should always be posting ads on Craigslist. It doesn’t cost you anything, you can post ads in any city you want, and the more clever you are when writing your ads, the more people you’ll get to respond.

What’s your Craigslist experience?

I Live in the Techie Meadows

I have heard some talk around town toying with the idea of being something like the next Silicone Valley. I forget where I read it, but I agree with someone who wrote that would be a bad idea because Silicone Valley ain’t that great. Sure they are the crucible of tech, but they gotta lotta problemas too. We don’t want to be the next anything or even the next thing. We just want to be our own thing.

Reno is a not so well kept secret. It has often been the punchline of bad jokes, but it is also the topic of many inside jokes. With the downfall of gambling in the Biggest Little City, Reno’s small town culture has had an opportunity to grow and blossom into a vibrant scene of art, outdoors, food, drink, events, entertainment, and technology.

Reno has never been a small player in the tech game. IGT and computerized slot machines kept Nevada near the top of the tech industry for over a generation, and the University of Nevada has been pumping out highly educated engineers and scientists for decades. Microsoft Licensing has also been a strong part of the local tech community along with many others. The IBM Smarter Cities team coming to Reno was a hugely significant boost. Apple is on its way. Google would be wise to get here while the gettin’s good! Google Fiber, heya?

The Reno Collective is a modern co-working space that creates a center for tech culture in Reno. The Generator is a great Maker Space in Sparks, there is the C4UBE incubator, and we have a 1 Million Cups in Reno. Paul Kline recently wrote a great article about being a Community of Hackers. We are on the right side of the hill. Hacker Hill is it?

With a recent economic shift and a highly favorable environment for start-ups, Reno is now in a very strong position to become a top spot for tech. Access to open inexpensive land, being in a freeport state with its position on the I-80 corridor, and the recent addition of I-580 gives Reno a unique edge in attracting a new tech generation. A lot of new tech talent would rather avoid Cupertino and Mountain View. San Francisco is way too overcrowded. Portland and Seattle are just too far away from everything, while Denver and Austin are much more expensive than Reno.

I really like the grassroots, organic effort of Startup Row, which is happening downtown on 1st Street. Renovation is a cool term that I’ve heard tossed around, but that is what they called the World Science Fiction Convention that was held here in 2011.

I want another moniker for Reno that can include the entire metro area. Techie Meadows really describes what the Truckee Meadows are on track to become and what many people would like to see happen. I’m inspired by all that’s happening in Reno to create an economy 2.o in Northern Nevada, and I’m working to become a part of it. Techie Meadows is my (our) campaign to create ‘Tech Awareness’ in the Truckee Meadows and reach out as far as the Amazon in Fernley.

Techie Meadows is something that everyone can use, something that can describe the new crowd of people here, and it is something that we can present to the rest of the world. Call it a community tech coalition, a badge for new ideas, or a simple play on words. When I write about Reno, I am going to call it Techie Meadows.

YouTube Tuesday

Today for YouTube Tuesday, here are some videos that I’ve been watching on YouTube:

This first one needs no introduction. I just wanna say that I am really looking forward to this production.

This next video is about something that I have been interested in for a while. It doesn’t really have anything to do with tech, but I like coins, and this is a well put together video about the tragedy of the US Penny.

I’ve written before about The Future of Streaming Online Content and about how quality art will be able to be produced and distributed to a large audience without the need for major corporate network studios. This next video is a perfect example of the new era for online entertainment.

Finally, here is the latest video for one of my favorite independently produced and distributed YouTube shows, comic book girl 19. She talks about some important stuff affecting artists who utilize YouTube as their main distribution platform.

#ohnos – Strike 1

It happened. The thing that I said would not happen when I launched this blog. I have let over two weeks lapse since my last post. This blog was started to help myself and others be more connected with tech and stuff, but it fails at its purpose if it sits static.

Should we fold-up this blog and call it quits since we can’t keep a constant stream of fresh content? Let’s call this absence strike one and get some new momentum going.

Comments and input are greatly appreciated and help encourage the creative process.

strike1

 

 

7 Tech Predictions for 2014

I feel compelled to make my first post of 2014 one of those non-evergreen prediction posts that will let everyone look back a year from now and see how wrong I was. Here’s my cliche New Year’s Post

It’s a new year in tech and that means we have another 12 months of new technology to look forward to.

I’ve already read a few tech prediction articles for 2014, so some of these may have popped in my head from somewhere else.

  1. Google+ will become more widely adopted as the platform is forced into relevancy by Google changing their web search algorithms to favor their social media users.
  2. A dominating Motorola phone will be released or announced. The iphone was brought down a few pegs by Samsung and its Galaxy line. I’m looking forward to seeing what Google does with its new hardware line.
  3. Windows phone will stick around. Poor Microsoft just can’t hit a winning streak, but Office 360 and the hardware in Windows phones will keep MS in the mobile game.
  4. Windows 8 Second Edition. There are a lot of great improvements in Windows 8, but they don’t make up for getting rid of the start menu. 8.1 helped a little, but it’s not done yet.
  5. Quora will double in size and popularity. It’s a great platform. Like Wikipedia back in 2005, but more social.
  6. YouTube will become a major TV network. This might take a little longer than a year to happen, but it will become much more obvious in 2014 that Google wants YouTube to be bigger than Fox.
  7. Twitter (TWTR) stock hits 100. I don’t know much about the market, but I know we’re just beginning to see what Twitter can do.

I think 7 is enough–that’s half of 14.

Happy New Year everyone!