Monday, January 04, 2010

My Theme music for 2009

I love!  If you haven't signed up and connected your computers, XBOX Live and MP3 players to it, stop what you are doing right now and head over there.

The data tells the story - regardless of what I might THINK I listen to - here is the music that filled my head in 2009 (at least since April 3, when I signed up).

1 Rush 407 (duh...)
2 Paul Oakenfold 246 (music to code to...)
3 Mute Math 204 (can't seem to get enough...)
4 Van Halen 154
5 Incubus 141 (surprising...)
6 Breaking Benjamin 136
7 Foo Fighters 106
8 The B-52's 93
9 Linkin Park 84 (really?  )
10 Journey 78 (funny...)

1 "Spotlight" - Mute Math - 28  (Since this was released as an EP, I wore it out)
2 "Clipping" - Mute Math - 13
3 "Armistice" - Mute Math - 12  (IMHO, the best song on Armistice)
4 "The Main Monkey Business" - Rush - 12  (the "YYZ of this decade")
5 "YYZ" - Rush - 12  (do I even need to say anything?)
6 "Backfire" - Mute Math - 12
7 "Drive" - Incubus - 11
8 "Put Ur Hands Up" - Family Force Five - 11  (um...Josh...thanks getting this stuck in my head)
9 "Plan B" - Mute Math - 11
10 "The Nerve" - Mute Math - 11
11 "Malignant Narcissism" - Rush - 11
12 "Breakdown" - Breaking Benjamin - 10
13 "11am" - Incubus - 10
14 "Give Me Back My Man" - The B-52's - 10  (possibly my favorite song of all-time)
15 "Dig" - Incubus - 10
Others up there were "Red Barchetta", "Today is the Day" (Lincoln Brewster), "Barracuda" (Heart), "Come Alive" (Foo Fighters)

I took out all of the practice music I listened to for singing at Pinedale (Bradley Knight, MercyMe...)

It's strange...unless I tracked this through I wouldn't have believed it.  What does this say about me as a person?  It just confirms what I already knew - I don't act my age (I like it that way).

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Why I Would Dislike a "Dislike Button"

For months FaceBook (FB) users have been bugging FB to add a "Dislike Button" and for months FB has refused to relent to their pleas.  Even a quick scan of FaceBook's official blog shows that they are not discussing it (at least in public - I'm sure that they are inside the FB headquarters).

I would never pretend to know what they are thinking at FB headquarters, but if I had to guess it would be something like this...

Adding a "Dislike Button" may seem like a good idea on the surface, but would only cause problems in the long run.  The way I see it, the purpose of a "Like Button" gives FB users a way to give props to someone or to agree with something someone says.  It's a simple, friendly way of showing support or just casual interest in a FB post, picture, video, comment or anything else you can "like".

If you add a "Dislike Button" now it becomes something completely different.

Now it becomes a "vote" and it turns everyone into a critic and every item on FB into an issue.  If Joe posts a picture of his puppy on his profile he could come back a day or so later and find out that it has a negative rating!  Add to "Like" gets canceled out by someone else's "Dislike" and it counts for nothing...

Which brings up the big problem - give everyone the choice of  "like" AND "dislike" and it is now a rating system - that is completely different than what it is now.

I say keep the "Like Button" and forget about a "Dislike Button" - when you choose to "like" a FB post you give it your props - if you don't you didn't.  It works, but now it's not a negative exercise...

Also, remember, that in the end FaceBook is going to do what they want - I, for one, hope they just leave it alone.

P.S. 11/5/2009
Mashable posted  information about a Firefox plug-in that will give you a "dislike button".  If you read closely, it sounds like Mashable doesn't like the "dislike button" idea either... 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How to Get me to Follow you or Dump you on Twitter

As I was just reading Scott Williams' blog post "5 Best Twitter Tips Of All-Time" I remembered that I have wanted to share the things that I like and don't like about Twitter users (A.K.A. why I follow or dump Twitterers).  By the way, Scott's comments were excellent I just have a few more things to say about tweeting...

First of all, Scott pegged it perfectly - "Twitter is a river, not a lake", it changes how we communicate and using preexisting technologies as examples of how to use it can be dangerous.  Dip your ladle in and take what you can, make sure that what you put in it is clean, safe and usable for those downstream and don't get upset if your contribution just flows on past - it happens.

Let's get on with it...

If you want me to follow you:
  • Put a picture on your profile of you or your brand.  Also, Twitter is not so much like FaceBook where you might change your profile picture for fun - find one you like and only change it when completely necessary.  That picture is often how I know to stop and read your tweet while quickly scanning my time-line.
If you want me to dump you:
  • When I see the twitter bird I move on.  When I see one of the few dozen hot women pictures that spammers use I block it.
If you want me to follow you:
  • Fill in your profile bio.  When you write it think about what you would want to know about someone if you were deciding to follow them or not.  Who are you and what is important to you.  Indicating where you are is a plus (and not completely necessary) only if you have a descriptive bio.  
  • Give me a link to your website (if you have one) - if I'm not sure based on what I see on your time-line and bio I go there.
If you want me to dump you:
  • If you use a URL shortener for your website link consider yourself blocked.  If you can't show me where I am going when I go see your site then you must not want me to see it - gone. 
  • Tell me that you know how to get me hundreds or thousands of followers and your blocked.  I'll just say it - people like you are sucking the life out of Social Networking.
If you want me to follow you:
  • Show me that you interact with the people you currently follow.  I'm OK with one-dimensional brand Twitter accounts (I expect Jimmy John's or Confluence Coffee to mostly talk about their businesses), but when I see 25 straight posts about "herbal enhancement products" that's a quick block.
  • If you're new - do this stuff above (a good, quality picture and bio) and show me that you have started using Twitter.  Share your thoughts, add to the flood of comments about things going on and just be honest.
  • Share information that is important to you and that would be important to everyone else.  See something happening around you that's of interest - snap a picture and share it with the rest of us.  Have something to say about the current news of the day - chime in!
If you want me to dump you:
  • If you are following 1,000 people and have 2 followers that's problem.  Think about the EBay seller that has sold 1,000 items and has %50 rating - would you buy from them?  
  • I've been immersed in Twitter enough to pick out fake accounts and one of the giveaway's is seeing 15 stereotypical tweets from a new Twitterer - real Twitterers don't have a specific style!
  • When I see a pattern of tweets from you that get me thinking that the only thing you are interested in is getting traffic to your site/blog/whatever or so you might get some more followers then I get tired and will eventually dump you.
  • When you can't express yourself without spewing out fowl language then you're gone.  Do I believe and occasional curse in exclamation is a big deal - no - but, use your brain in figure out how to communicate without being offensive.
Bottom line - I really enjoy Twitter, it's where I get most of my news of the day.  I am more in tune with the world than ever - it's fun to "meet" new people with which I have things in common and when we do have things in common it's obvious over time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Satan is alive and well and living on Facebook (too)

Yes, Satan is alive and well on earth and social networking hasn't skipped his radar...why would it? Satan is cunning and will use every method you can think of and more because he is DESPERATE.

So, when we as Christians see things like the "F**k Jesus Christ" group on FaceBook we shouldn't be surprised. In fact, we should expect such nonsense as a desperate attempt by the prince of darkness to push one more soul over the brink and away from God. We should see it for what it is and realize that HE IS LOSING!

Does that mean we can relax and let our guard down because he is losing - NO - it means that we should continue with God's good work. This includes praying for just such people as Derek Munson, Costas Katenidis and Adam Ajaja; the officers of the FaceBook group and others like them that are lost and hurting.  Jesus came to this earth and died for these three lost souls just as much as He came for you and for me.

We as a Christian community should also stop being afraid to deal with nastiness like this because we don't want to get our hands dirty even talking about such things.  When we fear such frontal attacks Satan wins the battle.  Satan will lose the war, but we Christians need to stand firm against this nonsense, defiance and blasphemy and bring it out in the light - out in the open - because, "everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" (John 3:20).

I'm not asking you to join a new FaceBook cause asking FaceBook to delete the group - there are plenty of those and the group is still there, besides FaceBook is not the culprit.  FaceBook is just another normal, everyday thing that Satan is using in his desperation to collected broken souls.  I am asking you to make your presence known each day as Christians and show the darkness the light.

Yes, Satan is alive and well - but he will lose the war.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.  John 1:1-5

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ignorance Isnt Bliss

Yesterday I watched an interview with the pastor of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, NC from my local NBC affiliate.  In this interview he stated that his Church is having a "book burning" on Halloween where they would be burning "satanic books".  Sounds weird...not something I would do...but, to each his own...right?


Then he started listing off some of the main items they would be burning which includes EVERY VERSION OF THE BIBLE OTHER THAN THE KING JAMES VERSION.  Yes, you heard it right, this guy and the rest of his "flock" are going to burn bibles, because they believe that the only true inspired word of God is one released in 1611 for the Church of England and commissioned by King James I.

Like I have stated here many times, I grew up in a rather conservative culture - one with tons and tons of copies of the KJV - the bible I took to college was a KJV (although, it quickly gathered dust in place of my NIV).  For many years the KJV was the only readily accessible translation of God's word and many, many people have come to know the Lord using it as their guide.  I do not believe there is anything really wrong with the KJV if you prefer it, then use it - wear the pages out - that is awesome...

However, what I do have a big problem with are people that condemn others for using anything but that version of the bible.  For me, the decision is easy, the New International Version (NIV), is accurate (over 100 scholars worked for over 10 years on it), and easy to read and understand and it has held up well over the years as a reliable bible version.  There are still very many people that prefer the KJV and I embrace them, because it is God's word.

Marc Grizzard, however, is a different story.  Not only does he prefer the KJV, he believes it is the only true interpretation of the bible and that the others are works of Satan.  Then he get's his face on the news and the next thing you know it goes "viral" and thousands of people get to hear his ignorant message.  To some non-Christians, he becomes the face of Christianity.

Mr. Grizzard, I wish you would shut up and keep you lunatic ravings to yourself and your hand-full of followers - burn your bibles and whatever else you need to keep you fire going and do it next to your Church building and be quiet.

I do have one question...did the apostles carry the Thompson Chain-Reference edition or just a simple Zondervan Study Bible in the 1st century?
"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18