Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Victim Of The Modern Age

"The doctors told me it was Pneumonia, but I knew what it was. A victim of the modern age, poor, poor girl." -Mr. Alexander, "A Clockwork Orange"

As I continue trying to define, organize, and consolidate my Web presence I find threads lying about that have reached a disconcerting number.

I cancelled my Facebook account without any problem, but when I tried to cancel my MySpace account, I did not receive the confirmation email and couldn't complete the delete. Upon investigation, I discovered that my Yahoo! email account had stopped forwarding to my Gmail account... and I had over 500 messages sitting there!

I fiddled with the settings for a while, but eventually it looked like Yahoo!Mail had changed and I wouldn't be able to do the forwarding unless I upgraded to their pay service. Well, I wasn't going to do that, so I started clearing out the junk and manually forwarding the important stuff to my Gmail. Along the way I unsubscribed from at least five different newsletters; not that I don't like them, but I sure hadn't missed them...

I HAD missed those Amazon.com order updates... But had I bothered to check why I wasn't getting payment and shipping confirmations? No, because there was already too much to do. The packages arrived and I thought no more of it. But now that I saw what was going on, I had to go to Amazon and update my information. So I had to open my password database where I keep my 20+ different internet accounts and their passwords organized. Safe from hacking? Sure, but let's be real. Nobody's ever stolen a password from me. I FORGET them. And Usernames. And which email account I used to set it up. Etc etc etc.

While I'm at all of this, I go cancel my LiveJournal account, because now I use Blogger. I forgot I even had a LiveJournal. Another thread left untended in the checkered fabric of my cyberquilt. It's embarrassing to have all of one's false starts on public record.

Then after trying to figure out why a Google thingy tied somehow to my Google Account didn't have my profile photo on it (I was able to fix it but don't ask me how I did it, or why it was necessary) I went to check Gmail... and there were all my Yahoo! emails, just like the old days, forwarded as slick as you please.

Why? I don't know. It didn't work when it should and now it's working when it shouldn't.

THEN after typing this and saving it, half the paragraphs came out as gray text on a white background, nearly illegible. Why? I don't know. I spent a minute trying to figure it out, then I just copied the whole thing to a text editor and copied it back. So that was fixed, but then the spaces between the paragraphs were bigger than with previous posts. I had to go into the HTML to fix it. If I wanted to do that I'd code these pages all myself and publish them on my website.

Welcome to the modern age, poor, poor girl.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Google Goggle

Today's title doesn't refer to the amazing Google product "Goggles" which does comparative image mapping; I mean that I am all a-goggle at Google.

I just deactivated my Facebook account, and am actively trying to use Google+ and the rest of the features associated with my Google Account to their fullest potential. It would be easier if I could get my boggling mind around just how many of those features there actually are.

Of course gmail for email, and blogger for this blog, and Picassa for photo management, but I've just stumbled upon Google Friend Connect, through one of my favorite blogs, Strikethru, and now I have to learn about that.

And of course there is work to be done on my website, and the blogging here is awfully sparse, and I don't know how useful Google+ will actually turn out to be... but there's still a lot to learn about it. All of it.

My mind's all a-google...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Buying My Name

I just bought my domain name: www.bretrboulter.com.

This is something I've been meaning to do for more than a decade, and I find it mind-boggling that I've gone this long without possessing such an essential component of my identity.

I've nurtured my Internet presence over time, starting with a Yahoo! email account. I quickly started posting comments in forums and reviews on Amazon before stepping up to gmail and all of the associated Google services and apps. Intrigued by all the fancy things the new cell phones could do, I started a Twitter account with which I hardly ever tweet, and intrigued by social networking, I started a MySpace account that I never, ever visit. And let's not forget the YouTube channel, Flickr photo storage, and LinkedIn profile. Then came Facebook, and this blog, and some pictures of me come up if you do an image search on my name, but I had yet to secure the center of my personal Internet webwork.

Tonight I did that. I laid out $83.40 to own my name in cyberspace for one year.

One must own one's name these days. It is not enough to be issued one, to bear a Birth Certificate or have a Driver's License. You must exist on The Web and be found in the search engines. Even better if you can tie it all in to your smartphone so that your digital-id is always at your fingertips and up to date. How wonderful it will be when we can finally just wire it all directly into our nervous system!

But for now there's me in meatspace, and me in cyberspace: www.bretrboulter.com.

At least for a year. That should be long enough to completely lose my mind.