…this web site is. Considering how often I use it.
Last post was my 1000th Tweet Restrospective from about a year ago. As I type this, I am up to 2,213 tweets, for those of you keeping score at home.
But I have a new vision for this web site. A place to showcase a project which I have been thinking of doing for a while. A way to incorporate my hobby of photography with my affinity for Lego Minifigures and creative expression. Hey, better than leaving it untouched for years at a time.
I was inspired by reading an article in Popular Photography about a French photographer who did a year-long photoblog featuring two mischievous Storm Trooper action figures. I loved how he was able to give the typically-faceless characters some life by surrounding them with props and posing appropriately. It was brilliantly entertaining.
Then I thought about this – what if I were to incorporate something similar with the hundreds of Lego Minifigures I already have? These 2-inch-tall plastic models already have so much detail and personality, it would be easy to convey emotion and tell a story photographically using these minute subjects. And the possibilities seem endless…
So, I began coming up with ideas, and before long, I had a mental storybook containing page after page of artistic expression and storytelling.
So I plan to use this forum, my own blog, as a showcase for this artwork. I would love to get feedback or comments based on what you see, and if you have any ideas for future work, I’d be happy to work it out and shoot it.
To date, I have 2 scenes completed, which I will post later on. I have about 10 other ideas in my mind. I’m hoping more ideas develop as I get deeper into it.
What’s more, I stumbled across another similar endeavor via the vast Twitterverse. Someone named Matt has a Tumblr page called Matt’s Brick Gallery (@MBGMinifigures) where people send in their own artistic photographs of Minifigures. I don’t intend to copy work from these, or submit my photos to his gallery, but I have drawn inspiration from some of them.
The key is that it has to tell a story. I don’t want random photos of a Lego man standing on a white background. Bor-ing! More like I want to see what Lego people do when no one is looking. I want to see a back story and I want to see some personality. I want the photo to speak to the viewer and explain a situation.
I hope you’ll see what I mean. Stay tuned…
Twitter has revolutionized social media. It provides a platform for everyone – common people, celebrities, athletes, politicians, literally EVERYONE – to speak publicly and uncensored to their multitude of followers, 140 characters at a time. At its onset, I berated Twitter as useless, silly, and utterly ridiculous.
Then, after a meeting with some journalists from the Sun Sentinel.com sports department, I was convinced that Twitter is a useful tool for marketing, sharing information, announcements, and news. When used properly, Twitter can revolutionize modern media, and has even become a credible news source.
So, I realized this, I had no choice but to plant my flag in the ground of the Twitterverse by setting up my account. On May 18, 2009, I tweeted my first nugget: “Setting up Twitter. I said I’d never do this, but I gotta plant my flag in the ground.”
Today, I have sent my 1000th tweet. Of course, at this point, the nerd in me takes over and wants to do a full analysis of every pearl of wisdom ever bestowed upon my dozens of followers – including the top 10 tweets of all time!
As a part of the first statistical analysis, we can analyze the originality of the tweets sent from my humble account. Every tweet can be an original idea (tweet), a response to someone else’s original idea (reply), or a reiteration of someone else’s original idea (retweet). Just under 70% of my first 1000 tweets were original tidbits of awesome.
Next, we analyze the subject matter of the tweets. In 1000 tweets, its pretty obvious that the majority of them would be “general purpose.” But what about beyond that? What is the most common subject of my tweeting habits?
Turns out that the majority of my tweets, aside from “general” topic, are related to the Florida Panthers. I think this is mostly due to the Panthers’ propensity to interact with fans via Twitter. I always try my best to get the Panthers to include one of my thoughts in their post-game wrap up. Other popular topics include posts by the location-based application foursquare, posts related to the Dolphins, Marlins, or NFL in general. If you know me, its no surprise that these 5 topics comprise 51% of my thoughts on any given day.
Furthermore, we consider the timing of these tweets. How many tweets get sent on a typical day? How many days between tweets? The statistics are somewhat staggering, and you can easily see the trend in tweet density:
The heaviest tweeting days for me have been:
- October 23, 2011 – 20 tweets: This day was the day that the Dolphins lost to Tim Tebow and the Broncos. This led to several rapid-fire angry tweets about how much I hate Tim Tebow, retweets from Dolphins players, and discussion of the ridiculous halftime celebration honoring Tebow and the Gators.
- February 17, 2012 – 15 tweets: This day was a Panthers game against the Washington Capitals, a day which is typically tweet-tastic anyway. But on this day, an appearance by Florida Marlins own twitter-whores Logan Morrison and Heath Bell during the second intermission made this the second-busiest tweet day of all time.
- January 24, 2012 – 14 tweets: Panthers vs Flyers by myself, Panthers were running a “WeTweetRed” promotion, where they asked all fans to be active on the tweet feeds during the game. Of course I could not say no to that.
- September 28, 2011 – 13 tweets: Four retweets pad the numbers here a bit, but this night was the last night of the MLB regular season, which had 3 nail-biter games with playoff implications, 2 of which went deep into extra innings.
- January 22, 2012 – 11 tweets: The first day of NFL Divisional Playoffs featured Billy Cundiff’s shocking missed FG allowing the Patriots to squeak out a win, along with an equally exciting late game.
Everyone knows a “guy.” You know, that guy that can help you download MP3’s from random Russian web sites. Or sells bootleg DVD’s out of the back of his car for $5. The same guy who, in the ‘90’s, could get you a hacked DirectTV card to watch the nudie channels for free.
Now, that guy is ruining the internet.
At least, that what Congress is pushing for if their House Bill 3261 – Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) gets put into law. The mission of this act, as stated by Congress is “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.”
It’s the “other purposes” part that gets me. All-encompassing generalization much?
Today, many popular web sites have shut their virtual doors for one day to bring awareness to the issue. Wikipedia posted on their main page: “Imagine a world without free information…” What a miserable world that would be.
Remember when we all had to read books to learn about stuff? Remember when we had to watch the news and buy newspapers? Ahh, those were the days. Today, we learn at selective junctures by looking up fact du jour online based on instant need. We read the news on the web, like sunsentinel.com, espn.com, and cnn.com.
What’s missing here is that this act is the foot-in-the-door toward complete government censorship of the internet in general. That’s the “other purposes” portion. They even go as far as proposing to prosecute anyone who posts a link to copyrighted material on a forum or blog. You know that video of guys doing backyard wrestling on YouTube? The one with Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” playing in the background? Yes, that kid goes to jail for using copyrighted material in his video and posting it online.
Saw a funny clip from Saturday Night Live online and want to share it on Facebook? You go to jail.
Seems ridiculous? It is. This act, in its current form, must not pass.
Now, let’s be reasonable. I’m in favor of shutting down those torrent sites to prevent online piracy. I mean, people go there to download full movies, software packages, and other copyrighted materials illegally. I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but there’s value to maintaining intellectual property. Many of these sites are hosted outside of the US, and thus out of federal jurisdiction. But shutting them down only enables them to pop up elsewhere under a new URL.
But, extending it to Joe Web-user Is nothing short of ludicrous. What about stifling that guy’s creativity? Just because he’s not a big-time Hollywood director doesn’t make him less valid as a filmmaker. You want him to write original music to put behind his flips off a ladder onto his buddy lying on a folding table? Right. That’s not likely. So, I guess, instead, no more backyard wrestling videos. What kind of world is it when we can’t watch backyard wrestling online?!
I think today’s interweb blackout has done exactly what it intended to do. It raised awareness for this silliness proposed by a group mostly senior citizens who don’t even know what a web forum is. In fact, I’ve read that Marco Rubio, a Florida Senator, has withdrawn his support of the bill based on the actions of today’s e-protest. Good for you, Mr. Rubio.
I propose one step further: maybe if the copyrighted material didn’t cost so damn much, you’d have an easier time convincing people to pay you for it. Does it really cost $24 to make each Blu-ray movie disc? Or $14 to make a CD? Highly doubtful. Maybe charge $10 for your movie, especially since you already made a bajillion dollars in the theatre. Then, maybe people would buy it instead of downloading it. But, I guess proposing to take money out of the pockets of the rich folks in this country is just as preposterous as censoring the internet. Obviously, even more so…
I’m all for protecting proprietary information. But in the form of its current presentation, its no better than communist China blocking Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from the entire country in an effort to quell free expression. Is that really what we have come to?
For more information about SOPA, or to sign the online petition, go to https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/
Tomorrow, it will be a clash of the titans. Two heavy-hitters and media darlings who can’t seem to get their faces off the
TV go head-to-head in the 2011 NFL playoffs. Its shaping up to be an epic QB match-up in this Divisional round.
One of these superstars has 3 Lombardi Trophies on his mantle, and has completed over 65% of his passes this season for 5200+ yards, 39 TDs and only 12 INT’s. Clearly this is one of the league’s elite marksmen.
The other guy has 11 starts and completed 46% for just over 1700 yards, 12 TDs and 6 INT’s.
This head-to-head matchup is one for the ages! Isn’t it?
The first guy was Tom Brady. A shoe-in for the hall of fame and, albeit begrudgingly from my perspective, in the conversation for “best QB of all time.” The other guy is Tim Tebow. Statistically near the bottom of the league in performance, I somehow can’t manage to get this guy off my TV screen.
Why does the media have such a hard-on for Tim Tebow?
They talk about this guy like he’s done something important. Tebow is a god to any follower of the Florida Gators, but since his NCAA success, what has he really accomplished? Can he really still be riding the wave of a 2008 National Championship? Anyone who watches him play can see that he’s a miserable quarterback. The guy routinely misses wide-open receivers by 10 or more yards. Why doesn’t the media spend some air time on a guy who actually exhibits some skill at the position? Matt Moore, a relative nobody, has been having a much better season than Tebow, with a fraction of the publicity.
Now, I get that the kid is a good role model. Awesome! I am fine with his outspoken religious views, and applaud his clean-cut nature. But, I don’t feel like “not being a thug” amongst a field of thugs warrants this kind of obsession. SportsCenter spent 35 minutes of their 60-minute show discussing Tebowmania. I don’t get it.
Personally, I’m sick and tired of hearing about Tim Tebow. And tomorrow, his season will be over. I’ve been reduced to rooting for the Evil Empire in an effort to quell the madness surrounding Tebow. Apologists cite his latest magic act, last week’s overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Broncos lucked out where a 7-yard slant turned into an 84-yard game winning TD thanks to the Steelers’ suicide blitz. Not a spectacular play by Tebow, but its better than giving him credit for McGahee’s hard running.
Long term, I think Tebow is nothing short of a gimmick, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Wildcat formation. And the Broncos are going all-in on him. They re-designed their offense to resemble a spread option and play to his strengths. This is great, in theory, but overall a horrible long-term plan. Tebow will only get you so far before defenses key on him and make him beat you with his arm. And at that point, you’re better off having a high school kid under center.
I’m predicting a 30+ point loss for the Broncos tomorrow, and I’m going to do a happy dance when it happens. I’m hoping this will put a stop to Tebow-fest for good. I’m hoping that, next season, maybe people will take off their blinders and realize that this guy is terrible at his job. When the Broncos realize that, maybe they can return to relevance.
Nothing like getting your email and internet turned off without warning.
Imagine being in China when it happens.
In December, while I am on the other side of the planet, AT&T decides to turn off my email access due to some unpaid balance. Fine, my fault. I stayed up late to call during their business hours and, after being on hold and navigating the computer menus for 23 minutes (of international long distance), I finally got to talk to a representative. I gave her my credit card number and paid what they asked for. The service was reinstated before I got off the phone with her.
Fast forward 3 weeks, and the same thing happens again. Not even a month later – somehow there’s a past due balance again? I just paid 3 weeks ago…
Come to find out the service rep I talked to didn’t give me the right amount when I paid from China. So now I’m on a short leash, and they turned me off again.
So I called and paid the balance – AGAIN – and they were supposed to reinstate the service “within 2 to 4 hours.”
Four hours goes by and nothing. And by now, its almost 7 PM, and all the offices are closed. After another hour and 30 minutes on the phone, I finally got a helpful person who vowed to call me tomorrow. Meanwhile I am without email access until the next day…
The next day, they didn’t call me by 9AM like they promised, but the same helpful agent called me back around 11AM. Still no service. Turns out the bitch that took my payment never put in the order to reinstate, and instead cancelled my account completely. I knew she was up to something, due to the giggling and sourpuss attitude I encountered on the phone.
It took until 5:30PM the next day to get my service and email access reinstated. And all because their agent couldn’t get the amount of the payment right when I called from China.
So, lesson learned. I’m getting a new email address set up. I tried to schedule a payment in advance via the ATT.com, but guess what – they don’t allow advanced payment scheduling.
They’re setting us up to fail.
I’m sick of AT&T. This bullcrap has got to stop.