My Facebook feed is starting to look like my inbox back in the late 90s…

Remember back in the day when everyone started to get into email and sharing messages and photographs was the main reason to use email? It was a new way of communication and sharing personal information and pictures was a cool and painful thing to do. It was painful because images took a while to download with the modems we used to receive these email messages.

Today, most of my Facebook “friends” are family members and close friends, I don’t follow or “friend” people I don’t know personally. For a while, Facebook has been a great source to reconnect with old friends and distant family members. We’ll share photos, messages, comments, etc… However, in the past few months it seems as if most of my Facebook contacts have been attracted or pulled into those non-useful messages that ask you to “like” an image featuring a handicapped person, or a hungry kid, etc…

The “Like This” Chain Status

This is so much like those old “chain mail” campaigns that always have something somewhere telling you to email this or else! This is very unfortunate and expected at the same time, my Facebook feed has reached the point where it looks a lot like my Hotmail account when most of my family and friends started using email and sharing the same things I see in Facebook now like jokes, “funny” photographs they find in the interwebs, “chain mail” like status updates, invitations to play stupid games, etc…

Facebook latest updates are not helping with this, the way the default sort works helps these junk messages to show up on top of my feed as they are the ones with the most comments and likes making them the “top stories” making my Facebook feed unreadable and full of junk information. Yes you can change the sort of your feed, and you can block certain type if updates and invitations, and even some friends that keep on pushing the junk content… and after a while you might even create a new Facebook account where you only connect with really close friends and family in order to avoid the junk information… just like we did with email years and years ago, but I refuse to believe Facebook has become the email of the 90s, and I don’t want to end up having multiple Facebook accounts.

I still have my Hotmail account and I cannot remember the last time I checked it. I know many of my family members and friends keep sending me online jokes, images and chain messages to that account, I am OK with that, I don’t use it anymore, it has become my catch-all junk email account.

Below is an example of the content I am talking about, notice the number of likes and shares…

What to do?

I guess Facebook could do something to help us better filter our feed or even better block those annoying updates that show up on your feed when one of your friends falls for it and click “Like” on even worst, decides to share it publicly. I mentioned above that this behavior and contamination of Facebook is expected, as it is with any network or service that reaches a point where the network effect is so powerful that eventually someone starts to abuse it in this manner. Facebook and all of its users will have a hard time eliminating these type of messages, first because Facebook’s success relies on people liking and sharing content and secondly because most of its users actually enjoy reading, viewing and sharing junk information, unfortunately.

This is a serious problem that is affecting many people who want to use FB to really connect with friends and share things that they care about, and not spend time cleaning and avoiding all these chain statuses which many people seem to enjoy liking and sharing. To see more examples and comments about these FB chain statuses, look at this Tumblr page, showing all messages regarding FB chain statuses.

For now we should just sit and wait to see what happens, in the meantime I am once again looking for a service that can offer image hosting and sharing, and that is easy to use so that my non-technical inclined friends and family members can once again share photos about our family events, kids, vacations, etc… in a platform that will allow us to control the privacy and sharing of our personal media, without bombarding us with ads and other junk content.

Peace out.

You are not a robot

As babies, we learn everything by getting to know our surroundings. We listen, we touch, we taste, we smell and we watch. Then we start pushing ourselves to try out something new every minute, every hour and every day. We are restless and never stop, we keep trying over and over again. Our nature is to be curious and imaginative, and at the same time we are very sensitive. As babies we cry, we are loud, we laugh and we get mad… and as adults we are always trying hard to hide these feelings, as if it was a bad thing.

As we grow, we distract ourselves from our surroundings with the so-called entertainment industry, we spent endless hours watching TV, sports, movies, social networks, etc… without paying attention to our surroundings and all the incredible things about it. And do not get me wrong, it is OK to do all these things as long as you also spent time to look around, meet real people, reading, writing and trying out new things.

It is human nature to be curious and creative, and yet we as a society always find ways to make sure we teach our kids not to try new things in the name of good behavior and uniformity, this is wrong. We teach our kids that using a pen with colorful ink at school is wrong, we teach our kids that drawing an elephant with the unnatural shape and using different colors is wrong… and yet we ask ourselves why creativity and innovation is so hard to find these days… I wonder why.

As kids we try hard to learn what we want, we don’t see anything as impossible, our mind is full of adventure and our imagination is at a maximum at all times… until we start going to school and between some teachers and parents we start to hear that all those things we think and believe in are not possible, we hear that to be a good person we need to be reasonable, that we need to think realistically and put our feet on the floor, we are told we need to be realistic… why?!

A while ago one of my sons who is now 10 years old came to me with a Lego car he had built using pieces from different Lego models including a brand new set I had bought for him just hours ago… my first reaction was to get upset because he had not followed the instructions in the Lego manual, I remember  telling him that what he did was not right. How could he have mixed all these pieces to create something that was not in a Lego manual? I was completely blind to the fact that my son was doing what kids do, using his imagination to create something, without following any rules or instructions, just creating something that he liked. He was being creative. I soon realized my mistake, apologized and suggested him to continue building this car anyway he wanted, I told him how much I liked the idea of him creating something with Legos that did not look nothing like the models from which these pieces came from. He smiled.

In most schools our kids are taught to follow directions and to memorize things… they get used to an environment where uniformity is the rule and any sign of creativity is usually seemed as disruptive and it is discouraged rapidly.

That needs to change.

While at home, let kids use their imagination, let them be creative and try not to formalize the way they learn or interact, it is not easy but it is worth trying to offer them a better chance at not loosing their creativity and imagination as they transition into adulthood.

This is something you can also try achieving at work, everybody talks about innovation and creativity, and at the same time most companies don’t have an open mind about new services, products or internal procedures… innovation is something that can only be achieved by taking some risks and accepting change. It is very discouraging to work in environments where everything and everybody looks and acts in the same way or very similar. A place where showing personality and individualism is not allowed or it is discouraged by Human Resources departments usually in the name of wanting to have a “professional” environment.

Be different, be creative, be you. You are not a Robot.

Innovation

Innovation is an overused word and very often, not recognized for what it is or what it means but instead, for what each one of us wants to believe it means.

Innovation is not something you teach or buy; innovation is not something a consultant will find for you or much less help you create it. You cannot capture it. You cannot force it.

Innovation is a way of life for some people; it is the way some people see the world and the way they think and do things, from picking up groceries to creating a company.

When real innovation shows, most of us don’t even know it, it just happens. Focused on your craft and improving what you do, and innovation will show up.

Innovation is often dismissed by some of us because we often reject change or things that are different. When we don’t understand something, we commonly describe it as a bad idea or even as something foolish.

Innovation is all around us and if you are lucky enough to notice it, do not turn your back to it, be curious, have an open mind, and embrace it.

Cheers!

Ricardo.

 

 

Installing Windows Home Server (WHS) Connector in Windows 7 64-bit

I bought a Windows Home Server about two years ago, I use it primarily for backups and file sharing in my home network. It is a good solution for a small home network such as mine because it is sufficient, it is not overkill and it is easy to manage.

A few months ago, I put together a new PC which I use for development when I am home and for gaming. I installed Windows Ultimate 64-bit in it and up until today, I didn’t worry about connecting it to the WHS because I didn’t have much to backup, now I do. Installing Windows Home Server (WHS) Connector in Windows 7 64-bit