Show Your Support In Stopping SOPA & PIPA


To show my support to block the SOPA and PIPA bills along with Google, Wikipedia and others I have blacked out my profile picture today. Would you like to use the same image I did as your profile pic? Follow this link, then right click on the image and select “save as” then save to your computer and upload it as your Facebook profile pic. PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH EVERYONE!

Newt Spam and Hours of List Culling

Wish I would have taken a before and after screen shot on my Twitter page (for my personal @JamesKirk) account. Okay, before someone points out that I can still take an AFTER shot…
@JamesKirk After Culling Followers
But I do remember the before numbers. I was following just over 600 folks, er, accounts (like 602 or so) and had 620 followers. If I were actually a smart blogger, I would have grabbed that before shot and really planned out this post like a professional.
Oh, well. No need to explain why that moniker does not apply.
Here’s the deal. Last night I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME going through my personal account attempting to clean it up. I was going to do the same with @BoldlyGoing, however by 3:30 am I was done. Eventually I got smart with some of the free twitter follower manager services out there, but they don’t do everything I was hoping to have done.
One thing was determining the crap, spammy accounts that are likely also following @newtgingrich. In order to do that I had to use good old fashioned Turing Test superiority and click on all of the suspicious looking accounts in my followers (and following) list.
This just takes time. Click. Profile review. Determination. Block and/or unfollow. Next.
Finally, the @JamesKirk was account was done. (After I’d used a service to discover the lousy bastards, uhm, people who inadvertently forgot to follow me when I followed them.)
There was a lot of them folks. Like 176 of them. Now I have only 18. Why even keep those few? Well, I sort of equate it to reading a book from a favorite author or watching a television show. I want to be entertained, enlightened, distracted, whatever.

I don’t really expect any of the authors I read to read my book, (yeah, shameless plug. Forgive me. Please. Just this time. Maybe a few more times later in the month) The Perfect Meal.
Nor would I imagine the producers of my favorite TV episode of say, Master Chef or Top Chef or Whites to waste their time watching this web gem >>>>>>>> 😐
Okay, so after wasting, damn, I mean investing all that time, what have I learned?
Well, first that the 33% or so of people, or accounts I thought were following me making me feel like a champ with over 600 followers were fakers. What’s my definition of a faker?
A blatant spammy account usually is one with an avatar of a sexy, bikini-clad lady (I do not know how I got them followers, dear. Honest!) (And this is excellently discussed by someone over on the Popular Mechanics site far smarter than me; @PopMech)
Then there were the old, inactive accounts. 2009 seemed to be a popular year to open Twitter accounts, grab a bunch of followers and then do nothing. Any accounts which were really old (like more than six months!) got the axe (yeah, I put an “e” on axe. Su me!)
As I discovered through hours of profile inspecting (and could have learned if I had read the PopMech article listed above before starting this project), the profiles with funny handle names and little to no “bio” information seemed to be spam accounts. Most of them had a high ratio of who they were following to followers (I seemed to be the only person following most of these accounts), and/or a dismal number of tweets sent.
More account deletions.
Then there were just the ones I didn’t feel warm and fuzzy having in my stream. For a variety of reasons. And realize that on the profile page where their account info pops up, there are only the last three tweets shown.
You can learn a lot about an account/person/spammer with what they post in those 420 characters (for those who are just back from a mission to Mars, tweets are a maximum of 140 characters times three equals…Oh, you get it? Good.)
More deletions.
Finally that darned scroll bar on the browser window quit growing with more accounts and I was through my list of followers. Death, destruction and mayhem. And that was just me attempting to get out of my office chair after spending all that time messing with this stuff!
So bully for me. Sure I have a third less accounts that I’m following, and approximately 17% fewer followers. But who cares? The reality is my numbers are much more likely to be considered real, quality quantities of stand-up folks using Twitter for good and not eeevil!

Thinking Online Backup Might Be a Good Idea

As many of you have read on this blog over the past year or so, in an attempt to reduce my financial overhead as well adopting a generally minimalist lifestyle, I opted to relinquish the monthly costs associated with having my own web server. One of the aspects I’d not considered replicating, however was online backup.
Probably the biggest reason this didn’t occur to me was the fact that my Slicehost server never had more than a few moments of down time in the 4 plus years I used them. And I’m not overly concerned with or its services either, however, being prudent with ones online content is definitely a smart move.
In addition to checking out those reviews for online backup services, I want to see if might offer similar. On the Upgrades page I see that I can purchase additional storage space for very reasonable pricing, however, I’m not immediately finding any sort of backup pricing.
Whether I opt to keep online backup in-house with WP, if you will, or decide that another company might better serve my needs, I know it is something I don’t want to not do. This is a sort of insurance that from past experiences, I know I’d rather pay and never have to use (but have it there) than not pay and need to replace lost data at some point.
Will keep all updated on the progress of this task.

And the Subscriber Count Plummets

Plummets, I say! And that’s fine. The nearly 300 or so RSS subscribers were probably wondering if I was ever going to get around to writing on some sort of a regular basis. Well, I’m going to be but it will be less and less about technology, social media, and other online related stuff.
Instead, I’ll be focusing on food. The real stuff, according to Michael Pollan. I cannot wait to jump in with both feet on sharing my thoughts, feelings and maybe a video now and then showing the crazy things I plan on doing in the kitchen!
So, unsubscribe if you must. Un-follow me on Twitter. Do what you have to do. But those that stick around? You’re in for some yummy fun times.
And I’ve been playing with this tag line. Drop me a comment and let me know what you think,
“What are you cooking for?”
(Some of you will know what that’s a derivative of. If you think you know, leave a comment with your guess. If you’re right I’ll send you a cookbook from my overflowing collection! Cheers!)