Are you a Default Font Sort of Person?

Is there a poodle font? Wouldn’t that be great for someone working as a dog groomer, or breeder of poodles?

These are the things which come into my brain while I’m waking up in the morning, this morning. Then I thought it’s a shame people have so few occasions to write anything by hand now. I don’t own a mobile phone but I’m not writing out many things, leaving notes (hand written) for anyone, etc. We send email, or text which is just email sent via a phone you spend an extra whack of dough on each month. (I don’t).

Are you still using the default font?

Anyway, then I wondered how many people with mobile phones have changed their font from the default which came with the phone. We used to show personality, mood, creativeness, with our hand writing. That’s pretty much gone, retired even from being taught in schools. So, do people pick a font to suit them or just use the same font as everyone else?

I picked the font for this site. It’s easy to read, available in web browsers (and your phones, etc). I wouldn’t say it shows my personality or creativeness, but this is a site for people to read, easily. Function had to come first.

However, on a personal site or phone… what does your font say about you?

If that gets you thinking start by seeing if you can change your font on your phone. If not, talk to your phone provider of choice and get something done about that.

poodlefont

Source: dafont- The Poodle Lover font and take a look at the Poodle Doodles font there too.

poodletail

Source: MyFonts – The Poodle Tails font.

The Best Contact Page

As an editor/ site reviewer at dmoz I’ve seen a lot of sites. Today I found what may be my favourite ever contact page on a site. Here is the screenshot. Notice how simple it is to know where they are located. I like the city name as a header before each physical address too. Even if there were only one location, it sets it off very nicely. I like the map, big and easily read. Plain, simple and tidy – really nice.

Above this is the header with the company name, phone number and navbar.

If you have a business site, consider this a great template for your contact page.
best contact page
Source: Celco

Create Personal Door Signs

My personal door sign would be: Silence is Golden.

We have so much chatter, clutter and noise in our lives every day (and I’m one of the few who choose NOT to add a mobile phone to all of that). I love a quiet day. I might run the TV in the background but I find, more often, I forget to turn it on. I seldom pay attention to it so I don’t miss it when it’s just part of the blessed silence.

Most of the time I don’t need to enforce my sign. I ignore the landline, don’t have any other phone and I can check email when I need some time to procrastinate or take a coffee break. I don’ t live alone however. People are harder to do any enforcing about. But, it would be a weird world if I really were completely alone in it.

In order to let our creative side flourish, we often need to set parameters for ourselves in order to pursue and achieve the things we really want to achieve. Often times we simply need to keep different types of spaces as clear as possible so that we don’t get distracted or held back from what we’re passionate about.

For today’s prompt, write and/or draw three signs that you would hang on your home door, work door, or even your forehead to let others know what you allow and don’t allow in your life. For example, a sign might be, “No Gossiping” or “Please Knock First.”Now write about your signs and how you will enforce them, or how you already enforce them. Are there ways you can communicate your signs without actually posting them? Or should one or more of them be physically posted?

Source: Day 4 #NaJoWriMoPrompt: Create Personal Door Signs – National Journal Writing Month

What Happened to the Canadian Blog Awards?

Seems like both the Canadian Blog Awards sites have finished in 2014.

Canadain blog awards gone

I hope both of these sites are saved in the Internet Archives.

Have we gone beyond the blog? Is that why the blog awards fizzled out? No one seems to have offered to take over as the Awards closed or faded out. I think blogging is the culprit, more than the Internet. Blogs aren’t built or kept the way they used to be. So blog awards can’t be created that way either. It’s the age of the application, the mobile web. I’m not an expert (don’t even want a cell phone) but I think it’s a shame to see Canadians on the web lose a resource like the blog awards.

What do you think?

Has blogging become out dated? How do you use the Internet these days? Do you even have a site?

 

Categories and Judging Criteria for those interested in what the awards were about:

  • Best Art, Crafts, Cooking and Other Creative Activities Blogs
  • Best Political Blog
  • Best Collaborative/Multi-Author Blogs
  • Best Family Blog
  • Best Food and Drink Blog
  • Best Funny Blog
  • Best GLBT Blog
  • Best Health Blog
  • Best Law Blog
  • Best Music Blog
  • Best New Blog
  • Best Pet Blog
  • Best Personal Blog
  • Best Pop Culture Blog
  • Best Personal Life Blog
  • Best Blog Post
  • Best Religion and Philosophy Blog
  • Best Science and Technology Blog
  • Best Sports Blog
  • Best Travel and Expat Blog

 

  • Activism & Social Justice / Activisme et la justice sociale
  • Agriculture & Nature / Agriculture et nature
  • Art & Crafting / Art et artisanat
  • Arts & Entertainment / Arts et spectacles
  • Business & Career / Affaires et carrières
  • Education / Éducation
  • Family & Parenting / Famille et parentalité
  • Fashion & Design / Mode et design
  • Food & Drink / Cuisine et breuvages
  • French Language / En française
  • Green Living / La vie écologique
  • Group Weblog / Blogue collectif
  • Health & Wellness / Santé et bien-être
  • Humour / Humour
  • LGBTQ / LGBTQ
  • Life / La vie
  • Lifetime Achievement Award / Prix pour l’ensemble des réalisations
  • Placeblog / Blog sur lieu
  • Politics / Politique
  • Religion & Spirituality / Religion et spiritualité
  • Science & Technology / Science et technologie
  • Sponsored & Product Review Blogs / Sponsorisé et compte rendu des produits
  • Sports & Recreation / Sports et loisirs
  • Topical / Topique
  • Travel / Voyage
  • Writing & Literature / Écriture et littérature

The jury uses a number system to value the criteria and weight their decisions. The weblogs in each category will be judged against two divisions of elements: Design and Content. Each division’s elements will be awarded 0 to 2 points — 0 if the element is poorly executed, 1 if the element is average, and 2 if it is excellent — for a possible perfect mark of 20 points.

Design

Usability and accessibility — Is the website user-friendly and easy to navigate for people of all abilities?

Functionality — Do all of its components function properly?

Interactivity — Are a comments section and author contact information available? Are its interactive components (including comments, audio, video, etc.) effective and functional?

Aesthetics — Is the website pleasing to look at? Is its design original?

Content

Originality — Is the content original and creatively expressed?

Intelligibility and clarity — Is the content well-written? Are the content’s messages clearly and effectively delivered?

Currency — Is the content timely? Is the weblog updated on a regular basis?

Transparency and authenticity — Is the author’s purpose and realness both trusted and apparent?

Attention to detail — Has the content been edited for spelling and grammatical errors? Is the content arranged for ease of consumption?

Engagingness — Is the content interesting? Does it contain broad appeal within its genre?

In the second and final round of judging, Category Fit will be added as an extra criterion for an additional score of 0 to 2 points, and weblogs with their own domain name (weblog.com rather than weblog.blogspot.com, for example) will have an additional point added to their final score.

Facebook Also Thinks a Mobile Phone is a Security Blanket

Facebook phone security

 

Soon after my post about Google’s mobile phone fetish… I open Facebook and get a note about how I can improve the security of my account… using a mobile phone, of course.

Do you see what I mean?

It won’t be long and you will be offline if you don’t have a mobile phone to prove your identity. This is the step beyond word verification. Don’t lose your mobile phone or you won’t be able to prove you are who you say you are.

Google, What if I Don’t Have a Mobile Phone?

Dear Google,

You obviously don’t want to hear from me. Just trying to find a way to contact Google is time consuming and mostly a waste of that time. Even when you get email from Google they make it plain that Google is all “no reply” all day, all the time. See below, the return address is:

Google wants you to shut up and leave them alone

 

I only got this far after an hour of looking for some way to contact Google for help. In the past I have left notes for Google on their Twitter account, on their Google Plus accounts (more than one of them) and I have tried over and over and over to find a way to get help from Google about the problem of not having a mobile phone and not wanting to get one just to McHappy Google.

no mobile phone no googleFor at least two months Google Plus has offered me (to the point of nagging each time I open my G+ account) the option to have a custom URL. It is misleading. In fact, if you don’t have a mobile phone you can not have a custom URL. Of course, it does not mention the mobile phone requirement in the eligibility for having a custom URL. It should. In over two months I have tried various suggestions and ideas of my own and from other people and nothing has worked.

As frustrating as this is, the bigger issue is how long before you can’t access your Gmail (Google mail account) without verifying yourself with your mobile phone? I’ve been using Gmail since it began. I will be pretty aggravated the day I have to change all my email to something else just because I don’t want to spend upwards of $50 a month for a mobile phone I never wanted and won’t be using.

A lot of people do have a cell/ mobile phone. Not everyone. Personally, I’m not fond of the phone at all. I keep the landline out of obligation. Now and then family or friends phone. Mostly it’s sales calls so I just let them all go and listen to messages when I see the light blinking. Did you know computers are now leaving phone messages, long ones even! Incredible how marketing and sales are being allowed so much leeway.

Anyway, I am really frustrated with Google over this custom URL which they offer but don’t deliver. I’m concerned about the future even more. The latest thing with two way verification for accounts is all about the mobile phone. What happens if I don’t want a mobile phone? Google won’t answer. I know because I’ve been asking them for months and all I ever get are form emails with no-reply addresses.

Scream for help all you want – no one at Google wants to hear you.

On top of that. I just realized the irony of having set up the two way verification with my landline for my Google account (not the custom URL, just the access to my Google account itself). The irony of now having two way verification on my Google account is that I can only use it from my home computer. If I am out somewhere my account will be inaccessible. How is that for ultimate irony? My Google account is now immobile!!! 

 

Why Should you Take a Digital Sabbatical?

digitalsabbaticalWhen did you last have a day without the Internet? Can you take a day offline, no email, no phone, no TV? Take the time for a digital sabbatical – give yourself a break.

Have you been feeling a little jaded, restless or bored with everything online? Has it all gotten to seem like more of the same, every day the same stuff, the same people, the same stuff to read about?

Or, have you become addicted to the Internet? Do you spend way too much time playing online games? Do you check email and then not get anything else done until you chance to notice how much time flew by? Do you get started with social networks and then feel drained before you have even started on the work or the research you actually planned on doing when you sat down in front of the computer?

If you have landed in a rut with everything online, everything Internet related, everything computer and online shopping and social chatting and web gaming and all the rest….

Take a digital sabbatical.

Take a sabbatical (a vacation) and give yourself fresh perspective. See the bigger picture and find your interest in everything online again by taking a big step back from it all. Being away from it will help you refresh your interest and enthusiasm. Being away will give you the chance to miss it all and want it back again, or not. You may find yourself having time for a lot of other things you’ve been putting off and liking that instead.

Even if you just take some time off, you will give yourself some perspective on how much Internet use is really a good thing. You will also have more to talk about (or write about) once you are back again.

How far can you stay offline? A week long stay-cation, a weekend, or just a few hours with the mobile phone and the Internet powered down?

If you can’t even last a few hours consider yourself addicted to the Internet. This could be a problem. Nothing is good when it’s not in some moderation.

Plan Your Digital Sabbatical

Decide just what your digital sabbatical will be.

Are you going to disconnect for the day or longer? Are you keeping your phone on or is that going to get a break too? What about television? Maybe your sabbatical will just be work or blog related but you will keep in touch with family and friends? Or you may use the time to find new ways to use the Internet – or take up a project which you haven’t had time for in the regular routine where you focus on checking email and other routines.

Plan the time for your sabbatical.

Will you need time off work? Make sure you don’t have appointments where you will need to have access to the Internet. If you have an ongoing project which requires on-call attention see if you can find someone else to be on-call for that day, or those hours. Or give notice that the service may be interrupted during the time you have planned for your digital sabbatical, leave a date and time you expect to return.

Let everyone know you are taking a digital sabbatical.

People may forget and still phone or email you, but at least you did what you could to let everyone know ahead of time. Many people will be amazed by the idea. We have gotten so used to having the Internet, people don’t consider what life was like without it. Leave a note on your site, Twitter account, Facebook page and so on. Give a time and date you plan to return.

Try to stick with it.

I know you will find it difficult not to have the Internet to look up this or that. I do. It can be frustrating not having the things we get so used to, right at our fingertips. But, do your best to stick with the time offline. Give yourself a break. Get away from all that glut of information. Get away from all the people who expect instant gratification from you, as if you really do live connected to your phone and computer 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Unplugging: Try a Digital Sabbatical

How to Work Around Phone Phobia

pink rotary phoneI don’t like answering the phone. I will do just about anything to avoid making a phone call to anyone. If it weren’t for having family who like to call me on my birthday or to make sure I’m still alive during the winter, I’d have no phone at all.

I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t want one at all. I did try one for a week. But, I never used it. So I took it back and cancelled the account. No matter how outdated it may seem not to be mobile with a phone stuck to my ear, I won’t be doing it. I do have a mini laptop, that’s mobile enough for me.

I don’t remember just when my phone problems began. I went through a time of having debt problems when I was in my early twenties. I’ve heard that’s how a lot of people develop a phone phobia. But, I had a poor attitude about phones before that.

My Dad was a small business person. Most of the time he kept a home office in the basement. Sometimes he would have a phone number for the business and leave it hooked up to the fax machine when he was supposed to be off hours (not working). But, he could never leave the phone to ring and go unanswered. He would risk breaking his neck by running up and down the stairs, leaping over laundry piles and other stuff my Mom would have (like an obstacle course) on the stairs. If anyone choose not to answer the phone with his same obsessive need to take every call, he would pitch a fit.

It didn’t matter that it was after hours for the business. It didn’t matter that we had one or even two answering machines hooked up to take calls. It didn’t matter that the calls after hours were almost always sales calls, telemarketers and people who wanted charity. Any missed call would cause a huge blow up.

I’m sure I began to resent and dislike the phone during those days. But, I didn’t dread picking it up and answering it or phoning anyone.

Later I worked in a department store. As a cashier you sometimes were required to pick up the phone and send a page out over the intercom. I hated that part of the job. I would do anything I could think of to avoid it. If it meant leaving my place and grabbing something for a customer I would do it. If it meant asking another cashier to make the page for me, that was fine with me. Sometimes I just offered customers a discount rather than paging for the floor staff to price check something for me.

It was ok for the job. They just wanted stuff sold rather than caring how much it sold for, within reason. But, it made me feel silly. So I began making the pages myself. I just made myself start doing them. After awhile it became easier. I even found it easier to answer the phone at home. But, since I stopped being a cashier several years ago I’ve gone back to my old feelings and dealings with the phone. I let the answering machine catch every call. I can listen in and see who it is, then pick it up if I want to, or need to.

It may sound funny to have a fear of the phone. Maybe fear isn’t the right word. I do have a phone in my home after all. I’m fine with the phone as long as it keeps quiet.

Help for Phone Phobia

Plan ahead when you have to make a phone call.

Write out a script, predicting how the call will go and what you will answer. Or, just go over it in your head.

Make sure you have all the information (like account numbers) and a pen and paper ready before you make the phone call.

If you have to face someone on the phone who may be argumentative, negative or hard to deal with for any reason, try getting help from a friend. Have them role play with you. Let them be the boss, service person, etc who you are not comfortable dealing with. Most likely the call won’t be as dramatic or upsetting as you think it will. A friend can give you a different outlook on it. By the end of the role play you could be laughing and the call will seem much simpler then.

Make the actual phone call when you are feeling good. If you are already upset, tired or feeling impatient you’re off to a less than ideal start.

Can You Go a Day Without a Cell Phone, or are you Addicted?

notaphoneboothCell phones have their place. When they first came out people bought them to have for emergencies. They are still good for that reason. But, they are dangerous too. Not the phones, but the way people use them and the time they choose to use them.

I’m anti-cell phone, mostly because it’s a bit lonely in a world full of people who seem to talk to imaginary friends – people who text but can’t spell.

People are addicted to their cell phones.

  • People are driving while texting and causing (or being in) accidents. New rules for the road have been created due to cell phone use and abuse.
  • Real communication is being lost. Instead of real, social interaction people are choosing to act like hermits, living inside their phone, ignoring people right in front of them, face to face.
  • Non face to face communication leaves people feeling less connected. Less concern for consequences and less care for others makes it easy to abuse phone or Internet communications. Bullying and minors ‘sexting’ (or creating and sharing porn) are bigger problems.
  • Cell phones are not reusable. They cause more garbage as they are continually being replaced rather than fixed or upgraded for the next, best thing.
  • Cell phone addicts are prone to withdrawal if they are without their phone. Then there is nomophobia – the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. People suffering withdrawal are more likely to have other unsocial behaviours, like road rage, or pick up other unhealthy habits, like smoking or over eating.

I Don’t Want a Cell Phone

I don’t own a cell phone. I had one for a week and returned it to the Bell store. I never used it and I really didn’t want anyone phoning me any time day or night. I like the land line. I like to ignore the phone. I listen to the caller, in case Timmy fell down a well, but I don’t answer it.

I’m coming to really dislike cell phones. I go to work and sit at a table with co-workers at lunch. Everyone is talking… to their phone. They share jokes that no one else can really see because the screen is too small or has a glare from the lights. I pretend to laugh. I bring a book to work now. I sit at the table in the middle of all that conversation and I read. I ignore them all just as they ignore me. It’s weird how no one wants to talk to people actually there. Cell phone is the latest unsocial medium.

I take the bus and hear people on the phone, telling their caller which bus stop they are at and estimating the time it will take them to arrive where ever they are going. They talk about their day, they swear and curse at each other and have fights while on the bus. All conversation they could have been having at home, together, face to face. I would much rather they shut their phone off so I could enjoy the peace and quiet of the bus. But, no… they have a phone attached to them like an umbilical cord and they can’t stop.

Cell Phone Addiction

I’m Laura Brown and This Is How I Work

how i workI picked this up from Bianca Woods at e-Geeking.

David Kelly (@LnDDave) recently did his own fascinating version of the Lifehacker feature “How I Work” and challenged the rest of us in the industry to do the same.

I’m Laura Brown and This Is How I Work

Location

Barrie, Ontario, Canada (The bottom of Northern Ontario).

Current Gig

Self Employed/ freelancing.

Current mobile device

An HP mini laptop which seems to have MS Windows exploding out of it’s little computer brain. I’m going to change it to Linux.

Current computer

HP Desktop (I still love the desktop!) h8 1211 with Windows 7. Will not allow Linux or any other change to the OS. I was really annoyed when I found this out after buying the PC and telling the staff at the store that I wanted a computer I could run on Linux. This proves they don’t know anything you can’t read on the computer box. Don’t trust any advice you get from sales staff.

One word that best describes how you work

Cluttered.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

My little HP scanner, even though I have not used it much lately. I love that it sits on my desk and has been reliable for more than ten years now. No problem with changing to new PCs or changing from Windows to Linux and back again.

What’s your workspace like?

Cluttered. Too cluttered to photograph and display for the world to see.

What’s your best time-saving trick?

Procrastination. The things you procrastinate on should be reconsidered. If you can put it off maybe it just isn’t that important after all. I save time and energy by letting things fall off the to-do list in my head. It’s not very proactive, but it does keep me from putting time into things I can do without.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?

I don’t manage to-do lists. I write one out, long hand and keep it until I’ve got most or all it done. Then I don’t have a list until the next time I write a list.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?

I can live without my phone. I don’t have a smart/ super or mobile phone of any kind. I do especially like my camera, I even have two of them. One Canon which fits in my purse and one FujiFilm for urban and rural exploration photography, when the extra zoom is a really good thing.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

Nothing. There are far too many people in the world to assume something like that.

What do you listen to while you work?

Silence usually. I put the TV on but don’t really watch it and sometimes hours go by and I haven’t noticed that I forgot to turn it on – even for the soap opera I like to take a break to watch in the afternoon.

Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?

Introvert but I can forget myself and become involved enough to seem extroverted. Eventually though I have just had enough of being social.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Poor.

Fill in the blank. I’d love to see ______ answer these same questions.

Can’t think of anyone. Most people I see day to day are not online this much.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Get to bed, Laura.