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Need a Likaholix Invite?

I have a couple of invites to Likaholix for those who want to test it out. Likaholix is a new bookmarking service similar to Delicious but you enter why you liked the bookmark(url) and can add supporting images and videos to it. Basically, when searching for information, this lets you read other people’s positive reviews of a site before clicking through to the site. In theory, you can pick the ideal source of your needed information. Likaholix has a stronger social element than Delicious. I like Likaholix and although I do not foresee it replacing Delicious for me, it will certainly enhance my bookmarking.

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Knoxville Overground Social Mixer Tomorrow!

Tomorrow night let’s all get together in Market Square to checkout Knoxville Overground’s latest and have some real life social time.

Tomorrow on Wednesday March 25th at 7pm, Knoxville Overground will host a social mixer at 35 Market Square as well as provide tours of the 5,000 sq. ft. facility it hopes to convert into a micro-enterprise development center within the next few months.

Remember, downtown parking garages are free at 6pm (although someone recently commented that had changed to 7pm..unverified). For for information about the social mixer and tour, e-mail See more at KnoxViews.

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Pownce RIP – application lives 1 year

Pownce RIP Jun 27 2007-Dec 15 2008 (open to pub Jan 22 2008) N’vr used it much but liked its format and function see: Goodbye Pownce, Hello Six Apart

With only one year of useful life in the application, it was purchased by SixApart for "an undisclosed amount" which to me sounds like it made money for Rose and others.

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Who quit following you on Twitter?

Qwitter and Twitterless are two new services which alert you when followers quit.

Do you use Twitter? Or do you still wonder why people Twitter? I use Twitter to follow the pulse for things that interest me, in particular, I follow:

  1. friends and family
  2. people in Knoxville
  3. some breaking news sources
  4. the movers and shakers in the technology world
  5. ColdFusion and PHP developers (yeah yeah…some of you .NET guys too)

You should be using Twitter to be in the global conversation. Twitter serves everyone differently depending on how you use the service which may be one or more of the following:

  1. Exhibitionists, Voyeurs, Gossips – These are the folks that will send/read a stream of messages about the minutia of daily life
  2. News feeds – These are the folks alerting the world about their experiences with the California fires, or the next big event. These are the newspapers getting the headlines out. These are people like myself alerting others that the Interstate is at a stand still.
  3. Topic Specific – These would be people sharing information about a particular subject. Unlike news feeds these will often include back and forth discussions about the topic.
  4. Spammers – People taking advantage of the tendency to follow those who follow you simply to draw attention to a product or website. The Twitter staff and others are trying to minimize the ability for people to spam through Twitter.
  5. Utility – such as how The RedCross has used Twitter to make accessing the Safe and Well database easier.

Twitter is quick to alert you when you have new followers. If someone decides they want to see your messages, you get an email giving you the opportunity to follow them back. However, when someone decides that you send too many messages, your messages are not interesting, or they are tired of hearing that you had a tuna fish sandwich for lunch again, they quit following you and you never know. Perhaps you notice your numbers have changed and all you can do is wonder if you offended someone. Until now! Two services now tell you when someone quits following your Twitter stream. Qwitter will send you an email whenever someone quits following and simply needs your Twitter username and email address. Twitterless is in beta and requires an invite code. By entering your Twitter username and password, Twitterless will notify you when followers quit. Get an invite code by following @tless. Twitterless has a blog and is developed by Mark Nutter who you can follow on Twitter @marknutter.

Be sure to follow my ramblings on Twitter @djuggler. My Tweets are very stream of consciousness and vary from Knoxville traffic/gas reports, to family happenings, to interesting sightings, some audio or pictorial commentary linked from Utterli in a Tweet, to politics, to tech, and just plain nonsensical babble.

See also: Put @RedCross in your Twitter and Did Chris Brogan just steal my PULSE?!

Update 9Aug2009: @followermonitor has joined the ranks of @tless and Qwitter. Twitterless is working great for me. I have not had a message from Qwitter since like December.

Update 24-Nov-2010: A list of seven such services.

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Blogfest This Saturday, Calhouns, 6pm

Lissa has announced Blogfest for this coming Saturday! Blogfest is an opportunity for us onliners to meet in real life (irl).

When: Sept 27, 2008 6:00pm until ?
Where: Calhoun’s on Kingston Pike near Pellissipi Pkwy
Who: Bloggers, blog readers, Twitterers, and their significant others, family and friends

Come have a great time getting to know the people you read every day, and put a face to the words.

RSVP: In the comments here, or by emailing me, or Rich

The early Blogfests set a great tone for future gatherings. People of different political philosophies, different religious backgrounds, different economic sectors, etc. all came together just to be social and had great times despite differing views. I think some people have avoided recent blogfests because of fears that political views would clash. Set those aside for the evening and just come have some fun! Lissa has reserved a large room. We can put red on one side and blue on the other.

This is not a Barcamp. This is simply a social gathering. Come one, come all!

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Send the Girls to BlogHer

Registration ends next week!

BlogHer has announced the desire to close registration next week. We’ve had our first contributor! We are a 7 person household and 6 of those people have blogs! (that doesn’t include Facebook and MySpace etc.) With BlogHer coming to Nashville I think Cathy and Sarah should go! I created a ChipIn to see if we could get them sponsored and two days ago we received our first contribution of $5! Awesome! Now if we can get 59 more people to do the same, the girls get to go! I think it will be some good bonding time for mom and daughter. I think they will have some great social networking opportunities with bloggers they only know in print. And I think they will come back excited to try new blogging tools, technologies and writing techniques they discover at BlogHer. Plus Barry will write snarky things about them!

Registration ends next week!

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Hillary is going out..why is she following me?

Like The Whispers on LOST, I’ve heard hushed chatter all day long about how Hillary is dropping out of the race tomorrow. Naturally, I raised an eyebrow when my email informed me that @Hillary2008 was started following my Twitter account today. Back before October of last year, I started following presidential candidates wise enough to be using technology to their advantage. Edwards, Thompson, and Obama used it the best.

Now I can’t remember which one but one of the candidates even opened Twitter up for questions while he was on CNN (or some other live show); unfortunately I was walking out the door and didn’t get to fire off any questions nor watch the program.Joe Biden opened Twitter up for questions while he was on a live chat with The Washington Post. What a powerful way to use the Internet! Putting Twitter ahead of the reporters and phones!

Early on, it became evident that @Hillary2008 was not the real Hillary Clinton. Today Hillary2008 follows 787 people and is followed by 829 people. The real Hillary Clinton appears to be @HillaryClinton and follows 0 people with 4,140 people following her which means she doesn’t understand Twitter. (Randy, are you listening? 0/66) Barack Obama at @BarackObama is following 35,777 people and has 34,765 people following him; his updates are frequent and does not read like a staffer is trying to impersonate him. Seems early on in the campaign that @BarackObama even sent @ replies to followers (but I cannot find an example right now).

I personally belief that either the people behind Hillary2008 gave the account over to the campaign or decided to start working it as true Hillary fans that actually understand the technology. What’s to understand about Twitter? It’s bi-directional. We use our feed readers and RSS for push news and headlines. If all you are doing is using Twitter to push your urls and try to get people to your site, then for all practical purposes, you are a spammer. Even news sites like @Knoxnews responds to its followers. If you listen to them, they’ll listen to you! @SantaClaus is a hoot! Not only does he work the Twitter account around the holiday, but he responds to almost everyone that mentions him and he does year round! Interactivity is the key to Twitter. Of course, Leo Laporte breaks this theory by following 441 people and having 39821 people follow him. He’s this anomaly I just haven’t figured out yet. Of course, as much as I can’t figure out why you would want to follow him (and his ego), I find myself that compelled to follow more of him. Long and short of it, if you have a zero in either following or followers, you are using Twitter poorly.

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No, white lies are not ok

I disagree with the nationally known psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig who says it’s OK to tell a white lie. Dr. Ludwig claims it is ok when

  1. the whole truth tears someone down
  2. when it protects a child’s innocence or creative imagination
  3. Offering passing pleasantries
  4. Complimenting someone

I believe Dr. Ludwig offers a terrible recipe for leading a superficial, untrue life. Temporarily, these things may be healthy for the other person but for the person uttering the half-truths, the white lies, they plant a seed of corruption that will eat at their very soul. I say temporarily for the other person because the truth always comes out. In this world you get what you give so how can you take the word of someone else that is complimenting you when you know that you would in turn give the same as lip service? We can make the choice to live one true life and be the person we really are OR we can create fables and then worry ourselves to death as we try to keep our half-truths accurate in social settings and recurrent visits with the person we once gave the lie. Why create inner turmoil and stress for ourselves? "Oh there’s Julia! Crud, what was that lie I told her. Oh no. She’s talking to Fred. Didn’t I tell him a different lie?"

Dr. Ludwig writes "Brutal honesty can be used as a toxic weapon. " and I would agree which is why we learn tact and employ tact. Tact, a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense, is different than outright lying.

A lie: "I like your new, extremely short haircut."
Brutal honesty: "Your extremely short haircut makes you look like a man and your ears stick out like Dumbo."
Tact: "That haircut is certainly a different look for you. Personally, I do not prefer buzz cuts on women."

Dr. Ludwig challenges "How can you argue with that one?" in regard to protecting a child’s innocence. I ask, are we really protecting their innocence or setting them up for a gut wrenching betrayal at a later time because of a white lie. Would I propose that we kill Santa Claus? No! I believe in Santa Claus. This one is tricky because the story of Santa Claus and his compatriots is a thrilling, mystical part of childhood and I would never deny someone that pleasure. I do believe in Santa Claus! (wikipedia) I also believe that this situation is also about presentation. I might give a little and almost, but not quite, agree with Dr. Ludwig that a white lie could be appropriate in this case. The white lie cannot be direct! In this case, it is a lie of omission. We present the spirit of Santa Claus. We present the story. We present the illusion. We allow the child’s imagination to perpetuate the lie. And annually, a riff in my soul widens as I question the deception and the tears it will bring at a later time in life; the lost innocent; the lost trust in mom and dad…because of a lie…of omission.

Dr. Ludwig suggests that a white lie is okay for "passing pleasantries." Particularly in the South we are raised to believe the same as Dr. Ludwig. I challenge you to quit! Why waste our breath with words we don’t mean? This is hard. We spend the bulk of our lives training ourselves, and brainwashing ourselves, to give these pleasantries. We become robotic in our responses. I have made a great effort to not give pleasantries and I still find myself doing it almost daily. But when I resist, and am truthful with the other person, I feel better about myself!

Lie:"Oh…it’s no trouble at all"
Truth:"Yes, this is inconvenient, but I really enjoy helping you."
Lie:"I’m fine, thanks for asking"
Truth:"To be honest, life’s got me a little down but I’m coping with it. You?"

Something I have done to help avoid being in a situation of pleasantries is to change my greeting. When two people meet, they tend to autonomously spout off "how are you?" It is a greeting akin to "hello" but unlike "hello," "how are you" requires a response which is almost always a superficial "fine thanks." My new greeting is "good to see you!" and I mean it. My greeting is a statement that requires no response. My greeting does not put you on the spot. My greeting is truthful. If I truly want to know how you are feeling I am going ask and hope that you give an honest answer.

Dr. Ludwig’s final white lie is to offer compliments to a person stating "Mild false truths make it easier for people to get along and are primarily harmless in most cases." I disagree. You are harming the relationship and you are harming yourself. As in her first case, if you give such lip service, how can you learn to trust other people. And if you cannot trust each other, how can you possible get along and build a relationship. Won’t you simply assume they are not being entirely truthful with you. You harm yourself because inside you know you are perpetuating a lie. There should be a hollowness inside your chest. You should be ashamed of yourself. You should feel superficial! And that’s not healthy.

In conclusion, Dr. Ludwig says, "The major difference between a white lie and a hard lie is that a hard lie is said to protect oneself, whereas a little white lie is said to protect someone else." A lie is a lie and a lie protects nobody. Lies serve only to undermine relationships be it romantic, business, or friendship. A person cannot improve themselves if they ask for your feedback "How are my cookies?" and you lie to them. Dr. Ludwig, you are wrong; white lies are never okay. I challenge you to wear the truth, always.

Update: Be sure to read Blurp’s I Chose to Lie for another perspective!

Related: Being too nice to your waitress may cost you money