Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Twitters, Diggs, Pliggs and Plurks???

We all aware how quickly the internet changes, I am amazed at how extremely fickle the nature of its movement. The catch cry of social networking and social book marking is a whole new world that continues to grow at such a rate it is blinding. There are those amongst us who remember the old BBS days and sometimes wonder what is new here and then you stop, look and understand.

We all agree that the internet is here and it is a great place to find information, but the thing that is not being understood is the need to make one’s information attractive enough to actually hold and audience long enough to ensure that the message is being heard.

The heading to this article is probably well known to a lot of readers in this space, but how do we get the message out to the broader community.Traditional media is understanding the shift and that has good and bad points about it as well. To just try and put traditional media online is boring and in fact shows a very significant misunderstanding of what this space is about.

Again, to the uninitiated all of the above has a certain “snake oil” ring to the value of each of the services that attach to these weird and wonderful names. So when in the presence of “snake oil” enter the “Snake oil” seller.

My frustration at the moment is that the opportunity for the opportunist to arrive in this space is very high and does little more than bring the reputable advisers and information providers into disrepute. The saying "Caveat Emptor" - let the buyer beware is never more real than the online world. Lot's of scaremongering goes on about the Internet that also has good and bad points about it.

Enter social networking this is a space that allows people to gain confidence in the people who now are in this space. It allows people to get to know each other and what we do in our lives. Virtual Coffee meetings and drinks meetings that build a sense of trust in what the community has to offer. Our presentation on line will quickly identify the character of the person at the other end of the keyboard.

I have entered this space pretty much as (an older) new boy on the block and am enjoying the sense of community that the medium allows. I have made friends from all walks of life across every continent in the world. Once having entered that community, like any community it sets up its own rules and protocols and if you learn these quickly the community is very accepting and understanding of the learning curve. At times quick to scold and teach but in a manner of understanding that new people enter the space by the minute.

The delivery mechanism is live and instant and the results are rewarding however transgress, fail to participate in an appropriate manner then the consequences can be quite dire.

Those who think that it is a space just to advertise without joining in will find quickly that it will be frowned upon and the negative can be quite brutal. By all means share your purpose in life, share your information but do so understanding the "quid pro quo" here depends on how you play in the social networking world.

I love this world and am enjoying every minute of it even though some of my off line friends look at me as though I am completely insane when I sing the praises of the web world.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

And they are only 19

Tonight I read my good friends blog on Vietnam and I guess what it meant to blokes in Australia of my age. There is no doubt it has left an indelible mark on all of us whether we enlisted, were conscripted – joined the Citizens Military Force or similar or just chanced our arm at our marble rolling out for compulsory call up and even if you were a conscientious objector. And for those who went to Vietnam – God help them – so poorly recognized until recently and sent off into a useless war overseas. Of course, it never was a war – just a police action.

I have written about my Grandfather before see the link for a read. As a result of his injuries in the “Great War” he was terrified of my father being called up during the Second World War and was desperate for him not to go. He had gone and served King and Country and then spent the rest of his life watching his family struggle because of his incapacities.

My father was not 18 until 1942 and would have been called up, but in 1941 joined the Militia which was as near to the CMF of my day. He chose a path that served his country and his father’s wish albeit I do not think my Grandfather ever forgave him. In short he was picked from that to go to Duntroon and graduated as Lieutenant and commanded an anti aircraft gun firstly on Sydney Harbor Bridge and later overseas in New Guinea and Rabaul.

Well with all that history I joined the CMF in 1970 – 8 Company RAASC 28 Supply Platoon. I did not want to risk being called up. We were trained in Frontline Supply which meant I was trained in the handling of Ammunition and High Explosives – even was taught how to load Mortar Bombs and other devices at Gladstone. I was trained to handle POL (Petrol Oil and Lubricants) in the field including JetA1 for helicopters. I have been taught how to load and lash cargo nets and hook them up to the cargo hooks of helicopters. Believe me standing underneath a hovering helicopter with the loadmaster hanging out the door issuing instructions to the pilot as you engaged the cargo hook, red light green light duck under the skid exit to the rear with your head down was a bit of a rush the first time. Chopper blades are unforgiving. It was a great experience and I guess I felt I did my bit.It is time I consider well spent in my life for sure and opportunities I may never have had.

Then you are reminded of those who went and still are today. It is a sobering thought and you realize right or wrong the world must take responsibility for the genocide and cruelty that goes on. How do we sit quietly and watch innocent civilians being butchered by megalomaniacal regimes and who do we send in our often futile efforts to stop the stupidity.

We each have our ideas and ideology’s and what do we all really want – PEACE.
The right to freedom and freedom of opinion is the very essence on which each and every one of us believe – God help us all.

So many of my friends and family have been touched by war and even terrorism we must never forget those who choose the job as our Defence Force.