Friday, May 4, 2012

Father to Son

Father to Son
Tony E Hansen
April 2012

During high school, I was introduced to a poem by Langston Hughes entitled “Mother to Son” where the mother explains to her son about some of life’s unpleasant realities through a metaphorical approach of stairs. The lessons being taught in this poem are similar to what I am poised to illustrate to my own son because “…life ain’t been no crystal stair.”  As my son turns sixteen, I suddenly found myself with a discussion about what it means to be a, or to have a, gay parent with all of the goofy “taboos” surrounding this.  Thus, I pen this open letter to him. 

Son, life can be tough and sometimes not so great.  We are given many things in life for which we have no choice (e.g. our parents, our siblings, our athletic ability, our intelligence, our ethnicity, or our sexuality.)  Some would decry these as reminders of the inequalities of life through miserable feelings about how we have been treated unfairly or destructively. Yet, I say we can find these as examples of our diverse natures and how we can embrace those differences while learning to enjoy them with a little laugh.  Thankfully, we have differences because life would be considerably boring if we were all vanilla. 

If we look at everything given to us as a tragedy, then our whole outlook is founded in negativity, and then, how people perceive us, in turn, will ultimately be negative.  Interestingly, similar-minded people tend to congregate together and reinforce those ugly dimensions of life upon each other rather than looking at circumstances as learning opportunities or even realizing the shear comedy of our lives.   

The thing is that this idea took a long time for me to understand because I felt that I was missing good role models in my life. Yet, I cannot sit and stew about what did or what did not happen. 

When I found people with good nature in their hearts and learned different philosophies of life, I found an appreciation for the present moment.  In that, we do not know the eventual outcome of many paths in our lives, but things do happen for a reason, whatever that might be. We cannot worry ourselves about the past since there is literally nothing we can do about that except to acknowledge our part and learn.  There are many things in life that we wish we could undo or decisions we may have done differently for potentially better outcomes. We cannot agonize over what may happen in the future or what people may think since that is only a possibility. We can wait for things to happen, we can wait for that perfect opportunity, we can wait until there is more time to do something, or we can fret over the possibility of something going wrong. Yet, at those points, we are not living today because our focus is not here and now. 

Instead, get busy living! You can focus your effort on the present moment, and you can do good in the present moment.  This does not mean, however, to forgo planning or to always be reckless about the present moment.  Good things will reveal themselves to us if we are willing to plan, to do good, to look at the whole picture, and to do that with a smile. You could worry about someone’s opinion, wait for someone to act or even agree with someone. Ultimately, you have to decide what you are willing to do and if that action is appropriate.  No one else can do more for your own happiness, your own future, your own work, and your own family than yourself.  That is neither selfish, nor egoistic, nor inconsiderate because with compassionate heart and action, you are promoting positive influences upon people all around you and beyond.  The rest will take care of itself. 

You have to decide what you are going to do to make your world a better place despite the “…splinters and boards torn up” along the way. Keep moving forward and climbing, even when life gets tough.  Be proud and look up. Believe in the moment because you are destined to be in that moment, and only you can make the most of what you have here and now. Learn, grow, have compassion, work diligently, and trust in yourself. Consider what Steve Jobs said: “be a yardstick of quality” and “if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” If you can affirm the first and if you can answer positively to the latter, then no matter what anyone else says, you can say today that you are your best (and the rest will fall where they may.)

I am proud that you are my son! Congratulations on your birthday and may you continue to enjoy life with a good heart and good mind.  With loving kindness, Dad

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Complete New Design and Refreshed Interface

I have worn the label for years without many issues and lunarpages was a decent hosting vendor.  Yet, there comes a time when change is needed.

I am retiring in favor of the . This is partly due to want for expressing creativity, having fun with the site, and partly due to change in hosting vendors.  With the new vendor, I am able to use more advanced Java technologies at a good price. However, I still have to migrate older work to the new site (maybe with a refreshed look as well).  So for the interim, I have built a mock up of what look and feel will consist.  As well, I have designed some work for Bret's cosmetology work.
In the new design, I have found usefulness in jQuery, HTML5, xhtml, and CSS3 as a really nice display tool. I mean to move content to Blogger as a Content Managment System like how most people use WordPress. In this way I can keep content fresh without having to design or redesign portions.

I hope you enjoy the work and look forward to your responses.

Social Media Basic Policies for Companies

Basic Policies
  • HR fairness and capacity to learn about employees and potential hires.
  • Legal obligations and issues (Who, What and Why?)
  • IT security requirements
  • Address confidentiality requirements, address defamation, appropriate conduct and use of your organization's technology
  • Build public relations contingencies and avoid a BP nightmare
  • When you speak into a telephone there is no reason to believe you are not being recorded. (Likewise for social media, email and instant messaging).
  • Policies should enforce inappropriate behavior as actionable (especially commenting about other employees).
  • Policies have to be thoroughly communicated throughout the organization in order for them to be enforced.
 All organizations should have and communicate to their employees what is considered to be appropriate behaviors. This especially concerns trade secrets, stakeholder information and internal affairs. Lack of an clear and "actionable" policy allows for substantial risk to the organization and its mission.

Social Media Foundations to Strategy

Foundations to Strategy
  • Strategy – targets? Scope, focus, find the right discussions (or create them) and join the discussion. Is your subject relevant for a particular site or discussion?
  • Establish presence – reinforce credibility and create excitement for events, workshops or services.
  • Expand reach into markets through collaboration and communications
  • Nurture relationships and strategic partnerships
  • Properly maintain presence
  • Conduct a proper SWOT and due diligence for using these methods.
  • Decide which part of social media technology is applicable for your organization and how you would monitor its use.
  • Good strategies require good planning and consideration of the business model.
  • Effective strategies require presence and interaction that builds relationships with customers and other stakeholders.
Important to realize that whether you have a planned presence or not, you have a de-facto strategy of ignorance. The question is begged whether the social media channels offer opportunities that the firm should use.

Social Media Effective Habits

Effective Habits
  • Understand privacy settings and be careful with posting personal information online especially: birthdates, birth places, pet names, information about children, or password hints.
  • Remember what you post online has endless paths to the public regardless of any privacy settings. (Once something goes line, there is no telling where that item will go).
  • Positive comments and work will improve your social networking value. From the old days of billboards systems, flames and constant negativity will reflect on your online reputation.
  • Understand who is on your follow lists (exs and people associated with them) since posting items may invoke some jealousies. As well, co-workers, classmates, or teachers on your follow lists may require scrutiny of social media communications.
  • Be involved with discussions if you mean to network with people or to discuss issues. Network only with those groups or people that you would want to actually network. If you are not involved in the discussion of which you are a part of the group, then you may find yourself approving comments or groups attitudes simply by association regardless of your own viewpoint in the issues. In other words, do not simply add yourself to groups or become fan of people just to increase your numbers.
  • Careful about posting questionable material. Warren Buffet's point is appropriate here that an upstanding reputation of quality can take years to build but only a few minutes to destroy. While one should not censor opinions or actions, be mindful that those opinions and actions define you both in cyberspace and in reality.
  • A sub point to that is to search your name on Google (e.g. search engines) and the social media networks for questionable material about you. Knowing that material has been posted can help you prepare for handling that situation, and you can decide whether you want to be involved with a particular discussion.
  • Using social media for business can generate leads and business if you are willing to build relationships rather than front a corporate image. Consumer and business trends indicate less attention to advertising and corporate image, but more people are focusing upon building more intimate personal relationships and establishing trust in order to conduct business. Conducting business on these networks requires a foundational strategy and focus of purpose for using them as well as be able to handle reputation attacks via social media.
  • Be wary of adding people (followers) or approving friend requests that you do not know to your networks especially when the entity is asking for information. Phishing schemes are developing to entice users into giving up personal data via social networks that can be used to gain access to other sites (e.g. financial institutions, mail, employer networks).
  • Whether you choose to be involved in social networks, they exist and chances are someone you know is using them and you may be involved indirectly because of their involvement. You can choose to be a part of the discussion or you can ignore these communications channels. Yet, a vast opportunity exists for those that leverage these tools.

Social Media Technologies

Types of Web 2.0 technologies
  • Social networks (e.g. Facebook or LinkedIn)
  • Blogging (e.g. Blogger) & Micro-blogging (e.g. Twitter)
  • Podcasting
  • Google Analytics, WebTrends - traffic analysis
Using interactive technologies to build communications channels for organizations and businesses through the web. 

These pages are brief summary of a presentation that considers social media channels as business communication and information streams. 

For more information, please contact me

Social Media Sharing
Defining positive social sharing in personal interactions is just as important as they are for business. The question is begged whether the social media channels offer opportunities that the firm should use.
Social Sites