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April 2009

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I’ve been getting a lot of hits on my site because Google picked up a tweet I posted yesterday on Twitter about the Gmail Gadget problem on iGoogle. The error people are getting is:

The Gmail gadget does not support the “Always use https” setting that you chose in full Gmail. If you would like to use https, please open full Gmail. Learn more

Obviously, this is a new problem and I’ve yet to see a solution for it, besides switching to another Gmail gadget. I’ll keep you updated.

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Ok, it’s not really a contest. The only thing you win is the gratification of seeing me make a fool out of myself. I’ve decided that I’m going to let the folks on Twitter (and commenter here) decide which facial hair style I should wear. I will grow/shave my facial hair to match whatever the winning choice is then post a picture of it up on here and flickr. What are the choices? Well, I’m glad you asked. Take a look at these fine examples (image from dyers.org).

beardtypes

The only catch is I will not do a full beard (come on, it’s going to be summer in St. Louis. That’s just cruel!) and the Super Mario looks pretty much impossible. You can vote by commenting here or sending me a reply on twitter

UPDATE:There’s now a poll, so submit your vote!

To quote Network, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m boycotting the St. Louis Cardinals. Yesterday’s events were the final straw. In case you weren’t aware, the Cardinals acquired relief pitcher Blaine Boyer from Atlanta. What’s so bad about this? Well, let me give you some stats. The Cardinals relief pitchers have a combine ERA of 4.98. Atlanta, the team that Boyer came from, had a combined ERA of 7.36, and that was without Boyer. Boyer is so bad, that he could even make the pitching staff of a club that has an ERA of over 7! Yet the Cardinals want to add him to their relief staff. Oh yeah, and Boyer, on his own, has an ERA of 40 this season. Yes, 40. On top of that, he hasn’t actually had a decent pitching season in years. I guess he’s the perfect addition to a pitching staff full of injuries and weak arms.

The Cardinals’ front office has shown this past year that they don’t care to improve the team. They just want to take your hard earned money and pocket it instead of making a team that can win. What is even worse is now they are actively making trades that are bound to make the team worse. Why should I give over my hard-earned money to line the pockets of the front office instead of supporting a team that can win. If they were trying to improve the team and they were losing, that would be one thing, but they aren’t. John Mozeliak needs to be fired before he’s run out of town. I will not pay for a Cardinals ticket until the Cardinals organization get their acts together. They refuse to spend money, so I refuse to spend mine.

Tonight was a frustrating night at Sylvan. It was frustrating enough that at the end of the night I thought to myself how I didn’t want to ever go back. Both hours I was there I had 3 extremely hyperactive kids that needed constant attention (2 of them I had both hours). None of them would listen to me, none would do their work, all were hyperactive. Usually I have fun while I’m there (otherwise I wouldn’t be there), but tonight was not fun. On top of having kids that needed constant prompting, they were all almost entirely guided practice. It was extremely difficult teaching 3 different things at one time.

The 2 hours mentally and physically exhausted me. The two boys I had, both in 5th grade, would not stop talking to each other or to the table behind me. Typically I have great table management skills, teaching ISS for a year will do that for you, but it’s hard to have table management when they don’t listen at all.

One of the girls I had was frustrating as well, but that wasn’t her fault. The work she had she could not comprehend. It was an independent practice activity and she needed to be guided through the entire thing, and she still couldn’t find the answers. I feel bad for not being able to help her more, especially since the two boys I had required the majority of my attention. The other girl required me teaching a new math lesson, while trying to deal with the two boys who seemed to be even worse the second hour. I hope Saturday goes smoother.

Browsing the web I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone is an expert these days. It used to be you went to school for years and years, read everything on your topic, and published articles and books in your field and then, and only then, you were considered an expert in your field. It doesn’t seem that is the case anymore, especially with emerging technologies and trends. I’m looking at you Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Experts.

SEO Experts are charlatans trying to sell you snake oils. Many of them are extremely shady, using shady processes to get the “guaranteed” results. You’re not an expert because you’re able to get your website higher in the rankings on Google, especially since it is a field that Google can switch up at the drop of a hat and especially since their complete algorithm is still secret. I concede that there are things you can do to get your rankings higher, but because you know those things that will get you closer to the top does not make you an expert. Anyone with a few minutes of time and an internet connection can find your entire wealth of knowledge on the subject. In fact, any web developer should do those things as standard practice. I could go on and on about the shady practices of many of these so-called experts (I’m sure as soon as I publish this post I’ll get a ton of spam because I said SEO) but let me tell you about the other group of experts I really can’t stand: Social Media Experts.

Social Media Experts have to be the most arrogant, full of hot air, BS spewing people in the world. Just because you have MySpace, Facebook and Twitter doesn’t mean you’re an expert. Yes, your degree might be in marketing or advertising, so you may know how to reach an audience, but because you also know how to get on the internet doesn’t mean you are a Social Media Expert. Wow, so you signed up your company on Facebook, Youtube, Digg, and Twitter. Big deal. You are a user. You want to know who the real social media experts are? People who came up with the software you’re using to promote your crappy products and services. MySpace was a great idea. They found their niche in artists and hit it early on (anyone remember Soundclick? They failed.). Facebook did the same thing (Oh, how I long for the days when it was just the people you went to college with on FB). Twitter took a simple idea and let it explode. These companies are the real experts in social media (even if Twitter has still yet to make a dime). Because you use it for your company, makes you a user, not an expert. Come up with something original for your company and make it truly social, then we’ll talk (and no, your Ning site doesn’t count). Until then, please stop promoting your BS and remove the title from your resume. It might as well read that you are the leader of the Republic of Elbonia. Means just as much to me.

(Edit: I know I’ve ranted about some of this before but something set me off at work and I felt I needed to rant more).