Attorney General Or A Body Snatcher?

Last week the Arizona Attorney General came to give a presentation on internet safety and cyber-bullying to the middle school at the district I work for. I brought my camera along to get a few shots of the event and managed to grab this telling moment.

I’m forced to pose the question, Is the Arizona Attorney General actually a body snatcher? Please, watch this video, and see for your self:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na2W38tLp_Q&rel=1]

🙂

The presentation they gave was actually quite good. The first half was about the importance of protecting your identity on sites such as My Space. For demonstration, they set up a fake My Space profile and posed as a new student moving to Globe to see who would bite. One of the Globe High students ended up giving enough information that they found her name, family members names, her home address and how to get to where she lived. It was an eye-opening moment for a lot of the students.

*update* I hope they have a good sense of humor about this 🙂

— www vs. web 2.0 —

I’ve been working in the IT industry for about 8 years now. I entered in to the IT world at the height of the .com boom doing Flash animation and moved from that to network support, administration and currently I am the IT director for a small school district in Arizona. During this time I’ve been able to watch the transformation of the web experience from the initial commercial driven content to the now prevalent user driven Web 2.0. I have to say that I like where it’s going, however it’s been an almost conflicting experience for me to make the conversion.

 

When I started, outside of the gaming community and IRC, my web experience was very secluded. I would shop online, get news and other information like driving direction, etc., but the general attitude in using the web was, “be cautious” and “protect your identity.” Additionally, commercial companies were using the web solely as an extension of their brick and mortar entities. While these companies would try to collect data on where and what users were clicking, there was never any real effort to gather user input or to create an interactive experience. There weren’t many communities or social networking spaces. As a user, I was always wary of where I would enter my personal information. This is where my conflict begins.

 

Web 2.0 is a completely different philosophy. It’s about open exchange of information, user driven content… basically an open window to the life, thoughts, habits, experiences of anyone who embraces this new ideal. The results have been very positive. Web communities like Viddler, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and a whole host of others are the new standard. Commercial websites are moving away from the “we’ll tell you what you want” mentality to a more open exchange with consumers. They’re soliciting user feedback and creating spaces for consumers to exchange information with each other. Blogging has become a force to be reckoned with by the mainstream media and podcasting and videocasting are becoming more and more prevalent.

 

For me, the struggle has been overcoming the mentality of anonymity that dominated my introduction to the WWW. There’s a level of trust that must be accepted and that is a new modus operandi for me. Am I okay with putting my face out there? How do I feel about sharing who I am with the rest of the world? Does the rest of the world even care? How do I cope with the need to protect my identity vs. the interest in becoming a more active member of the Web 2.0 generation? And ultimately… Why do I even want to do this? What’s the reward?

 

Certainly this new frame of thinking opens up the opportunity for abuse. There are plenty of people out there who take advantage of the more open community, but overall I think the potential benefits far outweigh the risks.

 

So how about it Web 2.0 people? Has your experience been the same? Why do you want to participate? Do you have the same reservations to overcome?

Rolling around in my head…

I’ve been thinking a lot about the blog for the last couple weeks. What do I want to do with it? Why do I want to do it? Future blog posts… etc.

So I wanted to pose the questions to all of you. What do you read blogs? What do you look for? I have a few new posts in the works, but since it’s been a little while since I’ve post I thought I’d throw this up and try to include you in the discussion.

Site note: I’ve changed the theme as well. Wasn’t completely sold on the previous look.

Taking A Moment For The Right Brain

The one test of my academic career that stands out most in my mind is one that I took in junior high that was supposed to measure whether or not your personality was more indicative of being left or right brained. The test asked a series of multiple choice questions to which the answers would determine which way your leaned. I scored a 52% right and 48% left. When I took the results to my teacher, she asked that I recount my results as it seemed a little too balanced. My math, however, was correct. This marked the first time I ever bothered to take notice of my personality and the types of activities I enjoy.

Years later, I now work as the IT Director of a small school district. While my job has some definite right brained aspects to it, the majority of what I do resides in the other hemisphere. While I enjoy what I do, it’s fairly demanding on my time and energy and doesn’t allow much opportunity to venture to the right side. I find if I go too long with out some sort of creative release, it begins to affect my focus and productivity. I need that balance of left and right.

So this entry is all about encouraging everyone to take a moment for the right brain.  This evening on the drive home I stopped to get a few night photos of a tunnel I drive through everyday. It felt good to take a moment out of my day for a creative pursuit.  I’ll have it posted to the Flickr account soon… be sure to check it out.

One Man Star Wars

Last night we went to see the One-Man Star War Trilogy. It was so much fun! I was very impressed with Charles Ross’ ability to present the first 3 episodes content highlights and still blend in some great comedy and real-world references.

Some great lines of the night… “Me and buttface here are wanted men,” and “What do you remember of your mother?” “You mean… Natalie Portman?”

I had a great time! If you have the chance to see this show, do it!

picture taken from the blackberry after the show.

Published!

A few months ago I was contacted by a Cherbo Publishing Group, Inc. who wanted to use my “Main Street” photo for a book that had been commissioned by the Utah State government. It’s called “UTAH Life Elevated.” The book is going to be used as a marketing tool to attract businesses and development to Utah. I was pretty excited about the contact.

The book is out now, the publisher sent me a copy that just arrived.
Special thanks go to Austin from Box Seven Media for the photoshop help putting this image together.

Viddler Meet Up

Last night the Viddler.com team held a meet up @ the Coffee Plantation in Phoenix. I tagged along with Austin who introduced me to Viddler. It was a great time hanging out and meeting the people behind this great site.

The thing that stood out most in my mind about the evening is how down-to-earth everyone was and how generally excited they were to meet one another in person. I think that’s the great thing about the Web 2.0 generation. It’s just everyday people with great ideas and creativity.

So cheers to Rob, Colin, Chris, Andrew, Brian and everyone else I met. I’m looking forward to what Viddler will be.

Hello World… uh… again

Here we go again. Cerebral Runoff version 2.0. I tried this once before, even had my own domain name which has now been pilfered by some money hungry URL vagrant. So here I am again, ready for a second try.

Version 1 was a different time in my life… a lot has happened since. I’m looking forward to v2.0 and what it can be. My inner-nerd is calling and it’s time to answer.

So without any further ado (is that spelled right?) I re-present Cerebral Runoff my home of whatever I feel like putting here. Expect an eclectic collection of nerddom, photos, music, thoughts, and whatever else I feel like.

Come in… look around, just please wipe your feet and watch out for any low-hanging objects.