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Tag Archive for Social Media

Gun debate – do we draw a new line?

In light of the California, Oregon, Colorado and other killings this year, as well as the upcoming presidential election, the gun issue is top of mind for me and many others.

I have to admit – I am on the fence about it. And I read social media posts from both sides. I’ve got friends posting as strong 2nd amendment supporters, and other friends posting for more gun control.

Gun on US Constitution - Right To Keep and Bear Arms

Pro gun control

I hear that once a day, on average, we have a mass shooting in this country. Not a gang-banger, not a cop taking down a suspect, but a mass shooting. They don’t always make the news, but apparently it happens – it’s kind of amazing really. The reasons are usually varied – lonely, angry young man shoots up a school, another man watching too much TV without the self-awareness to process it shoots up a health clinic, and an angry coworker planning an execution with his wife. It’s always a person pulling the trigger, but it’s always a big, bad gun as the weapon of choice.


Some of the 2nd amendment folks like to cite the fictitious scenario where a home invader is deterred or dispatched by a gun wielding homeowner. This argument only works in the echo chamber. Too much research has been show that the guns in the home are more likely to be used in domestic violence than fending off a burglar.


On the other side we have things going on like the Oath Keepers defending a miner’s rights from government overreach with a legal show of force up in Oregon. Vice news has a very interesting story on it. While the 2nd amendment doesn’t refer to protecting citizens from government overreach, I see the logic in this application of the law.

Genie’s out

Gun sales are going up and to the right. It’s great news for gun makers. I would imagine that they will be placing some heavy bets on republican candidates. They don’t need their horse to win the race, they just need to keep fear about “Obama taking your guns away” going so that sales continue to surge. I think a lot of people are buying the guns because they figure that sales of the good ones are going to be restricted soon.

A bit of soap box

because I’m mostly a bleeding heart

I’ll be honest, one of the deterrents of coming out on the 2nd amendment side of this argument is getting lumped in with some of the gun nuts. It’s amazing, especially during a political season, how often they throw in pro-gun comments on seemingly heartfelt, sometimes tear jerking threads. IMO – inappropes. They don’t end up convincing anyone – They’re talking amongst themselves. They also don’t do their argument any favors.


The crux of this argument, for me, is whether or not assault rifles are restricted. In much the same way you aren’t allowed to buy a surface-to-air missile, you wouldn’t be able to buy or own an assault rifle. The anticipated result would be fewer fatalities since a shooter would not be able to shoot as quickly, and fewer incidents since a would-be shooter wouldn’t be as interested in killing if he or she can’t kill a lot of people quickly.

The gun dance

I’ve been trying to dance around a pro-control stance by looking for commonalities amongst the shooters that point, collectively, to some other societal problem that we can address without restricting guns. The three killings I’ve cited here all seem to have drastically different circumstances. The primary commonality is guns.

So – I have no quippy image to post to express my opinion, no quote from a founding father and still no side on the debate. But there’s the debate… for me.

Why I Built Scrypter

Scrypter LogoThe year was 2008. Social media was just ramping up. Twitter was an infant and people were still wondering why Google bought YouTube. MySpace was starting to wither under News Corp and Facebook was on the rise to supplant it. Read more

Small business advertising

Rather than Small Business Advertising, I was going to title this post, “Eating your own dog food,” but I decided that a more descriptive title would get the benefit of SEO.  I recently took on the task of advertising for my wife’s small business, here’s our story.

Small Business Advertising for Leslie Smith MD

Leslie Smith MD

My wife’s acupuncture practice recently moved into a larger space; her patient capacity almost doubled overnight from one to two treatment rooms.  I say “almost” because she’s still just one practitioner.  With acupuncture, once the patient has been needled, they simply rest comfortably in pin-cushion mode.  The practitioner doesn’t need to be in the room.  That’s where my wife takes the opportunity to start treatment on a patient in room number two.

I took it upon myself to do some online advertising for her practice to fill up that second room as frequently as possible.  Now, my wife is not your typical acupuncturist.  She’s an herbalist, a holistic medicine practitioner and, most uniquely, an MD.  One would think that her résumé would do the marketing for her.  That’s not the case, obviously.  We have to let people know just how fabulous she is.  So, here’s the long story of how I used my background in advertising, my wits in video production and my fabulous wife’s personae to kick off her marketing push for the new office. Read more

Elements of the Web moving to Facebook

FacebookIn my last post I mentioned how some people with a narrow view of the Internet couldn’t verbally distinguish it from an email message.  Obviously that’s a very small subset of folks, but it brings up an interesting phenomena.  The Internet has a few primary use cases for a majority of the man-hours that are spent online and, while the percentage of time in each use case has changed, the cases themselves have largely remained the same since the 90s, maybe even the 80s!  Of these cases, many of them are coalescing at Facebook’s doorstep.

The Social Web

Socializing on the Internet has taken many forms over the years.  Email can be traced back to 1971 and gained popularity as a way of social interaction at universities in the late 80s and early 90s.  With the rise of residential Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as AOL, EarthLink and MindSpring email reached out to the general public throughout the rest of the 90s.  Then the dedicated email services like Hotmail (now Windows Live Mail), Yahoo! Mail and Gmail began to take over.  AOL eventually opened up email service to the general public in an attempt to maintain a foothold in the marketplace.  Of these, Yahoo! Mail is the most popular, but the demands on email as a social tool have waned.  Email is full of spam; over 90% of all messages sent are junk.  Email addresses are in constant flux as people change jobs or move to different ISPs.  Facebook Messaging is on the rise and for many people it has replaced email as the primary messaging tool between friends.  It’s a closed system, which tends to protect it from spam and people don’t change or abandon their Facebook accounts so address books don’t need frequent updates. Read more