Finally Got My SC Driver’s License (Again)

I got my driving permit the day I turned 14 and my full driver’s license the day I turned 15 in Marion County, South Carolina. I’ve never looked back and love driving.

When I moved to Connecticut for graduate school in 2000, I kept my SC residency. Eventually I had to give that up when I moved to North Carolina in 2006. I thought it would be a simple 20 minute stop to get a new drivers license for SC now that I’ve moved back to Columbia.

Wow was I wrong.

After four visits (during the workday while I’m trying to grow a business) to the Shop Road DMV and many hours of scrounging around for my passport, social security card, pay stubs, birth certificates etc later… I finally can prove that I’m not an illegal alien here to try to take advantage of SC’s bountiful resources and I have my driver’s license for the Palmetto State again.

Seriously, isn’t it illegal to require a social security card for identity verification?

Giving your Social Security number is voluntary, even when you are asked for the number directly. If requested, you should ask why your Social Security number is needed, how your number will be used, what law requires you to give your number and what the consequences are if you refuse. The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number. The decision is yours.

Yeah… tried that and was given the “well you cannot get a SC driver’s license” response.

Dear Facebook, So Long and Thanks For All The Fish

dolphin

The sad truth is that the overwhelming majority of people, including highly technical capable people, don’t want peer-to-peer protocols. They don’t want to own their own data. They just want ease. Convenience. Someone else to take over and take care of their data problems. They want the Stacks.

via The Internet: We’re Doing It Wrong | TechCrunch.

I killed my Facebook page once upon a time in 2010 after some (now seemingly innocuous) privacy change I can’t remember.

That killing didn’t last long and I resurrected my page soon after and brought my Facebook existence back to life. However, I’m done. Facebook is over for me and I’m not looking back.

If you want to catch up with me, I’ll be here from now on. Please visit often.

I have a blog. It’s my main point of online existence. I love my blog. It’s fantastic (I think). It is paid for by me, controlled by me and points to things like my Twitter stream (I still love Twitter), my pictures, music I’m listenting to and thoughts I consider worthwhile to publish. If people want to hear those thoughts, they can visit my blog or subscribe to my blog via RSS.

I rarely check into Facebook. I do so about once a day. I flip through a dozen or so posts then move on. I understand that Facebook is the lifeblood of “the internet” for many people. However, I hope those “many” people realize the power of a web that isn’t controlled by one hub or one destination.

I’d much rather engage with people who take the time to set up and curate their own blogs, their own spaces on the web. Whether they pay for that or use a free blogging service, those are quality decisions that push the world to better.

Quite simply, I don’t want to encourage a web that relies on the spine of Facebook while my daughters are young. I want them to have a federated and distributed web like I did as a kid. That might not mean much to you, but consider what that means in the post-PRISM world and think about the ramifications.

What if we all started posting pictures and thoughts and ideas on our own blogs or name spaces instead of Facebook? What if the web didn’t have a walled garden as the social hub but instead relied on people actively subscribing to each other?

That is beautiful. That is where I want to belong.

As a marketing professional, I understand (trust me) the need to be on Facebook, but the need to be on Facebook is outweighed by the benefits of being elsewhere. Particularly on your own blog and in your own social spaces that you’ve created.

So, I’m killing my Facebook account. “You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us…” and the world will be federated as one.

Go start your own blog and send me a link and I’ll subscribe in my RSS reader. We deserve better.

Let’s do this.

Press, Fever, and Freedom

I’m so excited that my RSS reader of choice on Android (for my Nexus 4 and Nexus 7) has rolled out support for Fever…

What’s New

1.4

- Fever support

via Press – Google Play.

Fever is a fantastic piece of software that does all the duties of something like Feedly or Google Reader (RIP) or FeedWrangler, but on your server.

That does demand that you have some familiarity with what having a server means and how to install PHP programs. It’s not complicated but it is a hurdle that 99% of the “market” isn’t willing to jump.

However, to have an RSS reader that streams me the news on my own terms whether I’m in a browser or on my mobiles gives me satisfaction.

If only more people decided that freedom on the web trumps four minutes of convenience…

What Does Google’s New Personalized Search Mean for Marketers?

When working with our clients on search campaigns, one of the most common conversations I have is about the nature of Google searches and how, if you’re signed in to your Google account, things aren’t universal (despite the “universal search” term).

To drive this home more, Google is now blending its (awesome) Google Now type features with the search engine:

Google today announced a number of search features that make it easier for you to find your own personal information through Google Search. The search engine can now find information about your upcoming flights “Is my flight on time?”, hotel or OpenTable reservations, package delivery information “When will my package arrive?”, your purchases and what’s on your calendar. Just like on Google+, you can also now use the regular Google search to find your own photos through queries like “Show me my photos of beaches.”

via Google Search Gets More Personal, Now Lets You Find Your Flight Info, Reservations, Photos And More | TechCrunch.

Google is quickly living up to its promise to index all of the world’s info (or at least yours). Translating and understanding what that means for SEO and paid search is becoming increasingly more detailed.

However, advertising and marketing always improve as the variable of relativity is increased. While the Panda and Penguin updates Google brought to its search algorithms over the past year have made it seemingly more difficult for some marketers to keep their search traffic flowing, there is great benefit for the agencies and companies willing to go to the whiteboard and figure out how best to use Google as a tool instead of relying on decade-old understandings.

Google has also performed a number of upgrades and changes to its AdWords tool (including the keyword tool) and Analytics package (adding a real-time API for one). It’s increasingly pushing publishers and companies to make sure they are using Google Webmaster Tools. In other words, Google understands these changes can be seen as damaging to their base of advertisers (their main monetary stream, of course).

This trend towards personalization is ushering in a new age of search marketing that is still shaking out and will take years to fully comprehend. In the meantime, keep an eye on Google’s updates to AdWords, Analytics and Webmaster Tools and do your due diligence on how search marketing is changing (for the better).