Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blogs -- Following versus Followers

Recently I was reading a blog and the person says Hi to their 4 followers and I know that I read the blog all the time but have not identified myself as a follower. So yes I am following the blog through an RSS reader but haven't click the follower icon on the system to let the individual know that I read their blog.  I use "Newsblur" as my RSS reader and my husband users “old reader” for his.

What I decided to do is look at my other blog, Craftkitten, to see how many followers I have versus people that are following me. I have 10 individuals that have clicked on the follower icon on blogspot but I know that most of these individuals rarely, if ever, visit my blog. Now I looked at a stats counter that I have and noticed that I have a lot of individuals that regularly visit my blog to see what I am up to.

Yes, the individuals that regularly visit my blog are more the true followers than most of the individuals that are showing on the page. I have some people that come to my site on almost a daily basis to see if there are new posts, some check in about once a week and others follow me through an RSS reader and I can see that as well.

The other advantage of using a stats counter is that you can see how the person found your blog. I know that one of my blogs I wrote about four years ago still gets found and read. Through my stats counter I can also see if I was found through someone else linking to my blog.

So it is best not to think that only individuals that have clicked on an icon are your followers, you may have a lot of other individuals reading you. I am happy to see even one person read my blog and I thank everyone who does. Maybe you are a follower or you are following me, but I do appreciate it and I also appreciate the individuals that maybe only come to my blog once.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Vacationing close to home

Have you ever had a vacation that the total travel time was under an hour?

The type of vacation I am talking about is where you pack up and actually leave home and go and stay somewhere else for at least a couple of nights. I know that we have done this type of vacation and it feels so good. Yes, it is a vacation from the regular routine but it doesn't involve a long commute to get to where you are going.

For us, what we do sometimes when we need an escape is to book a suite at the other side of the city. What we also want is to make sure there are restaurants within walking distance so we don't have to drive anywhere once we park at the hotel if we don't want to drive. Having a suite means that we have space to spread out and get some of the things done that we enjoy doing without running into each other. The suite also comes with a small kitchenette so that gives us a fridge, coffee marker and a microwave. Sometimes the only thing we use is the fridge but at least we have the other items if we decide to just hide in the unit. Now for breakfast that is part of the package so it is one meal that we don't have to go anywhere other than downstairs at the hotel.

The idea behind the suite is it gives us a chance to do things that we love to do and normally don't have time to focus on at home. Yes, we probably could do most of these things at home if we really tried hard but the hotel also means we don't have to worry about meals for a couple of days.

A vacation like we sometimes do helps us recharge our personal batteries and regain a focus that given our busy lives we sometimes lose. I know that sometimes on these mini vacations I can do quite a bit of writing and in some cases I can get more done in a day or two away than I can at home. I have also seen my husband be able to document ideas that he doesn't seem to have time to do at home.

I think it is time to think of another one of our mini vacations. Time for someone else to prepare our meals and clean up after them.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Talking on mobile devices in public

It is so amazing to listen to people when they are on their mobile devices in public. In some cases it seems that people want everyone to hear what they are saying on their mobile devices.

There have been instances when I have heard people give their entire credit card number plus security code over the phone when they are in public and make no effort to ensure no one else can hear what they are saying. The amount of credit damage someone could do once they have a credit card number without you being aware could be a lot of work for you to correct after.

The other thing is the volume of a ringer that some people seem to have their phones set. When you are on transit or in public places it seems some people want to ensure everyone knows how important they are (well how important they want people to think they are). I have my device set to vibrate most of the time and the ringer is set to a volume that isn't going to disturb other people around me.

I think what is really funny is when you can hear one side of an entire conversation and you can basically figure out what the other person is saying. There are times especially when I am sitting along on transit that I try not to listen to a conversation but it is being done at such a volume it is next to impossible to not hear what is being said.

One thing that is starting to happen is people are trying to cover their phones with their other hands. What I have noticed is that in some cases the conversation is actually being increased from when the hand is not over the phone. Of course I think that depends where you are in relation to the individual but on transit you may be saying things that you think are private but the person sitting next to you is hearing all of it.

Yes, it is sometimes necessary to have conversations in public but remember what you are saying and the volume you are speaking. If you need to give private information when you are out in public make sure you are doing so where others cannot hear you. The best time to give that private information out over a mobile device is when you are in a private location.

So, next time when you are having that conversation on your mobile device think twice about what you are saying. You may be giving away some very confidential information without even thinking twice about where you are or who can hear you speaking.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Safety with mobile devices

In the recent couple of months I have been noticing something that is of major concern for me and it is the number of people that leave their mobile devices just sitting unattended in public places.

One concern is when people leave their computers on a table in a fast food table and it is not secured and it is left logged in to what they were doing. The person then goes and orders something and their back is to their table so the device is totally left unattended and someone else could easily walk off with it. This situation as also happened at restaurants with people going to the washroom and leaving their device totally visible while they are away from their table. The most recent instance was at a car dealership and the person left their laptop open and went to deal with a service individual. People need to realize that by leaving their devices such as laptops unattended they are putting their device possible into the hands of a thief.

The other devices that are quite often left unattended are the mobile devices (tablets and phones). These are the items that I would really be taking with me when I left a table because these are so easily put into a pocket or into a jacket.

Maybe people are just a lot more trusting than I am because I won't leave any of those unattended out in public. If my computer is on a table and I have to leave it even for a second it will be secured with my security cable to ensure no one can walk off with it. My mobile device is always on my hip when I leave a table so that something that I don't have to worry about being stolen. I have also seen ladies get money out of their wallet and then leave their purse at a table unattended which really bothers me.

The safety of your personal property is very important because it is so easy for people if they have some information from your portable device to possible steal your identity. For a speed bump I also have a password on both my laptop and my mobile device so that it is harder to get into it. Of course the password is just a speed bump but better than nothing. Having different passwords on your portable devices also means someone would need multiple passwords to get into your devices.

The other thing that I do not do on my laptop is save any passwords on websites. I feel that not saving those passwords if my computer was broken into no one could get into my bank account or any of my other applications that require passwords to open them.

By taking just a little bit of time and effort you can make it less of an attraction for your mobile device  to be taken when your back is turned. The basic step is if you are out in public and alone take your device with you when you leave the table so that no one will be tempted to walk off with it.