February 28, 2009

Should your spouse have your passwords?

wedding ringsWhen I saw this Facebook status:
XXX loves her husband dearly and remembers her wedding vow to LOVE and OBEY! Oh, and XXX (her husband) is ALWAYS right.
I immediately remembered the time in the newsroom when a reporter did not log off and his credit line was changed to Journal bonehead reporter. It made the newspaper because the friend assumed the reporter would catch and what copy editor looks at what is always the same.

When I later saw this status:
XXX just changed her Facebook password so her husband can't change her status. Uggh.
I remembered I wanted to ask if you give your spouse all your passwords to all of your online homes. It's not that I'm hiding anything. I just join a lot of things. Sometimes I hang around; sometimes I don't.

Not too long ago, I was showing my husband one of the sites I use when he asked if I had all my sites and passwords written down. He says he just wants to make sure he can clean up after me in case I die.

At least, we are Facebook friends so he'll be able to take of that page since Facebook changes policy on deceased users accounts

Kristen Nicole on All Facebook shared this tale:

Late last week the Consumerist wrote an article highlighting a woman who had trouble convincing Facebook to remove the profile of her deceased brother. William Bemister, the brother of Stephanie Bermister, died suddenly last November. Stephanie's case in particular brings up several important issues regarding Facebook, it's policy towards deceased users, and the way in which it deals with family members of the deceased.

Per Facebook's policy, his profile was memorialized, a process by which certain private information is removed and the page is only accessible to confirmed friends through search.
However, his sister was not a friend so she couldn't get the profile completely down even after sending in a request and copy of the death certificate.

Nicole asks:
Should Facebook have the right to decide what to do with a deceased member's account despite direct and confirmed contact with a relative?
Facebook removed William's account all together, and Nicole says Facebook responded to Nicole that it will honor such requests from family members.

Nicole wants to know how Facebook knows someone is dead; I want to know what does Facebook do if some family members want the profile up and some want it gone.

Meanwhile, Nicole suggests you

  • make sure you're friends with your closest family members that also have Facebook accounts.
  • have a plan that outlines instructions to family members and loved ones in regard to what should be done with accounts.
What are you going to do?

Related posts:

Facebook replacing rallies, picket lines? Citizens aim to ‘Save the Jersey Journal’

The Jersey City Independent chose to report on what's happening with the Jersey Journal, an Advance Publication facing closure by focusing on a community effort happening on Facebook.

A 36-year-old journalist started the Save the Jersey Journalgroup on Facebook "just a week after the Evening Journal Association, which publishes the tabloid daily, announced an April 13 expiration date for the 142-year-old paper if its revenue was not sufficient to support a “reduced expense plan.” "

Just one more Facebook group among zillions, today's replacement for petitions and picket lines. I've got The Path to Pink, and Feel Your Boobies for breast cancer; closer to home Support downtown Flint neighborhoods. and in a way, close to home: Don't Let Newspapers Die and Stop Outsourcing US Jobs - Support American jobs . There's Save GM and Support The UAW and so many more. (Am I really stopping global warning with each plant in Green Patch?)

Kate Kaye told Jon Whiten, the article's author, why she started the Facebook group:
"I decided it was the very least I could do to show the publishers that people care.

I realize to many this seems like a futile effort, and as one who has covered the online newspaper sector for years as a business reporter, I’m well aware of the reality — and cynicism — print papers face.

But I’m also someone who recognizes the value of having a daily print publication for any city for historical, cultural, communal, political, and utilitarian purposes.””
By the time of Whiten's article, the group collected 124 members.

The group's purpose:
"This group has been created to foster ideas to help save The Jersey Journal , the only daily paper covering Jersey City, New Jersey's second largest city, and the county seat of Hudson County. The paper has served Jersey City for over 140 years. It survived the Great Depression. Let's not let it die now, especially in a year when a tight mayoral election race is heating up."
There's advice there that the best way to save the newspaper is to subscribe.

You'll also find a post suggesting folks sign a petition (not that petitions do much to get businesses to change their ways when they are failing.)

Whiten, who has freelanced for the newspaper, said includes information about fewer editorial employees, including management's hope that four to six of the about 13 remaining newsroom staffers to leave voluntarily (down from about 60 in 1972.) and a request to the Newspaper Guild to let the growing number of interns stay longer then nine months.

Whiten also writes about how overall coverage is going, the newspaper's Internet presence, why the local government won't save the press and why some don't read the printed newspaper.

Related posts - Advance Publications:

Related posts - Facebook:

February 27, 2009

Fighting (again) wastes time

pill bottlesMy doctor fought and won - I can keep taking the medicine that has helped me fight fatigue for five years.

He called my insurance company numerous times (and didn't bill for the time.) He gave me samples to keep me going for the six weeks of rejection.There is no generic substitute. There is no alternative, including the insurance company's advice to take more naps.

I already try to fight MS fatigue by using my energy wisely. I nap. I sleep. I exercise.

I wonder how much money is wasted each time a doctor who prescribes a rejected medicine fights. There's paperwork, phone calls, research - all done by humans.

I don't think changing the pill top label to use less ink or dropping the label completely will ever save enough to make up for the firm's questioning of the accredited doctor's judgement.

If he prescribed it, he thinks it should be filled - especially if it is a refill.

February 26, 2009

Another paper wants to try charging

Reuters reported today that Cablevision Systems Corp (CVC.N) plans to charge online readers of its Newsday newspaper. The agency said the move that would make it one of the first large U.S. papers to reverse a trend.

A Newsday rep wasn't immediately available to elaborate on the paper's web plans. Cablevision chief operating officer Tom Rutledge made no-more-free-content remark during a call with analysts.

"Our goal was and is to use our electronic network assets and subscriber relationships to transform the way news is distributed," he said on a conference call with analysts.

"We plan to end the distribution of free Web content," he added.

That should make L. Gordon Crovitz, the columnist with the Wall Street Journal who recently wrote that "information wants to be expensive."

Personally, I liked Mark Ingram's take on the column: "WSJ: We charge, so why don't you."

Simple drawing a good predictor

drawing of boxIs this bag lying down or standing up? Or can you see it both ways?

Some days I can flip the bag drawn by one of my doctors. Some days I can only see inside the bag one way.

The one-way day is not a good day for me to go looking for Waldo, finding the "magic picture" hidden in scribbles or picturing what the completed quilt or necklace will look like.

Real-life story problem boggles minds

pill bottlesMy daughter's newest prescription came with the pharmacy's explanation and five more letter-size sheets of instructions. The cautions are frightening. So was figuring out when to take it with her other drugs.

It boils down to one drug must be taken 30 minutes before eating, the new one two hours after that one amd the other one at least an hour later.

She and I both graduated from college and are good readers. It took several readings, an Internet search and a call before it was all sorted out.

Keep your fingers crossed that this new drug wipes out her infection. I am not sure either of us is up for the next round.

February 25, 2009

Give up Facebook for Lent?

Today's the first day of Lent. For many Christians, it also is the first day they give up something to make a sacrifice in preparation for Easter.

Giving up Facebook for 40 days , as one friend plans to do, seems over the top. I'm sure she'd be shocked to find out how trendy giving up social media networking for Lent is.

Twitter talk about Lent was such a popular topic, it consistently was listed as a hot topic on the search page. Twitter also led me back to Facebook.
alexcrabb: Just talking with E about - Facebook should have a Lent application: see what your friends give up.
Alexcrabb included a link to How to give up Facebook for Lent and keep your friends.

That included mention of a Wall Street Journal article on Lent that referenced a Giving Up Facebook for Lent group. (By the way, there are more then 500 Facebook groups with Lent in the title, including 94 that have the words giving up Facebook for Lent in the title.)

Then, I decided to check my RSS reader. Some folks are giving up and giving: Dave Harte, who is giving up Twitter pledges a donation to a group helping homeless youth for each day he stays off Twitter. He'll double the donation for any day he goes on Twitter.

I regularly give up Facebook, Twitter and other social media when other activities call so dropping social media would not be much of a sacrifice for me.

On the Levite Chronicles, Jon Swanson describes fasting as "giving up unhealthy dependence on stuff." It is part of a post on "Deliberate Silence," a choice the blogger can make in a world filled with noise from family, friends, advertisers and more.
"But at 6:30am on Ash Wednesday, in a quiet house, I can choose to be silent, or not. I can choose to have noise, or not. I can decide to look at the stream of images and words, or not.

I can decide whether there is an unhealthy dependence, or not."
Once I finish that, I started thinking that maybe the sacrifice I should make is giving up making these Internet connections.

February 24, 2009

Night Blind: Latitude Loyalty

Night Blind: Latitude Loyalty and my Grandma In Compton, 1960

Isn't 'latitude loyalty' a wonderful way to describe the worry you stayed too long and the town is no longer home, sweet, home?

That the town is Flint, Michigan, makes the question even more bittersweet.

The good news is the Internet makes the world smaller every day.

Grandpa's advice: Don't be a key turner

Today would have been my grandfather's birthday. And though he's been dead a number of years, I think about him everyday - or at least every time I drive a car or open a locked door.

He was always free with advice and he often reminded his grandchildren to "not be a key turner."

My grandfather lived on the same street for most of the years I was growing up. He did his best to make sure I wasn't a key turner.

A key turner is a person who knows how to jump in the car, turn the key and go. A key turner does not know what to do when the oil light flashes, how to fill a gas tank, change a tire or what transmission fluid smells like. A key turner would never look at the drippings in the driveway and conclude something might be leaking.

You can bet I knew a lot about what was under the hood of my car when I first began driving. I knew that turning a key was just a tiny part of the process of making a car go from one place to another. I knew that knowledge and maintenance contributes to successful driving.

That key-turning business applies to more then cars, of course.

It applies to all things mechanical. I knew how to oil my sewing machine and keep my bike running. He made sure I could do minor repairs and maintenance on the washer, dryer, dishwasher, stove and lawnmower

The key-turner philosophy also applies to a person individually. It is up to you to know as much about you as possible and become your best advocate.

Just like your driving habits may mean your car never gets the miles per hour promised on a sticker label , your multiple sclerosis may differ from your neigbhor's MS. You may never need a wheelchair, you might need one a year after you are diagnosed. You may be able to keep working when someone else can't. You might only read, not experience, the Lhermitte's Sign's flash of electricity along your back..

Remembering that "your mileage may vary" helps me speak up when a doctor tries to prescribe a drug I know won't chase an infection away even if "it works for everyone else."

Being everybody else never was a goal in my family.

Jobs for journalists via RSS

Blogger and former full-time, paid journalist Charles Apple wrote about
A new RSS feed for journalism job seeker, created by VizEds founder Robb Montgomery

Robb writes:

I know it is a bad time to be looking for a job and even more frustrating not to be able to quickly find suitable ones.

Cheer up my displaced colleagues. Help is here.

In his downtime, Robb has created a new RSS feed. He’s calling it Media Professionals.

Media Professionals is a hyper-aggregated, algorithm-fueled, jobs feed Twitter-widget mashup with a Plaxo group for backup support.

Robb also is using this to feed his Digital Jobs widget on Facebook.

Related posts:

(I am on Plaxo and Facebook and Twitter if you want to connect there. Oh heck, LinkedIn too.)

February 23, 2009

Girl Scout cookies save a life

A story I thought you might enjoy. And if that made you hungry for your own Girl Scout cookies, visit this web site to learn how to get yours.

February 22, 2009

A favorite 'holiday' for this Girl Scout

Today is a Girl Scout holiday and it's the one I love best.

Online friends made years before Bebo, MySpace and FaceBook helped me learn more about being a sister to every Girl Scout and Girl Guide in about 150 countries.

Those same online friends help make the celebration of today special. Feb. 22 is World Thinking Day, a day to think about Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world. Although the day was created in 1926 at the fourth Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference in New York, I don't remember celebrating it much as a girl Girl Scout.

I hope that the Girl Scouts I volunteered for in the 1990s and early 2000s remember what we did. They have the patches like the ones in this post to serve as reminders of some of the events created by WAGGGS-L, an email list that continues today.

WAGGGS-L once was the biggest Girl Scout/Girl Guide list. The text-only list was a way for many English-speaking adults involved with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to exchange ideas. It was a busy list and, like many lists, some questions came up over and over. That led to one of the first hosts of the lists creating a Thinking Day resource to help Girl Scouts and Girl Guides with activities. The host wrote:
"Especially in the United States, Thinking Day is celebrated with internationally-themed events, and troops often pick this time of year to learn about cultures from other nations and Scouting or Guiding in other countries. "
The resource was "prepared in an attempt to limit the posts to WAGGGS-L that request information about other countries."

We also started creating our own ways of marking Girl Scout/Girl Guide occasions.

I think 1997 was the first time the girls in my troop used IRC (Internet Relay Chat) to talk with girls involved with the Girl Scout/Guide movement. That was at my house.

In other years, the Flint Public Library and the Genesee District Library opened their computer labs to give girls in what was Girl Scouts Fair Winds Council a chance to participate.

Another year, our troop went about 25 miles to partner with another Cadette Girl Scout troop to host a Thinking Day event at a school. Of course, one station was devoted to participating in the chat.

My troop would help girls from other troops communicate on the chat services. And by chat - remember this was in the late 1990s - I mean the girls showed others how to type in their words and choose and send simple icons.

I'll never forget the Brownie Girl Scout who started crying after finishing a chat with a Brownie in London. A Girl Scout volunteer showed her Flint, Michigan, and London on a map in one of the many reference books the libraries provided. The girl cried because she knew she couldn't swim that far and would never meet her new friend.

I also loved watching as the girls learned that how time worked - that it might be lunchtime here but time for dinner elsewhere. Maybe a day earlier or even a day later. The girls loved sleepovers on Thinking Day so that they could talk with girls from other countries throughout the night.

Several years, we exchanged postcards with other troops. Each troop would send a postcard from their area and write about favorite activities. One year, we exchanged cards only with troops with girls the same age.

The majority of troops lived in the United States, so when an exchange between international troops could be arranged that was a bonus. Now, some countries post official postcards online.

The exchange continues and this year 3,196 US Troops and 861 international units from 52 countries participated.
  • 2008: 2,961 US Troops, 1,057 International Units from 49 countries
  • 2007: 3,145 US Troops and 675 International Units from 43 countries
  • 2006: 2,458 US Troops and 445 International Units from 38 countries
  • 2005,: 2,399 US Troops and 438 International Units from 29 countries
  • 2004: 2,443 US Troops and 422 International Units from 31 countries
  • 2003: 1,,734 US Troops and 487 International Units from 28 countries
  • 2002: 2,214 US Troops and 428 International Units from 34 countries
  • 2001, 1,200 US troops; 175 International units from 22 countries
  • 2000, 795 US troops; 127 International units from 21 countries
  • Also held in 1998 and 1999, but no statistical data
The Feb. 22 date was chosen because it was the birthday of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement, and his wife Olave, who served as World Chief Guide.

So it's not surprising that the idea of birthday gifts would be added to the celebration. At the 7th World Conference in 1932, a delegate suggested girls could contribute to the World Association. Olave wrote to all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts after this idea was adopted asking them to help support the Movement by donating just a penny per girl . The money helps spread the Movement.

One year, we based our donation on the number of post cards received by a particular date. Another year, it was a penny per every inch of girl's height.

Like many things in the Girl Scout Movement, service sweetens the activity. WAGGGS-L members used the theme of Service in Blooming in 1998. Girls participated in activities such as fashion shows featuring Girl Scout uniforms to spark shared memories at nursing homes; creation of centerpieces for shut-ins and sharing of international fairy tales at library story hours.

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the official center of Thinking Day activities for all Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, sets a different theme each year. For instance, this year the theme is girls worldwide say “Stop the spread of AIDS, malaria and other diseases. The topic links to the Millennium Development Goal 6: ‘Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases’ and WAGGGS’ Global Action Theme.

Important work and a reminder that each of us has a role to play.

As the Old Goat said in one of the many virtual greetings that spread this year:
"I am a link in the Golden Chain of World Friendship.
I will keep my link strong and bright."

(And I pass my candle to my right. We have already sung "The World Song." We will sing "One Little Candle", "Oh, Beautiful Banner", and then "Taps.")
I'm off to get my place in the cirlce. Have a Happy Thinking Day!