Monday, April 27, 2015

Newspapers: The original social media platform

Have you heard of TED talks? I want to do one. There’s an online application and as soon as I come up with enough words for an 18-minute speech I’m going to apply. A TED talk is cut off at 18 minutes. I’m not sure why, but attention span probably has a lot to do with it. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and there are conferences held around the country where people speak on a particular topic. So, I’m auditioning here today. The following is the beginning of my talk. Newspapers were the first social media platform. Sure, cave drawings were probably first, but you had to be invited into the cave to see the etchings. Then there were hieroglyphics, but again, if you weren’t standing in the pyramid, you didn’t know what you were missing. The Romans, of course, were the first to publish a public document, Acta Diurna, which were public notices etched into stone and put in the town square for people to see. A more advanced version of the cave drawings to say the least. The publications would sometimes be copied and sent out to the outlying regions of the empire and be shared with the people there; a very heavy social media platform, but social media nonetheless as the notices soon evolved to include birth announcements, marriages and deaths. The first Acta is believed to be dated to 131 BC. Years before, Egyptian hieroglyphics were used as a form of communication. Hieroglyphics date back to nearly 4,000 BC, but most people couldn’t read them, so I’m not sure we’re able to qualify them as a social media platform. In my latest rant, I talk about the evolution of the forerunners for social media as we know it today, from the cave dwellers above to the brave souls who founded this country. After the revolution newspapers spread like wildfire, sharing stories of triumphs and tribulations of individuals for the first time, unfettered. Sharing is the staple of social media, and sharing true news, written by trained journalists is a form of sharing our Republic cannot survive without, and yet newspapers being threatened by the very movement they started hundreds of years ago.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The social world is all a Twitter

In my humble opinion, Common Sense by Thomas Paine, was one of the first useful pieces of social media to permeate our society, no matter how small it was back in the Revolutionary War days. Thankfully, Mr. Paine didn’t take the opportunity to tell folks what he had for lunch, or where he was heading off to for vacation, but to inform the public that the British were getting out of hand with their heavy handed way of ruling the colonies. Five years ago, parents around the world were trying to figure out what the heck Facebook was all about, and now they've nearly taken over the social media platform. In this week's rant I talk about the how socially acceptable Twitter is becoming. In another five years, we'll probably have another five popular platforms for people to espouse their daily routines from and Twitter will be as commonplace as a quick telephone call.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring tax bill is jolting reminder of school property tax bill to come

The annual rite of spring that brings my local and county tax bill to my door always brings a burst of sunshine into my humble abode. You did read that with the appropriate amount of sarcasm laced in, didn’t you? To be perfectly honest, I really don’t mind paying the local and county tax bill. And, to keep with the honesty thing, I meant what I wrote in that last sentence. The local and county tax bill pays for my roads and bridges; it also pays for my police protection, things that I couldn’t provide for myself, thus the need for government to step in. But that spring bill reminds of the one that comes due in the fall. Now that I think about it, I’ll ad the school property tax bill to the ever growing list of reasons why I don’t like the fall. I know what’s coming. And I think you know what's coming in my latest rant.

Monday, April 6, 2015

What's in a name?

When it comes right down to it, anything but complete elimination of the school property tax will be a complete and utter failure. We all know that any form of a property tax left open at the local level will be used to tax us again and again. In my latest rant I use the name game to make my point.