Archive for the ‘Persona prime’ Category

You’re doing it wrong!

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

“You’re doing it wrong.”  I believe is one of the most counterproductive statements a person can make.

First of all – that statement gets little accomplished.  Typically it makes the person that is “doing it wrong” dig deeper to defend their work.  Why – well they are WORKING CREATING ACCOMPLISHING.  Something is vested and so therefore I must defend that time and effort on my part that I have vested.  It is a natural and some what justifiable human response.

And it be honest, “You’re doing it wrong” is typically an inaccurate statement.  Instead it should be “I think that you are not creating what I think I want.” Or perhaps instead “you are not doing what I would do.”  And sometimes “you are not doing what 99% of the rest of the world would do.”  That doesn’t actually make it wrong…  I mean Feynman talks about science being that constant challenging of norms and experimentation.  When is something actually 100% wrong?

I strive in life to be the person that helps people figure out that instead of them both fighting over the orange.  One person wants the peel while the other needs the juice.

So I am working on this citability codeathon.  It is interesting to me that many view me as dictating a standard that is incompatible with whatever they are doing and therefore my project must be competition.  This reminds me when I was at the National NonProfit Congress and I had to facilitate a discussion between two Nonprofits that were angry that the other was “stealing their poor people.”  I view this as losing sight of the cause or the reason we do what we do.

Our mutual goal is to make data citable and therefore more accessible to the people.  There are many paths there.

For the codeathon, I have several groups that will be attending.  At first glance, it might seem we are at odds.  For example everyone assumes that Joe Carmel’s must conflict w Citability.  He and I talked for several hours.  They don’t.  Actually citability may make his job easier.  We both know we could never get all the govt sites to adopt citability and that makes his tool quite necessary.

Also the Coins and URN:LEX crowd, those datamarkup standards can easily be added to the citability markups.  URN:LEX isn’t for everyone since it must be created and maintained by a governmental body but there is no reason why we can’t add a special parser to citability to add those fields when they are available.  Same with the semantic web.  Citability only requires 3 things: A unique location, datestimestamp and granularity.   There is so much more to be added.  When it was created, we KNEW it wasn’t perfect.

I suppose when you start a project from a point of view where you know what you are doing is not the complete answer, it makes it easier to see adaptive solutions.

I consider what we are doing with citability to be a baby step.  I don’t consider it to be right and other ways wrong.  I typically find that if we can sit down and talk there are easily ways to make things interoperable.  I believe that citability is right for a small part of what we are trying to accomplish.  I don’t think it is perfect.  Far from it.  I think eventually we will have some fascinating structures to build folksonomies, taxonomies and ontologies on top of this esp where we can specialize for different documents etc.

I know that Tim Berners-Lee is doing a huge project in the UK with Linkeddata.  I think that is awesome.  But I’m not sure about that project being available for the City of Austin anytime soon.  I am working within some very limited constraints.  I really want him to succeed. It would make many things easier if he does.  But this doesn’t mean I stop doing what I am trying to do.  It doesn’t mean our way of doing things is wrong. Life is evolution.  We use HTML 5 and XML now :-)

But for now, I am trying to do what I believe is right for now.  Doesn’t mean I think what you are doing is wrong.  Just maybe wrong for me.  But there are so few of us creating in this space… I find it sad to argue over someone stealing their poor people…  Instead, let’s talk and see if maybe you just want juice while I am eying that orange peel.  And yes you are INVITED to the codeathon to work on your project as well just make sure it is Open Source :-)


Now this is how to spread happiness

Monday, January 18th, 2010

My friend decided that what makes her happy is doing affirmations for others she knows… and Man oh man is she good at it.  The one she did for me made me tear up.

This is the best example of spreading happiness that I have found that iis also deeply meaningful.  I like this even more than the #30daysofhappiness meme.  It is what I was looking for when I started this intellectual exploration of happiness!  It makes her happy and allows her to spread such meaningful happiness.  Beyond a quick fix – this helps people create better perceptions of self and encourages them to strive further in the right directions.

Earlier I did a post on Criticism and how I don’t want to ever use it as a form of communication unless you know it is a dangerous situation. (Yes I know I’m mess up on this occasionally but it is a goal…)  This post/action of her is the perfect counterpoint!  And can be used to illustrated Affirmation as a leadership style.

Hey Girl! You hit the top of the Mazlow’s hierarchy with this one! Gold star Michelle – Gold star!


Are you my “Friend”?

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

I’m watching more and more people every day getting mad at twitter and facebook. These poor misguided folk unfortunately take it out too often on associates, acquaintance, people they know or “Friends.”

Defriending is such a sad word… it implies such drama. And in the end creates more drama than is necessary.

I rarely Unfollow on twitter anymore. I used to typically unfollow out of hurt feelings for those that weren’t following me back. But I realized that relationships are often inequitable.  And that I don’t care,  I’ll follow who I think is interesting.  And I’ll friend on facebook people I have met and want to continue to connect with.

Now it is mainly a spam issue – you direct message me with spam- I will definitely unfollow you. if you spam your feed enough that I notice. I will also unfollow.  If I don’t like you or don’t remember you- I defriend you.  It’s kinda rare.

but that is about it.

So much of this defriending and unfollowing has more to do with information overload.  The overload makes us feel a need to disconnected.  So ironically to connect, we cull our lists and disconnect.  We raise the status of those we feel more connected to.  We threaten just to see who is listening. (Guilty right here I bet I can find at least 3-5 LJ entries along those lines.) We close lines of communication to others based on random rules. (I have mine I just listed one in this post.)

But before you do that… realize the reason why you are doing it.  Typically bad communication interfaces or bad privacy implementations created by software.  Not the people.  Do you really dislike me because I tweet too much about stuff you don’t understand?  See at a party – you wouldn’t care.  You would walk away and check in later.  You would be ready to talk to me when I said something interesting esp if I called your name.

I have found that currently – my biggest vector of happiness is relationships.  So many of y’all are mainly virtual these days.  But that doesn’t diminish my feelings for you.  Distance and lack of time weakens the ties sometimes that is true.  But that is just lack of communication aspects that I understand and don’t take personally.  Doesn’t mean I don’t love you (or like you my dear casual acquaintances.)

But I leave you on the list… Because I do want to leave that channel of communication open.  I followed/friended you in the first place for a reason.  To open a door.  Just because I am not listening doesn’t mean you can’t contact me directly.  I will try to respond… even if you are in my inbox for a year (sorry dave karpf.)

Unfollow me sure but realize then I can’t DM you.  Unfriend me – but then realize might be harder to invite you to a party or find your contact info.  I’ll try to not take it personally – if you do the same…


WOW! PBS could you have better timing?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

It looks to be an amazing new series on emotion and happiness on PBS

thank you @gumption !

Watching episode 1 now…


Happiness – some simple things

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

I love the sound of trains… sad, lonely and connected
It is difficult to express the longing they trigger
and how very happy the sound makes me

I know these words do not all invoke visions of Happiness.
But I suppose it is the calm peacefulness that I feel
It reminds me of Great Grandma’s house
I feel safe, private. It is very late and everyone is asleep except me and the train conductor.

I think of my disconnected family of travelers…
and the impossibility of the connections I feel to so many diverse people
the excitement of travel

So odd that all I do is fly…


WDYDWYD part 2

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

So I ignored the signs about identity. I waffled back and forth trying to create privacy on important things like home addresses while trying to maintain my brand. In a way I was forced into it. Whenever anyone hears the name Silona and they know me – they assume it is me. It’s a reasonable assumption. But when some students of mine discovered, I realized I had more to do. was a porn site for a dominatrix in the Czech Republic. Unfortunately she never showed her face and hard dark hair and a similar build to mine. Everyone seemed to believe me that it wasn’t me but.. the seeds of doubt were there. I knew I had to work more on creating and preserving my own identity. And I was tired of addressing the issue – “no that isn’t me…”

So I gave up on privacy. For me it had become a lost cause. So many sites and agencies wanted my address and phone. It had accidentally been published. So many things depended on my SSN and name. I had already been stalked once and because of that Dad and I had done concealed handgun classes together. (Yes I own 4 guns. Yes I am a Texan and a military brat.) I realized privacy as secrecy was a thing of the past – it just took me awhile to completely accept it.

I know it’s hard. I mean I do large scale databases for a living.

So I went looking for a way to fix it… my first attempt was a royal failure.  I realized things don’t just need to be available.  They need to be equitable.

As individuals, the electronic medium was forcing us to be transparent to businesses and government but they did not have to report back to us.

I decided to strive to create more equitable relationships.  Step was get government transparent… step two was business.  But I didn’t tell many people.  See in 2004 in Texas – most people already thought I was a little “unrealistic.” (to put  it nicely.)

Recently though I refocused.  Now I am focused on citations for government documents, creating citable data, and openbanking.


Neural pathways and ruts

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

So there is this story I tell often to explain many of my perspectives on the world.  I realized it wasn’t posted here and I really should post it so that people have some contextualization.

So have you ever had to stop yourself midstory?  Do you find it painful?  Do you feel like you just stumbled?  Maybe even stumbled and fell?  Have you noticed that it is even worse when it is a favorite story or a frequently told story?  Have you noticed the elderly people often have a stuck set of stories?  I mean you know they are old – they most have more stories than that and yet… they keep applying the same ones to the same phrases?

Well your brain is not unlike a network of roadways.  Paths become easier to take the more often you take them.  I mean this is normal – it is called learning.  It is how we survive.  It costs us less energy (literally) to think the same way.  The problem with this is that our brains can get so used to things that it creates ruts – deep grooves.  Those ruts can become difficult even painful to deviate from.  They become so deep that they become tunnels so that we can’t see the other possible paths.

I know that I already have those ruts all over my brain.  And for the most part, I tried to make sure those are worthwhile journeys.  But I purposely try to make myself jump out of them from time to time to keep my brain nimble.

So when you tell a story… look around – anyone bored?  You might be in a rut where you can just barely see over it.  Stop engage that person – jump off the path and see what’s there and have a little conversation.

oh yea – and if you notice me getting in a rut … PLEASE ask me a question to gimme a little push out of it 😉


Criticism guidelines

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

these are my internalized rules… pieces stolen from the ether.  Much is focused on maintaining self respect in difficult situations.

How to Criticize

1) try not to criticise period (per How to Win Friends and Influence People)

2) Only criticize when something must be fixed for continued involvement

3) Start off with what is going right in the relationship for you

4) Only talk about the actions and how those made you feel (no personal attacks)

4) Negotiate a win/win solution

5) if win/win solutions are not possible leave quietly

How to Accept Criticism

1) Listen

2) Reflect back to the speaker what you heard

3) Ask what solution they propose

4) Negotiate a win/win solution with the knowledge of their perspective (keep checking in)

5) if win/win is not possible state it that you understand their issue without antagonism and walk away

One thing I realized in regards to writing this is how important respectful negotiations are to these communications.  Without respectful negotiations, criticism is useless.  Only enter into criticism if you think win/win solutions are possible.


The Importance of Brave Monkeys

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

So I want to talk about a pattern I see in the world…

All of these numbers are completely pulled out of my head and there are no scientific studies that I know of… so buyer beware! just trying to attach and estimation…

It seem like 1 out of 10 people is what I call a “brave monkey.” I loosely define brave monkeys as the kind of monkey that would touch the obelisk in 2010. They are the novelty seekers in the world that are willing to try to things without knowing what will happen. Sometime many people in the world ask them “Why would you want to do that.” And the typical answer is pure curiosity…

So in the land of electronic media… there are few things that can kill us. Previously evolutionarily speaking we didn’t want too many brave monkeys because unfortunately brave monkey often die for their curiosity. So I believe we need a higher percentage of brave monkeys in our new safer world.

But how do we help people be more brave? esp in an online situation where risk is diminished?

I think the best things to do are:
1) make sure to always reward people very publicly
this sets up a system for scared monkeys to go and see what people have done correctly
2) Create very clear examples for scared monkeys to follow – I find with these best practices… you can convert 1/3 of the scared monkeys to be braver monkeys
3) There are brave monkeys out there that are good teachers – make them role models
They become living examples of best practices

and most importantly 4)
The more I do this life thing… the more I am on Dale Carnegie side – don’t criticize individuals.
All it does is force people to defend themselves (and puts the in lizard brain – and none of us are smart when we are being lizards…)
Only talk about things or actions that are wrong not people. If you can talk about it without calling out an individual – you have done a good thing!

We don’t want to hurt brave monkeys! even when sometimes they aren’t smart monkeys – we all make mistakes.


old personas fading into the sunset…

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

One thing I have been pondering for some time is how to let old personas die. (or at least fade?)  Ever since my crass usenet jokes in college made it on the web in ’96.

I think the most frequent thing my generation talks about (in regards to social media) is how grateful they are that Facebook etc didn’t exist when they were in college. (Course I like to remind them old photos can be scanned in and uploaded… So nothing is perfect here.  I am talking some general constructs.)

But the new generations do have to deal with a more prevalent problem… Remember that time you got so drunk you passed out and your friends decided it would be fun to draw a mustache on you.  Those precious moments in time can now live forever and ever.  They can also be easily accessible. Maybe they are googlable by a potential boss or your mom.  Also let’s not forget Credit Card companies and scoring agencies are also thinking of data mining social behavioral data to determine risk… so some real implications beyond social could impact you in the future.

Some of that is out of your control (esp when your “friend” that I say isn’t really a friend uploads it to facebook and tags you.)  I can’t fix that problem but maybe though mutual data ownership and verification might help in the future.

In the old days, you could move to a new place and start again.  Now, you can’t…  it is too prevalent and easy to find ESP if you have a unique name – like Silona for example.  John Doe – don’t think you are safe Mister!  With the new social graphing tools… I can figure out you are JohnDoe78731 you are 37 yrs old w two cats!  Just takes a little more digging is all.  And don’t think that cute blonde’s dad isn’t willing to make that effort!

I think some data should have a time limit.  It was something Mark Bergman and I were discussing the other day.  He envisions a beautifully geeky way to let data expire.  It isn’t perfect of course.  People can always take pictures etc.  But the validation mechanism – (that shared data part) that makes it valuable and citable could expire and possibly lock it up.  I mean sometimes the internet is kind and does that for us anyways (bye bye ugly geocities site.)  But wouldn’t it be nicer that it happened based on a default setting YOU SET?  Especially on some sites where you have a certain expectation of privacy (ahem facebook? remember when it was college students only – so drunken pics are “fine”?)

I know it’s too late for some things but sure it couldn’t hurt…  give you the option to unlock things and allow them to live on if you so choose?

It something to ponder and Mark – I hope you do develop it further :-)  esp for dating sites – cause I think there is a GOOD business model there :-)