People don't share content on social networks they think is awesome, they share it because they think their friends will think it's awesome.
— Peter Mahoney (@petermahoney) March 19, 2013
I’m more than a little happy about this.
I’ve beaten out the phone and Linkedin directories!
A Google UK search for “Peter Mahoney” returns my website as the top result.
Hitting number one is pretty phenomenal, especially when you consider that in the tech world there are a couple of CEO’s of major international companies sharing my name.
Plus this means when people ask me for my URL, I can show off my SEO skills by simply saying, “Google me”.
So what’s next? I want to see my Twitter feed at number two, that’s what.
There’s a reason people abbreviate Microsoft to M$—it’s incredibly expensive.
But it gets bought out of habit, because it’s something most computer users have been using for over a decade, and surely the most popular product must be the best, right?
Something that has long annoyed me about the computer industry is the way the stack the deck when it comes to needing the newest thing.
Case in point: the latest version of Office comes out. You head down to the store to buy it, because they have this new fancy “x” on the end of the file extensions and you want to make sure your files will play nicely with most other people.
Whoops, your old operating system won’t work with it. And your computer is too old to run the newest version of Windows, so why not just buy a new computer?
It’s got more processing power than the average simian brain, produces more colours than were previously known to science, and runs faster than a cheetah on heat*.
Or just put this process in reverse—a new computer, with a new OS, needs a new version of Office.
And why can your old computer NOT run something as simple as a word processing program? Simple: they bloat it.
They stick in fancier looking buttons, more help files, extra layers of stuff you’ll never even know about, and the only reason for doing so is to sell you a newer version of their product.
But if they didn’t, the old system would probably last you for years doing just what you need; Internet access, word processing, and email.
Enter OpenOffice (and it’s fork, LibreOffice). It’s an Office suite with everything you need; word processing, spreadsheets, presentations—and it’s free. It’s maintained by a community of skilled volunteers who are dedicated to seeing computing be an open experience, not one based on finance and money making for a few huge companies.
Best of all, it’s files are compatible with Office anyway. And it will open Office files, so you don’t need to recreate anything you already have. It doesn’t need massive amounts of processing power because it’s built to perform a function, rather than sell units.
Increasingly my client’s of mine are sending me files that have been made using OpenOffice, so the uptake is good.
But if you’ve not tried it out already, I highly recommend you do. It’s an example of what online communities can achieve. It’s also very, very awesome.
* I have no idea if Cheetah’s run faster when on heat. Or indeed, if they do experience “heat” like domestic cats. Feel free to let me know!
I listen to a LOT of music. It’s not often you’ll see me without a pair of headphones on (which might have something to do with why I’ve got a hearing test this afternoon!).
Some of it is undeniably wonderful, and some of my tastes…well…let’s just say it’s not often that I give out my last.fm profile.
I’m also big on sharing, and like to share playlists or tracks with friends on Facebook, but found whenever I did they were coming up with the “only me” privacy setting, which is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
With Facebook’s seemingly fortnightly changes to it’s privacy management, it’s not always obvious where you fix something like that.
Here is exactly how you fix precisely that: