Technology, Sports, Religion, and other important stuff.

Early Spring Cleaning, Part 2

It took quite a lot of time to do, but 108 of the people I was following just lost a follower, as well as a blog subscriber. Many of them I have no recollection of ever interacting with them other than my generic welcome to all who become Twitterbuds.
As Louis Gray wrote earlier, not everyone uses Twitter the same way. Some use it as a point to distribute information and links, others, like me, want to know the people we’re connected with. Granted, I’m still following over 800 people, but I have found many of them to be very streaky. They’ll tweet only during certain hours, or on certain days. Many of them also have a very low tweet count, 100 in a month would be an achievement for them, so my Twitter stream really isn’t that large. Using Tweetdeck in a 21″ monitor set to portrait mode, I rarely have to scroll down to see new tweets, which refresh roughly every 70 seconds.
To all of my followers whom I’m not following, it is likely because of one of these reasons:
  • most of your tweets aren’t in English
  • you appear to be a spammer
  • you proclaim to be a ‘social media expert,’ but your website appears to have been designed in the 90s, which isn’t inspiring any confidence or making me believe you have any idea what you’re talking about
  • through a random bug on Twitter at some point, I was never emailed a notice that you are following me
  • you have no updates
  • your profile tells me nothing about you
If you think I should be following you, then let me know that I’m not following you, and I should come check you out, or unfollow me and follow me again.
I have adopted a method where I let your follow notice sit in my inbox for a few days. This gives plenty of time for Twitter to flag some accounts, which then say ‘suspended’ when I visit them, making it easy to identify accounts I probably don’t want to follow. I know this may frustrate some of the tria laser hair removal legit users out there, but this helps to maintain my sanity on some of those crazy days.
On a side note, @Drun recommends using Friend or Follow over Twitter Karma to help identify who is or isn’t following you.
Again, I look forward to seeing what everybody has to say, and I hope you don’t hesitate to reply to anything I have to say, I love the conversation!

Early Spring Cleaning

Over the past week or so, I’ve been noticing a lot of the people I follow, trimming the number of people they follow. While I crave the info that big numbers can bring, I also enjoy knowing the people I follow. As my numbers grow, there are several people who I used to keep up with quite well, but haven’t talked to in quite some time. This needs to change.


It has been several months since I visited Twitter Karma, which currently tells me I am following 294 people who aren’t following me. Some of those people that provide tremendous value to me, and they won’t be getting the ax. However, there are those out there who follow me, I follow back, and then they unfollow me. I’ve never been one to proactively follow up to see if they’re still following me, but today is that day.


So if I’m following you, you’re not following me, and you either don’t provide tremendous value to me or haven’t updated in some time, I’m sorry, but goodbye. I’ll also be unsubscribing from your blog.


If you’re following me, you have ZERO worries, you are safe and I’m glad to be following you, but please touch base with me if I haven’t @ed you in awhile.


This is all in an effort to put more focus on those who are not only bringing me great value with their opinions and knowledge, but also to better connect with those who want to connect.


Let the cleaning begin.

Grandpa Died, And He Took The Power!

After several weeks of suffering, Grandpa moved on to a better place last night. Thanks to everyone out there for your thoughts and prayers, condolences are still coming in on Twitter.
Anyways, thought I’d share a little story with you, as Grandpa got us to a laugh a little after he moved on.
Before Thanksgiving, my brothers and dad and I went over to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to shovel the driveway off after some snow came through. With the four of us, it didn’t take long to do it, and dad spent most of that time talking to Grandma. We went to the basement for awhile and talked with Grandpa when we were done.
Grandpa didn’t have the best Insanity Workout review grasp on what was going on these last few months, but he still kept up with the news. Up here in ND, we export a lot of electricity, and had an oil boom of sorts the last couple years. That particular day, the papers had ran a story about the work being done on wind towers. This prompted Grandpa to say, “First they take our oil, now they want all our wind!” Yeah, we got a kick out of that.
So last night, we’re there in the nursing home with him, and eventually, he takes his last few breaths. Tough guy that he was, the nurse couldn’t find a heartbeat, and he took a few more breaths anyways.
Well, everybody was just there for a bit, comforting Grandma, and then we moved into action mode, calling the grandkids, and Grandpa’s siblings, and people around town, when suddenly, the power went out. Yep, the power died. In the whole town. The place was black, and even the backup generator seemed to be struggling to hold on, once it kicked in.
So Grandpa had his final moment. He moved on, and he took the power with him.

Making A Business Card

As I slowly get new projects to work on, and work on computers for more and more people, it is apparent I need business cards. I had some skinny cards made up by Moo Cards nearly a year ago, but I ran out of those long ago.


I’d like to support our local small town businesses (I can print these locally), so I started messing around in InDesign and Illustrator, trying to come up with something simple, yet catchy, all while being easy to read. I’d like to know what you think.


1. The First Attempt


I really didn’t have any idea what I was doing here. I just kind of threw something together, then messed around with the shadow on the stick figure.


I thought the motorcycle auctions long, stretched out stick figure might be neat, obviously as a play on my height and screen name. However, this led to the need to get creative with fitting everything in beside it, a challenge causing some of the long names to be split to 2 and 3 lines.


The complete vertical look sticks out in a sea of horizontal designs though.


2. What If I Did This?


This is basically the same as the first, but refined just a touch, and without the stick figure. I think it looks better, but without an image of any kind, I’m not sure how memorable it will be.


This also maintains a definitive vertical look, while also reminding people that I’m the local guy to call for computer help.


3. My Favorite

The first two were done in InDesign, I thought I’d play with Illustrator for a bit, and I came up with this. I think this is the cleanest of the three, as well as the most memorable.


After several attempts to do a good looking border around ‘Computer Geek’ and ‘Shawn Kirsch,’ I decided none of them looked very clean, and started playing with just a straight line to help separate them from the rest, as well as bring some color to it.


What I ended up with was two lines with a definite resemblance to a cross. I especially like that because of all the work I do at Church and with the Youth Group. It also serves as a subtle statement of my faith to everyone who gets one of these cards.


What Do You Like?

I’ve already decided to use a blue and green scheme for future branding purposes. When people see blue and green, I want it to trigger thoughts of the work I’ve done. There are also some psychological reasons for those colors, and they also go well together.


So what do you think of these designs? What’s your favorite? Are there things in any of them I could have done differently to make them better? I’m open to any and all feedback on these. Drop your notes off in the comment section.


Side note: If you have any thoughts on what a particularly good card stock to print these one would be, let me know.

Thank You Twitterbuds

Just wanted to share my Twitter Mosaic with you all. This is just “SOME” of my followers. And by some, I mean not even half. That’s apparently the limitation of this particular web toy. Nevertheless, I appreciate EVERY ONE of my Twitter followers. I truly enjoy seeing what luminess air reviews have to say, what’s new in your lives, the link you thought was super cool, and all the other stuff that happens on Twitter. And I appreciate you responding to me, what you think of what I’m saying, helping me out from time to time, cheering me up, retweeting some of my stuff, and all that jazz.
Keep on Tweeting!
Get your twitter mosaic here.

Wait, What Was That?

It’s possible that people visiting Gisteq’s Tripbook page won’t think twice about the picture their. But when someone copies it into their blog, and I whip past it in my feed reader, there is a double take involved. Did I really just see what I saw?
So I scrolled back up, and I did see what I just saw, sort of. A small picture within the picture, enclosed by a circle, as if it was zoomed in on something. It was zoomed in a memory stick, plugged into a computer. Behind this picture, was a hand, also with a close up view, but from the angle, and the pen being obscured so much, the finger behind the circle pic looks like an arm, a prosthetic arm, with a closeup of a memory stick plugged into it.
Yeah, when you sit there and look at the picture, you probably wonder where did I come up with that? Well, my brain can only process data so fast, and at the moment I was thinking about a blog post I had read an hour earlier. Nonetheless, with a fast look, I saw prosthetic arm with memory stick.

Twitter, That’s Hot

I was on Twitter tonight, as I often am, and had one of my ‘Random thought’ moments.

It wasn’t long, and I had a reply.

So here’s my official proposal. Let’s run with it, see what happens. Simply tweet “That’s hot.” It can be by itself, in response to ….. whatever, or pretty much anything you can come up with. We’ll make it #thatshotthursday.

Ok, that’s all. Tweet away.

The Best Look Into Apple Yet

I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the new documentary, Welcome to Macintosh, tonight. It is a phenomenal look into the company, from a variety of people who worked there, helped found it, and are loyal users.  Many faces will likely be familiar, like Richard Halsey, Andy Hertzfeld, Guy Kawasaki, John Moltz, and Ron Wayne. I loved the talks with Jim Reekes, who might best be described as loyally cynical.



I grew up reading MacAddict and MacWorld in the school library, playing Oregon Trail, Wheel of Fortune, and Bowling on an Apple II outside our 3rd/4th grade classroom, playing SimCity, SimFarm, Amazon Trail, and Yukon Trail on an LC in 6th grade, then moving on to creating cool things in ClarisWorks in Jr. High. All the while, we had a Performa 575 at home that I squeezed everything out of that I could, right up until I graduated in 2003.


Watching this documentary brought back so many memories of the things I used to read about, and later able to experience more first hand, like the ab circle pro reviews very first Mac I was able to buy, an iMac G5.


Maybe it’s just because I’m a bit emotional, but I nearly cried when they showed Jobs giving his speech, followed by the introduction of the Macintosh. It was great to see Halsey talk about the 1984 commercial kicking off Pirates of Silicon Valley (still one of my favorite movies).


Whether you just want a look back at history, or you’re a Mac Geek who gets their hands on anything they can, this documentary is fantastic. Even Wozniak says it’s the best one he’s ever seen.


Please consider supporting this blog by purchasing these from Amazon.

My First Wordle

Alright, I got a little bit bored, and then distracted, and the next thing I knew I was making a Wordle.  So here it is, my first Wordle.

Full Or Partial Post?

There has been a hot topic debate for as long as blogging has existed, over how much of your blog post should be published in your feed.  Some argue that you need the full feed, to make it as easy for your readers as possible.  Others argue you need to publish a partial feed, so your readers come to your site, helping you page view and ad revenue potential.  After much thought, I have a different take.



As an avid feed reader and information junkie, I take in lots of blogs every day, mostly through Shyftr and Google Reader.  When I start reading a post that I like, I will open it in a new tab, then move on in the feed reader.  Once I’m done going through my feeds, I’ll go through all my tabs, and can easily leave a comment on site for the author.  It’s my way of supporting content I like, and it fits into my workflow nicely.


Now here is why I say to publish a combination full/partial feed:  annoying your readers.  Some of you out there are fine with a full feed, some are fine with a partial feed, some of you need to look at what you’re doing to us.


When I’m scrolling through my feed readers, and I come across something I that doesn’t grab my attention, or is part of an echo chamber, I’m not going to read it.  Now when that item is VEEERY LOOONG, and I have to scroll for what seems like FOOOREEEVEEEERRRR, I get annoyed.  If you do it repeatedly, I might unsubscribe from your feed.  If it happens on back to back posts, it will be obvious to me that you’re a culprit.


So for most content, go ahead, publish that full feed.  But if you put up a blog post that goes on and on and on, split that bad boy up, give me an excerpt.  If I want to read it, I have no problem visiting your site.  If I don’t want to read it, I don’t want to spend the next 15 seconds of my life scrolling past it.


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