Go Ahead, Make My Day


50 isn’t such a big number … until you have to start writing it on forms that ask for your age. Today I clock up half a century of living. I’m very privileged to be doing so while enjoying some ‘time out’ with my amazing family.

I’m wondering if on this day I can take the liberty of asking you to do a few things that will make my one day a year very special, while costing you ….. nothing. Well, maybe a little time but these ideas won’t put a dent in your wallet.

Like My Facebook Page

First of all, I’d love to connect with a lot more people on Facebook. I have a public Facebook page that makes that really easy. It’s what Facebook calls a ‘fan page’ but I’m not that much of an egotist that I want you to declare yourself as my ‘fan’. It’s simply just an easy way to share stuff on Facebook. Just head to my Facebook page and click ‘like’.

Share My Posts

Whenever you drop in to my blog, please, please, please feel free to use the little buttons at the bottom of each post to share my posts via Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Tumblr or Reddit. Hey, you can even click the email button to send a copy to your friends. When you share my posts in any, or all, of these ways, more people visit my blog and I smile a lot. Really I do. If you use StumbleUpon I would especially love you to Stumble my posts. You’re more than welcome to spend a few minutes going back over my recent posts and sharing a few.

Comment On My Posts

Don’t just think it …. say it. I love it when people leave comments on my posts. I don’t necessarily mena just this post. Find a post or two that you’ve enjoyed or even something you disagree with and leave a comment or three. Your comments make me smile big time.

Subscribe By Email

Did you know that you can read RodneyOlsen.net via email each day? Instead of having to visit my blog each day, it can visit you. Just click here, enter your email address, and you’ll never miss a post. You’ll get one email a day if I’ve posted on that day. It’s completely free and you can unsubscribe at any time so why not give it a go?

Thank You

So there you are. If you’d like to, and only if you’d like to, you can make me extra happy by following a few of the ideas above.

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The Death of the Photo Album


According to a new study the growing trend of sharing photos online is causing the death of the traditional photo album. Around two-thirds of the 3000 Britons who were surveyed now catalogue their pictures on computers, tablets or on their smartphones.

Around one in five people take photos with the intention of posting them on sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it revealed.

Meanwhile the so-called “selfie” – a snap taken by the photographer holding a camera at arm’s length – has become the most popular image captured by young people.

These account for 30 per cent of the pictures shot by those aged 18-24 and, according to the study, men take more pictures of themselves than women.News.com.au

A lot of photos are only being stored on sites like Facebook these days. Many of those who were questioned share their photos online within a minute of taking them and over half share their photos online within a week.

Just a third of those questioned said they still displayed images using an old-fashioned book. More than half – 53 per cent – claimed they preferred to use Facebook and only 13 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they had ever used an album. – News.com.au

The vast majority of pictures are never ever printed and only exist in digital form. Do you think we’re losing something with the loss of printed photos and photo albums or does the way we share photos these days mean that we see more of our pictures?

I share quite a few photos through my instagram account. I also put photos on Facebook but most of my photos end up being stored on a hard drive at home.

Do you still haul out the old photo albums to have a look through from time to time? How do you store your photos? I’d love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments section of this post.

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Marketing Misery


In the wake of the Boston bombings I’m left asking what kind of sickness drives a person to create fake stories that feed off disaster? What could possible push a person to crave attention so much that they use a tragedy to manipulate social media to get noticed or even create profit?

Within hours of the Boston Marathon explosions I was seeing friends sharing tragic stories of love and loss via social networking sites. The sad thing was, the stories weren’t true. Other, less honourable people had devised stories to take advantage of the bombings and to manipulate good people into sharing their cruel creations online.

It wasn’t that the people that were sharing the stories were naive or gullible, it’s that they were trusting and it never entered their minds that someone could be so callous as to make up stories that would feed on the misery of others. My friends had acted in good faith. Those who had created the stories were feeding off the misery of others.

The death of innocence

Hundreds of thousands of people shared the picture of a small girl who supposedly died in the blasts. She wasn’t even there. It was the photo of a young, very much alive, young girl. I can only imagine the kind of damage that will cause her and her family.

Love lost

Many others shared the story of the man who lost the love of his life before he had a chance to propose. The story said he was going to propose to his girlfriend after the marathon. It even had a picture of him kneeling over her lifeless body. The picture was real but it was actually a guy helping a stranger after the explosion. She didn’t die either.

Some people took the opportunity to create Twitter accounts or to register domains to either cash in on tragedy or stroke their sick egos. I’m also now receiving spam emails with titles like, “Boston Explosion Caught on Video”, “2 Explosions at Boston Marathon” and “Video of Explosion at the Boston Marathon 2013”, all designed to use people’s natural interest in the tragedy to get them to click o links that will compromise their computers.

It’s so sad to think that today’s “what’s in it for me” generation has gone beyond simply being self seeking to becoming oblivious to the suffering of other people.

Check before posting
While it’s yet another reminder for all of us to check details before we share anything on social media, it’s also concerning to see this developing trend of people being prepared to ignore their conscience to further their own interests. Shocking when you realise that those interests are often just about seeing a fake story shared or liked across the world.

If you’re looking for a way to check some of the stories that you see on social media let me recommend Snopes and Hoax Slayer. A quick visit to either of those sites should confirm whether a story is true or not.

There’s good news too

Thankfully there’s good news coming out of social media use too. The vast majority of people around the world have been using social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter to keep others informed, offer help, and to encourage others to pray. Then there are stories like the one where a Melbourne Dad praises Facebook for helping to find his daughter after Boston bombings.

Directed away from the area by police and without a mobile phone Mr Phillips had no way of contacting Annabel or his wife, Suzy – until a kind stranger offered him their phone, and he was able to leave a message for them on Facebook.

If you want to find out more about some of the stories being shared check out Some of the most emotional Boston marathon stories are fake.

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Twitter Hacked


The big news today for Twitter users is that there has been a major hacking attempt that may have seen around a quarter of a million accounts exposed.

This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later. However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords – for approximately 250,000 users. – Twitter Blog

Twitter realised that the hack would take more than 140 characters to explain, so they took to their blog to let us know that we needed to change passwords. I use the word ‘we’ because I was one of those 250 000 people that had their accounts compromised.

I must admit that when I got the email I was a little hesitant to follow the link they supplied to reset my password. Similar emails have been the way phishing scams have worked for years. This one looked real but just in case I tried to access Twitter only to find that I couldn’t log in. I then used the ‘Lost Password’ feature in Twitter to do my reset instead of following the link, just in case.

I’ll admit that I was pretty pleased with the way that Twitter moved swiftly to ensure the safety of their users. As well as dealing with the direct threat, they’ve given some helpful keys to ensuring safety online. Whether you’re using Twitter, Facebook or any other kind of online service, their advice is work checking out.

Though only a very small percentage of our users were potentially affected by this attack, we encourage all users to take this opportunity to ensure that they are following good password hygiene, on Twitter and elsewhere on the Internet. Make sure you use a strong password – at least 10 (but more is better) characters and a mixture of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols – that you are not using for any other accounts or sites. Using the same password for multiple online accounts significantly increases your odds of being compromised. If you are not using good password hygiene, take a moment now to change your Twitter passwords. For more information about making your Twitter and other Internet accounts more secure, read our Help Center documentation or the FTC’s guide on passwords. – Twitter Blog

If you’re looking for a great way to create and manage secure passwords, I’d advise you to check out LastPass. I’ve found using LastPass to be easy, safe and helpful.

The LastPass team believes your online experience can be easier, faster and safer. Collectively we lose more than 10,300 hours per year retrieving lost passwords, making new ones or talking to call center representatives about them. And it gets much worse if a password is stolen and misused. We go online to connect with people, explore, shop and learn. We certainly don’t go online to fuss with passwords or risk our privacy, personal or financial information. Designed by web enthusiasts and skilled application developers, LastPass was created to make the online experience easier and safer for everyone.

By the way, if you’re not already following me on Twitter, you’ll find me here.

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Social Media Catching Workers


I was reading an article at News.com.au this morning titled Bosses catching employees out through Facebook and Twitter posts. It’s about employees getting caught out by their bosses when using social media.

There have been cases of people taking a sick day and then tweeting about it or saying something about what they’re doing on Facebook. Not a clever thing to do.

In 2010 a Port Macquarie barman who took two sick days around New Year’s Eve was sacked after his boss discovered a Facebook photo of him celebrating the occasion.

In 2008, 21-year-old Sydney call centre worker Kyle Doyle made headlines after his boss caught him bragging on Facebook about chucking a sickie, with an email exchange between the two going viral.

Social media has advanced so quickly that many people are still catching up with the full effects of sharing their life with the world.

“Back three or four years ago when social media wasn’t as prolific as it is now you’d likely be slapped on the wrist for an indiscretion, but people now don’t have the excuse to make mistakes because we’ve seen so many fails of people doing it, and companies are so much more aware of policies are being in place and training,” she said.

I’m wondering if you’ve ever been caught out with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other social media. Has a boss read something you’d rather they hadn’t or maybe a friend or family member discovered something about you through social media?

If you’re game, I’d love to hear your experiences. Maybe you’ve declined an invite from a friend only to have them find out the reason you gave them wasn’t quite true. Let me know if social media has brought you undone. I won’t tell anyone. I promise.

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