I is for Internet

I love these infographics (this one is outdated though)

When I think of the Internet, I think of a giant web (hence the name we call it) that just keeps on growing as more websites are created and more links are created between different places, like portals we can throw around anywhere we want. What’s interesting to me is this whole idea of sharing and syndicating your content – your video can be watched on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google +, and even a blog like WordPress, giving you more chances of it being watched if people aren’t just ignoring it. Same with any content – it can be distributed and cloned across certain points of this system that is like billions of nerve synapses in a brain.

I’ll now leave you with this acrostic poem I wrote:

Interesting developments have led to
Notorious people in an all-out war of
Tenacity and destruction to
Entertainment led by the
Rising stars of tomorrow, while
National news comes quick and
Educational is its purpose,
Technology is rapidly evolving for the next great leap

April A to Z Challenge

BATZAP by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Advertisements

Believing In My Internet Life

My life is on the Internet. For the last 10 years or so it has been. The sudden rise of the social media era (circa 2002) and all of these websites that basically act as stop and go community hubs along an interstate highway has made me realize you can’t feel alone anymore on the web, not like when I first discovered it one sunny day in about 1998, when Google was still just a search engine and nothing more. We are closer to one another than ever before behind these machines and other devices of ours. The Internet (or internet) is bigger and more accessible now than it was ten years ago (does anyone still use dial-up?) Our lives on social media seek approval from the number of followers, likes, comments, views, re-tweets, and other statistical things that are basically the currency of the Internet (other than those bit-coins that someday might actually gain trust in using). Not that those things actually are of a big importance to me though but it still makes me feel good whenever I get likes on my content or someone enjoys it so much that they would feel free to follow or subscribe to me (something that is taken for granted by some of the larger players out there).

I feel like I’ve had moderate success on the Internet. I might not be the most popular person on the interwebs or have the most followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook, or subscribers on YouTube but I am apart of this huge playground and have contributed to it in a small, if not effective way. I’ve posted content, chatted it up with the popular, up and coming, and outcast crowds, and put my two cents in on various topics and discussions (talking about you, 2014 Ferguson). Wow. A surge of nostalgia races through me whenever I think back to when the Internet felt like such a small and unfamiliar thing as in this video. My mind has been opened to so many new and exciting things with my presence online.

I want to be better at the Internet. I want to connect with more people and have them see my work and give me feedback, rather than it being lost and never to be read – if it’s a blog post – or viewed – if it’s a video. My voice needs to heard. Being just a face in this virtual crowd is not an option anymore. I want to be found, to be recognized, to have the satisfaction that what I’ve done online actually means something, has replay value so to say and can be great enough for someone to go back and view again.

Which brings me to what I love to do the most: making videos, YouTube videos in this case. I love blogging as well but that’s pretty self explanatory.

This past year I’ve really been going at it hard with my YouTube channel and making it look like something that is actually worth people’s time investing in. I’ve made significant progress this year, even if the subscriber count doesn’t say so, and have updated and gotten rid of videos that I wasn’t exactly proud of. I have scaled up my production value quite a bit, keeping within my budget of course. There is so much this year (and the end of last year) that I have learned that has made me go back and look at my previous work and think “Man, I could do so much better.” I shake my head at the things I could have done in the past, the things I missed since I was so new and inexperienced with video making.

Becoming successful on YouTube has never been a realistic dream of mine, since it is mighty tough these days, competing with content on the levels of a Hollywood movie production (many of those channels are actually run by or working with Hollywood talent now), and YouTubers with large followings of course, and so right now it’s a passionate hobby of mine. Sure, you can make money, big vaults of money, but only a handful actually make enough to pay their monthly rent and nothing more. No, I’m not in the YouTube business for money either, though it would be nice if this little venture of mine suddenly became lucratively successful, but as of now I’m still a little man with a computer, video camera, and humor that people may or may not find funny. I love making videos, want to continue making videos, have fun in the process, get new and better ideas. Having all of the work and effort being translated into thousands of views and subscribers hasn’t happened yet, at least not for the good reasons – which is partly because of my ignorance and not paying attention to detail. Keeping an audience (whoever that may be) engaged for at least two minutes of one of my videos is my goal for the future. I have to have people think, “Hey, I kind of dig what this guy is doing,” and later on say, “I want to see more!,”rather than “Ugh! Forget this. I’m outta here,” which, based on my latest stats, has been the case. But practice makes perfect. Rome wasn’t built in a day and so shouldn’t a great YouTube channel.

By the way, if you’re interested you can check out my channel here. I go by the name “Matthew Lombardi” on there, but that’s not my real name. I’ve recently gotten into doing “Let’s Play” videos, quite a popular but congested genre with the YT community and hope to continue to expand and make this something that defines my channel.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Have Confidence in Me.”

Are you good at what you do? What would you like to be better at?

My Netflix Addiction

Never has one online site given me more satisfaction and hours of endless entertainment than the addicting nature of Netflix. As soon as I start watching one TV series, I usually chow through the first season in about two to five days depending on the length of season. I watched the entire six seasons of Lost in about two weeks (enjoying and understanding it better – so that’s why there was a smoke monster), the entire nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother (what happened to this show in syndication?) in about six months, since I had to wait for the ninth and final season to appear on Netflix, all five seasons of Breaking Bad in about a month (inspiring me to search for all of the songs used in every season – it was quite a diverse and unique soundtrack…bitch!), and all eight seasons of Dexter (spoiler alert – the last three seasons totally jumped the shark – seriously, a lumberjack?)

When has not having cable or satellite ever made more sense?

As the name of the prompt today is sanctuary, I would call Netflix my place to get away, especially on my personal laptop where I can watch content at my own pace and privacy with high quality sound being pumped from my headphones into my ears. Whenever I am feeling so amped up and disconnected from myself, I prefer to hit up the streamies and watch the next episode in that great series I am currently involved with, which is sort of like dating someone for a long while before the money and other interests run out and you move on to the next candidate (can i date?) – bad analogy? Perhaps.

Netflix is a comforting thing, a truly enjoyable experience. It is a place I go to whenever I am feeling stressed, need to recollect my thoughts, find my happy place, or just figure out when I am finally going to start watching House of Cards. I see it as a great way to replace the boring parts of my life with the exciting, interesting lives of the actors and actresses decking it out in some of my favorite series and movies.

It is quite hard to leave a viewing session once I get my teeth sunk into an intriguing series, because for one thing, Netflix automatically starts a ten second countdown to the next episode, along with a juicy description of the next episode that makes me say, after already watching seven episodes in a row, “Just one more and I’ll go to bed.” But, of course, that rarely, if ever, happens. Thanks, Netflix, for turning me into an internet zombie by night (though this is nothing new).

I have to admit I’m a Netflix addict, judging by my constant urge to continue that TV series I had started the day before, or scroll endlessly for a decent movie to watch (any misleading images for action thrillers?) As I already mentioned, it involves me packing it all in for an extra stimulating all-night viewing experience that has a rollercoaster of scenes and audio bits from episodes or movies replaying in my head throughout the next day that I had already spent the wee hours of playing and rewinding to parts of episodes or movies I simply missed or didn’t catch the dialogue clearly from. Do I need a life? I think so, but it’s time to catch the next episode of the quite forgotten sci-fi series The 4400, which I believe is already set to jump the shark by the end of the second season.


 In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Oasis.”

Technical Difficulties

There was a time
When everything seemed so bad
Nothing wanted to work right
I was starting to get mad
Those pingbacks 
They didn’t work for a while
I was losing out on readers
Felt like walking the mile
Asked for help,
Got some answers,
Told me to wait,
Waited for a few days,
Patience rushing,
Temper mounting,
Thoughts of giving up,
Even wrote a rant:
“Booted off ship”
“Stranded in water”
Outcasted, I felt
In the end was pointless
Cause everything cleared up
And my blog went back to normal
Forgot about my troubles
All that fuss was silly
But four days out 
Got me willy nilly
Things always get better
That’s the thing about life
One minute you’re on top
The next minute you’re under the knife
Oh Internet, oh internet
Why must you be a stubborn mule?
I know I beat you like a drum
And you serve me day in and day out
But when I go to do my daily tasks
I expect you to be there 
Every step of the way
No matter, no doubt
I hate it when the net is out
I lose out on a lot of things
My integral life online 
One place I truly can sing
The connection ceases
Occasionally on days
Such a rude awakening
When I have things to say
It’s going OK now
But trouble always lurks
For every minute I spend
There always failure 
In the works
Web browser choice
Is a big part of life
One always does something better
And it’s like choosing a wife
Cause you’ll be with one for a while
And seem to be happy go lucky
But then the mask comes off
And you see the ugliness underneath
It’s a rude awakening
A sword leaving the sheath

DP #69: “An Extreme Tale”

I Only Came For the Cheesecake…

The Internet is an unruly, untamed beast – everyone should know that by now; no one has control over the Internet and it should stay that way. No other idea conceived by human minds has managed to encompass our everyday lives anywhere we go and bring millions of people together to post and share content for the entire world to see in just a matter of minutes. The amount of information on the Surf is enough to fill more than ten swimming pools and it just keeps growing exponentially…there really is no end in sight.

As King Leonidas famously said, “This is madness!”

Have you ever searched for something specific on Google or Bing, clicked on a link, and suddenly got bombarded by a flurry of information that just kept begging you to click here and there and read more and more? Ever get those pages where you scroll down and articles just keep appearing non-stop with interesting, catchy titles, one after another? I’ve come across a couple of those pages where I often open multiple links in new tabs, getting up to as many as five at a time to read later. The content I find is often so engaging and delightful that I would want to look up more information about things discussed in the article. A simple search for information on the new iPhone 6 led me to a number of articles relating to the world of technology that would lead me to informative YouTube videos and then suddenly find myself watching bizarre videos of animals doing human tricks or Barack Obama singing popular songs made from words put together from his speeches. And then I’m like, “What was I here for again?” A single search on one of the popular search engines turns into an Internet journey of epic proportions or an Internet breadcrumb trail.

An example of an Internet trail goes like this:

I went to look up information on the baseball movie 42 that I had just recently watched, and maybe find the movie poster. This led me to clicking on a link to Harrison Ford, which led to Indiana Jones, which led to George Lucas, which led to Star Wars, which led to a list of the highest grossing films of all time, which led to Harry Potter, which led to the book David Copperfield, which led to the illusionist and to Musha Cay, then to Google co-founder Sergy Brin, Don’t Be Evil, Googlization, the book on Amazon, and so and so forth…

Searching for anything on the Internet is like taking a can off the delicately stacked pyramid in the store and having them fall all over the place. You just wanted one can; now there’s a bigger mess on your hands. That’s what happens when you search for something online – you often get sidetracked and before you know it, you have forgotten all about your initial search idea. There’s always something new and worth looking at around the corner and some of the most visited sites on the “super highway” such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are portals for interesting content that can entertain, educate, or just simply annoy us. That’s how I have come to view the Internet as it has progressed into the far reaching, lightning fast, and ever so dependent entity relied on by human beings. Ten years or so ago the Internet didn’t really matter to me much but now I feel I can’t go without it for even a few days without getting frustrated and impatient.

Back to what I said about the Internet being an untamed beast – well clearly Google has gotten a couple of chains around it with their ongoing mission to organize the world’s content and make it accessible to everyone.Their search engine bots roam the streets and alleys of the net everyday looking…looking…looking. Nothing runs wild out in the yonder anymore – if it is open to the public it can and will be found somehow, someway.

To continue the title of my post – I only came for the cheesecake…but ended up getting so much more. I soon got the entire restaurant and soon after that the entire block of stores and shops. Then I thought to myself, “Why not the entire city? Or state? Or country? World? Universe?.” What I am getting at here is that you go to search the Internet for one thing (the cheesecake) but soon are not satisfied and want to find more information about other stuff and it escalates from there until you are confronted with tons of information – OVERLOAD ALERT!

The search for knowledge is endless, especially on the Internet where it literally is one mouse click away. You’ll be sucked into a black hole in now time at all if you’re not careful as Jennifer Lawrence once quoted: “The internet to me is kind of like a black hole, and I never really go on it.”


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Overload Alert

A Two-Way Mirror of Events

People like me, that have a life desire of pursuing the near infinite answers of the universe, often sit bored on the couch or in front of the computer on Google and think like a philosopher, wondering about the alternative, parallel side of father time, where events in history took a different path. Bizarre scenarios such as one where the United States doesn’t even exist or where humans have built spacecraft in the 1800s and colonized on Mars.

So in the midst of time it is always nice to think…

What if?

This is the type of question that the world begs to know the answer to but, sadly,will probably never find the answer to, unless we can find a Doc Brown who can supe up an old station wagon with a Flux capacitor. Which, to tell you the truth, is not worth the effort. If time travel were possible, wouldn’t it have already been invented, in the future? We should have people from the future in our time right now, telling us of events to come, helping us avoid tragedies. And if they are here, they sure haven’t helped the world much seeing that all of the what ifs we bring up haven’t been reversed,for better or worse. It’s kind of like asking Santa for that toy you’ve always wanted but never getting it at Christmas, even if he does promise you. And let’s be honest, there is no man in a red suit traveling to millions of houses in 140 countries dropping into random peoples houses in the middle of the night to deliver rather expensive presents that are seen on the shelves of Wal-Mart and other stores year round. Even Superman couldn’t do that. Shoot, I just ruined Christmas for a bunch of kids…oh,well…they need to be taught young.

Okay, enough of my ranting. Here are some frequently asked about what if scenarios and my best answers as to what would happen, leading to the present day:  

If the attacks on the twin towers on 9/11/2001 had been avoided…

Pro: About three thousand lives would have been spared and the kids today would still have living family members and friends.

Pro: George W. Bush’s presidency wouldn’t have been remembered as so much of a joke but the man could have been respected and even gotten to speak at the 2012 Republican convention (where he was heavily shied away).

Con: America wouldn’t have beefed up security at airports and elsewhere and wouldn’t have been more prepared and aware against future attacks.

Con: Bin Laden would still be out there, America unaware of his devious plans, probably cooking up something even more destructive seeing that his “master plan” had been defeated.

Con: America would sink into total destruction and nuclear fallout, with severely mutated humans and animals (according to an episode of Family Guy).  

If John F. Kennedy had not been assassinated or Lee Harvey 

Oswald was caught in the act…

Pro: JFK would definitely have been reelected to another term, but…

Con: The Civil Rights Act wouldn’t have been put into action by Lyndon B. Johnson, making it quite tougher for blacks to win the racial movement (and JFK was not for equal rights).

Pro: The Vietnam War might have ended sooner.  

If Abraham Lincoln had cancelled his trip to the Ford theater on that fatal night and was still alive…

Pro: Lincoln would have gone on to teaching as a professor at a college after his presidency.

Pro: He would have likely lived into his 80s.

Pro: As a mentor, Lincoln would have stayed in the White House with his son Robert.  

Con: He would have wanted to ship the slaves back to Africa or to a small remote island, taking an emotional stand for the blacks being his strategy to win the people’s approval all along and to keep the Civil War under control.

If the Titanic had cleared the iceberg and not sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic…

Pro: The passengers, especially the steerage, would have gone onto America to live their hopes and dreams and find good paying jobs

Pro: Many of the well accomplished would have continued in their fields and gotten more fame, such as John Jacob Astor IV. Some of these people could have had fledgling businesses over in America, that might have continued on today

Pro: Perhaps the ship could have been sailed again and could have survived to this day and be put into a museum, fully intact

Pro: I wouldn’t have sat through a pointless 3D version of the film.

Con: Obviously, there wouldn’t have been a movie about the disaster, and we might not have heard of Leonardo DiCaprio for that matter.

If the Challenger space shuttle had not broken apart, and had successfully gone into space…

Pro: The teacher/astronaut Christa McAuliffe would have been celebrated for being the first teacher in space, not mourned for the loss of her.

Pro: NASA would have taken the developmental successes of Challenger and have applied them to future space shuttles

Pro: There wouldn’t have been a 32 month hiatus between missions, maybe allowing for another mission (possibly to the moon again?).

Con: Since there would have been no disaster, NASA wouldn’t have known how to react against possible future failures and wouldn’t have known what works and what doesn’t.

If the Internet existed a long, long time ago (Jesus’ time perhaps?)…

Pro: What we think we know now we would know for certain (If Ben Frankin really did fly a kite in a thunderstorm or if it was Christopher Columbus who first discovered the land that was to be called America.)

Pro: Things could have been done a lot quicker and efficiently, such as searching on Google for how to treat infections (not bleeding them out)

Con: People’s privacy and freedom would have been severely limited, especially back in the days of powerful empires. No one could have hid and the most powerful figures could have controlled and influenced people over the Internet in ways unimaginable for those days.

If dinosaurs had not gone extinct (damn you, meteorites or whatever did it)…

Pro: We could do more research on the dinosaurs and find ways to breed different types, leading to scientific advancements but…

Con: We surely wouldn’t be living like we are now because dinosaurs would have us literally backed up into a corner and…

Con: Other mammals (such as us) couldn’t have evolved and wouldn’t even exist  

If Steve Bartman had kept his hands to himself in 2003…

Pro: The Cubs would have been 4 outs away from the Promise Land.

Con: They would have made it to the World Series against the New York Yankees, but the curse would still have rung true with the Cubs being overwhelming over matched. Yankees win series 4-1 and Bartman is still unknown.

These are basically edumucated guesses, and rather pointless, but it is fun to paint a picture of an alternate history where everything is turned upside down. And until some crazy scientist comes up with a way to travel back in time we will never know for certain whether Galileo was smoking weed while gazing at the stars or if curiosity did kill the cat.