Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind'

My web behavior

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Jon Kennedy's recent book, The Everything Guide to C.S. Lewis and Narnia, from Adams Media, F&W Publications, is available for purchase in support of the Liberty Museum in Nanty Glo and can be ordered here. It is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and in Kindle and Nook ebook editions.

JONAL ENTRY 1227 | May 23 2012

Not that my life or habits are special compared with anyone else's, but occasionally even I am surprised when I reflect on some of the web pages I've used and others I've ignored. And sometimes people who know the Nanty Glo site think that what I've accomplished here indicates I'm some kind of computer or Internet whiz, but the facts indicate a much different situation.

I've certainly made it no secret that I hate Facebook. The site is obstinately user-unfriendly, which in turn makes it un-neighborly in my estimation. It is unjust, unrighteous, unholy, an enemy of personal peace. Of course its being in competition to the Nanty Glo Home Page site has nothing to do with my estimation of it. I do, however, have a lame Facebook page of my own. I started it hoping it would help me sell books. It did bring a couple of book-oriented inquiries, and I gave one to a "reviewer" who never reviewed it, but nothing more.

Facebook destroyed the page I originally created on it, so that's another reason for holding it in contempt. But I did like The Social Network movie qua movie. But I didn't buy any stock on the company's IPO last week (I have never bought stocks except for Xilinx shares through the employee discount program when I worked there, and mutual funds, which I have not the slightest interest in "managing," in the company retirement plan before I retired from there). I also have a Google+ page but haven't had much more success in figuring out how to manage it than my Facebook page.

They both call themselves "social networking sites"; I'd call them anti-social. The Nanty Glo Home Page, by contrast, is truly "social": everything on it is for and about the society it represents, not intended to glorify anyone's "individualism" as the Facebooks of this world exist to do. Or maybe it would be more correct to say that the Nanty Glo Page is here to help any and all Valley dennisons who want to use it for that purpose get the recognition he/she/they deserve. From the beginning, it has been Home Page policy that any local or former local individual or organization can have a personal blog, a whole inidividual/family/organization site, or a small contact page here, with no cost.

Another example of my perhaps surprising web behavior: I have gone on the ebay site to look for historic pictures from Blacklick Valley that I then copied and added to the archive. (Someone had emailed me to alert me that such pictures were being offered.) I've done nothing else on ebay; I have never "shopped" for anything on ebay and don't know how to begin. I do, however, have a Paypal account because someone in the United Kingdom wanted to buy an advertisement on this site and the only way he would pay me for it was through Paypal. (Paypal is a subsidiary of ebay and I see their buildings often while tooling around Silicon Valley.)

Conversely, I was an early adapter of Amazon. When I was working in Los Angeles for the Y2K project (1998-99) I was too busy and the LA freeways were too daunting to go out Christmas shopping, so I did all of my 1999 Christmas shopping via Amazon. You can buy just about anything you want through Amazon, and I've continued to use it, mostly for books and electronic peripherals. Things like cables (cell phone chargers, for one) are much cheaper there than in the stores that may carry them.

I have never been on Craig's List. I keep thinking that might be a place to find something or other, but haven't ventured there yet.

I have, however, been using the web for most of my trip planning and flight and hotel bookings and car rentals for some years. Doing travel through the web is one of the things it was created for, in my opinion.

I have never logged into Skype, even though my current desktop has a Skype logo-link. I did see someone at Starbucks today carrying on a Skype conversation, however, and thought it looked cool. Apparently he and his friend were both on it, seeing each other on their screens as they talked. He was on a tablet, probably an iPad.

I was a late adapter of YouTube, but have been adding lots of videos on it for more than a year now. Though Apple platforms apparently boycott Flash movies like the ones on YouTube, I gather you can download an app to get over that (I mostly boycott Apple products). And though you can get apps to play Microsoft Windows movies on Google Chrome and Foxfire web browsers, that process can be so complicated I'm guessing some people never get it to work and thus can't play the movies on the Home Page and Glotube (which are Windows Media format). And since Google Chrome browsers are more widely used now than Microsoft Internet Explorer, I've adapted YouTube as a backup.

But one site I have used as much as any since it debuted is the Wikipedia. Though the educational establishment loves to trash it, how would we get along without it? It, like travel planning, is something the Internet was created for. Of course you can't use it uncritically and without your radar on, but if you think you can use anything else produced in this world without those same cautions, the establishment has gotten your soul.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

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