Wow, this trailer for Waiting for Superman was difficult to watch. It appears to present a critical eye of how school works, from a parent/student point of view. Real assistance is needed for schools, and I'm at a total loss for what that help might look like. I am hopeful, but nervous all at the same time.
Microsoft has a program call AutoCollage that will take a folder of images and make a collage for you. I can't say I find the results all that breathtakingly beautiful, but the tool seems highly functional. 30 day trial, $19.95 to buy.
Facebook's under attack of late for their disregard for people's privacy. I avoided Facebook for a while but finally took the plunge a few years ago. It's been somewhat useful for seeing pictures of friends, chatting with them a bit, and getting invited to things I'd like to attend (although most invites I get are bordering on spam).
- turn off anything that automatically posts to your Facebook - for me that was Flickr, Posterous, and a few others. Now, those uploads/posts only go to those tools. Facebook doesn't get to have my content. This alone will make people stop interacting with a lot of your content, and make you feel less driven to respond
- Stop "liking" things! Facebook has made it so seductive to websites to add "like" buttons to every page they have. Instead, join a social bookmarking site like del.icio.us who's had the same privacy settings for years! And it keeps track of the websites you want much easier. Stop liking means less comments to respond to.
- Stop posting photos there. There are much better photo upload sites that are easier, more flexible, and have easy-to-understand privacy settings. Look at the included image of Flickr privacy settings. Nothing confusing there. Again, less content means less interaction.
- If you have to post something on Facebook, know that on your wall/profile, you can click "remove" so that people don't see the update. You don't have to let everyone know you "liked" something. Even if you already clicked like. You can even go backwards and click remove.
- Mentally recognize why Facebook hosts your content for free. The more you send Facebook, the better they "know" you and can better advertise to you. They can tell advertisers your location, age, gender, what type of phone you use to access Facebook, what type of cameras you use to upload photos, how often you look at profiles, what profiles you look at most, etc - this is all about advertising, and Facebook sells you to the highest bidder. Sure, all ad-based sites work like this, but just recognize it. It makes it easier to not post something when you feel you're being sold.
As usual the New York Times provides an elegant summary via an infographic - in this case, of Facebook's privacy options. If you're a Facebook user, you've probably stumbled through much of this before, but I bet you haven't seen it all! Sadly, I think I have in my quest to remain somewhat private in parts of my online footprint.
Coming soon, my guide on how to wean yourself from Facebook's grip
Via my school's webmaster