End of riding season & other observations

I can’t believe Halloween’s almost here already. Christmas decorations in the stores are out already and we haven’t even had the chance to scare our neighbors yet! What’s up with that? I doubt this will be one of those Halloweens where we’ll be able to walk the neighborhood without coats. It’s been in the lower 30’s every evening lately.

I haven’t been riding for a few weeks already. Between having a bad cold/flu for a week, and then the cold temperatures, I just haven’t had the nerve. Some years we ride right into December. I don’t think that’s going to be happening this year. I’ve packed away my riding gear, and have said my goodbyes to the bikes until spring.

I’ve been focusing on my design business, working with clients to build their ‘net presence, and moving new clients to my server. Re-designing existing sites and transferring their content to my CMS combo… keeps a wench very busy. In working with local business owners to build their Internet presence, I’ve learned a lot about the social networking systems popular on the Internet today.

One thing that I find rather disappointing after all my years on the Internet, is the fact that people still take so much at face value on the Internet. Rumors and unsubstantiated claims are spread like wild fire through sites like Twitter and FaceBook. Recent examples you may have heard of include “Balloon Boy” and Kanye West being killed in a car accident. False claims were made in both of those stories, yet they traveled across the internet within minutes.

Less sensational, similar incorrect claims were spread this past week about WordPress plugins being broken (don’t update/use this!), Private Twitter accounts being indexed in the search engines (security leak/bug!), among others.

Doesn’t anyone check out the validity of these claims before they do their part to spread these rumors, or do people just simply not care whether these things are true or not?

When I saw the message on Twitter saying that the All in One SEO plugin for WordPress was broken, advising us not to update it, I did some research. I found that the plugin was not broken, and wrote a post about it in my design blog hoping to silence some of the uselessly over dramatic (and erroneous) reports about the plugin. No good deed goes unpunished, though

When I saw reports about there being a security leak in Twitter, I again did some research. Supposedly, the ‘tweets’ of the people who had chosen to keep their pages and activity on Twitter private were finding their posts and information indexed in the search engines. People were getting upset, making accusations, and in general making all kinds of threats toward Twitter for invading their privacy. A little research showed that the posts that were being found in the search engines were in fact indexed and stored while those homepages were actually public, and those people had since made their pages private. In other words, at the time this activity was indexed, they were NOT private. Twitter did nothing against their privacy policy, but uninformed claims would have you believe otherwise.

A little research, and even just reading the comments on sites reporting these types of issues will most times reveal the truth. Perhaps I’m one of the few bloggers/internet business people that still feel I have a responsibility to report the truth to the best of my ability. My web design clients depend on me to keep them updated on Internet trends and market research… they trust me to do so because I don’t spread every unsubstantiated rumor I read in blogs and/or social networking sites.

Needless to say, I haven’t had time to do much on IMVU developing. I did a small collection of Halloween items last year, if interested, check them out here.

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