★ Goodbye Facebook

Last week, Mary and I both quit Facebook. This was not a spur of the moment decision. We have both, independently, found ourselves putting less into the social network and, more importantly, getting less out of it. There was no real value in it for us, it wasted time and the things people shared became increasingly inane.
I came across this article by Matt Haughey via Jason Kottke. I could not have voiced my opinions about Facebook and Twitter any better. This bit:

Twitter feels like continually moving to NYC without knowing anyone whereas Facebook feels like you’re living in your hometown and hanging with everyone you went to high school with…

And this:

I know I’ll be delighted with new information on Twitter, interesting articles to read, breaking news, and jokes about those. Twitter is a steady stream of mostly joy and makes my life better. Facebook is filled with people I barely know, chain-emails and disaster news about the sky falling…

These two excerpts hit the nail on the head. I choose to follow the people that I do on Twitter. I choose to follow interesting people. If people are no longer interesting to me, I stop following. On Facebook, I’m friends with people only because we went out drinking in our 20’s. That may be the only thing we have in common now. And I’m forced to see whatever they post on their timeline, whether I find it interesting our not.

Yes, it’s convenient that Facebook lets you peek into people’s lives, to see what they’re up to. Now that I’ve moved, there is more of a need for me to share with people my new life in the Bay Area. I think there are better ways of doing this. Obviously, there are phone calls and texts. I’m very active on Twitter. Even though it’s now owned by Facebook, I still enjoy using Instagram (for the time being). Many social networks have come and gone but this site is still alive and kicking. I’ve said many times before that I have no real direction for this site. After over ten years, I think I’m finally seeing its purpose.

iCloud: Backup

When Apple introduced iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S last year, they also introduced a new service called iCloud. It was free to those who bought new iPhones and to all eligible iPhone users who updated their phone’s operating system. However, most users don’t know what it is. The fact is, it is a lot of things. I’ll try my best to describe it and ways to get the most use out of it.

In the most general description, iCloud is a number of different web services that Apple provides that let you get the most out of your iOS devices. I’ve planned a number of different posts to talk about the different services iCloud provides. In this first installment, I’ll talk about iCloud backup.

Backup

One of the most basic, yet underrated, features of iCloud is backup. Once you have iCloud enabled, everything on your iOS device; your contacts, apps you’ve downloaded, text messages, pictures you’ve taken, are backed up every time you plug in and are connected to your home wireless network. And this all occurs automatically. Why do you need to back this data up? If you lose your phone or upgrade to a new one, getting all your data is super easy since all your data is stored safely on Apple’s servers. You just log in with your iCloud username and password and all your data will be up and running on your new phone, just like on your old one.

Unless you didn’t sign up for iCloud when you set up your device, iCloud backup is automatically enabled on your phone. The best backup is one that is automated and you don’t have to worry about until you need it. If you need help setting this up, drop me a line.

Under Settings ><figcaption class=iCloud > Storage & Backup”/> Under Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup
Backup Settings
Backup Settings

★ Quit!

I’ve had the idea for HumbleNerd for a couple of months. I had the site ready to be published for more than a couple weeks. This is something that I’ve always wanted to do, something I’ve always hoped could lead to something bigger and better than what I’m doing now. I was procrastinating on actually launching the site. For what reason, I don’t quite know.

I’ve been a listener to Dan Benjamin’s podcasts on 5by5 for almost two years now. The shows cater to the nerds, people who follow Apple and technology in general. I’ve always admired his back story. He worked as a “corporate stooge” for years before he decided that that lifestyle was no longer for him. He started 5by5 because he always wanted to do talk radio. Even after being told by those in the industry not to pursue his dream, he did it anyway. Now he has a number of different shows on his podcast network. On my commutes to and from work, I’m more than likely listening to one of his shows.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, a new show debuted, one that he didn’t pre-announce. The show is called “Quit!”; a show about “helping people sort out their lives, reevaluate their options, kick their crummy jobs, and start something awesome”. It’s exactly the type of motivation I needed to push me over the top. I launched HumbleNerd on that Monday because I wanted to do something that I have the passion to do. I hope that this will be a recurring series where he shares his different experiences with his listeners so they might not make the same mistakes that he made. If you’ve always had the urge to do something different, something awesome, I recommend listening to this show. I also recommend listening to Back 2 Work with Merlin Mann, especially this episode where they discuss the quarter life crisis/Saturn’s return phenomenon. I know they can and will motivate you to do something awesome.