Rise and Fall of RivetPics

In a land not so far away, in a time not so long ago, there was a very large kingdom called The Whorled. In the very middle of the kingdom was a huge castle where King Sharpmann lived with his family, friends, crusaders  and 70 million Minions. Outside the castle was a huge town where most of The Makers lived. The Makers created all sorts of beautiful things, wrote interesting stories and took wondrous photos. They captured them all and put them into big books which they would bring to the big town square every day. They would spread their books out on long tables so that everyone could look, talk about, and buy what they were seeing.

The Castle Minions enjoyed looking at the books, but were sad that they didn’t have a way to save and share the contents of The Maker’s books.  The King, who wanted happy Minions, invented a Copy Wand which he mass produced and distributed to all. The Minions only had to shake the wand  and utter the magic words, “Copyright be damned” and instantly they had an exact duplicate of any idea or image that The Makers had created.

The King decreed that these images should be called Rivets because they could be riveted to the tables in the town square. All this riveting would henceforth be called RivetPics. This activity kept The Minions busy, and it helped them to forget that they didn’t own many of things that were in the pictures. Even some of The Makers started using the wands, and much of the Whole Wide Whorled (or WWW as it was called) embraced the activity.

Inevitably though, the costs to run RivettPics increased so much that the King required an influx of capital. So he sent some of his Caped Crusaders off to the Dark Forest to ask for the help of the Wolf-like Investors who lived there. The Investors ears perked right up, and they said they would be more than happy to help the King with his creation, but they warned the King that when the Castle Tower Clock struck 2014,  the King would have to  start generating a significant return on their investment.

As 2014 drew nearer, the King decided that the way to profit from RivetPics was to tap into the Minion’s Mildly Moderate to Miniscule Wage.  He wasn’t quite sure how to do this, so he sent his crusaders on another mission. This time he sent them to Wallet Street, where they purchased a slightly used Monetization Strategy from Prince Mark for $9.95 a month plus tax. To kick start this marketing plan, the King created  Sponsored Rivets – which were promotions for certain rivets that came from a select group of Big Box Businesses  (BBB) that were willing to pay for this privilege.

These rivets were targeted to match the content that The Minions had riveted to the tables. The King hoped The Riveters wouldn’t notice that Sponsored Rivets  were really just slick advertising. The King need not have worried, for the Minions were enthusiastic about spending their wages to buy the things they had riveted to the tables.

Life was not so good for The Makers, however. The Riveters had gradually taken over many of the tables and this left less and less room for The Maker’s books. The Makers had started to think of these Rivets as screws, for in fact The Makers were being… well, you know what was happening to them. They had created all the original content, but they were receiving less and less attention for it, and were  receiving fewer and fewer bitcoins for their effort.

In retaliation, The Makers removed all their books completely. The once never ending source of the Rivets dried up. With no new ideas, the Riveters gradually lost interest in RivetPics. Sales slumped, and the BBB’s pulled all their advertising. This would have been devastating to the King, except he had sold RivetPics to Gaaaaagle a few months earlier.

The End

Is this the future for Pinterest too?

Keep Out! Declarations of Personal Privacy – Susan Cain (Video)

I’m at that age where the memories of my youth are not even remotely fresh, yet there is one that is still as vivid as if it happened yesterday. It was the day I got my very own bedroom. I vacated the room I shared with my sister and took all my worldly goods (which probably fit in a couple of 2 cube  boxes) and moved down the hall – to a room that was just mine.

At the time, I didn’t realize that my belongings were external place holders for my memories, relationships and travels in the bigger world. I didn’t understand that I was an introvert, and that I needed long stretches of alone time in order to recharge. I did know, however, that I had been given the right to close a door and by doing so, no one else would enter my space.

It was the same right to privacy that had always existed within the walls of my parent’s bedroom – a room that I only ever entered if invited to.

I was visiting one of my children a few years ago when my grandson first invoked his desire for privacy. He had his own bedroom already, but apparently it suddenly dawned on him that it wasn’t just a bedroom, it was his ‘boy cave’. He crayoned this request for privacy:

He added a few images to reinforce the perils that awaited anyone who crossed the threshold of his room!

At our house, the master bedroom and master bath room are ‘non-public’ spaces. The same goes for the contents of desk drawers,  jewellery boxes and filing cabinets! I’ve rarely had occasions where my right to privacy was invaded, but it has happened. It is always a good reminder for me that others do not understand my needs or share my concept of boundaries. In the future, I will be sure to put up a “KeEp ouT!” sign, scrawled in crayon and illustrated with a skull and crossbones…

The Car Guy and I also understand that couples need their own space too, so we each have lairs that we can retreat to.

Let there be spaces in your togetherness.
– Kahlil Gibran –

Perhaps this need for privacy increases as we try to live in a world where our privacy is so often invaded, and each day we inch closer to George Orwell’s Big Brother  world in the book “1984”. For example:

– The sites we go to on the internet can leave a digital bread crumb for those who want to follow the trail and then bombard us with advertising or try to highjack our identity.

– Our credit cards, loyalty cards, memberships, ID numbers, library cards, medical history and every other piece of information with our name on it is controlled by companies who may, or may not be able to protect the data, nor guarantee our privacy.

Surveillance cameras at intersections, toll booths, airports, bank machines and public spaces track our movements.

Facebook, an internet social media company, has the largest biometric database in the world — and it’s been formed by people voluntarily submitting pictures of themselves and their friends and family to Facebook and then identifying who the faces belong to.

-If you use a cell phone, your phone provider knows who you phoned, for how long, and where you were at the time. If your cell phone remains turned on, your cell phone provider could also be keeping track of your location, minute by minute. Your computer or other such device can also give out an approximate location when you are connected to the internet.

– Some vehicle GPS systems, such as the OnStar service offered by GM, can collect and store information such as speed and global position.

Google street view – I’m glad we have a row of tall trees screening our property…

The last bastion of privacy, then, is inside your home – or maybe the bathroom in your home, if you have children!

How does privacy work in your home? How strongly do you feel about it?

Red-tailed Hawk in a Spring Prairie Snowstorm

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. – Henry Van Dyke –

15-hawk-in-snow

Spring! At my place in Alberta, the grass is getting green, the first daffodils are blooming, the robins are building a nest in the spruce tree in the back yard, and the hawk is… huddled on a fence post because it is snowing again!

The Feather Files
Name: Red-tailed Hawk
Species: Buteo jamaicensis
Native to and Migration: These are the most common hawk in North America. A Resident or short-distance migrant, birds from Alaska, Canada, and the northern Great Plains will fly south for a few months in winter – but they remain in North America. Birds across the rest of the continent typically stay put,
Date Seen: April 2014
Location: North of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

This link will take you to all the photos submitted for this challenge: The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Spring