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  • Ghostbuster!


    Happy Halloween 2013! Thanks to the fabulous Chelsea Hostetter for taking this photo for me.

  • Feeling the Love in the Gigaverse

    Feeling the Love in the Gigaverse

    The fine folks at Gigaverse wrote a very flattering bio about me and my photography on their website. One might not expect a user experience engineer with a flare for photography to have a social media presence that even puts most celebrities to shame, but JD Hancock’s active presence across popular platforms has certainly contributed to his online success. Aww … shucks! Gigaverse, in case you don’t know, is where you go to translate your talent into income. It is all about showcasing your work and earning the credit you deserve for free. Their goal is to make the Internet a better place to be for everyone. I would like to sincerely thank Simone Collins and Malcolm Collins of Gigaverse for treating me like a star. Read the full bio

  • How to Turn Your Mid-sized Sedan into a Compact

    How to Turn Your Mid-sized Sedan into a Compact

    On Saturday, August 10 my wife Leslie and kids had a major accident in our Honda Accord. They lost control of the car, swerved across three lanes at 65 MPH, struck a concrete wall, then ricocheted back into two lanes of traffic. Miraculously, no other cars were involved, and they all walked away from the accident with no broken bones. Thank you Austin EMTs and Brackenridge E/R for taking excellent care of my family, and thanks to Honda for creating incredibly safe vehicles.

  • Happy Fourth of July 2013!

    Happy Fourth of July 2013!

    I wish everyone a super day!

  • My Flickr Moment

    My Flickr Moment

    Several weeks ago Yahoo! Studios invited me to come visit them in New York City and talk to them about my photography on Flickr. The result was a video entitled “Pop Culture Icons Like You’ve Never Seen Before,” posted to The Weekly Flickr and to the official Flickr Blog on Friday, June 7. The video showcases my toy photography, focusing on my love for geeky subjects including Star Wars, super-heroes, Ghostbusters, Star Trek, etc. It also includes several “behind-the-scenes” peeks revealing how I do what I do. Teaser from The Weekly Flickr Yahoo! did a great job promoting my interview. Introductory Graphic for The Weekly Flickr Their standard opening for The Weekly Flickr is very photo-oriented. “This is my Flickr moment.” Yahoo! has all of their interviewees say this line. Little Dudes The video covers several Little Dudes photos. Thunder of Hooves Yahoo! included arguably one of my silliest photos, Thor on My Little Pony Wisteria. Four Storms and a Twister One of my more popular stormtrooper photos is Twister on the Death Star is also featured. Berry Hard Work At the time of my video, this photo Little Dudes processing strawberries for eating was my most recent upload to Flickr. Behind-the-Scenes of Berry Hard Work The Weekly Flickr sometimes focuses on how photographers do their work. Pretty Penny The oversized coin in this photo pushes the perception of scale. The Yahoo! Studios team was extremely friendly and professional, and the resulting video looks great. I feel very fortunate to have had this wonderful experience. The response to the video has been tremendous. Thank you to everyone who has watched it. I appreciate your interest in my silly corner of Flickr. Watch the Video

  • Me, on Flickr Blog

    Me, on Flickr Blog

    Yesterday I was featured in a video on Flickr Blog, talking about my toy photography.

  • Thanks Yahoo!

    Thanks Yahoo!

    The recent changes to Flickr have brought negativity from some photographers towards Yahoo!, and I understand that. Honestly, I really do. But I have many reasons to be grateful to Yahoo! Last year the Yahoo! Profiles team selected my Textured Rainbokeh photo as one of the default backgrounds for their service. That was very nice of them. A few months ago the Yahoo! Weather app team used one of my cloud photos to visualize the weather here in Austin, Texas. Neat! And a few weeks ago a team at Yahoo! Studios invited me to New York City to be interviewed about my photography on Flickr. The result of that session, a video profiling me, has been posted to the Flickr Blog and to The Weekly Flickr today. I would like to thank Yahoo! for celebrating my silly little corner of Flickr. It is appreciated.

  • How I Was Mugged by Hover (and Loved It)

    How I Was Mugged by Hover (and Loved It)

    If you know me, then you know that from time to time I like to acquire new domain names (don’t judge!). Last year I discovered Hover, a great domain registration service that keeps prices reasonable and the buying process simple. I bought a few domains from them, the experience was great, and I was happy. Then I heard Hover was sponsoring shows on the 5by5 podcast network, the home of many of my favorite podcasts. So to support 5by5, and because my previous experience with them had been so good, I decided to move my domains over to Hover. But since I have many domains (don’t judge!), I decided to turn it into a monthly project starting on January 1, 2013, with my goal being to move nearly all of my domain business over to Hover by the end of the year. And with my New Year’s resolution all set up, I was happy. But during one of my domain transfers, I ran into a potential problem. I sent a message to Hover support, which is very easy to do, and since they are famous for their quick response time, I wasn’t worried. But when I woke up the next morning, I discovered there was no reply from Hover. So I waited until the end of the day, and there was still no reply. Then the next day passed. And the next. A full week went by with no answer! I was not happy. I finally received a reply from someone at Hover named Blair Mueller. First, he apologized for the delay. He explained that Hover customer service was over-run with support requests due to the flood of business that Hover was receiving. He told me that he understood that the delay was not acceptable, that he was unhappy with the situation, and that Hover was taking steps to remedy the problem. He also answered my original question very professionally. In my reply, I told him that I understood, and I thanked him for his candor. And then … I was surprised. A few days later I got a box in the mail from Hover. I opened the box and pulled out a nice green coffee mug with a hand-written note which read: Hi JD, Just wanted to say again that we’re sorry for the time of reply before. We do appreciate your business and we are happy you aren’t going to let this one bad experience ruin our relationship. =) Blair I was so, so happy again. Thank you to Blair Mueller and to everyone else out there who goes above and beyond to take care of their customers. We appreciate it!

  • How Google+ Broke Up with Me

    How Google+ Broke Up with Me

    This is the story of how Google+ broke up with me. Like a good social networking Internet citizen, I’ve been using Google+ almost daily since late 2011. In spite of numerous issues with the service, I’ve looked past its flaws and embraced it for a year and a half. But no more. So what went wrong? No API. Every other major social network (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.) has an API, allowing me to easily create new posts in various ways using my choice of tools. Only Google+ forces me to enter things manually through their web interface. Think about that: Google, the successful software company, won’t create an API for Google+. It wouldn’t be so bad, if the manual process worked …. Broken Google +1 Button. For many, many months, I’ve used the Chrome Extension called “Google +1 Button” to add web pages to my Google+ +1 list and to create new posts. However, over the past couple of weeks, the interface for this extension has been unreliable and mostly unusable. To put it simply, sometimes the button worked, and sometimes it didn’t. Remember, this is a Google-built Chrome tool created by Google for Google+, and Google is a successful software company. With the button broken, I was forced back to the normal Google+ web interface. Broken thumbnail picker. Using the normal Google+ web interface, when you create a new post from a link you can pick which thumbnail to use. However, for the past couple of days the thumbnail picker has not worked. The little thumbnail toolbar is stretched way beyond normal, and the arrow buttons to select a thumbnail are missing. Don’t forget, this is a Google-built web interface for Google+, and Google is a successful software company. So to solve my problem, I visited the Google+ support forums. Broken support. My first stop in the Google+ support forums was a page listing all of the help categories for Google+. Amazingly, there was no help category for creating new posts. So I used the forum search instead. Unfortunately, the search results were listed without dates and without any way to sort or filter the results by date, leaving me to click around in a list of hopelessly out-dated questions. Remember, this is a Google-built forum to support Google+, and Google is a successful software company. Wow. How did our relationship get this messed up? Why did something created by a successful software company become so user-hostile? Google+, where’s the love? I think I see what’s going on here. I can take a hint. I know when I’m not wanted. Or maybe … I know Google isn’t really a software company after all. Maybe Google is … something else now. Good-bye Google+! Until you change your ways, I won’t post my content to you any more.

  • Accidental Collaboration

    Accidental Collaboration

    A few days ago a self-described “Presentation Maverick” named Eugene Cheng contacted me to say he had just posted a presentation inspired by some of my stormtrooper photos. Entitled “5 BIG tips to Become a Presentation Jedi,” I immediately checked it out. First, I am always honored when someone includes one of my photos in their project. That Eugene effectively packed so many into one presentation blew me away. Second, beyond Eugene’s well-adapted visuals, his presentation is bursting with great advice. If communicating ideas to others is any part of what you do, this is well worth reading. Third, I am struck at what collaboration can look like today. Without doing anything, except licensing my photos through Creative Commons, I was able to help Eugene create this project. And in turn Eugene is sharing my photos with audiences that might never have seen them otherwise. This kind of time-shifted team-up is as great example of why I love the Internet. Thank you, Eugene!

  • A Very Merry Flickr

    A Very Merry Flickr

    This morning Yahoo sent me some good news an email entitled “Merry Flickr.” Please enjoy 3 more months of Flickr Pro for free as our way of saying thanks this holiday season! The Flickr community has been slowly dying over the past year or so as Yahoo tragically ignored what was once the champion of photo sharing websites. Many of those in my circle of friends who once spent hours a week on Flickr posting, favoriting, and commenting on photos ultimately allowed their Pro account to lapse, moving to more actively-maintained services like Instagram and 500px. Today, Yahoo is offering three free months of Flickr Pro not just to current Pro users like me but to the former Flickr faithful as well. Yahoo’s new management, led by CEO Marissa Mayer, seems to be giving the photo service the serious care and attention that it needs and that its user community deserves. Earlier this month a minor website refresh and a not-embarrassing new iPhone app were well-received and appreciated. I hope this early Christmas gift signals Yahoo’s continued re-commitment to Flickr.

  • Kicking It Old School

    Kicking It Old School

    Dr. Paul Townend at the University of Leeds contacted me this week to say that one of my cloud photos was featured on the cover of the latest issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A journal. You may not have heard of this publication, but it is in fact the oldest academic journal in the world. Past contributors include Isaac Newton. Wow. Thanks so much to the editorial staff at Royal Society Publishing. I am deeply honored.

  • Thank you, Siew Feun!

    Thank you, Siew Feun!

    I was honored to be interviewed about my toy photography on the blog Click Snap Shot by Siew Feun.

  • Go Forth!

    Go Forth!

    Celebrate your independence while we celebrate our independence today!

  • Thinking of Mom

    Thinking of Mom

    It’s been almost a year since my mother lost her fight with cancer. We remember her and honor her today, on her birthday.

  • Action-Packed Avengers

    Action-Packed Avengers

    I recently completed a series of toy photos inspired by the Avengers, culminating in this super-heroic collage of Captain America, Iron Man, Nick Fury, The Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. See the entire series on Flickr.

  • Always Remember ...

    Always Remember …

    It’s Memorial Day. Thank you to those who gave their lives so that my family and friends could live in freedom.

  • Which gets you more views: Flickr Explore Front Page or Flickr Blog?

    Which gets you more views: Flickr Explore Front Page or Flickr Blog?

    I have been very fortunate in the last couple of months to have two of my photos featured prominently by Flickr. The first time it happened was on March 4th; my Twister stormtrooper photo was chosen for Flickr Blog to help celebrate Star Wars Day as chronicled in my previous blog post. The second time it happened was May 22nd when my Stopped Watch photo made its way to the Flickr Explore Home Page. When I was starting out on Flickr, I heard about Flickr Blog and Flickr Explore, but I didn’t really understand what they were or what it meant to have your photo end up there. So I will first explain what these things are, and then I will reveal how they increased my photo view stats. What is Flickr Blog? Flickr Blog is, simply, the official Flickr blog written by Flickr staffers. Several times a week photos are chosen to be highlighted in the blog, often related to some holiday or idea. It’s not unusual for a Flickr Blog post to feature several different photos picked to help represent the topic of the day. Photos featured in Flickr Blog also appear in the upper right-hand corner of Flickr users’ home page. What is Flickr Explore? Flickr Explore is a daily list of 500 photos picked from the vast sea of images uploaded to the Flickr service. The precise selection process is shrouded in mystery, but it is largely believed to be driven by an algorithm that at least in part weighs the number of comments and favorites. Flickr Explore does not claim to feature the “best” photos. Instead, it is said the photos that appear there have a high degree of “interestingness.” Bear in mind, this is “interesting” as defined at least in part by a computer. The main page of Flickr Explore is the Flickr Explore Home Page. Out of the 500 photos chosen for Flickr Explore each day, a small subset are put into rotation as the current splash image on the Flickr Explore Home Page. Recent photos from Flickr Explore are also shown in rotation on Flickr’s “interesting photos from the last 7 days” page. How did Flickr Blog affect your photo views? To answer this question, I should first stress that my opinion is based only on my very limited experience having photos featured in both places. I currently have about 1,500 photos in my Flickr photostream, which ordinarily attracts about 2,000 views per day. On March 4th, when my Twister stormtrooper photo suddenly appeared on Flickr Blog and simultaneously on every Flickr user’s home page, my stats chart showed a huge spike of an additional 11,500 views beyond what I would normally receive. The next day was much the same, resulting in a total of 23,000 additional views directly from the Flickr Blog posting. A few days later George Takei (Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu) posted the very same photo on his Facebook page, which generated around 8,000 additional views. Since I am convinced that the Flickr Blog post directly or indirectly inspired the George Takei posting, I chose to include these views as well. So including the Takei Facebook numbers, Flickr Blog generated for me about 31,000 additional views. How did the Flickr Explore Home Page affect your photo views? Six weeks later on May 22nd, when my Stopped Watch photo appeared on the Flickr Explore Home Page, I saw another traffic spike, but this one not so dramatic. I received only about 1,500 additional views. On subsequent days I experienced about 500 additional views, which based on prior experience I expect to be the case until May 29nd, when the photo will no longer be seen on the “last 7 days” page, . So by next Tuesday the Flickr Explore Home Page appearance will have generated for me about 4,500 additional views. So … which venue drives more views for your photos? Venue Additional Views Flickr Blog 31,000 Flickr Explore 4,500 The winner is easily Flickr Blog, which gave me nearly seven times more photo views than the Flickr Explore Home Page. This revelation came as a surprise to me as there seems to be so much chatter in Flickr groups and forums about Flickr Explore and very little about Flickr Blog. I suppose because it’s easy to imagine how a photo ends up in Flickr Blog and difficult to figure out the inner workings of the Flickr Explore interestingness algorithm. Again, I want to stress that these numbers are based on my photos and my own personal experience. Any number of unknown factors can contribute to Flickr traffic. Your mileage may vary. Please consider adding JD Hancock as a contact on Flickr; I will follow you back.

  • Happy Star Wars Day 2012!

    Happy Star Wars Day 2012!

    “May the 4th be with you!” As far as absurd holidays go, Star Wars Day is high on my list of favorites. In fact, any holiday based on a bad pun is okay with me. This morning I was honored to learn that Flickr Blog featured my Four Storms And A Twister photo on their Star Wars Day post. My Flickr stream buzzed all day with happy Star Wars fans, many with nice comments about my stormtrooper photos. I could not have been happier. Thank you, Internet. You are so silly.

  • Take My Wife, Please!

    Take My Wife, Please!

    I had a blast last night helping my wife Leslie Hancock get her website updated. Her new look is based on the WordPress Twenty Eleven theme. Her visual branding elements were created by me. If you are looking for a savvy content creator, proven social media strategist, or engaging professional speaker, visit her website.

  • 1.21 Gigawatts

    1.21 Gigawatts

    According to Mashable: The not-yet-released electric version of the iconic DeLorean sports car featured in the Back to the Future films has arrived at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, touting an iPhone dock, Bluetooth capabilities and a battery-powered engine. The electric DeLorean, which will hit the U.S. market in 2013, was originally announced in October 2011 but it’s making a surprise appearance at the auto show this week. The latest DeLorean still comes with recognizable gull-wing doors, a stainless steel body and a rear-mounted engine. However this sucker is electrical: It features a 32-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion phosphate battery system. I believe I have a birthday coming up in 2013.

  • Back to the Back to the Future

    Back to the Back to the Future

    According to Cult of Mac: It now appears that Universal Studios has been able to start offering its movies in the iTunes Store for re-download in iCloud. Great Scott! Any technology that lets me watch Back to the Future again is the best technology ever.

  • How Your Phone and Social Media Can Save Your Life

    How Your Phone and Social Media Can Save Your Life

    This past weekend a man in Johannesburg was saved from the clutches of criminals by his phone and social media. According to The Next Web: Driving in the South African city, the man found himself the victim of a carjacking, quickly forced into the boot of his car. Luckily, the carjackers didn’t realise that he still had his cell phone on him. He shot off a text message to his girlfriend, who decided that one tool at her disposal to help her find him was Twitter …. The man’s girlfriend tweeted the car’s registration number, allowing others on Twitter to tweet its location to rescuers, who eventually tracked the man down and saved him. So why am I so interested in social media and location-based services like Foursquare, Yelp, and Path? Personal safety is part of it.

  • I've Been Spanked!

    I’ve Been Spanked!

    The toy review site put together a promo video that features my photography. A flood of my toy photos are jarringly remixed in dark tones over a thumping beat. I love it! Thanks so much, toyspank!

  • April Fools!

    April Fools!

    If you find yourself reading this, you may have seen a fake Foursquare check-in from me on Twitter today. If so, I hope you enjoyed it. It’s all in good fun. Have a great April Fools Day!

  • Pinstasquare (aka Hipster)

    Pinstasquare (aka Hipster)

    If you’re not familiar with Hipster, it’s a photography app that offers a cool, grid-based design like Pinterest, the ability to add neat filters like Instagram, and the location awareness of Foursquare. Lately I have been favoring Hipster over Instagram for my “out and about” photography, for several reasons: Hipster assumes that location is important with the photos you are taking on the go, which in my case is mostly true. Hipster has a web interface so even people without an account can play. I prefer Hipster’s filters over Instagram’s. I don’t like square photos. If you are into photography and location-based apps, I highly recommend Hipster, available for iPhone and Android. Check out Hipster for yourself: Hipster JD Hancock’s Hipster Profile

  • Merry Christmas 2011!

    Merry Christmas 2011!

    Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, How lovely are your branches. Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, How lovely are your branches. In summer sun or winter snow A dress of green you always show. Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, How lovely are your branches. I hope you and yours have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

  • Heading to the Doctor

    Heading to the Doctor

    As you may know, I am a cyborg. I have electronic implants in my head to help prevent chronic headaches. It’s true! Last January, well after I received my current implants, I underwent an additional procedure to help prevent headaches called “radiofrequency ablation.” During this procedure my doctor poked the back of my head with a large needle and then shot radio waves into my nervous system to disrupt it, blocking the pathways of my headaches. I know it sounds fantastic and unbelievable, but shortly thereafter I became completely headache-free. However, radiofrequency ablation is a temporary fix that lasts only a year, so it is not surprising that for the past several weeks my headaches have returned. Although they are thankfully not yet at the pain level I once experienced, they are enough to once again negatively impact my family, my work, and my hobbies. For example, you may have noticed I did not post a “Super Social Media Roundup” this past Monday. So before they get any worse, today I will be undergoing radiofrequency ablation again, or as I like to call it, the “giant needle procedure.” While quite painful, it is a relatively minor procedure with very little risk to my safety. Once it’s done I’ll rest for a few days, so if my online activities continue to be somewhat spotty, you’ll know why. Thank you to all of my friends and family for your support during this time. It is truly appreciated.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, December 5

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, December 5

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? — is a service that builds you a well-designed homepage based on other services you use such as Twitter, Flickr, Wordpress, etc. They recently added several new, compelling, and free layouts. (example) — is “a quick and easy way to find movies, watch trailers, and share with friends.” This is the cleanest design I’ve ever seen for a movie fan site. Twitter’s 2011 Year in review — shows the people and trends of the past year. What Else Was Super? The United States Federal Trade Commission settled the issues around privacy with Facebook, including mandating regular privacy audits for the next 20 years. The technology company Atos has instituted a “zero email” policy, banning company email in favor of instant messaging and social media. While I doubt this approach would work for all organizations, it’s certainly an interesting idea. Facebook purchased the location-based service Gowalla. I hope this is good news for the Gowalla team. Like many former fans of the service I’ve felt their new direction this year was not the right direction. But, generally speaking, I support those who are exploring new ideas around location-based services. Klout had another technical hiccup over the weekend resulting in scores significantly dropping for many people. This issue has since been resolved. This is not super for Klout, but it helps underscore my position on the service: it is at best a useful but imperfect tool. As Klout scores were on shaky ground this weekend, I saw more buzz around three other reputation services: Peerindex, PROskore, and Kred. What Super Stuff Happened To You? My employer Demand Media launched an internal program encouraging employees to make better use of social media. I believe we will see more and more organizations embracing similar efforts. I made a new and very simple background for my Twitter profile @JDHancock because the service that for years has posted my Flickr photos as my Twitter background suddenly stopped working properly. In your opinion, what makes a great Twitter background? I gave another look this past week, and the service is growing on me. I’m currently using Spotify to “feed” musical suggestions to, a process known as “scrobbling.” Spotify is also posting the same songs in the Facebook ticker. I like the idea of several different services using the same information for slightly different purposes. I continued moving to my new Google+ account and shutting down my old one. Circle me! What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me!

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, November 28

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, November 28

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? CubeSocial — is a social customer relationship management system that imports your contacts and create social profiles for each. Museum Analytics — is an online tool to share and discuss museums and their audiences. Flout — is a funny twist on online reputation scoring systems such as Klout. (example) Jobs Tractor — uses Twitter to find local web development jobs near you. What Else Was Super? Empire Avenue rolled out an improved and much-needed redesign to its navigation. What Super Stuff Happened To You? My family had a holiday vacation in San Antonio, Texas and crowdsourced some of our travel decisions via social networks. Our friends and family recommended places to visit, and we benefited from their previous experiences. Not-so-super was my attempt to use Gowalla as a travel guide during my vacation. Several months ago the once-beloved service dropped many of its most popular features to transform itself into a travel guide, much to my dismay. And unfortunately, I’m sad to report, it is a disappointingly poor travel guide. We had much better luck using a combination of Foursquare, Yelp, and Facebook to find interesting places to visit. Foursquare awarded me the “Oversharer” badge. While some people might be offended at the suggestion that they overshare, I was shocked it took me so long to earn it. I wrapped up a seven-part photo series featuring the superhero team known as the Metal Men. With Google+ now supporting Google Apps, I moved my Google+ activity to my more-often-used Google Apps profile. Circle me! What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me! Don’t forget that you can follow these roundups each week via email if you like.

  • Happy Turkey Day!

    Happy Turkey Day!

    To all of my friends and family in the United States, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving Day. Gobble gobble! Thanks to my son for modeling the turkey hands.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, November 21

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, November 21

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? PROskore — is a reputation scoring service with a professional focus. (example) Opinionaided — is an “ask your social graph” app for iPhone, Android, and the web with a more personal bent than Quora. WitStream — features clever tweets from funny folks on Twitter. What Else Was Super? NASA reached 20,000 followers on Google+ faster than it did on Twitter and Facebook. Brands continue buzzing about the recently-launched Google+ Pages. But will Google+ users pay any attention? Over one million people have grown a moustache during the month of November to support Movember, raising awareness of men’s health and cancer. Triberr users previously accustomed to the service’s wonderful auto-posting to Twitter are now having to get accustomed to logging into Triberr regularly and posting manually instead. Okay, that’s not so super, but it’s true. What Super Stuff Happened To You? I started a week-long series of toy photos centered around the classic superhero team the Metal Men. After spending some time with the Twitter Activity and @username tabs, I’ve concluded the usefulness of the former is a bit dubious, but the latter is a great way to keep track of your mentions, retweets, etc. What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me! Don’t forget that you can follow these roundups each week via email if you like.

  • Hostess Smack Cake

    Hostess Smack Cake

    That’s a big Twinkie. I dedicated some time this weekend to a funny toy photo inspired by a classic line from Ghostbusters. I hope you enjoy it.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, November 7

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, November 7

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? — is the prettiest social reputation service I’ve found. (example) SmartSync — is an iPhone app I’ve used to sync my Facebook contacts to my phone for a while, but lately my appreciation for it has grown. It also does great birthday reminders. What Else Was Super? Google changed their search algorithm again, sending SEO gurus running back to their crystal balls. Bank Transfer Day attracted 81,900 RSVPs on Facebook. Zynga’s CastleVille launched, a game that combines social and MMORPG elements. Google yanked some of the social features out of Google Reader, angering the Sharebros. Louis C. K. announced on Conan that he hates Twitter. And he has 700,000+ followers. Huh. What Super Stuff Happened To You? I upgraded from an AT&T iPhone 3GS to a Verizon iPhone 4S and (after dealing with a nightmare-ish restore issue) saw an immediate jump in my productivity. I recommend Verizon. I recommend iPhone 4S. What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me! Don’t forget that you can follow these roundups each week via email if you like.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, October 31

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, October 31

    Happy Halloween! I hope everyone has a safe holiday! What Tools Were Super This Past Week? Blippar — is an augmented reality tool designed to function similarly to a QR code reader, but without the QR codes. Later, Spam! — helps you fight Twitter spam and earn points for doing it. Know Your Twitter Followers — reveals demographic information about your Twitter followers … if you can stand a long wait; it’s currently in beta and flooded with requests. 7 Billion & Me — documents the world population as it rises past the 7 billion mark. What Else Was Super? Klout updated its algorithm, which was not met with a lot of enthusiasm as many saw their score drop dramatically with no explanation given. As a result of the financial protest movement, “occupy” became a banned search term in China, which is not super, actually, and not surprising either. The X Factor USA television show announced it would allow viewers to vote via Twitter. The Obama 2012 campaign launched “Obama for America” on Tumblr. What Super Stuff Happened To You? I played quite a bit more with Spotify, and I’m enjoying it. I got to dig in on a secret project at work. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody! What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me! Don’t forget that you can follow these roundups each week via email if you like.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, October 24

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, October 24

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? Is It Old? — tells you if that cool link you just found is “fresh enough” for your friends. Take This Lollipop — puts you right in the middle of a short horror film. Creepy! What Else Was Super? Kodak ran an offer to print your Facebook photos for free. Facebook is facing a large fine in Ireland for holding onto the data that users had previously deleted from their accounts. First Lady Michelle Obama sent her first tweet. Google announced that users have posted 3.4 billion photos to Google+. The Facebook Messager app arrived on BlackBerry devices. What Super Stuff Happened To You? Apple Time Machine ensured we lost no data when a computer died. Please always remember to back up your data! What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me! Don’t forget that you can follow these roundups each week via email if you like.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, October 10

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, October 10

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? GetComparisons — is a site that compares all kinds of stuff, like Tumblr vs. WordPress: “a Wikipedia for comparisons, but with the added functionality of feedback, blogs, forums & ratings.” — is a Twitter relationship management tool that I found immediately useful. Google+ Social Statistics — tracks and generates statistics for over 75,000 users and pulls in hundreds of the most popular posts from Google+. (example) Cliq — is a “social knowledge engine” that reveals your connections to businesses. What Else Was Super? Twitter said it has 1,600 advertisers. Warner Bros. is launching an experimental live-action show called Aim High on Facebook that will incorporate you and your friends into select scenes. Tumblr, from a pageview perspective, is now bigger than Wikipedia. A study indicated that 91% of recruiters check social networks. What Super Stuff Happened To You? My friend Ed Steele created a Klout list called “The King of Social Media” featuring me, because he’s silly and knows how to make me laugh. What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me! Don’t forget that you can follow these roundups each week via email if you like.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, October 3

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, October 3

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? Diaspora — is the open source social network focused on privacy and personal control over your data, and while not a new service I saw increased interest in it over the past week. Want an invite? Send me your email address. (my profile) What Else Was Super? Tumblr raised another $85 million. Nokia unveiled a Foursquare-enabled vending machine. NASA invited 150 of its Twitter followers to the Mars Rover launch. One study suggested that 31% of U.S. adults prefer to be reached by text message. What Super Stuff Happened To You? I continue to see a bit of backlash from friends on Facebook regarding recent Facebook changes: too complicated, too intrusive, etc. This may be what is fueling new interest in Diaspora. The newly-redesigned LIVESTRONG.COM was launched, a website I played a small part in building. Follow me on Twitter (@JDHancock) for more. What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me! Don’t forget that you can follow these roundups each week via email.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, September 26

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, September 26

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? — is a social bookmarking site that received a major redesign this past week. (example) Pistashio — is, according to them, the “easiest way to save and organize your interests from anywhere.” What Else Was Super? Facebook announced several new features at their f8 conference, including new friend lists, music integration, a revamped “top stories,” a real-time ticker, and a personal timeline. The location-based service Gowalla just about blew up and started over with a new interface that emphasizes storytelling. added a “follow” feature to its blogging platform. What Super Stuff Happened To You? Maybe it was just me, but it seems like there was a fair bit of Diaspora buzz among my social media contacts this past week. I don’t know if it was a negative reaction to the Facebook changes or what. I did not win the Times Square billboard contest, which is just as well, because I’m way too busy to go to New York City right now! What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me! Don’t forget that you can receive these roundups each week via email if you like.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, September 19

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, September 19

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? MLKSHK — is a photo-sharing site funded by its user community. (example) Summify — news summary service has added user profiles to their feature list. (example) Social Business Index — is an information service by the Dachis Group providing insights into how “social” companies are. What Else Was Super? Facebook launched Twitter-like “subscriptions” and revamped friend lists. Twitter announced that it would be releasing an analytics tool. Gowalla announced it would be revamping, with more of a focus on travel and storytelling. A man in the UK became the first “Internet troll” to face jail time. What Super Stuff Happened To You? I think my most recent stormtrooper photo “Fowl Storm” may have become my most popular post on Tumblr. I got my first good taste of Triberr, and if you’re a blogger it’s a service worth looking into. What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me! Don’t forget that you can receive these roundups each week via email if you like.

  • One of these things is not like the other ....

    One of these things is not like the other ….

    This evening I selected a few more stormtrooper photos from my Flickr stream to add to my website, each featuring a “line-up” of some sort. This included my newest stormtrooper photo, which shows a cute line of ducks. You might have noticed that one of the ducks is a little different than the others. Could this be the Star Wars stormtrooper version of “The Ugly Duckling?”

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, September 12

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, September 12

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? commonred — helps you to build professional relationships with people who have common interests. (example) PressKing — offers organizations press release assistance, media monitoring, and domain tracking in tiered levels starting at “free.” CSS3 Rainbow Dividers — allows bloggers to recreate obnoxious animated GIFs of the late 90’s using modern standards. Booshaka — offers Facebook page managers a new application to create and manage a team of “superfans.” Shuush — is a service that shrinks the font size of frequent tweeters and enlarges updates from infrequent tweeters. What Else Was Super? Buffer reached an amazing milestone: one million tweets queued. Flickr launched their “geofences” feature, a new way to provide a level of privacy with geotagging. Salesforce added realtime chat, screen sharing, and groups to Chatter, their existing social business feature. comScore reported that Tumblr topped 13 million uniques in the United States in July. What Super Stuff Happened To You? I was invited to the wonderful “Positively Social” tribe on Triberr by chief Michael Q. Todd. The tribe members have been super nice and welcoming to me. Thank you, Michael and the rest of the tribe! I discovered Nike+, a service for avid runners to record their runs, share maps, and challenge friends. What Will Be Super Next Week? The silly contest from to put someone’s head on a Times Square billboard ends on September 20, but you can still vote for me every day until then! It’s all in good fun. Remember: you can receive these roundups each week via email. Sign up if that’s how you roll.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, September 5

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, September 5

    I was out sick last Monday, so this week is twice the fun. What Tools Were Super This Past Week? RoboHash — creates unique images of robots/aliens/monsters/whatever from your text. (example of “jdhancock”) Tweet Grader — provides stats about your use of Twitter, including how long you’ve been tweeting. (example) Memolane — is a timeline of your online life. (example) Nike+ — is Nike’s online service for runners, providing maps, stats, and social networking. What Else Was Super? Buffer announced it would be adding support for Facebook. Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, said Google+ was an identity service and those who don’t want to reveal their real name should not use it. Twitter rolled out user galleries, which shows images you’ve tweeted. Facebook shut down Facebook Places. I passed 7,000 tweets. Is this an achievement, or do I just share too much? PeerIndex said I talk about marketing a lot. Do I? My restaurant received its first positive review on Yelp, which is remarkable since I don’t have a restaurant. Facebook blocked me and several friends from posting this YouTube video because it was “abusive.” What do you think? What Will Be Super Next Week? is running a contest through September 20. You can vote each day to put my head on a Times Square billboard! Very silly. Very fun. Don’t forget that you can receive these roundups each week via email if you like.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, August 22

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, August 22

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? — helps you create a virtual business card. (example) Letmelinkyou — is an iPhone app that allows you to connect contacts across various social networks. Patchlife — records an organized calendar of your online moments across the most popular social networks. Iconfinder — is an icon search engine, perfect for finding icons of your favorite social media websites. twitrand — selects a random Twitter follower or friend for you quickly and easily. Static HTML: iframes tabs — is a Facebook app that allows you to quickly create a custom iframe tab and is currently the fastest growing app on Facebook. What Else Was Super? LinkedIn launched an HTML5 site and significantly revamped its apps. Reporters used Twitter to redirect traffic when the NYTimes website went down. WordPress announced that 22 out of every 100 new active domains in the United States are running on WordPress. Empire Avenue raised $1M for its social stock market. The service also added foursquare and Instagram integration. For the curious, I’m trading as (e)JDHANCOCK. Bime Analytics revealed that 83 percent of Google+ users are inactive. I significantly reduced my Twitter spam thanks to a great article by Sean Malarkey. I terminated my multi-lingual Twitter experiment: @JDHancock_es and @JDHancock_fr are now deactivated. It was a fun idea, but in practice they were kind of creepy and annoying. Nevertheless, I will miss them. What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me!

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, August 15

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, August 15

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? FindPeople onPlus — is a Google+ people finder. — mines Twitter to provide hotels with lists of prospective guests. MotoFanPages — helps you create a very professional-looking Facebook page quickly and easily. Bottlenose — tracks your interests, visualizes trends, and curates knowledge with your friends. — is social networking for developers. (example) What Else Was Super? The social summary service Summify announced that it passed 2 billion aggregated stories as it launched new design and social features. Twitter began rolling out two new tabs to its web interface: “@Username” and “Activity,” making the service a bit more like Facebook. The storyline of the SyFy series “Haven” strongly incorporates Twitter, and the audience can follow the tweets of characters from the show. Twitter added a “Reply To” field to user profiles on its web interface, making it easy to reply to people from their profiles. The Weather Channel launched a deep integration of Twitter on its television network, website, and mobile platform. A study by Hiscox revealed that 64% of small businesses in the United States think social media is unnecessary. Twitter began rolling out a new web interface for iPad users. Klout added Instragram, Tumblr,, Blogger, and Flickr to its growing list of supported networks. What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me!

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, August 8

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, August 8

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? checkthis — is a minialistic and elegant web publishing service, “between nothing and a blog.” (example) Subjot — is a new social network with a focus on following “subjects” as well as people. (example) Vizualize.Me — “launches soon” its one-click resume visualizing service. — scores photographers on their social networking prowess. (example) — allows anyone to share public files with you quickly and easily. (example) My Social Network by Western Union — gives you an across-the-globe view of your Facebook friends. What Else Was Super? I saw my 3,000th Twitter follower. Klout added a YouTube connection and the ability to remove a topic from your profile. I discovered the “My Name is Me” campaign, which advocates the freedom to be yourself (and known by any name you choose) on the Internet. Freestyle Interactive shared a wonderful infographic depicting social networks as super-hero trading cards. Flickr hit 6 billion photos uploaded. Facebook does that every two months. Instagram hit 150 million photos uploaded (in roughly nine months). LinkedIn added a PDF profile download feature. Twitter announced that “Old Twitter” would be going away this week. The Social List ranked me as 9,616th … whatever that means. Everyone celebrated International Wi-Fi Day on 8.02.11, right? What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me!

  • Trending Tweets from Twylah

    Trending Tweets from Twylah

    The nice people at Twylah created a way to see my trending tweets. It’s even hosted on my own domain: How cool is that? Thanks, Twylah!

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, August 1

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Monday, August 1

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? Twylah — organizes the items in your Twitter feed into “trending tweets.” (example) Pummelvision — takes a set of your photos and turns it into a YouTube or Vimeo video with little effort on your part. (example) Zerply — is a professional network that will host an easily-editable version of your resume either on their website or yours. (example) — is a free and extremely easy-to-use file sharing service for groups. (example) — provides interesting statistics about your Instagram feed. (example) What Else Was Super? LinkedIn introduced “Apply with LinkedIn,” a service allowing job candidates apply on partner websites for jobs using their LinkedIn profiles. Twitter Search ( was finally folded into the main Twitter website ( After three years as an active user, I received my 1.5 millionth Flickr page view. What Will Be Super Next Week? You tell me!

  • Duel 365: The Motion Picture

    Duel 365: The Motion Picture

    From time to time people tell me I should turn my photos into videos. Well, here’s my first stab at doing just that. Duel 365 is my 2010 Flickr 365 project, a daily dose of duos designed to answer a simple question: “If they had to fight, who would win?” Over 700 unique toys were used to create this series. No repeats! Also, no Photoshop was used in this project, only limited iPhoto editing. Thank you to all of my Flickr friends who made this project a joy to complete. Made with Pummelvision. Music by Friendly Ghost.

  • No Ice Cream for You!

    No Ice Cream for You!

    Ever have one of those days? My “Grumpy Bear vs Grumpy” photo can be found on We Love Difference this week as part of their “Ice Cream and Milkshakes” theme. If these two little grumpsters give you a smile, please vote for them by visiting We Love Difference and clicking the little green heart under the photo. Thanks! For a year’s worth of similar pop culture pairings, visit my Duel 365 project on Flickr.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Friday, July 22

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Friday, July 22

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? Ness — is a personal search engine based on your unique tastes. Roost — is a social marketing platform for Facebook and Twitter that I have not used but got a lot of my Facebook friends excited. WordPress for iOS — allows iPhone users to manage a WordPress blog: add/edit posts, moderate comments, etc. Highlighter — enables comments in the margins of your website. The WiFi Body Scale — is an “intelligent” bathroom scale that talks to your computer, phone, or Twitter account. Pinterest — is a place to catalog the things you love, a virtual and very visual community corkboard. (Follow me) What Else Was Super? My friend Ed Steele launched a new and impressive redesign of his website GadgetMadness. Google released Google+ for iOS. My Ms. Pac-Man photo entitled “Game Over” got some Tumblr love. Apple launched OS X Lion for Macs. Google got some negative press for booting some Google+ users like William Shatner and Second Life players. I guess that’s not super for Google. The business cloud software is exploring “gamification” with achievements, points, and leaderboards. ZombieBooth let me zombify myself. Google began using a new Google-only URL shortener: I registered for #BlogathonATX, scheduled for October 1 in Austin, Texas. What Will Be Super Next Week? I will make further progress on Portal 2, which is a very fun game. You will see more blog posts here.

  • Blogging from My Phone

    Blogging from My Phone

    I’m testing out the WordPress iPhone app to see how practical it would be to post here while I’m out and about. How does it look?

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Friday, July 15

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Friday, July 15

    What Tools Were Super This Past Week? Spotify — is a digital music service with millions of songs, and it landed in the United States. Klout Perks — gave Klout users expedited invitations to join the free version of Spotify. Stampaxx — offers a free social media stamp collectionto brand your website or other digital projects. — is an infographics creation and sharing site that I personally had a tough time loading, even after many attempts. What Else Was Super? Facebook published some best practices for journalists, advice that can easily be used by any Facebook user. Twitter announced it has registered one million Twitter apps. My Facebook Banner page got some Twitter love from groovy people like @rob_a_nielsen and @cyndeehaydon. Pandora crossed the 100 million users mark. I took a stand on Twitter against auto-DMs (automatic direct messages). They are annoying. Let’s please turn them off. Thank you. LinkedIn passed MySpace, becoming the #2 social network in the United States. On July 9 we all celebrated Odd Day, right? One of my Six Million Dollar Man photos made it onto the GadgetMadness blog. What Will Be Super Next Week? You will see more of my backlog of photos added to this website. The number of Instagram photos will rise on my Facebook photography page. I will take more photos. Really! I will! (I hope.)

  • Super Thanks!

    Super Thanks!

    My Superman photo on We Love Difference was voted #1! Thanks so much to everyone who participated.

  • Thank You

    Thank You

    Nancy Hancock, 1949 - 2011 The last few weeks have been a difficult time for my family and me. I can not express enough my appreciation for the support we have received. The food, cards, flowers, phone calls, emails, comments, and other messages are a special comfort. Thank you so much.

  • Good-bye, Mom

    Good-bye, Mom

    “Good-bye, Mom. I love you. I’ll be back next week.” My mom was recently diagnosed with late-stage cancer. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with her and the rest of my family last week. And of course during this time we’ve all had the opportunity to reflect on her life. She grew up in very humble circumstances. She married my father and moved to the Dallas area to start and raise a family, a responsibility that would be her primary focus for a quarter of a century. She was active in the PTA, and after moving to Victoria, Texas, she founded and led the Volunteers In Public Schools program. Once her children were grown, she attended and graduated from Victoria College and the University of Houston, earning membership in the prestigious Delta Kappa Gamma academic honor society. Upon graduation she began a teaching career in the Victoria Independent School District, continuing to positively change the lives of children year after year. Some time ago, both my parents began to embrace their lifetime love of automobiles and joined a local car club called Crossroad Cruisers. Their living room sparkles with countless trophies won at car shows all over the state of Texas. Last Thursday as I left their home, I hugged my mother and said, “Good-bye, Mom. I love you. I’ll be back next week.” This morning, my sister called to tell me that she was gone. As I grieve for my family’s loss, I remember this: For over forty years I enjoyed spending time with a truly remarkable woman and had the best mother in the world. I’m incredibly fortunate and grateful. Nancy Hancock, 1949 - 2011 Updates: The Victoria Advocate has published mom’s obituary and memorial service information. Thank you to everyone for your support.

  • A Little Slice of Austin

    A Little Slice of Austin

    My family and I love Home Slice Pizza in Austin, Texas. The quirky atmosphere is perfect for South Congress, and the food is amazing. I took a few Instagram photos on a recent visit. Pee-Wee The Pee-Wee Herman mural is so random and cool. Slice I also love the clever T-shirts … Share … and the fact that Home Slice is in league with the Baptist church next door to provide good parking.

  • Happy Birthday, Mom!

    Happy Birthday, Mom!

    Dear Mom, I hope you had a crazy 70’s super fun cartoon birthday today! JD Thank you, JibJab!

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Friday, July 1

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Friday, July 1

    What Tools Were Awesome This Past Week? Google+ — is the search giant’s social networking service, rolled out in an invite-only testing phase. Walking Down The Avenue — is a new book by Alan Jobe designed to guide Empire Avenue players to success. flickrBomb — lets you use Flickr to autofill placeholder images in your prototypes. Circle Hack — provides a user interface much like the circles in Google+ to create Facebook lists. What Else Was Awesome? Search Engine Land reported that Google rolled out behavior targeting to all AdWords advertisers. The idea of using my Flickr photos as a screensaver got some Twitter love thanks to @getwired and @drhayes. The Pope sent his first tweet. I photographed many clouds. Mashable shared how much data humans will create this year. Guess what? It’s a lot. For the first time ever one of my photos appeared on an official United States government website. CNN told us that a social networking utopia isn’t coming. Darn. My Superman photo “Playing The Hero” — currently #1 on We Love Difference — got some love from my Facebook and Twitter friends. Thank you! What Will Be Awesome Next Week? Google will allow more people try out Google+. My country will celebrate its birthday. My mom will celebrate her birthday. I will celebrate completing Portal 2.

  • Playing the Hero

    Playing the Hero

    The nice people at We Love Difference invited me to submit a photo to their photography website. Their theme this week is “miniatures,” so I chose this one of Superman playing with superhero toys. It’s not a technically fantastic photo, but I love the idea that even the super-powerful need play time. If you like this photo, you can vote on it at We Love Difference. When you visit them, just press the “Skip” button and then click the green heart under the Superman photo. Thank you for your support!

  • Where's My Head?

    Where’s My Head?

    We’ve been fortunate to have some beautiful skies in central Texas for the past several days. I’ve captured a few cloud shots via Instagram. The Brannan filter (which is the only one I use) gives them an interesting tint. Fly Lately, my head has been in the clouds. Work The building where I work bears the name of my company, Demand Media. Across Some of these clouds seemed like they stretched across the entire sky. Waving Oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave? Yep.

  • Having Fun with the Ms

    Having Fun with the Ms

    The family and I recently dined at Rome’s Pizza in Round Rock, Texas and discovered there a Ms. Pac-Man game. I took some Instagram photos, but I love the one my wife Leslie took better than all of mine. Ms The first photo I took was of Ms. Pac-Man as seen on the side of the cabinet. Ghosts The second photo I took was of the ghosts that chase Ms. Pac-Man, also on the cabinet. Over The third photo is typically what happens after I’ve played Ms. Pac-Man for a few seconds. I’m not great at this game. Leslie’s “Move” Photo I admire the simplicity of Leslie’s photo.

  • JD's Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Friday, June 24

    JD’s Super Social Media Weekly Roundup for Friday, June 24

    What Tools Were Awesome This Past Week? Anmish — allows you to create, send, and share funny animations and video parodies using their caricatures and your own voice. Banjo — is an iOS and Android app that pulls together all your tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram pics into an interesting location-aware interface. JibJab — the providers of hilarious customizable eCards aren’t new at all, but I did use them this week to wish my dad a Happy Father’s Day. Twylah — a service that turns your Twitter stream into a blog-like experience (like this) added Power Tweets to their offering. The power tweets didn’t blow me away, but I’m encouraged that Twylah is continuing to evolve. Empire Avenue — is the social media stock market game, but this week I used its reporting capabilities to create “my top retweeters” and “my top conversations” lists for Twitter. Better Facebook — is a browser extension that significantly enhances your Facebook experience with a ton of extra features. I’m not sure it’s for me, but I can see it being very useful for many other people. What Else Was Awesome? Mashable posted a funny map of the United States with the cities named as you see them on Twitter. People seemed to like my latest stormtrooper photo entitled “The Death Star plans are not in the main computer.” Foursquare zipped past the 10,000,000 users mark. Cyril Guichard came up with a new cyborg-related nickname for me: “Cybo.” I like it! I found an interesting social media infographic on Social Media Today. My family acquired a PlayStation 3. My PS3 ID is jdhnco for those who are interested. I had a nice HootSuite vs. SproutSocial discussion with @nakeva, @sharonhayes, @AniseSmith, and @AriesGDIM. I believe there is no clear “winner” as they are both excellent tools; it’s a matter of your priorities. I personally use SproutSocial because it supports URL shortening. The social networks couldn’t decide if Weird Al’s new music video “Perform This Way,” a parody of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” was hilarious or disturbing. I vote both. A lot of people are using my photos on their websites. I’m trying to thank them as I discover them. What Will Be Awesome Next Week? I will post more stormtrooper photos. My company will provide me with more free food. The world of Portal will grab my attention.

  • Fun and Trash Alike

    Fun and Trash Alike

    Star Wars stormtrooper photo uploading is going slower than expected due to me having fun doing other stuff. However, I did get a few more transported to this evening. It’s fun to stay at the … YMCA! Trash Talk The stormtroopers are a little disturbed by the design of the new garbage bins on the Death Star. Luke Alike One of these troopers is not like the others ….

  • Kung Fu Dad

    Kung Fu Dad

    Many people don’t realize that my father is a Kung Fu legend. In fact, I’d say most people. Including him. Happy Father’s Day! Thank you, JibJab!

  • The Death Star plans are not in the main computer.

    The Death Star plans are not in the main computer.

    Do you like my latest stormtrooper photo? Trying to be true to the period the first Star Wars movie was released, I put the stormtroopers in front of a vintage 1970s computer. And by “vintage” I mean “ugly and beige.” Yours truly will be spending a fair amount of Father’s Day weekend copying my Star Wars stormtrooper photos from Flickr to my new Stormtroopers page. I need one of those troop transport thingies that they had in the movies. Whoosh!

  • JD's Super Social Media Roundup for Friday, June 17

    JD’s Super Social Media Roundup for Friday, June 17

    Thanks to my friend Ed Steele for encouraging me to write about the social media stuff I find interesting … and also for coming up with the name of this post. What Tools Do You Like? Kohort — “the ultimate solution for groups” is a nice-looking tool for organizing group activities that’s currently in private beta. Discovr Apps — is an iPhone app that helps you find more apps. Oh yeah! Likester — is “the global popularity engine” that lets you see what your friends are “liking.” Cage — a design collaboration tool that I logged into but didn’t get to play with much … yet. Klout — “the standard for influence” (not really) has a new +K feature that allows you to give people points for areas of expertise. For example, you can see mine. Bacon Ipsum — happily, is exactly what it sounds like and a good giggle. Twenty Feet — a social media stats tool pulling in data from all your different networks. What Else Was Awesome This Past Week? I was happy to find my friends at Buffer (“Never flood your followers again”) and Refynr (“Unclutter your stream”) in a list of “10 new tools to make the most out of Twitter” on webdesigner depot. XYDO pointed me to a great TechCrunch article about how Facebook is taking over the world. I started following @TweetSmarter which posts a ton of great social networking news. You should check it out. Jim Gaffigan continued to be hilarious, this week tweeting a lot about his overdue baby. The story of how I became a cyborg was posted at an easy-to-remember address — — for your convenience … and because I thought it was funny. Green Lantern, a superhero with maybe the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, is now selling sandwiches for Subway. Oh wait, that wasn’t awesome. Never mind. I laughed at @Peanutweeter, which “matches kinda random Twitter posts with somewhat less than random Peanuts® comic strips by Charles Schulz.” “Weird Al” Yankovic @alyankovic tweeted like crazy about his new album Alpocalypse. Well, I would too! Pew Research released an interesting study about how we are using social media. What Will Be Awesome Next Week? I will discover more amazing people via the social stock market game Empire Avenue. will continue to simultaneously impress and vex me. Tumblr will not go down at all. What Do You Think? Did you find this post helpful? Should I do one every week?

  • Morning in Georgetown

    Morning in Georgetown

    Family and friends gathered for a delicious breakfast at Monument Cafe in lovely Georgetown, Texas this morning before heading out to enjoy Market Day. We managed to purchase clothing, a turtle made out of seashells, and two sculpted chickens before we were done. Not bad! Window Book Proud Sniff Gaze Breakfast

  • Is JD Hancock really a cyborg?

    Is JD Hancock really a cyborg?

    Answer: Yes Really? Yes, really! But how? It’s a long story that started with a headache. History I was first diagnosed with my medical problem when I was in high school. I had severe headaches, and my mom took me to a doctor, and he told us about migraines. Fortunately, they were short-lived, and I didn’t get them again for many years. I was working as a web product manager for a dot-com company in 2000 when the migraines returned. I missed weeks and weeks of work as many different doctors tried to find a source and a treatment. At last they subsided, and my life returned to normal. The migraines didn’t return in force for five years. When they did in 2005, I was working as a Web Site Content Director for a non-profit organization, and I began missing a lot of work. I had surgery to correct a partially deviated septum and to clear out my sinuses, which seemed to help. The migraines didn’t go away completely, but I had respites. In 2007 I started a new job at a technology start-up. I missed work here and there as the migraines continued. A neurologist specializing in sleep disorders diagnosed and successfully treated me for sleep deprivation. The migraines subsided for a time, but as they became more frequent again I moved from doctor to doctor trying to find answers. Thanks to a friend, I finally found a pain doctor who seemed to understand. I had an x-ray of the back of my neck taken on July 29, 2010. Note my necklace running left-to-right across the image, the wire running from my battery pack below (not shown) up to the based of my neck, and the two leads at the end of the wires, one of which is misaligned. Turning Point On an off for a decade the migraines negatively impacted my quality of life, my work, and most importantly my family. So after trying several non-surgical treatments, I agreed to have equipment surgically placed in my body that would greatly lessen my suffering. The device, called a spinal cord stimulator (SCS), is designed to transmit a constant flow of electrical “white noise” into the back of my head to “mask” my pain. The surgery in March 2010 was successful, and for the first time in years I was completely free of migraine pain … at least for a few months. But something went wrong. We believe some of the implanted equipment came loose. X-rays taken in July 2010 showed that one of the electrical leads was mis-aligned. My doctors and I decided that a second surgery with improved leads would solve the problem, and so I had an “upgrade” in August 2010. The results this time were less successful at first, as scar tissue and perhaps other factors from the initial surgery made this one somewhat unique. To compensate for this, in January 2011 I elected to have an additional, non-surgical procedure known as radio frequency ablation (RFA) to temporarily block the migraines while my new implants “settled in.” This treatment was fully effective. I had another x-ray of my upgraded cyborg implants on November 11, 2010. The Future At this time we’re not certain that my current implants are blocking my migraines 100%, because some credit must go to the additional RFA treatment, the effects of which can last up to a year. But in the meantime I still keep my cyborg components charged and operational. And, so far, I remain migraine-free.

  • Lining Things Up

    Lining Things Up

    In the past day or so I’ve re-worked how I manage my domain, and in the process I’ve learned a bit more about Before Domain purchased at Network Solutions Domain and website hosted at a web hosting company Email hosted at a web hosting company and forwarded to a GMail account After Domain (still) purchased at Network Solutions Domain and website hosted by Email hosted by Google Apps for Domains Why Switch to I’ve had a mostly-static website since the mid-1990s, but I had not updated it for several years. I had grand plans for rolling out a new trim, fast-loading, HTML5-based, static website and was actually in the process of doing so (thank you HTML5 Boilerplate). But the more active I became on social websites, the more I realized that a static site was not going to keep me happy long-term. I needed a blog-style platform for what I wanted to do. I chose because I wanted a solid and time-tested platform. It’s certainly not a perfect choice, and I had many other options, but so far I’m happy with it. So why not choose … I’ve hosted my own Wordpress installs before, and while I can do it, I believe for what I want to do here the flexibility doesn’t outweigh the overhead. I really just want to focus on content right now. But if I ever change my mind, the move to a hosted WordPress installation is pretty easy. Squarespace? It’s awesome. I really like what they’re doing. But the service is just not evolving as quickly as I had hoped, and that worries me a little. has a longer track record, a relatively enthusiastic user community,  and more frequent innovations. Tumblr? I have a Tumblr account. When their servers aren’t down, I love it. Blogger? I never found Blogger to be that compelling as a platform, although there are some great people using it. LiveJournal? I’ve just not seen a lot of love for them lately, unfortunately. I chose Google Apps for Domains because … I had no choice. This is the only option available if you want your website and email address to have the same domain. In the process I had to move not just my email account but some others as well, which I wasn’t 100% happy about. Which leads to my crash course in … The Way The most important thing I’ve learned is that is Apple-like when it comes to features: they do have interesting features but not a lot of options. Generally speaking, the features you have only work one way: the safe, time-tested way. The downside is they probably don’t have all of the features you want. But the upside is that they work really, really well. So as long as you’re happy with the features they have and way they work, you’ll be happy with I had to “let go” of some of my more controlling tendencies and try to accept new ways of doing things. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, is it? Status Report After all the changes, as of right now, the website and email are working fine. My custom Tumblr address is not working properly at the moment, but hopefully it will be back online shortly. Now that everything is mostly lined up, I’m happy I’ll be able to focus on writing. Yay!

  • Unstuck in Time

    Unstuck in Time

    Welcome to my first post! Most of the time I think people just type up something quickly for their first post so they can get back to playing with the new blogging toys. But I’m going to try to write something meaningful, because I think beginnings are important. So let’s begin. Why am I doing this? For several years people have been telling me that I should be blogging. “Why don’t you blog?” they’d ask. “I don’t know what to blog about,” I’d reply. It was true. I wanted to write a blog, but I was stuck with a huge case of writer’s block, and I didn’t know how to get unstuck. And then over the past several weeks, a series of interesting events occurred which led me inevitably to this first post. I was diagnosed with sleep deprivation and took some time off work to recover. I turned to social media to keep my unfocused brain engaged. I met some amazing people online who were using the Internet to network and have fun better and faster than I’d ever seen before. I had long-time friends and colleagues comment on my increased online activity in a positive way. I listened to my wife Leslie’s wonderful ideas about how to tie the different aspects of my online life together. What is it all about? Put simply, this is all about you, me, and the Internet – past, present, and future! It’s about how the Internet helped you find your way here and, I hope, how it will help you to develop a positive relationship with the author. It’s about my own personal experiences online almost since there has been an “online” to have experiences on! It’s about how the history of computers and the Internet led us to where we are now, and how I hope we will help shape the Internet’s future together. Now I have a purpose. Now I know what I need to do. And I know I’ll need your help to do it right. Are you ready to explore the online timestream with me?

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