Tell me about your Blog?
Raging Tech is my place to vent about my job as a tech support analyst at a university. I vent, humorously when possible, about the situations I encounter supporting phD professors and students alike. Also, I blog about technology news, write helpful how-tos for those “weird” technology problems I encounter if they give me particular trouble, or things that are not straight-forward or user-friendly.
What was your first blog?
My first real crack at blogging was called “Confessions of an Evil IT Help Desk Guy” – a completely fictional accounting of a really evil IT help desk guy. It’s not my best writing, but I still go back and read it and crack up a little. It’s got a few entries, they were supposed to represent chapters of a book, but I’ve abandoned the idea for now until I can really hone in on what I want to write about.
What is the biggest tip you would give to a newbie blogger?
Never give up. You may not be a success with your first blog, but certainly not with your first blog post. If you write because you want to become a famous blogger, you’re blogging for the wrong reason. If you ask people for their opinion on your blog because you want a pat on the back, you’re asking for a review for the wrong reason. You should blog because writing is your passion, because you have something inside you that you need to get out of you, or because you’re genuinely a semi-expert on a topic.
What do advertisers do that you wish they wouldn’t?
Three things drive me CRAZY that advertisers do: keyword targeted advertising that works out horribly – for example, ads about plastic surgery on a site for a support group for people with low self-image. The second thing is ads with audio or that play automatically. The third is ads that cover content I’m trying to read and require me to see them and then click “X” to get to what I’m after.
What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t?
In general, bloggers that build blogs to do nothing but block-quote and link other blogs and then are covered in Google Adsense Ads without providing any original insight, content, or opinion are the bane of my blogosphere existence.
Where do you see growth in the blogging field?
Right now, the blogs that are taking off are either highly creative writers or gurus on a particular topic. Shoemoney.com, for example – people trust the content that Jeremy is putting out because he’s actually seen and proven results. Since he’s proven to not be some fly-by-night scammer, his blog and SEO tools are a lot more credible than some crazy infomercial or pyramid scheme site. Trustable advice and original entertainment are the generalized niches exploding the blogosphere right now.
What new ideas are advertisers coming up with to take advantage of new trends?
The smart advertisers are starting to see value in the opinions of average everyday people with a huge sphere of influence on Twitter and on their blogs. It’s not so much that they are buying people’s loyalty, but they create the loyalty and build relationships with people of influence. It’s not just about being heard anymore.
What do you do to improve the world?
I try to spread truth. Inside everyone is a little voice that lies to them. Call it insecurity, call it the Devil, or call it your inner child. Spreading truth can sometimes be encouragment, it can be constructive criticism, course correction, or sometimes telling someone only they can make a decision when someone is already bombarded with people telling them what to do.
What do you do that is green?
I’m not hardcore trying to do a lot differently, but I do some simple things – I try not to waste fuel with needless car trips or combining several errands to make the trip as short and efficient as possible. In the winter I try to use the heat only at night when I’m trying to sleep. I buy things made of recycled materials. I try to shop at local stores more than big chain stores. I try to buy organic and fair-trade coffee.
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
I’m kind of a two-sided guy. There’s a sensitive, poetry-writing, intellectual, romantic side, and then there’s the tough-guy, beer drinking, dumb humor, action movie watching, aggressive side. Day-to-day I struggle with finding a balance between conflicting desires and interests.
What’s your favorite book?
Geeks by Jon Katz
What is on your iPod?
Mostly alternative mainstream rock. My iPod serves primarily as a waiting room, lunch time, and mowing the grass music source. In my car, I listen to Pandora on my Blackberry or Sirius satellite radio. At work or at home, I listen to Pandora or the new UK service Spotify (through a proxy, since it’s not available in the U.S. yet.
What are your contact details (email, company, blog, Facebook, MySpace, forums, etc)?
There’s a couple places I can be found:
e-mail: rt (at) ragingtech.com
What events do you go to?
I’ve actually only been on the scene a short time, but my first big event is going to be IZEAFest this year, October 1st – 4th in Orlando, Florida.
How do you prefer to communicate?
I’m a big fan of text messaging. I’m not good on the phone for more than a few minutes. E-mail is even starting to become a little slow, but now that I have a Blackberry my email is always with me. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s a burden.
Who would you recommend, and why?
Nathan Dawson – http://www.greatpcs.net/ – The Fate of Tyrlon is the name of his blog. He’s been one of my best friends since 7th grade. He’s always been there for me, and his blog is a pretty good read.
Heather Smith – http://www.boatinginbeautifulbritishcolumbia.com/ – She is an absolute darling, and helps people left and right get connected. Since she introduced me to you when you needed help, it seems right to mention her first after all she’s done.
Connie Foggles – http://www.brainfoggles.com/ – Connie is the reason that I’m going to IZEAFest. She helped me get a ticket and without that, I wouldn’t have such a great opportunity.
Drew Bennett – http://www.benspark.com/ – Drew seems like a great dad and his blog and photo-a-day are always entertaining. He’s a great member of the blogging community.
Aaron Brazell – http://www.technosailor.com/ – Aaron works in DC lobbying for freedom, justice, and the american way. Also, he usually has a pretty good thing or two to say to bloggers and advertisers in general.
Rainn Wilson – http://www.soulpancake.com/ – You may know him as Dwight from the U.S. version of popular television show “The Office,” or as “The Rocker” from his famous film. What you may not know is how awesome his web site is that explores spirituality, the human experience, and the things that really, really matter.
Ted Murphy – http://www.ted.me/ – Ted posts a lot of inspirational blog posts that are not only about social media and social marketing, but about life in general. I love his “go out and get the thing you want” attitude.
Jeremy Shoemaker – http://www.shoemoney.com/ – Internet marketing guru (although a self-proclaimed “Dumbass”) helps anyone willing to try earn money on the internet.
What is one thing people can do for you?
A couple of things people can do that will make my and every other tech support guy’s life easier, and it is this short list of things for tech problems and for calling tech support:
1)Turn it off and back on again.
2) Don’t click on ads on a site you don’t trust with your computer.
3) If a message comes up on your screen saying you have viruses and need to run a scan, why? If it knows you have viruses, while does it want you to run a scan? It’s likely a fake. Especially if it’s not a message from your own antivirus program. You are running an antivirus program, right? Get a trusted one, like Avast, AVG, Norton, or something from a reputable company.
4)When you call tech support, don’t be a douchebag. Don’t try to interpret what the technician says – if you don’t see what he says don’t make a guess – ask more questions. If you are having a really hard time, ask if they have a way to connect to your computer and see your screen and show you what to do, or do it for you. Take notes. Learn. Go through the stupid steps even if you have already tried them. The technician deals with all sorts of experience levels, and needs a feel for what you can do before he can just trust you’ve already tried the simple things.
5)If you’re not that tech savvy, don’t demean yourself. We know you need help, don’t be afraid to ask us to repeat things or slow down, or to use simpler terms. It doesn’t mean your stupid and we don’t mean to make you feel dumb. Help us help you. We really do like helping people, especially if they’re really nice.