Radio Shack is going to shut 1100 of its stores due to a plunge in sales last business quarter. It recently rebranded its physical stores, logo as well as its focus of what they prefer to sell but that hasn’t helped much. In fact, I think that the new logo and repositioning of the brand is disconnected from the DIY electronics culture that it once fostered. It’s missing a great opportunity to empower its customers to learn about electronics and computer programming.
When I was in high school, I made a telegraph from scratch. I had instructions from a library book and went collecting the necessary items and built it. It still works today. I went to Radio Shack to fetch the necessary electric parts. I was great fun.
And years before that, I was fortunate to have a small crystal radio lab kit that could be configured to perform about a dozen different electronic experiments. It was thrilling. I learned about basic electrical circuits. One experiment lit up a tiny lightbulb. Another made a noise. And, of course, I was able to make a crystal radio and actually hear radio stations through the tiny earpiece. To this day, I still connect those experience of learning and experimenting with electronics with Radio Shack.
But the Radio Shack that I knew as a young person doesn’t care much about inspiring people with the magic of electronics. I do not know why this is so. But If they want to gain back market share beyond mobile phones and cases, then they should start by showcasing their electronic labs.
I wonder what would happen if everyone wrote every day of their life. How would we all treat each other and world around us?
The goal would be to just write. Write for five or ten minutes a day at the minimum. What would happen?
Would a person’s voice (inner, outer, speaking, writing) change?
Would everyone become more social to some degree?
Would all of the writers become more empathetic?
Would we become aware of when we are fooling ourselves?
Would we notice each other more?
Eventually, would we want to write even more?
It takes so little effort not to write. But, then again, the same could be said once writing skills are learned.
I started a new category called Blog Ore. Blog ore is a naturally occurring clump of thoughts from which intelligent and coherent ideas can be successfully extracted. Instead of the term rough drafts, posts like this one will be filed under Blog Ore. Then I can visit them later to smelt them down.
Now, on with the latest blog ore…
Yesterday I started to kvell about blogging and how it is the richest form of social networking (compared to the mainstream social networks). In my year-long blogging adventure, complete with further integration and use of social networks, I am beginning to notice the early indications of a pattern of how digital interfacing with people is affecting me. Questions come to mind.
Why do people blog?
Why do people use social networks?
How often do people blog and use social networks?
Which social skills strengthen and which atrophy with consistent use of blogs and social networks?
Do people see less of each other because of blogs and social networks?
Direct interaction is the most powerful means of communication among people. I am wondering how more and more interfacing affects the face-to-face interactions.
I know that what I’m writing about here is not new in the scope of human sociology and anthropology. (Remember this is blog ore.) But it is new to me with respect to my increasing acts of blogging.
I really need to explore this idea further, but I’ll start it off with this bit of writing first.
All students from middle school through college should have their own blog. All teachers and school administrators should blog. Blogging should be as common in all educational institutions as paper and pencil, computer screens, black boards, white boards, lunch and recess.
The only way to understand blogging is to blog. The act of publishing a post about something trivial or profound involves the same process: choosing an idea to share; composing; editing and publishing. The real fun begins post posting. Eventually, people will begin to interact with the blog posts. And in response, more posts are made.
Blogging is the richest form of social networking. For anyone who does not blog and would like to better understanding the cultures of the social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr and others networks, then