Tag Archives: About Me

Marley vs. Darren Hill

So some of you have wondered what is up with the Marley vs. Darren Hill thing.  Some of you think too much.  Don’t read too much into it.  I live in Ward 1, Marley lives in Ward 1, Hill is the councilor and incumbent in Ward 1…

There really isn’t much thinking at all about it.  Hilary’s sister’s cat Nano is making a credible run for Mayor and Marley is joining the slate.  In other words it was a late night joke that seemed funny at night but really isn’t right now.

Marley for Ward 1 Councilor

My other point for doing this is to show how easy it is for anyone to do a personal page.  It drove me crazy when I can’t find an elected officials website and when I call them on it, they always go, “well I need to get it redesigned” or some other excuse.

For most politicians, the reason I am on their website is that I need some information from them, like a phone number or a email address to contact them with.  It means an About.me or similar page would do all of that for people really, really easily.  You can even use your own domain name with it.

So if you are a prospective councilor, school board trustee, or any elected official, put one of these together and make it easier for people to find you.  It takes 5 minutes and if you use the about.me url, it’s free.

Wendy’s new website

Wendy has had a blog for over a decade and has been trying to decide what to do with it.  She also publishes The Cooking Blog.  Since she doesn’t have the time or motivation to write for both of them and wanted to do something else with the site.  

Several people have asked me what they should do with their domain name and I always tell them to check out Hemant Naidu’s website.  I found it a while ago while searching for something local and found it.  It’s hosted by Flavors.me.  Depending on your options, it can be either free or $20 a year. 

It’s a one page template and does everything that Wendy wants it to do.  I set this up for her in 20 minutes.  Most of that time was Wendy stressing out over the font and the photo.

Wendy Cooper.org

About.me does something really similar but costs about twice as much.  If you are looking at parking a domain name, it is the easiest way to do it.

About.me

Jordon Cooper on About.me

I am not a big fan of online profiles but I have liked About.me since it was launched.  If putting together a simple website that is more professional than your Facebook profile is on your to-do list, then you need to use About.me to do it.  My profile took 10 minutes to slap together and that included fiddling around with a photo.  It’s free, connects well with your other social media sites and allows you to have some control in how you appear online.

Projects: About.Me

A lot of you know that I am a big fan of About.MeWendy, Mark, and even Oliver has a profile on it and every night I need to show Oliver his site after he asks for “Oli-er’s web page”.  Each page took under 5 minutes to create and I was suprised to find how useful mine has become, even after having jordoncooper.com online for over a decade now.

One of the things I have learned about homelessness is how disconnected our residents become from the rest of the world.  Some of the staff who are reading this have worked Christmases at the Centre and at Mumford House and know how few phone calls come in for the guys who call this place home during the holidays.  It puts a damper on a normally joyous day for a lot of them.

When I saw About.me, I realized this was a perfect for the clients to reconnect and be found.  To make it happen, I needed a couple of things. 

  1. Webcam shot of Jordon Cooper at work A computer: Nathan, our IT guru got me a couple of Pentium 4’s running Windows XP.  Not exactly cutting edge but cheap and they work well.  My boss Captain Rhonda and the other managers authorized me spending some money on new monitors.  We put the larger 19 inch monitors on some desktops and took their 17 inch monitors for the workstation.  Some keyboards, new mice and I was almost set.  Toss in a USB stick, a $10 webcam that takes photos and 640×480 video for Skype, a microphone, and some speakers and we are good to go.
  2. XS Cargo has $20 computer carts with wheels.  Since we don’t have the space for a permanent computer lab, portability is the key.  Now the cart took me 3 long hours to assemble so there was some labour costs but I finally got it set up.
  3. Software: Ninite.com provided everything I needed.  Firefox, Chrome, AVG, Open Office, Gimp, and Picassa.  I know there are some commercial programs that would be useful but for the most part, this works for us.
  4. A camera.  XS Cargo has some 10 megapixels point and shoots for sale we use for intake.  We will use it for a while but I want to find something cheaper and simpler like this Vivitar.  In addition to taking some photos for profile photos for About.me, I’ll use it to teach some digital photography.

So what does it accomplish?  Well for guys who are looking for work, the workstation will provide them a chance to create or redo a professional looking resume for submission online or in print.  It also also allows them to link to a space online, whether that be LinkedIn, About.me or another site so that employers can find and contact them.  It also gives them some control over their Google rankings.  For guys in the half-way house, a Google search for them may be damaging (and ignore the reality of rehabilitation), for others, they may never have been online at all and this lets them create and tell their story.

For others it allows people to find them.  The front desk at the Centre gets a lot of phone calls from RCMP and police departments across the country looking for guys.  A lot of them are here, they aren’t missing in the traditional sense but the family has lost contact.  A couple of weekends ago I was asking guys what they wanted to see here and a couple of them said, “Skype”.  Well Skype it is.

I need a couple of things.  I am going to see if I can find some headset/microphones for guys talking online and I probably should put some games on the computer.  I’ll check out the freeware game sites.  I also need to create a start page with links to Gmail, Hotmail, The StarPhoenix, Kijiji, and SaskJobs but I’ll do that this weekend.

I have never been a big believer of those that say that technology is the answer as often times it is a scapegoat for not taking personal action, in this case technology isn’t the answer but is a conduit for men and women who are ready to start connecting to their community and family again.  I’m excited by the workstations and tools like About.me.

About.Me

Jordon Cooper on About Me

I usually don’t get that excited about sites like this but about.me does a great job of creating personal website/contact pages that professionally pulls together weblogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Foursquare, YouTube, and other web services into one page with a user defined URL which makes it perfect for your Twitter bio, a business card, or an email signature.  It’s free (although the pro option has more design options).  For me, it combines both ease of use and the ability to easily personalize and express yourself online.

You can see mine, but check out Dick Costello, Chris Cunningham, Veronica BelmontLeo Laporte, Wendy Cooper, Tony Conrad, Mark Cooper, Catherine Valdes, Om Malik, or Jamal Mashburn.  I don’t think it is a game changer or anything like that but if you don’t have a personal website and don’t want to go through the fuss of setting one up or keeping a blog maintained, this is a great option.