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A website as a toolbox – everything useful in one place

I’m a little old fashioned.  I’m a user of Facebook, but I don’t live by it or on it.  I still find the best place to maintain an on-line presence is one’s own website.  In my humble opinion, or if you like acronyms, IMHO, a good site is like a well stocked toolbox.  Why do I consider it a toolbox you ask?  Well, in the modern world, anyone who has what is called an ‘online presence’ whether through their own website or on Facebook and Twitter is using a computer.

I always find it hilarious when my wife, who spends a measurable portion of her day on Facebook, tells me she doesn’t use a computer!  We all use computers now, whether in our phones, our tablets, laptops, televisions or even my personal favourite, intelligent hoovers.

Twin State Model of Computer Users – the Unknowing

At this point I cause upset in defining what is two me the twin state model of computer users.  The first state of users, those who use them essentially for fun, often without realising they’re doing so.  These include:

  • Owners of smartphones or tablets
  • Ebook readers
  • Laptop Owners
  • Watchers of Intelligent or Smart TV’s.

This ‘unknowing‘ group will swear blind they they know anything about computers.  They don’t own them.  They can’t use them.  They have no room in their lives for one.  This group, however, will declare the coming of the Armageddon when ‘the internet has gone done’ or the ‘WIFI has gone down’ or my favourite, as if I can do anything about it “I cannot get onto Facebook!”.  OMG – the world has ended.  I cannot cope.

For the unknowing, Facebook, Twitter, iPlayer, Netflix and other services are magic.  If we lived in a country with a Bill of Rights, they would be listed right up there at the top.  Yet, when the household is supported by one of the knowing, who is expected to be a high level wielder of twitter magic, dares to ask for a budgetary outlay to keep the magic flowing reliably he is immediately faced with incredulity, suspicion and paranoia.  We want out Netflix to work without jumping or pausing.  We don’t want to buy new access points, or to run expensive cable through walls, under carpet and around the back of tv’s.  We want to copy our CD’s onto a server so we can listen to them without finding them in their case.  Why do you need another four big expensive of drives?

The knowing

I consider myself one of the knowing.  I am not a grand wizard.  I am not omniscient, and nor can I wield miracles.  Regardless of what my daughter my believe, I have not blocked her access to the internet, using telekinetic powers at the same time that I’ve been sat in front of everybody eating my dinner.

I have to say though, wouldn’t it be neat if I could?  Instant revenge for bad behaviour!  I live for the irony of being abused for hours by my lovely teenage daughter, who enjoys telling me how everything is my fault.  Only to receive a visit, 30 minutes later, asking, or rather demanding help in researching something for her homework,

A Knowing Website

So this site is to be be built around the needs of a knowing person.  In other words it won’t simply be a synced copy of parts of Facebook, copies of the latest Tweets of some Pop Star I’ve never heard of, or even some rich American Bloke who gets away with breaking all the rudes that would see the rest of us banned.  In the same way I see computers and applications as TOOLS, as parts of a toolbox.  Consider this model:

In our nice and simple model, I like to think that our house, or perhaps our network, which is the magical realm through which words in Facebook fly, is represented by the toolbox.  This makes sense to me.  It make sense, because in my toolbox, and you can assign the following devices found (in some form) in most homes with a skilled ‘knowing’ person inside would include:

  • A network switch(es)
  • A Network router (and possibly a modem for those with hybrid fibre connections)
  • A WIFI Access Point (maybe part of therouter
  • Actual computers, be they phones, tablet, laptop, or even tower type PCs, rack servers or tower typoer
  • Fixed storage (flash memory, hard drivers)