Category Archives: Miscellany

Things that don’t fit into the other buckets as well as meta-posts.

Friday Links for 25 April 2014

Some things I’ve been reading this past week…

  1. For the Children’s Sake, Put Down that Smartphone: I find it a bit frightening that there are parents who ignore their kids this much. Though, come to think of it, I remember toddlers on the subway who were being ignored by parents absorbed in their conversation. The toddlers would get more and more rambunctious until they began screaming to get attention. They got it already, an angry parent.

That’s it! I’ve had a few big deadlines so not much reading this week…

Friday Links for 11 April 2014

Some things I’ve been reading this past week…

  1. Why Teens Compulsively Use Social Media: To Live in a Fantasy World of No ConsequencesWhile I do not agree with the title (see my review of danah boyd’s “It’s Complicated” for a brief discussion of her take on this) I do agree with his point that life online is quite real and no longer something separate from real life.
  2. Understanding Teen Internet AddictionAnother article that, I think, misses the fact that teens are driven online by the fact that we have all become so overprotective that we don’t let them socialize any other way too much of the time. That said, the points about parental involvement are key and I agree completely.
  3. In a Largely White Male Tech World, Why Capitalism Needs an UpgradeA fascinating story about a former prison inmate who created a service leveraging technology to keep inmates in touch with their families and its implications for innovation and beyond.
  4. Opinion: School Stabbing Victim Nate Scimio’s Selfie was Perfectly FineSpot-on article in CNN about the infamous selfie Scimio posted after the stabbing incident at his school. People who are up in arms about it do not understand how teens use social media.

Friday Links for 28 March 2014

Some things I’ve been reading this past week…

  1. LEGO Calendar: As a project manager and an addict of personal information systems, I love this!
  2. Friendship 2.0: Teens’ Technology Use Promotes Sense of Belonging, Identity: A study out of Washington University about the benefits of social media for teens.
  3. The Adults Should Know Better: How Teachers Enable Bullying in our Schools: Damning blog post about how some teachers/schools actually foster bullying through their backwards approaches towards children who are different.
  4. Let Kids Run Wild Online: An Op-Ed in Time Magazine by danah boyd, which is a must read.

No article this week (again). Next week: Review of danah boyd’s It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens.

Friday Links for 14 March 2014

Some things I’ve been reading this past week…

  1. The era of Facebook is an anomaly: The Verge interviews danah boyd after her talk at SXSW.
  2. Free Range Kids: A healthy dose of chill for overprotective parents.  I am nearly done with the book and will be reviewing it here soon.
  3. World Science U: A fantastic free site to teach science. And we really need science education in this country right now.

No article this week. Next week I plan on having one, maybe even two book reviews. If I can find the time to finish the books!

Friday Links for 7 March 2014

Some things I’ve been reading this past week…

  1. Stop freaking out, parents: Social media isn’t the problem. An interview with danah boyd about her fantastic book (review coming soon) “It’s Complicated: the social lives of networked teens”
  2. We Are Just Not Here Anymore. Article about how people are far more into their phones than the world around them.
  3. The Science Behind Optimizing a Productive Work Environment. I work from home so I love articles like this. Working from home can be far more productive than being in an office, if you do it right.
  4. A Father Plays Call of Duty with his Son, Watched by Thousands. Maybe my son and I should twitch playing Pokemon. We’ll make millions.

Friday Links for 21 February 2014

Some things I’ve been reading this week that may be of interest. Tip of the hat to Andrew Gilmartin who gave me the idea for this.

  1. Teens, Kindness, and Cruelty on Social Network Sites. A Pew Research Center report. Fascinating reading. The first pull quote is actually my favorite: “The majority of social media-using teens say their peers are mostly kind to one another on social network sites. Their views are less positive than those of social media-using adults.”
  2. The Return of the Anonymous Internet. An article about the app Secret which I’ve played with a little bit. No one I know seems to be using it so I am probably not getting the full effect. But the concept is fascinating.
  3. Less Sleep, More Time Online Raise Risk For Teen Depression. The lack of sleep part of this is well documented. As parents, we’ve worried for years what we’d do when we reach the high school years when our son has too much to do and so little time to do it and sleep is the part of his life that takes the hit.
  4. Why Procrastinators Procrastinate. This is fantastic. I’ve read a few books and articles on this subject but never have I seen such an excellent summary of procrastination. It also links to a follow-up article that addresses combatting procrastination, which is also excellent.


Teenager using cell phone in church
Teenager using cell phone in church, Photo by the author.

Welcome to Navigating the Waters. The idea behind this site came from many discussions I have had with quite a few people (especially my wife) about… well, everything. I wanted a place to collect my writing and thinking about these many subjects. They seem disparate but at their heart they deal with modernity, with understanding our lives in this digital, online world. These subjects include:

  • Growing up Online: Kids today are growing up connected in ways my generation never was. With that comes new challenges and new ways to try to understand the world. As a parent, I think about this daily and have found a lot of other parents struggle with this. I am hoping that together we can make sense of all of this. Or at least commiserate together!
  • Full Access: Ten years ago, I was a pioneer in accessible web design. Back then, using CSS to separate layout from content was a new thing and few people were doing it. At the time, I was designing and building websites for the Federal Government, which are required to be accessible to comply with Section 508, part of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the idea of this type of design was nothing short of radical. My instructions were to create two sites, one graphical, the other text-only. I had to sell the idea that a single site could serve the needs of all users. Today this is standard (and yet still not widely done). Moving beyond just websites, I am interested in the concept of full access for everyone regardless of device or method of access. And moving beyond that still, I am interested in full access to the online world for everyone regardless of economic status. In other words, how can we get full participation by everyone?
  • Leadership: I have been managing individuals and teams for over twenty years. For the last seven, or so, I’ve been involved with youth leadership (mainly Cub and Boy Scouts but in other contexts as well). I am very interested in what makes a good leader and how we can grow our future leaders. I want to examine what makes a good leader and how those skills can be taught.
  • Project Management: This is more of a sub-case of leadership but it is also fundamentally different in that, in addition to managing people, it is also about managing resources and time. I have learned a lot in my many years in this role (regardless of the many titles I have held, it all really does come down to this almost every time) and want to share what I know and learn what I do not.
  • Miscellany: These bucket is a catch-all for things that don’t neatly fit into the other categories as well as meta-posts (like this one).

I had the idea for this blog and I sat down to explain it to my wife. I said, I need to find a good name for all of this. I need to find a good thing to call these various, disparate thoughts that are, essentially, my figuring out how to understand how our world is changing. “It’s all about navigating the waters. I just don’t know what to call it.” She said, “How about ‘Navigating the Waters?’” I blinked, checked the domain registry to see if it was even available. Five minutes later, this was born.

I have no doubt that whatever begins from the seeds I am planting today may not look anything like what I have detailed above. But it’s a start. I hope that you will join me on this journey and contribute your thoughts. Comments will be open on all posts for two weeks (so discussions are bounded) and all opinions are welcome. I will be culling anything that is nasty or belligerent. Disagree with civility, respond with respect. And if that gets too difficult to manage, we’ll figure something else out. But I figure this should be something we can explore together. That’s the theory, anyway. The plan is to do one major post a week and any number of smaller posts (links, etc.) as needed or as I discover things worth sharing.

Well, that’s enough of an intro. It’ll be fun to look back at it in a few years and see how prescient or how naive I was. But until then, let’s plough ahead!