Will you leave your online life to your loved ones?

As we start our independent lives away from our parents we take on more responsibilities and start to gather our worldly goods. Once we have a few things to our names and whether we are single, enter into relationships, have kids we start to think about what or who we would like to have these things and manage our affairs in the unfortunate event of our death. This is where a Will (Last will and testament) comes into play. It is not something that any of use really wants to think about or do but a very necessary evil especially if you want a say in what happens to your belongings, who will care for your children or animal.

So as many of our daily tasks start to move online and we start creating our online presence have you thought about if you will leave access to these accounts and information and if so who will you leave it to? Our online presence can be very personal and not all aspects may be shared or even know about by your friends or family so do we just leave list of account numbers, usernames and passwords as part of your will or leave it all out there in the cloud some of which will be viewable and other locked away.

I have been thinking about this recently as I really need to update my will now my kids are older and just general life situations have changed. I did a quick calculation of how many different online accounts I have including bank accounts, and came to a figure around 50. Well that blew me away and seeing that I use some accounts like gmail as a backup facility also some of these accounts will need to be accessed by other after I have gone. If you have flickr accounts and other media sharing accounts that have family and personal files would you want your family to have account access to these? 

I am just putting this out there for all of us to think about, how I would actually go about leaving this information or if I would actually leave access available to or my accounts is something I will be thinking about. So I ask the question Will you leave your online life to your loved ones?








Ada Lovelace Day

AdaLovelaceDay Bringing women in technology to the fore


24 March 2009
Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.
Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Entrepreneurs, innovators, sysadmins, programmers, designers, games developers, hardware experts, tech journalists, tech consultants. The list of tech-related careers is endless. http://findingada.com/

I signed the pledge to say that I would post an article on my Blog on March 24th about my tech heroine, someone who I think could be a female role model in technology.”In technology” can be interpreted in many ways and I have chosen someone who is leading the way and encouraging others to become involved in using technology in education.

Sue Waters stands out as someone who is dedicated to encouraging others to see the advantages of using “Web 2” technologies like wiki’s, twitter and blogs in education. She is a mum and wife, works as a TAFE lecturer, posts to two blogs, answers questions in user forums and twitter and runs numerous online sessions on how to use these technologies. She is masterful at engaging people with and through these technologies specifically wiki’s and twitter. By asking conference attendees to tweet what chocolate they like and where they are from she gets responses from people who may have been reluctant to even try twitter. She has found that using the word chocolate is not threatening and everyone has an opinion about it. She is an inspiration to me, a very positive female role model and I am lucky enough to call her my friend. You can find her personal blog here http://aquaculturepda.edublogs.org/

Technorati tags:

She’s Back

I seem to have started a few posts saying I can’t believe it is ……. since I posted to my blog and here I go again. Wow haven’t done anything since December ’07 . I came to have a look at the many many spam comments that have come into my blog and delete them, because of this I have set comments to approval before they are seen. Then I thought I would have a look at what new themes were available and selected one.

After doing this I thought I had better not be so slack and actually create a post so ……. here it is.

I have been so busy over the past term, I have taken on some extra work at TAFE and most of my classes have kids between 16 – 18 who would normally be in the school system but due to one thing or another school has not worked for them. In Western Australia we have a policy where students need to be in full time education or work until the end of the year they turn 17. So if school doesn’t fit they have come to TAFE. Having these kids for 13 hours over three days is full on and this combined with my software development business has not left me much time and as such almost all of my online activities have suffered, until now – school holidays 🙂 the following images sums things up nicely especially with my recent train trips to Perth and my lack of internet access on my ancient nokia phone.

Sounds of Silence

Geek and Poke Sounds of Silence

Twitter Abstinence Syndrome

Geek and Poke Twitter Abstinence Syndrome

I have met some really great people on twitterand facebook and my friends and followers continue to grow. Having these online contacts is good especially when working from home as it stops me feeling isolated. So if you haven’t yet used twitter or facebookhave a go and see what you think. As with most things on a computer if you have a use for it whether it is software, online communities or even surfing the internet you will pursue with it if not you may view these things as time wasters but you wont know unless you try them yourself. Anyway enough chat for one night and with lots more thoughts rattling around in my head I will be coming a back a bit more often, hopefully someone will still be reading this.


Gmail warning

logo Timely warning for students

Today my students received a timely warning on personal security on the internet. In class we have created Gmail accounts then gone onto create iGoogle personalised home pages. They have created del.icio.us accounts and signatures for the Gmail email accounts. One task required them to email all of their class mates and their lecturer (me) and send a link to their del.icio.us accounts. This was as way of all students getting each others contacts and del.icio.us links.

As always in these sort of classes I go over security, guarding your personal information on the internet, logging in and our procedures and student code of conduct and internet usage policies that they have all signed and agreed to at the beginning of term.

On Thursday several students and myself received an email full of swearing and sounding very upset at the rest of the students in the class from one of the other students. I spoke to this student to ask if they were having trouble with the other class mates? No and the student when shown the email knew nothing about it. On further investigation we found the student was not at TAFE on Thursday and when going through the history on the PC where the email originated we found that the browser automatically signed into his Gmail account. Now after this episode all the students in the class Sign in and Sign out of their Google accounts. Just because a browser is closed and internet connection is also closed does not mean your account is also closed especially if you have selected to “Remember me on this computer” then someone else can come along and log into your accounts. Beware.

Sign in & ALWAYS  Sign out


I am a Googleholic and I don’t care!


Yes I took the challenge to Go Without Google For a Day and survived to tell the tale. This is definitely a task to only undertake if you are not under pressure, meeting deadlines or very busy. You need time to learn your way around using the different search engines. I took the easy option and downloaded Alt Search Engines list of 100 alternative search engines and used their top recommendations.

First I tried Kartoo this was quiet fun as it displays your results as graphical pages on a map. You can move your cursor over the results and see where and how they may link to other pages. It also gives you a list of keywords that you can use to define your search. You can Select the language of your search but not specifically your country – No Australian specific search.

Next I tried Quintura well I must be thick or needed coffee but I got thoroughly confused and gave up. 50matches is a Social Powered Search and they “only crawl web sites that were bookmarked or voted for by people, in sites like del.icio.us, digg and reddit.” Well I hope they don’t crawl my del.icio.us account as I know how unorganised and very badly tagged my things. No hope from my account of finding what you may be looking for – enough said. I also gave BlogDigger a go but when the results show Adds by Google and the results are presented looking very much like Google I wonder what their search engine is powered by?

I found a PC Magazine article called 11 Ways to Search without Google and tried a couple of their suggestions. One was Cha Cha where my searches for things like “Compact Framework Programming”, “VB.Net PPC” and “Mobile Developers” turned up some different results to what I get from Google. They also suggested StumbleUpon but this required a download of their toolbar and that was a hassle. When I want to use a search engine I want it to be a quick and painless activity,I want information and I want it now. I don’t want the hassle of downloading something before I can even start!

So I tried several different search engines and found sites like downloadsquad that I hadn’t found before when using the same phrases on Google. I found it interesting to try different search engine and did find the information I was looking for in my searches, but also had to make a conscious effort not to use Google for finding information. I think that we have been using Google for so long now it has just become a way of life. I do find myself talking about “googling things” and have even said this to my students.

I may continue to use some of these alternatives if Google doesn’t return what I want and when helping my daughter with school projects, they may help to return different results to what her class mates or teachers will get!

BUT I use Google for so much more than just searches

  • It is my customised home page
  • At a glance I can read my horoscope
  • It tells me the latest news
  • I can time my work
  • I can place sticky notes and reminders.
  • I love the fact that I can read the latest feeds from blogs I have subscribed to without going to another page
  • I can get my gmail easily
  • I can search my del.icio.us account
  • I can easily add new feeds
  • I can search Wikipedia

And if I get sick of seeing all those things I can get rid of them or not sign in and then have a clean white fresh page that I can just use as a search engine.

So I have to now stand up and admit

I am a Googleholic and I don’t care


Gooogleless = the act of not using Google for a day

Today I visited my friend Sue’s blog and found her post Can you go without Google for a day? well someone had to take up the challenge so on Tuesday June 12th I will be Gooogleless. The idea behind this is to try using some of the many other search engines that are available. Alt Search Engines have a list of 100 alternative search engines that you can try.

So if I am still sane I will report back how it went. I did make it through you read more on this at

I am a Googleholic and  I don’t care!