Chris J Powell

WebApp Wednesday – Social Ease

I have had my ups and downs and backwards turns when it comes to using Social Media.  When working in Sales it was a daily go to, building and strengthening the connections and keeping alerted the the wants and needs of my customers and prospective customers.  The most important thing that I learned from 3 1/2 years of leveraging Social Media in a professional manner is speak with one voice…switching from Personal Krispy to Work Krispy and back and forth…well that doesn’t work.  Be WHO you are and the that will come out in all of your social posts. That being said though, now that I am not in Sales and in fact I am searching the open job market for anything to do, I find myself reaching back to Social Media and realizing that I really need to reconnect and rebuild the relationships as well as foster new ones if I am to make a real go at building a brighter tomorrow for myself and my family. Upon diving back into the world of Social Media Monitoring I took … Read more

Data Visualization – Seeing the Bits for the Bytes they Provide

One of my favorite pass times is to surf the grand expanse of the Interwebz for new and exciting things in the world of technology and one of my favorite sites to start that search is over at where they showcase the amazing world of Start Up companies from around the globe.  Today, in my quest for something “new” and “exciting” I narrowed my search to Canadian Companies and stumbled across a very interesting new service that applies the ability to physically see the connections and apply some insights into the Bits and Bytes that we all generate every day. Regardless of being a Business, a Brand or an Individual one of the most difficult things to do with all the many Social Media channels that we operate in is to have a real understanding of what the measure and influence is of the things that we do.  Social Media is the great and grand equalizer and regardless of if you are a small Local Business, Global Brand or a dude like me just looking to make a buck…understanding … Read more

Is Sony to Blame for the Latest Breach???

Data Breaches and Sony seem to be a fairly consistent theme.  Remember back to 2011 when the Play Station Network suffered a breach that leaked out 77 million records…well if you hadn’t heard, it happened again for the media giant…and this time…it is likely to cost a lot more than the $177 million that the last one did. The real question that must be asked is who’s fault is it?  Well the first line of defense against a data breach is each and every one of Sony’s 141,000 employees…and every company out there should take a lesson from the acts, actions and inactions that lead to the leaking of this information. While I have not personally seen any of the leaked files, the reports that I have seen list one of the main culprits in the breach as being the inclusion of plain text “password files” that had all the information the hackers needed right there in plain sight.  Access codes and a road map to the deepest darkest levels of the Sony “Digital Empire”.  Sure, some of this was … Read more

Timmie's You Are Dead To Me

Here in Canada we have a few institutions that define us as who and what we are, Hockey Night in Canada, Public Healthcare and the ever present Tim Horton’s Donut shops that seem to be on every street corner in this country.  We love our coffee so much, we take it with us when we go to war…and this is all good except for when the “brand” that defines a country starts to lose the very identity that made it a cultural icon. This week I find myself working outside of the office, doing some training and interacting with one of the Car Dealerships that I support and while there I am required to take a full 1 hour lunch so I figured on my first day I would head out and over to the local Tim Horton’s (which by the way there are 3 within a stones throw of the dealership) and try to enjoy a little down time…but the second that I arrived in the door I was greeted by what can only be described as a hostile … Read more

The Rant on Tech Support

I have been involved with Technology for almost 2 decades in one form or another.  I have been the go to guy for computers at nearly every job I have had in my adult life, was a Call Router with HP, a Microsoft Outlook Developer, A Tech Support Specialist and even had my own Technology Support Company for a while…all through this I have been the person that friends and family called upon to fix their computer issues both in person and remotely and I have seen and done almost anything with a computer that you can think of. In the time that I have been doing all this, I have seen dumb customers and I have worked with really bad Support Agents but last night while helping my brother configure his $40 Canon Printer to connect to his Wireless Modem Router from Execulink Telecom I was shocked by how little help the front line agent was…and the suggestion that the issue was our fault really got me thinking back to my days in the world of Tech Support. I get … Read more

The Content Management Conundrum

As I rebuild the foundation of my original home on the Interwebz I am challenged not by what I will post, I have that all plotted out, but how I will display it.  The internet is full of some really stellar choices in Content Management Solutions (CMS) but I have a couple of things that hamper my choices: My Web Host – iPage while a solid platform and affordable, does not have PHP 5.4, Ruby or node.js enabled on their servers Weak Programming Skills – training myself in the are of Webfu has proven to be more of a challenge for my aging brain than I thought The number of choices – There are too many choices, do I go Lite, do I go Design First, Database or no Database will be having a makeover done to it, and Krispy’s Rants will be making a comeback but what will the guts of the site be built with…that is a real tough question for this guy right now. The world of Content Management has hundreds of choices and I often find … Read more

Where will the Next Big Thing Come From???

One of my favorite pass times has been the exploration of new technologies and solutions to the problems that I experience and if I am in any way normal…may just be something that the masses experience as well.  When I want to find a solution that is out of the box I turn to one site, a site dedicated to the world of Start Up Companies called  For a short while the domain was but as the popularity of the site grew the dropping of the .st domain for a more standard .com was a good choice. I receive weekly updates to the latest and greatest and always wonder what it truly would be like to work for a Start Up Company like this.  Would it be like it is shown in the Amazon Video Series “The Betas“? The thing that I really like about the site itself is that it does a great job of classifying the companies and products into Regions, Markets and of course…by the Newest! I have been considering and planning for a revamp … Read more

12 Days without Google

You have no idea just how pervasive a service is until you give up on it cold turkey.  12 days ago I decided that I would extricate myself from the hold of Google for a period of two weeks and I must say, while I have been successful thus far…it has not been easy at all! At work I have forced myself to use Duck Duck Go as a replacement for Google to do my work searches while helping customers and after a decade of honing my Google Jujitsu and Search Capabilities I have been left feeling less than adequate when I all to often find myself jumping to page 3 or 4 of the search results to find the relevant content that I would under normal circumstances have found on the first page. Not using search has proven to be the easiest endeavor though as I made sure that I bookmarked most of my commonly used sites before undertaking this act of masochism as it relates to my technology life.  What has truly been hard has been not using … Read more

Information Overload – Am I Going Crazy or Just Blinded by the Data?

I have to admit it, I am an Information Junky.  My daily fix for Information and Data comes from a multitude of sources and the prospect that 5 days from now I will be incredibly limited in my access to information for 6 days has me already Jonesing.  I have been downloading like crazy and will use the week without the Internet to build out a new structure and plan for my posting and rebuilding the website from scratch…but what about the rest of the people who are now 24/7 connected with all the information available to human kind, with the click of a mouse button or a swipe of a thumb on a Mobile Device…are we all going a little Data Crazy? I find myself daily scrolling through my Facebook Feed and reading nearly everything that I have a shared interest in with my friends, I do the same with my LinkedIn Contacts and for the most part from within Google+ too (especially being as my Google+ Circles are mostly Geeks like me).  I also subscribe to no … Read more

Infographic of the Week – Social Media and Education

In the past I worked with and in a number of schools and higher education institutions and I must say, the one thing that is constant is that the social connections to technology always seem to be a view into the future of how the business world will be.  Social Media, from Facebook to Twitter and from YouTube to LinkedIn seems to not only be gaining a foot hold in the culture of students today, it will become an even more necessary tool in the future as those “kids” start to try to make it in the real world. When it comes to understanding the importance of the use of Social Media as both a communication medium and as a way of broadcasting messages…it is the youth of today that get it and us old farts (and I say this to anyone over the age of 40) needs to get a grip on the reality that is Social Media.  Business will be run socially, there is no doubt about that and shaping that future in a way that allows us … Read more