Saturday, January 12, 2008

Stepping up communications

I may have more of a vested interest in improving ease of communication than others who read this blog since my wife is a cool 736 miles away. However, it won't be too long before I'm a cool 776, 889, and 916 miles away from my parents, my sister's family, and my brother respectively. That isn't to exclude friends and extended family members, who I welcome to utilize these tools as well.

The internet nowadays has come a long way. The ability to create and share content has become extremely easy and cheap. I think we should kick up the friends & family communication scheme with a little web 2.0 technology. Here are my picks for two free tools to keep us all in better contact with each other.

  • Skype: An online chat, voice chat (if you have a microphone), and video chat (if you have a webcam). You do have to download the program, but it's not a major problem. You can just have it on in the background when you're on the computer and you can see when your friends come online. It even works all over the world, so if you happen to know people on the far side of the Earth, it's a good way to stay in touch with them as well.
  • --> My Skype name: ben.wildeboer (look me up when you get on!)

  • Twitter: I'm really not sure how to describe it, it's kind of like text messaging on steroids (without the side effects). The Twitter FAQ page probably does a pretty good job of explaining it. You can just check it online, or you can "follow" people and get their messages sent to your phone. You can also write your own "tweets" from your phone. It's a great way to stay in touch even when you're not by a computer.
  • --> My Twitter ID: WillyB (check it out!)

I look forward to seeing you online!!

It's Official

As of Monday, January 7th, Sam is an official employee of Pfizer, Inc. We drove out to Connecticut on Thursday (Jan. 4) with a Jeep packed to the gills. After unpacking and seeing the sights in Connecticut (see the pics!). I had to come back home. Unfortunately, Sam had to stay.

We're just completing our first week apart. So far...we're surviving. It's not great, but we do get to see each other via Skype, we email during the day, and talk & text each other frequently. It doesn't exactly make up for not having any physical contact, but it's a drastic improvement upon writing letters back & forth.

In the meantime, stay tuned for a second post tonight on suggestions for staying in closer contact with family/friends. It's gonna be good.