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How social media made my life easier this week…

For those of you that didn’t catch my Twitter feed messages, you’re probably not aware that I had a major technological meltdown occur a few days ago. It all started Tuesday afternoon, upon commencing my regular morning “social media sunrise” routine. My laptop loaded as usual, however upon loading any application, it would display the much despised “blue screen of death”. I tried re-booting and starting in safe-mode, repairing my windows installation and booting from factory CD’s, however it would freeze each time.

Now, I should point out that part of me has always been a “techie” by nature and in the past, there have been very few issues with computers (which I usually assemble myself from custom parts) that I couldn’t resolve. I spent hours on this one trying every trick of the trade. To cut a long story short, it turned out to be more serious than I thought (malfunctioning hardware issue- overheated video card that corrupted my system files and most of my hard drive).

The point of this post however, is that even though I was without a laptop, the technological gateway to my work, I managed not to have it impact my work nearly as much as in the past.

Why is that? Answer: social media + public computer with internet access.

Here’s some common social media applications that helped me get through my work week without my own laptop:

  • Experts-Exchange :Even though I know quite a bit of technical stuff, I decided to tap into this amazing computer technical support knowledge community. I posted a question about my computer problem and within minutes I had people literally competing to respond to me with the best answer (they get authority/expert points similar to that of LinkedIn). I received some great ideas on how to recover 2.5″ corrupt laptop HD’s that ended up working flawlessly.
  • Twitter : This great little micro-blogging platform let me quickly inform regular subscribers to my blogs that I am having some tech issues and will be a little behind in everything I do until further notice.
  • Google Bookmarks : Even though I also use other social bookmarking tools such as Del.icio.us for specific purposes, I found the most use out of Google Bookmarks, which loaded up my entire bookmark collection (personal and business). This made my web user interface exactly the same as on my laptop.
  • Plaxo: Since my Outlook Calendar files were not backed up, my only resort was looking at my Plaxo account calendar which I had set-up to automatically synchronize with my Outlook calendar. All my meetings and appointments were salvaged.
  • Google Reader : I shouldn’t even have to explain this one. Logging into my Google Account and browsing all my RSS feeds made me feel like I wasn’t missing a beat.

I should also add that I spent some time listening to my favorite blogs and podcasts (see my Blog Roll) trying to figure out which laptop to buy now that mine was toast (ordering the part alone would take weeks, which I didn’t have). I finally decided to go with a loaded Dell XPS 1330 based on many direct and indirect recommendations from the online community.

Now I play the waiting game…arrival of my new laptop is scheduled for Decemebr 10th, I’ve been told that Dell usually beats it’s promise by a few days. I hope this will be true in my case as well (RichardatDell, feel free to pull some strings! lol).

Until then, I’m fine using any computer I find, anywhere I am.

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7 Comments

  1. Hi Mike

    Ill check to make sure its on schedule…heaven forbid you be without the new xps 1330 for too long…by all accounts its sweet….black or crimson?

  2. Thanks Richard, I ordered the black and can’t wait to get it! I tried upgrading my warranty to the full 3-year next-day service with complete care and lojack (a few days after I submitted my order) and i think they had to re-enter all the info (i got mixed stories when I called in)? They said it shouldn’t affect my delivery time, which was scheduled for Monday, December 10th. So my fingers are crossed. Although i can ‘t track my order online anymore due to the fact they had to re-process it. All in all thought, service at the Dell booth I purchased it from in Bayshore Shopping Centre was excellent. My salesperson (Mike Johnson) actually knew what he was talking about (I’ve got a techie side to me as well) and provided some good advice. Can’t wait to review it!
    Cheers,

    MK

  3. Sorry I missed you at the ThirdTuesday meetup! I teach in the evenings now.

  4. Hi Mike
    I can’t track it either without an order number and I dont want you giving that out publicly…it’s a breach of our online privacy policies. Let me know if it arrives or not via email…and if not, give me the number in email and we will track it down

  5. following up…did your package arrive?

  6. Nope. Did you get my email?

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