A short video this week. I really wanted to take this opportunity, being Thanksgiving and all, to basically express my gratitude, for a number of different things.
When it comes to … well, when it comes to life, of course, people like my wife, my parents, my friends, my family, obviously those are all things for which I am immensely grateful for.
But if we narrow the scope a little bit down to Ask Leo!, it’s interesting. I am incredibly grateful for the fairly random path that got me here, that got me from my education at the University of Washington to my first job, to my second job at Microsoft, to my career now for the last 14 years as an entrepreneur running askleo.com. It’s been incredibly rewarding, incredibly fun, and I’m just having a good time doing it.
One of the things that I keep coming back to as one of the things for which I am incredibly grateful, is technology in general. You probably notice that I really enjoy technology, I believe in technology, somewhere on the site are words to the effect of I really, honestly, believe that the future of humanity relies on technology to expand and open up doors and accomplish things that we’ve never accomplished before.
Now, I know, especially right now, it’s very tempting to blame technology – social media around technology and the latest election in the United States. My take’s a little different. I’m actually very grateful for the technology that has enabled, for example, some of the misinformation, fake news, and so forth. Not because of what it has enabled in that regard, but that it simultaneously enables and empowers all of us, to go out and be able to find facts, research information on our own. [To] find sources that are, in fact, reputable and factual and things that we can actually, truly, believe in. It does take effort on our part, but the technology, the internet, the software, the websites, all of that, it’s out there for you, and it is an amazing, amazing resource when you’re willing to take the time to use it properly.
I’ve said before that people often complain about technology isolating us, and again, I am grateful for exactly the opposite. I see technology bringing us together in ways that we’ve never been brought together before. Again, there’s a concern right now, that in a lot of ways technology is causing us to become isolated, or in the extreme, polarized, and I can’t really argue that that’s not happening, certainly the polarization part. But, again, to go back to this incredible resource of information that empowers the individual to do what they believe to be the right thing. In the long run I truly believe and truly have faith that technology such as the internet is something that will act as a force that ultimately will bring us together in ways that simply would not have been possible.
Certainly, I know at a practical level, it’s brought me together with friends, and business acquaintances, and family that, in the long run, I would not have been in contact with had all of this not happened. And I encourage you to take a look at your technology that way. See that it can be used a truly enabling force for good. Now more than ever, I think, it’s important that we focus on the positive things we can accomplish because we have things like the internet and the technology in front of us.
Personally, I’m really grateful not only for the technology, but for the fact that, ultimately, I’m a geek, I’ll admit it. It’s one of those things where I personally am able to do things with a relative ease that I understand is difficult for a lot of people. I’m also very grateful for something totally unexpected, and that appears to be my ability to write. I’m constantly working to become a better writer, it’s actually one of the projects that I’ve taken on over the course of the last couple of months. But, in reality, the feedback that I get is that I apparently am able to communicate technical ideas in a way that make them somewhat more accessible and understandable to the non-technology-literate person. And I’m grateful for my ability to be able do that and I’m grateful that it’s being received in that way. Because that’s exactly the way I’m hoping this kind of stuff gets received.
Ultimately what it really brings me back to is that I’m fundamentally grateful for you. The fact that I have over sixty thousand people who are interested in getting my newsletter every week, the fact that I’ve got a million people every month stopping in and visiting my website for some piece of information – that’s fantastic. I’m grateful that you’re here, that you’re coming, that your response has been positive, for all these years. But I’m also grateful that I’m in a position where I can, in fact, serve you with the knowledge and the writing and the whatever-else I have, to hopefully enable that technology to be a little bit more of service to you and to let you get more things done with more confidence as I often say.
And finally, I definitely want to thank my patrons, the folks who have backed up their support for me with money. It’s one of those things where these are interesting economic times on the internet. Revenue models are constantly changing. Running Ask Leo! is not something that is cheap. I actually employ four part time people; I’ve got the servers and so forth, all that stuff to pay for … it doesn’t really matter, the bottom line is that it costs money to run a web site of any substantial impact, and that’s the case with Ask Leo!. Advertising revenue goes down, patrons are stepping up to help cover the cost, and I really, really appreciate that, and I appreciate you for being here.
So I’ll leave it at that, this week. Just a very short, very brief thank you. I know that a lot of you will end up seeing this video for the first time after Thanksgiving. I hope it was a very, very good one for you if you’re in the United States. If you are watching this on Thanksgiving Day, I hope you have a great, great Thanksgiving dinner, Thanksgiving with family and friends and however is appropriate for you. And of course, if you’re not in the United States you’re probably wondering what’s this Thanksgiving thing all about – you’ve probably hear it already, it’s a day where we’re giving thanks, and I’m simply using this as an opportunity to thank you for being here, for watching, for paying attention, for giving me feedback, for asking your questions, for giving me an opportunity to serve.
Until next week, I’m Leo Notenboom. Stay safe, have fun, and you know, of course, don’t forget to back up!