2015-12-23 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.Happy Holidays!  If you have read our Internet in Bloom columns over the years you may be familiar with the type of Internet website review typically created for the holidays: a rapid-fire list of useful websites with witty, short descriptions.  For example, try a search for "fat free fries" in your favorite popularity engine, such as www.Google.com or www.DuckDuckGo.com and note the various vegan recipes you get.  Fat free French fries exist and are easy to make.  Less LDLs means better health.

However, this year things will be different.  Instead we will review a few rare websites in greater detail, beginning with www.Rutherford.org, home of the Rutherford Institute, the brainchild of Attorney John Whitehead, based out of Charlottesville, Virginia.  The institute is a nonprofit civil rights organization that provides legal services at no charge to those whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated.  They have been doing so since 1982.  Just click on the Legal Assistance link on the top of the web page.  Free is good.

Next we have the most bizarre yet altruistic website I have seen yet: www.DoSomething.org.  Nancy Lubin of Monterey, California started this organization for youth that was featured in a recent talk on www.TED.com (a trend-setting, free academic lecture website, I have introduced several times previously in this column.)  DoSomething boasts it is one of the largest youth organizations for social change in the world with: 4.6 million members, 130 countries, and over 240 volunteer campaigns.  They even offer employment and internships with the motto asking if you "Want to make the world suck less?"  Following are some sample campaigns offered that may interest you:  Teens for Jeans (collect jeans for homeless youth), Search for Specs (Eyeglass donations for the needy) and Blessing Bags (bags of local essentials donated to local homeless shelters).  The campaigns get weirder, trust me, with names like Free-to-Pee (Promote transgender restroom signs) however, I do not have the space to elaborate. 

Consequently, the above DoSomething organization lead to a crisis analysis website based on Nancy Lubin and DoSomething's unexpected call center experiences with numerous texts they received from needy youth with a variety of problems from suicide to drug abuse to stress to bereavement to depression...  The entire list can be seen at the resulting website called www.Crisistrends.org.  Their motto is to empower journalists, researchers, and citizens to understand the crises Americans face so we can work together to prevent future crises from happening.  The website gives you a fascinating look at what can be done with text message statistics when analyzed by the day of the week, time of day, time of year and US state when comparing youth problems in easy to read graphs.  So for our readers interested in helping others, social work, therapy, psychology, psychiatry, statistics, sociology, computer science, web page design, spreadsheet software, trivia, or cool stuff to talk about, this is a terrific website to play with as it is interactive and user-friendly.  Try this for a New Year's resolution: Get out there and do something campers!


 

 

 

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