Posts made in March, 2015

Community Spotlight: Beaverton Park and Recreation

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015

Community Spotlight is an occasional look at some of the fantastic organizations around the beautiful Portland metro area. We are deeply involved in our community and want to put some focus on the special parts of it. This week’s spotlight covers our local park and recreation district.   Many of us are mourning the end of long-running television favorite “Parks and Recreation,” but one thing we might not have thought about before is the existence of our very own P&R districts here in the Portland Metro area.   From the outside, it may seem as though P&R just takes care of, well, the parks. And that’s part of what they do, but in reality, their duties cover so much more. Here in Beaverton, the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District is in charge of managing parks, trails, recreation centers, nature centers, and more that are located within 50 square miles of land. That’s a lot.   One of the neatest things about P&R is that they offer many classes all year long, open to district residents of any age for accessible prices. A large amount of these classes focus on physical activity, such as learning how to dance, swim, or do gymnastics, but others are more education-based, like pottery,...

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Promising Social Media Apps in 2015

Posted by on Mar 14, 2015

Something exciting about each new year is seeing which social media app will make it big this time. A few years ago, none of us could have imagined Snapchat becoming part of our daily lives (admit it, Snapchat is totally your guilty pleasure—I know it’s mine). With ever-expanding space and an increasing reliance on our phones, it’s easy to become invested in a new social media network.   What’s interesting is that most new social media that pops up primarily exists on mobile. Most don’t even have a website equivalent, so those without smartphones don’t have the opportunity to opt in to most new media. Naturally, many of the aforementioned apps are more focused on being out and about, making interaction with businesses, friends, and potential friends easier.   So here are a few apps I’ve been keeping my eye on, seeing if they’ll fly or fail (a few, admittedly, already have flown).     Ello The chit chat surrounding ad-free Ello has greatly slowed down in recent months, but for a while, it was the social network with the largest interest. Many people were hoping it would become a facebook replacement—and with the steadily more complicated evolution Facebook’s been going through, it seemed like a great alternative. Of course,...

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The Human Element

Posted by on Mar 6, 2015

Can a robot build your website? Do you really need a human to be involved in the process? Isn’t everything just an algorithm these days anyway?   Kind of, but not really.   There can certainly be a formula to social media, as in, which types of posts give commonly good or bad results, but when it comes to actually generating content, the human brain has potential far beyond what any computer can do.   There is a distinct difference between “good enough” and “good” and that difference, I believe, is human involvement. Everyone’s heard the argument that a hundred monkeys in a room with typewriters will eventually produce Hamlet, but why waste all that time and energy when a single human can do the same thing in a more efficient manner? There are many things that computers can do more efficiently—mechanical automation to replace certain human tasks is a fantastic result of innovation and industrialization, and ultimately will leave human minds free to engage in less repetitive tasks.   However, creative tasks such as web design and social media cannot yet be efficiently replicated by computers, which are not cognizant and cannot engage in creative thinking beyond what has been programmed into them—therefore, they’re limited. Computers can mimic...

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