I definitely wasn’t a nerd at school. I was one of the “Arty Farty” crowd, as we got to be known, most likely to be an Actress or a Designer. So I started out my career in the early 80′s doing just that. I worked briefly for IBM in 1985 as a “Tape Loader” ( I have no idea what I did…just put tapes on huge massive tape drives, when the number came up…) on the night shift where I got to see my very first internet interaction. The help desk guys would type online to other IBM’s right across the world about the cricket scores, it blew me away and still does!
In 1995 as a step mum to 2 young children, my husband and I decided we needed a computer, as the oldest was about to embark on high school. So we got a creme coloured box (Compaq 4) with floppy disks an AOL disc and Lotus and whacked it all on the computer. I learned to set it all up for the kids as I was home most of the time looking after them. I soon found a whole new world on the internet via AOL. I also found internet support groups through online forums. As I was a rather young step mum, and full time I found it hard to relate to the other mothers at my young step children’s school, so I joined an online step parenting forum based in the states. Finally I could talk to other step parents and get advice on what to do.
Over the years I realised that with my very complex family issues, having access to online forums was a god send! Australia is very very slow to set up local support groups for anything, (still is..) compared to Europe and the U.S, so when I found out my son was hearing impaired and had Aspergers I went searching again. I joined an Aspergers forum based in Queensland and I found the beginnings of a forum for parents of hearing impaired kids and volunteered to help. I ended up creating their website helping to moderate the forum and creating the newsletter. It was the start of my active participation in online forums and online communities for a number of different issues.
I bought my first mobile phone in 1994, it was second hand and I felt like Agent 99 when I whipped it out at dinner parties and on the bus, to make the rare call….
I also bought one of the first PDA’s a Cassiopea A11, that had a card modem, (see above, it looked remarkably like a netbook! but had a black and green screen) and had to be literally plugged into the phone line to connect to the internet. It had all of 4mb of memory! I loved to have my own tiny computer to use.
So naturally when I decided to record an Album in 2003, I knew enough about the internet to know how to promote it through emerging social networks and online mp3 sharing sites.
I joined MySpace in 2006 to promote my music and that was the start of my involvement in Social Media.
I joined the virtual online game world of Second Life in 2006 and started streaming my music into it as avatar Paisley Beebe (not allowed to use your own name..), that began a 4 year journey into virtual worlds online broadcasting. The rest is history and is on my bio on this site. Other social networks followed shortly afterwards, never scared to be an early adopter.
I migrated from Windows to Mac in about 2004 and never looked back. I still have Windows on my Bootcamp on my Mac, mainly for client purposes. But because I’m a creative at heart, I like the pretty so its Mac for me all the way!
I’m saddened to learn of Steve Jobs resignation as CEO of Apple, in the same way I would be about anyone that I admire that is suffering with a debilitating life threatening illness at his relatively young age and he has been an inspiration to so many people.
Best wishes Steve…and thanks for pretty.
Leonie Smith/Paisley Beebe
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