OrbiusLogoWithNameI’ve been working at Orbius since Oct. 1 helping the team to develop a new social media platform.  If you follow any of the news stories lately in the social networking arena, you’ve seen several problems being talked about.  The first is that there are lots of governance problems with the current state of social networking.  You’ve heard a lot of stories about people’s photos and information being seen by the "wrong" people. For example, my wife works for a school district and a few months ago the superintendent asked all of the teachers to remove their profiles from several popular sites because the kids in the schools were looking at pictures of the teachers at parties, etc.  That’s just one example.  The other issue that seems popular these days is that brand marketers are trying to figure out how to get into he social game.  There are lots of individuals using these social networking sites but companies can’t figure out how to make it work for them.  It’s because of issues like that that Orbius was created.

Here are a few reasons why Orbius stands out:

  • Orbius is different from other players in the market because it is specifically designed to support not just individuals but groups – companies, brand marketers, clubs, and organizations.  We call these community sites Orbs.   It’s really easy to create an Orb, apply themes, configure security and start communicating with groups of people.
  • Orbius is designed to support multiple Profiles.  For instance, I have a public profile that everyone can see.  I also have a Family Profile, a Friends Profile,  and a Professional profile.  I can decide who get’s to see any of my personal information.  For instance, in my Professional Profile I have my resume, links to technology sites and blogs that I like, etc.  In my Family profile I can keep family photos and a calendar that keeps track of where we’ll be for different holidays, etc.  In my Friends profile I share pictures with Friends and I have a comment wall so we can joke around.  But these Profiles would be useless if I couldn’t control who had access to each of them.  With Orbius it is really easy to organize my connections into various groups and then allow them access to whichever profiles I want!
  • Orbius offers a unique way to join communities and "hide" your identity through Personas.  While this may not be useful in all situations, in many communities members share sensitive information about themselves (medical information for example).  In these Orbs, members can safely discuss important issues because the other community members will never know their real identity.
  • Orbius provides a simple dashboard view of changes and updates to all of the communities you belong to.  In addition, all messages among Orbius users come through a central inbox, even if the communication is from different Orbs.
  • By the way, Orbius is free to use.  Anyone can set up Orbs and/or Profiles.  However, companies who wish to take advantage of extra features including advanced themes, removal of advertising, custom applications and more can do so with a Premium, Corporate, or Enterprise Level Edition of Orbius.

Here is a list of some of the features we support.  Most of these can be added to Orbs or Profiles!

  • Blogging
  • Image Gallery
  • Calendar with Events and RSVP
  • Comment Wall
  • Polls
  • Discussion Forum
  • Content Library
  • Ask an Expert
  • Fan Club
  • RSS Feeds
  • and much more!

There’s a whole lot more to it than this, but I thought this would give you an idea of what we are up to.  Want to take a sneak peak at Orbius?  Send me an email and I’ll add you to our Preview List (unless we fill up to quick).

I’ll be posting more information about Orbius soon.  Meanwhile, here are a few screen shots from Orbius (click to enlarge them):

  • Here is my Public Profile.  Note that since no one is logged in, only my Public Profile is seen.  You can see that in my Public Profile I have a Home Page, Connections, Pictures, Blog and more.

my pofile - logged out

  • Here are my Additional Profiles.  This time my wife is logged in.  You can see I’ve given her permission to see all 4 of my Profiles.  Also, you can see my photo gallery and calendar in my Family Profile.

my pofile - logged in as family - gallery

  • The last thing I’ll show today is a screen shot of an Orb.  This is the start of what will be the Philly.Net Orb.  You can see that within this community we have a Calendar (named Meetings and Events) a Members list, a Discussion Forum, Document Library, Newsletter, and other pages.  I’ll go into more detail on those features soon.


This Saturday, Ben will be six weeks old.  Time really flies and I haven’t posted the amount of pictures that I had planned.  Oh well.

So what’s going on these days?  Well today our little champ weighed in at 8 lbs, 13 oz!  Since last week he gained almost 1 pound!  This guy is eating up a storm and gaining weight.  Don’t worry though, as much as he has grown, he is still in the 10th percentile for his age!  He may be small, but he’s trying. 

I stayed home for about a week and a half with Rebecca and Ben so I’ve been back at work for a while now.  The first few weeks were pretty tough, especially for Rebecca since the doctors advised us to keep Ben away from crowds during flu season.  The two of them were pretty cooped up at home.  Luckily it was a mild winter and Rebecca was able to go for walks with Ben.  Ben started out sleeping pretty well but that deteriorated a bit.  These days he tends to sleep for a few hours, then wake, eat, and sleep again.  All in all, I hear we are pretty lucky – some babies are up all night!  Since he was small, we had him eating every 2 hours which is very demanding on Rebecca.  We’re trying to get to a 3 hour schedule now but Ben is used to eating often and really likes it.

About a week ago I noticed a pretty big change in Ben.  All of a sudden, he seems to be able to entertain himself for periods of time.  Now he loves to lay under the play gym and watch his animals.  He even smacks them with his arm sometimes, but that might be a complete accident, I am not sure yet.  Also, he really looks around a lot and follows us with his eyes.  He’s becoming so much more alert and I can see things getting more fun.  Let’s face it (don’t get mad at me) but for the first few weeks, these babies aren’t so exciting. They are cute and all, but they don’t do much.  It looks like we’ll be interacting with Ben more and more from now on!!!

note – you can click on the images to view a larger version!

Here’s me and Ben, his first week home!
Ben’s getting ready to go out with his mom.
This was Ben’s first bath!
He’s so little at 2 weeks.
Sound asleep at 3 weeks.
He sure loves his mommy!
5 weeks.  He’s getting bigger.
He’s “playing” in the gym.

Ok this post isn’t so much about Ben as it is about Rebecca and I, and our life with Ben.  Sure, I am a naive, first time dad.  I didn’t exactly know what to expect after we brought our son home from the hospital.  Well, he’s almost 6 weeks old and I am starting to figure it out.  The biggest challenge so far seems to be time management.  I can’t believe how much time this guy takes up.  Anyway, on to the point of this post…

One Month Old with Mom and Dad I’ve always heard that when people have a baby, their friends send over dinners for them.  I thought that seemed nice enough, but hardly all that big a deal.  I figured that when we came home with Ben we’d be sitting around a lot (since he can’t to much) and we’d have time to cook.  Also I thought, that the gift of food thing must be great for families where “dad” can’t cook.  In my case, I can cook, and love to.  So I wouldn’t mind making dinner each night for Rebecca since she’d be busy feeding Ben.  WRONG!!!!  Wow was I wrong.  And luckily, my friends and family knew better.  They sent over food.  Lots of food.  Not only was I too busy to cook for the first few weeks, but I was just too exhausted to do it.  One little child can be completely draining.  So these meals are a very kind gift and I am thankful to everyone who helped us out.  If you are in a position to bring dinner to a new family, please please please do it.  They will love you for it.  In addition, my advice to any expecting parent – cook in advance and freeze food.  We froze chicken cutlets, meatloaf, soup, and more.  Combine that with all of the great meals our friends sent over and we didn’t cook a meal for the first 3 weeks.  And we had a few in week 4 too!  I’m not kidding.  Rebecca and I realized that, except for picking up some essentials like milk, we didn’t go shopping for a month!

THANKS to all of our friends for the help and support.  Also, here’s a picture of us with Ben – he’s one month old here.

For those of you who were at the last Philly.Net meeting, Marc promised you his slides.  So here they are.  Enjoy.


Marc gave me two power point decks.  Interestingly, the 2007 version is much smaller.  I’ve noticed that with other presentations too.  They must have done something cool to keep the files smaller in the newer version…neat.

Mix Summary for Power Point 2003 (.ppt) 

Mix Summary for Power Point 2007 (.pptx)

You really need to take a minute to watch these two videos.  This guy is a genius.  Johnny Lee takes a Wii remote and uses the existing technology to do some amazing things.  In the first video, he creates an interactive white board for a fraction of the cost of the real thing.  In the second video, he creates a head tracking system that gives an incredible 3D effect.  I wish I was this smart!