Freshta Tori Jan is working hard to get jobs done — can you help her?

I wrote about the news regarding Freshta’s work several days ago — see:

Freshta’s work + Sew True Products = Covid19 / CoronaVirus masks

Since WoodTV have issues with privacy (in particular WRT their European audiences, as mentioned in the article above), I was not able to report much about their information.

However, I have talked with Freshta — she is such a friendly and smart person — what an inspiring woman she is!!!

So I wanted to find out more — and luckily (since WoodTV smartly distributes information via WordPress), I was able to find the original text:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Now, Freshta Tori Jan is a 20-year-old Calvin University sophomore studying political science and pre-law. But she was born near the border of Iran and came to Grand Rapids in 2015 after her father died.

Her family and ailing mother remain in Afghanistan.

She tears up talking about the difficulty of staying in touch with her family, who are always being watched.

She said the persecution of her family is both ethnic and religious. Her parents were tortured, and friends were killed. When she was in the eighth grade, the Taliban shut down her school.

“I wasn’t going to let that be the end of my dreams. I did not want to end up like my cousins — married off to someone who is 30 years older than me,” Tori Jan said.

She said she was appalled by the actions of the society in Afghanistan where women, in particular, have a dismal future, and she would have had no choice but to produce children and domestic servitude.

“I wanted to make change, there is just so much injustice to be fought every day in so many systems,” Tori Jan said.

She stays here with a family and she attended Grand Rapids Christian High School. She says when she feels tired or overwhelmed, she finds inspiration in her birth-land.

“I ask myself, ‘who am I doing this for?’ and then I remember that I am trying to carry on the fight for my friends who never got to make it alive, who never got to go to school, but also for my parents,” she said.

In March, she had to leave the dorms because of coronavirus and had clothes she was going to donate to Goodwill but couldn’t.

She also saw the plight of the homeless hit particularly hard by the illness.

“It really touched my heart, and I really wanted to do something. But I didn’t know what, so I was like why not make masks?” Tori Jan said.

One of the homemaking skills that girls in Afghanistan are required to learn is sewing. She used her time to put that skill to use and make the masks that allow for filters to be changed.

She decided to go beyond simply donating the masks to a homeless shelter. She wanted to make personal connections with the people she was helping.

“That way, I’m able to get to know them but then also see how else I can help them,” said Tori Jan.

That mission has grown, and she sells the masks as well as hair accessories and makeup bags to people who want them. The profit then goes to helping people with basic needs and helping them connect with resources.

“They all have different dreams just like me, just like so many other people,” Tori Jan said.

She created a website, which has the motto: “Immigrants. We get the job done!”

On the site, customers can buy products or donate them to help the homeless.

Please: any way you can support Freshta’s vision become real would not only make her happy but also contribute to a more healthy + vibrant community for all!

You can reach the website for Freshta’s project here:

Trackbacks + Pingbacks + Link Rot

blog, hyperlink, hyperlinks, link, link rot, linked, linking, linkrot, links
pingback, pingbacks, trackback, trackbacks, WordPress

Let's Connect People

Hello peeps! 😀

First a couple quotes:

Trackback helps you to notify another author that you wrote something related to what he had written on his blog, even if you don’t have an explicit link to his article. This improves the chances of the other author sitting up and noticing that you gave him credit for something, or that you improved upon something he wrote, or something similar. With pingback and trackback, blogs are interconnected. Think of them as the equivalents of acknowledgements and references at the end of an academic paper, or a chapter in a textbook.

Within the WordPress interface, “ping” is sometimes used to refer to Pingbacks and Trackbacks.

In general computer terms, “ping” is a common utility used in a TCP/IP environment to determine if a given IP Address exists or is reachable. Typically, Ping is used to diagnose a network connection problem. Many times…

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Complexity — It’s Complicated … to do Things Right (rather than simply quick + easy — including complex / “advanced” search + networking plans + projects)

The expression “it’s complicated” is perhaps the quintessential embodiment of the kind of insight we need more of now – more than ever. We need to say goodbye to “one right way” and we need to say hello to diversity, variations from norms and differentiation in algorithms.

Promoting Network Effects vs. Promoting Customization Services

Against the backdrop of the previous 2 interludes (addressing various aspects of the present-day consumer orientation towards media), I would now like to return to the issue of how to promote more participation in communities such as those engaged with the WordPress platform. As I noted in ”Inviting, Welcoming, Promoting More Participation”, the vast majority of the community interacting with the WordPress platform does so in a primarily disengaged manner, and the 2 interveneing interludes have underscored the consumer orientation towards ”free offer” mentality which hardly involves any participation, engagement, involvement, let alone ownership in the WordPress medium / platform.

This widespread aloofness and disengagement is – in my humble opinion – mainly attributable to a lack of economic motivations, but in part also due to a very narrow, limited self-centeredness throughout most civilizations today. People are generally unaware of how their own actions impact their environments – the most obvious case of this is probably the ”global warming” problem.

The groundwork for the economic disenfranchisement of the vast majority of the world’s population happened about 15 years ago, when Google decided to disregard (and/or ”completely devalue”) all comments made on the Internet (this came to be known as the ”nofollow” algorithm, and has since then been expanded to many media platforms, perhaps most significantly websites like Facebook and YouTube). Note that at the time Google made this decision, its repercussions were not widely understood (and indeed many people actually applauded this as a way to censor spam). In other words: it is not alone Google’s ”fault”, it was the widespread adoption (of ”nofollow”) among publishers that drove these nails into the coffin of community engagement.

Within a few years, all of the awe-inspiring widespread community engagement of early web-communities such as Digg had all but completely vanished. Today, the vast majority of websites are barren wastelands when it comes to user participation. The very few and very far between exceptions of so-called ”user-generated content (UGC)” firstly substantiate the rule, and secondly are of extremely dubious nature – since most of this content is outright pirated or in some other way fraudulent (e.g. ”fake news”).

It seems that apart from hoodlums selling suckers vast varieties of ”get rich quick” schemes, there is virtually no incentive whatsoever to be engaged in any way.

What might be good ways to incentivize more user participation?

One method very popular among “free market” thinkers is money. I would not rule this method out completely (see, e.g. this question about “paid content”), but there are some indications that money does not function well as incentive (or as motivator) for creative tasks. Also, money seems to have a way of dehumanizing activity and I find such dehumanization might be counter-productive when it comes to promoting participation, social cohesion and / or community engagement, etc.

My proposal to link together the WordPress community has by and large fallen on deaf ears. Apparently, just as very few people are motivated to actively engage with WordPress in general, so also very few people seem to care very much about the wider WordPress community. One visualiation might be to imagine someone like Carl Sagan describe the WordPress project as millions and millions (perhaps even as “billions and billions”) of isolated islands in a huge ocean (the Internet), not really connected in any way other than a common technology (much like a multitude of homes and other buildings built with similar [standardized] hammers, nails, etc.).

In order to promote collaboration among these individual buildings, isolated islands or self-oriented websites, the potential participants seem to need a clear indication of “what’s in it for me?”

I continue to believe that improvements in the functionality of the WordPress search engine’s capabilities could provide very significant benefits to all WordPress users. Likewise, functionalities to promote more efficient and more effective business networking capability among WordPress users ought to benefit every single WordPress user significantly. Indeed: such very powerful and very positive network effects seem obvious to me – I wonder why they do not seem as obvious to (or even to just so much as mildly resonate with) other members of the WordPress community. My hunch is that the vast majority of the WordPress developers believe that widespread adoption is unlikely. In fact, I wouldn’t even rule out that such a collaborative effort might even be unwanted, because developers might fear that such network effects might lead to a reduction in demand for their own lucrative customization services.