Searching for ‘Amanda Winkle’: Nothing risque, let’s keep it that way


amanda winkle

My current Twitter profile picture shows up in a Google search.

Google searches have made it easier than ever to find whatever we are looking for. “Just Google it” has become the common response when someone is seeking the answer to something. However, those searches can also yield creepy results when you do a search on yourself.

When I searched for “Amanda Winkle,” the results that came up on the first page were tame enough:
-Links to Facebook profiles for those named Amanda Winkle – you won’t find me because I have my profile set up so it doesn’t show in a public search.

-Links to LinkedIn profiles for all the Amanda Winkles – you will find mine.


My profile picture from when I worked at The Florida Times-Union.

-My Twitter account – though the girl with the Twitter handle @amandawinkle shows up one result higher than me. But I have more followers. Hope no one mistakes me for her (they shouldn’t because I have a detailed description and nice photo of myself). Meanwhile, she has profanity in her description.

-Also, my old author profile from when I worked at The Florida Times-Union shows up.
When I search for my email address, it says “no results found,” which is interesting considering my email address is with Gmail. Probably because I don’t put my personal email out there for the world.

Yet the search still looks for results for my email with spaces added. Most of the results are the same as what I found when searching “Amanda Winkle,” yet two videos I’ve uploaded to YouTube come up as the first two results (below)

Under an “Amanda Winkle” image search, past and current Twitter profile pictures of me pop up, as well as pictures of Amanda Winkles I don’t know. Interestingly enough, Pinterest photos I’ve pinned have also come up. It doesn’t really bother me and perhaps it’s just a setting that can be tweaked, but I didn’t know those photos were searchable on Google. Photos I’ve taken for the Times-Union come up, as well as photos from my current job at First Coast News.

Yet when I search for my full name, middle name included, a whole bunch of creepiness comes up:

-For free, U.S. Search can show you where I went to school, who I’m related to and places I’ve worked. For a nominal fee, they can show you more.

A whole list of “Amanda Winkles” shows up on with links to our “background report” and “contact info.” has the same type of list.

Overall, I feel that my online reputation is pretty clean. I try to keep in mind that a variety of people – teens, adults and young kids – could see what I post on social media. I’ve taken down the more questionable Facebook photos from my early 20s and try and keep my swearing down to a minimum (this can be difficult to do during football season!).

It does worry me, not so much that my more personal information is out there, but that it could fall into the wrong hands. I guess this is just a risk we take living in this new digital age. The best thing we can do is to use the many tools at our disposal, such as a simple Google search, to monitor our online reputation.


Can’t go totally paper-less with Publix app


publix app

Publix app welcome screen.

I love grocery shopping: Aisles and aisles of beautifully packaged food items that you can turn into a wholesome meal for your family! Following a recipe that will become a meal gives one a sense of control in a world where that’s hard to come by.

The problem? With my work and studies, I don’t really have time to go shopping as much as I would like anymore. So, on the off chance that I will have time to go to the store, I decided to download the Publix app to plan my next shopping trip.

To get started with the app, I set “My Publix.” You can either use global positioning or enter in your zip code to find the Publix that’s closest to you.

The feature I was most excited about checking out was Digital Coupons because I always forget to go online and “clip” the coupons before I go shopping. The app takes you to the Publix website to do this, which is convenient yet inconvenient. It’s convenient because you don’t have to remember the URL for the digital coupons yet inconvenient because you’re taken away from the app.

publix digital coupons

The Publix app takes you to its website to clip the Digital Coupons.

I have not tried to redeem the coupons I’ve clipped yet, but from my past experience in the store and from what I’ve read on coupon blogs, it does not appear that you can redeem the coupons straight from the app. You have to enter your phone number in on the payment keypad at the store to get to your coupons. I REALLY wish that the digital coupons were just clipped for you and all you have to do is redeem them, but maybe that’s just me being lazy.

Hate lugging around the weekly ads? Publix has you covered. You can pull up the ads by category on the app, including the almighty Publix BOGO (Buy One Get One Free). You can even add items from the ad to the “My Grocery List” feature with just a tap of a green plus sign. Great, right? However, when it comes to the coupons in the weekly ad, you have to return to paper land. The app will allow you to look at the coupons, but tells you to print them out to redeem.

Publix weekly ad on app

Sorry, you still have to print out coupons in the Publix weekly ad.

A quick note about how cool the “My Grocery List” feature is: If you have the app synced with your local Publix location, the grocery list indicates which aisle your desired item can be found in. This is a godsend for me, as I’m usually circling the aisles several times looking for what I need, even in my regular Publix.

The app’s ease of use returns when you look at Online Easy Ordering, Aprons Recipes and Pharmacy features. Online Easy Ordering takes you to the Publix website, where you can order Deli items, which I don’t do often but may come in handy around the holidays. Again, a convenient, yet not convenient, feature because it takes you out of the app.

Publix app Aprons Recipes

Yum! Look at that deliciousness in the Aprons Recipe feature of the Publix app.

Forget lugging around your Aprons Recipes book or cards, because the Publix app has that all covered. (By the way, if you’re not familiar with Aprons Recipes, they’re great. Not only does the recipe card tell you the

ingredients you need, but gives you a shopping list for the meal too.) I’m not sure if all of the Aprons Recipes are loaded in the app, but there are 976 there, so that should give you a pretty good start. Once inside any of the Aprons Recipes, you have the option to add all the items on the recipe’s grocery list to your own grocery list in the app.

The Pharmacy feature may be one of the coolest features of the app. To refill your prescription, you can either scan the bottle or fill out a refill form. I don’t really use the Publix pharmacy, but this is a pretty neat feature. Now why can’t redeeming coupons be that easy?

All in all, I’m glad I downloaded the Publix app for my future shopping trips. It would be nice to be able to ditch paper all together when it comes to coupon “clipping,” but at least I won’t have to carry recipe cards or grocery lists.

Being the new kid is still awkward in Second Life


Who would have thought the virtual world could be just as awkward as the real world? This week, our Research Methods class was tasked with creating avatars and experimenting in the popular Second Life. After just a few hours of usage, I can’t say if I loved it or hated it, but I definitely had some weird moments in SL.

First, I started out by creating my avatar with my usual online alias, amandala85. (Oops, now you know who I am in SL!) On my first entry into SL, I was dropped onto a beach and I flew out of there, not so gracefully. Then I somehow transported myself to “London City” and changed my avatar to the “Steampunk look.” I could be wrong, but in the free version, I couldn’t find a way to make my avatar look more like me.


Me in “London City” in my “Steampunk” outfit.

Just two people talked to me while I was in London. I told one of them I signed up in SL for my class, and one guy (I think; I couldn’t see his avatar) said via the typed chat window he came across SL while doing computer studies. Throughout my time in the game, I didn’t really tell a lot of people I signed up for class because I just wanted to blend in. Later, I saw several people in the open area and tried to “dance” like them, but I couldn’t figure it out at the time, so I left. Plus a nearby conversation about “stoner stories” was coming into my chat feed and that’s not really my scene.

Then I decided to go back to Welcome Point on Social Island 1. At this point, I ran into another girl avatar. I apologized, though I found that other people ran into me while in SL and said nothing (I guess manners aren’t necessary in the virtual realm). She couldn’t have been nicer and shared with me her folder called “Fave Freebies.” I asked her via the chat window (since I didn’t have my microphone function working) if she had any tips of where to go next and she said to visit “The Free Dove,” which has a lot of different free outfits.

Sure enough, there were plenty of outfits, and 80s music playing, in “The Free Dove.” Getting in touch with my inner girly girl, I started picking up and trying on outfits and I found a multi-colored one with wings. I thought, “what the hell?” and put on an outfit that I’d probably only wear at a costume party in the real world.


I’ve got wings — at least at “The Free Dove” in Second Life!

Toward the end of my very first SL visit, I went to “Help Island Public.” I probably should have gone there first, but I didn’t realize there was such a place until later in the game. I saw two people talking near a bench and the girl said “my heart” and he said “is it broken?” I went over and introduced myself and then sat down on the bench. They were also very nice and said hello, but they totally stopped the conversation they were originally having. So I excused myself and signed out for the night.


Well, this is awkward … You don’t really want me to sit down, do you?

SL overall observations
The weirdest thing to me in SL was that I had to trust other people I came across. Web 1.0 me, who used to go into AOL chat rooms all the time, wouldn’t have had a problem with that. But Web 2.0 me has been told to not accept invitations from people I don’t know because they could have bad intentions. Since SL was a foreign world to me, I had to rely on invitations and tips from other people.

Like I said, I would need a lot more practice in maneuvering my avatar and manipulating objects in SL. Being a newbie just made for a lot of awkward moments. I do see its research potential, as some of the conversations you can eavesdrop on are very interesting.

Survey results: Homeowners are satisfied, renters want to become homeowners


The results are in! When I created my home ownership questionnaire a week ago, I wanted to see if there were any common demographic factors among satisfied homeowners, dissatisfied homeowners, neutral homeowners, renters/non-homeowners who are interested in buying a home someday, and renters/non-homeowners who have no interest in buying a home.

Well guess what? The “dissatisfied homeowners” and “renters/non-homeowners who have no interest in buying a home” groups don’t exist, at least in my survey results.

I had 30 total respondents, half of which fell into the “Experienced homeowner/New homeowner (owned their home less than five years)” category, while the other half of the respondents identified themselves as “Renter/I do not own my own home or pay rent.” (Chart below)

The 15 homeowners responses ranged from “Neutral to Very Satisfied” – none replied that they were dissatisfied with homeownership. The 15 renters/non-homeowners replied either “Yes” or “Maybe” to the question “Do you wish to purchase a home in the future?” (graph below)

Though my survey is a relatively small sample of people, I found it very interesting that none of the homeowners that responded were totally dissatisfied with owning a home, while the renters/non-homeowners I surveyed either want to purchase a home in the future or are not completely closing the door on the idea of home ownership.

Other interesting data from my survey results:
-Of the six homeowners who replied that they were “Very satisfied” with their choice to purchase a home, four of them were in the 45-54 age bracket, one was in the 55-64 age bracket and one was in the 25-34 age bracket. Perhaps extreme satisfaction with home ownership comes with being an experienced homeowner? I would love to interview these folks and get the experiences behind the data.

-Most of the new and experienced homeowners – 13 of the 15, to be exact – were married, which makes sense. Financially, the responsibilities a home can bring seems to be easier when shared between two people. Kudos to the single homeowners because I couldn’t imagine caring for a home all by myself!

-Five of the respondents said they have kids in their household. Four of those respondents were homeowners, while one is a renter.

-By far, among homeowner and non-homeowner respondents, “Putting money toward something you do/will own” was the most appealing thing about owning a home.

Things I would have done differently in setting the survey up
-When it comes to actually analyzing the data, Qualtrics did a beautiful job of giving me plenty of charts and graph options to illustrate my results. To get the raw data, I had to look at each response individually and record them. I’m not super-experienced with Qualtrics, so maybe there is an easier way to do this, but I did not figure it out on this go-around.

-I had Skip Logic set up to take dissatisfied homeowner respondents to the question “What about owning a home does not appeal to you?” Since no one replied that they were dissatisfied with home ownership, I got no responses for this question. It would have been interesting to see what people disliked, along with what they liked, about home ownership. (Empty graph below)

-When taking my classmates’ surveys, I noticed that I forgot to set up a “Male or Female” demographic question. Not a horrible omission, but it would have added another interesting layer to the data. Also, I would have added more employment options such as “Retired” and “Stay at home parent.” These other responses just did not come to mind when I was creating that portion of the survey.

Concluding thoughts

The results of my survey, while a small sample, give me hope for home ownership in America. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who dreams of having a home someday, and it’s also nice to know that home ownership can be “very satisfying.” Like myself, it may take some of us a bit longer than others to get there, but our dream home is out there waiting for us.