Vinylicious

Introducing a new blog: Vinylicous! I’m no hardcore vinyl collector, but I do keep an eye out for fun oddities to add to the collection I do have, and I’m planning on using Vinylicious to share some of the goodies I’ve found.

Introducing a new blog: Vinylicious! I’m no hardcore vinyl collector, but I do keep an eye out for fun oddities to add to the collection I do have (which itself owes a large debt of gratitude to my dad), and I’m planning on using Vinylicious to share some of the goodies I’ve found.

The plan is to update weekly on Sundays with another album. We’ll see how long I can stick to that schedule. ;) For now, I have two albums to get started: Discotheque for Polka Lovers and It Happened in Sun Valley.

Overspecialization?

With all the different specialized blogging, pseudo-blogging, or linking websites and services available these days, I’m starting to lose track of how I’m ‘supposed’ to do this one-to-many online communication thing.

With all the different specialized blogging, pseudo-blogging, or linking websites and services available these days, I’m starting to lose track of how I’m ‘supposed’ to do this one-to-many online communication thing.

It used to be easy. Back in the ‘old days,’ you’d hand-edit a simple HTML file with whatever you wanted to put on it, whenever you wanted to put something on it. Maybe it’d be a link, maybe it’d be a screed. Maybe people would see it, maybe they wouldn’t. Pretty simple.

Then blogging arrived to make everything simpler. Gone were the days of hand-editing HTML and managing pages directly, now you had specialized software that handled the details for you. Databases to store the information, automatically dynamically generated pages, comments, the whole shebang. Still, content-wise, it was still a grab-bag. Some posts would be long, detailed, and in-depth; other posts would be a single small link or quip; sometimes you’d get lists of links that caught someone’s eye.

Now, however, you’ve got a veritable plethora of specialized sites to handle all the different _types_ of information you might want to share. The ones that I either use (in some fashion) or have pinged my radar strongly enough to trigger this little round of rambling, in rough order of depth:

1. [Twitter][1]: 140-character messages originally meant to be IM-style ‘status updates,’ but now often used for ‘nanoblogging’ — short, pithy messages. No more, no less. Since brevity is the soul of wit, we will all tweet brief.

2. [del.icio.us][2]: Social bookmarking that has evolved far more towards the social side than the bookmarking side. While I’m sure there are plenty of people that actually use their del.icio.us account as a substitute for the ‘bookmarks’ menu in their web browser, I see far more who use it as a ‘microblog’ (often displayed as a sidebar to their main weblog) wherein each post is a single link with short commentary.

3. [Tumblr][3]: “The easiest way to share yourself,” according to their splash page. I’ve not bothered setting up a ‘tumblelog’ for myself, but this appears to fill in the ‘miniblogging’ niche, with an emphasis on simple link and media inclusion. [Apparently][4], “this format is frequently used to share the author’s creations, discoveries, or experiences without providing a commentary.” Honestly, I’m still a little confused by the niche that this one fills (or attempts to fill).

4. Weblogs (the usual suspects): Finally, the sites and software packages that used to be simple ‘blogging’ tools are now…what? Is this still ‘blogging’? Or is it now ‘macroblogging’?

[1]: http://twitter.com/ “Twitter”
[2]: http://del.icio.us/ “del.icio.us”
[3]: http://www.tumblr.com/ “Tumblr”
[4]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumblelog “Wikipedia: Tumblelog”

I’m starting to feel like I’m losing track of what kind of post is ‘supposed’ to go to which service, and I’m more and more wondering if it’s even worth continuing to keep them all separate. However, there are occasional advantages to the specializations of the services (del.icio.us’s tagging and quick bookmarklets, the dedicated clients that are available for many of the services) that keep me using them instead of just using ‘old-school’ weblog posts for everything.

If I had the time (which student life prevents) and design skills (which simply don’t exist), I’d love to put some effort into seeing if I could assemble an über skin for my site that would streamline everything into one stream-of-consciousness approach (along the lines of what I see on [Daring Fireball][5] and [kottke.org][6]) but still allow me to use those services that I find useful. It doesn’t seem horrendously complex: plugins (some of which are probably available in some form or another) that would automatically convert each post at one service or another into its own post on my weblog, default posting options for each type of post (perhaps tweets don’t need comments enabled, for instance), and possibly some CSS work that would distinguish the types of posts.

[5]: http://daringfireball.net/ “Daring Fireball”
[6]: http://www.kottke.org/ “kottke.org”

But then, would that still be too complex? There’s always the question of what happens when one service or another is having connection issues (which I keep running into with Twitter — apparently there’s some avian flu going around over there). Perhaps I’d still be better off just coming back around to using my weblog for everything. Consolidate everything in one place — after all, there’s absolutely no real reason why I “have” to ramble on for a certain length for the post to be worthy of going on the blog, rather than being posted as a tumble, del.icio.us link, or tweet.

There’s a few things I’d miss, though, which may keep me from doing this. The in-built social networking of places like Twitter are nice, though not necessarily a dealbreaker. Being able to have my tweets and del.icio.us links show up on my [Facebook][7] profile is nice. Sometimes I like the compartmentalization (on the weblog, for instance, ‘big’ posts in the center, tweets and links over in the sidebar), sometimes I feel like it’s unnecessarily over complicating things.

[7]: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=635570337 “Facebook: Michael Hanscom”

Meh. I’ve gone on to just rambling now. Maybe that 140 character limit isn’t so much of a bad thing, huh?

NaBloPoMo

This year, I think it’s worth trying for something a little more possible: NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, it presents a much more feasible goal for most people.

A couple years ago, I made a rather weak stab at participating in [NaNoWriMo][1] (National Novel Writing Month), in which participants attempt to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Unsurprisingly, given how I constantly seem to have multiple projects going on at any one time, I didn’t get very far. I’d still like to try again at some point, but I think that’ll have to wait ’til I’m out of school.

[1]: http://www.nanowrimo.org/ “NaNoWriMo”

[NaBloPoMo][7]This year, I think it’s worth trying for something a little more possible: [NaBloPoMo][2], or National Blog Posting Month. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, it presents a much more feasible goal for most people. Given that my posting lately has been rather sparse (assuming that my [del.icio.us links][3] and my [Twitters][4] don’t count), I think it’s worth a shot. [Here’s my profile][7], since this drops me into yet _another_ social networking site….

[2]: http://nablopomo.ning.com/ “NaBloPoMo”
[3]: http://del.icio.us/djwudi “del.icio.us/djwudi”
[4]: http://twitter.com/djwudi “Twitter / djwudi”
[7]: http://nablopomo.ning.com/profile/djwudi “NaBloPoMo: Michael Hanscom”

Of course, I’ve already missed a day, since I didn’t find out about NaBloPoMo until today (indirectly through [cygnoir][5], more directly through [Thom][6]), but better late than never, right?

[5]: http://www.cygnoir.net/2007/11/01/national-whatever-writing-whatever/ “cygnoir: National Whatever Writing Whatever”
[6]: http://thomnottom.com/blog/2007/11/01/nablopomo/ “Thomnottom: NaBloPoMo”

coComment Enabled

coComment is a service that lets you track the comments you’ve made on other weblogs, keep track of when people have responded to them, and so on…basically, trying to make sure that those comments you leave don’t just disappear into the great bit bucket of the ‘net.

I’ve been seeing rumblings about [coComment][1] for a few weeks now, but finally decided to take a closer look when I noticed it up and running on a post at [The Republic of T][2]. coComment is a service that lets you track the comments you’ve made on other weblogs, keep track of when people have responded to them, and so on…basically, trying to make sure that those comments you leave don’t just disappear into the great bit bucket of the ‘net.

[1]: http://www.cocomment.com/ “coComment”
[2]: http://www.republicoft.com/index.php/archives/2006/05/11/why-ill-never-go-to-mit/ “The Republic of T: Why I’ll Never Go to MIT”

So, I’ve [signed up][3], and have enabled coComment integration on this site (for all future entries, at least…all entries on the main page have been rebuilt, the rest of the 3801 entries will be rebuilt eventually) — Movable Type integration was a snap with [their included instructions][4]. I don’t figure a huge percentage of my readers will be using it, but it’s there for those who want to.

[3]: http://www.cocomment.com/comments/djwudi “coComment: djwudi’s conversations”
[4]: http://www.cocomment.com/integrate#movabletype “coComment: Movable Type Integration”

iTunesBring on the Dancing Horses” by Echo and the Bunnymen from the album Pretty In Pink (1985, 4:00).

French Headmaster Dooced

The headmaster of a technical school in Lozere, France, has been dismissed after discovery of his anonymously-written weblog, which was deemed obscene and pornographic. Apparently he was discovered when he posted his photo in a recent entry.

The headmaster of a technical school in Lozere, France, has been dismissed after discovery of his anonymously-written weblog, which was deemed [obscene and pornographic][1] ([link to Babelfish translation][2]). Apparently he was discovered when he posted his photo in a recent entry.

[1]: http://fr.news.yahoo.com/19012006/7/un-proviseur-revoque-pour-s-etre-livre-intimement-sur-son.html “Yahoo! France: Un proviseur révoqué pour s’être livré intimement sur son blog”
[2]: http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_pagecontent?lp=fr_en&url=http%3A%2F%2Ffr.news.yahoo.com%2F19012006%2F7%2Fun-proviseur-revoque-pour-s-etre-livre-intimement-sur-son.html “Babelfish: Yahoo! France: A headmaster revoked to have delivered itself closely on its blog”

> Can remarks published on a blog perso justify a dismissal? Yes according to the national Education which judged that this civil servant held a blog “obscene and pornographic”. It there posted its homosexuality and criticized its administration.
>
> The fact is without precedent in France. Located on Internet via its blog Garfieldd.com, the headmaster of the technical school of Mende, in Lozere (48), at the beginning of January by national Education was revoked. The institution reproaches him for having published contents in “pornographic” matter on its blog, however held under pseudo (Garfieldd). But of the notes on its professional life frays with others intimate and on its states of hearts its function and identifiable place of work returned.
>
> Besides in his last version([filedpartly][bq1]), the chief of establishment posted his face in banner page. What could convince the professors of another college of the area to alert their hierarchy. “To denounce” others will say.
>
> In an interview on line on [the site of RTL][bq2], the headmaster reacts highly: “I challenge the pornographic term, that was never the case on my blog (…) in which I spoke about my life (and thus also) of my professional life. Objectively my blog was anonymous.” Like any civil servant, this headmaster was held with the duty of reserve, of which the blogs are not free.

[bq1]: http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_pagecontent?lp=fr_en&trurl=http%3a%2f%2fweb.archive.org%2fweb%2f20050312092042re_%2fwww.garfieldd.com%2f “Babelfish: Archive.org: The Blog With Garfieldd”
[bq2]: http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_pagecontent?lp=fr_en&trurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.rtl.fr%2finfo%2farticle.asp%3fdicid%3d407093 “Babelfish: RTL: The headmaster r?qu? cause of sound blog d?nd”

I, unsurprisingly, discovered this when I noticed traffic getting a bit of a boost thanks to a link midway through the article.

> This business rests the question of the freedom of the blogs compared to professional space. Abroad precedents exist: a Web designer American laid off in 2002, to have scoffed the life at its company (without quoting of names) on its [blog Dooce.com][bq3]; an employee of Microsoft in 2003, for [an impertinent post published on its blog perso][bq4]; an employee of bookshop in Edinburgh (Scotland) to have disparaged its employers; an air-hostess of Delta Air Lines to have photographed itself in uniform on an aircraft of its company in a sexy installation.

[bq3]: http://www.dooce.com/ “Dooce”
[bq4]: http://www.michaelhanscom.com/eclecticism/2003/10/even_microsoft.html “Eclecticism: Even Microsoft Wants G5s”

Heh. “Impertinent.” I like that.

I’m also starting to get hits from [the ZDNet France article][3] that the Yahoo! page was syndicated from. Two and a quarter years after ‘the incident’, and while things are slower, my [15 minutes of fame][4] is still making itself known from time to time. Yikes.

[3]: http://www.zdnet.fr/actualites/internet/0,39020774,39304238,00.htm “ZDNet: Un proviseur révoqué pour s’être livré intimement sur son blog”
[4]: http://www.michaelhanscom.com/eclecticism/15minutes/ “Eclecticism: 15Minutes Archives”

SeaBlogs Overrun by TrackBack Spam

This is just sad — sixteen of the twenty-five displayed TrackBack pings to Seablogs are TrackBack spam. Is anyone paying attention to moderating the site?

This is just sad — sixteen of the twenty-five displayed TrackBack pings to [Seablogs][1] are TrackBack spam. Is anyone paying attention to moderating the site?

[1]: http://seablogs.hellbent.org/ “Seattle Weblogs”

iTunesGoody Two Shoes” by Adam and the Ants from the album Rock and Wave Vol. 1 (1982, 3:29).

The Future is Not What It Used to Be

Ever since the total, irretrievable collapse of the Internet in a chaos of viruses, worms, spam, terrorism and busts by the FBI anti-porn squad, [bloggers] had become a bigger street menace than mimes, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or panhandlers ever were.

A funny short-short story by Paul Di Filippo set in the near future [after the collapse of the Internet][1]:

[1]: http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/2006/pdf0602.htm “Fantasy and Science Fiction: Plumage from Pegasus: Brother, Can You Spare a Hyperlink?”

> I HAD TO run a few errands downtown, but I hesitated to go.
>
> What if I ran into bloggers?
>
> Ever since the total, irretrievable collapse of the Internet in a chaos of viruses, worms, spam, terrorism and busts by the FBI anti-porn squad, that archaic species of human had become a bigger street menace than mimes, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or panhandlers ever were.
>
> […] I had almost gained the security of the lobby of my bank when my luck ran out, and I was accosted with no easy means of escape by a wild-eyed figure.
>
> Backed into an embrasure by the advancing apparition who had been cleverly lying in wait for prey, I was startled to recognize — beneath the grime, elf-locked hair, tattered clothing, and unkempt beard — a man I had known from his earlier life.
>
> […] The recognition was plainly one way. Doctorow’s crazed eyes betrayed no familiarity with my face. I was only another potential flesh-and-blood “hit” for his “site.”
>
> Doctorow carried a mud-splattered messenger’s satchel over one shoulder. From this bag he now removed an old-fashioned wirebound spiral notebook and pen. He made a tick mark on paper, recording my “visit.” Then he launched into his spiel.
>
> “Welcome to a directory of wonderful things, my friend! Get ready to be amazed, thrilled and astounded! I’m going to show you stuff you never believed existed, stuff that will brighten your life, enhance your senses and enlighten your consciousness! For instance — ”

(via — no, no irony here — [Boing Boing][2])

[2]: http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/02/sf_story_internet_co.html “Boing Boing: Sf story: Internet collapses, bloggers become street-people”

iTunesFuture is Not What it Used to Be, The” by Parallax1 from the album Parallax1 (1996, 5:46).

Top Ten Weblog Design Mistakes

Jakob Nielsen recently published a list of the top ten weblog design mistakes. As I’ve done in the past with similar listings, I took a quick look to see how I feel my site fares against his list.

Jakob Nielsen recently published a list of the [top ten weblog design mistakes][1]. As I’ve done in the past with similar listings, I took a quick look to see how I feel my site fares against his list.

[1]: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/weblogs.html “Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes”
Continue reading “Top Ten Weblog Design Mistakes”