Archive for June, 2007

On the DoFollow Wagon…

June 14, 2007

Following the lead of a few of my favourite reads, I’ve decided to disable the nofollow attribute for commenting that’s built into my Blogger™ template. So to encourage commenting and discussion if you leave your link in the comments, you will be justly rewarded.

Now of course I manually moderate the comments – and oh boy, it’s such an onerous job with the hundreds of comments I get on each post 😉 – and any spam comments that show up will of course be swiftly dealt with. I’ve even put up an ominous commenting policy over on the right, but that’s more just to encourage people to participate rather than lay down the proverbial law.

If you’ve got a Blogger™ blog and you’re want to spread the Google juice to your commenters then check out this post.

It’s All Text

June 14, 2007

Via Chromatic’s post at the O’Reilly OnLamp blog, I tried out the It’s All Text Firefox extension and I have to say I love it!

This extension lets you quickly bring up your favourite text editor any time you need to enter text on a web page. I find my own Blogger comment entry box for instance woefully small and inept. With this add-on installed, I can either right-click in the text box and choose “It’s All Text” from the popup menu, or click the semi-transparent edit button that the extension puts at the bottom right of text boxes. If you haven’t set an editor preference yet, it’ll ask you to do so the first time.

From then on, once you do it, your editor of choice (gVim in my case) will pop up and when you save the document, the text gets pasted into the text box. Nice and simple.

I don’t think it works in Gmail’s rich text mode when composing an email, but a quick switch to plain text mode reveals the edit button once again. You shouldn’t really be in Rich Text mode anyway should you… 😉 Of course you can always compose the bulk of the text in plain text mode and then once it’s been pasted in, switch to rich mode to add links and such.

All in all, a very useful tool. If you do a lot typing on the web and miss using your favourite offline editing tool, check it out.

Now there’s a Linux Ad…

June 9, 2007

I know you’ve likely seen this one before, but this IBM commercial about Linux is a heck of a lot more appealing to me than any Mac-ad spoof.

If a Tweet falls in the forest.. do I care?

June 9, 2007

I think I’ve officially lost all interest in Twitter. At least for now. Granted, I only have 7 friends (and 8 followers), but either Twitter is busted or nobody in my tiny circle of friends is using it anymore. There’s only one who seems to be posting with any kind of frequency and he’s not even what I’d call a personal contact.

I have failed to see the usefulness (for me anyway) in this style of short message posting. And believe me, I’m all for useless but fun web services, but I don’t even find it fun.

I guess it’s no surprise that I haven’t posted a lot on Twitter – there are many things competing for my attention at the moment and it’s survival of the fittest. My lack of Twitter postings (or tweets or whatever you call them) are clearly indicative of how far down the ladder of interest it is for me.

I won’t close my Twitter account, but suffice it to say it will likely drop off my radar completely in short order.

In fact I think it’s in a race to the bottom with Facebook at the moment. 😉

Planting The Seeds of Decent Grammar

June 8, 2007

Faithful readers,

Having read this blog, you know full well that I am not much of a grammar nazi. But I try to use proper grammar and full, reasonably coherent sentences. Sure, I throw the odd semicolon around with wild abandon, but I don’t normally go around chastising people for their dangling gerunds (I looked that up btw). However, I draw the line at the increasing use of “Good” as a response to “How’s it going?” or “How are you doing?”.

I attempted to head this off at the pass this morning as I drove my sub 6 daughter to school:

“How is so-and-so doing?”, I asked.

“Good”, she replied.

Attempting to seize the opportunity and right the listing ship, I tactfully say, “Y’know… it’s proper to say ‘well’ when someone asks you how you’re doing or how is it going.”

“No it’s not Daddy.”

“I’m pretty sure it is, cupcake.”, I reply, deciding immediately that this is neither the time nor place to introduce the concept of verbs into the conversation.

“No. I’m right, and you’re not Daddy.”

Perhaps weakly, I resort to the standard, “This would be a good thing to ask Mrs. X”.

Mrs. X being her teacher of course. The one person who can overrule whatever nonsense it is that Daddy tries to pawn off on her as knowledge.

Based on a multitude of similar conversations I’ve had with her in the past, this tactic usually works. Normally, I won’t bring it up again right away, but (hopefully) I’ll notice her slipping in the ‘well’ in place of the ‘good’ on her own accord.

Perhaps the job is just to plant the seed. All you can do is water it, care for it, and hope it grows.

Speed test anyone?

June 6, 2007

It’s probably been at least a year, if not two, since I last checked into the speed of my DSL connection. I remember back then that I was supposed to get 1500 down and 500 up and that various speed tests were showing me at about 80-90% of that.

It seems my service has improved since then. (Click the graphic to visit the site and test your own connection).

Nice to see things improving.

Half the Geek

June 6, 2007

Whoa! I guess I’m not half the geek I thought I was. Scoble posts his top 35 favourite feeds of the month.

I read only three of those 35 (Digg, Lifehacker and Thomas Hawk).

I dropped Engadget a fairly long time back. Too many posts, too little interest.

Boingboing boinged it’s way off my feed list about 9 months ago. Too many posts, and a little too weird. Sport jacket made entirely of meat anyone?

All things ‘crunch‘ – I grew very tired of web2.0 startup news. I am finding this area of news more pretentious and less interesting every day – and it’s not just Mike. But hey, that’s just me. When Steve Gillmor closed the circus tent, I started losing interest – quickly.

Actually, I’m finding that that there are so many good and interesting relatively low-traffic blogs grabbing my interest that they are slowly but surely shoving aside many of the incumbents in my feed reader.

The old guard had better watch out.

Conversation with a Facebook Refugee

June 5, 2007

A friend of mine recently told me he was 'done with Facebook'. Naturally, I asked him why. He said that old "acquaintances" were coming out of the woodwork, and while it was great that his wife was (and still is) a Facebook member, he was uncomfortable seeing scrawlings on his wall from partners from days gone by. Clearly, he didn't want to deal with the potential problem of the 'crazy ex-girlfriend'.

He also lamented the fact that it became a way for friends and acquaintances to shoot cheeky responses around at each other. Now if you combine this with his demographic (mid to late 20's – very recently married – but very much a guys night out type of guy) you can safely assume the banter back and forth was not always G-rated (but probably quite fun.)

We soon got around to discussing the things people do and write on the web. And that while it might be fun to post outrageous things on someone's "Wall", you can't really count on being able to take them back. And further, you can't count on something you write (anywhere on the net) being really deleted or somehow disappearing into the ether after a year or two.

Now this guy is not that tech-saavy – doesn't blog, frequents YouTube but not Digg – you get the picture. So I thought it'd be fun to show him the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine. Needless to say he was amazed that so much of what has (and is) going on on the net is being archived and captured.

I have a feeling that most people in the mainstream who are now just starting to generate and publish (however inadvertently) things on the net, don't really get the potential permanence of it.

As I've said several times before, be proud of what you write (or at least not embarrassed) and you'll do fine. If you don't, you'll never know when it might come back and bite you.

ps – While I have never found Facebook very compelling, my interest in it is declining even further day by day. But then again, so is my interest in Twitter. But that's another story, for another post.

How is Technorati *supposed* to work?

June 4, 2007

I was checking out the newer, faster, better, Technorati today and did a search on ‘inkscape’ to see what new things people were doing. I noticed quite quickly that my YouTube hosted screencasts are there in all their glory but no mention of my blog at all. I didn’t expect it to see it under the ‘posts’ tab since I haven’t tagged anything ‘inkscape’ in the last few days, but I do have probably 20 or 30 posts tagged ‘inkscape’ on my blog so I kind of expected it to show up under the ‘blogs’ tab.

Hmm. I thought the Blogger(tm) labels were like any other blog tagging system and that they’d be picked up by Technorati. Maybe I’ve got to add Technorati specific tags to my posts like Kent does?

I signed up and ‘claimed’ my blog there a couple years back, but maybe I’ve got to be doing more to be visible there?

Anybody care to educate me on this?

Someone please tell me how this is supposed to work.