OMFG – I’m on Joe.My.God.

This tabloid magazine photo I snapped on a knee-jerk reaction and then blogged about has been making the rounds of the internets; I swore I wasn’t going to do a “oooh, look how popular I am! I’m famous!” post, because that’s so lame. Plus, I’ve had other things to worry about.

But today it’s on Joe.My.God., which is really all “oooh, look how popular I am! I’m famous!”

I'm on

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Civility on the Web – New York Times has me ROTFLMAO

From the NY Times “A Call for Manners in the World of Nasty Blogs“:

Is it too late to bring civility to the Web?
The conversational free-for-all on the Internet known as the blogosphere can be a prickly and unpleasant place. Now, a few high-profile figures in high-tech are proposing a blogger code of conduct to clean up the quality of online discourse.
Last week, Tim O’Reilly, a conference promoter and book publisher who is credited with coining the term Web 2.0, began working with Jimmy Wales, creator of the communal online encyclopedia Wikipedia, to create a set of guidelines to shape online discussion and debate.
Chief among the recommendations is that bloggers consider banning anonymous comments left by visitors to their pages and be able to delete threatening or libelous comments without facing cries of censorship. [emphasis mine.]

Let me see, what was I saying last week? Oh, yeah – I delete comments I don’t like on my site, and have for years. Thank goodness Tim O’Reilly has finally given my permission to do so; I was sweating bullets over that one.
I think the thing that exasperates me most about this article is something that I’ve railed about in an offhand way several times before (if I were diligent, I’d track down all the instances, but I’m not) – the Times seems to be blaming the medium, and not the messenger. The incivility is not the fault of the technology, it’s the fault of the people using it. Incivility in public discourse in general is horrendous – case in point; this recent argument between Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera. Or, just listen to any Limbaugh show in the last 10 years.
Given that the level of civility in public discourse from pundits in the media is so rotted and toxic, it’s bizarre to think that that same incivility wouldn’t also exist on the internet. So why are we just calling for civility on the internet – among the masses, the hoi polloi – and not on the damned TV set, or on the radio? I think we’re washing out the wrong stables first, here.

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Design Aesthetic of the Indie Developer Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

Design Aesthetic of the Indie Developer
Moderator: Michael Lopp, Sr Engineering Mgr – Apple
Nick Bradbury, Architect of Client Prods – NewsGator Technologies Inc
John Gruber, Raconteur – Daring Fireball
Shaun Inman, Designer/Dev –
Michael Lopp, Sr Engineering Mgr – Apple

Rough Notes:
The panel ended up being more about how independent designer/developers work, rather than their design aesthetic – interesting, but not really terribly applicable to me…
indie developers are where the bleeding edge happens. What developer means – changied over time – blurring relationship between designers and developers.
The death of the startup – no longer interested in the IPO – not the driving philosophy. Level playing field for mind share and distribution.
It’s a small world – very easy to find what you need –
pxg site – recruiting tool
Defining design –
– great design speaks to you; it has something to say – the ipod giggle.
– hard to do great design – throwing away 80% of ideas
What are the lessons/rules we can learn from indie developers
Indie – what does it mean?
– not necessarily small; people who are designing for the user rather than the company
– building for themselves
Products are a personal obsession
Inman – Results of a conversation either with people who want the product or people using after it’s built.
Gruber design process starts on paper – new notebook.
Inman – starts with research and learning.
Bradbury – build things twice – write some code, throw it away after learning about it, then start from the beginning.
when he gets stuck – he blogs about the project, and gets feedback that helps him work it out.
Gruber – looks at IM buddy list for help.
Inman – group of friends that give him good feedback and aren’t afraid to tell him when something doesn’t work.
Inman & Gruber – no experience working for a big corp. Bradbury – consultant, which made him want to be independent. because of the filter between himself and the user.
Listen to more fans or haters? – the haters.
Example bands that play live – immediate feedback.
lots of discussion of running an independent shop.

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SXSW 2007 thoughts

One of the first things I plan to do is take a closer look at Microformats and see where I can mark up my site appropriately. While I was sitting in the panel, I downloaded the firefox operator extension, and I’ve been playing with it.

I also want to get OpenID set up on this site so I can use this as the basis for my authentication elsewhere. There are movable type plug ins I need to install. I want to do some research on some of the other identity websites mentioned in the identity panel.

I need to do some basic layout exercises for this site using Grids – I haven’t quite got that right, and I need to work on it. I also need to set up a grids layout template for sites I’m designing at work.

The second thing I want to do is look more closely at design pattern libraries. We’ve been looking at Yahoo’s Pattern Libraries and using them at work, but I want to understand more about some of the others from that presentation.

I also want to get look more closely at Brendan Dawes work, and start my own version of the book or Dawes’ hard drive. I certainly have projects and ideas like those hanging around, and I hope putting them all in the same place and looking them over will spark some creative ideas.

I want to take a look at some of the techniques that other designers use to get inspired, and see if they help me.

I want to take a close look at some of the sites from the online magazines panel and see if they can inspire me for our redesign of indyscribe.

I want to plan and work on a fictional blogging project, and take a look at some of the sites that panel discussed as part of the planning.

Web Typography Sucks Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

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Passive Aggressive Blogging

One of my favorite amusements lately is folks who read something I’ve written here, and rather than commenting/disagreeing on my site, or even going back to their own site and commenting there while linking to my post, they simply comment on their own sites in general terms, without providing any context to what they’re reacting to for their other readers. It’s entertaining because it often results in completely inarticulate posts, or even just silly-sounding non sequiturs or unprovoked scolding or ranting.

There are three people who do this with some regularity, and for each of them they’re people I just don’t care to spend time with (even though I read their blogs) because there’s something that strikes me as really dishonest and babyish about this behavior. It’s blogging equivalent of talking bad behind someone’s back and not telling them to their face what you think of them. Be an adult and stand behind what you say.

I completely realize I’m doing the same thing right now, because I’m reacting to something I just read from someone who’s this done to my writing several times, but I’m not really interested in starting a flame war just at this moment, so I won’t link to the post in question.

But it’s very silly, and you just sound shrill and childish, dear.

span class=”hilightyellow”>2019 update: This has a specific name on Twitter – Subtweeting. “The act of mentioning a person on Twitter™ without using the symbol @ before their name so they do not see what you have written.” Still a jackass move, even on another platform.

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I finally got wise, and created a new group in my feedreader software called “Truncated” just for people who truncate their posts in their syndication feeds. These are people I love, who are great writers, but the frustration of needing to have a browser window open to read their work is too great, and I have to put them in their own little holding cell to read them at some future point when I’m not working on another project at the same time.
Another thing that frustrates me about some of these writers is that they don’t seem to write for that truncation — It’s not clear, from the first few lines that manage to come through, what the subject of the post is about. Sometimes I’m intrigued by a hint that’s wildly off base when I finally land on the site, and other times, I’ll blow by a post that seems irrelevant only to hear about it somewhere else and discover I missed something cool.
They should be tailoring their writing for the medium in which it’s being presented, which is something they hammered into our skulls in my college journalism classes. If you’re going to truncate in your syndication feed, be sure to convey the subject in the first few lines.

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Blogs are a viable form of writing

The Financial Times has an article criticizing the “blogging” phenomenon, which is one of many that have been written in the mainstream press in the last 6 months.
This whole “anti-blogging” movement generated by the mainstream press strikes me as really pretentious and absurd on the part of “journalists.” People have been recording their thoughts and sharing them with the people around them as long as humans have been able to write; just because we have software that makes it easy doesn’t make this a new thing. It used to be a huge social thing to write letters to everyone; people did it religiously and prolifically. People wrote books and self-published them — the giant publishing companies we have today are a more modern phenomenon. Stephanie’s grandmother used to make her own christmas cards and send them out; they were clever and graphically oriented and if she had been my age, should would have been designing a website instead. Stephanie’s mother used to type up short stories and writing with a circle of people, photo-copy it and send it around in an early prototype ‘zine.
People have always been “blogging” — this is just a new name for an old behavior. And the critique that most blogs are “ignored” is silly, too. People are writing for the most part for their family and friends and own entertainment, and they are accomplishing exactly that goal. There’s no failure in that.

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The difference between “blogs” and sites and pages

Channel 8 news this morning had a news story on about a 25 year old male student teacher from a local high school who has been accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student. During the course of the story, they show a web page they called his “blog” and mentioned that students had commented on it, and that there was concern about that, suggesting, I think, that they were trying to figure out how to take the page down.
The page they show is actually a myspace account. Students commented on his friend’s comment area. He doesn’t actually “blog” there, though.
Dunno what they plan on doing with that, but it was interesting how they don’t know the terminology for current technologies on the internet. It would have been more accurate to say he had a profile on a popular social networking site.

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Oldest Blog Ever

I signed up for Media Matter’s Blog Registration the other day, and the sent me back an e-mail saying I had the oldest blog they’d every seen. (I have entries dating back to 1995). Yup. I’ve been around that long, keeping my journal online, using BBEdit, long before blog software was invented. Most of the static content I have (like the jokes, and recipes and stuff) was from way back then, too; some of the creation dates on those files are 1994. So when I get them converted over, you’ll be able to see a progression of what kind of crap I’ve had on my site from the beginning.

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