At the Ref Desk (10/21/14): Should I be ashamed when the first thing that pops into my head when I think of Latin poetry, is "Nunc est bibendum"? [more...]
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Facebook Issues Me a Stern Warning

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 4/9/12 (10:56pm)

If your comment is irrelevant or inappropriate, you may be blocked from commenting on public posts.  Please review your comment before posting.
I got a stern warning from Facebook telling me that I might be "blocked from commenting on public posts" if I went through with posting the following strong words on a post originally by Tony ('Maakies') Millionaire about chickens being found with caffeine in their feathers:

As someone who in a former life actually was a chicken, I'd like to strongly object to the arrogant assumption by pampered human beings with double vowels in their names that chickens don't appreciate coffee. We do! In fact, it's common knowledge that coffee beans were first plucked out of the soil by enterprising chickens -- long before humans even stopped swinging in trees.

MetaFilter - Happy 12th Anniversary!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 7/24/11 (9:11pm)

MetaFilter was the original community blog. It's where everyone went to discuss everything from web design to politics. Last week it celebrated its 12th Anniversary.

The site was originally put together by Matt Haughey and frequented by techies. There was a lot of discussion in the early days about web design and development. Adherents of Jacob Nielsen and web designers would trade barbs particularly over the use of Flash (hence the 'Flash Wars'). This was a dispute not settled until the arrival of more reasonable adherents of usability like Jared Spool who knew how to speak to designers and thus had a far more positive impact.

Later on as membership grew, topics of more general interest such as news and politics became more prominent. MetaFilter was where we went to discuss the fall-out from the Bush-Gore election results in 2000 as well as the aftermath following 9/11.

Anyway, the local alternative weekly where Matt Haughey lives in Portland has run an interesting article on him called, "The Blogfather". Also, MetaFilter has its own page of user-submitted reminiscenes called, "MetaFilter Memories".

Rumors of RSS's Demise are Greatly Exaggerated

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 5/22/11 (11:23pm)

RSS Logo I have a confession to make: I'm becoming somewhat concerned by the direction that people perceive such things as social networking and mobile computing to be heading. This perception seems to lack any perspective as to how we got to where we are and how the lessons of the past are likely to inform developments in the future. Instead what we're treated to are assumptions about the characteristics of technologies that we all agree are still in their relative infancy.

I think I'll write more about this in a later post (or possible article) but one example is the rather hasty postmortem people are ascribing to RSS. Scott Karp touches on this in a post called "How to Fix RSS Redux".

Now it's probably true that fewer people use RSS feed readers and hence fewer people directly access RSS feeds, but that's just one use of RSS. Equally as important at least to my mind is syndication. I mean, who cares how many social networks there are -- my first question is always, how can I hook my feed into them? Since that's currently performed through RSS, it's hard to imagine it going out of style anytime soon.

I guess the important point is that while many now depend on Facebook or Twitter for things they used to get through RSS feed readers, this doesn't completely nullify the other uses that RSS may have. People claiming otherwise may simply be unaware of these alternative uses.

Living the Digital Life - Amtrak Edition

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 8/21/10 (3:10pm)
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Roy's got a post on all the digital paraphernalia he was lugging around on a recent trip to Boston. This reminded me of my own experience going to Springfield -- and how attached I still was to the 'Cloud' no matter what the circumstances were.

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Twitter v. RSS - Who Cares? It's the Syndication, Stupid!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 9/7/09 (1:08pm)

RSS Logo It's only on weekends and public holidays that I catch up with my readings.

Anyway, I had a look at yet another post on the Twitter v. RSS conundrum. Here are a couple of others (1, 2) that I've read in the past couple of days.

I guess initially my reaction was, if you're depending on Twitter as your aggregator, you're in trouble because it pretty much sucks for that purpose. I mean, I'd sooner try to navigate the credits as they stream by of a feature film.

But that was only my initial reaction. From a practical standpoint, if a significant portion of your potential audience is going somewhere, then whether it sucks or not really doesn't matter.

The whole purpose of our current approach to the web is, to borrow a phrase, 'Write once, read many'. The number of outlets through which we're able to deliver our content -- free of redundancy or duplication of our efforts -- is a measure of success in this digital survival of the fittest.

The question then should never be whether a particular tool sucks but whether the content we're providing can fit into the framework. In other words, it's all about syndication.*

The moment this brilliant conclusion dawned on me, I had a look at Drupal's Twitter Module and opened an account on TwitterFeed. So yes, I've drunk the Koolaide.

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*Note: happily enough, syndication works both ways. We syndicate our own content and then turn around and reuse the content of others. So even Twitter may suck less depending on how we access it, whether directly or through some value-added intermediary.

Real-Time Web: It's More Than Just Twitter

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 8/30/09 (12:18pm)

I liked the article in BusinessWeek on the 'Real-Time Web'. It being BusinessWeek, they naturally devoted a significant portion to speculation on how to make money from this emerging trend and I had to laugh at the illusive precision of there being "at least $5 billion to be made on the real-time Web". What, just $5 billion?

Anyway, to give them their due, they correctly identify the trend:

World of Widgets: Google Friend Connect

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 6/27/09 (1:36pm)

Google Friend Connect Logo

I put up the Google Friend Connect widget on the far right column. It kind of duplicates what the MyBlogLog widget does though in a more dynamic way.

In any case, sign up today!

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Twitter in Iran: Earth-shaking Or Just More Hype?

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 6/21/09 (9:24pm)

twitter_logo.png I have no idea what role Twitter is playing in Iran. On the one hand, Clay Shirky and the U.S. State Department apparently think it's having a huge role.

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Is Twitter Dead Yet?

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 6/14/09 (9:58am)

I'm so sick of hearing about Twitter. On the Media Hype Index™, it's reaching Krispy Kreme proportions*.

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*(then, now)

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Amazon's 'Inkjet Community'?

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 3/7/09 (12:50pm)
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I think Amazon is taking this community thing way too far. I mean, the 'Inkjet Community'?

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