2B || !2B

August 20, 2007 at 3:40 am | Posted in Assignments, Thoughts | 1 Comment

Not having blogged before, I decided to find some useful guides as to where not to tread. I found Chris Pirillo’s 10 ways to eliminate the echo chamber an interesting read. Essentially, what everyone growing up needs to learn, “stop worrying about what others might think and just be the insane odd ball you are, you’re cool anyway”. Particularly interesting are the warnings against being topical and simply toeing the blog-o-line. Not having run into these issues myself (not having blogged before), I moved on.

Somewhere along my quest I threw “usability” into the trusty google box and found Linda Bustos Top 10 Sins
of Blog Usability
. I found it interesting that she echoed Chris’ admonition on timeliness. She provides a number of useful tips that I quickly acted upon: making an “About” page with my full name (not like this one, ahem); staying away from fiendishly colored templates; ensuring that the widgets were in proper order with a easy to spot search box, some of the templates are just wrong. I’m ambivalent about moderation just yet.

Usability aside, I started looking for the clichés that run through the blogosphere, not wanting to fall victim to naiveté. Coding Horror provides a nice succinct list of 13 Blog Clichés, not 10 mind you. Of interest is the history of the random image gallery that often curses a blog. Another mention to include your name and a backdrop for your words. Unfortunately one of the 13 is meta-blogging (I wonder what they mean by that?). And don’t blog about not blogging. Insert funny warning about blogging between 2 and 4am.

At the other extreme of brevity is For the Love of Blog Cheese which manages a little bit of wit. Lots of good advice, lots of good annoying clichés (if needed). I guess everyone agrees that blogging about blogging is a cliché (I’ll have to remember that one).

Still not quite sure what blogging was (but with some ideas how not to go about it), I decided to check out Everything2 (they retired everything several years ago).
The Node about blogging provided some interesting insights that explained some of the features presented here at wordpress before I read our assigned reading. Particularly, the relationship and meaning of the blogroll became apparent and why everyone kept warning about worrying about it. Like our readings, the criticism about blogging about blogging is credited with the age of the medium.

(Getting to the point) With the readings and these thoughts in mind, essentially blogs provide an outlet of expression. They facilitate communication, particularly communication that would have been tricky or impossible to coordinate otherwise. They provide greater flexibility than message boards, both in format and content, yet allow communities to flourish. They expose more personal and informal thoughts than wiki’s or information rich sites. They engage in dynamic change quite a bit more often than static home pages. And their sheer numbers rival the total of printed media, there are maybe 8 million printers (at 1/1000 pop?). Finally, anyone can join (look at meeee!).

On the other hand, the present state of blogs resembles the time when newspapers were plentiful and varied. When the daily churn of paper covered the street corners from sidewalk to sidewalk. When you’d find comrades who read and engaged in passionate debate over morning coffee or the last evening stein. Was there ever a time like that before? In fiction, IIRC Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle hints that 18th century England was like that. In any case, as then, as now, a revolution is looming (loomed?) that will hopefully change how we communicate forever.

If the future is anything like Charles Stross’ Accelerando, it’ll be interesting.


Hello world!

August 18, 2007 at 9:03 am | Posted in Programming | Leave a comment

Something simple…

#include <iostream>
int main(int argc) {
    std::cout << "Hello world!" << std::endl;

On the other hand I think this is hilarious… YMMV


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