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Podcast reviews have moved to The New, New Podcast Review

2005-03-16

As I expected

As expected, once I got the next destination of this log up and running I would be too lazy to continue updating both, so recent posts I've posted in that location haven't made it across to here. Even though the look/feel of the blog over there isn't completely done, I'm going to go ahead and officially switch the content over there, so somewhere around noon today I'll be redirecting this site over there.

Since there are a few posts with comments that won't get migrated, I'll probably leave those posts together and link to them from the migrated posts, but we'll see how ambitious I get.

In any case, if you've been checking in on my rantings here, I'll hope you'll join me at the new home of House of the Hanged Man.

You can also get the feeds for the new location:
RSS 2.0
RSS 1.0
Atom

Thanks!

2005-03-12

Google Blog: Man vs. mini-kitchen

Well I don't know if Google's just loosening up their external image or if they're actually listening to their employees and the blogoshpere's reaction, but this post is definitely a step in the right direction.

I think they have to be careful though - the blog will lose some interest if they don't post some relevant and informational content in addition to the human side.

2005-03-11

Micro Persuasion: Chris Pirillo is Brilliant

"Check out how he optimized the title of a recent blog post to drive traffic to his site."

Thanks for the tip, Steve and Chris.

I'd like to think that I would have thought of this. But I'd be deluding myself. I'll be lucky if I can just keep from forgetting it!

Update: I assumed as much as what Chris says here when I saw Steve's post.

Time for another move...

As I mentioned in a post on my deceased linkblog, I am rearranging my blog- and web-like. Part of this has to do with new and continuing frustrations with Blogger.

I have long been frustrated that Blogger doesn;t allow for categorization. In fact, that was one of the reasons why I moved the podcast reviews to The New, New Podcast Review (the other being a more professional impression). Well that frustration has led me to leave Blogger behind for this blog as well, especially when you add in the fact that I am starting to take this sort of blogging as seriously as I have the podcast reviews (although those have been lax lately). Add to that the level of frustration I had yesterday when I lost several posts due to Blogger being intermittently down.

The contents of this blog will persist, and while I am in transition I will try to post both here and at my new location, House of the Hanged Man. Please note that for now the root domain itself, http://kinrowan.net, will also resolve to the blog, but that may change if several other things I have in the works come together. If that happens then there will be a more static web-page at that location, so better to use the blog address if you're looking to find the continuation of this idiocy. In addition, the new feeds available will be at RSS 2.0, RSS .92, and Atom. Since I don't have any control over the contents of the Atom feed that Blogger generates I can't redirect it to the new locations. Plus in the off-chance that any of you have a strong preference for some other format, you can now take your pick.

I will post a reminder to this effect when I finish tooling with the look of the new site, which is a WordPress blog, a new adventure for me.

Micro Persuasion: Chris Pirillo is Brilliant

"Check out how he optimized the title of a recent blog post to drive traffic to his site."

Thanks for the tip, Steve and Chris.

I'd like to think that I would have thought of this. But I'd be deluding myself. I'll be lucky if I can just keep from forgetting it!

Any Bloglines developers listening?

I asked the following question of Bloglines via their comment form. I've looked in their forums with no joy - I'll put the question in there as well, but I'm curious in anyone else can answer my question.

...[W]hat elements of a feed makes bloglines display a feed to indicate that it has new entries. I thought it might be the of the feed itself, or maybe . Or maybe it's or of the s in the feed. I thought I had a handle becuase I had several feeds that son't show changes when they are changed and they have similar elements of the RSS missing. However I've found a few more that aren't missing the same elements that are still not showing changes to the feed.

2005-03-10

This blog post may come as a suprise to you but I am very glad to make your acquaintance.

copyrighteous:

"...the impact that these 419 scams must be having on legitimate Nigerian mail."

Benjamin Mako Hill makes an interesting point here. I know that I'm guilty of the kind of immediate response that he's mentions - as soon as I see the particular style of email that represents most "419" scams, I delete it without reading further. And this is on top of my machine-based spam filters, the presense of which led Benjamin to look twice at the legitimate email he received. The chances of a Nigerian email being legitimate in my case are probably much less than in Benjamin's, but what really interests me are the implications of cultural difference in electronic communication.

I think that we, in the US at least, are trained to expect a level of homogeniety in electronic communication. There's a certain sanitized style of communication that we've come to expect from the internet and perhaps voices that speak in other styles are paid less attention to. What sorts of communication and input are we missing when both the popular / mainstream media and electronic communications are filtered by this prejudice? Does this filter have as much or more impact on the information we receive as the many language barriers that stand in our way?

MSN has an RSS reader

Scripting News: 3/10/2005

See also SiliconBeat: Microsoft's RSS aggregator via Read/Write Web: Microsoft's Web-based RSS Aggregator?.

Doesn't work in FireFox. Also isn't working in IE right now, but I'll be checking back. I'm very interested to see what features Microsoft feels they can bring to this space that will make their tool more than a catchup game against the entrenched leaders.

Of similar interest is this. Don't tell me that I'm the only person who thought to hack the url, after all the hype about the Harvard Business School application disaster (Feedster RSS Search : "harvard business school"). Probably not, just the only person silly enough to think it worth commenting on. Looks like Microsoft's version of LookSmart's Furl - a site I've been using heavily since Dave Winer pointed it out.

Interesting....

2005-03-09

This is hilarious!

Moonwatcher Off Topic: Feed Changes

I was just reading a backlog of posts from Moonwatcher and had noticed that not long after posting about The Economic Case for Full Feeds, Charlie had switched to summaries only. I had even taken a snapshot of my bloglines screen showing the difference in feeds and was writing the post when, as I double-checked my facts, Charlie adds the post linked to above, mentioning his switching back to full content.

What timing!

HOW-TO: Make your own annotated multimedia Google map - Engadget - www.engadget.com

This is really cool! (and Jon Udell rocks! - just between Jon Udell: A Google Maps walking tour of Keene, NH and associated posts and his work on the IT Conversations AudioClips function [more info here and here, implementation details here] he's a web-interconnectivity powerhouse, and that's not to mention any of his other work).

However, getting into the details uncovers that you have to have a special tool and specifically the Firefox browser (which you should have, but that's another story). That's much more complicated than what I hoped for.

I was thinking of hacking together a customized Google map of my rather byzantine route to work this morning, and I may still do so using this process. I'll also look and see if I can find a way to do this without ignoring those other browsers.

2005-03-08

Microsoft's Anti-Spyware as an argument against Google's Auto-link

So far I've stayed out of the fray surrounding Google's Auto-link functionality. I can see both sides of the issue, and think that Dave Winer's comments (starting, I think, here) and Robert Scoble's comments (starting, I think, here) have some good points - especially when it comes to what Google could do to make the functionality of the toolbar a little less distasteful to content publishers.

It also doesn't help much that Google's not talking (in the blogosphere) about this. There's no "official" Google commentary about what their plans are for the toolbar and how they respond to the concerns brought up by bloggers. I know individuals have said things in other venues, but nothing really meaningful, and nothing direct to the users that I've seen (if you know otherwise, please, please let me know).

All of that said, I've found Cory Doctorow's comments, and those of Yoz Grahame and most recently Jason Kottke's to be more compelling (even though Yoz's are a little, um, sarcastic, in the "tearing of flesh" meaning). I further think that the slippery slope argument used by many of Google's detractors in this discussion borders on the fallacious.

Actually, I encountered the most compelling argument against the auto-link feature on my own computer this morning.

I had been in the habit of running both the free version of Lavasoft's Ad-Aware SE Personal and Spybot-S&D on a daily basis. Mostly they didn;t catch much, but every few days I'd get a tracking cookie hit or something of the like. That was until I installed Microsoft's Windows AntiSpyware. Then, somehow, they presence of that comforting window every morning telling me that Microsoft had run through the files on my machine while I was sleeping and hadn't found anything lulled me into a false sense of security and I hadn't been running my other spyware tools. This morning I opened up Spybot S&D to use a different tool int he package and ran the spyware check just for kicks. Guess what? It found a few things that Microsoft's tool hadn't found. I ran AdAware and found a few more.

Shocking you say?
Hardly.

In fact, the things these two tools found were tracking cookies, which I'm not even sure Microsoft's tool finds. The point of the whole experience is that somehow I had lulled myself into this sense of security based upon the activities of a less-trusted software vendor than Google. I'm a fairly sophisticated technology consumer, yet I allowed myself to be led down the garden path unwittingly. Other users are even more likely to trust the defaults of a tool released by a company that's got Google's reputation.

All of that said, I still come down on Google's side of this issue for these reasons:

  • The user has to download and install the tool, taking some responsibility for their actions
  • When the Toolbar Beta does its work on a page, the page is already on the user's machine, where they should have a lot of control over the page
  • The user has to click the button for every single page to have the auto-links display
  • The links are shown to be artificial in a way that many users will notice
  • Even setting aside the multiple Javascript code-snippets already available to disable auto-link, you can also disable it by creating the links you'd like to see there yourself.


So while I don't think the first step down the infamous slippery slope has been taken, yet, I do think we all need to watch out for it. If Google (or anyone else) does step across the line they our work to convince that company to turn back from the slope will be all the harder.

Update: Techdirt talks intelligently about the autolink slippery slope (an old post, but a new one to me).

2005-03-05

At the Wisconsin .NET user's Deeper in .NET event today

No wi-fi, so no live blogging, but I thought I'd post a little about it.

Scott Guthrie (feed) spoke about ASP.NET 2.0. Beta 2 out soon and some really powerful features. I'm interested in looking at some ASP.NET 2.0 html/css source code and seeing how well they live up to their claim of XHTML compliance.