Category Archives: Blogs and Blogging

Echo now enabled

When you comment on one of my blog posts, if you should ever do so, you’ll note that Echo is now enabled on this site. This video interview by Robert Scoble of Khris Loux the co-founder of JS-Kit will explain what Echo is and how it works.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/g8sRgZLxfAI%2Em4v%5D

It might be worth making a comment just to see how it works!

Mike Wesch explains the digital world

I spent 55 minutes of my early Saturday morning watching this video, laughing and sometimes being moved to tears, but overall feeling it was one of the best hours I’ve spent in a long time. Instead of watching some inane TV program, do yourself a favor and spend that hour watching this remarkable teacher.

When I first heard of Professor Wesch I posted this link to his “The Machine is Us/ing Us” and later to this five minute summary of the Information Revolution, either or both of which you might enjoy reviewing (they’re short) before watching the video below.

Thanks to Robert Scoble for tweeting the link to this presentation that follows.

Blogging 8 years

Today is the 8th anniversary of the day I first put pen to pixel and created this blog.  It’s been hosted at different locations from time to time, but it has been semi-continuously updated since that first Father’s Day in 2001.  My one-year hiatus last year will be the subject of a book about what I learned trying to lead the team out there in Las Vegas.  I want to reflect on what happened and my complicity in the outcome.

Since I’m mentioning my project for next year, let me point you to the site where I’ll post about it most often  so that you can follow me and be a part of the system I am using to hold myself accountable to achieve this objective.  The site is called Las Vegas MyOptic.  I believe the initial posts there will explain what I have in mind for the project.  The site is my way of keeping my head still in Las Vegas.

It’s News to Me is moving

This will be my last post at this location.

After many years of relying on free hosted blogging services like Blogger and most recently this site on WordPress.com, I have now taken the plunge and registered a domain name for myself, http://perry-nelson.com, and over the weekend I began posting to my blog located there. Here is the link written out so you can see it, but it's active too so you can click it to go to the new location, http://perry-nelson.com/blog/ If you'd like to continue reading It's News to Me, please update your bookmarks so that you can still visit when you want to.

The primary reason for making this move is to give me greater control over my blog and an opportunity to experiment with other features on the web site that will eventually appear there. Right now the primary link, perry-nelson.com, only has a page containing a single link to my blog. In the future, there will be other content there, but that will take me some time to achieve.

My time on WordPress.com has given me a chance to experience the WordPress blogging software, and I've been quite pleased with it. But I wanted access to more of its features which the new site will provide. You'll notice a new look on the new site, one that I think is cleaner and easier to read. That different look was made possible by choosing a different template for my blog and being able to make such choices was one of the reasons for me to make the move to my own web site.

I am very grateful to the folks at WordPress.com for giving me the chance to blog here. I think it is a terrific place for someone to get their feet wet in blogging. If you are considering doing so, I recommend it highly. It is free, after all, and that price is hard to beat, but more than that, it offers an excellent blogging platform. And if you are thinking of starting a blog, Paul Stamatiou posted an excellent piece yesterday called HOW TO: Start Blogging.

So now that I've made this announcement, let me suggest that you come on over to the new location and let's continue our conversation there. I want to take this occasion to say thanks for your loyalty in reading my blog and for your patience in making the transition with me.

technorati tags:

It’s News to Me is moving

This will be my last post at this location.

After many years of relying on free hosted blogging services like Blogger and most recently this site on WordPress.com, I have now taken the plunge and registered a domain name for myself, http://perry-nelson.com, and over the weekend I began posting to my blog located there. Here is the link written out so you can see it, but it's active too so you can click it to go to the new location, http://perry-nelson.com/blog/ If you'd like to continue reading It's News to Me, please update your bookmarks so that you can still visit when you want to.

The primary reason for making this move is to give me greater control over my blog and an opportunity to experiment with other features on the web site that will eventually appear there. Right now the primary link, perry-nelson.com, only has a page containing a single link to my blog. In the future, there will be other content there, but that will take me some time to achieve.

My time on WordPress.com has given me a chance to experience the WordPress blogging software, and I've been quite pleased with it. But I wanted access to more of its features which the new site will provide. You'll notice a new look on the new site, one that I think is cleaner and easier to read. That different look was made possible by choosing a different template for my blog and being able to make such choices was one of the reasons for me to make the move to my own web site.

I am very grateful to the folks at WordPress.com for giving me the chance to blog here. I think it is a terrific place for someone to get their feet wet in blogging. If you are considering doing so, I recommend it highly. It is free, after all, and that price is hard to beat, but more than that, it offers an excellent blogging platform. And if you are thinking of starting a blog, Paul Stamatiou posted an excellent piece yesterday called HOW TO: Start Blogging.

So now that I've made this announcement, let me suggest that you come on over to the new location and let's continue our conversation there. I want to take this occasion to say thanks for your loyalty in reading my blog and for your patience in making the transition with me.

technorati tags:

Customizing applications

I have previously blogged about the virtue (as I see it) of being able to customize your applications to your own preferences. This afternoon I see that Daryl has made a plea for such customization of a feature in Flock, the alerts he receives from the Flickr Photo browser. He said:

In its current form, with some of the contacts I happen to have on my list, the photo topbar provides more of a distraction than a benefit. It provokes me far too often to stop what I'm doing so that I can look at photos of little consequence.

Daryl’s Flock Blog

I know what he's talking about, and in general I agree with his proposed solution or at least with some variation of it. I'd like the ability to turn off notifications when some of my Flickr contacts post pictures and to specify how frequently I am notified about updates to their photostream. If I could specify that for some contacts I want to be notified as soon as they've posted their photo and for others that I want to be notified only once an hour of their updates, that would be an improvement over the current way it operates, I think.

But the point of this post is to raise the question for Flock's developers of whether they are really willing to give us to the ability to fine tune Flock's functions. There is, of course, an Options section in the Tools menu where I can specify a variety of preferences, such as which web services I use, which search engines I want as the default, which blogging service I use, etc., but in my conversations with them, I've met with some resistance (it seems) to building in a lot of configurability into Flock.

I've seen this resistance with regard to at least two of the functions that make Flock unique, the blog editor and the web snippets area location.

In its initial incarnation, the blog editor was a free-floating separate window that tended to get lost, particularly if you ran your browser maximized. Next the blog editor opened in a tab, not in a separate window. Since the editor has recently been improved and updated (completely re-written, if I understand correctly), it opens in a separate pop-up window that by default is opened on top of other windows. Right now there is no way to set it to open instead in a tab, and I have yet to see any discussion of the fact that the option to change that default behavior is going to be available. I have, however, seen a number of user comments indicating they would prefer to have it open in a tab. I don't think it should be only one way. Let the user choose which he or she prefers.

The web snippets feature (previously called The Shelf) was originally a topbar just like the photo browser or the Mapper function. In its most recent rendition, it is located in an area at the bottom of the browser window that auto-opens when you drag a web snippet to it. (Web snippets are nothing more than a bit of text, a graphic or a link that you find on the web that you want to retain, perhaps for later use in a blog post.) Back when it was a topbar, there was some discussion of making it a sidebar or a bottom bar instead. At that time, I said my preference was for us users to have the option of making it either, simply another thing that we could specify as we saw fit.

The resistance I sense among the developers to that idea goes something like this. "We don't want the browser to become bloated, and besides most users would end up just using the defaults anyway. And what's more, many users might find it hard to discover the configuration options." They are the developers, of course, and I am only a user, so I can't argue with the point that providing user preference options might contribute to bloat. However, I don't think the argument that most users might use the defaults or that many of them might not discover the configuration options holds much water. Though both suppositions may be true, that isn't any reason to deny users, who are willing to explore the features of the product and want choices, the option to "have it our way."

So as I write in support of Daryl's idea, I also would like to prod the Flock developers to become more open to giving the user greater choice about how Flock behaves. Stop short of making the code bloated, but go as far as possible in providing users choice. It's easier to create fans if give them the ability to control the application through configuring it to their desires.

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Success sort of

At least the "Blog this" function at Flickr enables me to post a picture as the previous entry illustrates, however neither changing the theme nor trying to post a small version of a picture instead of a large one works yet when dragging pictures to the blog editor in Flock. Despite this, it still doesn't seem as if it is the blog editor in Flock that is at fault. Here's why I think that. When I create the post, the blog editor saves a copy of the post on my hard disk. I can look at that .html file and in the version on my hard disk, everything looks normal. So it seems that something in the process of publishing the post to WordPress.com strips out a part of the code and therefore causes the picture not to appear. That is true with the two themes I have tried this morning, so I'm not convinced that it is due to the theme I am using. Fortunately, Erwan and Daryl are looking into this problem to see if they can diagnose what is causing it and perhaps fix that.

I'll just have to await further development of the blog editor and the development team's investigation to get a resolution. In the mean time I can work around the problem if I need to post a picture by using Flickr's "Blog this" option.

In the most recent build of the blog editor I am pleased to see that a spell checking option has been added. Heaven knows I need help spelling and while a typo or two isn't something I'm going to stress out about, I do like to spell check my posts before I publish them.