Category Archives: Metabloggerie

Metabloggerie

Twitter is drive-by shouting

So, I finally succumbed and created a Twitter account. Despite my initial impression of it being fucking retarded. But now, having begun to follow some people and reading their “tweets” (what an awful word), I’ve been able to see how it works.

Imagine a large group of rednecks, each of them cruising down a broad highway in their pickup trucks. They’re in constant flow, constantly on the move. All of the rednecks are shouting out the window as they go. Typically letting the world know what they’re doing, but often also pointing out things that they’re passing by. At times, two cars are side by side, and the rednecks can holler at each other as they drive by. Such shout-versations rarely lasts longer than a few exchanges.

Now, the really odd thing is that each pickup truck has a microphone installed. But it only records the exclamations of the driver inside the car, not what the other drivers are saying. That means that you find a driver whose yelling seems exceptionally poignant to you, you will still have a hard time figuring out exactly what they’re going on about when they’re shouting replies to others. Your best chance is to listen in on a lot of people to get both sides of the conversation.

Twitter is sort of the redneck version of weblogs. It’s drive-by shouting online. It’s short and fast and furious and fragmented and mostly incoherent. I don’t doubt that it works. It’s obviously quite an effective way to let people know what you think. But it’s still shouting.

My outboard brain

Recently, I realized that this is blog, along with my collection of bookmarks, is becoming my outboard brain – a place to store all the interesting stuff I find and reflect upon so that I can dig it up later when I might need it.

I don’t really expect that this realization will have much influence on this blog. I guess I like it that way. It does mean that I’ll never be able to attract huge numbers of readers, since what catches my interest seems to be rather diverse. It’s more a confirmation of the direction of that I’ve been heading so far: This blog reflects whatever I’m thinking about – for my benefit, and hopefully for at least a few others as well.

Widget-ready

So, a new theme for the blog. I haven’t finished tinkering with it yet, but I’m pretty pleased with the way the widgets in the right hand column have turned out.

As you can see, they’re aggregating content from some of the various web 2.0 services I’m using, including my brand new 23 photo sharing account and my link sharing account at del.icio.us.

It’s all about striking a good balance making the content attractive without overburdening the site with information.

Get reading while the reading’s good

Not too long ago, I was invited to join GoodReads – yet another social web service the sole purpose of which is to allow people to share book recommendations.

As a start, I’ve added some books that I’ve read to my shelf – my virtual book collection, that is. I’ve also added a shelf called Recommendations, which contains a number of books that I’ve learned a lot from, and which – to some extent – have shaped my way of thinking. It is obviously incomplete, but I’ll be adding more to it as I go along – and maybe I’ll even get as far as writing a few lines as to why these books are so important.

Since starting my profile, I’ve been trying to keep it updated as I read new books, adding a rating and few lines on each to make it easy for me to remember them, and easy for others to get an idea of whether it’s something they should pay attention to or not.

Now, all I need to do is engage my friends and family in sharing their favourite reads with me, so that all of my recommendations can actually do some good, and I can get some recommendations in return.
I’ve been so bold as to invite some of you to go get a profile on Goodreads, which I hope you’ll do, so you can let me know what you’re reading these days!

freshened up

I’ve spent some time this morning upgrading this blog to the latest version of WordPress, and changing and editing the theme to something even more simple.

I also spent some time updating the About, Writings, and Best of… pages to make it as easy as possible to find your way around the site. So take a few minutes to explore, and feel free to comment on the new look.

I have also unsubscribed my blog from Planet Ubuntu. I don’t know if this will be a final thing, but since I won’t be blogging directly about Ubuntu for a while, I think it’s the proper thing to do (and besides, I’m having issues with my new feedburner feed…).

New look!

Welcome to WordPress. I’ve finally gotten around to moving my blog off Blogger, and getting into all the CSS and categorizing goodness of the Web 2.0.

I finally got around to doing this when I read usability guru Jakob Nielsen’s top 10 weblog design mistakes, and I hope to have fixed most his concerns now. The only ones I won’t be able to fix by switching blogging software is his points on content:

7. Irregular Publishing Frequency

Establishing and meeting user expectations is one of the fundamental principles of Web usability. For a weblog, users must be able to anticipate when and how often updates will occur.

8. Mixing Topics

If you publish on many different topics, you’re less likely to attract a loyal audience of high-value users. Busy people might visit a blog to read an entry about a topic that interests them. They’re unlikely to return, however, if their target topic appears only sporadically among a massive range of postings on other topics. The only people who read everything are those with too much time on their hands (a low-value demographic).The more focused your content, the more focused your readers. That, again, makes you more influential within your niche. Specialized sites rule the Web, so aim tightly.

If you have the urge to speak out on, say, both American foreign policy and the business strategy of Internet telephony, establish two blogs. You can always interlink them when appropriate.

Eh. Guilty. But somehow I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Just having one blog is plenty of bother for me already.
Anyway, I hope all of this works, and that it won’t mess things up for anybody reading this off a RSS feed.

A blog about what?

I’m having some difficulties figuring out exactly what kind of stuff I should be posting on this blog. Originally, I was inspired by blogs where anthropologists doing research on computer culture were posting some of their research findings mixed with various other stuff that they find interesting.

These are blogs like Alex Golub’s Golublog and Gabriella Coleman’s Sato Roams. Golub has done fieldwork in Papua New Guina, but has recently turned his attention to online roleplaying games. Coleman is currently writing her Ph.d dissertation on the Open Source movement, based on a fieldwork at the Electronic Frontier Foundation – an digital civil rights organisation currently very concerned with intellectual property management.

In some strange future I hope to put research ponderings of my own in this blog. I’ll be trying to post small bits of academia (it sounds like a nut, doesn’t it?) to test the mettle of my communicative skills (and maybe somebody might find it interesting, too). But for now, I’ll mostly write about my doings in Manchester, hopefully with lots of pictures and excitement.

So: A blog about me with lots of pictures and excitement … right!

Links galore

I’ve been messing around with the page template a bit, and have managed to produce a list of links for your viewing pleasure.

I’ll be adding more in different categories later on. For now there’s just a few comics that I enjoy and some other (random) stuff. Have a look. I’ll write some proper introductions to the more worthwhile web sites later on…

Blogs away!

Hello World.

Well, I finally decided to jump aboard the blog bandwagon, mostly as a way to keep in touch with everybody back home while I’m in Manchester studying Anthropology this spring. Actually I’ve been avoiding any proper webdesign for years and years, mostly because I didn’t really feel I had a lot to say, and as the saying goes in web publishing, you need content more than anything.

So I guess I’ll have to work on the content. As a starter, I can tell you about the name of the name of the blog. It’s danish for “and yet in spite of all”, or some variation of that. I decided to go for a danish name since all the other other good ones were taken all ready.

Among those I tried out, but couldn’t get, were: idiotsavant, superfluous, dispensable, lloyd, yggdrasil, manchester, dementiapraecox, supercilious, mente, inmente, cerveau, fuzzy, fuzzylogic, funkymonk mahasamatman, uhuh, moo, mew, sisyphos and toadstool.

Unfortunately, they are all taken, yet completely void of content. I would especially have liked fuzzylogic, it has very nice ring to it. In a way, I think we all perceive the world in a rather fuzzy way no matter how clear and illuminated we like to think we perceive it. And since this is going to be the home of all of my inane online ramblings for the coming semester (and maybe even longer, who knows?) it would only be fair to label the argumentation held within to be slightly fuzzy. Just like how you would see the world without your glasses. Or, if you don’t wear glasses, just like you would look at the world wearing my glasses.

Okay, I guess you can see that the level of selfcensorship is going to be at a minimum here, as this will be a version of calling home every sunday to say that I’m okay, doing fine and generally taking care.
Are you taking care?

You should.