Category: meta

Email bankruptcy

November 20th, 2008 — 9:23pm

People I worked with at the Library of Congress will recall that I ran around, during the last week of May, babbling “andy at boyko dot net” to anyone who would listen. The sad fact is, in the few months since that episode, I have been almost totally incapable of answering emails to that address, for various reasons, some good, some not. I’m on the verge of declaring email bankruptcy.

For some inexplicable reason, though, Twitter is working for me. Maybe it’s the rugged good looks of Twitterriffic that keep me coming back; more likely, it’s the fact that I’m forced to actually keep it short, unlike the emails I tend to inflict on people once I get going.

So anyhow, yeah, sorry I’ve been incommunicado; let’s chalk it up to technical difficulties, and start over via IM and Twitter.

So: hi, everyone.


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iPhone client for WordPress

July 27th, 2008 — 1:30am

It’s possible that the availability of an iphone client for WordPress will make me more likely to write here, in the same way that the availability of a saw in my garage will make me likely to build an armoire. Still, how can l keep from trying it?

Comment » | meta, technology

Sunnyvale is sunny

July 24th, 2008 — 1:46pm

I kept hoping that at some point in the first week in California we’d feel settled enough that I’d be able to report intelligibly. Alas, no such luck. But:

  • As of today, we’re finally out of a hotel, and into our rented house in Sunnyvale; our stuff arrived in too many boxes yesterday.
  • It’s really nice out here.
  • Sometimes I say things on

More in a bit. I keep saying that.

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In which I refuse to say things to you

February 7th, 2008 — 11:17pm

A colleague has been pestering me to post here, and I will in order to explain to him why I generally resist.

The personal blog is a flawed metaphor, irreparably so. The statement made by publishing a blog bearing one’s own name is the wrong one, and I regret it entirely, for it implies that this venue is the definitive outlet for any web-hosted writing I should do, of any kind. I figure there to be at least four separate, competing, and mostly incompatible uses (and audiences) for a personal-name blog:

  • diaristic personal musing on one’s life and lunch. I have no cats, and more to the point can’t conceive of an audience that would give a crap. Admittedly, this means I instead inflict those musings on randomly chosen IM-available friends, but that spares the Google user of the future my opinions on today’s veggie combo at Pete’s Diner. There’s no evidence that a ‘blog’ is a better venue for this sort of self-absorbed jibber-jabber than, say ‘twitter’, or just talking to oneself as one walks down the street; at the least these should be segregated on “blogger” where they can be more easily disregarded.
  • Google fodder, wherein unrelated but hopefully useful facts are recorded only so that they can be found later through appropriate keyword searches. I have the most affinity for this category, because I find I so often helpful when other people document their solutions to problems (usually, technical ones), and the audience is not yet known to me, which means I have no reason to dislike them; alternatively, I would write these reference for my future self, whom I like quite a lot (though what’s with the gut, tubby?) Google being Google, these tid-bits could be stashed any-old-where without much loss of findability.
  • Persuasive or analytical essays on professional or personal topics of interest. I freely admit to being the sort of pompous ass who actually thinks “gee, I should be writing more of those” but, audience-wise: huh? Who’d willingly sit through my practice sessions, enduring a thousand words on my opinions on OpenSolaris, or lawlessness and torture, or what-have-you? Luckily I don’t travel by airplane very often, or there would be even more of these hidden away in the queue than there actually are now. At any rate, either such essays would cohere to a specific theme, in which case they probably deserve a venue devoted to the theme, or else they’re just scattershot musings on whatever, in which case: who needs it? Book reviews, too, demand particular mention: given a choice between writing for an hour about a book I read, or just reading another book, it’s really no contest; after all, what do I care if you better yourself? (I am, though, looking for a site somewhat like LibraryThing but more directly suited to keeping track of books one is either reading or planning to read.)
  • The exchange and discussion of ideas with one’s colleagues or peers, through posting and commenting. There’s some minor evidence that blogs can be succesful in this regard, but it’s not at all clear that blogging is a more successful medium in which for people to hash stuff out than, say, “bulletin boards”, which in the modern web-based variant combine the worst aesthetic aspects of the Web itself with the usability of a Fido BBS. As for audience: either it’s work colleagues, in which case I prefer shouting at them over the aforementioned veggie combo, or else it’s personal friends, in which case I generally like them too much to argue about some nonsense.

So. Combining this analysis of my mistake in installing WordPress with the admission that my boy and I are really pretty fixated on Super Mario Galaxy these evenings, I guess I’ve made my position pretty clear, then, huh? Except of course that here I am, writing the third “meta” posting in a row, and using twice as many words as I needed.

Tangentially related: I wonder whether there are formal methods for characterizing modes of communication, by which you could construct a framework in which to usefully compare the zillion awful tools we have available to us in the Y2K8 (email, IM, blogs, wikis, twitter, Post-Its stuck to a rock and thrown through a window) and assess their relative applicability to different uses. ‘Cause that’d help.

Also, seriously, why would Google Docs be unable to push the document’s title to WordPress through the MovableType API?

1 comment » | meta

Google Docs publishes to blogs, but… why?

January 10th, 2008 — 3:52pm

It’s not abundantly clear to me why Google Docs added a blog API to their “Publish” feature. Granting that it’s a tolerable (but not stellar) mode in which to enter text on the Web, OK, I’m nonetheless unclear on why to prefer Google Docs as the input channel to the blog’s (e.g. WordPress’s) native input mechanism — either way, you type the words into the little box. Nevertheless, the feature is there, and so I must test it. Right now.

Also: hi!

Also: ought it not propagate the title from Google Docs to the blog in question? Evidence suggests that it does not.

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So, yeah, I’m back.

December 10th, 2007 — 12:58am

Things have been busy, y’see? We made another kid last January, so that slowed things down a lot (main thing that slowed: my brain). Also it is the case that things have been lively at my workplace and well so the fact of the matter, dear reader, is that I just didn’t really feel up to throwing any text at you for a while.

But I’ll see what I can do.

Upcoming will probably just be brain-dumps on various technology topics so I can stop thinking about them. Also, complaining.


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