Archive for: May 2007

May 30, 2007

Blogs, Blogs and more Blogs

Filed under: Blogging,Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 2:39 pm

I have more than 20 blogs, and I know that is not unusual. I collect blogs in all the normal ways:

  • I sign up for a Social Media site and automatically get a blog (2 or 3 including Vox).
  • I sign up for a professional service and automatically get a blog (2).
  • I check out a blogging service and create a blog with a Hello World post that then gets abandoned (Several).
  • I maintain a good number of link blogs. They are blogs where I link to articles and other blog posts on specific topics. Each blog is a topic. In serves a similar function as in that I save links on specific topics, but it provides additional flexibility. I save articles on website planning, website design, website construction, website promotion, and website planning for example. My link blogs are all on Blogger, which provides a button to save to the blog as you are browsing. Again, one can save a blog post with the same effort as saving a link on Some would question whether these are true blogs. (14)
  • Then I have some blogs that are more traditional blogs that I write myself. (2 or 3).

It creates issues of course. No one wants to read multiple blogs from one person.

  • I could write one entry and cut and paste to other blogs. I will do that with this entry to try it out.
  • If one knew RSS, one could subscribe to all the feeds and send them to one group or folder.
  • There are RSS tools available to merge RSS feeds, so one could create one RSS feed from many. See RSS Feed Mixers.

Some people create one blog and put everything into one blog.

  • Jeremy Zawadny from Yahoo writes a blog with excellent technical perspective, but I also get his blog posts on his other passion which is learning to fly.
  • Matt Cutts from Google writes a blog on SEO that is required reading for anyone promoting websites, but I also get his vacation pictures.
  • Dave Winer pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software. He always has interesting perspectives on current technology. But I also get his posts on his lawsuits or travel plans.

Options include:

  • Do one blog and accept that it is good to get information on the person behind the blog.
  • Create different blogs on different topics.
  • Treat blogs like Newspapers and only read the articles / posts of interests. A sports fan reads the sports section without a care about bridge columns, comics, or horoscopes.

I think one of the most interesting options is to add intelligence to RSS Readers to filter by tag. That way I could filter out Jeremy’s flying posts, Matt’s vacation posts, and Dave’s naked Jen posts (I am not going to explain).

And for the one that asked – I will also post this on Vox so that I am posting there as well as on Les Bain’s Blog.

Global Warming – Part 2

Filed under: Politics — Les Bain @ 1:21 pm

I blogged that I had a fantasy that I could participate in a discussion on Global Warming with various experts that slowly and carefully explored the issues.

If we reached a consensus on the fact that Global Warming did in fact exist, then the discussion would turn to:

  • What is causing Global Warming
  • What if anything do we want to do about it.

As I think about it more, it is not so much Global Warming that I was really thinking about, it was the lack of reasoned debate.

In my fantasy, I am going to add another expert to the panel, a Logician. The Logician will act as an umpire or a referee. The Logician will throw the penalty red flag on every logical fallacy.

And then think of the possibilities of adding a Logician referee to the Political process.

May 29, 2007

Search Engine Results should be numbered

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 1:56 pm

Google should number their search results. Yahoo does.

I get lost in trying to remember which sites I have looked at when searching.

OK, what I really want to know is the number of the Google result without counting.

RSS Tutorial

Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 1:44 pm

I wrote an RSS Tutorial several years ago.  It is time to do an update.  I collect material from one version of the Tutorial to next.  This will be the second major update.   There are new products, new kinds of feeds, and new statistics for RSS usage. And of course, there are products and services that are now obsolete.

The Tutorial got noticed when Robert Scoble mentioned it on his blog.

My tutorial is consistently in the top 10 results on Google for the keywords “rss tutorial”.

There is of course an RSS feed from the Tutorial that announces updates.

When I created the RSS Tutorial, I put a PayPal donation option on the first page.  I was not expecting to earn money, but I was curious to see if I would get any donations.  To date, I have not received a one.

May 22, 2007

Google Trends

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 3:42 pm

Google Trends – Hot Trends is a new Google feature. As people check out Google Hot Trends and search to see whats going on; it reinforces what is hot. A self fulfilling prophecy.

May 21, 2007

“Who’s Got the Monkey?”

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 2:19 pm

The article “Who’s Got the Monkey?” was published in the Harvard Business Review in 1974 by authors William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass.

I used to keep a copy of the article in my briefcase at all times, and I would give it away whenever I thought it would be helpful.

I also kept it because it was a lesson I needed to re-learn. It is the best article I have ever read on effective delegation.

May 20, 2007

Global Warming

Filed under: Personal,Politics — Les Bain @ 12:35 pm

I wish I could participate in a discussion on Global Warming with various experts that slowly and carefully explored the issues as follows.

  1. Is it getting warmer now? If it is, by how much? How do we know that it is?
    Discussions about ice ages, meteor storms, Greenland, and what killed the dinosaurs are excluded at this point.
    “Is it warming up NOW” is the question. The question is not “did it warm up in the past”.
    If (it is getting warmer by any agreeable measure)
    {on to number 2}
    {break for coffee and go home}
  2. What does it mean that it is getting warmer? What has happened so far?
    Keep the conversation to what has happened that can be observed or measured.
    • If something is happening that might or might not be attributed to global warming, merely note it is happening and that there is disagreement about what caused it.
    • There should not be major disagreement here. It is either happening or not. The glaciers are either melting or they are not.
  3. What does it mean that it is getting warmer? What might happen in the future?
    What do we think might happen.

    • No one knows exactly what will happen. Well meaning experts should be able to reach some consensus of what might happen or what will probably happen.
    • Discussions about ice ages, meteor storms, Greenland, and what killed the dinosaurs can be included at this point.
    • Disagreement is expected at this point.

Do most experts agree? That is not what I am reading. It seems we should be able to reach some consensus on the above. Which leads to the next discussion on

  • What is causing Global Warming
  • What if anything do we want to do about it.

May 19, 2007

Tweaking the CSS

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 8:34 pm

I tweaked the CSS for this blog. Just cleaned it up a bit.

It always surprises me that when two people look at a blog or website.  There can be such radical differences in their opinions of the website.  It seems especially true for the kinds of small changes I was making tonight.

Thankfully, I do not have to get anyone else to approve these changes.

My son went sky diving today

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 8:08 pm

My son went sky diving today to celebrate the end of the college semester.

I am pleased that he is enjoying himself. Later on this evening I will hear how it went and see some pictures.

It is inevitable that soon I will start watching the clock.

Web Development

Filed under: Internet,Personal,Website — Les Bain @ 8:05 pm

I was updating the client list on my website, and looking at various websites I have worked on over the last couple of years and months. I have learned a lot.

I guess it is human nature to think about all the things you do not know (for example Ruby on Rails) than to remember all the things you do know.

May 7, 2007

On Hold

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 11:58 am

Today is the day for phone calls.  Each phone call is “dial and wait” or “dial and navigate voice mail”.  I know it is phone call day, so I am prepared in advance to put on the head set, open snail mail, clean the desk, and do filing as I wait on hold.

If I could just turn off the music on the phone and listen to what I choose it would be a happier day.