As you may have noticed, I (or rather my designer) have added Facebook Like and a Twitter, uh, Tweet button in the upper-right of each blog post. I really haven’t made any changes to this site’s design for a couple of years, so I thought it was high time to try these out.
If you’re so inclined, please try the buttons out. I’m going to post something tomorrow which will be, I think, more shareable than this boring note. If you love, hate or are indifferent to them, let me know.
As you may have noticed, I’ve blogged less often on this site, but, I think, more contemplatively. Your mileage on that may vary, but it seems like a natural evolution of my online creative expression. If you’ll pardon the phrase.
But what of all the random stuff I used to link to?
A Boring History of Curating Ephemera
A little history. Way back when I started this blog, I wrote a lot of short posts, kind of mimicking (and routinely referencing) Boing Boing. These often pointed to bits of Web ephemera that I encountered in my work or personal time online.
Then Twitter came along, and it seemed like a very natural form for sharing these web souvenirs. However, Twitter does a very poor job of archiving old tweets, and making them searchable (for example, I’ve tweeted way more than three times about the Canucks over the past three years). Occasionally, I actually want to find something I shared six months ago, and Twitter is no help. So, I have the sense that there’s no permanent record of this silly curation I do.
I started a Tumblr blog in which to store all this stuff. You can find it here:
There’s pretty much no original thinking there, just a river of stuff I find and probably tweet about. If you’re immersed in the web, you’ll have seen most of this stuff.
I’m still tweeting all these items–I’m just also going to push most of them to this site. It may prove of no interest or use to anyone but me, but I just thought I’d mention it. I also make no guarantees of its longevity–I reserve the right to abandon it at any time. If I stick with it for a couple of weeks, I might embed a view of it in the sidebar of this site.
Tumblr is Highly Presentational
This also, finally, provides me an opportunity to mess around with Tumblr. I’ve spent some time with it here and there, but I’ve never actually launched a site or anything. It’s remarkably stripped down. There’s no interaction without a Tumblr account, and even then they’re limited. There’s no native statistics package at all, and adding Google Analytics is a little clunky. There’s not even the identity widget that comes with Blogger sites. In short, it’s a really presentational form. I’m not sure what the obvious benefits are–but maybe they’ll make themselves apparent in time.
But it is searchable (at least by me), and I rather like the theme I picked. If there are any Tumblr users out there, I’m all-ears for tips. Check out my latest attempt at capturing the web’s most gossamer bits, and let me know what you think.
As I mentioned, we’re off to Panama. Our flight leaves later this afternoon, and it’s a multi-stopover red-eye through the night to Panama City.
We’ll be there until late December. Then we head northward for a few days (and New Year’s) in Manhattan. We’ll be back in Victoria on or about January 3rd.
Posting will thus be light around here for the next month. We (joyfully) won’t have regular web access for at least the next two weeks. We’ll probably visit an Internet cafe or two, though. In the meantime, there’s a couple of other pages on the Intarweb for you to look at. For example, I just discovered Is It Funny Today–kind of a Digg for web comics.
Have a good December, and, you know, be nice to each other.
Due to my own busyness and ambivalence, this site’s redesign is moving at a glacial pace. However, it is happening.
In the spirit of revamping things around here, I’m considering dispensing with my links page. Despite what the page claims, it is no longer an accurate representation of what I read. I used to use Bloglines, and I shared my public feeds on that page. That’s no longer straightforward, because I use a variety of aggregating and filtering services (most notably, AideRSS) to mash and morph the feeds to which I subscribe. Plus, I switched to Google Reader a while back.
As a result, my blogroll is littered with old sites I don’t read, defunct sites and inaccurate links. I’m very bad at maintaining it because it’s a chore, and always at the mucky bottom of a long, long list of tasks.
I receive an email mentioning a job in the Vancouver technology or marketing industries at least two or three times a month. Depending on my inclination and busyness, I occasionally post these to my site. I thought it might be useful to include a job board page on the site where all of these jobs could live.
Somebody recently pointed me at Job Thread, which displays local jobs specific to the industries I specify in a widget. Somewhat like Google AdSense, you earn money “based on a number of factors including the quantity and quality of traffic your Widget generates”. I ought to reject them for the needless capitalization of ‘widget’, but never mind that. That’s not quite the right thing, because I don’t see a seamless way for people to submit jobs that would ensure they appeared on my site. Plus, I want something more robust than just a widget.
Ideally, I’d like a system where anybody can submit a job listing, which would be held in moderation until I approved it. Then it would be posted to a page, and eventually retired to an archive after a couple of months. I imagine one could hack something together with WordPress, but does anybody know of any ready-made solutions? Plus, you know, if there’s a money-generating angle, I wouldn’t complain. I’d do it out of the goodness of my heart, but I’m not going to turn down a little passive revenue. Any advice?
As an SEO experiment, I started tagging (in addition to the categories at left) my blog posts about, I don’t know, 15 months ago. It’s impossible to measure precisely, but I don’t think it’s had a significant effect. Last month tag-based pages only got 823 page views, and a mere 123 visitors came from Technorati. There may be unknown ancillary SEO benefits to tagging, but now I just enjoy inventing peculiar descriptors for my posts (see, for example, .
Thanks to Ultimate Tag Warrior, here’s a quick tag cloud of the 200 most popular tags on this site. Keep in mind that this only reflects, maybe, one-eighth of all the posts on this site. There’s no frickin’ way I’m going back and manually tagging the other 4000-odd posts.
I’ve tried to be disciplined about not tagging entries with the same terms as I categorize them, but clearly I sometimes fail. I guess what happens is that I start writing about something, tagging each entry. Eventually I decide that it merits its own category, so I upgrade it. I might go back and remove the tags for malta, gozo, vancouver, travel, video, morocco and marketing to make the thing more useful.
We’re spending the next ten days traveling slowly (via Valetta, Casablanca and Marrakesh) to Essaouira on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. We’ll be mostly offline, but probably checking email occasionally. If you desperately need to get in touch with me, send an SMS to 604.727.5345. Don’t call, because voice calls get redirected via the very-reliable SimulScribe to my email.
I’m starting a regular feature called “Boring Facts About Me”.
I mean, in a way, the whole site satisfies that description.
I just left money on our stoop for the water man. This process amuses me. Each week we put our two empty 19-litre water bottles outside the front door. I leave 3.58 mL (CAN $12.47) in cash under one of the bottles in an envelope. Early the next morning, the water man comes by, collects the empty bottles and money, and leaves two full bottles. No invoices, no online banking. We just pay the guy, and he brings me water.
Anyhow, we drink almost the water each week (oddly, it hasn’t been influenced by the cooler weather). So I figure that’s about 18 litres for me (a couple of litres remain in the ceramic basin). Is 2.5 litres a day a lot?
Ordering bottled water is a bit of a luxury in terms of living green. We tried and couldn’t get used to the taste of the water. I gather most of it is desalinated sea water, and it’s pretty bitter.
Speaking of Maltese Lira, this will be the second time I’ll be living in a country when it switches over to the Euro. We’re going to be Valetta on December 31st, and apparently New Years will be extra exciting due to the change-over. Maybe I’ll be the first Canadian to spend a Euro in Malta?
A couple of months ago, I started the link blog that you see in the sidebar on the left. It’s basically stuff that I find interesting, but isn’t necessarily worth a blog post. It comes from two sources–shared items in Google Reader, and sites I tag in Del.icio.us.