Catching up

Catching up on all my reading:

Scoble has dropped his subscription to Burningbird because I don’t provide full feeds. That’s okay Robert: I think I would rather not be read then to be skimmed quickly: fitted in between this meeting and that tech dinner.

I thought about this and realized I don’t write posts that skim well. I’m just as likely to start a post out about my cat, but finish on some esoteric bit of semantic web nonsense. I am an oblique writer; I drag all my readers through everything that’s of interest to me regardless of a topics of interest to them (you). Tech people get cats, cat people get tech, and you all get pictures.

On the other hand, Dave Winer has a good point in that if I’m not going to provide fulltext, I should provide meaningful excerpts rather than the ‘first so and so characters of the post’. I can agree with this and will attempt to do this in the future.

Of course, I always see the excerpt as yet another place to extend my creative urges…

Jeneane Sessum asked for opinions on commenting options, and received some good feedback. I like my approach: successful commenter’s email address enables them to comment freely; others go into moderation; comments are closed at 20 days. No muss, no fuss, no problems.

I’ve also decided to take a hands off approach to my comments. If someone is trolling, we can learn to ignore them. If folks want to get into strong disagreements, it’s between the parties — I’m not going to intrude. I’ve found in the past that when I do intrude, most of the time it just makes it worse because I’m not letting the folks work through the disagreement out on their own–and insulting them in the bargain. The only comments I’ll delete are ones that I feel are sp*m and ones that are so off-topic and deliberately harmful, that they might as well be sp*m. I won’t shut down comment threads either because of ongoing discussions–that’s only another form of intrusion.

I also thought about removing my ‘edit’ feature, but I like being able to clean up my comments and feel you all do, also. What I am thinking of doing is annotating any comment that’s been edited with a small line of text at the bottom that reads: “This comment has been edited”.

Back to catching up:

Happy Tutor writes about using humiliation as punishment and a case where a thief is required to wear a “I stole mail” sign:

But the good news really is that shame and humiliation can be imposed without a court. Satire is judge, jury, and executioner. Our noble trade is fully in the spirit of the times: Brutal. Branding is not restricted to products.

Sometimes that man is too damn smart for our own good.

Speaking of satire, I love finely crafted satire but it is a chancy art. I dabble in it, from time to time, with both visual and verbal offerings. The Happy Tutor is acknowledged master of the art of satire, and the Better Bad News folks hit the target time and again. Of course, no one is better than Jon Stewart, but we do what we can.

Including a new site, pointed out in my comments by zo: Go Flock Yourself: beta:(My mistake on pointing to this site–some people just like to wear hoods and burn things just to see them burn.)

Moving on….Noded has the best reaction to Michael Brown actually starting a consulting business for disaster planning.

Microsoft, bitch slapped by the state of Massachusetts for being all proprietary, has decided to see the standards light and release all of it’s Office formats to ECMA for care: feeding of. (What, has ECMA become the trash compactor of the spec world?) Tim Bray said why not support ODF (OpenDocument)? Dare Obasanjo responded with pot calling and kettles named “Atom”; Tim responded back with apples and oranges. and sticks.

Look, I have the perfect solution: use RDF. Sure, we can convert ODF to RDF; we can convert Office XML to RDF. It’s not only a standard now, but your office format would be inter-operable with dozens of other specifications already in use. More than that–all parties involved really dislike RDF; a shared mutual sense of loathing is a good first step in forming an alliance.

See, you need a woman involved in these discussions to get to the heart of these matters; to see the crystal clear path amid the dark, old, and crusty biases.

Speaking of matters, I’ve just realized that 2/3′s of my subscriptions in Bloglines haven’t been updated in a very long time. Either I am subscribed to the wrong feed, Bloglines is missing updates, or a lot of people I know have quit weblogging. If the latter, too bad, really, because I miss the melody and it seems lately all I’m hearing is a lot of tubas with an occasional flute.

And now is a good time to drop in another Zoë photo! Zoë says use RDF…or else.

Hard Day Cleaning

(Warned you: esoteric semantic web nonsense, and a cat picture.)

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21 Responses to Catching up

  1. Ethan says:

    I wonder if we should create some sort of “Off the List” list. The “Dumped by Scoble” list? Who cares, you’re on MY list, short feeds and all.

    Good point about the skimming. I have thrown some “dragnets” into the mix like PubSub and Digg, and I am noticing that my patience for reading through the tons of [stuff] that fills my aggregator is wearing thin indeed. Which to me defeats the purpose of feeds (and dragnets) in the first place.

    Skimming (hee) through Scoble’s comment box, I get the weird impression that there is some unspoken “he who dies with the most feeds in his aggregator wins” contest. Come on, 740 feeds…? What does he win, Don?

  2. Elaine says:

    I started writing my excerpts separately when I started using them on my home page.

    it’s a great moment for creativity. like haiku: getting the core of something very complex into just a few words. and it helps in finding the threads of the ideas in the post as a whole.

    so go for it!

  3. Shelley says:

    I know, Ethan, I was rather stunned by 740 feeds myself.

    Elaine, I have always appreciated your excerpts. They are wonderful teasers.

  4. Peggy says:

    Scoble’s weblog is like a drink blender, throw a bunch of stuff in, hit the speed button then chug, chug. Very often the drink is not palatable.

    So, what is the real reason he deleted those feeds? Why did he include your name and the others listed? The post would have been fine, and the message clearly understood without the specific references. Very odd.

    And, why is his weblog on wordpress.com and not microsoft.com? (*-*)

  5. Nice try, but I’m not threatened: Zoë’s eyes might say “use RDF or I’ll bite you” but her eyes and ears together say “mmm, laundry, if only my back leg didn’t itch and need a little washing life would be perfect.”

  6. Shaded says:

    Damn I don’t feel bad now. I been hacking for longer than I care to count and I don’t even get what web 2.0 is suppose to mean.

    You have a bloglines blogroll somewhere?

  7. Shelley says:

    Peggy, I wonder if someone mentioned us and he felt he had to respond. Hard to say — blogrolls are such emotional things.

    Shaded, no, I don’t have an exported blogroll. If I try Gregarius, I might open this up.

    Phil, it was more, “Warm laundry, mmmmm.”

  8. Pat says:

    “Tech people get cats, cat people get tech, and you all get pictures.”

    Sumus quod blogamus.

  9. Seth Gordon says:

    ..but…but…I like rounded corners!

  10. Hey, this post is on tech.memeorandum.com right now (at the bottom, “More Items”). Must be because it mentions so many A-listers :-).

  11. Shelley says:

    Seth, it’s because I’m an actual REAL blog.

    Seth G, I do too…but I like my own sharp angled pointy corners, regardless of lack of hipness re: same.

  12. Scoble got me started on my path to too many feeds to absorb sickness.

    My Bloglines says I am subscribed to 758 feeds.
    Right this instant there are 533 Unread.

    Either Scoble read at the speed of light (and I thought I could skim fast) or he has even less of a life than Id (hard to fathom).

    There is a third possibility, but I am not about to suggest that a Technical Evangalista at Microsoft might ever slightly spin reality.

    I’d love to OBSERVE him read all his feds in two hours as I seem to remember Scoble once said.

    By the way, yes, I regularly DELETE Feeds.

  13. kareem says:

    I think I would rather not be read then to be skimmed quickly: fitted in between this meeting and that tech dinner.

    This is ultimately up to you, obviously, but if you’re trying to gain mindshare, build authority & your personal brand, it’s probably wiser to put your ideas out there in the easier possible format for consumption and let your readers decide how to consume it.

    Just a thought!

    Kareem

  14. I mentioned Shelley because I hate having to come here in a browser to read her. I want to read her stuff in my aggregator but I’m not going to put up with anyone who does partial text anymore. I found that behavior just made me mad.

    I’ll only visit here when a post shows up in Memeorandum or Digg now, which is how I found this one.

    Ron, as to my feed reading. I am not keeping up either, but then I treat it like a newspaper. Do you read every article in a newspaper? No. You skim the headlines looking for an article that interests you. Then, if you find a headline that interests you you might read the first paragraph. Even then you might get bored (or realize the headline mislead you) and move on.

    Now that we have Digg and Memeorandum and Tailrank I’m pretty sure I’m not going to miss anything really interesting.

  15. Why are you making the subject of partial text feeds so personal, Robert?

    On your blog, you called out Shelley and several others for doing it, then said “I just don’t have time for people who don’t treat me the way I want to be treated.” You follow up here by stating that partial feeds make you mad.

    Choosing not to subscribe to something is your prerogative, but you’re acting as if these people have done you wrong. Nobody promised you a full feed.

  16. Shelley says:

    Don’t forget the aside that if anything that doesn’t show up on digg or memeorandum isn’t really interesting either, Rogers.

    Robert, I don’t care. Really. I meant what I said–I would rather not have a reader than one who skims my weblog in and among hundreds of others.

    Kareem, if this takes away my ‘authority’, lessens my ‘personal brand’, I don’t care.

    I said a while back that I don’t feel I own my weblog, my writing, when I provide full feeds, embedded pics, and all the other accouterment of the ‘proper weblogger’. It was either do my own thing, which means partial feeds, or quit. In which case, Robert, you still wouldn’t be reading me.

    I am tired, though, of our worth, our ‘authority’ if you will, being equated with the length of our feeds, and the number of our links (not to mention how often we show up in tech.memo — I’ll pass on digg.com after I saw the comments yesterday.)

    As for you getting ‘mad’ because I don’t meet your demands, all I can say Robert is that’s your problem, not mine. But you may want to change aggregators: most open the pages directly in the tool rather than pop open a browser.

  17. Karl says:

    I follow Shelley in FeedDemon and have no problem with it. Sometimes I do miss a good story here, but most times I have enough to go on by a headline and lede to decide to hop in. And I regularly browse here as a matter of course as well. Feeds, full text or not, are not the ultimate way to keep up with folks in our community. They help a ton – but sometimes I got to visit someone’s house – ya know?

    Otherwise, well we might as well quit our individual blogs and write to a shared database that is searchable…. like Google Base. Wouldn’t make much difference then. Would it?

    So Shelley – that’s what to do – become the disembodied Burningbird. Blow up the site. Throw away the design. Fuck the individualism of the site itself. All that matters is your meta.

  18. Ethan says:

    I’m trying to let this blow over, but I can’t let this line go:

    Now that we have Digg and Memeorandum and Tailrank I’m pretty sure I’m not going to miss anything really interesting.

    Gahhh. Have you not noticed the circular references between those three sites? Digg is the best of the three, but even it has limits. Tailrank is nearly useless to me. (As Stephen Colbert would say, it’s on notice.)

    I love this “moving goalposts” thing.

    “I won’t read/link to you unless you use full text feeds.” Fine, here’s a full text feed.

    “Well, what I meant was, you have to be mentioned at [memeorandum-style site] for me to read/link to you.” Fine, I’m on the front page.

    “Well, what I meant was, you have to write about acne remedies for teenage porpoises for me to read/link to you.” Fine, here’s a whole series.

    “Well, what I meant was…”

    Bleah, enough.

    So Shelley – that’s what to do – become the disembodied Burningbird. Blow up the site. Throw away the design. Fuck the individualism of the site itself. All that matters is your meta.

    Disembodied is the new corporeal! (Printing t-shirts)

  19. Sour Duck says:

    (Slight break in this thread from the current hot topic.)

    Re: commenting.

    “I also thought about removing my ‘edit’ feature, but I like being able to clean up my comments and feel you all do, also.”

    Oh yeah…

    “What I am thinking of doing is annotating any comment that’s been edited with a small line of text at the bottom that reads: “This comment has been edited”.”

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! ;)

    More seriously: do people really need to know I moved a comma, added a smiley face rather than a wink, or removed an exclamation mark? It sounds like there will be no way for others to differentiate this sort of edit from an edit that changes the meaning of a comment.

    (And please no “number of edits” tally – I’d be dead in the water.)

  20. zo says:

    “fitted in between this meeting and that tech dinner”

    Prime, honey, prime.

  21. kareem says:

    if this takes away my ‘authority’, lessens my ‘personal brand’, I don’t care

    I wasn’t suggesting you *should* care, I was just suggesting that if you do, you might not be approaching it in the most effective way. authority, to me, isn’t the # of inbound links; it’s the quality of ideas (which, parenthetically, is oft-represented by inbound links. but there are companies working to change that.) :)