Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Web (2.0)’

Slow Blogging versus Speedy Twittering

April 1, 2009 1 comment

A bit late perhaps, but as I am chatting away with a friend who Twitters, I realize one of the benefits of Twittering over Blogging (or any other type of “authoring” really).

“Let me take an exceptionally educated guess: you not actually being a member of the Twitter community? Sounds great indeed; where do I (and, for that matter, the rest of the world) sign up?”

In your dreams and my nightmares. See, one of the principles of successful change management is to, as quickly as possible, achieve success. Reaching that milestone, no matter how small is it, will give people the feeling of being productive and useful. Reaching milestone after milestone, no matter how small they are, is an experience that strongly motivates people to (continue to) do things.

There are many times when I thought of something quick that I wanted to write about, but refrained from doing so because my mind went “I cannot just write stuff down. I will have to take my time and think about it, then write a draft, then spend quite a bit of time reviewing and rewriting that draft into a coherent and complete story”.

“Huh? When have you ever used that procedure for this blog?”

I am doing it even now. So the idea that I had to spend a lot of time to share what I felt was a very little nugget of wisdom was not exactly motivating. Which is kind of insane since blogging was the Twitter before Twitter! It was an easy outlet of whatever one wanted to say online right there and then, quick and dirty! Format be damned! But when blogging became a more serious activity for professionals, the people behind Twitter had to look for the next format where “quick and dirty” was the rule, no exceptions. By limiting it to 140 characters, they have successfully captured, no… abducted the “quick and dirty” feel and complemented it with the “repeatedly strive for quick achievements, no matter how small” concept.

No wonder they called it Twitter: it sounds and means something fast, whereas “blog” sounds slow and its definition reminds me of something slow. If there ever was an alien called “Blog”, you know it would be something big, fat, wobbling with multiple layers of whatever.

“Hey, leave the snark to me! Anyway, abducted is a strong word; I predict a new service that will have even a lower maximum limit of characters reaching great heights of popularity!”

Not an impossible theory. Still, how articulate can one be with even fewer characters? Wait, do I even want to know?

Wobbling Blogger Out.

Advertisements
Categories: Web (2.0) Tags: , ,

Wobbly Update: On FriendFeed And The Value Of Blogging (Again)

November 1, 2008 Leave a comment

I just wanted to say that I am also active on FriendFeed since not too long ago. I think it is a pretty fun and useful concept to get in touch with people and things they share. Much like RSS but with room to provide short comments. So that is nice. Seems like scholars are starting to use Twitter as well. I do not think I care enough for Twitter to use that now, but maybe later?

“Scholars and IT, way to reinforce a stereotype.”

Oh well, onto a slightly more relevant bit of information then. Thanks to FriendFeed, I came across a blog post on Why Academics Should Blog by Hugh McGuire. He is mostly presenting some good points, although the accreditation and relevancy issues remain unsolved. Well, that is my opinion anyway. I am not going to repeat my junk here, you can read it in his comment section.

On a related note, here is another topical discussion (and even a real life example!) on DrugMonkey’s blog about scholars using blogs to get things done.

“Hah, way to make your case.”

Hey, I stand by my views. I think there is a place for blogging to improve scholarly communication. Just not for large settings without significant improvements on its format (and thus its efficiency). And when that time comes, if ever, I imagine it will resemble digital research papers more than blogs. Ah well, maybe more of those predictions later.

Getting This Blogging Thing Down Pat!

April 20, 2008 1 comment

Motivation: As I am a more and more active blogger, I think it is only productive that I go and explore the ways of success with blogging, in order to improve the quality of my blog.
Problem statement: Unsure how to reach out to the right communities to add value. So time to see what I am doing right/wrong!
Findings: Overall, I score pretty OKish on most of those points. Except that I have not been very involved with the rest of the scientific blogging community, and, likewise, I do not plug my own stuff enough on other blogs.
Conclusion: In order for this blog to have more “success”, I need to mingle some more with my fellow bloggers and shamelessly advertise myself some more. I am unsure whether I feel like doing the latter, but mingling with the rest of the community sounds very productive to me.

Over at Nature’s Blog forum, I found an interesting reference to an article by senior editor of Wired magazine, Paul Boutin, who writes about ‘what a number of successful bloggers with successful nonblogging careers say are the ways to think about getting into the business of blogging’ in “So You Want to Be a Blogging Star?”

So let us sum them up and see how I am doing.

“You mean we, of course!”

Don’t expect to get rich.

Well, I got that one down pat, for sure!

“I am already happy if we don’t lose money over this!”

Write about what you want to write about, in your own voice.

Definitely check this one, too. And I feel I can truly write what I want to write about given that I am somewhat anonymous. And that helps with the unrestricted thing, but perhaps less in the credibility department. In addition, I can do more than express myself in my own voice: I have a special web based alter-ego to assist me with the writing and talking thing! Thus I have in fact two voices! Points for extra effort!

“I certainly deserve credit for the added value! In fact, without me, none of this would have been possible!”

Fit blogging into the holes in your schedule.

“Well, you’re a bum. So this one is pathetically easy. Which is pathetic.”

I cannot argue with that…

Just post it already! The hurdle that stops many would-be bloggers is fear of clicking the “Publish” button.

Hmm, I can say I have experienced this as well. I still got a bunch of drafts I have not posted because I feel they lack something. But it is also true that I regularly go back to published blog posts to modify them without any advanced warning. Hmm, what a dilemma.

“The signs of a low quality blog for sure.”

Keep a regular rhythm.

Check. I try to think up of some new relevant stuff to write and write about them as much as I think I can.

Join the community, such as it is. There’s an unwritten rule — actually, it’s written about a lot on blogs — that you should always link back to bloggers whose ideas you repeat, or from whom you get a cool link to another site.

Checking again. I believe proper crediting others is important. I therefore also reference the “intermediate” sources that lead me to the main source as well. Such as Nature’s blog forum thread in this case. And I have bookmarked a whole bunch of interest blogs that I like to visit and occasionally comment on just to join the fray.

Plug yourself. That’s what all the name-brand bloggers do. It’s not bad form to send a short note to a prominent blogger drawing his or her attention to a really good blog you wrote.

Have not mastered this one yet. I am not into directly advertising my blog posts. I find that somewhat sleazy. On the other hand, plenty of sites that are made exactly for this purpose, and would be happy to allow such self plugging. I just have not made up my mind to join them just yet.

So there we have it. Conclusively, I think I can somewhat score pretty well. And I am of course content with my blog and the posts in it. Even though the amount of visitors may be low. I guess I am not doing it for the success anyhow.

“I should think so, because you’ve never had any. Which would make that goal a little bit odd, to say the least!”

Categories: Web (2.0) Tags: ,

Multiple Gmail Accounts: Where is the Privacy?

April 13, 2008 Leave a comment

Problem statement: a very annoying “feature” in Gmail’s multiple account management may cause some serious privacy issues when you do not know about it and handle accordingly.
Motivation:As a fervent user of Gmail and a supporter of Google, I still need to spread the word of this privacy “loophole”.
Findings: Multiple Gmail account management in Gmail does not quite protect your privacy.
Conclusion: Make sure you manually switch to different Gmail accounts if you wish have your main Gmail account hidden.

Now, Gmail is a great (e-mail) service. Good user interface, lots of space, everything sounds good. Heck, Google even allows you to have multiple accounts. That is good, right?

“Right.”

Right, as with multiple accounts, you can e-mail in different environments accordingly. For instance, you could have a Gmail account solely for

  • Online Non Serious Chatting using a random addy like onlinebuddychat (at) gmail.com
  • Online Adult Chatting using a random addy like 20F_USA_blonde (at) gmail.com
  • Professional business using your real name addy like FirstnameLastname (at) gmail.com

*I am not related to these accounts, but I guess there is no need to have them tracked by spambot just to make a point, so I replaced @ with (at) to slow that down.

Indeed, these three different group of contacts never have to meet. That is the power of different gmail accounts. Even better, Gmail lets you forward all the incoming mails to a different e-mail. In this case, you could let all of your e-mails be forwarded to your real addy so you do not have to check up on all of them for e-mails individually and manually. Great, right?

“Right.”

Right, it is user friendly and it has a high degree of manageability from one point of access.

Even better: you can assign a main account and give permission to let that account send e-mails from the other accounts. That means you can have multiple accounts, have all those accounts send mail to one account, and send emails from that one account using the addresses of the other accounts. Fantastic, right?

“Right.”

Wrong. You see, when you use your main account to send e-mails through your other accounts, people can see both gmail addresses!

Note: when you’re sending with a different ‘From:’ address, your Gmail address will still be included in your email header’s sender field, to help prevent your mail from being marked as spam. Most email clients don’t display the sender field, though some versions of Microsoft Outlook may display “From yourusername@gmail.com on behalf of customaddress@mydomain.com.”

This “feature” utterly destroys any privacy you might have had with multiple Gmail accounts. To avoid that, you need to manually log into the other accounts. In this Google Groups thread, you can see a Google employee named Sarah (title: Gmail Guide Yellow) explain this:

Certain spam filters look at the authorized IP addresses for a given domain when deciding whether to accept mail. If mail comes from a Gmail IP address, but the headers indicate it was sent by a non-Gmail address, some domains may refuse to accept it. Using the Sender field helps to ensure that we can deliver legitimate messages to domains using a variety of spam-prevention measures.

However, there are examples given in that thread to avoid this spam problem. So this is not an impossible task to avoid for Google. I refuse to believe that even if I did not see suggestions proposed in that thread and elsewhere. And even so, allowing users to decide for themselves to take that risk of not having their e-mails sent through using their secondary accounts is still better than having your main address revealed every time you use that to send e-mails using the other addresses.

Till that time: only use this feature if you do not mind having both accounts involved revealed to the receiver of your e-mails. If not, sign into your secondary accounts individually/manually to send these e-mails. If you use something like Outlook to send e-mails using Gmail, you can switch accounts there without this problem.

Web 2.0! Hype or Fact!? Part 1?

April 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Today, let’s talk about Web 2.0!

“Web 2.0? What the hell is that?…..Is what you want me to say, but I’m THE digital embodiment of wisdom, knowledge and intelligence, of course I know what it is!”

So what is Web 2.0 really? Let’s try to do this with little bits of elements of how a real paper should be written, ya know, with quotes and references.

Read more…