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Monday, March 08, 2004
Blogging is the proverbial elephant

What is blogging to you? There's a great exchange on Mathemagenic on the nature of the beast. Lilia writes,
I'm not very interested in how many people are reading my weblog, but much more in who are they and what do they say.

If you ask me why, the answer is simple: for me blogging is about conversations.

Conversations are different from publishing, they require listening to others, require investment of attention and energy. My morning check is my way to find out who is talking to me and what they are saying. I don't do it to find our how famous I am, this is just a very human thirst for a feedback and my respect to those who spend time answering my questions, finding flaws in my arguments or developing my ideas in new directions...

and Stephen replies in the comments:
I don't feel like it's a conversation. Conversations are restrained, they're based on language, they're communicative, designed for a purpose. I feel more like I am immersing myself in an environment. I reach out and touch many things. [...] The blogs tell a story that is non-linguistic. They are like the tracks in the mud, the sounds of birds in the trees, the rustle of a large animal in the underbrush - each a different aspect, a different sign.
Obviously they are both right. Which brings up Clay's statement that blogging can only be defined locally.

I really like Stephen's idea that the essence of what we do in weblogs resides between the lines and cannot be articulated in words. I feel that way much of the time. Very often I feel like I'm this close to being able to verbalize "what I'm about" and am awfully tempted to go and do it, only to feel moments later that any attempt at capturing it in writing would inevitably come short of the real thing, and that I'd probably better simply focus on "being myself", letting it unfold, rather than on "describing myself".

And yet at other times, I sense some kind of therapeutic value in being able to describe myself, even if only approximatively. There are identifiable patterns to what I think and do, most of which remain tacit until I decide to dig them out. Knowing them, identifying them and naming them might allow me to reinforce the good ones and escape the bad ones. As if drawing the box I was in made it easier to move outside of it.

What do you think? []  links to this post    8:56:01 PM  
Firefox makes saving media files easy

While browsing Steven Garrity's weblog I came across this easy recipe for saving seemingly un-saveable media that is embedded in Web pages:

1) Open up the Page Info [Ctrl+I]
2) Select the Media tab
3) Select the media/graphic/flash file from the list
4) Click the "Save As"

What do you think? []  links to this post    3:09:46 PM  
Handy "show referrer" bookmarklet

Readers of Many-to-Many my recall a post I wrote in January about the issue of giving link discovery credit. Now, thanks to Simon Willison's new bookmarklet, there's one less excuse not to give credit for your links. When you click it while viewing a page, Simon's bookmarklet shows you where you were just before you landed there. As with other bookmarklets, all you have to do is drag the link to your links toolbar -- it works right out of the box. Try it on this page! Writes Simon:
One problem that I used to have with attributing interesting links, described here by Meri, is that when you browse with multiple tabs or browser windows it's easy to lose track of how you got to a certain page thanks to a "broken" back button. Thankfully there's a simple solution to this: the show referrer bookmarklet (adapted from a similar bookmarklet by Jesse Ruderman) which shows the page that referred you to the current page in an easily copy-and-pastable Javascript prompt.

What do you think? []  links to this post    2:12:46 PM  
Great wave!

A picture named blue pic.JPG

Read what thoughts came to Dina's readers as they saw this image. I thought of intense motion and power, but I don't think it looks menacing. There's bright light right behind the wave.

And my geeky side was reminded of Jon Hicks' beautiful logo for the Camino browser, which was inspired by Hokusai Katsushika's The Great Wave:

new splash screen

What do you think? []  links to this post    1:10:06 PM  
Open Source and Free Software Conference

OSConf logoUToronto's Knowledge Media Design Institute is organizing a big conference on Open Source and Free Software in May. There's a long list of speakers (including Red Hat co-founder Bob Young and Brian Behlendorf, co-founder of the Apache Web Server Project); note that the conference will be webcast (for a fee).

The concepts of Open Source and Free Software represent international movements in the collective development of knowledge media. Open Source is the practice of sharing the source code of software and other knowledge media with a community that is encouraged and empowered to read, comment, amend and augment it. Free Software is the belief that software should be open and must remain open when redistributed, which tends to imply that only related services and not the software itself should cost money.

These two intertwined movements are arguably two of the most important forces shaping today's knowledge media industries. They relate to artifacts as diverse as computer software, educational content, and digital music, but also social practices, institutions, and infrastructures of our knowledge-based economy. Because they threaten the boundaries between production and consumption, these movements challenge established economic interests and often encounter serious opposition. This can be seen in recent events such as the decision by the City of Munich to go open source and the lawsuit against IBM by SCO.

The University of Toronto's Knowledge Media Design Institute is therefore hosting a major symposium to address the critical issues surrounding the Free and Open Source initiatives. The symposium will be webcast worldwide over the Internet, and the living record of the event will be available through the web archives for a limited time thereafter.

What do you think? []  links to this post    9:26:12 AM  

BlogTalk 2.0 keynoters : Ben & Mena, Mark Bernstein, Torill Mortensen, and Nicola Döring.

What do you think? []  links to this post    8:58:16 AM  

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