RMIUG Meeting: "Content Management: Wrangling the Beast"On November 9th, I was privileged to have the opportunity to speak at the Rocky Mountain Internet User's Group meeting, on weblogs and RSS. I'm including the minutes of the meeting since they should prove quite interesting reading.
"If the Internet is the medium of the Information Age,
then content is the matter. According to Netcraft
there are more than 55 million websites in existence.
Although there are no hard statistics, some estimate
that the number of web pages is well into the hundreds
of billions. Google, even with its incredible breadth
and reach, only catalogues four eight billion of those
pages. It's amazing that we ever find anything!"
Toyota Prius insider tip: saving money on your extended warrantyI bought a 2004 Toyota Prius almost a year ago now, sat on the waiting list for months and months, and finally got a ride into John Elway Toyota of Denver, Colorado to complete the paperwork and pick up my new vehicle.
The price wasn't negotiable, so the transaction should have been easy and straightforward, and it was. Until we got to the extended warranty...
The Quality of RSS FeedsEver since I fully grokked the value of RSS, Really Simple Syndication (something I attribute to discussions with my friend Chris Pirillo) I've been learning more about what makes an interesting and valuable RSS feed.
My own sites offer a number of different RSS feeds, including this very weblog, The Intuitive Life, and Ask Dave Taylor, but while they're all in perfect RSS syntax, I've found that it's not always easy to ensure that the content within the feed is of good quality.
Mesothelioma, Asbestos, Lawyers and unmitigated greedI bet that you've never heard of mesothelioma, somehow. It's a big, fancy medical word for a rare form of cancer in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body's internal organs. Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles.
Can you see the lawyer bait in that description? Those last few words... worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles. The legal profession immediately snapped to attention and started circling like vultures, visions of millions or even billions in punitive lawsuits against employers and, presumably, asbestos manufacturers dancing in their heads. All they need are patients, victims of this horrible disease.
Our virus-writing friends at the MPAA?The Motion Picture Association of America today announced the first step in its crackdown on people sharing motion pictures online, and in their announcement had a very interesting snippet that suggests they're going to be much more nefarious than even the Recording Industry Association of America (the RIAA).
Continue Reading "Our virus-writing friends at the MPAA?"
Microsoft, Growth through Acquisition, and Smart Business Strategies
I admit it, after working for years at HP's Palo Alto R&D Labs in California, I have always had a very strong case of NIH Syndrome. NIH = Not Invented Here. We used to joke about it at the lab while we were, for example, wasting thousands of man-hours creating a "better" LISP instead of just adopting Common LISP, or, most famously, "fixing" TCP/IP when it was first released by Hewlett-Packard, just to be darn surprised when the industry stayed with the standard TCP/IP protocol stack and... we didn't interoperate properly.
I've been working with a Very Big Publishing Company on a business book that's going to be cobranded with a Fortune 50 company (can't be more specific than that at this juncture) and unlike almost any business book I've read, this one has really dramatically shaken up my thinking, particularly about a company that I love to despise, Microsoft.
Continue Reading "Microsoft, Growth through Acquisition, and Smart Business Strategies"
Weblog update notifications via IM or SMS with LiveMessage!My new weblog Ask Dave Taylor! has already been invited to be part of the beta test of Microsoft & MessageCast's innovative new Live Message Alerts! program, where you can have your RSS update notification just about anywhere you want including MSN Messenger notifications. It's definitely a cool way to keep up on Weblog changes and I'll encourage you to go ahead and click on the link below to sign up for alerts from Ask Dave Taylor!:
If you have any feedback on the program or know of other innovative programs that are pushing the envelope with RSS notifications, please do let me know! As for me, I now need to figure out which of the 50+ RSS feeds I track would be useful as IM messages... Trés cool! :-)
I received a Community Service Award!
Well, actually, I received notification that I've received a community service award that I'll be receiving at an awards dinner next week. It's to do with my efforts with Go Boulder!, a local transportation agency. I started out volunteering to help with the regional RTD EcoPass (subsidized bus pass) program for our 70-house neighborhood here in Boulder, and then ended up being co-coordinator for the area. Now I also help manage a simple Web site for our neighborhood too.
In addition, I've spent many hours with the great folk at Go Boulder talking about ways that we can further publicize the bus pass program (it's a great deal, but that's another story) to achieve a level of participation where we might just have a program where everyone who lives in Boulder can ride the bus for free, even to Denver, skiing up in the Rockies or DIA airport.
In any case, this is exciting! I've never received a community service award before!
How long until the iPod Photo can play videos?As an enthused iPod owner (I have two old ones, a 5GB unit for audio books and a 10GB unit for music) and professional photographer (see Colorado Portraits for my photography site) I've been quite interested in reading about the changes and improvements to the iPod with the latest release from Apple. If nothing else, the disk size has sure increased with either a 40GB or 60GB option.
Continue Reading "How long until the iPod Photo can play videos?"
Resizing Partitions Dynamically on Mac OS X and other geeky stuffIf you've spent enough time around computers, you know the difference between disks and partitions. In a nutshell, disks are the physical devices that store data in a computer, while partitions are "logical" or "virtual" disks: a physical disk can, and often is, split into 2-3 or more partitions, making a single disk appear to be a bunch of smaller disks. Got it?
On the Windows side, there's a great application that's been on the shopping list of geeks and system administrators for years: PartitionMagic, but on the Macintosh side there's never been a particularly strong entrant in this category.
Fixing the Electoral College, tampering with polling places, and other election thoughtsAfter hearing horror stories of polling places where there was an "hour or longer" wait in the queue and a ballot that took "almost an hour" to fill out, I finally went into my local polling place and cast my vote today. Elapsed time was about 20 minutes total, mostly standing in line waiting for a booth (well, a rickety plastic table with partitions). Two things got me thinking this morning: first, about what would happen if it really did take two hours to vote and how that might affect the outcome of an election, and second, about Colorado Amendment 36, which will change the way that Colorado allocates electoral votes...
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Why all the buzz about weblogs and RSS?I'm pleased to announce that I'll be giving a talk next Tuesday night at the Boulder-based Rocky Mountain Internet Users Group meeting on Weblogs, RSS and Content Management. As I've written about here before, I strongly believe that one of the very best things about a weblog is that it makes an easy and quite flexible content management system, and that's what I'll be discussing.
I might also mention that there's an entire chapter on weblogs as content management systems in my book Creating Cool Web Sites with HTML, XHTML and CSS, but, then again, maybe not. :-)
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