June 2006 Archives
June 25, 2006
What a week it's been. I can't go into details just yet, but I'm more excited about what's happening right now than I have been since, well, my wedding I suppose.
Excitement is good. Mystery is good. My workload right now isn't - but that'll calm down, or at least mutate in a pleasing way, soon enough. So, just as last week was a light blogging week, expect intermittent and quota posts in the week to come, too.
However, I couldn't let the weekend finish without posting a couple of pictures from the family weekend in Suffolk. I had two great opportunities for shooting candids; one at a local charity fund-raising do, and one at a food fair. While more of them will appear on Flickr shortly (courtesy of Fraser's newly-released FlickrExport 2, these are fine tasters. The chap below (and the chillis in the earlier post) was snapped at the food fair:
While this shot of my brother Mark calling a raffle was grabbed at the charity event:
Interesting analysis of Web 2.0 hype versus reality
June 23, 2006
They're all thinking about it�
June 22, 2006
The Telegraph is following The Guardian as a champion of blogging
June 21, 2006
Anything that invites user input can be manipulated by spammers, it seems
June 20, 2006
Synchronicity is a wonderful thing. I was in a local newsagent earlier (picking up a copy of the new-look New Statesman, more on which anon), when I spotted a couple of Mac magazines on the shelf, I suddenly realised that I haven't bought a Mac magazine in six months. I used to be a subscriber to both MacUser and Macworld, but let both subscriptions lapse. MacUser went first, a couple of years ago, and Macworld followed last last year. Why? Beacuse I was getting everything they gave me from the internet, for free.
Every computer magazine I can think of has seen its circulation drift down over the past few years, as more and more eyeballs focus on the net. This begs the question of what the future holds for niche magazines, and I'd suggest that the future is fairly bleak. Circulations and ad revenue can only drift down so far before the quality of editorial suffers. Publishers will either seek to force staff to do more and more, or simply dump the staff in favour of cheaper freelance. Gradually, staff will leave and not be replaced - and sooner or later this will mean that the quality of editorial suffers. Once that rot sets in, the magazine is doomed.
He's spot on, as one might expect. And what he's saying here has implications way beyond the technology niche. Technology-related matters are often, as one might expect, bellwethers for technology-related change. Many of the most popular blogs in the early days of the medium were about tech issues, for instance. So what Betteridge argues here may well apply just as much to other niche titles, including those in the business sector.
Which should give all journalists pause.
June 19, 2006
Interesting thoughts on the relationship between companies and merging technology
Becoming a father can change your brain�
June 18, 2006
Father's Day is very bittersweet for me at the moment. I've not yet had kids of my own, and I lost my Dad to cancer a few years back.
So, in memory of a good man and a great father, here's the very first picture I took of my Dad, back in the late 70s. I still miss you, Dad.
My opinion? Well, so far, I'm really impressed. This really is blogging as a tool for communicating with friends and family, rather than the world as a whole. Adding media to the site, from videos to photos, is dead easy, and the default layouts are great. The idea that you can restrict certain posts to just your family or your friends is an excellent mash-up of the way that Livejournal and Flickr's community features work. Indeed, the general idea seems like the capabilities of Livejournal mashed with the user-friendliness and design ethos of Typepad. I'm having immense amounts of fun with it so far, because the visual nature of the site matches the way my brain works.
My main complaint so far is that there's no ability to chose your local Amazon site for importing links to book and CD covers, as it only uses the US site. However, I'm sure that they'll add that option in time.
I've got a couple of invites to the standard level, one of which has already gone to a friend, and the other of which I'll use for a family member in the next week or so.
A very impressive start from a pre-launch service.
The light in London has been so lovely in the evenings recently, that it just begs me to get my camera out. Here are a few pictures from the last few days:
One of the benefits of rebuilding the blog, and temporarily switching to default templates, is that I realise how lazy I've got with my use of photos here on the blog, just posting direct from Flickr. The default posting size from the service is too large for the current template, so I've switched back to using ecto to create more interesting layouts. Expect to see more of this in the days to come.
June 17, 2006
Interesting article from everyone's favourite Tory on the reading patterns in the UK.
June 16, 2006
All about the book that Lorna's reading now
An article written by Professor Steve Jeffery, who works with Lorna
June 15, 2006
The Metropolitan Police Service webpages about Lewisham gives details of new police powers to disperse groups from Lewisham Town Centre which will be in place from 1 June 2006 until 30 November 2006. This will give officers the power to disperse groups of two or more in the Lewisham High Street area if there has been harassment, alarm or distress caused to local residents and businesses
While I'm not convinced they needed new powers to deal with this, I'm glad that something is being done before the problem gets out of hand.
A very amusing take on the defining characteristics of a Livejournal blog
Murdoch looks for ways to make money from his purchase...
Scoble, free of Microsoft, makes a very convincing argument for a new way of talking to the market
I don't know if it's the weather, the World Cup or the fact that the LibDems now have two out of the three local council seats, but my area's seeing too much police attention right now.
Less that 24 hours after last night's incident, a fight broke out outside our building, as two groups of young men set on each other, with at least one receiving a head injury. The cops turned up while I was on the phone to Lewisham Police Station and were able to resolve it quickly.
I really hope that this 24 hours proves the exception, not the rule.
June 14, 2006
There's nothing quite like being woken up at 2am by the sound of the Lewisham constabulary crashing through your back garden.
Bleary-eyed, we staggered to the window to find out what the heck was causing all the noise, to discover a selection of plods milling around on the lawn. One was standing on our composting bin, attempting to vault over the fence into the public space next to it.
Shouting an inquiry from a second floor window isn't the best way to get plod on side, especially after you've just dazzled them by turning on the garden light, but it turns out that they were in hot pursuit of a fugitive , who'd chose our garden as a brief hiding spot. He'd clearly moved on by the time the PCs and their puppies arrived, so the pride of the beat spent about half an hour milling around, while Lorna watched and I hid under the duvet, trying to get back to sleep.
Eventually, I succeeded. And then the foxes woke me up again at 4am.
I need to move.
June 13, 2006
I was going to declare this blog a World Cup-free zone. I'm one of those guys who was born without the football gene, and I just don't care about it. In fact, with a few exceptions, I tend to feel that sport is something you play, not something you watch. And so, I thought I'd announce my intention to vigourously ignore the whole thing.
Unfortunately, I got coerced into creating a fantasy football team for the championship by one of my colleagues and now I'm starting to care in an abstract way. I'm not actually watching the matches, but I do know who is playing, and check the results afterwards. I suppose it's a bit like going to greyhound racing: you don't give a damn until you place a bet, and then you really care.
So, if I'm discussing the benefits of the 7-11 formation (or whatever. I don't know) in a fortnight's time, you'll know what's happened.
June 9, 2006
Good news and bad on Vox, which is Six Apart's new blogging platform from talking to friends and family rather than publishing to the world. I was kindly provided with an invite to Vox's starter level, which allows you to read protected entries and comment, but not write your own blog, a level I can see many of my own family using.
So far, I'm very impressed. It's easy to use, it has the sort of features within your profile people in the target market are likely to want and the design is friendly and adult, in a good way.
The bad news is that my account has suddenly stopped working. My user page is still up here, but the site is steadfastly refusing to let me log in. The password retrieval refuses to even acknowledge that the e-mail I used to sign-up is in its database.
Ah, well. Vox is pre-release. I'm sure these things will be sorted before it goes live.
June 7, 2006
Back from a short break from blogging, amongst other things, to concentrate on home and family matters.
It's good to focus on what's really important, sometimes.
June 6, 2006
A new English Heritage campaign to save our listed places of worship
Ah-ha. Much needed three pane plug-in for Apple Mail
June 1, 2006
The BBC sets out its stall as a competitor to Google and AOL. Interesting...
I can dream, can't I?
More details on what looks like SixApart's answer to the social networking sites - part blog, part MySpace clone.