Archive for September, 2004

Woowoo!

   I am excited. Why, you might ask. Well, let me tell you. Someone I admire named (Robert) Scoble, who has a section of virtual space on a large networked collection of computers that covers the entire planet earth, has added to his section a small collection of typed characters unlike many of the others on his “site” or “blog” as some call it, in that these letters are blue (rather than black) and underlined (rather than not), and has set these characters up (with HTML coding wizardry) in such a way that when others on the ” ‘net ” click their pointing devices upon these characters, they are whisked away to my small and rather unknown corner of virtual space. (That was one tremendously long sentence!)
   In other words, I got “Scobleized,” as they say, though I find the word “Scobleized” somewhat inferior to my decription of the process above. ;-P In any case, I would like to welcome new readers, and (in a typical self-plugging fashion) urge them to check out this little bit of blog I’ve got going here. In fact, I realize, that I have forgotten to post this, but:
   For your convenience, www.BurningFlare.com leads to this blog, as well as http://thewayofthespoon.blogspot.com.
   I also realize that my template is somewhat… default, for lack of a better term. This is because I had to delete my last one and kept putting off the modifications on this new one, including links and maybe even Technorati integration. No worries, I’ll eventually find time to work on that as well. And yes, I do have a feed (Atom) which I’ll link to as well.
   Finally, I realize I need to clarify something. I wasn’t clear in my letter to Scoble about this, but I didn’t single-handedly get the school to start using tablets. At the time I got mine, Learning Unleashed was already seriously thinking about using tablets. I only provide input and ideas as well as a student’s point of view.

Oh yeah, and before I forget, is there a way to get traffic information from Blogger? Right now, the only way I’ve got of seeing the effects of my “Scobleization,” if you will, is though Technorati. Drop me a comment if you’ve got a solution.

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September 21, 2004 at 5:40 pm 1 comment

Ooh, Harsh, Scoble, Harsh! (Blog Ethics)

   There is a very blurry line between journalism and bogging. In my opinion it is your decision as to how close to serious news your blog falls. This isn’t to say that blog’s of different journalistic quality can’t mix; it is just that if you want to post something you saw somewhere else and be a very reliable source, you have to double check. Not because that other blog is lying purposefully (although, this is the internet, so you never know), but because people make mistakes. Now, if you make a mistake or post someone else’s mistake, it’s just that: a mistake. All you have to do is make a note later saying that it is a mistake. More than that is unnecessary.
   Here’s why I’m talking about this:
   Scoble posted something that he found on Rich Manalang’s blog. His readers pointed out that it was a hoax, so he added the following note to his post: “Update: this photo is a hoax, my readers have pointed out. Proves you can fool me, but you can’t fool everyone.” All fine and dandy so far. But then, he posted the following:

I have unsubscribed from Rich Manalang’s feed. Why? Because I can’t trust what goes on his blog anymore. The photo I pointed to yesterday wasn’t attributed. Turned out to be a hoax. I bit on it, and bit on it hard. Shame on me. I should have known not to because he didn’t explain where the image came from.

You only get one shot to ruin your credibility. I ruined some of mine by putting that on my blog. It’s a cautionary tale. Know where stuff comes from.

Thankfully my readers pointed out this was a hoax.

   In my opinion, this is taking it way too far. Rich (whose blog I didn’t know about, but will check out) simply posted a picture of what was reported to be a prediction of what home computers will look like in 2004, without adding where he found it at first. Not saying where you got something is not a great thing to do in the blogging world, but we don’t know why he didn’t. Maybe he was in a rush? Maybe he was momentarily lazy? Who knows? But regardless, Scoble’s assumption that Rich purposefully roped him in, sacrificing some of his credibility to take away some of Scoble’s is, in my humble oppinion, silly. Even more so is the idea that a simple mistake over an amusing picture which is not even offensive can take away someone’s credibility. This is the internet. We gain whuffie and we lose whuffie.

   Also, Jeremy Wright of Ensight is of the same oppinion. What do you think?

September 20, 2004 at 4:17 pm 1 comment

How often do you think of the Clipboard?

   The sole purpose of this post is to remind everyone about THE CLIPBOARD. For those of you who don’t know, the clipboard is a function built into Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems (why, I’ve even got it in my TI-89!) that lets you “cut,” “copy,” and “paste.” Whether you use the keyboard short-cut or use your mouse, I’ve decided now is a good time to think about what is perhaps the most unrecognized but most useful feature ever. In fact, I challenge any computer user who has been using a computer for more than a year to truthfully say he or she has never used the clipboard. What? No one? Thought so. So, the next time you’re pasting a site address into an email or IM, cutting a paragraph out of your paper and pasting it back in somewhere else, moving or copying a file, or any of the countless uses for this classic tool, take a moment to thank this tool for its tireless and reliable service. Should you choose to say “Thank you, clipboard!” out loud, look right back at the people giving you funny looks and remind them that they too at least partially owe their carpal-tunnel-free (or less-carpal-tunnel-ful-than-they-could-be) fingers, tentacles, or whatever to THE CLIPBOARD.

   After all, what else would let me do the following so easily?

Thank you, Clipboard!
Thank you, Clipboard!
Thank you, Clipboard!
Thank you, Clipboard!
Thank you, Clipboard!
Thank you, Clipboard!

I’ll spare you the torture.

Next up: Pixel Appreciation Day.

[Edit]: PS: Have a blog? Show your appreciation for the Clipboard but pasting this post into it! (And a link back to me would be nice!)

September 14, 2004 at 6:33 pm 1 comment


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