December 30, 2005

advertising is incompatible with blogging

Advertising is incompatible with blogging. My blogging, anyway. After a month of experimenting with AdSense and YPN I'm removing the ads. My reasons, in case you care:

1. Relevance -- I had imagined that ads might actually be useful to the large number of folks that land on fredshouse from random searches. I was wrong. The clickthrough rate for December was a bit over 1% overall, which is pathetic even by junk mail standards. More importantly, 99% of my visitors didn't click on any ads. So who's being served here? Besides, have you ever looked at those ads? Even the most accurately targeted ones are pretty lame.

2. Aesthetics -- Ads are ugly, and they detract from the site design. Text ads are less intrusive than graphic banners and towers (and seemingly more effective as well), but they are still unpleasant. I'm not overly proud of my design skills here, but the ads made everything look cheap and cheesy. So, gone.

3. Public Morality -- We already have too much advertising in the world. The commercialization of every square inch of public space is a blight on society. The assignment of commodity advertising value to every person, place and thing in the world is a triumph of greed over humanity and the natural world. At least let my little corner of the web be commercial-free.

4. Personal Morality -- This is the bad one: having ads changed how I thought about blogging. Instead of focusing on my own interests and creative expression, I started to think about what kind of content would attract ads with higher CPM rates. Mind you, this didn't show up in actual behavior b/c I've just been 2B2B (too busy to blog, eh?). Nonetheless I'm amazed by how quickly and easily the money influenced the content; this seems immoral on a very personal level.

Overall, an interesting experiment that taught me a couple of useful things, provided a new perspective, and helped me to clarify my thoughts. I can't generalize my own experience with ads to other blogs with ads, but it does suggest the continued importance of critical reading and thinking.

Posted by Gene at 10:26 AM | Comments (2)

December 01, 2005

analytics & ads

It's not like fredshouse is going to pay the bills or anything, but nonetheless I've started experimenting with AdSense and Google Analytics (Wes, you need a catchier name for that, dude. It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue or the keys). Seems like a fun, semi-geeky thing to play with optimizing the site, so I guess we'll see how it goes.

You'll only see the ads if you are on an individual entry page, not on the home page or any of the category archives. I figure that will reduce the yuck factor for frequent readers, and help improve relevance of the ads to the specific entries. Also, most of the pageviews on those individual entries come from search hits, so maybe the ads will actually be of value to a few folks. I'll likely screw around with ad types and placement a bit just to see if it makes a difference, so bear with me.

Regarding Analytics, I'm pretty impressed with the service even though it had a rocky and slow start. I'm not sure I'll be designing any serious marketing campaigns or goal funnels here, but the overall package of stats and graphs is quite nice. Hey, did you know that one of the top searches for this site is "reasons to be happy"? Apparently a lot of people are in search of these. Interestingly, about 90% of these searchers come in via google, vs 3% from yahoo search. Compare this to my search stats on "guitar code", where the referrals are split 50-50 between GOOG and YHOO. I wonder does this reflect differences in indexing/ranking algorithms, or personality differences in search users? Heh...

Posted by Gene at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2005

break the power law

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

What is it about bloggers and surveys? I guess we like to know what makes us tick, collectively. Well, what are you waiting for? Go take the MIT Weblog Survey and tell us all about your bloggy life!

Posted by Gene at 03:33 PM | Comments (1)

May 04, 2005

got yer intellectual elites right here

Blaise Cronin, Dean of the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University, helps us to understand our limitations as bloggers:

Lately, Iíve been wandering around Blogland, and Iím struck by the narcissism and banality of so many personal blogs, of which, if the statistics are to believed, there are millions. Here, private lives tumble into public view, with no respect for seemliness or established social norms. Here, as the philosopher Roger Scruton said of Reality TV, '[a]ll fig leaves, whether of language, thought or behavior, have now been removed.' What desperate craving for attention is indicated by this kind of mundane, online journaling? Surely, one writes a diary for oneís personal satisfaction; journaling is, after all, a deeply private act.

One wonders for whom these hapless souls blog. Why do they choose to expose their unremarkable opinions, sententious drivel and unedifying private lives to the potential gaze of total strangers? What prompts this particular kind of digital exhibitionism? The present generation of bloggers seems to imagine that such crassly egotistical behavior is socially acceptable and that time-honored editorial and filtering functions have no place in cyberspace. Undoubtedly, these are the same individuals who believe that the free-for-all, communitarian approach of Wikipedia is the way forward. Librarians, of course, know better.

Thanks Blaise, for your thoughtful, well-researched and documented insights. I'm truly glad that we have brilliant academics such as yourself wandering the wretched wastes of Blogland, bearing the shining torch of knowledge and advancing the cause of intellectual rigor in the face of the crass and dull Internet masses.


For the morbidly curious, some other sententious drivel on this topic...

[via Liz Ditz]

Posted by Gene at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2005

what's up with the technorati service?

I've come to rely on technorati for a variety of blog search and vanity-checking needs, because it fills a need that isn't well covered by the standard search tools and the various blogspace servcies. I'm grateful to the developers for what they have created, it is an excellent and innovative service. But my experience over many months is that technorati's quality of service is highly variable, and frequently it is just plain weird. Right now is a good example -- it is slow at all hours of the day, it is not catching my new posts even when manually pinged, and I have seen several linked posts appear and then disappear from my link cosmos. Recently we had the compact vs extended listings, which was a nice speedup, but that seems to have gone away. So my perspective is that technorati's basic cosmos search functionality is not very stable and on the hairy edge of usability.

I realize that the universe of tracked blogs is growing fast, and that must create a few little challenges in scaling up the backend infrastructure ;-) (And sure, I'm way out on the long tail...) At the same time, I'm seeing new features (e.g., tagging, APIs etc), so I know the dev team isn't just sitting around reading feeds. But folks, this isn't the 1990's anymore, and our expectations of search services have been set very high by our friends at google.

So I guess I have to ask, what are technorati's priorities, and when should we expect the basic cosmos search capabilities to stabilize at a reasonable and consistent level of service?

Posted by Gene at 08:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 04, 2005

is bill o'reilly playing the blogs for fools?

Xeni Boing Boings: Syndicator of Bill O Reilly column nastygrams blog for linking.

Stay Free! Daily sez: The company that syndicates Bill O'Reilly's newspaper column has sent a cease and desist to the blog Newshound for merely linking to an O'Reilly column! On Stay Free! Daily, we're encouraging other blogs to link to the offending O'Reilly column.

So is this the stupidly infuriating behavior that it appears to be? Or is it yet another example of how the right wing has learned to manipulate the media? I say it's the latter; BOR is no dummy, folks. I know I would never have read his irritating, misleading screed on children and sexual politics otherwise.

Posted by Gene at 12:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 03, 2005

marketing the future

Just noticed my friends at IFTF have launched a new blog on the Future of Marketing, as part of their ever-widening campaign to market the future. Er, okay, that's not a very good portrayal of what they do, but it sure sounded clever at first. Anyway, it should be interesting -- go have a look.

BTW guys, have you seen this Xtreme Retail 23 site? Interesting case study that combines future-of-marketing content (RFID, pervasive computing etc.), marketing-of-the-future content ("the latest from IBM Labs"), and a nice shiny meta layer of future-of-marketing-of-the-future, in that it's a pseudo-independent pseudo-blog that is more or less a bunch of IBM brochureware. My question to you: would customers say this is effective marketing, or would they say it's transparently lame? I don't have the proper critical distance to assess it objectively.

Posted by Gene at 11:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 11, 2004

pubsub: brand clutter

Inspired(?) by Scoble's vision of tracking 10,000 feeds, I added some PubSub fiber into my daily diet. Among other things I thought it would be interesting to track what folks were saying about my employer, but it seems that the term "hp" is not exactly unique to the company. In two days of trolling this high-traffic feed, I've learned that HP means:

* Harry Potter, and man is there a lot of slash and adult fanfic around that little wizard.

* handy phone, as in lots of teens(?) journaling about when they turn their hp on and off, when they play with their friends' hp, and when their hp goes through the laundry.

* hit points for people's D&D and online game characters.

* horsepower.

* HP Lovecraft.

If I were an hp brand person, I would find all this clutter a bit problematic. I would also be interested in understanding why there's not more visible conversation about my brand in the blogosphere. I'd probably even think about hiring a blog evangelist to push my marketing messages.

Of course if I were a cluetrained brand person, instead of focusing on the brand, I might be thinking about how to fire up the conversation between and among hp people and the folks they are trying to make stuff for. In their human voices, not just their marketer and customer/user voices.

Posted by Gene at 10:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 06, 2004

twas the night before bloggercon

Just taking a random walk through the bloggercon blogroll, hope to meet some of these fine folks manana...

The Peking Duck comments on lucky number 8 and the Beijing Olympics. It's so true...I proposed to my true love on 8/8/88, and lucked out big time (awwwww ;-)

At Seedlings & Sprouts, Julie's weeding and feeding.

Trevor Cook buys his iPaq in Australia, it breaks in Palo Alto, and his support call goes to Bangalore. He wonders why can't HP service his busted iPaq right here at corporate HQ. After all, Bill & Dave's garage is just over on Addison, heh.

Wow, it's HP night at the blogs. Hey Mark, glad our guys were able to help keep bloglines running.

BlogPulse looks interesting.

Aha! A new digital home gadget blog: eHomeUpgrade. Word.

Hoder sez "Thank you for the sweet middle finger you showed to all of us in the world."

Loic says that Joi says that Jonas says that someone says that Bush is an asshole.jpg. Hilarity ensues.

Amazing and prosaic: momentshowing hits the road.

Paul Boutin eats & shouts. Look for the hoarse guy tomorrow.

Grumpy Gamer has seen the future and it is Hello Kitty.

I can't believe a blog made me salivate.

Wow, lots of amazing words, images, sounds and sights out there. This is going to be maximum overload, better have extra caffeine. See y'all tomorrow, er, today!

Posted by Gene at 12:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 03, 2004

in praise of print media

This morning's SF Chron headline screaming "BUSH LEADS", with a giant color photo of happy partisans holding up four fingers, reminded me tonight of one reason blogs will never replace newspapers. Blogs just aren't absorbent enough.


Posted by Gene at 09:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 06, 2004

conversation or bloviation?

Speaking only for myself here, I think it's outstanding that Jonathan Schwartz is blogging, although apparently not everyone agrees with me on this. I get a kick out of his in-your-face alpha-geek tone, and all the competitive bluster that's so very Sun. Some of the things he writes make me laugh out loud; other things really make me mad. But overall it's great to have him in the house.

I do have one request though, Jonathan: turn on comments on your blog. Start having an open conversation with the community, rather than sounding off on a one-way soapbox. You're a smart guy with a lot to contribute; don't let your blog become yet another annoying Sun PR outlet. Product hype and snarky jibes will get you some attention, sure, but that stuff gets old fast. Better to have authentic interactions and conversations, and be accountable for what you believe, don't you think?

Update 10/10/04: Just found this note in the site emailbag:

Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004 09:00:32 -0700 From: "Jonathan I. Schwartz" [ed: address removed] Subject: point taken To: fredshouse8888[at] some more thoughts here...

thx for feedback,

Guess someone's watching their referrer logs. Good to hear from you Jonathan. (Note to self: RTFB ;-)

Posted by Gene at 12:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2004

i am a tool of TLC's viral marketing campaign

Haven't seen this before: comment spam that appears to be a legitimate call for contestants on a reality TV show that I have actually heard of. It's of course completely unrelated to the subject of the post, a panoramic picture from last years 1IMC moblogger conference.

TLCís award-winning TV reality series, FAKING IT, is now looking for a Dancing Raver who wants to fake it at their DREAM JOB!

We are looking for candidates who have always wanted to be one of the following but do not have any prior experience:

Flair Bartender (male)
Stand-up Comic (male)
Martial Artist (male)

In the final test at the end of the month, the faker must not only demonstrate the skill required but, if they are to convince the expert panel, they must also look, act, and talk the part as well. At the heart of the show is the journey the faker takes into an unknown world and the relationships that develop between the faker and their mentors.

Must be 21 Ė 35 years of age
Must be able to leave your job and family for 4 weeks

Weird. I think I'll leave it up.

Posted by Gene at 03:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 17, 2004

about abouts

There's a good discussion about about pages over here on a site called asterisk, where the author used Scoble as an example of someone in need of an about page, and in response Scoble amusingly published his about page in the comments thread. Very meta-funny, worth reading. Anyway it reminded me that I needed to garden my own abouts. I always look for other people's about pages when I visit their sites, as a way of calibrating who it is I'm dealing with. Sometimes they have great surprising stories, which add richness to the weave of the web. Ah, and sometimes they are merely adequate, like this one.

Posted by Gene at 04:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 13, 2004

why a guitar?

In addition to being a really pretty piece of inlay work, this guitar in my new header design carries meaning on a few different levels.

It's my own guitar, which I am continuing to learn to play and express myself through. This is not a bad metaphor for a blog, which also is a very personal instrument that demands time, practice, and creativity to become a source of authentic personal expression. The question, "Am I good enough to do this in public?" applies to both endeavors.

It's an acknowledgement that despite the advertised tagline of mobility, media, ubicomp and life, music and musicians have become among the more frequent topics on this site.

Significantly, the guitar represents a blending of four major creative practices: science, engineering, art, and design. The late Rich Gold used to say that bringing these four disciplines together was extraordinarily hard, because while scientists and artists share much common ground in their search for truth and beauty in the world, scientists and engineers have difficulty working together as they hold completely different worldviews and priorities; engineers and designers similarly collaborate well together, but designers and artists are often like oil and water. Rich was one of those rare individuals who could stand in that four way intersection and bring those diverse people together. I believe that the field of ubicomp requires just the same sort of integrated renaissance-style thinking that inspires the creation of fine instruments and similar artifacts that are functional, expressive, purposeful and beautiful.

Finally, the guitar is a social machine. You can certainly play alone to great effect, but playing with other people is where the real game begins. Playing in harmony, unison, counterpoint; trading licks and building on each others' riffs; learning the subtle cues and give/take that underlie great improvisational jams; working together to find the groove that leads to something greater than the sum of the individuals' talent -- which sounds a lot like...well, you know where I'm going with this, right?

Anyway, that's why the guitar's up there.

Posted by Gene at 11:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

how do you like the new design?

So I decided it was high time I had a real design for this site. I've long admired many of the great designs on sites I read, but I've been putting my own renovation off for months with the excuses that I didn't have enough time, I didn't know CSS, and I didn't have any good design ideas (all of which were true impediments!). I was finally inspired to action by Halley's tasty new look, and being stuck at home with the terminator flu all this week I had a bit of time on my hands. So there you go, the new fredshouse look for the Fall fashion season.

I'm sure I'll be stomping out bugs for awhile, let me know if you see something that doesn't seem right in your browser.

Posted by Gene at 10:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2004

comment spam poetry


either on the fly or by means of incubus the scrivner approach, employ the orlando bloom cut paste technique of lifting linux several measures of music and inserting webshots them into a different point in the breast composition. I can appreciate that. south park It's the same sort of concept as womens health in recording, when a mistake, or humor
Posted by Gene at 07:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 14, 2004

too busy for blogging?

I've been noticing signs of economic improvement in the Valley lately. For example, headhunters have started calling again, traffic is getting worse, and restaurants seem busier on weeknights than thye have been in a while. But for me a good indicator of how busy I am at work, is my blog update frequency, or more correctly the total lack thereof. I notice some other bloggers have been calling in busy recently too; I wonder if it's a trend?

Or maybe it's just the nice weather.

Posted by Gene at 03:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 22, 2004

a slow meme

As usual, a few days behind the power curve. But it's fun, so why not?

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

Thus, from Stephenson's In the Beginning...Was the Command Line:

It [the Macintosh] was seen as not only a superb piece of engineering, but an embodiment of certain ideals about the use of technology to benefit mankind, while Windows was seen as both a pathetically clumsy imitation and a sinister world domination plot rolled into one.


[via, via...]

Posted by Gene at 03:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 21, 2004

a small world of bloggers

Some more ubicomp bloggers worth checking out. I didn't know you characters had blogs! What's next, Roy Want running Movable Type in his pocket?

Scott Lederer |
Scott Carter | frontal lobe firings
Joe McCarthy | Gumption

And then there's this, which led me to this, which relates closely to this.

Small world indeed.

Posted by Gene at 12:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 05, 2004

this looks worthwhile

Worthwhile has launched.

The editorial mission of WORTHWHILE is to put purpose and passion on the same plane as profit. WORTHWHILE offers a roadmap for business success that is more personally fulfilling and socially responsible. We live by the motto that it is impossible to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.

Should be interesting, it's certainly got a good lineup of writers (and one or two etoiles) on the, er, masthead? Intriguingly, it seems to be aligned with the shadowy, many-tentacled Bopuc... |-)

Posted by Gene at 01:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 08, 2004

time to reconsider video blogging? is running an intriguingly titled article, "How Videoblogs Will Change Newsgathering", which unfortunately does very little to shed light on that question.

The latest shot over the bow of the good ship Business As Usual may come from an unexpected quadrant of the Internet known as blogs specifically Vblogs, or video web logs. To say this is phenomenon is nascent may be giving it too much credit for being established at this point. But with the power of the Internet to spread ideas and the inclination of hardware vendors to throw capabilities at cell phones, video cameras and PDAs until those gadgets catch on, VBlogging may one-day soon present challenges and opportunities to television news departments.

Fine, this is old news. But the article did raise some interesting ancillary questions for me:

What does it mean when a conservative moneymag like Forbes picks up on a speculative trend like this? Is it a sign that vidblogging is heading toward mainstream visibility? Does someone on the editorial staff believe it's an important area to watch? Or are they simply buying some offbeat-tech-news feed package from the byline outfit Pinnacor? And isn't that byline kind of weird in itself: "Provided By Pinnacor"?

And, what is the state of video blogging today? There was a lot of v-blog interest about a year ago, so what's new? My sense after a quick unscientific survey is, still not too much. Given the relative technical complexity of producing and delivering video, and the limitations of tools, systems and networks for dealing with large data objects, I'm not surprised that few people are yet actively exploring this emerging medium. But there are certainly some interesting experiments going on. Vidblogs is frequently updated and there are some fascinating video authors in that group. Lisa Rein still has way more energy than me, I have no clue how she does it. Audiovisceral is an MIT PhD candidate's experimental site. And we can't forget Steve Mann, the borgfather of wearable computing and protagonist at EyeTap, whose visionary work continues to move closer to a pragmatic expression.

Hmm, maybe there are some new threads to follow here. Pick up later, for now duty calls ;-)

Posted by Gene at 09:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 02, 2004

fredshouse zeitgeist

Installed JimFl's neat search referral zeitgeist plugin. It went without a hitch mostly, except for some clueless (on my part) trial-and-error getting the directory path right for Windows pathnames. It's mostly for my own edification and navel-gazing, but if you are curious you can take a look at the fredshouse search zeitgeist.

It covers the period from mid-January (when I started collecting referral log data) to the present, and shows search terms that led to this site. Terms are linked to the blog item they pointed at. Larger fonts mean multiple invocations of the same term. Colors are randomly selected. If you mouse over a term, you can see the number of hits as a tooltip.

Not too many weird searches have led here so far, although I do wonder what the person who wanted "gene desire monkey" hoped to find ;-)

Posted by Gene at 11:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 24, 2004

digital journalism @ NYU

This is fabulous: Christopher Allbritton, journalist and independent warblogger, is teaching a class in Digital Journalism at NYU this semester. Requirements for the course include numerous blog-related reading assignments, and setting up and writing a blog.

As we discussed tonight, your assignment for the next two weeks is to get your blog in a semblance of order (don't worry right now about the look and feel; we'll get to that), and then complete a 1,000-word feature on the New York Democratic Primary on March 2.

Students' blogs are publicly linked in the sidebar -- it's a full immersion experience for these folks. I hope that as they get a few good posts out there, they will start to experience the spontaneity, cross-linking, comment threading and trackbacking that make blogs a very different medium from traditional journalistic outlets. There is a new kind of literacy required for writing and reading and participating in blogs, and this is an essential component of making them an effective tool for jounalism.

I originally came across this site while looking for ideas about ethics in blogging; there were some interesting leads here (as one might fervently hope ;-).

Well, best of luck to Christopher and his students, this sounds like a great class. Almost makes me wish I was back at university ;-)

[Now playing: Grateful Dead | Dick's Picks 13 | Looks Like Rain]

Posted by Gene at 11:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2004

international house of bloggers

So there's the International Blog Meetup Day happening on March 17th. How fun, and it looks like I will be rather international myself, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. So maybe this will happen...

[Now playing: The Crystal Method | Vegas | Vapor Trail]

Posted by Gene at 11:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 10, 2004

e-tech envy

Seems like they're down in San Diego. Thanks Boris for a moment of high truth in the midst of all the ETCon bloggery!

Wish I was there, especially for the collaborative mapping jam session. These guys seem like a lot of fun, one day perhaps we'll connect. I hadn't seen Mikel Maron's worldkit before, it may be a useful thing to try on skatelog.

Posted by Gene at 11:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 22, 2004


I've been donating blood on and off for at least 23 years and several gallons worth. It's something I feel unequivocally good about doing, and it has the nice property that, since there's no direct benefit to you and you don't really know who will benefit from your donation, there's no sense of a transaction happening. It's a reasonably pure act of kindness toward your fellow humans. Er, except for the cookies, that is.

The last time I gave blood, I moblogged the pictures linked above with my Nokia. The nurses thought that was a little weird, but I explained a bit about blogging to them and then they thought it was cool. I was thinking it would be fun to try getting other bloggers to give blood themselves, then blog about their experiences.

Now I notice that my local blood bank publishes their current inventory on the web, so you can decide when is the most useful time to donate your particular flavor. Well that's pretty how hard would it be to make a little widget that took this kind of data (ideally in an RSS feed), combine it with some location ID thing like GeoURL, and paint it onto a map to show the national/global need for blood donations?

Okay, so two challenges here:

1) If you're a blogger, go donate blood* and then blog about it. If you're not a blogger, go donate blood and then start your new blog, you'll have a great first post all set to go ;-)

2) A lazy web project to make a geographically indexed web app showing demand for blood at local blood banks. See this for inspiration. Maybe add a calendar/reminder widget so that people like me will remember when they are eligible to give another pint.

Yours in B-positivity...

* Check the requirements before you go, eh? -- 110+ lbs, don't be sick, no exposure to nasty diseases, no weird meds, etc.

Posted by Gene at 12:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 23, 2003

Interesting new metablogging services

At least, new to me:

AllConsuming, which aggregates blog-mentions of books into a reader's zeitgeist of the blogosphere, or something like that. Guess it's been around for several months, but I'm just now finding it. See also Book Watch, a similarish gig. Wonder if anyone's done this for media other than books?

LocalFeeds, which aggregates RSS feeds into geographically local news feeds, using GeoURL metadata as the location tag. This one's been live for about a month I think, judging by this here post at

Upcoming, a public event listing/calendar service keyed by location ('Metro'), venue and people. All of 4 days old, and growing fast. It's definitely got rough edges, but could be quite cool for finding events and people to go to them with.

Guess there will be some new feed-cruft coming to this site soon, sigh ;-P

Posted by Gene at 05:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 19, 2003

Arrrrr, lubbers!


Posted by Gene at 10:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 11, 2003

Why is Joi-san such a PageRank rainmaker?

This is a quiet blog, meandering along happily on its own. Nobody comes to it, and nobody links to it. It's a wonderful meditation on solitude and peace. Not a ripple of traffic bestirs its calm surface. I know, 'cause I checked the logs.

So imagine my surprise when my Google toolbar started showing some actual PageRank. A *lot* of PageRank, considering where we are here. Curious to say the least, I looked at the backward links and found links from Joi Ito's blog. *Lots* of links, none of which actually contained links to this site. Totally unwarranted, considering I've probably made three comments total on Joi-san's blog, moblog and wiki combined. So WTF? Is there something about his blogging tools that causes Google to read all comments as links from all of his posts? Is it a conscious strategy to provide benefit to people that connect to his community? Or is it yet another manifestation of the man's mysterious, superhuman talent for connectivity, a vast social probability distortion field that even Google can't parse adequately?

I've gotta understand this better. In the meanwhile, thanks Joi-san for your generosity, however it comes about 8-D

Posted by Gene at 09:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 28, 2003

Halley's HBR Case Study

The September issue of HBR came today, so I immediately grabbed it and read Halley Suitt's case study, "A Blogger in Their Midst", which does a really nice job of explaining blogs to the uninitiated, and poses the thorny question of how a corporation should handle employee blogging. The analyses from David Weinberger, Pamela Samuelson and Ray Ozzie will be thought-provoking if not entirely convincing for the traditional HBR readership. Erin Motameni's (VP of HR at EMC) response is exactly what I would expect from a conservative large corporation: "Glove Girl is certainly passionate about her company. But in her enthusiasm, she has abused her knowledge of proprietary, confidential information...she'll need to be told that continued misuse of confidential information could end with her dismissal."

Thanks, Halley for a great article. Guess it's time to raise this question with my employer, who does not endorse or sponsor this site in any way, shape or form.

Posted by Gene at 12:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 05, 2003

MT vs. TypePad?

Great, now that I finally have MT running on my server and the basic stuff sorted out, along comes TypePad and it looks really good.

I'm tempted, really I am, by the idea of someone else managing all the scripts, templates, CSS, moblog, FOAF, bandwidth, disk space, security, *cough* DSL *cough*, etc etc. But it's also pretty much fun to build my own stuff, however humble. Plus, DIY is free. Well, er, sorta, . Free as in 'free software', but not as in 'free lunch', as they say.

So I gots to decide.

Posted by Gene at 10:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack