I have been a web feed junkie for some time now. I subscribe to the blog feeds of local celebrities, big sites like /., people I know, and even my own wiki so I can squash the spammers as soon as possible. I also subscribe to blogs that deal with subject matter I am interested in, or written by folks whose style I enjoy. I would never remember to visit most of these blogs individually, and usually only visit a blog to comment.
A new service called RSSHugger promises to make it easier for me to find blogs that I like. It is a directory arranged by category, human edited to weed out the spam, and it seems to be growing at about a rate of maybe 10 new blogs a day. We will see if the editor can keep up the pace if this thing really takes off.
This was designed to be a paid listing, but for now you can get your blog in the directory for free if you write a review and give a link. So here we go. I am sure I will let you know if I get in and the viral marketing strategy works.
A Blog About Nothing is sponsoring a contest for bloggers. The idea is to come up with a good way to spend fifty dollars to improve your blog.
It is acknowledged that there is not a huge amount of money at stake here. If the prize amounted to say fifty thousand, I could do wonderful things like take a writing course, hire a graphic designer, and maybe even get a life and therefore have something to blog about. Not sure $50 would make a dent in any of these options.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, folks. I think the money would be best spent on something from this page (WARNING: Not Safe For Work). I could then be photographed wearing it and post the photo here. That should do the trick.
The only question is whether to put some extra $$ into it and get something really nice, or to hold some in reserve for a new server for when the "Old Fat Lady Wins Contest, Poses in Leather Skivvies" headline hits the front page of Digg.
I received a form email today from some guy wanting to build me a website. Normally I would give a few guffaws and move along, but someone I respect had just stated:
I envy the people that get to set their own hours and work schedules. I just don't have the sales skills to go it on my own.
Sorry Stephen, but is that what you meant by skills? Spamming random people? Thing is, I know this sort of thing works, and at nine hundred dollars a pop, who cares for how long?
Maybe it happened long ago and nobody bothered to tell me. I always knew it was inevitable when I decided to start a weblog. Most bloggers would see it as a non-issue, but as you know we are all wired differently. This is my own private little demon.
That's right, someone I am connected with IRL found this website and connected it with me.
Hello old friend!
Yep. I really am this boring. Sorry. Part of the problem is being able to see both sides of a story so well that I cannot form an opinion. Sometimes that is good and it can make me a good friend, but not necessarily a good writer. Sorry.
More than one way to go about it.
I really can't believe I managed to set myself up for a basic newb problem. The fact that the problem led into a street brawl does not even figure in. Catfights come with the territory, and while I do not back down, or lose, conflict or the lack thereof does not make something right or wrong.
The fact is, I dropped the ball.
I want to write this down because even if I never read this again the effort of putting it into words might be enough to make me remember in the future.
One important thing I want to take away from this is that if you plan something, it is important to assume that it will succeed. Humility is fine for individuals, but when you are acting as a business it may be best to count on the fact that you do in fact rock and plan accordingly. Especially if your business rocks.
I will throw something else out there, not because it will help, but only because the obvious must be stated: Think, doggoneya! There is no real point in building up knowledge and experience if you have no plan to use it.
What if I wrote something here that was really clever and someone read it and was moved to comment?
That would be really neat, but it really wouldn't change anything. Comments are exciting, but once another post is up, the original post gets archived, and all there is is archived comments.
What if I wrote something that touched you in such a way that you would stop at nothing until we were friends?
That would be awesome.
What if I built a website that inspired many people, and helped them connect to others who share their interests?
That is what I want to do. I only have to capture their imagination, build a promise, and inspire trust.
I am excited.
I finished up a very long term project today. It feels nice. I started out just about a year ago with a huge data file and no clue whatsoever. I spent much of last winter trying to fit my problem into a prefab solution. That is what I know how to do, and often I can modify a script just enough to suit my needs. The thing that finally came to my rescue was the release of Ubercart for Drupal™. It is no big secret how much I enjoy working with Drupal™, and my background with the software helped a lot in putting together such a bear of a project. I was able to modify a few modules to suit my needs, and after long days of hacking, searching and experimenting I can feel like I have something that works.
The funny thing was that I barely had a chance to draw a breath before my lack of fundamental knowledge came right up to hit me between the eyes. I am at a point where any study I can do will help me more than the work I could do instead. The work is piling up and will continue to do so, but hours spent toward understanding will save days of work later.
So, would you like to see the big project? It is at Row By Row Bookshop. Yes, I really was kidding about the finished part, there is still a lot to be done. Sure enough though, you can order a book and pay for it right here online. Please do me the courtesy of leaving a comment here if you see anything amiss. There is something about an e-commerce site that makes me reluctant to open it up for viewing, and I can't help but think I have the proverbial spinach in my teeth where all can see.
I just wasted too much time reading this person's blog. I really do identify with her in a lot of ways, and I feel like such a loser for not forming my own opinions and then blogging about them. I don't feel so bad that I would actually do it, but like her I am fully qualified. I am an evil nasty degenerate sort of person, and my friends know it. I do try not to focus on it.
I manage to feel superior because my blog has no profanity. It might actually be fun to attempt to vent without resorting to scatological terms. I just know I could never handle the fame.
Edit: I was with her right up to where she burned 900 bucks. Now I remember why I like being boring.
I really cannot believe that I am lame enough to have scheduled a laundromat session at the same time as this weeks Layer Tennis match. I mean, clean underwear is only important if you actually planned to wear any, right? And is this working for your self stuff not just a way to arrange your schedule around what you want to do?
Maybe it is just as well. I have not really had the time to spend 3 hours on fun this week. At least not during daylight hours...
If I had actually been here I am sure I would have been sucked in, to other people's detriment.
I really must get all this work down to a manageable level so I can catch next week's match. If there is anyone out there who thinks the end of match summary will suffice, I can tell you that you are wrong. The live action greatly enhances the experience.
I will get this work done. I will get this work done even if it involves buying a faster computer. I would like it if I did not need a faster computer, because waiting for delivery would be such a drag.
Those of you charting my progress will be happy to know that I have whittled my major emergencies down to one. Sure it is huge, and maybe not even an emergency since it has been pending a full year. Still, the parties involved want it by Thanksgiving. A project this big with any sort of deadline automatically becomes an emergency.
The emergencies I am claiming as quieted still have some details to be attended to. Nothing big, just a few details.
After that, maybe I can start on some of the things I want to do.
Problem is, the stuff I want to do ain't all that different from the emergencies I have been dealing with. True enough, I get a charge when I learn something useful, and I look forward to having people use what I build.
Not sure what an actual day off means. Even on officially sanctioned days off some planning has to be taken for meals. I am sure each of my regular days would qualify as a day off for someone...
Yeah, I do stay up late at night. A better person than I would say that is bad practice. Hard to fly with the eagles when you are up with the owls, they say. The problem is that I do not go right to sleep unless I have had a full day of physical labor. And I have not earned a living through brute force in a couple of years.
I could go upstairs and run the tape of everything in my life I have done in order to go so wrong. Or, I could stay here and enjoy mankind's greatest invention, Internet radio, and wait for somebody awesome to talk to. Someone shows up more often than not.
Accentuate the positive is what I say.
I participated in the discussion during the Layer Tennis match for the first time today. I realized at the time that I had about as much business being there as I would at a Munchkin audition, but as I am free, white and 21, and not nearly famous enough for them to know how graphically incompetent I am, I signed up in the hopes that a little participation would make the game more interesting. It did.
It was assumed I had followed the commentator there, but no, I came for the action. I am aware of Heather Armstrong and her blog, As I recall I checked it all out and did not find it to my tastes. I could be wrong. I did not say anything at the time, but this is my blog now. Nothing personal, Heather.
Meanwhile, back at the tennis, today's match was quite heated. I did not know during the actual match that the two competitors were close. The volleys seemed a bit over the top had they been strangers. There was name calling, sex, age discrimination and outright insults. I forced myself to keep the newb "me too" comments coming. I had fun.
About the title. That was how I answered when the kids asked if I would be applying for a job at the nearby Googleplex. Seemed to fit here, too.