Knowledge is power Archive - October 00 Last updated - Oct 27
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October


Buzzwords and Web terms
The boston.com article: When buzzwords become meaningless droning talks of buzzwords that are no longer used because they became buzzwords. Ever notice that the way the title "webmaster" is no longer used by serious "developers"? By the way if you ever need to explain the difference between coding, programming, authoring, and developing to a project manager send them to this WebReview article: All About Web Coding Part I and its companion piece Don't Giggle When I Say Backend which covers the very basics of server-side code.

Weblogging
I don't know what the hell I was rambling on about in yesterday's post. I really don't. Lets move on with some real blogging.
Weblogging
Here we go again, Joe Clark deconstructs 'You've Got Blog' About the 2000.11.13 New Yorker article. A story about weblog incest, popularity and publicity. Plasticbag.org's 12.11.00 (11.12.00 for us americans) entry has a few comments about Clark's comments, calling it a "steaming pile of crap".

Back when there was around a thousand of us, the 'blog community' encouraged people to get blogging. Now with 60,000 of us and growing exponentially, there's alot less popularity to go around. The A-list of Webloggers are those who gained their popularity before the Blogger flood and will keep surfacing to the top of the lists, and will continue to be the ones mentioned when the media does a feature story on the phenomenon. The new blogs will need to offer something worthwhile on a continuing basis in order to gain that kind of attention. I don't feel that any blog who's sole purpose is to become popular will ever do so. Riothero may have started that way, but his site evolved into Mark's constant need to express himself, which isn't the same as a constant need for attention. He also does what a weblog should do - log what one sees on the web.

Blogging is publishing, whatever some people might say, and if you aren't providing something more than constant posts about how tired you are, you'll never get noticed. Which is fine if all you want to do is post how you feel. The real world thing about blogging is the fact that when you do comment on something worth your opinion, people do notice. When you share a piece of knowledge you found with your readers, and your readers find it valuable, not only does your readership go up, but so does your interaction with them. Since most blog readers are bloggers, they'll share that knowledge with their readers, and they'll share their opinion of it. Sometimes it'll be an expert opinion. This is when the Web's information explosion becomes a knowledge flow. Controlled and focused through a few hundred really good blogs.

I am amazed at the quality of design seen in the new blogs. Every day, I try to check out at least ten blogs I haven't seen before, and while I admit most new ones are rambling journals, almost all of them are light years ahead in style and design of the average non-blog home page.

A lot of bloggers are complaining about the quality and content of the flood of blogs, but are missing the point that the Web is becoming a more amazing place every day. While some are afraid that the kids are ruining everything, others are noticing the improving trend. Read wetlog's interview with Zeldman for one opinion. Zeldman says: "More and more sites are better written, better structured, better programmed - better focused. Sites are crisper and more purposeful."

Politics
Getting tired of all this American election news? Go to Canada and read NuBlogs Political "interactivity", a review of a newspapers review of Canadian Political sites. Nublog offers two obvious things to do on a political Web site.
Ballot Usability
Here's a few good articles on the 'ballot interface' issue.
  • Why Usability Testing Matters --Florida County Ballot Design Raises Questions about Election 2000. Ballot designer, a Democrat, wonders why nobody told her about the problems in advance -- the answer is that she simply showed a sample to voters, she did not ask them to use the samples.
  • Good Experience talks about voter experience and comments on the above article.
  • Dan Bricklin on Ballot Usability Great analysis of the problem and some good links.
  • lake effect, who supplied the above link as has some comments and links on punch-card error due to 'hanging chad'.

Dewey Defeats Truman!

Election Day
I don't know about the rest of the states, but here in Chicago and Evanston, the polls have really long lines. I waited about an hour this morning. So don't try to slip in after work just before they close. A women with two toddlers waiting for husband outside my polling place was doing an informal exit poll - Gore by a landslide.
Political Notes
This whole election thing is coming to an end. Its been entertaining and informative to read blogs which take their politics seriously. Here's a list. I was going to categorize them according to the candidate they support, but I figure I let you figure it out. Other political stuff

The Great Pumpkin
CBS didn't air "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" They give some lame exuse that it would pre-empt their fall season. This pisses me off as much as it pisses ghost rocket. We ought to go to NY and egg the crap out of the CBS headquarters.



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