Posts Tagged: Blog

Sweet! It is May 1st…

The NaBloPoMo theme for May 2009 is sweet. Interpret the word sweet as one will.
The month of May is quite full right now and so it makes complete sense for me to sign up for NaBloPoMo when I will be overly busy. (not). But the theme this month intrigued me and I decided to sign myself up. I may be naturally bubbly and happy, but how many sweet things can I write about in 31 one days? We shall find out, won’t we?
Our lovely friends over at the Online Etymology Dictionary give the word sweet’s history as follows:
sweet (adj.)

O.E. swete “pleasing to the senses, mind or feelings,” from P.Gmc. *swotijaz (cf. O.S. swoti, Swed. söt, Dan. sød, M.Du. soete, Du. zoet, O.H.G. swuozi, Ger. süß), from PIE base *swad- (Skt. svadus “sweet;” Gk. hedys “sweet, pleasant, agreeable,” hedone “pleasure;” L. suavis “sweet,” suadere “to advise,” prop. “to make something pleasant to”). Sweetbread “pancreas used as food” is from 1565 (the -bread element may be from O.E. bræd “flesh”). To be sweet on someone is first recorded 1694. Sweet-talk (v.) dates from 1936 (in “Gone With the Wind”). Sweet sixteen first recorded 1826. Sweet dreams as a parting to one going to sleep is attested from 1908. Sweet and sour in cooking is from 1723, not originally of oriental food

Thus, I will spend the month attempting to blog about all things “sweet, pleasant, agreeable, and pleasing to the senses”. Since I am already blogging either a photo or a text post every day this year (as with last year), for the NaBloPoMo challenge, I will write a text post everyday with a possible photo each day, too. Possibly.
As for the sweet bit about today, I had a fuzzily delightful dream last night/early this morning, just in time for May Day where I was in a forest (a west side of the Sierra Nevada giant sequoia forest) and I had a mobile, handheld map of the forest made of model sized trees. To navigate you turned the tree model upside down and let your hand feel where to go in the forest.
The May Day 2005 post from this blog.
The May Day 2008 post from this blog about a dream I had May Day morning last year.
Last but not least, I hope you had a delightfully sweet day today, whether it was enjoying spring flowers and maypoles or out marching in the name of Labor. Though celebrating Beltane seems a bit more delightful than a march…

A Year and a Month of Blogging

Late last December, a year ago, I decided to participate in Blog365 and I am here to tell you 367 days (365 days + leap day + today) from the start of the daily blogging for a year that I did it. I blogged every single darned day for the last 367 days, including leap day of which we were allowed to take off but I didn’t.
Due to the fact that I allowed myself the leeway of blogging from my computer and / or moblogging from my phone, I was able to complete the challenge and not feel that it was a struggle. Being able to moblog directly from my Nokia phones (N95 & 2 N82s) to this Movable Type powered blog via Nokia’s Lifeblog made all the difference in being able to complete the daily blogging schedule on top of daily life, work, friends/family, travel, and the vicissitudes of life.
Then to make life interesting a more than a bit challenging, I decided to participate in NaBloPoMo in July over at the Happy Tastebud and in November here at Black Phoebe.
In the Blog365 challenge, I decided that which/what content I (mo)blogged didn’t matter, it could be text or photo, as long as I had one blog post per day. In the November NaBloPoMo challenge, I decided that I had to blog text every day on top of any photo posts. That was hard, but really good.
After November was over, I had more text / opinion posts that I wanted to write but December got too busy and I didn’t have a challenge to goad me on to actually write rather than just mo-pho-blog. I am going to continue daily posting here in 2009 be it text or photos, but I resolve to blog more text, at least 3 times a week.

The Phantom Blog Post

Do you ever find yourself wanting to refer to a big blog post that you spent a great deal of time thinking out, composing, and rewriting? A blog post that your friends remember reading and quote you on, but later when you go to find it to refer to it you can’t find it? That it doesn’t exist?
This happened to me this today. I wanted to refer to the blog post that I thought I wrote in early October about my very favorable experience with AT&T’s customer service, particularly a blog post about how AT&T’s Brenda Rangel went out of her way to help me. A blog post I remember writing and publishing. A blog post that doesn’t exist, a blog post that I can’t find.
Did I think about writing it to the point of composing it in my head while driving, but never actually wrote it down? Did I talk about writing it to Erika that when I was having problems with AT&T back in September and then this week when the troubles resurfaced she referred to my good experience with Ms. Rangel and suggested that I call her for help, such that I thought I wrote a blog post?
But I can’t find the blog post. Not published. Not in draft. Not at all.
This is disturbing.
I truly hate that I can’t blog directly from my brain as I think and flesh out ideas as I am driving or falling to sleep or sitting in bed in the morning. Where is my true moblogging interface?
Brain to blog. Until then, I will occasionally experience phantom blog posts.
Anywho, since I can’t find the post… Brenda Rangel of AT&T’s International Data division and Karen Aitken of the Customer Service division both rock hard and should not get laid off. In fact, Brenda should get a raise and a promotion for work ethic, intelligence, and willingness to make a customer’s experience better. Karen rocks, too.

A Suggestion for External Communication

Part Two of my improve Nokia’s Communication Idea Set.
One of the frustrations in participating in projects / campaigns with WOM World can be the difficulty in communication and getting timely information. This is not news to the folks at WOM World (we had a big conversation last week about this) nor to other folks who work on campaigns/projects with them. Now let me break this down into the problem, the extenuating circumstances, and the proposed solution:
The Problem:
I love participating in projects / campaigns / whatever you want to call it with WOM World & Nokia but I find myself frustrated that much of the information that is needed to complete my side of the project right either comes late or quite a bit into the campaign. Take the example of the lack of Nokia viNe widget for the last month and a half of that campaign and then finding out about a similar widget by some other team at Nokia via another blog.
The Circumstances:
(please note that the following are not unique to WOM World or Nokia, but happen all over the world in a variety of businesses)
1) Nokia is working with at least 3 external agencies / vendors on any one campaign: Interactive ad agency, WOM World/1000 heads for the outward facing blogger interface & social media marketing, a possible pr agency, etc. This is on top of the one or two or more internal Nokia teams that may be involved in the project (the developers who are making the service, the marketing team, etc). This is a lot of cats to herd. And it is a lot of folks to be informing each other of what each member of their teams is up to, as well as what other teams at Nokia may be up to that might help the campaign/project at hand, all while on a tight deadline.
2) Almost every company on the planet has teams that are understaffed and overworked. It is a reality of the business system. ‘Nuff said.
3) WOM World’s primary mission is to follow social media and bloggers and then let the world know about what those folks have said. WOM World does not create its own content. At the same time as WOM World is blogging about what we are blogging about, they are also sending and receiving mobile devices all over for trials, and participating in / conducting Nokia campaigns with bloggers and social media folk, as well as interacting with Nokia and other agencies to make sure that WOM World’s portion is working. See #1 & #2 above and you get the point.
4) Ok, I could now talk about how different cultures view the dissemination of information or lack thereof, company cultures, and transparency v. Finnish mind reading tricks, but I won’t muddle up the subject at hand with more details or conjecture.
The Proposed Solution:
Provide a back channel for each of the projects / campaigns as a way of getting information out there and keeping folks informed, and as a way to build community.
What do I mean by a back channel? Before Nokia Open Lab in Sept. most of the participants had very little information other than initial email invite, as the website for the event was not up yet, so Roland Tanglao set up a wiki to help us communicate and share more info that folks may have gleaned.
By having this wiki, the Open Lab participants were able to share our flight times to meet up at the airport, information about the event, information about Helsinki, and most importantly – after the event – links to our blog posts, photos, tweets, etc that we created about the event.
Instead of talking less in public spaces about the Open Lab because we had our own private place to talk to each other, we talked more in public because we had more information and we felt more empowered.
So, I propose that for each campaign / project that Nokia and WOM World work on (either together or separately) with bloggers and social media folk, that a wiki or Friend Feed or an old school link portal or some other way for us to aggregate all the information we need to share with each other, as well as a listing of all the posts / tweets / etc that we have written about the campaign / project.
Arguments Against:
Since I floated this idea by WOM World’s Donna and Siobhan last week, I already have the objections to my idea. Of which the biggest objection is that if a wiki is set up, then the fear would be that the participants would just chat to each other on the wiki / forum / back channel and would not post about the project.
Counter Argument:
In the instance of the Nokia Open Lab 2008, having the wiki did not stop us from blogging and tweeting about it. In fact, we posted more and responded to each other in our blogs because we were sharing information and we had built a community.
WOM World may have posted a few links to our writings during and after the event, but by having a back channel we were able to self-aggregate all of our social media and blog links about the Open Lab and it can be viewed by the public which only increases the Long Tail effect for the event.
When we were talking last week Siobhan suggested that FriendFeed would work within the constraints of WOM World’s primary mission, as it could aggregate all the posts for all of the participants of any given project. But, unless FriendFeed has good filters for all of the incoming feeds, we would also see all of the other posts by the same folks.
A wiki or like, either on the WOM World site or external wiki like PBwiki, would also allow us to share links and information that would be helpful during the project, like my finding the Maps + Photography widget last week, it would allow not just the participants but the whole world see a complete or almost complete list of the posts on the project both during and after in one place, as well as build community.
The Conclusion:
Please help those of us without degrees in Finnish Mind Reading out. I would love to know who the other participants in the Nokia viNe project are, I know a few, but it would be great to follow all and not just thier viNe posts but also their blogs and other social media, as well as to share information that will allow all of us to better participate in the project.
Information + Links + Community = a Big Win for Nokia in the long run.

Violet Blue and Boing Boing, as well as KT and BlogHer

This week a big brouhaha burst out on the web about BoingBoing’s taking down any and all links / posts about Violet Blue the San Francisco sex columnist / blogger.
And the web commenting folks reacted. And reacted. And reacted.
Upon, first reading about this to do, I wondered why such a big brouhaha now – given that the about Violet Blue posts were removed a year ago at BoingBoing – when not a peep has been written about KT’s whole section of Blogher Editor posts from the last year or two being removed lock, stock, and barrel over at over the weekend of June 14-15, 2008.
Now, I don’t think that BlogHer is as highly ranked as BoingBoing, nor do they have the readership, nor do I think that KT was getting it on with one of the BlogHer management in a way that would feed salacious gossip, as Violet Blue was getting it (supposedly) with BoingBoing’s Xeni.
What I do know is that BoingBoing’s moderator, Teresa NielsenHayden, did address the issue today and that she is a by far more astute web moderator than just about anyone else out there.
What I also know is that BoingBoing has a better designed site that is easier to navigate both on the website and over time then the BlogHer site, which seems to be redesigned every year before the summer conference and get more unusable than the year before.
Furthermore, what I also know is that BlogHer had a prominent post on the top of the front page to allow readers comment on the new site redesign on Monday, June 16, 2008, but it had no mention of the departure of a good daily editorial BlogHer. And all the comments about the redesign of the site were only gushing, positive comments by other editors of the site. I was the first, and apparently the last, to make a few critiques of the redesign & its usability in the comments. The post announcing the redesign disappeared off the front page within the day.
How do I know that KT’s posts disappeared? I have BlogHer on my feed list, and day in and day out 365 days a year for at least the last year if not longer, including holidays, KT’s daily astrology post would be on the RSS / Atom feed, as well as on the BlogHer website as the editor post for the Astrology section. KT’s posts stopped on Fri. June 13, 2008 and have not reappeared in the feed since.
More telling a few days after the BlogHer redesign was announced and launched on Mon. June 16, 2008, all of KT’s posts were deleted from BlogHer.
Now I am not going to make a big to do about the why or wherefores, but what I would appreciate is some editorial / leadership transparency on the part of the BlogHer folks about KT’s departure. Whether this is in the style of Anil’s metafilter comment about how to deal with a split or TNH’s BoingBoing post today it doesn’t matter, what does matter to me for BlogHer’s credibility is that they acknowledge the departure (good, bad, neutral) of an editor and her daily column.
I don’t care if BlogHer chose to take down all of KT’s posts or if KT took down all of her own posts, nor do I care about why or the personal politics about the departure, just make an announcement. Say goodbye.
Why should BlogHer say goodbye? Well, BlogHer’s whole premise is an all inclusive community of women bloggers that values diversity, transparency, and honesty. Blogher, live up to your explicit and implicit values.
BlogHer, in the meantime, please please please please hire someone to re-architect your website, it is unusable and I am only viewing posts in my feed reader to be able to see if the content is worth while, as my reader sorts everything nicely. I am very sad to see last year’s design go, as it was the only one I enjoyed clicking through to and seeing the content on the site in, this year’s site is very vanilla corporate.
As a side note to wrap up this post, amusingly enough, I have noticed that Xeni’s sex posts have declined over the last few months. I do think Valley Wag may have hit the whole brouhaha on the head.

The Big Switch Over, or Back to My Nokia N95

The WOM World folk let me keep one of the Urbanista Diaries N82’s through SXSW for better photo taking, but today I had to reset it back to factory settings & wipe the extra memory chip in anticipation of shipping it back to the UK and returning to the daily use of my Nokia N95.
To get my Nokia N95 back into daily use, I updated it to the most recent N95 update and optimized the files. Per usual, the update wiped all my settings and programs, so I had to reinstall ShoZu and Joiku, as well as redo my blog settings in Lifeblog. Only problem is that the 20.0.0.something update for the N95 has made Lifeblog incompatible with this install of Movable Type Open Source 4.1, or if not incompatible at least it won’t recognize the correct settings. The N95 12.0.0.something Lifeblog worked just fine with this MTOS 4.1 install, and so did the most recent update / OS version for the N82. I have run through the phone’s Lifeblog settings 7 times and reset them each time and it still can’t find this blog. Bah!
When I met up with Charlie in London a couple of weeks ago, he was surprised that Lifeblog was installed on the N82 and said that the N82 would most likely be the last phone that would have Lifeblog. Charlie unofficially confirmed what I had supposed for sometime now, that Nokia has left Lifeblog to die.
This will be a problem for me and my daily moblogging from my phone to this blog. I have tried for a few years now to convince various Movable Type perl developers to make a mobile blogging plugin that would work across a variety of mobile platforms to moblog photos and text to one’s MT 3.x or 4.x install, but to no avail. David Jacobs told me that his company, Apperceptive, has made such a plugin for paying customers and will be releasing a version to the public, but it has not happened yet.
Charlie is currently working with David on a blog for Nokia and hinted that one of the side projects would be a mobile blogging plugin for Nokia phones.
Please, please, please…