I miss blogging

Photo Credit: Sweet Juniper

I miss blogging.

I know a number of people have written over the last few months that with the rise of social networks like Twitter and Facebook, that people are blogging less. This isn’t about that.

This about the lack of story telling or opinion in many of today’s personal tech / geek blogs.

The other night I was through a series of blogs posts that gave me an insiders view into what is happening to the housing market in Detroit through the Detroit UnReal Estate and Sweet Juniper blogs. I was able to get a glimpse from the insiders that write into what is happening in Detroit as the American auto industry resets. Sad times. It reminded me of the view I was able to get from the personal blogs of many folks in the tech business in my early days of blogging. In those days my favorite bloggers were the story tellers. These were the folks who through their blogs granted me access to experiences and insights that I did not previously have access too.

In my blogging past I think back to my posts about my youngest daughters hip problems, why I drive a Corvette, being stuck in India, a fun family trip as guests of Farm Aid or Bill Gates announcing his Transition to the Foundation as examples of where I told a story and shared an experience. Truth told, posts like these are my my most popular and my best writing. Somewhere along the way (myself included when I actually do blog), I’ve noticed many of the geek bloggers have become less about telling a story and adding insight into just rehashing the days tech news. In many cases authors just attempting to gain an audience as they rehash and repeat announcements from the popular news blogs like TechCrunch and TechFlash. Their hope? Ride the TechMeme wave and often leaving out any further analysis, insight or perspective. Not a lot of value for the reader.

Not everyone has fallen into this trap Scoble once in awhile still blogs, Jeff Attwood is the gold standard of geek bloggers and I still enjoy reading Dare’s original posts.

So, I wonder if we’ll get the stories back into personal geek blogs? I’m going to start back hee shortly and once again get back into sharing stories and lessons learned from my life.

I’m hopeful you all will too.

jQuery Wizard

 Today our Mix Online team shipped Glimmer. Glimmer is a wizard that allows you to easily create interactive elements on your web pages by harnessing the power of the jQuery library. Without having to hand-craft your JavaScript code, you can use Glimmer’s wizards to generate jQuery scripts for common interactive scenarios. Glimmer also has an advanced mode, providing a design surface for creating jQuery effects based on your existing HTML and CSS.

We use jQuery more and more throughout our sites and love it. With this app, we’re hoping to get more folks adding useful animations to their sites without having to mess with Javascript.

Enjoy :-)

I Won’t Follow Everyone Who Follows Me On Twitter

long line of people I joined Twitter on December 24th, 2006 and it has been wonderful to see the service grow. In the beginning I used it mostly via text messages as a way to help keep track of friends while we were travelling together. It was great for helping find out where friends were going out to dinner or to which bar they had settled on for drinks.

Times have changed as I now use the service mostly through search, TweetDeck and by selectively sending my Tweets to Facebook.

I made a poor choice some time ago by following too many people. I used a service automatically following people that followed me. It was like a bad drug soon I was following about a thousand people. Many spammers, ridiculous and not usable.

For the last few days, I’ve spent about 15 minutes daily in the chore of un-following accounts and whittling down the number of people that I follow. I am now down to about 300 and should be complete with this penance soon. My goal when this is done is to increase the quality of the folks I follow and begin only following friends/co-workers, interesting customers (those that are already today and those that I aspire to change) along with a limited number of industry insiders/Press.

I will continue to use Tweetdeck to better organize these people into logical groupings and to keep track of the every growing number of queries I have for our products.

Hopefully it will result in more interesting and higher quality content.

Feature Request: I wish that Twitter had a way to automatically decline a follow to anyone who labels themselves as a Social Media Consultant or Real Estate Expert. These people are the modern day spam and some would say a cancer of twitter. ;-)

Photo Credit: Mukulr

Physics for Future Presidents

Late at night, I often listen to the radio as it helps me unwind, wash away the day as I’m finishing up email for the day or attempting to drift off to sleep.

My preference is to listen to open line type programs like Dr. Bill Wattenburg on KGO AM, Bruce Williams and even the occasional Coast to Coast AM.  What makes open line programs great is that the callers make up the program as opposed to guests. You’ll never know where the conversation can head.

So it was a bit of a departure last Sunday night when Bill Wattenburg had Richard Muller as a guest. Richard is the professor of one of the most popular Berkley classes (voted by students) and book of the same name Physics for Future Presidents.

So what is this all about? Physics for Future Presidents

Imagine it: You are the President and a terrorist has planted a dirty bomb in midtown Manhattan. What do you do? How do you react?  If you don’t know anything about Physics you won’t be able to act quickly or wisely. But if you do. . .

Future presidents (and voters) can’t afford to be ignorant about nuclear weapons. Physics for Future Presidents gives you the knowledge necessary to survive in today’s political and increasingly nuclear world.

What is the difference between a Uranium bomb, a Plutonium bomb, and a Hydrogen bomb? What are the real dangers of nuclear waste?

I really enjoyed this. You can watch the entire lecture series on YouTube or if you want the Cliff Notes in a great Q&A format, listen to hour 1 and hour 2 from KGO in their archives.

Happy 5th Birthday Channel 9

Who would have thought? :-) Channel 9 is Five.

Plenty of fun stuff happening this week on the site, all starting with a birthday song bh Chris Anderson and Don Box. It has been a pretty amazing ride for everyone since we launched the site. A fun week ahead of celebrating, remembering and visions for the future.

Check out some of the special birthday wishes for Channel 9.



Jamie has also created a new edition of C9 Park, some birthday wallpapers and a new edition of the C9 Choir.

Thank you all for your wonderful support and for participating. Fun day, now onto building the next 5 years.  

Hummingbird In The Snow

It snowed again this morning at our home in Fall City, Washington. I’m not sure when this cruel joke of winter will be over here. I moved away from Saskatchewan to leave snow. Although to keep it in perspective, it hasn’t really been cold. :-)

Making up for it all was this amazing photo that my wife captured this morning. Great show of a hummingbird braving the winter for a drink in our backyard.

Hummingbird feeding in the snow
Great photo, but spring, please come soon.