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GullFOSS · I’ve nev­er been 100% com­fort­able with this no­tion of a “group blog”, but I guess I should stop wor­ry­ing. The Aquar­i­um seems to have been a ma­jor suc­cess for the GlassFish peo­ple, and now there’s Gul­lFOSS, OpenOffice.org’s home on the bl­o­go­spher­ic range. As I write this, the lat­est post is their week­ly de­vel­op­ment sched­ule snap­shot, some­thing that more Open-Source projects would do well to post. I may up do­ing a 180° turn and think­ing that ev­ery sub­stan­tial de­vel­op­ment project should have a group blog.
OpenSolaris Is One · That was quite a launch, this time last year; hun­dreds of blog­ger­s, hun­dreds of thou­sands of word­s. I think it kind of worked. As of now, geeks choos­ing a server-side OS for geek rea­sons have a hand­ful of choic­es: Lin­ux, So­lar­is, one or two of the BSDs. I care about the geeks and I don’t care that much about the CIOs, be­cause dur­ing the first decade of my ca­reer, while the CIOs were talk­ing about MVS and VMS and Tan­dem Guardian and AS/400, the geeks were qui­et­ly say­ing “Unix” and gen­er­al­ly Get­ting Shit Done. If we can give hands-on peo­ple good tech­ni­cal rea­sons to use So­lar­is, they will; oth­er­wise not. I still want a GNU/So­laris user­land, please. Want Dap­per Drake on So­lar­is? Done. [Up­date: That Nex­en­ta Al­pha 5 is now out, with Dap­per, OpenSo­laris 40, 11,800 pack­ages, JDK via DLJ and tons of oth­er juicy Gnu + De­bian + Ubun­tu good­ness.]
BlogBridge · I wrote about this feed-reader be­fore way last year, say­ing it was good but slow. To­day, I got a gripe say­ing there were prob­lems with my Atom feed in BlogBridge, so I down­load­ed it and it’s still very good and not slow any more. Ex­cept for, when I first down­load­ed it, it wouldn’t work at al­l; mut­tered qui­et­ly on start­up about my pre­vi­ous “Guides” be­ing cor­rupt­ed, but then sat there sul­len­ly and re­fused to do much of any­thing. Not en­tire­ly un­rea­son­able, I fig­ured if I wiped out the set­tings from the pre­vi­ous in­stall I should be fine; but it took me the longest time to fig­ure out they were in $HOME/.bb as op­posed to some­where un­der $HOME/Li­brary; har­rumph. Any­how, yes, it’s slick and fast and fun to use and im­ports OPML just fine and (as it’s Java) runs ev­ery­where; so it’s now re­placed Blog­lines as my rec­om­mend­ed feed-reader for any­one who’s not on a Mac­in­tosh and thus can’t use NetNewsWire. And, oh, yes, it’s got a relative-URI bug in its Atom 1.0 han­dling, a sub­tle one which most peo­ple won’t no­tice. I filed a bug re­port, let’s see what hap­pen­s. [Up­date: Got a note from Blog­bridge say­ing “Try the week­ly” and sure enough, all fixed up. Good stuff.]
Scoble’s Bad Month · I don’t al­ways agree with Scoble, but the man doesn’t have an ounce of mal­ice, near as I can tel­l. I think that, by and large, he tow­ers over the peo­ple who’ve been giv­ing him a hard time, and I’d ad­vise him to tune ’em out un­less they’re re­al­ly adding val­ue. To ad­dress a cou­ple just in the last week: Note to Vo­gel­s@A­ma­zon: There’s a word for com­pa­nies that base all de­ci­sions on ruth­less quan­ti­ta­tive ROI met­ric­s: Bankrup­t. I’m an en­gi­neer and val­ue num­ber­s, but in busi­ness, some­times anec­do­tal ev­i­dence is all you’ve got, and the anec­do­tal ev­i­dence that blog­ging pro­duces good re­sults for some com­pa­nies is pret­ty vo­lu­mi­nous. You don’t want to hear it, that’s your priv­i­lege; me, I tend to want to con­sid­er all the in­put­s. Note to Nick Car­r: This per­ils of blog­ging piece is re­al­ly poor­ly con­sid­ered. Carr in­tro­duces his lengthy list of Things That Can Go Wrong with “Last year, the San Fran­cis­co law firm Howard Rice pro­vid­ed a use­ful overview of the le­gal risks in­her­ent in em­ploy­ee blogging”. As a thought ex­per­i­men­t, re­place the word “blogging” with “email” or “conference presentation” or “teleconference” or “sales presentation”. Or “barroom conversation” for that mat­ter. Quick, quick, you wan­na be safe, you bet­ter lock all your em­ploy­ees up and nev­er let ’em say any­thing to any­one! The point is that qual­i­ta­tive­ly, blog­ging re­quires no new poli­cies and in­tro­duces no new risks. If your em­ploy­ees are go­ing to say stupid things in pub­lic, you’ve got a man­age­ment prob­lem and a pol­i­cy prob­lem, not a blog­ging prob­lem. Note to ex­ec­u­tives who are fright­ened of hear­ing what their em­ploy­ees have to say, or find­ing out what the world re­al­ly thinks about their com­pa­ny: Carr has done you a re­al fa­vor. Just go and ask your at­tor­neys if they think blog­ging is safe, and slip ’em a copy of that list, and you can rest easy know­ing you’ll nev­er hear any­thing un­com­fort­able.
Naked Conversations · Subti­tled How Blogs are Chang­ing the Way Busi­ness­es Talk with Cus­tomers, by Robert Scoble and Shel Is­rael. I got an ad­vance copy of this a cou­ple of months ago, with a note say­ing “Can we have a quote for the cov­er by Wednesday?” But I didn’t get around to read­ing it un­til sev­er­al Wed­nes­days lat­er. Sum­ma­ry: Lots of peo­ple will ben­e­fit from read­ing this; es­pe­cial­ly “Communications Professionals”. Most peo­ple who read on­go­ing won’t learn much, but they might en­joy it any­how. Read on for more de­tail­s ...
Upcoming Gig: Northern Voice · Now, this is go­ing to be fun. On Satur­day Fe­bru­ary 11th, at North­ern Voice 2006, I’m go­ing to be do­ing a sit-down in­ter­view with Dave Sifry and try to en­ter­tain the au­di­ence for 45 min­utes. I think we should en­gage the whole room in a big ar­gu­men­t. Last year was a fun and mov­ing, too.
Roller Redux · Which is to say, Roller 2.0 has shipped. Lots of new stuff, and any­thing that can hold up un­der the blogs.­sun.­com load is pret­ty well battle-tested. I won­der if there are any oth­er freely-downloadable blog­ging en­gines (WordPress may­be?) get­ting as much full-time ded­i­cat­ed at­ten­tion.
Hey There, Adobe! · The name kind of says it al­l: blogs.adobe.­com. Glad to have you guys on board. Not sure about those “Terms of Use”, though, and shouldn’t the ti­tles on the front page be click­able? Hey, the com­ments are all-moderated, which I think is very sen­si­ble. I spot a trend or two.
OpenSolaris Blogs Oh My · They told me they were go­ing to try to get lots of peo­ple to blog about the launch, but this is re­mark­able: this morn­ing they knew about 132 blog­gers and 215,000 word­s, and there’s an­oth­er dozen pieces ev­ery time I turn on my ag­gre­ga­tor. The com­mu­ni­ca­tions and cul­ture shift hap­pen­ing here is maybe just as in­ter­est­ing as OpenSo­laris it­self. Here­with ob­ser­va­tion­s, and point­ers to some par­tic­u­lar­ly sharp-edged sam­ples. A new thing is in the world ...
Hey There, Big Blue! · So, it’s now of­fi­cial­ly OK for IBMers to blog. I read their pol­i­cy guide­lines with in­ter­est, since I led the draft­ing of the Sun ver­sion when we launched just over a year ago. The IBM pol­i­cy is re­mark­ably con­sis­tent with ours, there are on­ly a few dif­fer­ences that leap out at me. First, there is spe­cif­ic ad­vice to “speak in the first person”, which I think is ex­cel­lent and we should steal next time we do a re­vi­sion. Se­cond, un­der the head­ing “Add value” there is lan­guage that makes it pret­ty clear that blogs on IBM prop­er­ties are sup­posed to be about IBM’s busi­ness and not much else. I guess this is rea­son­able, but it would rule out things like our glob­al­ful and Isa, which add some chuck­les to the world and don’t cost much. Even our mostly-tech blogs reg­u­lar­ly veer out in­to off-the-job ter­ri­to­ry, for ex­am­ple, I just hopped over to blogs.­sun.­com and out of the most re­cent posters picked chan­dan­log(3C). Hm­m. Fi­nal­ly, un­der the head­ing “Don’t pick fights” (who could dis­agree) there is a flat state­ment “You should avoid arguments”, and that’s just wrong. Hu­man in­tel­lec­tu­al progress re­lies heav­i­ly on ar­gu­ing things out, some guy named Socrates was a pi­o­neer. About three-quarters of my job con­sists of ar­gu­ing with peo­ple about one thing or an­oth­er, how could I not do it here? A bl­o­go­sphere with­out ar­gu­ments would be a poor, thin, bor­ing place. Stil­l, it’ll be nice to have IBM around, and here’s my ad­vice to to all the in­com­ing Big Blue blog­ger­s: don’t for­get to have fun.
Banalities R Us · Last weekend’s North­ern Voice con­fer­ence has been cov­ered to death, in words and pic­tures. For those who read French, quite a dif­fer­ent take from Karl Du­bost. Any­one who says I pre­sent­ed une série de banalités inintéressantes has to be worth read­ing. Al­so, he points to Stephen Downes’ pre­sen­ta­tion, gen­er­al­ly agreed to have been the most con­tro­ver­sial of the con­fer­ence. It turns out that, while I dis­agree pret­ty com­pre­hen­sive­ly with Dow­nes, he’s a good writer, check it out.
Northern Voice · I think I’ve nev­er pre­vi­ous­ly been to a blog­ging con­fer­ence. The whole idea seems some­how lu­di­crous. Stil­l, I en­joyed the day and learned things and met in­ter­est­ing peo­ple; hearty thanks to the peo­ple who put it on. The crowd is more diverse—as in, gender-balanced—than I’m used to, and the ses­sions more con­ver­sa­tion­al, and there’s a lot of mu­tu­al re­spect in the air. Here’s an epiphany I’ve had be­lat­ed­ly, oth­ers have long been on­to it: the bl­o­go­sphere, Long Tail and al­l, is not about the mil­lions of voic­es, it’s about the mil­lions of ears; it is, more than any oth­er sin­gle thing, an im­prove­ment in our abil­i­ty to lis­ten, to find out what’s go­ing on.
Corporate Blogging? · There’s an in­ter­est­ing piece on the sub­ject from Scott Rosen­berg, who’s gen­er­al­ly pes­simistic about the up­take. Scott’s ar­gu­ments are sound; I’ve been think­ing a lot about this, and it’s prob­a­bly even worse than he says. But there are grounds for hope ...
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