Archive for the 'tech blogging' Category

08
Mar
08

Blogging Fluidly

I just started using fluid.app .  It’s a small app for mac that makes Web-Kit based SSB’s (Site Specific Browser).  In other words it makes a cocoa mac app for your website based on the same great technology of safari.  I used it to create a little app for the wordpress admin for the website.  This functions perfectly, and works great, because while i love word press’s advanced admin and posting features: i hate that they are confined to the web browser (and don’t really want marsedit).  So know i have the desktop blogging app i always wanted.  The apps are real cocoa apps with scripting and automator support, and can be handed around just like normal apps if you want.  I know some people who’ve used fluid to create desktop iterations of google reader, and before i tried fluid, a friend of mine sent me one, and i didn’t even know it was built with fluid, it even had a custom icon (which fluid supports)

23
Feb
08

Spotting the “SLR Shot”

When i take photo’s i like to think of the “SLR Shot”, think of a photo that you would want printed and hung on a wall, having this mindset helps you take much better photos, landscapes and scenery in particular.  Also, going through your old photos once in a while helps too, as this can help you realize the value of something that, at the time seemed like an OK photo, was actually a great one!

21
Feb
08

Drupal-What next

Drupal is a great CMS (content management system), and has some really powerful uses (such as 43folders.com) but it is limited, if Drupal really wants to become the CMS of choice, i think they need to make some changes.  Take wordpress as a base, wordpress is the most powerful blogging system i know, and i love using it, and having trawled through blogspot, typepad, moveable type and even vox i don’t want to switch anytime soon.  What drupal needs to do is perhaps fork the code, produce an easy to use version of Drupal for Bloggers and podcasters, or perhaps have a “new media mode” which can be turned on and off, this way, it can maintain the power of drupal, but do what wordpress does best, and since WordPress is open source, they could even build a module to turn wordpress themes into drupal themes.  I want drupal to become wordpress for those who want to move beyond even wordpress, i want to be able to customise it completely, throw in modules of functionality, make the new media coverage experience easy.  Drupal has a lot of this already covered, with a little tweaking and some fresh code, Drupal goes from “great if you can get it working” to “the CMS for power users”- From Good to Great.

15
Feb
08

Does someone actually NEED to buy Yahoo?

Since the tech community is currently buzzing with speculation about acquisition talks with Yahoo, i was thinking…does Yahoo actually need to get acquired?  Del.icio.us,Flickr,Upcoming: all web 2.0 properties that Yahoo owns, yahoo is also well liked due to its open source mentality.  Yahoo could do very well merely by consolidating into a conglomerate of web 2.0 companies that individually, some make a profit, and some don’t, but together form a profitable enterprise.  Flickr for example, a great loss leader, it brings brand awareness but has huge bandwidth costs, but combine that with Yahoo’s other services, and you could, with a lot of tweaking, have a lean, nimble web 2.0 conglomerate.  Imagine it, The main yahoo can concentrate on what it does best: Mail, Calendar and Business info, and attached to the sides can be all the amazing web services Yahoo has managed to pick up.  Under this scenario, Yahoo might even turn into “Venture Capital without the Venture Capital”. By that i mean, a single company that purchases start-ups, is profitable as a whole, but can afford to wait to let companies truly blossom, unlike traditional VC, and since Yahoo! has already been on the Stock Market for years, people could invest in this new company easily, allowing investors to buy a single share in what is over-all a profitable enterprise, but the combined share approach also prevents Wall Street’s “Get Bent” attitude towards individual companies penetrating deep into yahoo and killing its loss leaders.  Yahoo could even sell their search portion to google on a subscription basis, eg. Google pays $$$$ per year to “own” yahoo search, and with a constant flow of google cash pumping into Yahoo, yahoo can continue to fund its acquisitions and become a great company.  Sound’s good to me….

10
Feb
08

Handcoding-the forgotten tool

People often get obsessed with the WYSWYG nature of modern web design, i’m asking them to take a step back from that.  With tools like Panics Coda and Mac Rabbits CSSedit using WYSWYG to do basic page layout and then hand coding to fine-tune your site and achieve the look you want, is becoming a very attractive option.  None of us like to learn how to code, but a little coding goes a Very Long Way.

25
Jan
08

The Acquired Taste of Twitter

Twitter: i’ll admit it now, i’m hooked.  But more importantly, i wan’t to know why, what is it about Twitter that draws me back time and time again.  At first, there was a certain learning curve to get over, and then i posted once every week or so, in bundles of posts, but now i post several times a day, enjoy using it, track who follows me and the people i follow, and enjoy the social feel of it.  Twitter feels like a club where people are free to say what they want and people will comment accordingly (and most of the time, kindly and sensibly), and because there is no direct comment-to-post features, the fan-people attacks that plague many sites are rare, as people are unwilling to fill their own twitter front pages with angry,irrational spittle filled retorts to other users.  This might mean that Twitter has actually shown and helped these peopple calm down and think rationally, and realise the bad image and first impression they are portraying as fan-people.  I still can’t lock-down what draws me to Twitter.  It’s certainly an acquired taste, but it’s a taste i want to order often…

24
Jan
08

Quality-a note to web service providers

Being a tech junkie does a lot of things to you.  One of the biggest is changing your stances on quality, because after having trawled through hundreds of web services, I’m not willing to put up with anything other than well-written and first-class products (in the realm of web services).  That’s why i use WordPress, i have gone through 4-6 Content Management systems and WordPress was the only one which was easy to set up, had a plethora of features, excellent spam protection, was a joy to use, and simply had a slick feel to it.  As a result, if i’m investigating a web service, if you can’t make your product seem engaging within 5-10 seconds, i’m gone.  If i try your product and its not intuitive and doesn’t have that sense of polish and quality that it should (wordpress and the products written by 37 Signals are examples of that polish) then i’m gone.  As something near to a power-user and someone who does actually value their time- I shouldn’t have to learn the tiny intricacies of your product and pound on it for about 3 days to get it working.  Basic functionality should be slick and intuitive, and more importantly should work right out of the box.  Advanced functionality should be intuitive to access and have an easy learning curve.  Taking the time to achieve this is beneficial to you to- because by building a great product that people use, your users will love it, pass it on, and help you along the way