Geekspin Blog

Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

The Cape Town Stormhoek Geek dinner, another first in South Africa, was a ton of fun!

Thanks to Graham and the crew from Stormhoek, and to Dave for getting it going.

I particularly made sure to gobble up some prize winning Pinotage!

Herewith my very amateur wine review of the 2 wines I had:

I started of with the Pinot Grigio and found it pleasantly bubbly and quite fruity, not too dry, but not sweet. I think it will make a great accompaniment to seafood or a wine to pop open on a lazy summers afternoon with friends.

The Pinotage was fabulous, I have had some pretty awful pinotages that often sport a very unpleasant burnt and overly smokey taste (I hope that comes across right) , thankfully this is a very civilized taste, it felt rounded and smooth and was a very pleasant experience as a whole. I’ll be looking out for this one in the shops!

Thanks again guys!

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Hello universe

If I write this, does it really matter? In one hundred years I will be long forgotten, no one will know my name. My life is only a spec in the history of time. Not only that, I am one of billions of specs on this planet. Do I really matter? Do I have a purpose – or am I just waisting my time? *

But wait..

I blog, therefore I am.

We blog.

But who are we?

We are all different but our blogs are all similar in structure, we don’t judge on page design or layout or spelling or vocabulary but we relish in the inspiration of others.

We write about what we love generally for no reward – we share our passions with those willing to lend an ear.

We write so others can listen – and hear our voices drowned out by the constraints of traditional media – take for example our friends at United We Blog! who are carrying the flame for a Democratic Nepal.

Sometimes its a plea for attention, literally a fight for life.

Sometimes we share our joys and good news like the new baby on the way or the photos taking in Rome last vacation.

Our writings are informal and engaging- we love to discuss open-ended topics and comment on the inspired or misguided writings of others,

We are always there available via comments, and email, and boy, do we love to chat!

You can get to know us by our writings, get the meat via the long post or share a short brainwave via a short post.

We Blog-roll our friends and nurture those relationships with the recognition of a link.

We promote exciting brands like certain wines and a coffee shop in Sea-point.

We take our virtual friendships and make them real by attending Geek Dinners!

Some of us are techies in the industry and we make fun of the latest tech news or wallow in the prospects of WWJD or “What Would Jobs Do”?

Some of us are fashion trendies with the iPod as our bible and the latest mp3 our hymn, others are housewives posting about the latest under 9 soccer score.

Some of us , like Jason Calacanis and Om Malik, have or will be making millions from our hobby-slash-jobs.

We are one in a million, 50 million to be exact.

Our time is now, this is the time for the revolution. Are you getting heard?

So back to my question, do I really matter?

Well you are reading my blog, aren’t you?

*Quoted from and inspired by the book: I Blog,therefore I am by “The book of blogs”

In case you have missed it, I know I have, Shel Israel, influential co-author of Naked Conversations and Rick Segal, Canadian VC and blogger are planning a whirlwind world tour and has earmarked South Africa as a stop. They are here somewhere around the 3rd of September though they still seem indecided on which city to visit, Cape Town or JHB? Here is my vote for Cape Town!

From now on why not thank all the friendly ppl leaving comments on yer blog?

All you need is this friendly little acronym thought up by Rafiq:

TYFYC: Thank You For Your Comment

Spread the love and keep an eye out for the definition on google. How is that for local innovation?

Ah.. I love these kumbaja moments, for more of those, come to BarCamp Cape Town. 😉


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One of the more interesting things to come out over the weekend is an article written by renown Australian journalist Dave Richards, provocatively titled 60% Of Windows Vista Code To Be Rewritten.

The article states that the Microsoft Vista team has undergone a large scale restructuring in order to meet its deadline for the CES show in January 2007. It then lists an internal memo verbatim that underlines this restructuring and the vision for the new team.

Let me say first off, before quoting others, that while it is believable that MS is rushing to get the final changes and tweaks done before going to the presses, it seems ridiculous and sensational to claim that any major OS is going to get a 60% rewrite at this stage of the project, the fact is that people have been running Vista betas for months now out there in the real world and it certainly doesn’t seem like a product that needs to be near rebuilt. In terms of time frame this is just not feasible and if these projects are run properly there should be absolutely no reason for this to happen at this late stage.

In a further development today, Richards cites Mr Raymond Vardanega, MD of Acer Australia as having confirmed this rumour and hints that the problem is contained somewhere in the Media Center portion of Vista.

Robert Scoble is currently denying all reports and quotes the X-box team as having unvalidated the comments on them giving up developers towards the Vista cause.

Further more this quote from the Xbox blog:

In fact, Vista is feature complete – meaning the code writing process is essentially over. The next phase of development focuses on security, testing and fit/finish – not writing new code. Vista is on track for business availability in November 2006 and consumer availability in January 2007.

At this stage it is unclear what is exactly going on at Redmond, but for now it seems unlikely that there really exists such a massive problem on the code base and I am going to dismiss this as rumour mongering for now, at least until Microsoft takes up an official stance on the problem.

Further rumour based reporting at the inquirer.

What ever happened to getting both sides of the story before running with it? Is this the effect that blogs are having on mainstream reporting? I hope not. Is there still something to be called integrity and accuracy in reporting, or have blogging made it obsolete? I am not saying that there is no semblance of truth in these articles, merely that at this stage no one really knows enough to make any real concrete comments, its all word-of-mouth until Redmond takes an official stance, which is not Scoble’s role btw.


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All this talk around the “noisy” or “bloated” blogosphere had me thinking about a strategy to manage ones Attention distribution. I have a regular J-O-B and my spare time is very limited between a young wife, sideline projects and sleep, so I need to make this is efficient as possible.

Lets have a look at my reading habits:

In general the type of reading I do can split into 2 large categories, firstly there is the current news category which consists mainly of up-to-the-date info on current affairs, if you read it a week later it would be old news. Secondly there are the feeds that I read (not too many!) of a bunch of local bloggers as well as others that post more long form, insightful and interesting posts, which will have a longer shelf life.

So this is how I think I will manage this lot from now on:

* Assign 3 slots for current news sites like Engadget and memetrackers, I find that having a lower quantity of these is ok as long as you pick the right ones. These get handled the same way I read newspapers, first thing in the morning.

* Assign a limited number of slots for other regular sites containing more long term value (Think Doc Searls, NewSome.org here), with these sites it won’t matter if I don’t hit them everyday, I can always catch up later. I think around 30 slots will suffice. These become like the novels and non-fiction works on my bedside table, I get to them when I get to them.

* Rotate these slots, once a month pick one or two feeds that you don’t like as much as before or that have gone dead and swap out with a couple if interesting ones that may have come up via other sources (I find a lot of new stuff via links on the blogs that I read), it may be worth keeping 5 or 10 up and coming feeds in a B-Pool for later upgrading. Remember you can always swap back an old favorite if you feel the need.

* Try and read in some sort of order, it is often tempting to go to your top 10 feeds first, but try and cycle through your list of 30+ in an orderly fashion, this way you won’t get into a situation where you have tons of unreads on some and other privileged feeds are up to date, remember there may be JUST as much value elsewhere, and remember, you have time!

Tips to bloggers to keep my Attention:

* Give me full feeds, its way more productive than having to click and load a blog site.
* Get to the point, long form post are nice, but keep it under 2 minutes of reading time.
* Stop writing to me as though I am an academic, remember that huge portions of the world do not speak english natively, I like a nice vocabulary as much as the next guy, but there has to be some limits, ok 🙂
* Tell me what you mean by actually saying it, don’t write long complex posts wrapped up in metaphors that only you and your immediate circle of friends “get”.
* Don’t get into stupid blogospats, they just waste my time. Be constructive, not destructive.
* Appear human once a while, crack a joke, tell me about your weekend, make me feel like a friend not a statistic.


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Seth Godin thinks that we are posting to much noise on the blogosphere. (via A VC)

Kent Newsome also weighs in and says:

Asking the citizenry of the blogosphere (far too many of whom are chasing the almighty dollar) to be reasoned in their use of the shared blogosphere is like asking people not to litter.

What Kent is saying is of course true, there is just no way we are going to turn around from the current curve, people will post more and more, and the topics will become more and more diverse. What we have here is the age old problem of eyeballs, yes, that is a marketing 1.0 term and it is still relevant. How do we expose the value of the increasingly long tail. Seth says that a focused and author filtered blog will end up with fewer, but more loyal and consequently valuable readers, but does that mean that it should end there?

The other side of the coin is the argument for memetrackers and tagging as well as custom filters helping us out, but to tell you the truth I find the signal to noise ratio on these things to be equally low, although they are not far off.

What do I think the solution is? Simple. Collaborative filtering. Many years ago there used to exist a movie rating site (I think it was called movielobby.com back then), they had a movie rating system where you could feed it with movies that you liked, then based on what other people have rated it would do some simple maths and suggest you a couple movies to watch. Simple, and it worked. What was more is that the more you used it, the more accurate it got.

This is what we need, I have been working on some sort of solution for this the last couple of weeks, when I have time. I have a technology base figured out, that’s the easy part, but how do I make this work in the real-world. I have been thinking of a browser plugin, it needs to be really simple to rate blog posts on a scale of “This grabbed my attention” to “This left me cold”, the system will then take your ratings and match your profile to these of thousands of like-minded people and suggest posts for you, via RSS (number and frequency configurable). Kind of like a personal memetracker.

What do you think, sound like it could work?


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