Year: 2008

Tweetree

I’m not always a big fan of 3rd party Twitter apps (beyond the desktop apps) as most are still either pretty rudimentary or focused more on ego-stroking than anything else.

However, this is pretty darn nifty (especially if you use the Twitter web page more than anything else):

Tweetree puts your Twitter stream in a tree so you can see the posts people are replying to in context. It also pulls in lots of external content like twitpic photos, youtube videos and more, so that you can see them right in your stream without having to click through every link your friends post. See what twitterers are saying about us!

Check it out here: http://tweetree.com/samharrelson

68D41E4B-511A-40F2-AE65-F67218650E40.jpg

greatest kid’s book. ever.

with an Amazon review like this, how could it be bad??

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful: 1.0 out of 5 starsScience fiction, environmentalism, and Bible – all in one?!, September 20, 1999 By A Customer
This review is from: Professor Noah’s Spaceship (Paperback)

Trying to combine science fiction, a Bible character, and not-so-subtle environmentalism all in one story was a mistake on the author’s part. This book, aimed at kids ages 4-8, fails on all three attempts. Fairy tales are one thing – delusional stories are entirely another!

http://bit.ly/125MK

Fallacy of Twitter Authority Based on Followers

DF926E7C-BCCC-44B4-A238-DBE6833A36B9.jpg

Michael Arrington backing up Loic Le Meur’s call for something akin to a Twitter PageRank algorithm with authority based on the number of followers:

Should Twitter Add Authority-based Search?: “I’m with him on this. Most of the time I just want to read everything people are writing about a topic to more or less take the temperature of the masses on whatever I’m researching. But sometimes it would be nice to hear what just the top users are saying on a particular topic, too, since so many more people hear their message.”

I have 3,000 or something followers but I think this is a terrible idea with the following logic:

1) Pagerank sucks (now) for blogs and isn’t a true measure of a blog’s worth, value or credibility.

2) Even then, Twitter is not blogging. Ranking people according to something as transient and flimsy as the number of followers is a worse idea than ranking blogs according to their number of inbound links. Oh, and imagine the gamers.

3) Twitter is a not only a micro-presence platform, it’s a micro-community platform. What purpose would such a “follower algorithm” serve?

Some (most) of my favorite and most “valuable” people I follow on Twitter have under 1k followers. Calling them less credible or their tweets less substantive based solely on the number of followers is silly.

4) I agree with Arrington that it is nice to hear what “top users are saying on a particular topic” rather than crowdsurfing. However, there are already great tools for that. It’s called the follow function combined with RSS or Summize or Yahoo Pipes or Google Alerts, etc. The “top user” on a particular topic such as Hebrew Bible or some niche realm that I’m interested in is not necessarily going to have thousands of followers.

The best metric here is individual intuition and discernment.

5) This isn’t an argument for “wisdom of the crowds” or the “power of the conversation” etc. I’m not a big fan of that mentality, either. Those types of 2006-esque arguments are annoying at best.

Instead, my point is that it would incredibly difficult to institute something like a “worth quotient” on all users of Twitter (even more so than blogging). Putting something like a rank or worth based on the (easily gamed) number of followers a person has makes it even worse.

There Has to Be a Better Way

Don’t get me wrong, If Arrington or Le Meur or Twitter could come up with a ranking or worth algorithm based on something inventive and truly reflective of value, I’d be all for it. If Twitter could put together something revolutionary for determining authority akin to PageRank back in the ’90’s, I’d be the person yelling the loudest from the mountaintop for adoption.

However, this ain’t it.

This seems more like A-Listers grasping at straws to me.

68D41E4B-511A-40F2-AE65-F67218650E40.jpg

Untitled

greatest kid’s book. ever.

with an Amazon review like this, how could it be bad??

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful: 1.0 out of 5 starsScience fiction, environmentalism, and Bible – all in one?!, September 20, 1999 By A Customer
This review is from: Professor Noah’s Spaceship (Paperback)

Trying to combine science fiction, a Bible character, and not-so-subtle environmentalism all in one story was a mistake on the author’s part. This book, aimed at kids ages 4-8, fails on all three attempts. Fairy tales are one thing – delusional stories are entirely another!

http://bit.ly/125MK

Subscription Pop Ups Are a Bad Idea

popups2.jpg

This piece puts a thumb on what annoys me so much about the Aweber subscription pop-ups/lightboxes that so many people in the marketing blog space seem to be using these days.

So annoying:

No-Permission Pop-up Subscriptions Are A Bad Idea:

Thanks (or not so much) in part to some meta bloggers, pop-ups have crept their way into the blogosphere. I am seeing more pop-ups on blogs, especially in the marketing, tech and social media niches.  Pop-ups are a dated tactic that were thrown out by many design and usability conscious marketers years ago for good reason – they interrupt a positive user experience on a website and are not permission based.

Go read the whole piece (especially if you’re following the “make money online” bloggers and putting, or considering putting, these on your pages).

In my opinion, let people sign up as they please. If your content is good enough, people will gladly sign up for your newsletter. You don’t have to throw a lightbox in front of people to have them be aware of subscription options.

I’m not making any “rules” here, Jim. I’m just pointing out some common courtesy for readers and how playing the long term game is often more beneficial than gunning for short term rewards.

Just sayin’

68D41E4B-511A-40F2-AE65-F67218650E40.jpg

John Chrysostom’s Homily on Christmas

John Chrysostom is a very important (and very interesting) figure of early Christianity.  Plus, he was an amazing preacher.

Here’s one of my fav homilies that are ascribed to him:

“Behold a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.

Bethlehem this day resembles heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in place of the sun, enfolds within itself on every side, the Sun of justice. And ask not how: for where God wills, the order of nature yields. For He willed; He had the power; He descended; He redeemed; all things yielded in obedience to God. This day He Who is, is Born; and He Who is, becomes what He was not. For when He was God, He became man; yet not departing from the Godhead that is His. Nor yet by any loss of divinity became He man, nor through increase became He God from man; but being the Word He became flesh, His nature, because of impassability, remaining unchanged.

And so the kings have come, and they have seen the heavenly King that has come upon the earth, not bringing with Him Angels, nor Archangels, nor Thrones, nor Dominations, nor Powers, nor Principalities, but, treading a new and solitary path, He has come forth from a spotless womb.

Since this heavenly birth cannot be described, neither does His coming amongst us in these days permit of too curious scrutiny. Though I know that a Virgin this day gave birth, and I believe that God was begotten before all time, yet the manner of this generation I have learned to venerate in silence and I accept that this is not to be probed too curiously with wordy speech.

For with God we look not for the order of nature, but rest our faith in the power of Him who works.

What shall I say to you; what shall I tell you? I behold a Mother who has brought forth; I see a Child come to this light by birth. The manner of His conception I cannot comprehend.

Nature here rested, while the Will of God labored. O ineffable grace! The Only Begotten, Who is before all ages, Who cannot be touched or be perceived, Who is simple, without body, has now put on my body, that is visible and liable to corruption. For what reason? That coming amongst us he may teach us, and teaching, lead us by the hand to the things that men cannot see. For since men believe that the eyes are more trustworthy than the ears, they doubt of that which they do not see, and so He has deigned to show Himself in bodily presence, that He may remove all doubt.

Christ, finding the holy body and soul of the Virgin, builds for Himself a living temple, and as He had willed, formed there a man from the Virgin; and, putting Him on, this day came forth; unashamed of the lowliness of our nature.

For it was to Him no lowering to put on what He Himself had made. Let that handiwork be forever glorified, which became the cloak of its own Creator. For as in the first creation of flesh, man could not be made before the clay had come into His hand, so neither could this corruptible body be glorified, until it had first become the garment of its Maker.

What shall I say! And how shall I describe this Birth to you? For this wonder fills me with astonishment. The Ancient of days has become an infant. He Who sits upon the sublime and heavenly Throne, now lies in a manger. And He Who cannot be touched, Who is simple, without complexity, and incorporeal, now lies subject to the hands of men. He Who has broken the bonds of sinners, is now bound by an infants bands. But He has decreed that ignominy shall become honor, infamy be clothed with glory, and total humiliation the measure of His Goodness.

For this He assumed my body, that I may become capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares for me the treasure of Life. He takes my flesh, to sanctify me; He gives me His Spirit, that He may save me.

Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused, and spreads on every side, a heavenly way of life has been ¡in planted on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and men now hold speech with angels.

Why is this? Because God is now on earth, and man in heaven; on every side all things commingle. He became Flesh. He did not become God. He was God. Wherefore He became flesh, so that He Whom heaven did not contain, a manger would this day receive. He was placed in a manger, so that He, by whom all things arc nourished, may receive an infant’s food from His Virgin Mother. So, the Father of all ages, as an infant at the breast, nestles in the virginal arms, that the Magi may more easily see Him. Since this day the Magi too have come, and made a beginning of withstanding tyranny; and the heavens give glory, as the Lord is revealed by a star.

To Him, then, Who out of confusion has wrought a clear path, to Christ, to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost, we offer all praise, now and for ever. Amen.”

For with God we look not for the order of nature, but rest our faith in the power of Him who works. What shall I say to you; what shall I tell you? I behold a Mother who has brought forth; I see a Child come to this light by birth. The manner of His conception I cannot comprehend.

Get Back

I’ll be resuming blogging here shortly.

I’m keeping the tumblelog for short thoughts, ideas, etc but I miss this place too much to not use it for all its potential (or at least make the attempt).

Here’s my thoughts:

1. The type of long form blogging that I hope to be doing more often in 2009 is better suited for the interface presented here.

2. Additionally, I feel much more comfortable producing web content when its secured in a place that I pay for, have hosted (through a trusted 3rd party) rather than a web2.0 service that might not be around after this recession/depression is over.

3. There is a great deal of talk and hand-wringing in the web2.0 world over the place of more transient social media tools in relation to more stable sites and blogs like this one. People are wanting quality back in the web2.0 space. I completely agree and am doing my part by producing higher quality long form content that is focused on my areas of research, thoughts and ideas.

Lots of history here 🙂

Santa!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Scroll to Top