Online or Offline: GMail vs Evolution

Having a difficult time trying to decide how best to manage my email, feed reading, IM and metadata.

Offline or online?

Ubuntu uses the gnome desktop and has flexible yet powerful apps such as Evolution (sort of like Office, but with intelligence), Liferea (feed reader similar to FeedDemon) and Gaim (IM convo’s).

The struggle is complicated by the fact that Ubuntu has such a great file and data searcher (Beagle) which even has a Firefox plugin to keep everything organized for you.  It’s amazing how detailed you can drill down.  I don’t even put things in folders on my system anymore.  I just dump everything into one folder and let Beagle sort it out based on the tags I’ve applied and the data within the podcasts, mp3’s, jpg’s or .docs.  That’s pretty cool.

On the other hand, GMail, Goog Reader and Googl Desktop are great applications that don’t keep me tied to one box.

But with a laptop, is that even an issue anymore?

Decisions, decisions…

Winer on Podcasting

Dave Winer is tremendous.

I’m listening to the podcast of his talk on NPR and podcasts.

Winer, tech, podcasts and NPR… it doesn’t get any better than that.

Beautiful, creative, chaotic, artistic stuff.  Go listen for yourself.

Back Here

Gosh, I’ve neglected this place.

Alright, now that CostPerNews has taken off and is doing well on its own, I’m back to what I love… which is posting about all sorts of random things here.

Youth Ministers and Future Preachers

I’m at my “office” in the Broad River Coffee Shop sitting across from a group of young ministers and youth ministers.

Eaves-dropping on their conversation, I’m reminded that we Religious Studies folks should be thankful that Adonai chooses to work with slackers and jerks like Abram, Jacob, Joseph and Moses or Divinity Schools would not exist.

God works in Mysterious Ways…

Epoch of Juxtaposition

Doing some Sunday reading and came across this from Michel Foucault’s work “Of Other Spaces” (page 22)…

The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space.  We are in the epoch of simultaneity: we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed.  We are at a moment, I believe, when our experience of the world is less that of a long life developing through time than that of a network that connects points and intersects with its own skein.

That is life changing.  Read it three times to make sure you at least see the direction Foucalt is pointing towards.  When I try to explain to people “what I do for a living” (academics, teaching and online marketing), I should point them to that quote.

Back to burying my nose in Foucault on a snowy Sunday afternoon (could life be any better?)…

Teaching College Students Versus Teaching 8th Graders

Wow, what a difference.

I’m enjoying the college students at Gardner-Webb Univ (harrelsonreligion.com if you want to follow along) and we’re starting to get the questions flowing.

However, teaching the 8th graders at Hammond School for the previous two years was mesmarizing because I was constantly having to think on my feet, adjust and react to the crowd.  It was a bit like playing jazz.

Teaching college is more like a staged  and choreographed production where the script stays the same every day and includes little audience interaction.   I’m sure that it’s my fault that the crowd isn’t clapping and dancing in the aisles… need to work on that…

Loose Ends – Let’s Bury Abraham!

Holy Bibble is my favorite web cartoon.

They are literally making cartoons of every biblical scene from Genesis onwards… today, we bury Abram/Abraham/Larry…

Loose Ends

Their conception of Abra/ha/m was right on with the biblical text.  I’ll miss him!

Influencer Networks: Local Search Living Up To Potential in 2007

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Local search has long held a tremendous amount of promise but shown disappointing results for Yahoo, Google, Ask and MSN. However, the major search engines have continued to put R&D into the local search space, and things might be turning around.

What has happened to make this turn around possible is the quick user adoption of social networking features within a local search structure. Yahoo, in particular, has been keen on this idea and has implemented tools such as Consumer Submit to allow for a more interactive local search experience.

We will see even more of this type of development in 2007 as search continues to undergo market pressure to stay relevant. Search will become more socialized, more niche-minded and more local.

One practical example is SuperPages.com.

Idearc’s SuperPages.com has launched a “Reviewer of the Week” feature as a step towards providing local content within a social networking environment based on geography and location. Users of the site in the same city “compete” against each other to be featured as the “Reviewer of the Week.” That person gets featured in a special section on the SuperPages.com homepage.

Local search is hot and so is social networking, so it makes sense that we combine the two, said Robyn Rose, vice president of marketing for SuperPages.com. Whether you’re talking about finding the best Italian restaurant or a reliable plumber, SuperPages.com provides robust local search capabilities, along with ratings and user reviews, to connect circles of trusted individuals.

To be featured as a Reviewer of the Week, users must write reviews of their favorite businesses during the prior week. Results are updated each Wednesday and precedence is given to reviewers who have written the most reviews. The tactic attempts to draw more repeat reviewers over time rather than just one time users.

Users who submit the most reviews are highlighted on the home page of SuperPages.com according to where the reviewer is located, which is based on the ZIP code provided in the registration. So, the effect is geo-targeted according to location.

SuperPages.com currently has more than 324,000 reviews and listings with consumer-provided content. And, they have even developed a Firefox plugin for users. Nifty communal web2.0-ness. Now all we need is a Superpages.com widget!