One way to get some blog attention, and how to recover

I was behind on reading my ISN-related feeds today, including some search feeds I have that alert me whenever someone links to our blogs. What I stumbled across was a quite a flurry of activity involving one of our ISN bloggers reposting one of his own posts from 2003 (Why POSIX Threads are Better Than Windows Threads), but from the opposite side of the argument (Why Windows Threads are Better Than POSIX Threads). This apparent reversal got picked up on Slashdot, even though the latest post is 5 months old, and, well, like most things on Slashdot, it proceeded to escalate from there…

I started getting worried, because Clay seemed like he had dug himself into a pretty good hole, and the Slashdot crowd was piling on. I was getting ready to stage a Blogger Intervention(TM). πŸ™‚ But deep in the comments on his post, Clay posted an admirable reply, explaining the situation, taking a measure of blame, and basically doing what I think was a great job defusing the mob tension, while leaving the original subject (Windows vs. POSIX threads) open for continued discussion.

While I tell people all the time that being a little contrary or controversial is a great way to stir up some conversation on a blog, I can’t say that I recommend doing something so extreme. πŸ™‚ There’s a line between controversy and publicity stunt. I’m not saying this issue was one or the other (I don’t think it was a publicity stunt, because 5 months passed between Clay’s post, and this showing up on Slashdot), I just don’t want ISN to get a reputation for being sensationalist and contrarian just to attract attention. We’ll leave that to Britney Spears and the tabloids. πŸ™‚

(also posted on the Intel Software Network blog)


Here’s my “Geek of Geeks” story on the Oregonian’s site

I checked this morning, and the “Geek of Geeks” feature story that Steve Woodward wrote about me is now online on the The Oregonian’s site. Go have a read! Here’s a snippet:

In a metropolitan area brimming with tens of thousands of software engineers, hardware designers, Web designers, systems administrators and diehard Internet users, even Josh Bancroft stands out as a geek’s geek…

Bancroft, in a sense, is a visitor from our near future — a world in which everyone everywhere is connected here and now. Time and place are no longer barriers. Technology connects, not separates, us.

There’s a lot that was in the paper article that’s not on the site, including a few sidebar items. I’ll take some photos of the dead tree version of the story and get them posted soon, so you can see the whole effect. It’s a center fold two full page story in the middle of “The O” section of this Sunday’s paper (2/25/07). Go pick up the paper, and I’ll autograph your copy next time I see you. πŸ™‚

Thanks to everyone for the kind words about the article – it’s been extremely fun, and I have a feeling it’s just starting. And special thanks to Steve Woodward at The Oregonian for doing a great job writing the article.

Now I’m off to find some dark shades so I can avoid the paparazzi when I go out in public, now that I’m a celebrity. πŸ™‚


Unboxing Photos: Mac Book Pro

Keyboard, originally uploaded by Josh Bancroft.

Here are a few unboxing ceremony photos of my new Mac Book Pro from work – Core 2 Duo 2.33GHz, 2GB RAM, 256MB VRAM. It was supposed to have a 160GB hard drive and Final Cut Express pre-installed, but it’s missing Final Cut, and the hard drive is only 120GB. πŸ™

On top of all that, one of the fans is malfunctioning. The right fan goes to full speed the instant I hit the power button, and stays there as long as the computer is on. But smcFanControl reports that the right fan is at 0 RPM. It’s defective, and I’m trying to decide if I should call Apple Care to get it replaced, or take it in to the Genius Bar. Any opinions? To make it more complicated, I really need this system in a week when I leave for GDC on March 5…

Anyway, you can see the set of Unboxing photos in this set on Flickr. Enjoy! πŸ™‚


I’m on the cover of the Oregonian

Well, the O section at least. πŸ™‚ There’s a feature article on me – The Geek of Geeks. πŸ™‚ More after I’ve read the article. I’m writing this in the car on the way home from buying 10 copies at the store. It’s the Sunday Feb. 25, 2007 edition. Go buy one! πŸ™‚

– Taken at 3:16 PM on February 24, 2007 – cameraphone upload by ShoZu


Teaching a workshop on Podcasting and Social Media

Right now I’m at the Capital Center, home of the OSU Extension Service here in Beaverton, Oregon. I’ve been helping out a great group of kids and teachers as part of the 4-H TechWizards program (see this set of photos on Flickr from the night we were at Intel Oregon’s Information Center). This is a group of high school age kids who are interested in technology, and this particular crew is focusing on podcasting.

I’ve met with them a few times, talking about how to record a podcast, and they’ve got recorders and show ideas, and have been out recording and publishing shows. I set up an instance of WordPress for them to publish from at, and you can see the fruit of our labors.

Today is an all day workshop that the kids are teaching for other 4-H students and faculty. They’re teaching about what a podcast is, how to record one, and how to publish. I’m just hanging around as an advisor/assistant.

Right now, we’re actually recording ourselves making pig sounds. It’s a long story. πŸ™‚

Also, the WiFi here is down, so I’ve got an ad hoc wireless network going, using my fast 3G HSDPA Cingular connection as the uplink, and my new Mac Book Pro as an access point. Isn’t technology great? πŸ˜‰

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I KNEW that was Doc Searls on the radio!

I had one of those wonderful, geeky moments yesterday. I was listening to the radio (NPR) on the way to the Oregon Film New Media conference yesterday. The show was World Have Your Say, produced by the BBC, but being done live from the Public Media conference in Boston (which I knew Dave Winer and Doc Searls were attending, from reading their blogs). The show only recently started to run in Oregon, on OPB, and has been very interesting so far.

The first part of the show was about “is marriage a dying institution”. There were a lot of opinions that had me shouting at the radio and getting mad – suffice it to say that being married to Rachel is the best thing that ever happened to me, and the best thing that I ever expect to happen to me in my life. My wife and my kids are the most important thing in my life, and EVERYTHING else – gadgets, blogging, geekery, etc. – is secondary. But I digress…

The second part of the show was on the topic “are bloggers influential”. I had already arrived at the light rail station, to take the MAX downtown to the conference, but I sat in the car and listened for a few minutes, because the topic was obviously interesting to me. Someone in the auditorium stood up and made a comment. He didn’t give his name, but partly from recognizing his voice, and partly from what he said, I was almost certain it was Doc Searls. πŸ™‚

Here’s what he said (paraphrasing): “I’ve written a business bestseller, I write for a magazine that has a significant online presence, and I blog. If you search for me online, you’ll find more references to my blog than to any of the others.”.

Hmm. Business Bestseller? Check. Writes for a magazine? Check. Blogs? Check. I said to myself (out loud), “that HAS to have been Doc Searls!”, and I smiled because of how small the world felt then, and how cool it is to have relationships that never would have existed if it weren’t for people reading and writing blogs. I even told the story at length at the Portland Social Media meetup last night.

Today, Doc confirmed that it was, in fact, him who made the comment on the show. He apparently didn’t know he was live on the radio, and thought he was making his comment to hundreds of people, not millions.

Hey, Doc? It was millions plus one. πŸ˜‰