Josh’s Lifelog for 2008-09-30

  • I can haz dry pants? No! Can not has! Stupid dryer taking forever… πŸ™ #
  • Pro Tip: The AC power brick for the Asus R2H UMPC is the same as the one for the Eee PC 901 (and probably other Eee models), and works fine. #
  • Dear Twitter: Looking for examples of anyone who uses a netbook as their ONLY computer. Do you? Know someone who does? Let me know! πŸ™‚ #
  • @stephtara et al: Clarification: I’m using “netbook” to mean the little 7″-10″ systems like the Eee PC, Acer Aspire, Dell Mini, etc. #
  • @b3gl You use a laptop, but have you ever tried a netbook? I’m interested in the mix of laptop/netbook/desktop usage people have. Thanks! πŸ™‚ #
  • Thanks all for the netbook usage feedback. Sounds like they’re often used when traveling/away, but no one has gone 100% netbook yet. Hmmm… #
  • You netbook users, what is it that keeps you from using it as your 100% full time only computer? What other computers do you have? #
  • @philips But you can use an external keyboard and hard drive when you need it. Would that change how you feel about netbooks? #
  • @blath Power/performance limitations are a real factor. As is strict privacy of files. Small devices are more likely to be stolen. #
  • @jakeludington But what about hooking up to an external monitor, with better resolution? Would that make a difference? #
  • I’m working out a “grand unified theory” of cloud computing and the devices we use for it. Should be interesting – will post when ready. πŸ™‚ #
  • @jarvitron Good points (better 3G/wifi handoff and fast standby). Though my Eee PC 901 stands by in about 3 seconds. Pretty quick, to me. #
  • @jen I agree. Who wants to be limited to just one computer? 1 computer per company -> 1 per household -> 1 per person -> multiples. #
  • @MightySquid But you can hook up to an external monitor. Why not do that? (not trying to argue, really asking why not πŸ™‚ #
  • I have my own reasons for why I don’t just use a netbook 100% of the time, but I’m holding back, want to hear what you think first. #
  • New must-use tool for web creators: smush.it takes a page, optimizes the images, and gives them to you in a zip file. Make your page faster! #
  • Smush.it is from Yahoo, and has a great Firefox Extension, or you can optimize the images by URL or upload. Unfortunate URL: smushit.com πŸ™‚ #
  • @RickBakas http://www.smushit.com. Too bad they didn’t get http://smush.it πŸ™‚ #
  • @jakeludington But isn’t lugging a big laptop around for “when you need it” the same as driving a giant SUV without passengers? πŸ˜‰ #
  • @hangry I don’t know, but apparently smus eat images, and, um, emit them in a reduced form. πŸ™‚ #
  • @jakeludington The HP MiniNote 2133 runs 1280×760. Too bad it has a Via processor, instead of Atom, though. πŸ˜‰ #
  • @jakeludington Which is why my fingers are crossed for an Atom-based version of the HP Mini-Note some day. πŸ™‚ #
  • Booting Ubuntu Mobile on the Asus R2H. So far, gets past the Ubuntu logo, and sits at a black screen… πŸ™ #
  • @jakeludington No one seems to be sure which CPU is in the Vivienne Tam model of the MiniNote, but one can hope for Atom! πŸ™‚ #
  • @bljarv is showing me his Hackintosh Acer Aspire One. OS X FLIES on this thing. That does it. I need a Hackintosh Eee PC 1000H! πŸ™‚ #
  • Recovering my sister in law’s computer after Vista SP1 nuked it (just like everyone in this 6 page thread @ms): http://tinyurl.com/3qa7vc #
  • @Yasumoto Actually, I’m booted into Ubuntu to recover the data (photos, docs, etc.), then we’re going to blow it away and re-Vista it. πŸ™‚ #
  • Rescuing 25GB of data off of a dead Vista PC 8 GB at a time, over USB, is SLOW. πŸ™ #
  • And now, on the last 1.5GB, Ubuntu decides to stop recognizing my flash drive. Long reboot from DVD, we’ll see if that fixes it… #

Josh’s Lifelog for 2008-09-29

  • Whuh? My iGoogle home page reset itself – my Mark Frauenfelder theme is gone, as are all of my gadgets. *sigh* #
  • Oh. Nevermind. I was looking at my “recommendations” tab, instead of my “Home” tab. I bet Gabe clicked it when I wasn’t looking. πŸ™‚ #
  • Dragged my Asus R2H UMPC out of mothballs to play with this week. Restoring it to factory XP tablet edition. It’s big and heavy! #
  • If you’re interested in keeping up on the US economy, I can’t recommend NPR’s @PlanetMoney highly enough: http://npr.org/planetmoney #
  • Guess what? There’s some Ignite Portland 4 news that’s MOMENTS away from breaking. Stay tuned! πŸ™‚ #
  • That Ignite Portland 4 news? Submissions are now open! Submit your talk ideas now, until Oct. 14. http://www.igniteportland.com. Yay! πŸ™‚ #
  • And I’m having some trouble getting to igniteportland.com right now – 500 errors. You all killed the site with your enthusiasm! Keep trying. #
  • @Jmartens Argh! I’m sorry. I swear, we’ll check with you when planning the date/time for Ignite Portland 5! πŸ™‚ #
  • @peat and others – @selenamarie is fixing the igniteportland.com server issue. Should be back on its feet soon! #
  • Hey, if someone wants to submit an @igniteportland 4 talk on what the heck is happening to our economy, I bet it would be popular… πŸ˜‰ #
  • @KGWNewsChannel8 joins twitter, limits themsleves to 125 characters per tweet by picking a really long handle/username. πŸ™‚ #
  • Wow. Three really great Ignite Portland 4 talk ideas already submitted. I can’t wait to see what you all come up with! I LOVE your ideas! πŸ™‚ #
  • Just put the kids to bed. @rachelbancroft at calligraphy class. I’m bored, reading interwebs, and actually answering telemarketer calls. πŸ™‚ #
  • In case anyone was wondering, here’s exactly who voted how on the bailout bill in Congress: http://tinyurl.com/45k822 #
  • @shashib Drop me an email? jabancroft at gmail. Would be happy to give some pointers on starting an Ignite in your town! πŸ™‚ #
  • @znmeb Yeah, we’ll all be living in whatever the aftermath is by then. Happy holidays! πŸ™‚ #
  • In case you’re wondering why the description on that bill doesn’t make sense, Ars says it’s because they “amended” another bill. YMMV. #

Josh’s Lifelog for 2008-09-27

  • Running late for @wordcampdx. Good thing my session isn’t until 2PM! πŸ™‚ #
  • Sound’s like I’m missing out on Lorelle’s Fairy Blogmother costume/schtick. Dangit. πŸ™‚ #
  • Been driving around for 30 minutes looking for a place to park for WordCamp Portland. About to give up and go home. Frustrated! πŸ™ #
  • Finally found a parking place, several blocks away. Thanks for all of the suggestions. Good to see so many of my geek/Twitter friends here! #
  • Here’s the post where I’ve put the slides/links for my session, “Tying Your Tubes with WordPress”, for reference: http://tinyurl.com/4u685k #
  • Hey friends, I need a favor. Can you go comment or “like” this post on FF, so I can demo in my session in 2 hours? http://tinyurl.com/4heasw #
  • Rats. Waited too long for lunch, and there’s no more pizza. πŸ™ #
  • Just about time for my “Tying Your Tubes” WordCamp Portland session. Based on interest, it’s in the BIG room! πŸ™‚ #
  • Thank you all for the GREAT participation (in the room and online) during my Tubes session! I had a blast, sounds like FF got new users. πŸ™‚ #
  • If you were in my session, and I don’t follow you on Twitter or FriendFeed, let me know, so I can follow! πŸ™‚ #
  • @marshallk’s session on Feed Your Blog With RSS is PACKED. People sitting on every square foot of floor, crowded around the door. #
  • I’m not watching any DVD that came unsolicited, among the ads in the Sunday paper, anymore than i click the links in my spam email. Bzzzt! #
  • @verso Holy crap. That’s just wrong. We saw the DVD in teh paper, and were like, “what’s this?”, then tossed it. That link, just… Wow. #

Tying Your Tubes with WordPress – My Session at WordCamp Portland

I’m giving a session at WordCamp Portland today on “Tying Your Tubes with WordPress“, all about integrating all the difference places you probably write, read, and discuss things on the web into your WordPress blog. This post is the reference for the session, with the slides (such as they are – most of it is going to be discussion) and links to the plugins I talk about.

Here are the few slides I put together, on Google Docs. I’m working on them as we speak, but by the time the session starts, they should be more or less final:

And here are links to the plugins/tools that I’m going to talk about:

  • Alex King’s Twitter Tools – to put daily tweet digests on your blog as posts (great for archiving them, since Twitter cut off access to tweets older than a few pages).
  • K2 Theme – besides the TON of other great things it can do, it’s great for putting tweets, etc. in a sidebar using “Asides”. The K2 Support Forum is a GREAT resource if you have questions or need help.
  • How to exclude a category (say, your tweet digest) from your site’s RSS feed. Either have people subscribe to the funky URL you get from this, or if you use FeedBurner, just tell it that the funky URL is your source feed.
  • FriendFeed Comments – show comments and likes that your post gets on FriendFeed right on the post itself.
  • FriendFeed Feed Widget – for showing your last 10 or so items that end up on FriendFeed right on your blog. There are some other cool badges on that page. Similar to Twitter badges, which I don’t use (I use Twitter Tools’ daily digests instead).
  • soup.io, for publishing blended feeds. I use this for my lifestream and my linkblog.

I’ll add any other info that comes up during the session, and if you have any questions, post them in the comments! Woo hoo WordCamp Portland! πŸ™‚


Josh’s Lifelog for 2008-09-26

  • Busy morning. Lunchtime meeting downtown, and a meeting this afternoon with @jonatitus. And I suppose I should work on my @wordcamp session. #
  • Just posted: Building a community site is like building the house where your party will happen. But there’s more! http://tinyurl.com/4yyo56 #
  • Retweet @gruber: “McCain campaign already running “McCain Wins Debate” ads: http://xrl.us/or8yo” Wow. I thought he wasn’t even going to go! #
  • Hey look! I have a new bank! Goodbye WaMu, hello JP Morgan Chase. http://tinyurl.com/4dgryc #
  • @SuperSpiker I’ve actually considered 1st Tech CU for a while, just never got up the momentum to switch. Inertia is a powerful thing. πŸ™‚ #
  • @eriksr Yeah, I’ve always been embarrassed to admit that I bank at WaMu, if only because of how dumb the name sounded. πŸ™‚ #
  • @SarahCofer Well, by that definition, the T-Mobile G1/Android phone IS better than a BlackBerry. At least, I want one more than a BB! πŸ™‚ #
  • Date night! Finally taking @rachelbancroft to see Dark Knight. Second time for me, first for her. Hope it’s not too scary for her! #
  • Wish we were watching the debate, but we’ll catch it later. We’re both already pretty decided… #
  • Ever wonder just how small the Intel Atom processor inside all those netbooks and MIDs is? See for yourself: http://tinyurl.com/4435dc #

More on Community Building: Hosting a Party vs Building a Building

Following up my last post on how building a community is like hosting a party, I saw a great post this morning from Doc Searls, wherein he riffs on how companies come to him all the time, and say “we’ve built this great site, why don’t more people visit it?”:

The other day I was sitting in the company of leaders in one industrial category. (I won’t say which because it’s beside the point I want to make.) A question arose: Why are there so few visitors to our websites? Millions use their services, yet few bother with visiting their sites, except every once in awhile.

The answer, I suggested, was that their sites were buildings. They were architected, designed and constructed. They were conceived and built on the real estate model: domains with addresses, places people could visit. They were necessary and sufficient for the old Static Web, but lacked sufficiency for the Live one.

This goes RIGHT along with what I’ve been saying about how community building is like hosting a party. So many people come to me and say “we’ve built this great community site. Now how do we get people to use it?” They’ve built a building. A house for the party to happen in. It’s a usually necessary first step (the party COULD happen “in the streets” on Twitter, FriendFeed, etc. without a “house” of its own), but it’s ONLY a first step.

Once you’ve got a party house, stop worrying about the house, and start worrying about getting people to come to the party and have a good time!


Josh’s Lifelog for 2008-09-25

  • In staff with @billpearson, where he’s admitting all of his emotional strengths and weaknesses. Taking notes! πŸ˜‰ #
  • The Intel proxy is not letting me make any HTTPS connections to any google.com site. Non-SSL HTTP works just fine. Argh! πŸ™ #
  • Intel Software Network launched a complete overhaul/new backend today, including a sexy new URL: http://software.intel.com. Loving it! πŸ™‚ #
  • The ISN web developers have been toiling for months on this new release, and the results are really impressive. They are rock stars! πŸ™‚ #
  • @tomnovak Thanks! I’ll pass your feedback along to them. πŸ™‚ #
  • @SarahCofer Glad Amazon took care of you with your dead Kindle. I’ve heard nothing but glowing reports of their service. #
  • @sumwan Nope. software.intel.com is powered mainly by a custom inhouse app we wrote. This is the big 2.0 release of said app. #
  • Yikes. I just went on a bit of an iPhone App Store spree. Bought a bunch of new apps (Band, Line Rider, Pianist, etc.). #
  • @jerrymichalski I don’t know, but that "Line Rider" as a presentation tool idea is a good one. Have to try that! πŸ™‚ #
  • Twitter InstaPoll: What’s your very most favorite iPhone app that you love, that I should check out? In for a penny, in for a pound here. πŸ™‚ #
  • @grigs OK – I’ll hold you to that. πŸ™‚ #
  • @mattg I’ve tried Evernote, and it seems cool, but I found I just never use it. Believe it or not, I usually take notes in my moleskine. πŸ˜‰ #
  • @samgrover Shazam is awesome, love it. What is Things, and why do you love it? #
  • @samgrover Ah. A tasks/GTD app. I’ve tried several times, but I just can’t get on the GTD bandwagon, and really manage my tasks. #
  • @lyzadanger Agree – Pandora is terrific. And iWant looks… similar to lots of other "show me what’s near" apps. Anything special about it? #
  • @KIntheHouse Scramboni looks interesting. I might try it. What’s the best Scrabble-type iPhone app? I hear the official one sucks. #
  • As a lover of words (they tickle the happy parts of my brain), I’m liking Wurdle (find words in a grid of letters). A+++, would buy again. #
  • @charleneli I don’t Stumble much, but when something of mine gets on StumbleUpon, it brings huge traffic/interested readers. Much respected. #
  • @marshallk Huh? What? Technorati’s still around? Hmm. Fancy that. They’ve been dead in the water every time I’ve tried recently. #
  • Hey @jmoriarty, @tersteeg just cancelled your vacation. Says so right here in my Outlook. Put the gelato down, and report back to work ASAP! #
  • @SarahCofer The GPhone isn’t out until Oct. 22, so not many people have hands on time with it yet. Depends what "better than a BB" means. πŸ˜‰ #
  • Bummer. I can’t get my Ubuntu Mobile USB stick to boot on the Compal MID. “Boot error”, nothing more. Stick works fine on the Eee PC 901. #
  • @lawduck Something like that. πŸ˜‰ I actually have 6 computers/devices in front of me right now. And it’s not nearly enough! πŸ™‚ #
  • @segphault Yeah, that would be cool. I have no idea how available the Compal devices are, but the Ubuntu devs definitely need some! #
  • RT @rachelbancroft 5yo Emma says “who’s this Barack Obama I keep hearing about? Obama today, Obama yesterday, always I hear about Obama.” πŸ™‚ #
  • RT @rachelbancroft I explain about voting for president, emma says, “well, I never hear anything about that John McCain.” #
  • I took a dozen or so photos of Ubuntu Mobile booted on the Eee PC 901. Played with the browser, etc. See them here http://tinyurl.com/3l6n9b #
  • @Auth_Domains How do I like Ubuntu Mobile? On a netbook like the 901, Ubuntu EEE or XP are better suited. UM is aimed at touchscreen devices #
  • @bandit36 Yeah, this version of Ubuntu Mobile is based on Intrepid (8.10), and is aimed at touchscreen MIDs and UMPCs. Netbooks run it, tho. #

Josh’s Lifelog for 2008-09-24

  • Yay! @rachelbancroft just called, and said that there’s a mystery water leak between our upstairs and downstairs bathroom. Great… πŸ™ #
  • Anyone have plumber recommendations in the Beaverton/Hillsboro area? #
  • @memathews That’s a good point. It’s not a fast leak, but I’ll have her do it. #
  • @jltitus We might have to reschedule. Plumber says they’ll come between noon and 3. Sorry! πŸ™ #
  • Sometimes I hate being a homeowner. At least we didn’t get one of those insane mortgages. Repairs are enough to worry about… πŸ™ #
  • I think I fixed the toilet leak! A bolt holding the tank to the bowl was loose. I am home-maintenance-retarded, so this is big for me. πŸ™‚ #
  • @joiedevie Yeah, I was ready to pay. Didn’t want to deal with it. Wouldn’t felt dumb to pay someone $150 to tighten a bolt. πŸ˜‰ #
  • @harrisja It’s the kids bathroom, so the floor was always wet from baths, etc. Not any standing water, but a steady drip from the toilet. #
  • @harrisja I think it’s been going on for a long time, though. There’s some water damage to the floor/ceiling downstairs. πŸ™ #
  • I’ve got a fan in there drying things out now. Paranoid about deadly mildew or whatever other ways Nature will try to kill us in the NW. πŸ˜‰ #
  • @JeanAnnVK Yay! I admit that I got the idea of what to check from a video at eHow.com that I googled. πŸ™‚ #
  • @harrisja If by "deal with" you mean "let it dry out and hope nothing bad happens", then yes. πŸ™‚ #
  • @memathews That’s a good idea. I’ll put my newfound knowledge of how a toilet works to good use! πŸ™‚ #
  • Post wherein I riff on how building a community is like hosting a party. Don’t be a bad host! http://tinyurl.com/4wd6oq #
  • @sumwan Thanks. I’ll keep you posted. πŸ™‚ #
  • Cool! Ubuntu released "Ubuntu Mobile", a distro for MIDs, UMPCs, and netbooks. Downloading, can’t wait to try it on my various … #
  • I’m thinking this new Ubuntu Mobile distro will breathe new life into my old Asus R2H UMPC that I haven’t touched in a year. #
  • @memathews That machine would probably take a standard Ubuntu build just fine. Ubuntu Mobile appears to be aimed at touchscreen devices. #
  • @memathews I’d at least try it. 96 MB should be acceptable for Linux. You can boot a live Ubuntu CD and test it before installing. #
  • @JasonADavidson Re: installing software without a ton of immediate "critical updates": Sure, it’s possible. Just use a Mac! πŸ˜› #

Building a Community is like Hosting a Party. Don’t Be a Bad Party Host!

My job and my passion is community building. More specifically, exploring new ways of community building, and teaching them to other people. Quite often, I end up using the metaphor of hosting a party to describe what it’s like to build a community. A lot of what it takes to host a great party is the same as what it takes to build a great community.

My friend and Community Rock Star, Dawn Foster, has been posting a series of must-read posts over at her blog, Fast Wonder. If you work in online community building (and if you think about it hard enough, you probably do, even if you don’t realize it), you absolutely MUST subscribe to Dawn’s blog. She’s brilliant, and speaks the truth. Listen to her, and do what she says. πŸ™‚

Her latest post is on who “owns” a community, and the tendency that companies have to sometimes act like dictators when they “own” the community (by hosting it on their site, etc.). They do things like delete any comments that they don’t like, or that portray them in a less than glowing light (rather than establishing a comment policy, and only removing comments that break one of the rules). It’s a great post, and the comment I left got kind of long, so, never being one to waste the opportunity to recycle my own words so more people will read them, I’m reposting here. πŸ™‚

Trying to get “owners” to not freak out and do things like delete negative or critical (but otherwise non-rule-breaking) comments is hard.

The company that “hosts” a community should think of itself as en equal member of the community, with some special responsibilities. When you host a community, you’re throwing the party. Sure, you build and “own” the house (site) where the party will happen. You invite interesting people to come to the party, and hopefully have other interesting people for them to talk to, and interesting topics for everyone. You can provide amusements, but not stupid party games (no one likes to be forced into doing something they don’t like at a party). You’re there in case something goes wrong, and needs to be addressed. But if you’re a good party host, you want to make sure things go smoothly, and enjoy the party equally for yourself, NOT make yourself the center of attention the whole time.

Every time I think about it, I find more ways the party metaphor applies to community building. I think in this case, with ownership, you could say that sure, a party host COULD make and enforce abitrary rules, and act like a dictator, trying to control what people talk about, because it’s “their” house or “their” party. But that makes the party suck. No one will want to stay if you start acting like that. And in the end, besides defeating the whole purpose of having a great party/community, it’s really just embarrassing. No one likes an overbearing, self-agrandizing party/community host. πŸ™‚

So, when you’re building an online community, or hosting a party in your home, don’t be “that guy”. Think about how to make the party/community more fun, more engaging, and above all, kick more ass. Everything else is just frosting.


Josh’s Lifelog for 2008-09-23

  • I want to pick up an Android phone to tinker with/hack on. Not to replace my iPhone. So no contract. Anyone know the unsubsidized price? #
  • I re-added the Facebook Twitter app a while ago, to update my FB status. It was nice, but I keep hitting Twitter API limits. Buh bye FB app! #
  • @billpearson I don’t think it’s necessarily Facebook that’s the trouble, but it counts against my Twitter API quota. #
  • @billpearson AFAICT the Facebook Twitter app counts against your “100 requests per hour” quota. Anyone know for sure? #
  • The only apps I use that hit the Twitter API are Facebook (turned off now) and Twitterrific. And I’ve been getting “Too Many Requests” errs. #
  • Today’s netbook shenanigan: trying to install OpenSolaris on an Eee PC 901 netbook. Details will be blogged later! πŸ™‚ #
  • @davest I’ve got a console login prompt (booted from that live USB stick from OSCON). What’s the login? What do I do from here? #
  • Well, that was short lived. With @davest’s help, got OpenSolaris live USB booted, logged into a console, but X Windows won’t start. Oh well! #
  • @billpearson Since you’ve resisted the iPhone, and because I want to play with Android, you should TOTALLY get a G1/Dream. πŸ˜‰ Do eet! #
  • @rachebancroft is sick. That’s never fun. Wish I could be at home to help keep the kids out of her hair (I will be leaving a little early). #
  • @sumwan You know, if I could figure out how to get the wireless to connect from a console, I could get SOME things done from the console. πŸ˜‰ #
  • Apple just sent me a text message reminding me that the ultracompact USB charger for my iPhone 3G could kill me. How sweet of them! πŸ™‚ #
  • What’s the status of Android on the N810? Is it going to be an official effort? That would actually convince me to finally buy an N810. #
  • Watching G1/Android hands on videos at Engadget. What’s with the bananaphone curvature at the bottom of the G1? Weird. #
  • My impression so far? The G1/Android is a great phone. Very capable. Better than Windows Mobile. Not not near as good as the iPhone, though. #
  • For example, there’s no headphone jack on the G1. Only HTC’s proprietary "ExtUSB" dongle/adapter. Which won’t be available at … #
  • @mattg Yeah, it turns out that making a really smooth, responsive UI is really hard. Whodathunk it? πŸ˜‰ #
  • So, instead of just kibbitzing on Twitter all day, I broke down and wrote a post about the T-Mobile G1/gPhone: http://tinyurl.com/5xn7mg #
  • It’s reassuring to know that I’m NEVER going run out of people to educate about how to live in this Internet world of ours… #
  • I don’t understand why the US Government is running COMMERCIALS for MONEY (dollar coins) on primetime TV… #