April 17, 2023

Interesting Things on the Internet: April 17th 2023 Edition

  • Smoke Screen. An essay by Mandy Brown on the narrative power of AI or machine learning.
  • The age-appropriate rubber dinghies of the sunlit uplands. The Online Safety Bill is a mess and already being abused by this Government. It should be thrown out.
  • On Snowballs, Napoleons, and sharks. This matches my experiences. I've never understood the "business networking" events, or the multi-day huge "business" conferences that we seem to have annually in Liverpool, where the folk (tangentially) involved in putting them on exhort me to attend because somehow spending a few days alongside a bunch of other folk trying to sell me things I'm not interested in will somehow help me sell them things they aren't interested in. I similarly lament the loss of the late 2000s tech meetup/unconference scene; and at some point I'll start doing something about it.

And via Alex, a great video of bike culture in London. We often gain groups of scallies on mountain bikes when we're out Joyriding. Maybe we need to start running some video-editing or bike-pimping workshops round here too...

Posted by Adrian at 03:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 10, 2023

Interesting Things on the Internet: April 10th 2023 Edition

Posted by Adrian at 12:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 09, 2023

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

It was twenty years ago today... I didn't teach any bands to play, but I did start writing this blog.

I didn't have any real plans for it then, grand or otherwise; it was basically a form of commonplace book—somewhere for me to make notes of things. The fact that it was public wasn't a big consideration. I'd had an RSS reader and had been reading plenty of other blogs for a while by then, but I chose it more as a convenient readymade that I could bend to the job of taking notes. And I might as well make it public, on the off-chance that I write something useful for someone else.

I don't know how useful it's been for others, but it has been extremely good for me. For a few years it did at least provide the answer for folk searching for a basic sponge cake recipe; when Google was a fan of blogs, over half the traffic to my site was to that page. I doubt anyone gets pointed there now, in the age of content-farms and ads, but I never paid much attention to site stats and removed the Google Analytics code a while back to stop tracking visitors on their behalf.

I can't quantify how useful blogging has been, but writing things down is a great way to help me work out what I think about something. It's useful, as mentioned, to have somewhere to note down recipes and the like. It's a handy way to write things once and then just send folk a link the next time it comes up. It's good for putting things into the public record, noting down what I think, rather than what anyone in power thinks, even if that's just the tiniest nudge to our collective culture. And without the practice writing however many blog posts, I wouldn't ever have agreed to write a book. (Hmm, seems I never got round to writing about the book on here. I was pretty burnt out of writing by the time it was finished!)

Lots of the posts aren't worth revisiting, but I'm often pleasantly surprised when I end up re-reading something from years back. Usually that happens when I'm searching for a link to something I've written in the past. This is far, far from a considered list—I'm amazed that I've actually managed to write this on time, usually I'd forget the date and realise a few weeks late!—but here are a few selected posts from over the years:

Anyway, read more blogs. Get an RSS reader (I still use Thunderbird, because that's still where all my email goes and it's nice to be able to manage blog posts in the same way). And it's never too late to start writing one yourself.

Posted by Adrian at 10:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack