Ideas Of March: Don't Read The Comments

It's that time of year again, time for an "Ideas of March" post (you can read more about this initiative on Chris Shiflett's blog). Most years many bloggers pledge to write more often, start or restart their blogs, and generally embrace the idea that some thoughts are worth more than 140 characters. Chris himself wrote this year about the demise of google reader, and about blogging as a way of curating and retaining ownership of your ideas, which I thought was an excellent point to make. Continue reading

Ideas of March: Write and Read

Today you may see a few folk dusting off their blogs to celebrate "Ideas of March" where we blog about blogging and pledge our good intentions to blog for another year. Personally, I think I blog more than enough already, but I've been thinking recently about writing, ideas and how important two-way knowledge exchange is. Continue reading

A Freemium Business Model

I have an android smartphone, and I have *very* few paid for applications on it. Mostly I have document viewers, the wordpress app, mail/calendar/map from google, and so on - plus a couple of free games. In January I downloaded a new game and I've been playing it pretty regularly since*.

Tapfish is a game where you can buy, raise and sell fish - like a tamagotchi, all grown up and moved to the smartphone platform (and prettier!) You can play quite a bit of the game without paying for anything - so much in fact that I got quite into it. When you consider that I've played daily for 6 weeks, 10 quid for the add-ons that will let me play more of the game seems reasonable. Continue reading

My Winter Wedding

Although I usually write only about technology on this blog, it's still a personal site and I have some news that I absolutely must share: I got married!!!! I've been waiting for the official photos before I wrote this post ("pics or it didn't happen", as the saying goes) so here is the evidence:

On the stairs
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Flattr-y Will Get You Everywhere

For many years, I've been convinced that micropayments are the way of the future. The internet has brought us so much that is freely available, but often it's nice to show some appreciation for something someone has given us. This is true both for the open source software without which I couldn't do my job, and for the excellent content that makes me think or guides me through a particular issue. Continue reading

Conference Finance

Planning an event of any kind? Let me share with you what I have learned so far about how the numbers for these things actually work and how to understand the "what to charge" vs "how many people" balance.
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Book Review: Confessions of a Public Speaker

I received "Confessions of a Public Speaker" as a gift this winter (you know who you are, thankyou!), and it's been on my bookshelf waiting for me to have a reason to sit still long enough to read it. A series of long flights presented exactly that opportunity so I brought the book along to read, which was perfect as I was travelling to give a tutorial at the PHP Community Conference in Nashville.

My first observation was that although I thought this would be a pretty serious book, I was laughing! Not just smiling, but actually giggling on a fairly small plane of people doing the short hop over to Amsterdam. I saw a few people trying to read the cover to figure out what this great comedic tome would be :)

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Ideas of March

You may find that you read a few of these posts today - the title is a play on the fact that today is the Ides of March, and the story goes like this:

I'm seeing increasing numbers of my friends and peers announcing that blogging is coming back into fashion, which came as a surprise to me since I didn't realise it had gone out of fashion and I've been blogging regularly without realising how uncool that was! With twitter managing to annoy everyone in the last week or so either with a new client, bad behaviour towards existing 3rd party clients, or reassigning twitter names, change is in the air.

Personally I like to blog, it's a platform that I control, and I'm always too verbose for 140 character limits (which is a nice way of saying that I talk too much - if you've met me in person then you knew that already!). The blogs, and perhaps more importantly their comments, are the best way I know of sharing ideas and having those accessible and grouped together if you want to refer back to them at any point in the future. They are also wonderfully asynchronous; I see some great posts coming past about technologies that I don't use, then find myself reading those articles a few months later when I'm onto the next project. Having the various blog posts, even those short ones that people think "don't qualify" or "aren't good enough", really help me get started with something new - and I try to leave the same trail on my own blog and in the comments of others' when I'm figuring things out that I think others might come up against later (where "others" includes me, if I have slept since writing the blog post!).

So - will you join us? Will pledge to blog, or to comment on blogs, in March? Here's to a revival of blogging (and some continuation from those of us who fail at being with the cool crowd!)

5 Years of Blogging

I've just realised that today marks 5 years since the very first post on this blog. I'm not sure how 5 years came around, the blog began because I was just leaving a job and every time I did that, I lost my directory of useful scripts that I collected. I also didn't know how to use grep 5 years ago (or linux, or vim ...) and so I couldn't find things in the directory anyway. So I started to blog things, in the hope of finding them again when I wanted them.

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