Techy stuff

May 2, 2008

Ooh, why do I always feel I have to understand things immediately? Not just select items, but everything, and perfectly to boot. Since discovering Twitter I’ve come across so many new techy things, and have dived (dove?) right in to try to discover how it all works. Twitter came first, then blogs, which necessitated getting to grips with RSS feeds (as well as starting this, my own blog, of course).

For news and other feeds I started off on NewsFire, but the disadvantage of that is of course that it’s a standalone application and so is only on my laptop. Enter NetVibes: salvation! All my bits and pieces in one place so I can even skive at work! But, ah – there’s another element to it, and that is the option to share online.

Share? What’s that all about then? I’ve shared photos on Flickr and other sites, but that’s about as far as it’s got so far, other than FaceBook and a messageboard. But this seems different. Share what exactly?

Then I realise there’s a whole world of internet sharing out there. Not just blogging, no, that’s in the ha’penny place really: a blog is just not enough. It seems that to share properly we have to have, Digg, Reddit, Stumble, LastFM, Pipes, Muxtape, Remember The Milk, Scribd, Zemanta (which I forgot to use for this), ClipMarks, OpenID… and these are only the ones I can remember without looking up. Is this what is meant by Web 2.0? And what exactly are we sharing? Other websites, interesting bits and pieces… anything original? I don’t know yet. I realise this is just scratching the surface and the serious techy stuff is probably a whole new level, but for now this part is absorbing me, and holding my interest.

In the last week I have opened accounts for just about all of the above, and heaven only knows why. For example, Pipes: I’ve registered there too, though how I’ll ever use it I have not the faintest idea. I just feel the urge to get in there and join up. ‘Don’t leave me out!’ my inner child cries! ‘New toys! New toys!’

And as for OpenID… do I really want it? Do I want everything all linked up and my whole life (such as it is) available to all? I saw this interview (from one of my RSS’d blogs) just after I had written my first blog and linked it to my Flickr, Twitter and MySpace accounts.

Then I realised that I too have different identities in different places, so I hastily unlinked my MySpace account. I’m still not sure how much of me I want online, and so a degree of separation suits me fine, for now.

But what a learning curve there seems to be. I’m following in Twitter, and RSSing, a few techy blogs as well as some creative types, and there seems to be so much going on that’s really interesting, I want a slice of it. But like a kid in a sweetshop, I really have no idea what to choose and what to leave behind, and I seem to be sampling it all in soundbites rather than sitting down properly to absorb fully what it’s all about. But with Twitter links coming at me right, left and centre, and all these interesting blogs to read, how can I filter what’s useful and what ain’t, and have a normal life too? I don’t yet know, but finding out is half the fun.




Scary First Post…

April 23, 2008

Well, they say that the first step is the hardest, or something, so here I am in front of the famous blank page and with fingers that seem to want to type something. It’s after 11pm and I don’t have to be up spectacularly early, so I don’t even have to feel guilty about being here.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently, well, okay for a few days, and thought, ‘oh maybe I could do that!’ because of course the good writers make it look so easy. Hah! So what to write about? I’m not writing on techy stuff, so that’s out, it’s not a diary of what I do each day (because yeah, that would really keep the punters awake) so I think it will just be random bits and pieces of things that interest me, and a bit about me. A bit of a scrap book perhaps.

Here’s a tune to start us off that makes me smile, though I haven’t yet worked out how to play without opening a new page, or found a link to the whole song. Still, it’s worth buying. Slow Club: ‘Me and You’

First thing, and don’t be put off by this: I like cats. No, truthfully, I love cats. There will be more about them anon, though it’s not what this blog will (mostly) be about (that happens elsewhere).

Some big changes have been happening for me lately that are prompting me to want to write. Firstly, I’m coming out of a period of crap health, and it feels like coming into the light of energy after being in a tunnel. So things are looking different and my energy needs to go somewhere! And part of this has been the rediscovery of the joy of going to gigs! After many years of only listening to classical music, which I love, I’ve suddenly realised that there is still a whole big world of great bands out there ready to smack me in the face with their rhythm and energy.

For my birthday I got an iPod Touch. :o) (And a white chocolate duck. Poor duck.)

I heart my iTouch.

Since the end of March I’ve been to a load of gigs, certainly more than I’ve been to in the last twenty years altogether! And I’ve another six or so lined up for May – cool! I’m collecting bands I like on MySpace, and buying far more music than I can afford – and downloading podcasts by the dozen. For in-car it’s Phantom Radio which is responsible for many of my new discoveries. As the years, ahem, push on a bit, I’ve finally rediscovered that I LOVE dancing and I’m not bloody well going to stop now! So some of this might be about gigs & music, though some of that is blogged over in MySpace. I’m not sure about OpenID so I’ll keep that one separate for now. (Blog on that to come.)

I’ve been a fan of messageboards for years, but have just discovered twitter, blogging, and social networking in general. I want to find out more about web 2.0 which seems to crop up a lot.

But first, in the tradition of another blogger (sorry can’t remember) who started this, here are seven random things about me.

Turquoise is my colour of the moment
I hate coconut and cinnamon (bleurggh, food of satan)
I love chocolate (of course) and pesto, mmmmmm, but not together
I love the sound of oystercatchers and curlews
I like working out – which is a HUGE recent surprise to me
I get really cross at people walking into me in the street, and they’re lucky I don’t yell at them
I like the smell of rain on the earth

That’s enough to begin with I reckon. :o) Woohoo! First one done.

More anon.