post #3 for 2013

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Yep, you read that title exactly right.

I posted twice this year. Once for the big three-o birthday. And once for a story that was worked out in my head the minute I saw the poser.

Lets compare my other spaces this year: 589 tweets. ~50 Facebook posts. 24 Instagram shots.

As Kottke rightly put it: the. blog. is. dead. In the context of which, mine has hit the rock bottom of life support. Clearly blogs and blogging in all its forms have been eroded, split away into multiple other “specialized” forums that exist today. Earlier this year, my partner-in-crime declared his blog shuttered. Heck, I used to find it hard to follow everyone on my blogroll on a weekly basis1. Of the 50-odd sites that I used to link to, 13 remain.. of which 4-5 occasionally post. 2 of them are actually Tumblrs, which are somehow different from blogs, I think.

Does this mean that no writing happens at all? That would be harsh. I do write, as much as I remember to, in a private local space. Guess this blog is too public to be home to those details. Its more of a daily.. well, to be honest, more like a bimonthly.. log. One of those things you do coz you want to document stuff about your kid. Yep, I’m that kinda dad2.

Is there really nothing I can burden this space with? As far as readership.. well, that has now moved to the many other social forums that people find easier to dip into and out of. Short thoughts/asides? Twitter. Arbit GIFs/links? Tumblr. Life status updates? Facebook. Photos? You name it.

Which leaves long-form, introspective writing. I used to have a tradition of reflectively writing on anniversaries, new years, birthdays, in addition to the regular posts on how I don’t post any more. The birthday one may be the only thing that sort of lives on.. but next year will truly tell whether it stays or not. Writing for the sake of it seems a tad, shall we say, idealistic. Yes, it gets you better at it.. but as time moves on you feel a need to ensure that everything has an end-goal, an objective.

I thought it was well known that blogs don’t need objectives and goals. Least of all personal blogs like this one that have suffered barely 3 posts this year. And yet, I..

Must decide if this space has an objective any more.

..and If this space should officially go on hiatus3 in its absence.

1. Which led down the rabbit hole of RSS readers, and even reviews of RSS readers. One thing led to another, and here I am 8 years later, paying for an RSS aggregation service in the wake of Google Reader’s death. Bazqux.com is highly recommended for a quick interface, Google Reader-y interface, and interoperability with every possible RSS reader client/protocol out there.

2. Heck yeah, footnotes. Nothing like trying something new to believe things could happen. If you click the footnote number that is at the start of this footnote, you’ll go back up top. Enjoy!

3. Typing the word ‘hiatus’ bummed me out unbelievably. Didn’t think this meant that much to me.

twit twit tweeet

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I’ve jumped in headfirst. Tweeting. Left, right and center. Yessirree Bob. Yada yada yada. Srsly.

And now to repeat things I’ve heard before (for eons) but which have dawned on me as actually making a lot of sense.

So yes, this post might be a bit dated for some of you.

At first, I assumed that my approach on Twitter would end up similar to my “stalking” approach on Reader (via Twitter RSS). But Twitter demands interaction in a way that few services do. I now see a hundred limitations in Google Buzz — filtering being the biggest one. My Twitter stream is pretty nicely sorted by default, and clients such as JournoTwit make it even easier to organize what I want to see and how I want to see it. Clients are another big advantage — I access Twitter using 3 different methods, none of which require me to have a tab open for Twitter 24/7. Sharing is a different matter, thanks to bookmarklets sharing to any service is insanely simple. One does feel like syncing shares across services.. but I’m not really sure I want to do it. I think people who see my shares will end up being the same on both. For now, I think I will limit myself to sharing using only Reader while RTing with Twitter. Explicit sharing of the same content on both will be avoided. And finally, the length. Buzz/Reader posts are long, demand a certain amount of attention while reading. Little wonder about the number of unread RSS items in my Reader. By virtue of being insanely short, tweets can be zipped through. I used to wonder how people kept up with more than 50 people on Twitter. Its actually insanely easy.

What do I have to say that has not been said before, though?

Probably not that much, really. Continue reading

notes: tech this, tech that

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For a change, I decided to jot down the thoughts that were coming to me while I waded through month-old Reader items. Warning: It gets pretty long.

[Yes, I actually have a set of Reader items that I ensure I catch up with daily, and another set that I’m sure I will always be behind the curve on reading. What’s the point? Its the only way that I can ensure that I’m somewhat current with what goes on in the world.]

Some background: the launch of Buzz meant I went about adding a bunch of people on Reader/Buzz that I wouldn’t have known of otherwise. Louis Gray, Tyler Romeo, Jesse Stay and a whole host of other active “technologists” came to my attention as a result of Buzz. Given my aforementioned division of current and ancient news, clearly, I’m always going to be behind the curve on the most happening stuff in the internet-verse — even given how I’ve tried to balance out the “breaking news” feeds and the “info” feeds.

Over the last couple of days I realized that as long as I stay somewhat current with my “friends” shared items… I’m just fine for the latest and greatest in the tech-verse. Twitter’s Chirp conference notes – check. iPad notes – check. Latest Gmail features – check. Expectations for iPhone4, FB F8, Google i/o – check. Of course, when I say “friends” I mean the aforementioned list of people… all of whom are probably wonderful but barely know I exist. In fact most of them probably don’t know I exist at all. But their connection on this Google network is probably the best thing ever. I don’t miss out, and I get to stick to my own reading trends. This use of social networking really appeals to me — really defines what I would like from it.

Continue reading

notes: buzzing around

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Google’s latest experiment – Buzz – has been launched to the world recently, with varying degrees of appreciation, hate, irritation and all the reactions that every new social idea is greeted with. Personally, it is a social media outlet/inlet that I can get on board with – seeing as how it integrates nicely into my existing Gmail/Google experience. It has its caveats though.. features/glitches/annoyances that I wish they had ironed out before getting it out the door:

Continue reading

is blogging once a week really blogging?

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Or should I resort to twittering? Given that I update my Facebook status once a day (as a rule of thumb), it seems I could tie it all up pretty neatly. Status update – twitter – blog post. But then you would be treated to such gems as ‘Satish is researching how to research’. Seriously. Didn’t seem to work out for Uber-T when he tried it either. Besides, Twitter seems to go against the philosophy of my wanting to keep abreast with writing. I’m not really “writing” too much here either, but at least paying to have this site alive forces to me add something to it at least once a week. Though for some time to come, I doubt I will be able to post much more frequently. Or much longer posts. Come to think of it, I used to be able to set aside time to post everyday… a long time ago. Posting more frequently might mean this space gets a plethora of updates like ‘Today I went to the loo in college. It stinks.’ or ‘I had choley for lunch today. Joy.’ Do I really want to degenerate to that? I’ve already degenerated significantly from the original tone of “thoughtful randomness” that characterized most of 2004 and 2005. Somehow more esoteric thoughts seem to occupy the forefront of my mind now. Such as what to have for lunch tomorrow. I’m guessing it has something to do with research occupying a majority of my waking life, but maybe I should push myself a little more. But then that’s what I always say. Pushing myself seems to imply limitations that I have to supersede somehow. Which is not easy. And that’s a tangent I’m forcing myself to develop right now. I was hoping to start talking about one thing, move to another, then another and  somehow bring myself back to the start. Like Pulp Fiction. Which reminds me that ‘Inglourious Basterds’ releases this summer. This summer is disappointing movie-wise. Just ‘Basterds’, ‘Wolverine’ and ‘Bruno’. Compared to last years plethora of BIG summer movies, this seems tame. Maybe ‘Transformers 2’ as well. A fanboy’s delight. Big huge robots. And Megan Fox. Yes! My movie list, as I have mentioned a billion trillion times, is growing at an exponential rate. And shows no signs of being whittled down. I wonder if I will ever watch even half the movies on the list. Or for that matter, even half the movies I’ve collected. Given the way I collect books which I eventually, eventually, finish…I’m confident there will come a time when I finish things up. Like my Reader. Which has been sitting pretty at 2000+ unread items and counting for the last year or so. Whew. I read tech-news weeks out of date and find it amazing… only to find how out-of-date I am. Damn. This post reminds me a lot of Riri’s “brain dumping” as she put it. Which is sadly offline now – she has moved to using FB notes. Which I do too – indirectly. But somehow that does not appeal to me as much as this page. I’ve suddenly realized that I have come back to FB/Twitter vs staying.cool. Which was the point of this post anyway. Which is why the blogging continues.

And somehow related to this is the fact that Kate Winslet chose the naked scenes route to winning the Oscar. Most of her movies in 2006-2008 have all had them. Which means there is something to that theory. Which reminds me of my theory that only “good” adaptations of source material can ever do well. Such as LOTR vs. Spidey 3. I know that this means I’m comparing an epic to a comic. But still… this was the subject of a morning debate that lasted a good 30 minutes. And then I complain to the would-be that I don’t come to lab on time. And that was a reference to the missus so that she doesn’t take offense to the fact that I don’t refer to her as much as she would like me to. Now everyone’s happy. And so the blogging definitely continues.

facebook dilemma part iii

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facebook beckons, but knowing that facebook is moving in the direction of loading its pages with adwords.. and that there is a possibility that some guy can definitely read everything i put up there (regardless of what permissions i set), is just a little scary.

orkut doesn’t have as much detail, but could already be there.

very scary.