Taking a moment to metablog

Via the always-entertaining and well-bolded Coding Horror: Scalzi’s Writing Tips for Non-Writers Who Don’t Want to Work at Writing.

Scalzi’s tips are really useful. Writing became a real effort for me about three years ago: I’d suddenly forgotten how to string a workable sentence together. Never had that happen before – I’d always been perfect.

‘course, reading some of my earlier writing now, I can see that I perhaps wasn’t quite perfect, but hell, at least I’m trying these days! 🙂

More Windows Live Messenger Beta Invites (not actually a competition)

If you’re still looking for beta invites, look no further.

Just leave your answer and email address in the comments (you might want to fuzz it a little so that The Spammers can’t get to you easily).

1) Which PJ blogger kicks more ass?
2) Choose: Xbox 360 or Media Center PC? (you’re not going to win one, or at least not from here, I’m just interested!)

Rage Moment: The extensibility model for Windows Live Messenger really annoys me. It layers presence and identity over the Internet, which would be perfect as a platform for a new generation of social applications running through the MSN buddy network. You could make each person a collection of service endpoints, accessible via a url. What do we get? Activities. Bollocks to that.

pinkjoint, shifty’s a prat, no really shifty’s a mega prat, windows live, messenger, msn

MSN Spaces Architect on AJAX

Scott from MSN (the SiteExperts space) is running a fascinating series on the technology behind the AJAX-y MSN Spaces, with interesting and compelling insights into bringing software engineering back into web-enabled design.

But that’s only half the story – the comments in each post to /siteexperts/ seems to bring out the crazies like no other!

Recommended reading, both for the design patterns and the crazy people in the comments.

When Bugs Become Patterns
Event Handlers
Why AJAX is so 1999, Part 2
Why AJAX is so 1999, Part 1

You may have noticed that Pinkjoint is 99.9% AJAX- (and hype-) free. That’s a design choice. We still thought deeply about it.

Come *on*, People!

I had a post ready to go yesterday called “The Fuss Over RSS”.

I deleted it without publishing, because I just couldn’t imagine it going any further than a couple of days.

Boy, was I wrong there.

Scoble’s still tracking fallout.
Gillmor’s smoked some of Winer’s weed, thinking like a sneaky businessperson. Been reading Andy Grove lately?
Winer’s just, well, gone berko.
Mike is trying to be the voice of sanity here, but is getting misquoted and mischaraterized by poorly-researched point-missing pieces.

What the hell is wrong with you people? You’re carrying on like children.

Winer: An RSS Feed is called an RSS Feed, sure. There are other formats, which are also called “feeds”, like NNTP and Atom. Please, deal with it.

Aggregators will aggregate feeds of many different formats, not just RSS. Would you rather all feeds were referred to specifically? What would you call the top-level folder? Are you trying to say that IE should have Web Feeds/RSS Feeds, Web Feeds/Atom Feeds, Web Feeds/CDF, Web Feeds/Klip, or do you think lumping them all together as Feeds actually makes sense?

Would you rather call Atom and NNTP feeds RSS Feeds, or would you rather the format was used as a stepping stone to something larger and more useful?

I’m a Human. Adolf Hitler was also Human. Distasteful as it may be, you could – and probably would – group us together and call us Humans.

If that example is too abstract, how’s this? Marvel created some characters in comics. So did DC comics. Question: Would you group them together? Sure, I would. I’d have a Comics folder, and shove the lot into them, and worry about implementation specifics later.

It’s called grouping. It helps people understand and get over the fact that sixteen different formats can accomplish the same bloody thing.

Now please, everyone, get back to the business of inventing cool new stuff.

Ethical Digging?

This post from ConnectedInternet made me wonder (and really, just wonder, I’m not throwing stones here):

How ethical is it to submit one’s own posts to Digg?

On the positive side, the Digging system should (at least in theory) take care of stories that don’t actually have any real merit per se.

The ethical question – for me – is over the Digg model: read first, then rate. It’s a good model, but it also provides some baseline reward for people submitting stories just for the hell of it, even if it’s only a single page view (and I’m guessing that it’s typically much more than a single).

Aw, bugger it, I’ll just submit the really good posts I write. Like this one. Uhm, perhaps not.