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raindropper

pouring…

Category Archives: Blog

Those who follow have noticed daily changes on The Book of W. I took the final step and overhauled the navigation on that tumblr based site.

The site is now a good mixture of a blog and a book. The starting page displays recent updates like in a blog, and navigation at the top opens pages like in a book.

Main thing was to add page tags to each post. Now I can control which blog post belongs to which book page. In a way, this is a misuse of tags but…

With tags, users can link and refer to a certain page easily and intuitively, like in a book. As you probably know, blog pages are something one can not link to because they change dynamically.

I removed timestamp of the posts: books don’t have dates under their chapter titles. I like to think the contents are not glued to a certain time period, they are valid also in years to come.

Some things to prepare for are:

  • Sooner or later, as the page count increases, I will notice that the page numbering at the top will need some changes.
  • The cover page contains a water related photo from Flickr;  for some reason it doesn’t load 100% of the time and displays only some white space. Then it doesn’t look that good. Anyway, it’s great to have a dynamic cover page. Although, sometimes, the photo is not that close to the subject matter.
  • One of the worries is that users find themselves lost caused by the duplicate page concept: there are book page numbers and blog page numbers. This is something that needs to be addressed.

I’m pretty satisfied with the end result. Next task is to fill the blog book with top content.

As you have probably noticed, I’ve partially moved my act to thebookofw.tumblr.com.

On that site, I’ll create an experience which takes all the good parts of books and blogging. Furthermore, the site should be readable with mobile devices also.

One of the simple, minor, mundane things that bug me is how the pages are numbered. In blogs, the most recent page is the page number 1, by default. In books, page number 1 is the beginning. In my view, the best solution would be to number the oldest (i.e. first) blog post with the page number 1, and increase from there on. I haven’t yet found a way to accomplish this feature with Tumblr technology without relatively heavy scripting, or manual tagging (using tags like “page1”, “page2”). Yeah, I could code it using Tumblr API, but we’ll see.

Anyway, The Book of W is an interesting experiment. You wouldn’t believe how much, how long, how dearly I kept the contents and the subject hidden. Only my wife knew something about the unpublished, unprinted, unagented book. My face blushed and hands started to shake on those rare moments when the discussion reared it. And now, I’m on the other extreme as I publish the chapters to the web for you all to read.

When I was younger, I hided all my creative works (music, writings, …) from others. The rationale – if you can call it that – was that the works felt too personal, they gave out too much of me and made me vulnerable. Now I’ve learned that life’s too short for that. So, if you have something to present, just pour it out. Thanks for the web, it’s easy, fast, inexpensive and leads to an uncharted territory…

It’s quite natural for a guy nicknamed raindropper to create a book covering all aspects of water, don’t you think?

So, point your browser to The Book of W and start exploring. There will chapters and postings about science, business, arts, cultures and religions – all of course water-related.

The Book of W

It looks like a mish-mash of blog postings and book chapters. But there’s a simple, common theme underlining all of those – and it’s clear as water. 😉

Crystal Set Radio - Neuron

… Learnings from The “On How The Brain Functions” Experiment.

You, the web wanderer, are perhaps aware that a bit over one year ago I posted my research paper about theory of how the brain functions. I also built a blog around it so that you, the brain researcher, can comment it with witty references to tin-foil hats. 😉

The current gain is zero remarks to tin-foil hats.

Seriously, though, I still stand behind the theory and see several strenghts in it. The question is: why I’m not building a working prototype as it only takes a few diodes, capacitors and coils to make it. Maybe it’s because I do not want to disturb the local neighbourhood with electromagnetic noise.  

And: I’d like to thank Joni Tuoreniemi and Paul Tudsbury for commenting it and creating conversation. Thank you!

This week, Google introduced OpenSocial API. It is a set of common interfaces for building social applications. Scobleizer’s blog post led me to more information about the OpenSocial API, here:

http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial/

I watched the Campfire One video – almost from beginning to end – and browsed through some Developer’s Guide docs. I appreciate Google’s simple and straightforward, hands-on approach. They have not created a “Meta-Reference Application Framework for Interfaces of Social Network Applications” and dozens of new acronyms. Instead, they show working code and the classic “Hello World!”, written with a vanilla text editor.

Why are Google and other companies allocating resources to social media? The way I see it, that is because their main revenue streams come from advertisers. Social applications are filled with data of people’s activities, interests, daily patterns, schedules, locations, networks etc. This data provides juice for building highly targeted marketing systems, which in turn generate happy advertisers.

The more data people put into the system, the better the system will serve the people. It’s a win-win for us all, don’t you think?

For around 8 months, Scott Adams’ blog has been one of my favourites.

Besides writing and drawing Dilbert, he still has creative juices left to blog about religion, politics, his everyday philosophy, … 

He is very direct, very provocative and very often very funny. And very serious in his search of solutions for global, difficult problems. 

He plays with words, tricks your mind – one can never be certain how a sentence ends. Here’s an example of that, in the context of someone hacking electronic voting machines:

“…the choice of the next American president will be taken out of the hands of deep-pocket, autofellating, corporate shitbags and put it into the hands of some teenager in Finland. How is that not an improvement?”

The teenagers here in Finland take this as a compliment. 😉

His views on blogging can be found from this recent Questions & Answers post. Some snippets:

I think one of your major fantasy is to have the prime idea that will change the world, reboot the world. Is it what you try to accomplish with this blog?

It’s not the main reason for the blog, but I prefer activities that have some potential, no matter how unlikely, of changing the world in a good way.

How do you decide about what you want to write in your blog every morning?

It’s whatever interests me that day. I have to be personally interested or it won’t come.

Why do you do this blog day after day? Not that WE don’t enjoy it, I just can’t see what YOU are getting out of it… day after day, smarmy retort after smarmy retort, the endless whining and moaning…etc. etc.

I enjoy it creatively. It’s nice to have no editor between me and you. And I’m not much affected by critics who are irrational or humorless.

I often wonder if the cynical views that you express through your work or your blog ever cause marital trouble.

No.

Your life has become more public since you started this blog. I’d be interested to know how your family and friends feel about that. Has privacy been an issue? Has anyone done or said something followed by “don’t you dare use this!”? Did you have to adjust your day to accommodate blogging or are you usually on the computer a lot anyway?

Blogging takes a lot of time. So that’s an issue. Privacy has been an issue too, but for reasons of privacy I can’t explain how.

As an experiment I decided to open a dedicated blog for gathering feedback and comments for “On How The Brain Functions” article. So, take a deep breath and jump to here.

I wish You a Marvellous New Year 2007!