And… we’re back

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I’m going to start blogging again.

There. I’ve said it. Out loud. On here. So it’s public, even if it’s not going viral.

Amongst other things, I plan to write about sharing, listening, making time, paying attention, noticing, designing systems, and information architecture.

First up, I’ve updated to using the WordPress 2017 Theme – it plays nicely on all screen sizes. And it looks okay from an accessibility point of view – though the blog title and description may not pass the legibility and/or contrast test, depending on which image appears in the site header.

I’ll probably tweak the theme a little as time goes by.

Despite my neglecting it, the site still gets traffic.

In 2016, according to analytics, three of the most popular posts – arrived at via organic (i.e. Google) search – were:

  1. William Henry Pratt alias Boris Karloff, 1887-1969 – a photo of his blue plaque in East Dulwich, with over 100 comments from people who believe they might be related to him, and his biographer (from 2005)
  2. One card-reader fits all for online banking – TL;DR yes, you can use any bank card reader with any bank card (from 2008)
  3. Traffic lights and inclusive design – a post about not relying on colour alone to denote meaning (from 2010)

More anon.

Golly. Hello blogosphere. You still here?

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After reading so many posts in the blogosphere about its own demise, I must say it’s quite a relief to see it’s still here.

And according to google reader people are still writing stuff in their weblogs. And not just about the death of blogging either.

Now. If only I could have thought of a way to say this in fewer than 140 characters I could have tweeted it instead. Or drawn it and put it on Flickr. Or created a “blogging doesn’t look 2004 to me” group on facebook. Or…

Keeping the conversation going

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One of the things I find tricky with blogs is remembering to go back and check whether anyone’s followed up on any comments I’ve made.

There’s a system called coComment which is designed to help with this, but for some reason it feels like too much effort – or at least it did when I tried it – so I’ve given up with it.

For WordPress blogs – this blog uses WordPress – you can also subscribe to comments using an RSS reader. But again that can be a bit of a hassle to set up.

So I’ve just installed a plug-in for this blog which means that if you leave a comment you can ask to have all the following comments on that post emailed to you. Details on the plug-in are available on the WordPress website.

I’ve seen this on one or two other blogging platforms. I think this should be available as a standard feature across all of them.

[Update: I’ve now tested this and it works a treat.]

Not so chubby – The Grocer’s Blog

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A take on the blogging CEO PR stunt…

Waitrose head honcho Mark Price (no relation) wants to drop a couple of trouser sizes in three months and is using a blog called Not so chubby on the Waitrose website to record his experience – including his food diary and how many column inches he’s picking up for himself and the gastromarket. Comments from “Experts” and “Customers” is a little us and them. Food for thought.

A few changes to this website

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I’ve made a couple of changes to this website.

First, I’ve added a new page called Subscribe, with information about the three ways you can keep up to date with new posts on this site.

Second, I’ve bitten the bullet and have decided to try out Google adsense. This means if you’re looking directly at the website, rather than reading via a feed reader, you’ll see context-sensitive advertising in the right-hand column.

Third, a wee while ago I upgraded the version of wordpress powering this website, and at the same time exchanged all the post categories for tags. Again, these tags – the labels I’ve used to describe my posts – are in a “cloud” in the right-hand column. The larger the tag, the higher the number of posts which have been described with it. I now need to decide what, if anything, to do with categories.

Comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Intranet content management remixed

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Ever since I saw them and started using them I could see that if we had Delicious, Technorati and Bloglines on our intranet it would change the way we work and our perception of what an intranet is.

It’s something I’ve been presenting on at events recently to fellow intranet professionals.

There are so many reasons why this is important and exciting. Here are three:

  • it takes the intranet to the next level and beyond the “firewall” – covering the web, the stuff you can see through your browser (whether it’s hosted internally or externally)
  • teams, projects, communities of interest, communities of practice have new ways to share information, including bookmarks
  • potentially fascinating (and useful) insight available from the tag-clouds that start to appear, an organic topology of interests and a real-time overview of what an organisation is thinking and maybe even which way it’s going

Thanks to Chris Tubb for sending me a link to this article by David Millen, Jonathan Feinberg, and Bernard Kerr of IBM about the excellent sounding stuff they’ve been up to in this field.


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Blogging is changing and challenging journalism. It changed and challenged mine even though I was doing the blogging. It is a way to focus the collective intelligence of the audience onto the facts and arguments. Moblogging from a single device that can do words, pictures, audio and video gives us a taste of the future: when the device can produce broadcast quality video the only limitation will be bandwidth. Everybody will have their own TV station. I can hear that line from The Incredibles – “when everyone is special nobody will be”. But it does not necessarily follow, since blogging, like Google, is a way of voting for excellence and even, frighteningly, voting for truth.

Paul Mason rounds off his Newsnig8t blog with some fascinating thoughts on blogging, journalism and what’s happening to broadcasting.

Bloggers need not apply

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Blogger beware!

Job seekers who are also bloggers may have a tough road ahead, if our committee’s experience is any indication.

You may think your blog is a harmless outlet. You may use the faulty logic of the blogger, “Oh, no one will see it anyway.” Don’t count on it. Even if you take your blog offline while job applications are active, Google and other search engines store cached data of their prior contents. So that cranky rant might still turn up.

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