Q: What’s going on here, Bill?
A: For those of you who have stopped by here hoping to read the Hard Edge, forget it. Been there, done that. Living in the past is not a good thing –for either of us. So just what am I doing here? Interesting question….
On a typical day, the Bored Certified Staff here at TechNudge might read through 100 or more computing and technology stories. (And maybe the odd one or two about hamburgers.) From that group, the BCS typically selects upward of 35 of them to represent things you probably should know about.
As you may have already noticed (or, if not, as you will notice), the result is a list of snippets from those stories and links to them that you can follow to get the full details. The most often asked question is why we’re doing, basically, a cut and paste job here and why I’m not zealously salting things with my opinions and outlook. Coupla reasons.
Despite the seeming vastness of the world wide web, there are not an infinite number of tech and computing stories. Beyond that, interesting tech and computing stories comprise a yet smaller subset. As well, there are thousands of tech blogs, each competing for your attention, trying to share those stories. In many cases they’ve tried to avoid the horrific conflict that can potentially result by sticking to particular story genre. That’s a realistic partial solution. Some add their own wise cracks and offbeat remarks to draw attention to themselves. Again, if it works, great. Still others add their feelings and point of view right up front, in your face, so you can bow down at the altar of their intellect. Ditto.
Yeah, well, I’ve been doing this for 26 years. I already know I’m brilliant and witty so I have nothing to prove in that area. That’s why I’ve chosen the venue I have for this blog.
If a headline catches your eye, read the clip and, if you’re still interested, go look at the whole deal on the original site. I’ve made getting there and coming back as easy as possible. When you’ve done that, if you find that your shorts are in a bunch either pro or con, hit the comments link on the entry and lay out your argument. That’s where the dialog and discussion belongs, not up front. I don’t want my opinion overlaid on your perspective when you go read a story. Why not? You need to develop your own opinion first, before you can discuss anything. The whole idea of developing a synthesis of ideas arises from the clash between thesis (your idea of the way things are) and antithesis (my idea of the way they are, if different than yours) –and if your opinion is contaminated by my perspective before you have a chance to fully form your own concept, the whole thing is simply shot to heck.
Think of it as the Best Darn Tech News Clipping Service in, well, anywhere!
Does that mean that I’ll never say anything on the front page? C’mon, I couldn’t possibly stifle myself for so long. During a typical week I may leave 200 or 300 pearls of wisdom scattered about. It works out to about a 1,000 words per month –or, roughly, the same number of words I wrote for the Hard Edge during the last two years of its life. So you are getting front-page commentary, just not an overbearing amount of it in one swell foop.
Could I do more? Sure. However, if I did, it would severely cut into the number of stories I could sift through. (Have I mentioned yet that I am the entire Bored Certified Staff here?) Instead of the 25+ each day, it could drop down to 5 or so. (Time is immutable.) That leaves 20+ that you’d have to hunt down on your own. Do you mind if I save you some time?
And if you just want to start a discussion on some topic I haven’t found yet or don’t think is relevant or interesting, there’s always the forum. It’s been active since day one of this blog. If none of the topics you find there fit your particular gripe or idea, e-mail me and I’ll do my best to add a new section for you. (Click the mailbox icon on either the right side of the page or at the bottom of the page to activate the e-mail link.)
There are some rules….
The blog will accept anonymous comments. I’d prefer that you sign in. Anonymous posters are all “Todds.” That name represents an impersonal, distracted idea of your importance and self. I don’t really care if you fill in the e-mail and URL info, but at least a text avatar gives you an existence different from anyone else.
Don’t use crass language. I’m not a prude, but kids and ladies do read this blog. They don’t deserve to see words that might also be found scratched into a bathroom wall.
And while the Internet as an experience tends to reduce one’s personal skills, don’t be confrontational. As previously mentioned, I’ve been at this for 26 years. I can out smart-ass you with one leg tied behind my back –and I will not hesitate to do so if I feel you’re being disingenuous. I also have the power to delete –a God-like authority that can erase your comments from their very existence and leave you soullessly wandering the Web.
Last and certainly not least, be inquisitive. Read, think, ask questions, extrapolate… Grow. I’m not going to be able to do this forever. One of you will have to take my place in 30 or 40 years and you should be ready to do so.
Q: Hey bill! My search engine sent me here to your website because it said what I was looking for could be found here. It’s not! How come?
A: Ah, Bloghopper, you’ve hit one of those inscrutable mysteries of the universe. Although not multicultural, TechNudge is technologically diverse. As of this moment, on this day, there are just a wee bit more than 6,800 entries –over just a seven month period.
Most of the time, Google or Yahoo! can determine individual entries and will deliver you to the exact post. Sometimes, however, it just dumps you at the top of the blog and you’re on your own. Should you find yourself in that latter situation, there are three things you can do.
First, use the search facility built into Windows (Edit/Find) and enter the word or phrase you’re searching for. If it exists on the page you’re viewing, that will find it. (You may have to Find Next one or more times should the word or phrase you’re searching for appear in more than one post.)
Alternately, you can go to the search box at the top of the page. From what I can tell, it will find things that have appeared in a blog within the last 90 days. (It might be keyed to a particular number of posts, but for this blog that works out to about 90 days.)
If both of those fail, there’s always the Archives. Old posts are saved by day. Many times, your search engine will provide a date on which the post you’ve found appeared. If your browser does that, just remember the date and select it from the Archives list in the drop-down menu.
Sorry for all the twists and turns, but the Internet is still an inexact science.