Wordcamp SA 2008

August 25, 2008

Just a quick note,

Wordcamp SA 2008 is wrapped up, thanks for those organising, it was a great event packed with some awesome people.
Great to see all of you again (some of which I haven’t seen in years!) and hi to all the new friends, now I can put some faces to the tweets!

Perhaps Matt Mullenweg’s little slip, “It’s good to be here in San Frans… whoops”, was more than just a little brain fade and an interesting reference at the growing community of Innovators within our own little “valley”? Pretty inspiring!

The power of community.

August 22, 2008

As some of my friends know I am a badge wearing supporter/member of the SA 4×4 Community Forum. This is a very active niche forum of 4×4 enthusiasts, 4,648 of them. (I was once told that as much as 2/3’s are active). That amounts to a fair amount of passionate people. People with a combined voice.

Recently these people got together and raised R10000 for the desert lion project with a quick collection.

In recent times however a portion of the estimated 130 Members that own Toyota Fortuners have been fighting their own little war with regards to suspected handling problems on their vehicles after individuals realised that their complaints where getting met with the cold shoulder/ag shame response.

They rallyed together and hotly debated the subject on the forum generating 10 pages and near 200 posts.

Once the dangers and photos of Fortuners rolled at speeds as low as 60kph became evident the ball rolled quickly. DriveOut/WegRy magazine and the Argus and Mercury newspapers came to aid printing letters and an article containing a response from Toyota SA respectively.

Right now Toyota’s has put measures in place to replace new models and existing vehicles with better tyres which they claim solve the problem, note that they claim that they came to this conclusion by their own accord and claim no formal complaints are lodged. ??

However the Forum does not intend to stop there, they want a total recall as they believe its more than the tyres to blame and they are arranging a mass testdrive in the following week with a DriveOut correspondent where they will test various configs and setups on eachothers Fortuners to arrive at some conclusion.

Don’t underestimate the voice the web can give your little social network group. The power is at your fingertips.

So things are laaik lank toight out there when it comes to money and spending. I have had to park my 4×4 permanently cuase of rising fuel prices and now only get to play on weekends. Jissie I mean have you checked the price of food lately?

SA Ronds

SA Ronds

So lastnight I tune I wanna see how cheaply I can make dinner so I tried this recipe of Annette Human (nogal from “Huisgenoot Mikrogolf Wenresepte”) in the microwave (cuase its more energy efficient and I call my Microwave Bob). This stuff is called “Melkkos” (boere resep you see) and its basically Milk with some flour and butter and salt and cinnamon and sugar and its cheap. So it was like R10 for three people to scoff kief. Cheap bru..

So I started checking around what else I can score cheaply and as I look on the Internet I spot the Americans reckon that console sales how spiked last month, flying in the face of the socalled worldwide recession.

Wii Oom en Tannie

Wii Oom en Tannie

Check, things stand like this. We as humans smaak to be entertained, a lot. So we do lots of braais, beers, movies, chicks and other kark like that. Obviously that means groot kark for our bank manager in times like these where things are going vrot with the Ripple rate (Re.. , Reppe.. Rep .. ag whatever you know what I mean).

So now these clever consumers check that if you buy like a Wii (nee sies man) or a Xbox (EksD**s) or a PS3 (Again with the Pee) then you can save tons of cash in the long run cuase you will be too busy tagging tango’s in the conflict zones of the middle-east (huh!?).

Interesting hey? Now I am wondering about that new HD Decoder from LotsOfChoice … hmmmmmm

*Initialising Rant*


Ja boet Nic. I see you are getting a little fedup around people blogging about blogging. I have long since realised the bloody exact same thing. Why do you oldschoolers out there think I canned the Geekspin blog and had the bastard thing taken over by 1000’s of spam comments and crap?

I got tired, moeg. Siek.

I wish there where some more decent blogs out there, you know the real ones. Written by REAL people with REAL passions. Like this one by Pia, . (Well done pia, btw).

THAT my friends is exactly what blogging is about, lets not bullshit ourselves into thinking that the little group of flame slinging techies blogging about blogging and twittering about twitter is where its at. Nay, that’s just the useless early adopter circle. Friends, Web 2.0 and the whole of silicon valley is all a farce, 98% of this crap means nothing to the other millions of people on this planet. Nada. *gasp*

Nasty words for the day: Self-entitlement, Self-righteousness, Egotistical, Egomaniac, Choirpreaching, Insignificance. There put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Ok ok. Calm down children. Some of you I am interested in hearing what you are saying so I read and chime in to the never ending circlejerk. If you are actively involved at engineering the space then you get a free ticket to join, like me. But the rest of the planet doesn’t give a damn (insert alternative four letter word here).


*Rant complete*

It was with much amusement that I read the post by SaulK on “the outlet” on 6 things you did not know of rafiq.

Two interesting things stand out for me, 1) This post is less malicious then tickling a puddycat and is clearly a clever ploy to attract some attention, which is by no means a bad thing (or are their some thinly veiled frustrations hidden Saul? 🙂 ) , 2) It presents a very interesting experiment as to whether the one provoked will respond quickly.

And yes .. he did. In fact he muti’d it himself within a couple hours.

This had me thinking .. let’s say you wanted to get hold of some lofty techy type celeb, fairly ensconced in the web, can this be a more effective means of communication than email? Email is so nasty nowadays, what with spam and the amount of it, that it has become a fairly ineffective medium through witch to get hold of the cognoscenti (eliciting that *damned spammer* response is easier than one might think) whereas a post on a blog or twitter referencing one name seems to not carry that same problem (perhaps the cognitive filters are differently applied, reading a blog post at ones one accord is different from having an email shoved upon oneself afterall).

As I’m writing this though I release that I have read these exact same thoughts somewhere else before, and I have found it. In July Doc Searls responded on a similar call via a blog by Rohit Bhargava.
Rohit has also seen and acknowledged this trend and his even coined it, “Egommunication”.

Ego Searches, also called Vanity Searches. Shallow or Human Nature? We like to know what people are saying, good or bad (we hope more good). We don’t like to feel people are talking behind our backs, but we don’t like getting sold to. Is this an opportunity for gold diggers and spammers employing clever tricks to have us view their wares? Perhaps.

To tack onto this idea I would like to add another observation, take a look at the number of comments at the end of Saul’s piece, normally he garners somewhere between null and two comments on a piece, this one had 9 comments at the time of writing this. What does this tell us? Link baiting works, lol. No but more importantly, people track themselves and those that they feel close, or involved with. Basically Rafiq’s groupies and enemies where also checking in. Thus sending out a certain proposition to a certain person might get you in contact with others with a similar interest around there, perhaps even a competitor in the space you never may have known about.

What’s your take on this? As a developer I have to ask, is there a place for a tool here? I reckon so, I wouldn’t mind a tool where I can slot in my name and have it feed me an RSS feed of new items found out there on the web, Facebook, Flicker, Twitter, Blogs, Web Searches wherever. Call it a vanity aggregator, perhaps one already exists? The idea of the Vanity Folder is not a new one.

Stii Pm’ed me a good article on ReadWriteWeb, a fairly long post about the shift from blogging to microblogging and some such. Not a bad read a lot of what they say is true, and could be interpreted as the end of blogging etc.

Stii then wrote on his that perhaps we (bloggers) are getting lazy and that perhaps Twitter is working for us cause we have short attention spans.

Here’s my 2 cents.

Yes, traffic is moving from blogs to twitter. Thank god for that. Now, let me tell you why I am relieved before you people have a heart attack.

Reason 1: Most blogs have become rubbish. We are all guilty of this, but if I’m honest then when I come to your blog or open your feed then don’t want to know what you had for dinner, or how your mug of coffee kicks ar*e, or how you have a toothache. I certainly don’t want to see every bloody braindump you have throughout the day or have to click on 17 “this is so cool” links. Seriously.

Reason 2: Tweets can and should be short. I can take 140 chars no more.

Reason 3: Blogs are forever, put stuff there you want to perserve, the really important stuff.

Reason 4: Twitter is transient, if it gets to noisy I just ignore it, I don’t really care. I hope I am not missing anything important, rather put that on your blog!

I hope what this means is that the noise will shift away from the blogs and onto the micro-b’s (*cute shortening of microblogs) and that the blogosphere will reclaim some of the shining beauty it once had, that place where I did not want to miss a single post on YOUR feed.

Olde cableway

Just been going through these photos on flickr for near on an hour, brilliant. See if you know where they are taken!!


Kudos to Flickr user Etiennedup

Twitter’s cool right? Yeah, when its up. The general consensus is that its reaching the end of the road as far as the cognitive dissonance rope left to the users of the servers.

What’s next? A suggestion? Make the “microblog-o-sphere” open, get a solid PHP based platform down and use the strength of the community to ensure a reliable code base.

Enters Laconica .. ta-da!

Laconica (wiki) is a tidy little opensource alternative to Twitter and a number is installations have cropped up including identi.ca which seems to be the current flavor of the moment.

What about scalability I hear you ask? One word answer. Federation, Laconica aims to distribute the microblogging experience by federating across any number of installs, this would allow one to say create an fairly focused community on one service but allow the ability to track friends using other similar installs, thus removing the immediate load on any one server and having the conversation continue in some form if one of the points do go down. (Caveat: I have not seen this in action myself, so I hope that it works as well in practice as it sounds in theory)

I have created an account, now just waiting for some people to talk too. Add me plz: http://identi.ca/conradstrydom